National Database

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Apr 16, 2007, 2:03:21 PM4/16/07
to Mistletoe Matters
You mention in reply to Rod Chapman's message about a
national mistletoe database. Is this accessable on line? In print or
available to group members?

John Hardisty

Jonathan Briggs

Apr 16, 2007, 3:17:57 PM4/16/07
to Mistletoe Matters
Hi John,

Short answer is no, it's not easily available - but should be when I
get around to collating and correcting some of the data entry. It's a
combined dataset of BSBI (Botanical Society) and Plantlife mistletoe
sightings sent in for the 1990s national survey. Results were
reported in the 1999 publication 'Kissing goodbye to Mistletoe?
(Plantlife/BSBI publication, possibly still available via

But the data quality is highly variable - the Plantlife element was
entered onto spreadsheet, not database, and has significant data entry
problems - county names, place names, host names etc with a great
variety of formats and spellings. Not to mention some of the GRs.
This makes detailed analysis very difficult. I'm waiting for a rainy
day (several rainy weeks actually) to bring it finally up to speed,
merge it properly with the BSBI version and write up a more formal
paper on the results. There'll probably need to be some ground-
truthing to do first as well - again to sort out differences between
the public-gathered sightings and the more formal botanist sightings -
for example oak records are more frequent in the public-gathered
dataset than the botanist-gathered data. This is, one assumes, due to
mis-identification of the host tree in winter, and a natural 'desire'
to find it on oak. Or perhaps these records are real, and the
botanical fraternity has been missing them! I suspect limes and horse-
chestnuts myself... When it get to the ground-truthing time I'll
probably be looking for volunteers to help...

So for now the data isn't easy to access - but I can trawl through it
to answer any specific queries (it was collected to be used). Within
reason of course, and I can't always respond immediately - but do let
me know what you might need to look up.




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