The Agroforestry Species Switchboard is a synthesis of information sources to support tree research and development activities from the World Agroforestry Centre.
The 13 websites the Switchboard links to include The Plant Resources for Tropical Africa, The Useful Tree Species for Africa, Tree Seed Suppliers Directory, The UNEP-WCMC Species Database, and The VECEA interactive vegetation map. In addition to directly harnessing information from these 13, the switchboard also provides hyperlinks to The Plant List, Tropicos, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and The Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
The Switchboard’s main strength is that it shortens the time and energy spent on searches, and generates quality information drawn from trusted sources,” says Roeland Kindt, the senior ecologist at ICRAF who led the development of the tool. “Its creation was driven by a need expressed by users, for a “one-stop-shop” for good quality and detailed information on species of interest,” says Kindt.
Users can search for information in two ways:
- By entering the name of a genus or species in the search field at the Agroforestry Species Switchboard, or
- Through ‘user-friendly URL searches’; for example, searching for the genus Tamarindus by typing in the following hyperlink in a web browser: