Interactive Key to the Malesian Seed Plants
A project to expand the already successful Interactive Key to the Malesian Seed Plants so as to include further data, distribution information and generic characters for selected families.
One of the most difficult steps in plant identification is the recognition of plant families. At the same time, a good knowledge of the major plant families is assumed in the majority of taxonomic works published. Consequentially, key taxonomic works (including regional Floras) are difficult for non-experts to understand.
This project focuses on the provision of a user-friendly electronic identification aid (DELTA key) for the plants in South East Asia. The data on which the key is based is taken mainly from the successful works of Max van Balgooy (Malesian Seed Plants 1-3, Nationaal Herbarium Nederland) in Malesian plant recognition. Additional data was provided by Les Watson and Mike Dallwitz from the databases of the Interactive Key to Seed Plants of the World. Data from various genera was taken from published volumes of Flora Malesiana and the Flora of Thailand.
The first version was published on the Internet and in CD-ROM format in 2004 and a second version was published online in 2010. It covers all seed plant families of the Malesian and Indo-china region and is supported by c. 1,000 pictures and family portraits.
In the third version, we are aiming to enlarge the key by expanding the number of characters used (including the distribution for each genus). Furthermore, we would like to expand the usefulness of the key by going down further to genus level in some selected families.
The project, started in early 2002 (see UK Darwin Initiative Papuan Plant Diversity Project), is ongoing.
Project Partners and Collaborators
University of Oxford
Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Leiden