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History of the Floristic Inventory of South Florida Database Online

Please cite the FISF Database Online as:
Gann GD, Trotta LB, and Collaborators. 2001-2024. Floristic Inventory of South Florida Database Online. The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida.

IRC's Floristic Inventory of South Florida (FISF) was initiated in 1994 to provide critical baseline data in order to improve native plant conservation programs and ecological restoration projects throughout South Florida. A review of the methods and preliminary results of the FISF were published in the Executive Summary and Chapter 1 of IRC’s book Rare Plants of South Florida -Their History, Conservation, and Restoration. Dozens of people and institutions helped with this project, as described in the Acknowledgments section of the book.

George Gann, Keith Bradley and Steven Woodmansee published the first rendition of the Floristic Inventory of South Florida Database Online in 2001, and that authorship was maintained through 2014. Substantial data on more than 2,400 species of plants and 200 conservation areas were presented in the initial release, based on more than 150,000 occurrence records collected in the field, or collated from published and unpublished literature by the authors. Photographs of many plant species and an advanced search feature were also provided.

The database has grown since 2001 and many others have assisted with the FISF - in the field, with data entry and database management, data and image submittals, and critical website review. Keith Bradley moved on from the FISF and IRC in 2012. Steve Woodmansee, however, is still affiliated with IRC, and continues to contribute to the FISF as an IRC Associate. Many others have stepped in to fill various roles.

We acknowledge here many of these additional contributions, but any list would be incomplete. All contributions, no matter how small, are valuable and appreciated. In addition, it is important to note that several related database projects have grown out of the FISF, and share the same centralized database: Natives For Your Neighborhood, first published in 2005, The Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online, first published in 2007, The Floristic Inventory of the Florida State Parks in the Florida Keys Database Online, also published in 2007, Plantas de la Isla de Puerto Rico/Plants of the Island of Puerto Rico, and two websites under development, one covering the Bahamas and one covering the Yucatan peninsula.

Before 2011, Gann, Bradley and Woodmansee shared database management responsibilities with assistance from Steve Green. From 2012-2022 database management and data entry were conducted by George Gann and IRC Associate Christina Stocking. From 2022 to present, Lauren Trotta has contributed significantly to data entry and management. Others that have assisted with data entry include Cara Abbott, Melissa Abdo, Patty Castillo-Tren, Eric Fleites, Samantha Gabriel, Emilie Grahl, Kirsten Hines, Stephen Hodges, Jesse Hoffman, Debbie Lada, Josh Mahoney, Lindsey Nieratka, Gaby Orihuela, Nicole Reintsma, and Jimi Sadle.

More than 50 photographers have contributed images to the FISF and related databases. In particular, we would like to acknowledge image contributions from Roger Hammer, Shirley Denton, Keith Bradley, Chuck McCartney, and James Johnson. The open access photography of Forest and Kim Starr has also been very helpful. Other photographers include Cara Abbott, Lilly Anderson-Messec, Erin Backus, Emily Bell, John Bradford, Keith Buttry, Marcos Caraballo Ortiz, Kristen Finch, Eric Fleites, Melany Flint, Noah Frade, Alan Franck, Donald and Joyce Gann, Magha GarcĂ­a, Robert Gundy, Beryn Harty, Stephen Hodges, Bruce Holst, Jay Horn, James J. Lange, Susan Lerner, Sarah Martin, Joe Montes de Oca, Gil Nelson, Jennifer Possley, Rosimar Rivera, George Rogers, Mike Rosenthal, Jimi Sadle, Alex Seasholtz, Michelle Smith, Scott Sutherland, Craig van der Heiden, Thrity Vakil, Alicie Warren, Karolina Weclawska, and Steven Woodmansee. Susan Trammell and Wes Jurgens supplied illustrations, and has been invaluable in locating historical illustrations in the public domain. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the University of South Florida herbarium have allowed for the use of scanned herbarium specimens.

There has been no significant direct funding for FISF field work since 2002, and so many independent projects have been used to incorporate data into the FISF. Funding for many of these projects has come from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The National Park Service, the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County, and numerous other local agencies and organizations (see also Select IRC Projects). In addition to Gann, Bradley and Woodmansee, the following current and former IRC staff members deserve special mention for participating in or managing IRC projects that have contributed to the FISF: Melissa Abdo, Mike Barry, Rasheed Bradley, Emilie Grahl, Steve Green, Kirsten Hines, Stephen Hodges, Jesse Hoffman, James Johnson, James J. Lange, Josh Mahoney, Sarah Martin, Jimi Sadle, Sonali Saha and Craig van der Heiden. Collaborators in the field from other institutions have been numerous, but we would especially like to thank Jimi Sadle (National Park Service), Janice Duquesnel (Florida Park Service), and Bruce Holst (Marie Selby Botanical Gardens).

Although our capacity to review and incorporate new data has, at times, been limited, we have been working hard over the last several years to increase our capacity. We appreciate the effort of everyone who has submitted new data, answered our requests for new data, and provided expert review. We would especially like to thank Jennifer Possley (Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden) and Alicie Warren (Miami-Dade County) for continuing to send so much new data we had to do something about it, and Jimi Sadle (Everglades National Park) and Jimmy Lange for providing an endless stream of personal observation and herbarium voucher data. Bruce Hansen (University of South Florida herbarium), Alan Franck (University of Florida herbarium), and Brett Jestrow (Fairchild herbarium) have addressed innumerable taxonomic issues and happily provided label data. Roger Hammer and Chuck McCartney are to be acknowledged for their decades-long assistance, along with new contributors Keith Buttry and many others. At the end of the day, the FISF is about data and using these data to improve both our scientific understanding and the conservation of South Florida's native plants and ecosystems. Thanks again to Keith Bradley, Steve Woodmansee and all the others who have made that happen.

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Updated April 2, 2023.

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