Neotropikey launches online key to Malvoideae
The Neotropikey team have lauched the project’s first online, multi-access genus-level key, covering the 78 genera of Malvoideae (mallow subfamily) that are native or introduced in Latin America.
24 Jun 2011
Erelmalche rotundifolia (Image D. Stevenson, New York Botanical Garden)
The Neotropikey project, lead by Kew, was launched online in July 2010 as a free, multi-access and illustrated identification key to the flowering plant families present in the Neotropics.
Neotropikey is constantly being improved via feedback from users, and more and better images are added. The project follows the APG III classification system and recognises a total of 319 neotropical angiosperm families. To complement the family-level key, 221 family websites have now been contributed by more than 100 botanical specialists worldwide, and 57 of these include traditional dichotomous keys to genera. A CD has also been published for use in the field or in areas with no or slow internet access.
First genus-level key
The project has now moved into its second phase with the launch of its first on-line multi-access genus-level key to Malvoideae (Malvaceae s.s.), which includes 78 genera native or introduced in Latin America. From the start of the Neotropikey project, the team used Malvoideae to produce a model electronic key to genus level with the intention to engage plant taxonomists creating genus-level Lucid keys for many other Neotropical plant families. The working title of the key is “Neotropical Malvoideae-key”, but the team are keen to adopt a more catchy title, and are happy to receive suggestions. The winner and all entries will be published in the next Neotropikey newsletter which will be distributed electronically in October 2011. Please email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 31st 2011.
Following the launch of the project’s first genus-level LUCID key, the team members we are currently piloting how to best provide genus-level websites to supplement the Malvoideae-key and future genus-level keys developed under the Neotropikey umbrella.
Item from Dr Bente Klitgaard (Senior Research Botanist & Assistant Curator, RBG Kew)
Originally published in Kew Scientist, issue 39
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