Preface to the Atrium System

(version 1.5)

Atrium is a Biodiversity Information System designed to support the research activities of the Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program and to make the collection, bibliographic and reference data generated by this project available to collaborators and the general public. Thanks to the Moore Foundation, project personnel were able to collect specimen year around and in many sites in Peru. Field notes and digital images of the collections made during the project are preserved in Atrium for access by any interested person thought the Internet.

Published references and entire articles about the plants represented in Atrium are available through Atrium itself. Bibliographic information about the area and species found there were loaded by team members for access by others. Atrium is intended not only to keep the original data about collections, but also facilitate the preparation and, in future, store articles and floras created from collection data and images in the system.

Weather information and the ability to place the collections on a topographic representation of the collection area also offer opportunities to explore the affects of climate and altitude on the biodiversity of a geographic area.

Future plans include using Atrium to produce digital floras, scientific articles and other publications. In addition, we plan to add the ability for the user to customize the Collection/Specimen display, allowing the user to choose the columns to be shown, their order and their width. Once tailored, the format will be saved to be used in subsequent sessions. Sharable filter settings will allow a project team to use the same inclusion criteria when looking at the collection data. Soon to be added is a section to preserve vegetative surveys and the collections made in the process of creating plot and transect surveys.

Atrium facilitates the collection, organization and sharing of botanical and ecological information generated by any botanical or biodiversity project. It is designed to allow instant, global access to a wealth of botanical and ecological information, and researchers with tools to collaborate worldwide in real-time.

Information about the Atrium system is available at The system was originally developed under the auspices of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). More information about BRIT can be found at