Objectives and outputs
Applying Kew’s specialist knowledge
Since 2007, the Americas team has led the development of a series of freely available resources, including illustrated webpages and multi-access identification keys, in order to make information on Latin American plants more accessible, and to facilitate accurate plant identification for a range of specialist and non-specialist users. Over 100 taxonomic specialists have contributed to this process: 45 of whom are based in Latin America, 25 at RBG Kew and 30 at other universities, research institutes, botanic gardens and museums in the UK, the USA and Europe.
Neotropikey provides an important resource for people with little access to botanical identification literature, and its electronic nature makes it easy to update. The key is constantly being improved via feedback from users, and as more and better images are added.
Family level resources
The first suite of Neotropikey products was officially launched in July 2010 and included a fully illustrated key to the 319 flowering plant families present in the Neotropics and family webpages to accompany the key. A CD version was also published for use in the field and in areas with no internet access. This can be made available without charge upon request. The site also provides a fully illustrated glossary.
The key was developed using Lucid 3.5 software, and the accompanying family webpages with Fact Sheet Fusion. The project follows the APG III classification system and recognises a total of 319 Neotropical angiosperm families. So far, 295 family webpages have been contributed, 60 of which include dichotomous genus-level keys (e.g. see Annonaceae). More family webpages are periodically added to the site.
Genus and species level resources
The project has moved into its second phase with the launch of four multi-access genus-level keys and the first species-level key:
- Interactive Species Key to Inga includes a fully illustrated key to the 280 species belonging to the legume genus Inga. The key is based on the monograph of Inga by T.D. Pennington.
- Key to Latin American Malvaceae (subfamily Malvoideae) includes 79 genera occurring in Latin America. Following the launch of this key a scratchpad was created. The combination of key and scratchpad is intended to function as a model for future genus and species level identification resources.
- Interactive Generic Key to Neotropical Lauraceae includes an illustrated key to the 29 genera of Lauraceae present in the Neotropics and is based on the work of Henk van der Werff.
- Interactive Generic Key to Neotropical Plantaginaceae includes a fully illustrated key to the 43 genera of Neotropical Plantaginaceae and is based on the work of V.C. Souza.
- Interactive Generic Key to Neotropical Thymelaeaceae includes an illustrated key to the 12 genera of Thymelaeaceae present in Latin America.
Partners and collaborators
The project involves 45 partners in Latin American universities, research institutes, botanic gardens and museums, 30 in the UK, the USA and Europe, and 25 at RBG Kew.
Neotropikey - interactive key and data resources for Latin American plants
Bishop, J.P., Klitgård, B.B., Haigh, A. & Pennington, T.D. (2015). Interactive Species Key to Inga.
van der Werff, H., Bishop, J.P. & Edwards, S. (2015). Interactive Generic Key to Neotropical Lauraceae.
Biggs, N., Edwards, S.L., Frisby, S. & Klitgård, B.B. (2011). Neotropical Malvaceae - Malvoideae.
Edwards, S.L., Biggs, N., Frisby, S. & Klitgård, B.B. (2011). Latin American Malvaceae – Malvoideae.
Milliken, W., Klitgård, B.B. & Baracat, A. (eds) (2010). Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.