TREE DATABASES - World Agroforestry Centre

Compilation of the taxonomic status of agroforestry species
Muasya S, Simons AJ, Salim AS and Kindt R
The Botanic Nomenclature for Agroforestry Trees Database is a compilation of
the taxonomic status of over 8000 woody and herbaceous taxa found in
agroforest ecosystems. The database was prompted by the multiplicity of
(mis)spellings and synonyms emerging in agroforestry literature, and the need
for consistency. Currently there exists specialized volumes (e.g. Index Kewensis)
for checking species identities but these are available to only a small fraction of
scientists and others working in agroforestry.
There are several advantages of getting names right. It enables you to search
electronic sources of information (bibliographies, electronic abstracts and
internet) for available literature. It also enables you to communicate with others
about species in that alternative (synonyms) can be highlighted, and you can be
confident that you are each talking about the same plant.
As a standard we have used Index Kewensis and where necessary employed
Mabberley’s (1997) Plant Book as a back up reference. In choosing between
alternate forms of Latin spellings we have used William Stearn’s (1992) Botanic
Latin as a guide.
The Tree Domestication Programme of the World Agroforestry
Centre has developed a number of databases to promote the
better use of trees in agroforestry systems. The Agroforestree
Database provides information on the management, use and
ecology of a wide range of tree species which can be used in
agroforestry systems. The Tree Seed Suppliers Directory lists
suppliers of seed and microsymbionts for over 5900 tree
species. The Botanic Nomenclature Database provides
information on the correct taxonomy of trees, including
synonyms and common names of over 8000 species. The
three databases are linked with common formats.
A tree species reference and selection guide
Sources of seeds and microsymbionts
R Kindt and AS Salim with S Muasya, J Kimotho, A Waruhiu and A Mutua
Salim AS, Simons AJ, Orwa C, Chege J, Owuor B and Mutua A
The Agroforestree (AFT) Database is a species reference and selection guide for
agroforestry trees.
The main objective of the database is to provide detailed information on a
number of species to field workers and researchers who are engaged in activities
involving trees suitable for agroforestry systems and technologies. It is designed
to help make rational decisions regarding the choice of candidate species for
defined purposes. Information for each species covers species identity, ecology
and distribution, propagation and management, functional uses, pests and
diseases and a bibliography. To date more than 500 species have been included.
The specific aims of the database are to:
Enable quick and efficient access to a consolidated pool of information
on tree species that can assume useful production and/or service
Provide a tool that will assist with the selection of species for use in
agroforestry and related research using defined search criteria;
Help researchers assess potential agroforestry trees for uses other than
those commonly known;
Provide indicators for the economic assessment of species through yield
information on tree products.
The production of the Tree Seed Suppliers Directory is framed within the
aims of ICRAF’s Domestication of Agroforestry Trees Programme, which is
concerned with increasing productivity and diversity of land use systems
through the domestication of agroforestry trees.
This directory is intended to:
Contribute to the informed use of tree germplasm, which is an
essential component of sustainable forestry and agroforestry
Promote wider use of quality germplasm. Quality has both a
genetic and a physiological component, and both are described in
the directory. Quality descriptors can be used as criteria to select
suppliers, and this will ensure that both the users and the suppliers
recognize seed quality requirements
The directory also highlights the importance of biosafety issues, and it
presents biosafety information that suppliers have provided.
Although the directory focuses on tree taxa of importance in the tropics, it
lists some temperate taxa as well. It does not discriminate between taxa
used for agroforestry and forestry purposes.