Abstract Detail

The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Ronsted, Nina [1], Lorence, David [1].

The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Plants are a vital component of the world’s biological diversity forming the basis of ecosystems, providing habitats, food, timber, fiber, medicines and many other important commodities. However, many of the known 350,000-400,000 plant species are threatened by human activity and climate change and an estimated 10% are unknown. In recognition of the urgency to understand, conserve and sustainably use the world’s immense wealth of plant diversity, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation 2011-2020 (GSPC) including 16 global targets. Target 1 states the need for “An online flora of all known plants”. The World Flora Online (WFO) was established as a collaborative effort to address GSPC Target 1 through providing a taxonomic backbone and descriptions for all known plants globally. Hugely successful, the WFO currently contains information about over 350,000 species primarily based on assembling existing online data. However, less than 130,000 species names are accompanied by descriptions to date and continued progress is challenged by the incompleteness or slow progress of many major Flora projects and outdated or complete lack of Floras for several countries and regions. Major factors are complexity, long timespans, and shortness of taxonomic expertise and funding. Meanwhile the value of well curated taxonomic checklists is indisputable, and major regional checklists are being published, updated and used to estimate and compare the biodiversity of different regions. However, simple checklists without species descriptions and comprehensive analyses of regional floristic composition and trends, is of limited value for botanical education, identification, authentication and conservation planning. In this colloquium we take a critical look at the status and contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and discuss the challenges and potential solutions for supporting the continued and accelerated development of updated and comprehensive Floras addressing current gaps. Contributions related to individual Flora projects are welcome as well as meta-analysis, comparative and synthesizing contributions.

1 - National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, HI, 96741, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0SUM
Abstract ID:16
Candidate for Awards:None

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