"All validly published names for plants to the level of species have been included in The Plant list, the majority of them synonyms; no names have been deleted," said Dr. Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden.
Since 2008, botanists and information technology specialists at MBG and RBG Kew have been developing and testing an innovative new approach to generating The Plant List. The approach involved merging existing names and synonymy relationships from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's World Checklist of Selected Plant Families with over one million plant names from Tropicos, which has been the Missouri Botanical Garden's main online taxonomic resource since 1982.
Researchers and specialists used names and synonymy relationships from regional floras and checklists and worked out a rules-based approach (2) to merge them with RBG Kew's records into The Plant List. The project has relied on collaboration with other botanists and their institutions around the world working towards GSPC Target 1; major contributions have come from The International Compositae Alliance (www.compositae.org), International Legume Database & Information Service (www.ildis.org) and The International Plant Names Index (www.ipni.org).
"This is a breakthrough," said Chuck Miller, Vice President of Information Systems at the Missouri Botanical Garden. "By capturing taxonomic knowledge into a rulebase, computers could be employed to aid the task of sorting out the millions of plant name records assembled over the past two decades in Tropicos, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families and other sources to produce this product that achieves the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Target 1."
The Global S
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Royal Botanic Gardens Kew