Plant of the Day
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In this rapidly changing world, there has developed an urgent necessity to learn about our world-wide biota. Scientists are predicting that species declines will approach historical mass extinction levels within this century. The neotropics have been shown to contain some of the richest levels of terrestrial biodiversity within the world, however current research suggests that one out of four plant species are yet to be discovered (Thomas 1999). The classification and inventory process is considered baseline research that supports conservation efforts, emphasizing that we have far to go in order to make significant progress in protecting our biological treasures. For many reasons, tropical research is progressing at a slow pace, especially considering the increased threat levels tropical ecozones experience in recent times.
If we are going to make significant progress in protecting these biological treasures within a reasonable period, it is imperative that we develop better methods to work collaboratively and creating a knowledge base that supports future research. We need to develop better tools to aid taxonomists, field biologists, and environmental educators. It is vital that we increase our rate of conducting biological inventories, especially within the tropics, as well as steering youth toward becoming our future scientists. This website strives to integrate biological community knowledge and data in order to synthesize a network of databases and tools that will aid in increasing our overall environmental comprehension.
Thomas, W. Wayt. 1999. Conservation and monographic research on the flora of Tropical America. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 1007-1015.