Where is plant systematics headed in the next ten years?
Marhold, Karol .
Future of botanical monographs in context of modern research activities.
Botanical monographs represent systematic and biological treatments of all the species of a given plant group, provide the basic statement of relationships among taxa, and hence create the cornerstones for all other activities involved within plant systematics. In monographs are revealed the limits of species, their characteristics, distributions, ecology, correct names, and evolutionary relationships. This information represents the basic statement about species of plants that inhabit our planet, and which enables completion of additional studies on floristics and evolutionary biology. We can hardly deal effectively with conservation issues if we have no precise idea of what plants grow where. Likewise, to understand the dynamics of the evolutionary process requires revealing what the closely related species are. Without this basic information, it is virtually impossible to understand mechanisms of organic evolution. With all this in mind, the International Association for Plant Taxonomy organized earlier this year in Smolenice (Slovak Republic) a workshop on the future of botanical monography focusing on: (1) resources available in support of monographic studies; (2) scientific content of monographs; (3) training of monographers and means of production of more monographs; and (4) outlets for publication of monographic works. There are now several resources available online that provide taxonomists with better access to lists of published names, literature, type specimens, and distributional data. They facilitate monographic work, sometimes greatly so. Nevertheless, they require continuous support from the botanical community and must not simply be taken for granted. Existing resources could be made even more useful and powerful, and there are still some that are completely missing, e.g. a list of type designations. Since advent of the worldwide web over 20 years ago, substantial progress has been made with using the electronic ether as an increasingly stable and reliable outlet for a range of scientific products, including monographs. The web-based approach also allows the geographically and temporally separated individuals and teams to work on rapid and constructive input into a product of common interest. Furthermore, new generation database management systems offer enhanced possibilities for outputs of systematic research in the production of monographs.
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1 - Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, Bratislava, SK-84523, Slovakia
outlets for publication.
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Franklin A/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM