Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology (book) Web Resources 

This Web page contains the URLs and annotations for the Web-accessible resources listed in Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology, published by Libraries Unlimited in December 2005.


Chapter 6:  Ecology

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias


NatureServe. NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life. Arlington, VA: NatureServe, 2004. (Version 4.0).  


Includes data for nearly 23,000 plants listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and over 5000 ecological communities.  Scientific name, common name, status, and distribution are given with summary report, conservation status, distribution map, life history, and comprehensive report.  Images are provided when available.


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Handbooks and Methods


Alien Plant Working Group. Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas.  Washington, DC: Plant Conservation Alliance, 2003.


Background information on invasive species, related definitions, and identified problems and solutions for invasions are described.  A list of invasive species listed by scientific name is provided with common names, where found, associated national parks, and information sources.  Fact sheets for aquatics, herbs, vines, shrubs, and trees are illustrated with color photographs and contain plant descriptions, native range, distribution and habitat in the U.S., management options, suggested alternative native plants, selected links to relevant people and organizations, and other information. Washington, DC: National Invasive Species Council, 2003.


This gateway site is brimming with information about federal and state invasive species activities and programs.  Links are provided to species profiles; geographic information; vectors and pathway; numerous expertise, general, terrestrial plant, terrestrial animal, aquatic plant, aquatic animal, microbial, and regional databases; and laws and regulations.



IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group. Global Invasive Species Database.


The Invasive Species Specialist Group is part of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of The World Conservation Union (IUCN).  This database includes details about invasive microbes, plants, and animals species, such as taxonomic, common, and synonym names; description; biology, ecology, native and alien range, management information; references; contacts; links; and images.  There are lists of all species and all countries that are in the database, recommended readings, links to several invasive species sites.



Missouri Botanical Garden. National Collection of Endangered Plants. St. Louis, MO: Center for Plant Conservation.  


The National Collection of Endangered Plants is an initiative of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC).  It “contains plant material for more than 600 of the country's most imperiled native plants … and is a back up in case a species becomes extinct or no longer reproduces in the wild.”  Plant profiles, participating CPC institutions, and other details can be accessed from the National Collection Web site.



National Biological Information Infrastructure. NBII Invasive Species Information Node (ISIN). Reston, VA: National Biological Information Infrastructure. 


The Invasive Species Information Node is a repository of invasive species information, such as species lists, maps, control and restoration recommendations, and current projects, including the Species Information database.  Database details include taxonomic rank and serial number, scientific name, common name(s), USDA NRCS Code, links to more information, and photos when available.  A system for reporting invasive species via this Web site is currently being developed.  The National Biological Information Infrastructure “is a joint effort, led by the U. S. Geological Survey, to build a distributed electronic "federation" of biological data and information from many sources… on our nation’s plants, animals, and ecosystems.”



Species Information: Threatened and Endangered Animals and Plants. Washington, DC: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2003. 


Endangered species information is accessed via the Threatened and Endangered Species Database System (TESS) for federally listed animals and plants.  Over 700 endangered plant species have been identified.  They are grouped by taxonomic groups (Flowering Plants or Non-Flowering Plants) and listed alphabetically by common name, then scientific name with links to status details regarding information on Recovery Plans, Specials Rules, and Critical Habitat for specific designations, life history, Federal Register documents, Habitat Conservation Plans, petitions received, and refuges the species has been reported on.  A wealth of information can be obtained here such as state lists, maps, proposed and candidate species information, de-listed species, species by lead region, statistics, laws/policies, Virtual News Room, news releases, etc.  The text of the Endangered Species Act can be accessed through the link Laws, Policies and Federal Register Notices at this site.



SSC Redlist Programme, IUCN. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Cambridge, England: IUCN Species Survival Commission, 2003.   


The Species Survival Commission of The World Conservation Union (IUCN) compiles and manages the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and “is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species [and] is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.”  The list provides information about taxonomy, ICUN Red List assessment (including category, classification, and justification), distribution, summary data (biome, major habitat(s), major threat(s), and population trend), and data sources for each selected species.  More details on the background of the IUCN Red List can be found at



U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA Fire Effects Information System. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 2004.  


This database is produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service to “provide up-to-date information on the effects of fire on plants and animals.”   The USDA Fire Effects Information System database includes documented information on taxonomy, distribution, basic biology, and ecology of over 900 plant species.



U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ecosystems. Washington, DC: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2004.  


The EPA regularly monitors the country’s ecological resources for possible effects of environmental pollutants and creating environmental guidelines and standards to manage environmental risks.  The fourth goal of the EPA’s five goals delineated in the 2003-2008 EPA Strategic Plan: Direction for the Future is to “Protect, sustain, or restore the health of people, communities, and ecosystems using integrated and comprehensive approaches and partnerships.”  Search Ecosystems Subtopics for information about plants in aquatic ecosystems, ecological monitoring, ecological restoration, endangered/exotic species, and terrestrial ecosystems


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British Ecological Society (BES).  26 Blades Court, Deodar Road, Putney, London, England, SWI5 2NU, UK. Phone: +44 (0)20 8871 9797. Fax: +44 (0)20 8871 9779. E-mail:


The BES provides “academic journals, teaching resources, meetings for scientists and policy makers, career advice and grants for ecologists.”  Publishes the Journal of Ecology.



The Ecological Society of America (ESA). 1707 H Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006-3915. Phone: 202-833-8773. Fax: 202-833-8775. E-mail:


The Ecological Society of America (ESA) promotes ecological science through its activities and services.  Action alerts, science policy, statements, resolutions, position papers, news updates, and other communications are available on their Web site, as well as lots of educational information for students and teachers.  There is a Plant Population Biology Section to foster member research and interactions.  ESA publishes Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Ecological Applications, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.



International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS).  Alterra, Green World Research, Postbus 47, NL-6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Phone: +31317 47 79 14. Fax: +31317 42 49 88. E-mail:


The IAVS promotes research, education, publication of research results, networking opportunities, and disseminates information regarding vegetation science.  Publishes the Journal of Vegetation Science.


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12/22/2005   mma