Abstract Detail

Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Vorontsova, Maria [1], Lowry, Porter P [2], Andriambololonera, Sylvie R. [3], Wilmé, Lucienne [4], Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa [5], Humphreys, Aelys,M. [6].

Inequality in plant diversity knowledge and unrecorded plant extinctions: An example from the grasses of Madagascar.

Inequality in global plant knowledge is likely to be a driver of unrecorded plant extinctions. The first author has studied the grasses of Madagascar for 10 years. She will use grasses as an example to compare botanical knowledge and its historical and contemporary drivers in Madagascar versus the British Isles. More than 500 plant species are already presumed extinct and many more could have been lost without anyone being aware, especially in species-rich areas with high levels of human impact, where botanical knowledge is poor. Inequality in the availability and accessibility of plant diversity data, professional expertise, and funding interact to produce chronic differences in knowledge between countries. The flora of Madagascar has been described largely by foreigners, science funding is external, and Malagasy botanists face multiple challenges including poor roads, unsafe field locations, small underfunded local herbarium collections, poor education, poor access to the internet, and poor access to published material as well as to opportunities to publish. Differences in our knowledge of the Malagasy and British floras are long-standing, deep, and perpetuated by numerous modern-day factors. We urge researchers to understand and acknowledge these differences, and we provide examples of good modern work practice by co-authors Sylvie Andriambololonera (IUCN Species Survival Commission, Madagascar Plant Specialist Group) and Lucienne Wilmé (journal Madagascar Conservation & Development).

1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Comparative Plant & Fungal Biology, Kew, Richmond, UK
2 - Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis, MO, US
3 - Missouri Botanical Garden, Madagascar Program, Antananarivo, Madagascar
4 - World Resources Institute, Madagascar Program, Antananarivo, Madagascar
5 - Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre, Antananarivo, Madagascar
6 - Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden

United Kingdom.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: BIHD1, Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization I
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: BIHD1008
Abstract ID:953
Candidate for Awards:None

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