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Abstract Detail

BSA Past-President’s Symposium: Computational Issues and Solutions for the Study of Plant Phylogeny

Stevens, P. F. [1], Webb, Campbell [2], Zanne, Amy E. [1].

The Angiosperm Phylogeny Website Mark Two.

The rapid development of our ideas of the evolutionary relationships of seed plants has not been accompanied by a comparable synthesis of the wealth of character information accumulated over the last 150 years. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/) attempts to deal with this limitation. It is a comprehensive and up-to-date one-stop shop for information on current ideas of the phylogeny, evolution, diversification, and classification of all 425 families and 62 orders of angiosperms and gymnosperms and of their morphological, chemical, etc., characteristics. It allows researchers in systematics, ecology, and other disciplines convenient access to current and past literature on their group, provides a novel synthesis of ideas, and is an educational tool for teachers and students alike. Importantly, it helps biologists across disciplines to communicate as it is readily accessible and frequently updated. Very widely cited in the literature by ecologists, physiologists, anatomists, global change modelers, and other biologists, it has a shoestring budget – i.e., nothing.
We aim to make the information in APWeb more readily available to researchers for direct querying so that they can answer questions dependent on the hierarchically-structured information provided there. This entails conversion of the site from Hypertext Mark-up Language to Extensible Markup Language, which will allow data in the site to be automatically parsed by the user and made more easily comprehensible. New tools such as a complete generic synonymy for flowering plants will further improve communication among biologists. Finally, new informatics tools will allow us to visualize evolutionary change more dynamically, produce lists of characters, genera and even species for all nodes of the tree, and the like.

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1 - University of Missouri St. Louis, Biology Department, 1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63121, USA
2 - Harvard University, Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA

angiosperm phylogeny
web resources

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY9
Location: Ballroom 2/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: SY9006
Abstract ID:1037