Links for Palaeobotanists

Home / Plant Anatomy & Taxonomy

Plant Anatomy & Taxonomy

Plant Anatomy
Taxonomy, Systematics, Plant Classification
Cladistic Methods of Phylogenetic Analysis
Chemotaxonomy and Chemometric Palaeobotany

Home / Plant Anatomy & Taxonomy / Taxonomy and Plant Classification

Plant Anatomy
Taxonomy, Systematics, Plant Classification
Cladistic Methods of Phylogenetic Analysis
Chemotaxonomy and Chemometric Palaeobotany
! Teaching Documents about Classification and Phylogeny@
! Teaching Documents about Cladistics@
! Botanical Nomenclature and Taxonomy Databases@
! Geostatistics@
Teaching Documents about Botany@
Glossaries, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias: Palaeontology@
Glossaries, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias: Botany@
Glossaries, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias: Biology@
Databases of Technical Terms@
! Introductions to both Fossil and Recent Plant Taxa@

Taxonomy, Systematics, Plant Classification

John Alroy, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara: How many named species are valid? PNAS, vol. 99: 3706-3711, 2002.

The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT). The American Society of Plant Taxonomists promotes research and teaching in the taxonomy, systematics, and phylogeny of vascular and nonvascular plants.

John R. Anderson, Georgia Perimeter College Geology: The World of Geology, Prefix/Suffix Meanings. Website saved by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
See also here.

Henry N. Andrews (1955): Index of generic names of fossil plants, 1820-1950, based on the Compendium index of paleobotany of the US Geological Survey. Provided by Google books. Also available in PDF.

! A. Antonelli et al. (2023): Vascular plant description over time and space. Free access, New Phytologist, 240: 1327-1702.
Note figure 2: Vascular plant description over time and space.
Figure 3: Global distribution and diversity of vascular plants.

! E.M. Armstrong et al. (2023): One hundred important questions facing plant science: an international perspective. Open access, New Phytologist, 238: 470–481.
"... we present the outcome of a global collaboration to identify emerging plant research themes.
[...] Over 600 questions were collected from anyone interested in plants, which were reduced to a final list of 100 ..."

! R. Barclay, P. Wilf, D. Dilcher, A. Sokoloff, J. Leon-Guerrero & C. Thurman: Cuticle Database. The Cuticle Database Project aims to promote the understanding and identification of living and fossil plants. This project is a collaborative effort between researchers at Northwestern University, The Field Museum, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and Pennsylvania State University. See also here:
! R. Barclay, et al. (2007): The cuticle database: developing an interactive tool for taxonomic and paleoenvironmental study of the fossil cuticle record. PDF file, In: Jarzen, D. M., Steven, R., Retallack, G. J. and Jarzen, S. A. (eds.), Advances in Angiosperm Paleobotany and Paleoclimatic Reconstruction, Contributions Honouring David L. Dilcher and Jack A. Wolfe, Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, pgs. 39-56.
Now available via Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

M.E. Barkworth et al. (2016): Report of the Special Committee on Registration of Algal and Plant Names (including fossils). In PDF, Taxon, 65: 670-672.

B & T World Seeds, France: Common Names Look-up. This is a browsable name list of about 25,000 common plant names and its scientific equivalent.

! R.M. Bateman and W.A. DiMichele (2021): Escaping the voluntary constraints of “tyre-track” taxonomy. Open access, Taxon.

R.M. Bateman and J. Hilton (2010): (175–176) Proposals to modify the provisions in the Code for naming fossil plants. In PDF, Taxon 59.

! R.M. Bateman and J. Hilton (2009): Palaeobotanical systematics for the phylogenetic age: applying organspecies, form-species and phylogenetic species concepts in a framework of reconstructed fossil and extant whole-plants. In PDF, Taxon, 58: 254–1280.

! P. Bengtson (1988): Open Nomenclature. Palaeontology, 31: 223-227. See also here.

L. Bénichou et al. (2018): Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) best practices in electronic publishing in taxonomy. European Journal of Taxonomy 475: 1–37. See also here.

The Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), University of California at Berkeley: Web Lift to Taxa. This NEW version of the UCMP Web Lift to Taxa breaks the long table of the old version into several shorter lists. See also The UCMP Express Web Lift. (managed by Julian Humphries, University of Texas and Bill Fink, University of Michigan): The Biodiversity and Biocollections webserver is one of the oldest (ancient by Internet time) sites to provide information about biodiversity, biological collections, and associated software.
This expired link is available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine. Go to: DELTA. The DELTA format (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) is a flexible method for encoding taxonomic descriptions for computer processing. It has been adopted by the International Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG) as a standard for data exchange. DELTA-format data can be used to produce natural-language descriptions, conventional or interactive keys, cladistic or phenetic classifications, and information-retrieval systems. See also:

! Biodiversity Heritage Library. Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. The group is developing a strategy and operational plan to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections. For the first time in history, the core of our natural history and herbaria library collections will be available to a truly global audience. Browse by titles, authors, subjects, names, map, or year.
Go to: Plants. Currently mor then 1500 titles tagged with "Plants". Superbly done!
Comment: Using "View text" is much quicker (for a first glance) then "View image".

Biology Encyclopedia (by Advameg, Inc.): History of Taxonomy.

! H.J.B. Birks et al. (2023): Approaches to pollen taxonomic harmonisation in Quaternary palynology. Free access. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 319.

L. Borgen, W. Greuter, D. L. Hawksworth, D. H. Nicolson & B. Zimmer, Officers of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT): Announcing a test and trial phase for the registration of new plant names (1998-1999). Subject to ratification by the XVI International Botanical Congress (St Louis, 1999) of a rule already included in the International code of botanical nomenclature (Art. 32.1-2 of the Tokyo Code), new names of plants and fungi will have to be registered in order to be validly published after the 1st of January 2000. To demonstrate feasibility of a registration system, IAPT undertakes a trial of registration, on a non-mandatory basis, for a two-years period starting 1 January 1998.

Peter D. Bostock, Queensland Herbarium, Department of Environment, Queensland, Australia: TRANSLAT. Pagina domestica linguae Latinae botanices, computer translation of botanical latin. TRANSLAT, a downloadable free-ware program, uses indexed on-disk databases of verbs, adjectives, nouns, pronouns, phrases and adverbs, (including conjunctions and prepositions), to match stems and terminations (flexions or endings), or the whole word, if indeclinable, of botanical Latin words to provide both a literal/figurative English meaning, and an optional associated statement of the grammar. Also accessable via

Geoffrey C. Bowker (1999): The Game of the Name: Nomenclatural Instability in the History of Botanical Informatics. PDF file, go to page 74 (PDF page 86). Proceedings of the 1998 Conference on the History and Heritage of Science Information Systems.

N. Boyarina (2023): The Late Pennsylvanian vegetation of the Donets Basin, Ukraine: Syntaxonomy of plant communities. In PDF, GEO&BIO, 25: 64–98.

Jamie Boyer, The New York Botanical Garden: Welcome to the Botanical Education site. Here you find information on courses and blogs created by Jamie Boyer, e.g.
! Plant Diversity. About the diversity, morphologies, life histories, and evolution of plants, as well as information about bacteria, archaea, fungi, and algae/protists.

! Jamie Boyer, The New York Botanical Garden:
What is Paleobotany?. Also worth checking out:
Plant Evolution & Paleobotany. An educational resource for students and teachers studying Earth's history, fossils, and evolution.
! Go to: Paleobotany Short-Course. Lecture notes.
Paleobotany Overview; Life moves to land.
Plant classification.
Rise of Seed Plants.
Rise of flowering plants.

! B. Boyle et al. (2013): The taxonomic name resolution service: an online tool for automated standardization of plant names. BMC Bioinformatics, 14: 16.
The TNRS user interface is freely accessible via the TNRS website at

D.E.G. Briggs, W.L. Crepet, D. Goujet, and G. Plodowski (Paleo21): Systematics - The Sine Qua Non of Paleontology.

P.D. Cantino et al. (2007): Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta. PDF file, Taxon, 56: 822-846. See also here.

Gerald (Gerry) Carr, Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu: Vascular Plant Family Access Page. This is a collection of descriptions and captioned images of flowering plant families (magnolias, lilies, etc.) and non-flowering plant families (cycads, conifers, ferns and fern allies). The images are all in color and are 400 x 600, 600 x 400, or 400 x 400 pixels in size. More than 225 families are represented among the several hundred images in this category.

Steven M. Carr, Genetics, Evolution, and Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada: Principles of Systematics. Lecture notes with links.

! Catalogue of Life (by Species 2000, Leiden The Netherlands).
The most complete authoritative list of the world's species - maintained by hundreds of global taxonomists.
Go to: Kingdom Plantae.

! Maarten J.M. Christenhusz et al. (2011): A new classification and linear sequence of extant gymnosperms. PDF file, Phytotaxa, 19: 55-70.

! C.J. Cleal and B.A. Thomas (2023): Taxonomy and nomenclature of Sphenopteris and allied fossil-genera of Carboniferous seed-plant fronds. Free access, Taxon, 72: 862–879.
Note figure 10: Taxonomy and nomenclature of Sphenopteris and allied fossil-genera of Carboniferous seed-plant fronds.
"... Eight fossil-genera of lyginopteridalean fronds are now recognised (Sphenopteris, Calymmotheca, Eusphenopteris, Karinopteris, Mariopteris, Palmatopteris, Spathulopteris, Sphenopteridium) ..."

! C.J. Cleal and B.A. Thomas (2021): Naming of parts: the use of fossil-taxa in palaeobotany. In PDF, Fossil Imprint, 77: 166–186.
See also here.

C.J. Cleal and B.A. Thomas (2018): Nomenclatural status of the palaeobotanical “artificial taxa” established in Brongniart’s 1822 “Classification” paper. – Fossil Imprint, 74: 9–28,

! C.J. Cleal and B.A. Thomas (2010): Botanical nomenclature and plant fossils, Abstract, Taxon, 59: 261-268. See also here (in PDF).

C.J. Cleal and B.A. Thomas (2010): (101-103) Proposals to modify the provisions in the Code for naming plant fossils. In PDF, Taxon, 59: 303-313.

M. Coiro (2024): Embracing uncertainty: The way forward in plant fossil phylogenetics. Open access, American Journal of Botany.
"... Although molecular phylogenetics remains the most widely used method of inferring the evolutionary history of living groups, the last decade has seen a renewed interest in morphological phylogenetics
[...] Given the nature of plant fossil and morphological data, embracing uncertainty by exploring support within the data represents a more productive and heuristic research program than trying to achieve the same support and resolution given by molecular data ..."

I. Cojocaru (2010): Orientations in Macrotaxonomy. PDF file.

Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF). CETAF is a networked consortium of scientific institutions in Europe formed to promote training, research and understanding of systematic biology and palaeobiology. Go to: Links to taxonomic organisations, programs and initiatives.

! J.S. Cope et al. (2012): Plant species identification using digital morphometrics: A review. In PDF, Expert Systems with Applications, 39: 7562-7573.
See also here.
"... We review the main computational, morphometric and image processing methods
[...] We discuss the measurement of leaf outlines, flower shape, vein structures and leaf textures, and describe a wide range of analytical methods in use.

R.S. Cowan et al. (2006): 300,000 species to identify: problems, progress, and prospects in DNA barcoding of land plants. In PDF, Taxon, 55: 611-616.

C.J. Cox et al. (2014): Conflicting Phylogenies for Early Land Plants are Caused by Composition Biases among Synonymous Substitutions. Syst. Biol., 63: 272-279.

P.R. Crane et al. (2004): Fossils and plant phylogeny. Free access, American Journal of Botany, 91: 1683-1699.

! M.D. Crisp, Division of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University Canberra: Introductory Glossary of Cladistic Terms. Invited contribution of the Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB).
Website outdated. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

J.A.T. da Silva (2016): In defense of the use of italic for latin binomial plant names. In PDF, Polish Botanical Journal, 61: 1–6.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS): The Paleobotany Project. The DMNS Paleobotany Project acts as a repository of images (and accepted nomenclature) of Late Cretaceous through Eocene fossil plants from the Western Interior of North America.

! Digiphyll (State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart).
Digiphyll is designed as an educational portal to provide effective assistance in identifying fossil plant material. Excellent! Please note:
Manual: How to use this portal (in PDF).
Glossary: Leaf morphology (in PDF).
! Worth to check out: The fact sheets (PDF files, 36 taxa). Click the button "Downloads".

! D.L. Dilcher (1974): Approaches to the identification of angiosperm leaf remains. In PDF, The Botanical Review, 40: 1–157. Also availabe via here (in PDF).
See also here.
"... Many techniques for the study of the morphology of modern and fossil leaves are included in this paper as well as tables outlining features of leaf venation and the epidermis ..."

! M. Dohrmann and G. Wörheide (2017): Dating early animal evolution using phylogenomic data. Open access, Scientific reports, 7.
! Note Figure 4: Time-calibrated phylogeny of animals.

A.B. Doweld (2022): (2889) Proposal to conserve the name Podozamites against Preissleria (fossil Pinophyta: Podozamitales). Free access, Taxon, 71: 484–485.
"... The fossil-generic name Podozamites, so widely used in modern systematic palaeobotany, should not be rejected for purely nomenclatural reasons. In order to stabilize palaeobotanical nomenclature in current use by legitimizing the use of Podozamites, it is formally proposed to conserve Podozamites against the “nomen oblitum”, Preissleria. ..."

Laura Drumm, National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML):
Scientific Classification.
Still available via Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Christopher J. Earle, University of Washington, Seattle: The Gymnosperm Database. You may enter the taxonomic tree at the highest level (order or family) and then navigate to the species. At each level, information on the taxon at hand is provided, along with bibliographic citations that will take you to more detailed information about the species.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: Multisite Living Collections Searches. The data available in these searches are extracted from the on-line Living Collections databases at The Royal Horticultural Society (UK), World Conservation Monitoring Centre (Threatened Plants), The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum (UK), Holden Arboretum (USA), Arnold Arboretum (USA), Cornell Plantations (USA), Phipps Conservatory and Botanic Gardens (USA), The New York Botanical Garden (USA) and The Desert Botanical Garden (USA).

Douglas J. Eernisse, Department of Biological Science, California State University, Fullerton: About Hierarchies.
Provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

ETI BioInformatics: Taxonomy and online databases.

A.J. Fazekas et al. (2012): DNA barcoding methods for land plants. In PDF.

Joe Felsenstein, Department of Genome Sciences and Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle: Phylogeny programs available elsewhere. Links to 383 phylogeny packages (free and non-free ones) and 52 free servers.

Rob Fensome, Andrew MacRae, and Graham Williams, Project of the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic): Dinoflagellate Classification Database (DINOFLAJ). DINOFLAJ is a database system containing a current classification of fossil and living dinoflagellates down to generic rank, and an index of fossil dinoflagellates at generic, specific, and infraspecific ranks.

J.T. Flannery-Sutherland et al. (2022): fossilbrush: An R package for automated detection and resolution of anomalies in palaeontological occurrence data. Open access, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 13: 2404-2418.
Go to: fossilbrush: Automated Cleaning of Fossil Occurrence Data. See also here.
! Access to the Paleobiology Database.

J.R. Flores (2020): Rooting morphologically divergent taxa–slow-evolving sequence data might help. Free access, bioRxiv preprint, doi:

! F. Forrest (2009): Calibrating the Tree of Life: fossils, molecules and evolutionary timescales. Free access, Annals of Botany, 104: 789–794.
"... New methods have now been proposed to resolve potential sources of error associated with the calibration of phylogenetic trees, particularly those involving use of the fossil record.
[...] ! "...the fossil record remains the most reliable source of information for the calibration of phylogenetic trees, although associated assumptions and potential bias must be taken into account. ..."

See also here. Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

M. Foote and D.M. Raup (2010): Fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa. In PDF, Paleobiology, 22: 121-140.

Andrew N Gagg & Roger Whitehead: BABEL. A bibliography and source list to works in numerous European languages for the vernacular names of European wild plants.

Mark A. Garland, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, Florida: Scientific Names of Plants. A pronunciation guide for scientific Latin. Snapshot provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine. See also:
What Scientific Names of Plants Mean.

! Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik (GfBS). Society for Biological Systematics.

Die Globale Taxonomie Initiative GTI, Nationale Kontaktstelle Deutschland (part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, hosted by Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart). The objectives of the GTI are the provision of sufficient taxonomic capacities to fullfill the aims of the CBD, i.e. the protection and sustainable use of the components of biodiversity. See especially: Why does the world need taxonomy?
See also: Identification helps and keys for Animals, Plants and Fungi from all regions.
Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

J. Gravendyck et al. (2023): (142–148) Proposals to improve the definition, utility, and curation of (type) specimens of fossil algae, fungi, and plants. Open access, Taxon, 71: 705–706.

! M. Gregory et al.(2009): Fossil dicot wood names – an annotated list with full bibliography. IAWA Journal, Supplement 6. 220 pp. See also here.
This publication represents a comprehensive list available for generic and specific names of fossil dicot woods, giving synonyms, geological ages and geographical sources. Excellent!

! Chuck Griffith: A Dictionary of Botanical Epithets.

N. Haider (2018): A Brief Review on Plant Taxonomy and its Components. In PDF, The Journal of Plant Science Research, 34: 275-290. See also here.

The Harvard University Herbaria: The Botanical Authors Database. The authority table of botanical authors make use of the internationally accepted standards to verify the entry of author names in the type specimen and Gray Card Index databases in the Harvard University Herbaria.

P.S. Herendeen (2015): Report of the Nomenclature Committee on Fossils: 9. Taxon 64: 1306-1312.
See also here.
About Bucklandia, Nilssonia, Equisetites, Equisetum columnare (Equisetites columnare), Carpolithus, Calamites, Scytophyllum, Cheirolepidaceae, etc.

! Patrick S. Herendeen:
Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Fossil Plants: 8. PDF file, Taxon, Volume 60, Number 3, June 2011 , pp. 921-923. See also here.
Report of the Nomenclature Committee for Fossil Plants: 7. PDF file, Taxon, Volume 60, Number 3, June 2011 , pp. 902-905. See also here.

Hooper Virtual Natural History Museum (named for now retired Dr. Ken Hooper, a Carleton University micropaleontologist) Department of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). The principle objective of this museum is to provide a state-of-the-art summary of items of geological interest, emphasizing areas currently being studied by students and research faculty.
For some special topics you may navigate from here or from there (The archives).
See especially:
! Classification Systems - What´s in a Name?
! Terrestrialization - Who, Why, How, and When.

M. Hrabovský (2020): LEAF EVOLUTION AND CLASSIFICATION. 1. LYCOPODIOPSIDA. In PDF, Acta Botanica Universitatis Comenianae, 55.

IAPT-MARY SUPRAGENERIC NAMES DATABASE: The Indices Nominum Supragenericorum Plantarum Vascularium Project is supported by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy and the Norton-Brown Herbarium of the University of Maryland. Select database to search: INDEX NOMINUM SUPRAGENERICORUM PLANTARUM VASCULARIUM.

ICAL-Botany, hosted and maintained by the Missouri Botanical Garden: The Interactive Collections Availability List. Here you will find a list of botanical collections that are either: orphaned and available for adoption by an institution, or underutilized and in need of further investigation by research students and scientists. ICAL-Botany also allows you to notify the world-wide botanical community through an automatic distribution list that you have a collection that either needs a new home or needs further study. Links worth checking out: Orphaned Collections Needs Home Now! Maintained by the Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), California at Berkeley.

! K. Ilic et al. (2007): The plant structure ontology, a unified vocabulary of anatomy and morphology of a flowering plant. Free access, Plant Physiology, 143: 587-599. "... Formal description of plant phenotypes and standardized annotation of gene expression and protein localization data require uniform terminology that accurately describes plant anatomy and morphology.
[...] we created the Plant Structure Ontology (PSO), the first generic ontological representation of anatomy and morphology of a flowering plant ..."

Index Nominum Genericorum (ING). The ING, a collaborative project of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) and the Smithsonian Institution, was initiated in 1954 as a compilation of generic names published for all organisms covered by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Current work on the ING is supported by the Smithsonian Institution, IAPT, and the University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. The content of the database was developed over a 40-year period by the efforts of more than 100 collaborators. Enter a generic name in the ING Generic Name Query Form. Search by the full spelling of the name or if you are uncertain you can use a wild card search by entering a string of letters followed by an asterisk (e.g., Asteranth*).

! The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
ITIS is the authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT).
IAPT is dedicated to organismal biodiversity the extent, recognition, organization, evolution, and naming of plants and fungi, both living and fossil. Go to:
! International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Shenzhen Code, 2018).

! International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code).
Adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress Melbourne, Australia, July 2011. Prepared and edited by J. McNeill et al., International Association for Plant Taxonomy.

! International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). The author of this Code is the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Adopted by the International Union of Biological Sciences.

! International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Adopted by the Sixteenth International Botanical Congress St Louis, Missouri, July-August 1999.

! International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature: The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th edition, 1999).

! The International Fossil Plant Names Index (IFPNI).
The IFPNI provides an authoritative online, open-access, community-generated registry of fossil plant nomenclature as a service to the global scientific community (headquartered at the Fundamental Botanical Library, National Institute of Carpology (Gaertnerian Institution), Moscow). For more information please take notice:
! A.B. Doweld (2016): The International Fossil Plant Names Index (IFPNI): A global registry of scientific names of fossil organisms started. In PDF, The Palaeobotanist, 65: 203–208. Also worth checking out:
! B. Zhao (2023): pyIFPNI: A package for querying and downloading plant fossil data from the IFPNI. Free access, Plant Diversity.

International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI): IOPI manages a series of cooperative international projects that aim to create databases of plant taxonomic information. IOPI Database of Plant Databases (DPD). DPD is a global list of plant databases, to tell you who is putting together what data and where.

International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI): IOPI manages a series of cooperative international projects that aim to create databases of plant taxonomic information. The Global Plant Checklist Project. A Global Plant Checklist, encompassing about 300,000 vascular plant species and over 1,000,000 names, is IOPI's first priority. Eventually, the Checklist will also include non-vascular plants (mosses and liverworts, and even lichens and algae if they have not been dealt with elsewhere). A provisional Checklist is in operation.

International Organization for Plant Information (IOPI): IOPI manages a series of cooperative international projects that aim to create databases of plant taxonomic information. The Species Plantarum Project (SPP). SPP is a long term project to record essential taxonomic information on vascular plants worldwide. It is being published in hardcopy as "Flora of the World". It includes accepted names and synonyms with places of publication and types, short descriptions of all taxa from family to infraspecific rank, keys, distributions, references to literature comments, etc.

International Plant Names Index (IPNI). IPNI is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of all seed plants. Its goal is to eliminate the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names.

Mark Isaak, Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature.

Keith Karoly, Biology Department, Reed College, Portland, OR: Vascular Plant Diversity. An internet guide. Go to: Introduction to Plant Taxonomy.

M. Kearney (2002): Fragmentary taxa, missing data, and ambiguity: mistaken assumptions and conclusions. PDF file, Systematic biology, 51: 369-381.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:
! Plants of the World Online.
Browse 1,424,000 global plant names, 202,500 detailed descriptions, and 372,400 images. Excellent!

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:
! The Kew Herbarium Catalogue . This Herbarium houses approximately 7 million specimens, collected from all around the world. Navigate from advanced search.

! The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Botanical information from Kew and beyond.
Go to: The International Plant Names Index (IPNI). IPNI is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of all seed plants. See also: Vascular Plant Families and Genera. The data presented here are taken from the publication Vascular Plant Families and Genera compiled by R. K. Brummitt and published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1992.

Nikita Julievich Kluge, Department of Entomology, S.-Petersburg State University. Russia: General Principles of Biological Systematics. Chapter 1 from the book "Modern Systematics of Insects".
Website outdated. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

! Sandra Knapp et al. (2011): Changes to publication requirements made at the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne: What does e-publication mean for you? In PDF, Taxon, 60: 1498-1501.

S. Knapp et al. (2004): Stability or stasis in the names of organisms: the evolving codes of nomenclature. In PDF, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B, 359: 611-622.

! W.J. Kress and L. Penev (2011): Innovative electronic publication in plant systematics: PhytoKeys and the changes to the "Botanical Code" accepted at the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne. In PDF, PhytoKeys, 6: 1-4.

L. Kunzmann et al. (2013): Die Innovation von Melbourne: eine fossile Pflanze – ein Name. PDF file, in German. Senckenberg natur forschung museum, 143: 222-229. See also here.

Z. Kvacek (2008): The role of types in palaeobotanical nomenclature. In PDF, Acta Mus. Nat. Pragae, Ser. B, Hist. Nat., 64: 89-96.

E. Levetin and K. McMahon: Plants and Society, Fifth Edition. See also here. Go to:
2. Introduction to Plant Life: Botanical Principles.
! Plant Systematics and Evolution. In PDF.
For other chapters navigate from here.

I. Löbl et al. (2023): The Silent Extinction of Species and Taxonomists—An Appeal to Science Policymakers and Legislators. Free access, Diversity, 15, 1053.
"... The science of taxonomy, albeit being fundamental for all organismic research, has been underfunded and undervalued for about two generations. We analyze how this could happen, particularly in times of a biodiversity crisis ..."
[...] Our suggestions are
[...] To significantly increase financial support and the number of paid non-term-limited positions in taxonomy in general and particularly in natural history museums
[...] To immediately revive taxonomic research and teaching at universities
[...] To focus digitization efforts on parts of collections
[...] To require natural history museums to focus on collection-based research ..."

S.G. Lucas (2023): Cladistics and Stratigraphy. Open access, Geosciences, 13.

! Norman MacLeod, Natural History Museum, London: PalaeoMath. Aspects of quantitative analysis in paleontological contexts. Each essay (from the Palaeontological Association Newsletter since 2004) is written for the novice data analyst, especially those who always wanted to gain knowledge of this subject, but never had the opportunity to do so and haven´t managed to make much progress through self-education. Including some MS Excel spreadsheets providing examples and data.

R.A. Marks et al. (2021): Representation and participation across 20 years of plant genome sequencing. Open access, Nature Plants, 7: 1571–1578.
"... We show that assembly quality has increased dramatically in recent years, that substantial taxonomic gaps exist ..."
Note figure 1: Changes in land plant genome assembly quality and availability over time. Assembly contiguity by submission date for 798 land plant species with publicly available genome assemblies.

! S.C. Matthews (1973): Notes on open Nomenclature and on synonymy lists. In PDF, Palaeontology, 16: 713-719.

! J. McNeill et al. (2012): Guidelines for proposals to conserve or reject names. In PDF, Taxon, 61: 248-251.
This expired link is available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

! John McNeill & Nicholas J. Turland (2011): Major changes to the Code of Nomenclature - Melbourne, July 2011. Taxon, 60: 1495-1497.

! James S. Miller et al. (2011): Outcomes of the 2011 Botanical Nomenclature Section at the XVIII International Botanical Congress. In PDF, PhytoKeys, 5: 1-3.

! B.R. Moore et al. (2016): Critically evaluating the theory and performance of Bayesian analysis of macroevolutionarymixtures. In PDF, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 113: 9569–9574.
"... the inability to correctly compute the likelihood or to correctly specify the prior for rate-variable trees precludes the use of Bayesian approaches for testing hypotheses regarding the number and location of diversification-rate shifts using BAMM."

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD: The NCBI Taxonomy Homepage. The NCBI taxonomy database does not follow a single taxonomic treatise but rather attempts to incorporate phylogenetic and taxonomic knowledge from a variety of sources, including the published literature, web-based databases, and the advice of sequence submitters and outside taxonomy experts. See also here.

The Natural History Museum London: Nature online > The science of natural history > Taxonomy and systematics What´s in a name? A history of taxonomy by Sandra Knapp.
See also: Nature online > The science of natural history > Natural history biographies.

Hannes Löser, Hermosillo, Sonora, México: PaleoTax. PaleoTax is a database management system to record taxonomic, geographic and stratigraphic data in biology and palaeontology and dedicated to taxonomists.

J. Louys (2012; ed.): Paleontology in Ecology and Conservation. In PDF, Springer Earth System Sciences, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-25038-5_3, See also here. Note especially:
! Starting on PDF page 1: Chapter 1 Paleontology in Ecology and Conservation: An Introduction (by J. Louys).
! Starting on PDF page 23: Chapter 3 Ecology Needs a Paleontological Perspective (by J.Louys, D.M. Wilkinson, and L.C. Bishop).
! Starting on PDF page 39: Chapter 4 Reconciling Scale in Paleontological and Neontological Data: Dimensions of Time, Space, and Taxonomy (by J.B. Bennington and M.F.J. Aronson).

University of Maryland at College Park Libraries: Plants: Common and Scientific Names: A Guide to Sources. This site is a selected list of information sources for plant names. The topics range from plants in general, to specific categories such as exotic plants and trees, shrubs and vines. The areas covered include: taxonomy, classification and nomenclature of plants.

! S. Mathews (2009): Phylogenetic relationships among seed plants: persistent questions and the limits of molecular data. Free access, American Journal of Botany, 96: 228-236.

! S.C. Matthews (1973): Notes on open Nomenclature and on synonymy lists. Palaeontology, Volume 16, Part 4, 1973, Pages 713-719. Accessible through the website.

Ian Miller and Rose Prevec, Palaeontologia Electronica Volume 9, Issue 2 (2006): Palaeobotany in the Digital Age: Unearthing the Future of Taxonomy.

! B.R. Moore et al. (2016): Critically evaluating the theory and performance of Bayesian analysis of macroevolutionary mixtures. In PDF, PNAS, 113: 9569–9574. See also here.

NICAR (?):
! The International Fossil Plant Names Index (IFPNI).
The goal of IFPNI, an independent non-profit-making project which is dedicated to the promotion of fossil plant science, is to compile and maintain a comprehensive literature based record of the scientific names of fossil plants.

! Daniel L. Nickrent, Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois: Elements of Plant Systematics. Lecture notes. A version archived by Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Go to: A Look at the History of Plant Classification.

! The North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS): Dictionary of Specific Epithets.

Mark E. Olson (2012): Linear Trends in Botanical Systematics and the Major Trends of Xylem Evolution. In PDF.

! K.E. Omland et al. (2008): Tree thinking for all biology: the problem with reading phylogenies as ladders of progress. In PDF, BioEssays, 30: 854–867.
See also here.

! K. Padian et al. (1994): Cladistics and the fossil record: the uses of history. In PDF, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 22: 63-89.
See also here.

! Palaeontologia Electronica: Fossil Calibration Database (project developed by the Working Group "Synthesizing and Databasing Fossil Calibrations: Divergence Dating and Beyond").
The mission of the Fossil Calibration Database is to provide vetted fossil calibration points that can be used for divergence dating by molecular systematists. The curated collection of well-justified calibrations also promote best practices for justifying fossil calibrations and citing calibrations properly. Raising the Standard in Fossil Calibration! See also:
D.T. Ksepka et al. (2015): The Fossil Calibration Database, A New Resource for Divergence Dating. Abstract, Systematic Biology.

! The Paleobiology Database (PBDB).
PBDB is a public database of paleontological data that anyone can use, maintained by an international non-governmental group of paleontologists. The Paleobiology Database has been supported by many grants over the years, mostly from the National Science Foundation. You may navigate from the
Paleobiology Database Guest Menu or check out the
Frequently Asked Questions. Please also note the detailed and excellent tutorial:
! M.D. Uhen et al. (2023): Paleobiology Database User Guide Version 1.0 Free access, PaleoBios, 40: 1-56. See also here (in PDF).

! J.D. Palmer et al. (2004): The plant tree of life: an overview and some points of view. Free access, American Journal of Botany, 91: 1437-1445.

J.F. Parham et al. (2012): Best Practices for Justifying Fossil Calibrations. In PDF, Syst Biol., 61: 346-359. See also here (abstract).

L. Penev et al. (2011): XML schemas and mark-up practices of taxonomic literature. In PDF. See also here.

Ray Phillips, Information Technology Services, Colby College, Waterville, Maine: World Wide Flowering Plant Family Identification. Select the characters that are present in the specimen being identified and press "Submit". Database is part of "Biology 211: Flowering Plant Taxonomy", an introduction to the principles and practice of flowering plant taxonomy.

Ray Phillips, Information Technology Services, Colby College, Waterville, Maine: Biology 211: Flowering Plant Taxonomy. An introduction to the principles and practice of flowering plant taxonomy. Visit the Guide to Flowering Plant Family Recognition. This is a descriptive and photographic tour of some families in the Magnoliophyta (60 flowering plant families).

! The Plant Fossil Names Registry (PFNR): Developed and maintained in the National Museum Prague since 2014 under the auspices of the International Organisation of Palaeobotany (IOP).
The Plant Fossil Names Registry is a database of names registering preferentially new, but also previously published names of plant fossils and associated nomenclatural acts.

The Field, Penpol, Lostwithiel, Cornwall: Plants For A Future - Database Search, and The Species Database. A resource and information centre for edible and other useful plants. Plants for a Future is a project based in Devon and Cornwall which seeks to gather together and disseminate information on the many useful properties of plants, particularly those plants which are less common in today's society. The database contains over 7000 species.

M.P. Pound et al. (2017): Deep Machine Learning provides state-of-the-art performance in image-based plant phenotyping. GigaScience. See also here (in PDF).

! PPG I (2016); This project was organized by Eric Schuettpelz: A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns. Free access, Journal of Systematics and Evolution.

J. Pšenièka and E.L. Zodrow (2006, starting on PDF page 18 (Sec1:16)): Pennsylvanian fern taxonomy: New approach through the compact model. In PDF, Newsletter on Carboniferous Stratigraphy, 24.
This expired link is now available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

! M.N. Puttick et al. (2018): The Interrelationships of Land Plants and the Nature of the Ancestral Embryophyte. Free access, Current Biology, 28: 733–745.

! D.L. Rabosky et al. (2017): Is BAMM flawed? Theoretical and practical concerns in the analysis of multi-rate diversification models. In PDF, Syst. Biol., 66: 477–498. See also here.

A.P. Rasnitsyn (2006): Ontology of evolution and methodology of taxonomy. PDF file, Paleontological Journal, 40 (Suppl. 6): S679-S737.
Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

! James L. Reveal, Norton-Brown Herbarium, University of Maryland: FindIT, Links to Web Sites of Botanical Interest, Dictionaries. Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology - Life Sciences - e.g. Biology, Botany, Cell Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Molecular Biology, Systematics, etc. Excellent!

James L. Reveal, Norton-Brown Herbarium, University of Maryland: Advanced Plant Taxonomy. Systems of classification for magnoliophyta, history of systematic botany, approaches to biological classification, taxonomic hierarchy, types of data.

R. Rößler et al. (2014): Which name(s) should be used for Araucaria-like fossil wood?—Results of a poll. In PDF, Taxon, 63: 177–184. See also here.

! G. Rouhan and M. Gaudeul (2014): Plant taxonomy: a historical perspective, current challenges, and perspectives. Abstract, Molecular Plant Taxonomy, pp. 1-37; In: Pascale, B. (ed.), Molecular Plant Taxonomy: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1115. See also here (in PDF), and there.

B. Saladin et al. (2017): Fossils matter: improved estimates of divergence times in Pinus reveal older diversification. BMC Evolutionary Biology.

! Schmidt, Diane, Allison, Melody M., Clark, Kathleen A., Jacobs, Pamela F. and Porta, Maria A., Libraries Unlimited (a member of the Greenwood Publishing Group): Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology. This directory contains the URLs and annotations for Web-accessible resources. Go to:
Systematics and Identification.>

! Judith E. Skog, International Association for Plant Taxonomy:
Report of the Committee for Fossil Plants: 4. PDF file, Taxon (2003), 52: 341-341.
Report of the Committee for Fossil Plants: 5. PDF file, Taxon (2005), 54: 175-176.
Report of the Committee for Fossil Plants: 6. PDF file, Taxon (2005), 54: 827-827.

Michael G. Simpson: Plant Nomenclature. Powerpoint presentation.

Website outdated. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

TDWG Subgroup on Biological Collection Data: Standards, Information Models, and Data Dictionaries for Biological Collections. International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases.
From 2001 on, the subgroup was replaced by the CODATA/TDWG Task Group on Access to Biological Collection Data (ABCD).

V. Teodoridis et al. (2011): The integrated plant record vegetation analysis: internet platform and online application. In PDF, Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, Ser. B, 67: 159-165.

Bioinformatics Working Group, Texas A&M University: Vascular Plant Family Finder. Internet information for a given family.

! S.A. Thomson et al. (2018): Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation. Open access, PLoS Biol, 16: e2005075.

TreeBASE. TreeBASE is a relational database of phylogenetic information hosted by the University at Buffalo. In previous years the database has been hosted by Harvard University Herbaria, Leiden University EEW, and the University of California, Davis. TreeBASE stores phylogenetic trees and the data matrices used to generate them from published research papers.

! Tropicos. (The Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri).
The Tropicos nomenclatural database system links over 1.38M scientific names with over 6.9M specimens and over 1.61M digital images.

! TRY Plant Trait Database. Quantifying and scaling global plant trait diversity.
TRY is a network of vegetation scientists headed by Future Earth and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, providing a global archive of curated plant traits. Please take notice:
! J. Kattke et al. (2011): TRY – a global database of plant traits. Global Change Biology, 17: 2905–2935.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): PLANTS Database. The PLANTS database focuses on vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. It includes names, checklists, automated tools, identification information, species abstracts, distributional data, crop information, plant symbols, plant growth data, plant materials information, plant links, references, and other plant information.

J.H.A. van Konijnenburg-van Cittert et al. (2017): Differentiation of the fossil leaves assigned to Taeniopteris, Nilssoniopteris and Nilssonia with a comparison to similar genera, Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 237: 100–106.See also here (in PDF).

! Visual Plants. Based on a scientific database, the program can be used for the visual determination of plants. Now with around 22000 images, mostly with geo-referenced information. You can search using taxon names or via plant characters.
Worth checking out: Dalitz, H. and Homeier, J. (2004): Visual Plants - An image based tool for plant diversity research. Lyonia, 6: 47-59.
See also here (in German).

! M. Vorontsova, Herbarium, Kew Gardens: Big changes for names of algae, fungi, plants and plant fossils.
Now provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

L. Watson Albany, Australia, and M. J. Dallwitz CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australia (page hosted by DELTA): The Families of Flowering Plants. Descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 25th November 2009. The Intkey software is required.
Also worth to check out: Static information. Character list, implicit attributes, notes on the APG classification, etc.

Q.D. Wheeler et al. (2012): Mapping the biosphere: exploring species to understand the origin, organization and sustainability of biodiversity. In PDF, Systematics and Biodiversity, 10.

! J.J. Wiens (2003): Missing data, incomplete taxa, and phylogenetic accuracy. Free access, Systematic Biology, 52: 528–538.
"... The problem of missing data is widely considered to be the most significant obstacle in reconstructing phylogenetic relationships of fossil taxa
[...] The goal of this study has been identify the general mechanisms by which missing data may affect phylogenetic accuracy ..."

! Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
List of years in paleontology. These entries cover events related to the study of paleontology which occurred in the listed year. Go to:
! 2017 in paleontology. Excellent! See especially:
! 2016 in paleobotany.
! 2017 in paleobotany. These websites records new taxa of fossil plants that are scheduled to be described during the year 2017, as well as other significant discoveries and events.

! Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Biological classification.
Systematics. Scientific classification.
Botanical nomenclature.

Hugh D. Wilson, Department of Biology Herbarium (TAMU), Texas A&M University (with support from the Texas A&M Center for the Study of Digital Libraries):
BOTANY 201 - TAXONOMY OF FLOWERING PLANTS Lecture Notes - Fall 1998.
Still available via Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

J. Witteveen (2016): Suppressing Synonymy with a Homonym: The Emergence of the Nomenclatural Type Concept in Nineteenth Century Natural History. Open access, Journal of the History of Biology, 49: 135–189.

Steven J. Wolf, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Stanislaus: Flowering Plants. Lecture notes about plant taxonomy and systematics, history of plant taxonomy, identification keys used to identify plants, plant nomenclature, etc. Go to: History of Plant Taxonomy.
These expired links are now available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

! World Flora Online (WFO).
World Flora Online is the international initiative to achieve Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and provides a global overview of the diversity of plant species.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Connecticut:
Paleobotany. Go to:
! Compendium Index of North American Paleobotany.
The Compendium Index presently covers fossil floras from North America, including Greenland, starting in the Triassic Period and extending to Pleistocene. This is a digitized version of a card-file index of approximately 20,000 images and text of descriptions of fossil plant species, maintained at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History as a classification and identification tool.

Doug Yanega: Curious Scientific Names. Some weird and wacky scientific names in biological nomenclature.
Website outdated, download a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

B. Zhang et al. (2024): Numerical taxonomy and genus-species identification of Czekanowskiales in China based on machine learning. Free access, Palaeontologia Electronica, 27.
"... accurate identification of Czekanowskiales fossils is difficult due to the similarities in some macroscopic and cuticular patterns among different genera and species
[...] This study focused on the numerical taxonomy and identification of Czekanowskiales at the generic and species levels using cluster analysis, trait selection, and supervised learning methods for machine learning ..."

G. Zijlstra et al. (2016): (2438–2439) Proposal to conserve the names Taeniopteris and T. vittata with a conserved type (fossil Tracheophyta: "Taeniopterides"). In PDF, Taxon, 65: 399-400.

G. Zijlstra (2014): Important changes in the rules of nomenclature, especially those relevant for palaeobotanists. Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 207: 1-4.

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