The African plants initiative (API) in South Africa

Show simple item record Walters, Michele Smith, G.F. (Gideon Francois), 1959- Crouch, Neil R. 2011-06-09T06:19:26Z 2011-06-09T06:19:26Z 2010-04
dc.description.abstract Given the ongoing and often destructive impact of humans on the natural environment, the need for sound and robust taxonomies has become critically important (see for example Godfray & Knapp, 2004). The difficulty with naming organisms is especially acute in African countries, where resources and facilities for taxonomic research are limited (Klopper & al., 2002), and biodiversity is usually relatively high. South Africa, for example, incorporates the world’s richest temperate flora with 19,581 indigenous plant species from 2267 genera and 349 families of vascular plants (Germishuizen & al., 2006; Steenkamp & Smith, 2006). Approximately 65% of the country’s vascular plant species are endemic (Raimondo & al., 2009), with many occurring in its three regions and 15 centres of plant endemism (Van Wyk & Smith, 2001). Expertise as well as preserved and living material of the biodiversity of developing nations—typically former colonies of imperialist nations—are often located in developed countries and not available in the country of origin (Figueiredo & Smith, 2010). The CBD recognises this impediment and in Article 17 calls on signatory parties to exchange and repatriate information to facilitate research (Global Taxonomy Initiative, 2001). To overcome the obstacle of having to physically ship valuable—and essentially irreplaceable—pressed plant specimens between herbaria around the world, the African Plants Initiative (API) was conceived. The notion was to scan type specimens and make electronic images of them available online. This approach efficiently enables both virtual repatriation of information, and access by researchers of other herbaria to the most important accessioned material, thus removing some of the constraints to taxonomic work. It has been six years since the inception of the API, and this paper reports on its achievements in South Africa, one of the founding countries of the thrust. en
dc.identifier.citation Walters, M, Smith, GF & Crouch, NR 2010, 'The African plants initiative (API) in South Africa', Taxon, vol. 59, no. 6, pp. 1942-1948. [] en
dc.identifier.issn 0040-0262
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher International Association for Plant Taxonomy en_US
dc.rights © 2009 by International Association for Plant Taxonomy en_US
dc.subject African plants initiative (API) en
dc.subject Taxonomy en
dc.subject.lcsh Plants -- South Africa -- Classification en
dc.title The African plants initiative (API) in South Africa en
dc.type Article en

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record