iPlants aims to produce an index of all the world’s plant species
together with, where possible, an image and a preliminary conservation
assessment. This index will be made available online. Achieving
such a goal requires a collaborative effort among major botanical
institutions and the botanical community at large. Currently, three
are collaborating to develop iPlants. A pilot
project has been completed and project reports are available
below. Further development of iPlants is continuing
and additional funding sources are being pursued..
iPlants will address key
challenges facing the successful management and use of plant biodiversity
Primarily, iPlants is addressing the pressing need for a widely
available, consistent and comprehensive working list of all scientific names
for plants. It will provide a single stable, authoritative list of "accepted
names" each linked to its alternative synonyms. Such a list will enable those
that are not trained botanists to access the highly fragmented and significant
body of information that exists about plants.
iPlants will thereby also resolve the confusion caused by the
existence of alternative, partially conflicting, published taxonomies. Those
that use plants in a myriad of economically and environmentally important ways
require a single, stable and authoritative reference. There are roughly 422,000
known species of plant and as many as 1,500,000 to 1,700,000 different scientific
names are used to refer to them.
In addition, iPlants is developing a means to automate the preliminary
assessment of the conservation status of a particular species based upon specimen
information gathered from major collections.
To search the iPlants pilot checklist data click