IAPT – World Flora Online collaboration


We are pleased to announce that the IAPT has joined the World Flora Online Consortium (WFO, worldfloraonline.org). The WFO is an important and transformative project. The work of taxonomists is vital to address the global challenges of climate change and the ongoing unprecedented loss of biodiversity. As taxonomists our job is to identify, name, and understand the organisms around us, and the products of our work have never been more important. The WFO is a freely available web resource driven by our global taxonomic community with the aim to provide a robust list of plant names and descriptive data for all the world’s plants.


The WFO is primarily comprised of a taxonomic backbone that is curated by a group of Taxonomic Expert Networks (TENs), and taxonomic descriptions that are drawn from published floristic, monographic and other taxonomic sources from around the world, in any language. Thus WFO is both an authoritative reference for plant names and an information discovery portal for biodiversity knowledge. It puts essential information at the fingertips of a wide range of users, including conservation practitioners, applied biologists, decision makers and legislators.


IAPT members can contribute to the WFO in several important ways through one or more of its three working groups: the Technical Working Group, the Taxonomic Working Group, and the Communications Working Group. For example, botanists with expertise in a particular plant family can contribute through one of the Taxonomic Expert Networks (TENs) or form a TEN if one has not yet been established. Taxonomists can also contribute their flora treatments, monographs, and taxonomic publications to the content of the WFO. Those with an informatics background could help with technical aspects of the project.


For further information see the IAPT website (https://www.iaptglobal.org/partners) and the open access article on WFO published in Taxon: Borsch et al (2020). World Flora Online: Placing taxonomists at the heart of a definitive and comprehensive global resource on the world's plants. Taxon (https://doi.org/10.1002/tax.12373).

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