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The ECOCROP database was developed by the Land and Water Division of FAO as a tool to identify plant species for given environments and uses, and as an information system contributing to a Land Use Planning concept. The database was developed in the 1990s and provides information for more than 2000 plant species, predicting crop viability/suitability in different locations and climatic conditions. It also serves as a catalogue of plants characteristics and contains a library of crop environmental requirements.

ECOCROP was designed with relatively basic crop environmental requirements information. The user-selectable plant descriptors include category, life form, growth habit and life span. The environmental descriptors include: minimum and maximum values for temperature, annual precipitation, soil pH, light intensity, Köppen climatic zone, photoperiod sensitivity, latitude, altitude, and other soil characteristics. Use descriptors include the plant’s main use and used part.

The application was originally developed using Version 6.5.x of 4D (4th Dimension) Database Software, and was later updated in Java and MySQL in 2008. The application is now outdated and ECOCROP was discontinued around 2015. However, the database is still in demand by several partners and practitioners.

This integration of ECOCROP into the GAEZ v4 platform will make ECOCROP available to the GAEZ user community and others.