The database of Atlas Florae Europaeae

The database of Atlas Florae Europaeae (AFE) accommodates plant records of native and naturalised alien taxa from Europe, mapped on the scale of about 50 × 50 km. The database is compiled in Helsinki on the basis of the team-work of botanists from all countries of Europe. The data collection results in the stepwise production of printed books published by the Committee for Mapping the Flora of Europe and Societas Biologica Fennica Vanamo. The production follows the sequence of families in Flora Europaea; at present over 20% of the European flora is mapped.

As the older original AFE maps were produced by manual paperwork, the maps have been scanned and processed to convert the information into the database. Misinterpretations have been traced and corrected manually. The resulting dataset is a fair reflection of the printed maps but is not completely free of technical errors. The procedure of digitisation is described in Lahti & Lampinen, Acta Botanica Fennica 162: 5–9 (1999).

Another significant deviation of the digital data from published maps is a technical convertion of the dataset from the original AFE grid system into the new grid system currently adopted for pan-European biodiversity datasets. The convertion has been performed by authomatic recalculations of the original distribution data. Starting from the maps published in AFE vol. 13, the digital data became the primary product and the printed maps are mostly the visualisation of the database. At present the records in the database reflect the original data collection, but future updates and corrections are planned.

The taxonomy and nomenclature accepted in the database may deviate from the original printed maps to comply with current treatments in Euro+Med PlantBase.

The database is under publishers’ copyright and is not freely available to public. Requests for permissions to use the dataset in scientific research (with a certain fee to be paid) may be directed to the Secretariat.