FloraMap is a system for producing the predicted distribution or the areas of possible adaptation, for natural organisms when little or nothing is known of the detailed physiology of the organism. It is
assumed that the climate at the point of collection of a set of individuals is representative of the environmental range of the organism. In the case of plants, these are usually germplasm collection accessions or herbarium specimens.
The climate at these collection points is used as a calibration set to compute a climate probability model. The method uses a Fourier transform to standardize climatic timing and a principal components analysis (PCA) to produce a probability distribution in multiple dimensions. The principal component scores are used to map the probability surface from a set of interpolated climate surfaces. The system has been used to guide plant collecting, to investigate taxonomic and genetic variation, and to map crop pests and their potential predators.
The system is the culmination of over 20 years of work at CIAT and brings together in a user-friendly (or at least non-aggressive) interface some of the techniques that have been developed to cope
with CIAT scientists’ requirements for these analyses. Peter Jones developed the climate database, the interpolated surfaces, and some of the climate handling functions. Nick Galwey put these together
with the PCA in a Genstat package during a study leave at CIAT. This was reported in Jones et al. (1997). Alexander Gladkov put the present system together to run under Windows. We would like to
thank CIAT scientists who, over the years, have pushed us to extend the limitations of the system, particularly David Wood, Anthony Bellotti, Steve Beebe, and Joe Tohme. Special thanks are given to Luigi Guarino for his very detailed suggestions, many of which were used to improve the manual.