Today’s Flora for Tomorrow (Madagascar)
Give digital access to and work towards the conservation of plants and fungi of Madagascar while training the next generation.
The biodiversity crisis is among the most urgent global threats facing humanity. Confronted by this challenge, it is critical to understand plant and fungal diversity and assess conservation priorities. Accurate species identification is essential for the safe and sustainable use of plants and fungi.
In Accelerated Taxonomy, one of the five research priorities in the Kew Science Strategy, we aim to tackle this challenge by developing and implementing new identification tools for recognising plant and fungal species.
The Today’s Flora for Tomorrow project team, based at Kew's office in Madagascar, is working to digitise and make available preserved botanical specimens at Kew's research centre and our partner Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza (PBZT). In addition, we are carrying out IUCN Red List assessments of species' conservation status to support conservation planning and actions. Currently, the focus plants are in the Itremo Massif Protected Area managed by Kew. Furthermore, we are undertaking fieldwork to understudied areas to capture biodiversity data.
This project boosts our effort to train the next generation of experts in plant and fungal taxonomy and identification. Postdoc (Anna Ralaiveloarisoa) is performing the first large-scale study of Malagasy fungi based on morphology and molecular data. It will create baseline data of fungi to increase capacity in Madagascar for conserving and enhancing biodiversity and natural capital. Additionally, three PhD students are being trained in a collaboration with Kew and the University of Antananarivo: Landy Rajaovelona is studying orchid diversity and conservation, Fitiavana Rasaminirina is studying the sedge genus Bulbostylis which is most diverse in open habitats such as the Central Highlands, and Princy Rajaonarivelo Andrianina will focus on succulent plant species threatened by trade.
- Digitise and make available specimens of plants and fungi, and provide necessary equipment on-site in Madagascar for digitising current and future specimens.
- Train the next generation of plant and fungal scientists in Madagascar
- Digitised specimens of plants and fungi
- Equipment on-site in Madagascar for digitising current and future specimens
- Trained plant and fungal scientists
- Identification tools for plants and fungi
- IUCN Red List extinction risk assessments
Rasaminirina F, Rakotoarimanana V, Ralimanana H, Rabehevitra D, Larridon I (2022)
Kew Bulletin 77: 301-308.
Griffiths M, Ralimanana H, Rakotonasolo F, Larridon I (2022)