in the top right hand corner, the other categories of information can be placed on successive lines of the card. This will make for easy scanning of the cards for any item of information.
The back of the card can be used for any sketch of the fungus and of some of its microscopic elements and for other items such as whether a specimen has been kept and where; or a photograph taken, or any notes on its identification. If opting for several records per card, a larger card is required, certainly not less than 6x4 inches or the metric equivalent. Again, the name, genus or order can be entered on the top line. For the remainder of the information, the card would be ruled vertically to divide the space into a number of columns corresponding to the various items of information to be entered and each of such width that the information fits in easily.
Sample index card
Site name and
In this example the ecosystem can be one of the ecosystem codes prepared by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC), as it was then known, or just your best interpretation of the habitat. A table of the NCC codes is provided in Appendix 3. The associated organism will be the tree, plant, insect, other fungus, with which the specimen appears to be associated, and the substrate is whatever it appears to be growing on: soil, rotten wood, living wood etc. A list of terms is provided in the chapter on the BMSFRD. The identifier is the person who made the identification, often the collector, but the name of a more experienced referee can be included here as the confirmer. The name of the fungus should be the key to indexing on cards. This will enable easy sorting for fungus names.
The most efficient method of storing and manipulating large numbers of records is in digital format by use of a computer. Recording is simple and rapid: the computer program prompts you for the various items required in turn, and corrections can easily be made. Keyboard short cuts provided by a database program will enter information with a minimum of effort and avoid typing mistakes, particularly if one of the recording programs associated with entering data into the BMSFRD is used (e.g. MycoRec). With one key-stroke one might enter all the parameters referring to a particular foray i.e. the date, grid reference, location, altitude and ecosystem, thus leaving only the species name, substrate, associated organism and collector/identifier details to be added.
Searching can be rapid and thorough: in a matter of seconds you can obtain, for example, a list of all the records for a particular species, or all those associated with a given tree or other organism, or all those from a named site, or of all those meeting selected criteria. Printing of a sorted list is readily accomplished. Batches of records or even complete databases may easily be