Calflora Observation Entry Help

 

The Observation Entry application lets you enter and edit an observation of a wild plant. To use the application, you need to be registered as a contributor.

To enter a new record, press the NEW RECORD button. Click on the map to indicate the location . Type in the first few letters of the scientific name of the plant. After three letters, a list of matching genera will appear. You can choose the genus from the list, and then type in a few letters of the species, or just keep typing.

Choose a plant identification method, which explains how you recognized the plant. Enter an observation date in the form 2014-12-31, or press the today link, or press the calendar link to choose the date from a calendar. The rest of the fields are optional, and explained below. When you are finished, press the SAVE button at the top.

Any observation you enter here will immediately appear in the My Observations application. if you set Access by other users to public, then other Calflora users will also be able to find and view your observation record with the various search tools.


FIELDS

Scientific Name
The scientific name of the plant observed. Typeahead is enabled -- type the first three letters, then choose the name from the popup list.

This field will accept only the full scientific name of a plant already in the database, or the word unknown. If you have alternate scientific names or other comments, please put them in the Notes field.

If you wish to enter the scientific name of a plant that is not yet in the database (for instance, a new weed), put a * (star) just in front of the plant name, as the first character in the field. You can also use * (star) to enter genus-only names. For instance, to indicate some plant in the genus Vaccinium, enter:

    *Vaccinium

     


Common Name
The common name of the plant observed. Typeahead is enabled -- type at least three letters, then choose the name from the popup list.

 


Identification Method
The primary method by which the observed plant was identified.

 


Observation Date
Date the plant was observed, in the form YYYY-MM-DD. For example, 2009-11-15.

Press today for today's date. Press calendar to choose the date from a calendar.

 


Natural Status
Was the observed plant planted by a human, or is it growing wild?

 


Habitat
The primary habitat type at this location.

  • Forest: Tree-dominated, generally with a closed canopy (e.g., redwood forest, eucalyptus grove)
  • Forest Edge: the edge of a forest, or a clearing within a forest.
  • Open Woodland: Tree-dominated, but with open areas between the trees (e.g., oak woodland)
  • Scrub/Shrubland: Shrub-dominated, with few or no trees (e.g., coastal scrub, chaparral)
  • Grassland / Open Field: Grass-dominated, with few to no shrubs or trees
  • Stream bank / bed: The banks or dried bed of a stream, creek or river
  • Wetland: Herbaceous-plant-dominated, with standing water at least part of the year and wetland indicator plants (e.g., cattails, rushes, pickleweed marsh, vernal pool)
  • Open Water: Pond, lake, river, estuary, etc.
  • Beach / Dune: Generally some open sand (or there would be if not infested with iceplant or European beachgrass)
  • Rocky outcrop / Cliff: A rocky area with sparse soil or no soil.
Areas of major human impact:
  • Agricultural field
  • Roadside / Waste area
  • Park / Recreation area
  • Yard / Garden

Percent Cover
At the reported point of observation, how much of the immediate area is covered by the observed plant.

 


Phenology
The life stage of the plant at time of observation.

  • Seedling / rosette: Young, non-reproductive growth
  • Bolting: When the flowering stalk begins to shoot up in plants with a basal rosette of leaves (thistles or mustards, for example)
  • Flowering: In bud or flower
  • Fruiting: Setting seed or fruit
  • Dead / skeleton: Dried/dead plant or dormant perennial
  • Leafing out: Producing new leaves (for deciduous perennial plants such as tree of heaven)
  • Mature: A perennial plant NOT in one of the above stages

 


Number of Plants
Either an estimated range of the number of plants at this location, or an exact count. If you know the exact count, please enter it by clicking in the text box and typing over the value. Otherwise, choose a range from the drop down list.

Special values:

    1: exactly one plant.

    0: no plants; absence.

    1+: at least one plant. This is the default value for older records.

 

Distribution
The distribution, or abundance, of the plant across the landscape in the area of the reported point of observation.

 


Owner
The land owner, manager, or steward of the land where the plant is growing, to the best of your knowledge. Before adding observations on private land, please obtain permission from the land owner.

 


Herbarium
If a specimen was collected, the name of the herbarium where it is stored.

 


Location Description
A brief description of where the plant is. Please include landmarks and/or directions to the site.

 


Notes
Anything else you would like to report about the plant or the site, such as associated plant species.

 


Latitude and Longitude
The location of the plant in decimal latitude and longitude, NAD83 datum (WGS84). (This datum is available on most GPS units and used by some recent maps.)

 


Observer
The person(s) who observed the plant. (Before adding observations to Calflora, please obtain the consent of all observers.)

 


Source
The name of the institution which contributed this record to Calflora, if any. For an individual contributor, the name of the individual, or the name of the organzation with which they are affiliated, or who organized the data collection effort (for instance, Marin Municipal Water District).

 


Project
If this record is part of a particular data collection project, put the name of the project here (for instance, Mt Tamalpais Bioblitz 2012).

 


Location Accuracy
An estimate of the accuracy of the location coordinates, expressed as an area in square meters. For instance, if the location accuracy is set to 100 square meters, then the idea is that the real point is somewhere within that 100 square meter area.

When you specify location by picking a point on the map, location accuracy depends on the zoom level of the map when the record is first entered.

When GPS equipment is used to find a point, the location accuracy will depend on the quality of the equipment, conditions at the time the point was taken, as well as any methods employed to correct or verify the coordinates.

To specify location accuracy, press the Specify link. In the panel that opens, you can choose an accuracy range, such as 100 square meters. Or, you can enter the radius of a circle around the point, and calculate location accuracy as the area of that circle.
Radius Area
10
Meters
314
Square Meters
0.07763
Acres
1
Kilometer
3,141,593
Square Meters
776
Acres
1
Mile
8,136,688
Square Meters
2011
Acres

Area Unit Equivalence
1
Acre
43,560
square feet
4,840
square yards
4,047
square meters
0.4
hectares
1
Hectare
107,639
square feet
11,960
square yards
10,000
square meters
2.47
acres

 


Access by other users
Can the public visit this site?
unknown  
public access The public may visit this site, subject to business hours and/or seasonal restrictions. A fee may be required (eg. at a State Park).
restricted access It may be possible to visit this site by special arrangement. For many preserves, access is limited to a few pre-arranged, docent-led hikes each year, and/or volunteer work days.
no access  

 


UTM Coordinates
Zone 10 or 11
Easting 6-digit number such as 251810
Northing 7-digit number such as 4070743
When the UTM panel is visible, these three fields show the current center position. To specify a location, enter values into these fields and press the Display button.

 


MTRS
Meridian 21, 27 or 15
Township for example, 6N or 31S
(no leading zeros)
Range for example, 12E or 2W
Section for example, 17

 


Elevation
The elevation at the location of the plant.

 


Access by other users
Specifies which other uers can see this record.

A public (published) record is viewable by all Calflora users.

An in review (unpublished) record is viewable only by the contributor, unless you explicitly allow certain other users to view it.

Some contributors choose to keep certain records in review until they are confident of the data (eg. plant identification).

 


Group Association
If you are a member of any groups, then you can associate a record with one of your groups. This feature is to enable a group of people to easily see each other's records while those records are still in review.
Access Group Association Who can see it
publicanyall Calflora users
in reviewnoneonly the contributor
in reviewGroup ABCall members of Group ABC


Suppose you enter a new record, and set Access by other users to in review (unpublished). Suppose also that you are a member of the CalWeedMapper Contributors group. If you set the group association of the new record to CalWeedMapper Contributors, then other members of this group will be able to view the record.

 


Web page: About this Location
The URL of a web page with more information about this location. Examples: a page from a photo service like Flickr with pictures of the location; a page from a free hiking site with descriptions of the trails; or, for a restoration site, a page describing the work done at the site.

 


Web page: Plant List Source
If the plant list came from a web page, the URL of that page.

 


Area Size
The approximate size of the area where the plants were observered. Use the Calculate Area function to find the area of a circle around a central point.

    If you observed plants over one mile of a straight trail, you would enter a point in the middle of that part of the trail, and use Calculate Area to find the area of a circle with a radius of 0.5 miles.
 

Location Quality
Is this a precise or an imprecise location? Examples or imprecise locations include USGS quadrangles, MTRS sections, or just very large areas. Is this an appropriate place for members of the public to view plants?