Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Best News I've Heard All Week

Some fantastic scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, West London, have graciously spent the last three years working with more than 200 governments to cut 600,000 duplicate names from the Global Plant List. The Telegraph reports:

"Alan Paton, assistant keeper of the herbarium at Kew, said the information will be vital for any organisation or researcher looking at "economically important" plants, such as those for food and nutrition or medicine. He said: "On average, one plant might have between two and three names, which doesn't sound a great deal, but if you're trying to find information on a plant, you might not find all [of it] because you're only looking at one name. "That's even more critical for economically useful plants: because they are more used, they tend to have more names."

The full results will not be published until the end of the year, but so far the researchers have found 301,000 accepted species, 480,000 alternative names, and have 240,000 left to assess."

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