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Completeness of Digital Accessible Knowledge of the Plants of Ghana

Alex Asase, A. Townsend Peterson

Abstract


Providing comprehensive, informative, primary, research-grade biodiversity information represents an important focus of biodiversity informatics initiatives. Recent efforts within Ghana have digitized >90% of primary biodiversity data records associated with specimen sheets in Ghanaian herbaria; additional herbarium data are available from other institutions via biodiversity informatics initiatives such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. However, data on the plants of Ghana have not as yet been integrated and assessed to establish how complete site inventories are, so that appropriate levels of confidence can be applied. In this study, we assessed inventory completeness and identified gaps in current Digital Accessible Knowledge (DAK) of the plants of Ghana, to prioritize areas for future surveys and inventories. We evaluated the completeness of inventories at ½° spatial resolution using statistics that summarize inventory completeness, and characterized gaps in coverage in terms of geographic distance and climatic difference from well-documented sites across the country. The southwestern and southeastern parts of the country held many well-known grid cells; the largest spatial gaps were found in central and northern parts of the country. Climatic difference showed contrasting patterns, with a dramatic gap in coverage in central-northern Ghana. This study provides a detailed case study of how to prioritize for new botanical surveys and inventories based on existing DAK.


Keywords


biodiversity informatics, primary data, inventory completeness, data gaps, Ghana, flora, botanical surveys

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17161/bi.v11i0.5860

Copyright (c) 2016 Alex Asase, A. Townsend Peterson



Biodiversity Informatics. ISSN: 1546-9735
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