There are two locations in VGS from which a species dialog can be invoked:
Click on a blank tile in a species input panel on a data form.
From the "Species Search" menu on the main panel of VGS.
In VGS it is usually necessary to search for a species in order to add it to a species input panel on a data form but it is also sometimes useful to look up a species to find their names or codes at times other than during specific data collection tasks. The species available for entry are based on the complete NRCS Plants Database or alternatively on list or lists created by the users. For more about how to create and edit species template lists see Creating and Editing Species Template Lists.
When the species dialog first opens it appears in one of two states:
Species entry box is blank and the species list is empty. This will be the case when opening the dialog from the main VGS window or from an input panel when adding a new species.
Species entry box contains a species and the species list contains a list of all species that match the text in the entry space. This occurs when a species exists and the dialog is opened to change the species or to get information about the species.
A species is entered by typing into the “Search For” box on the top of the “Select Species” dialog. The dialog searches on the characters entered (a minimum of two characters) and finds all species in the database that either start with or contain what is entered depending on the setting. Search result appear in the window below. The search column can be changed by clicking the different column headers. Searches can be made based on the “Code”, “Common Name”, and “Species Name” (Latin) columns.
The “Current” column displays the code for the currently accepted species name for any items in the “Code” column whose name has officially changed.
Clicking the “Info” button at the end of each species row takes you to a species info sheet.
Clicking the “Select” button in the species dialog returns control to the input panel, from which the species dialog was called from, displaying the results.
To change a species on the input panel (an option when you entered the species dialog from the site information form), right-click on the species in the input panel to be changed and choose "Change Species" from the context menu. When a species is changed, the name of that species is changed throughout all data collected previously for all methods on the form.
In VGS all species stored in the database actually consist of two parts - the species and a qualifier. This allows a further division of species beyond the species name. For example, it may be important to separate out seedlings from mature plants as shown below. The qualifier field is where this occurs. Enter any brief text desired here and it will become part of the displayed species name. When qualifiers are used, the same species may be added to a species input list more than once.
Notes may be entered regarding a species when it is selected for use. Typical use of species notes is to indicate identification issues, noting combined species when distinguishing them is difficult, etc. The appended notes become part of the event notes, so for consistency they are propagated to all events along with the rest of the event notes whether an event uses species or not.