Understanding biodiversity of this planet is a continuous process. We are yet to discover and document many life forms that exist on the globe. Millions of plant and animal species that have been listed are not mapped; its distribution, abundance and population have not been studied on account of various constraints of resource, manpower, geographical distribution, scientific capability etc. A number of species are on the verge of extinction or extinct as their threat status could not be determined on time and their ecological parameters could not be brought to public domain. Species extinction is impacted by anthropogenic pressure and influenced by a lack of database for many species which are exploited for human use. Medicinal plants in many tropical countries are a classic example of such neglect and rarely, a comprehensive database is available for many who are listed as critically endangered. Population profiling of plants in natural habitat is a major shortcoming in biodiversity conservation and strategy development to protect species and habitat. Landscape, national and regional scale occurrence, growth and distribution of plant species can provide useful information about species, their survival status and could set bench mark for long term monitoring of human and climatic impact on the plant and animal kingdom and their habitats. However, both globally and nationally, such database is woefully lacking. In India, the threat category (endangered, rare, vulnerable, critically endangered) status has been developed on the basis of scattered literature or domain knowledge without field assessment. IUCN, therefore, lists most of the Indian plant species as “data deficient”. The listing and classification of threatened plant and animal species of India based on actual field level data of population size, structure, regeneration potential and causal factors of threat, is the need of the hour. It has been, therefore, our endeavor to present a database portal with an intention to provide information aspects related to plant diversity, their distribution pattern, population structure and composition and use value for the present.
BIOMASS is unique as it provides a wide array of species level information on the state of Odisha in the following way:
The database will be dynamic and will be upgraded from time to time as more sample plots are surveyed and districts/ divisions are covered. Provision has been made to integrate data from newly sampled areas by the contributors and by others as suggestions. The web application has been linked to RPRC website (www.rprcbbsr.in) to be used by all interested the diversity, distribution, occurrence, uses and ecological dynamics of plant species and habitats of Odisha.