Monday, November 13, 2006

Interactive GIS Atlas of Economic Plants and Pests of Russia and Neighboring Countries.

Stephanie Greene, "USDA-ARS-24106 N Bunn Rd, WA State", Nat'l Temp. Forage Legume Germplasm, Nat'l Temp. Forage Legume Germplasm, Prosser, WA 99350, United States of America, Alexandr Afonin, St. Petersburg State University, 10 liniya VO, 33, St. Peterburg, Russia, Andrei Frolov, All Russian Institute of Plant Protection, 3, Podbelsky Av., Pushkin, Russia, and Nikolai Dzyubenko, N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, 42 Bolshaya Morskaya Str., St. Peterburg, Russia.

An important component in promoting national food security is readily accessed information on the distribution of economic plants and their associated pests; along with the distribution of climate factors important to agriculture.  In 2003, a joint project between the USDA, ARS and three Russian institutes was initiated to develop an interactive Russian-English GIS-based agricultural atlas of Russia and the surrounding countries comprising the Former Soviet Union. The Atlas consists of maps outlining the geographic distribution of economic plants and their pests, taken from historic Russian literature, herbarium samples, and germplasm collections. Each map contains a bilingual biological description of the plant or pest, illustration, and a metadata file that describes how the map was compiled. When the Atlas is completed, it will contain 150 crop species, 491 crop wild relatives, 188 weeds, 257 insect and mammal pests, 197 crop diseases and 190 maps of agroecological conditions. The outcome of this six-year project will be to develop a comprehensive bilingual reference on the distribution of economic plants and their pests in the Former Soviet Union. Because the CD-ROM Atlas will have built-in GIS capabilities, and will include extensive environmental information, it will support analysis and decision-making and allow users to create their own custom maps.