Kew scientist presents taxonomic checklist work at COP21
Maria Vorontsova, Research Leader for Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology (CPFB) describes her involvement in discussions at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, COP 21).
Maria explained how Kew’s fundamental work on plant taxonomy and checklists is building a knowledge platform for forestry and climate change research. William Baker (Senior Research Leader, CPFB), Maria, and Rafaël Govaerts (Senior Content Editor, Biodiversity Informatics and Spatial Analysis) are working with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and with Lynn Clark (Iowa State University) to create a world checklist of bamboo and rattan species following the latest research data.
Taxonomic research required
Maria highlighted the ongoing lack of knowledge of many tropical species due to a lack of taxonomic research, and the consequences of such knowledge gaps for forestry assessment and resource utilisation in diversity rich countries. The bamboos of Madagascar are an example of this, where locally dominant species still lack names and lack a classification.
RBG Kew is supporting the Global Assessment of Bamboo and Rattan Programme by compiling a bamboo and rattan diversity inventory. The purpose of this inventory is to enable species utilisation and conservation in order to plan interventions to support restoration, soil protection, and renewable energy.