eMonocot project commences

Scientists at Kew are applying the new science of biodiversity informatics to provide web-based biodiversity information on monocot plants in a new project – eMonocot.

15 Nov 2010

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KS eMonocots logo

The eMonocot logo summarises the goals of the project.

The development of a web-based treatment of monocot plants through the eMonocot project started on 15 November 2010. Kew is the lead organisation in this project, working in partnership with the Natural History Museum (NHM) and Oxford University.

Building on eTaxonomy projects

The project will provide biodiversity information structured around a consensus taxonomy derived from the World Checklist of Monocotyledons (WCM) building on the success of the CATE (Creating a Taxonomic eScience) project as well as ground-breaking developments in biodiversity informatics facilitated by EDIT (European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy). Existing Kew web resources such as CATE-Araceae, Palmweb  and Grass Base represent important building blocks around which the eMonocot system will be built. The ‘scratchpads’ programme based at the NHM will also have a vital role to play in both community involvement and taxonomic data delivery.

KS Iris fosteriana
Iris fosteriana (Image: Mehdi Zarrei)

Monocot taxon pages

Funding from NERC is being used to build teams of software developers and content providers who will design and enable eMonocot and engage the global monocot community. The WCM will generate 70,000 outline species pages, while comprehensive species pages will be built for European monocots (~2,000 species), 'Sampled Red List Index' monocots (1,500 species) and slipper orchids (~130 species). Biodiversity information such as nomenclature, taxonomic descriptions, images, identification guides, geographical, ecological, DNA sequence and conservation data will be provided at generic and family level for Araceae (aroids), Arecaceae (palms), Asparagaceae, Cyperaceae (sedges), Dioscoreaceae (yams and relatives), Liliaceae, Orchidaceae and Poaceae (grasses). The project team will also ensure that the working model established for eMonocot can be extended readily to other groups of organisms.

eMonocot will be closely integrated with Kew’s IT and Digital Media Strategy Programme. The project will apply and develop the new science of biodiversity informatics to facilitate the work of both the practitioner and user of taxonomy.

Item from Dr Paul Wilkin (Lilioid & Alismatid Monocots Team Leader, Kew)

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