Kew contributes to the Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi
Kew’s information resources on plant diversity have helped to compile a working list of all plants, algae and fungi in Brazil.
03 May 2011
Launch of the Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi at the 61st Brazilian Botanical Conference in Manaus in September 2010 (Image: Lista do Brasil)
Long acknowledged as one of the megadiverse countries and world leader in floristic diversity, Brazil lacked until recently a list of its described plant, algal and fungal diversity. Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, calling for a working list of all the world’s plant species to be compiled by 2010, stimulated scientists in Brazil to start the ‘Lista do Brasil’ in late 2008.
A purpose-built web-based information system compiled 90,000 names collated from existing checklists (including extracts from Kew’s World Checklist series), and regional and taxonomic treatments. This list was reviewed and refined online by 413 taxonomists in a dynamic and comprehensive one-year effort. The resulting list of 40,989 species of algae, fungi and plants, of which 46.2% are endemic to Brazil, was released online in July 2010. Brazil is the most diverse country in the world in terms of its vascular plants (32,364 species), with documented diversity greater than might be predicted by comparison with other megadiverse countries, even allowing for its exceptionally large area.
The two-volume Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi (Forzza et al. 2010) was launched at the 61st Brazilian Botanical Conference in Manaus (5-10 September 2010) and is a snapshot of current knowledge of Brazilian plant diversity. The editor of the list, Dr Rafaela Forzza (Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro) received a Bentham-Moxon grant to visit Kew in order to finalize details of the introductory chapters with collaborators Eimear Nic Lughadha and Daniela Zappi. With about 200 new species being described every year, the hard copy version will soon be outdated, but Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden will continue to coordinate the updating of the web version, providing yearly releases of the checklist online.
Item from Dr Daniela Zappi (Assistant Keeper for Regional Teams, HLAA, Kew)
Originally published in Kew Scientist, issue 38
Forzza, R.C. et al. (2010). Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil. Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.
Scientific Research and Data
- Brazilian Catalogue of Plants and Fungi
- Toucan Cipó Project
- Kew Science Team - Drylands Tropical America
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