IFLScience: How Twitter Helped Find, And Possibly Save, An Endangered Plant. “There’s nothing Internet users like better than correcting an expert they think is wrong. So when botanist Professor Chris Martine of Bucknell University put the wrong name on a plant he’d photographed, it got a swift response. In the end, it led to the discovery of an unexpected population of one of America’s rarest plants, and a chance to protect something that otherwise might have been lost.”
Times of Oman: Research centre collects data on over 7,000 species native to Oman. “The Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC) said it gathered data on at least 7,303 species native to Oman. The research body revealed the final number of species was actually higher and the numbers were still being collated…. The data collated by the organisation includes 1,400 Omani plant species, 2,600 animals, 2,500 marine species and 803 species of fungi and bacteria.”
Popular Science: Scientists want YOU to help them study amphibious lil plants. “Kalman Strauss is a 16-year-old high school sophomore in Chicago. He has been fascinated by bryophytes — eyelash-sized plants, such as mosses, liverworts, and hornworts — since he discovered them at age 12 while reading a botany textbook…. So he was ecstatic upon hearing he could become a citizen scientist for the Field Museum in Chicago and participate in an ongoing study focused on these tiny plants — specifically liverworts — to learn more about the impact of climate change. “
The Hindu: A knowledge hub for medicinal plants. “The use of Indian medicinal plants for drug discovery and therapeutics just received a boost. A database of such plants has been built by a Chennai-based team led by Areejit Samal of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences. By documenting 1,742 Indian medicinal plants and 9,596 chemicals that plants use to thrive and ward off threats (phytochemicals), this database has the distinction of being the largest so far. This is a first step towards validating and developing traditional systems of medicine that use plant extracts.” I could not find the URL of the database in the article. IMPPAT is available here – https://cb.imsc.res.in/imppat/ .
Science Magazine: An integrated assessment of the vascular plant species of the Americas. “The cataloging of the vascular plants of the Americas has a centuries-long history, but it is only in recent decades that an overview of the entire flora has become possible. We present an integrated assessment of all known native species of vascular plants in the Americas. Twelve regional and national checklists, prepared over the past 25 years and including two large ongoing flora projects, were merged into a single list. Our publicly searchable checklist includes 124,993 species, 6227 genera, and 355 families, which correspond to 33% of the 383,671 vascular plant species known worldwide. In the past 25 years, the rate at which new species descriptions are added has averaged 744 annually for the Americas, and we can expect the total to reach about 150,000.”
Phys.org: CU Boulder to create digital archive of 1.7 million Rocky Mountain botanical specimens. “University of Colorado Boulder researchers and collaborating institutions have been awarded $2.9 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a comprehensive digital archive of over 1.7 million plant specimens native to the southern Rocky Mountain region. CU Boulder will serve as the lead institution of an interdisciplinary consortium composed of 38 collaborating partners, which includes universities, botanical gardens, national parks and Native American Nations, who will help compile and cross-reference the specimen data. Specimens from areas of the 10-state region of the Southern Rocky Mountains and High Plains will be located, imaged, entered into a central database and georeferenced.”
Biodiversity Heritage Library: A “Botanist’s Botanist” : The Field Books of Timothy Plowman. “The Field Museum Library has recently digitized and added to the Biodiversity Heritage Library Timothy Plowman’s entire field book collection, which spans his career from 1969, when he worked for the botanical museum at Harvard, through his years as a curator of botany at the Field Museum from 1976-1987. Timothy Plowman was an ethnobotanist and the world authority on the taxon Erythroxylum (coca). This genus of tropical trees and shrubs is best known for the species Erythroxylum coca L., a sacred leaf of the Andes, and also the source from which commercial cocaine is derived.”