EuroSL – the consistent electronic checklist of the plant taxa of Europe

Aims: Analyses of vegetation and other plant-species-related data in Europe are currently seriously impeded by the lack of a consistent electronic checklist of the plant taxa of the continent (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, macro-algae). Without such an electronic checklist that is correctly connected to the multitude of national floras and checklists which all have diverging taxonomic opinions, it is impossible to make sound overarching analyses. We had first proposed the idea of such a EuroSL in a workshop in 2011, but due to lack of funding work on the tool had been interrupted for several years. With the preparation of the Ecological Indicator Values for Europe (EIVE) and the numerous research projects of the European Vegetation Archive (EVA), each of which again needs to develop an ad-hoc taxonomic harmonization, we decided to resume work on EuroSL. As for EIVE, we do not intend to produce a perfect tool in one step, but to publish EuroSL in well-documented, compatible releases, what allows implement improvements successively. The whole enterprise is facilitated by the fact that the publication of the Euro+Med Plantbase is meanwhile close to an end, so that this can largely serve as the taxonomic backbone for the vascular plants. However, additional units which are widely used in practice, such as species groups (aggregates) need to be added and the correct matches to the national species lists be established.

Start: 2011

Project leader: Florian Jansen (Greifswald) & Jürgen Dengler (Bayreuth)

Student assistant: Claudia Steinacker


Dengler, J., Berendsohn, W.G., Bergmeier, E., Chytrý, M., Danihelka, J., Jansen, F., Kusber, W.-H., Landucci, F., Müller, A., Panfili, E., Schaminée, J.H.J., Venanzoni, R., von Raab-Straube, E. 2012. The need for and the requirements of EuroSL, an electronic taxonomic reference list of all European plants. Biodiversity & Ecology 4: 15–24.

Jansen, F., Dengler, J. 2010. Plant names in vegetation databases – a neglected source of bias. Journal of Vegetation Science 21: 1179–1186.

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