THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY DATA CENTRE
Paul Green approached the Data Centre in 2007 with a view towards submitting a copy of his plant dataset of ~175,000 records for storage within the Centre’s database and public display through the Centre’s web GIS mapping system. Following discussions of additional ways the Centre could support Paul in enhancing the value of his existing dataset the Centre agreed to produce a web version of Paul’s hardcopy Flora of County Waterford (2008). The primary reason for this was to assist Paul in making the information available to as wide an audience as possible in the hope that it would highlight the work of BSBI recorders in Ireland and provide encouragement for those with an interest in Ireland’s flora.
The Data Centre also assisted Paul (as a BSBI VC recorder) in using his data in a number of BSBI encouraged initiatives, namely the production of a County Rare Plant Register and the production of an axiophyte list for the county to indicate plant hotspots and important sites within different habitats.
Using the data to identify Important Plant Areas within the County was suggested by the National Biodiversity Data Centre as a way on making the data accessible to national and local authorities from a conservation perspective.
The primary role of the Data Centre is to collate quality data on Ireland’s biodiversity and to make it publically accessible so that it can be used to protect that biodiversity into the future. In the web Flora of County Waterford the work has been Pauls and the data belongs to him and to the other plant recorders who contributed to his database of plants in County Waterford. The Data Centre is delighted to have been able to assist him in sharing information on Waterford’s plants.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre would like to thank the National Botanic Gardens, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Botanical Society of the British Isles in the UK for the support it received during this project.