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Welcome to iPlants

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 institutional partners 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 information.

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 here.