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WFO's December 2023 release

We have continued to improve the nomenclatural data and update the classification in the taxonomic backbone of the World Flora Online thanks to the input from the global taxonomic community. These changes are reflected in the December 2023 WFO Plant List and data release, that is now available.

Summary of changes to the WFO Plant List since the June 2023 release. 

  • 37,862 additional names have been added to the WFO provided by IPNI, our Taxonomic Expert Networks (TENs), content providers or WCVP.
  • 1.34 million name records have classification, nomenclatural or reference data improvements. 

Updated family classifications have been provided by TENs for: 

  • All 232 bryophyte families by incorporating an additional 20k synonyms since June. 
  • The six conifer families Araucariaceae, Cephalotaxaceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Taxaceae have received additional updates.
  • A major update for Asteraceae provided by the International Compositae Alliance updated the classification for more than 40k names.
  • The Caryophyllales Network provided classification updates for: Achatocarpaceae, Agdestidaceae, Aizoaceae, Anacampserotaceae, Ancistrocladaceae, Asteropeiaceae, Barbeuiaceae, Cactaceae, Corbichoniaceae, Dioncophyllaceae, Drosophyllaceae, Gisekiaceae, Halophytaceae, Kewaceae, Lophiocarpaceae, Macarthuriaceae, Microteaceae, Nepenthaceae, Physenaceae, Simmondsiaceae and Stegnospermataceae.
  • There have been updates and improvements for Begoniaceae, Calophyllaceae, Ericaceae (specifically Erica), Ochnaceae subfam. Quiinoideae, Putranjivaceae and Zingiberaceae.
  • Updates to nomenclature and classification for Apocynaceae and Asphodelaceae (tribe Aloeae) have been provided by the both TENs working in Rhakhis, the classification management tool of the WFO.

Classification provided by RBG-Kew’s WCVP are now as follows.

200 default classification have been updated to WCVP version 10 or version 11 depending on which data set was available at the time of update.

  • Since the June release the following 120 non TEN Families have been updated to follow WCVP version 11 (April 2023): Acanthaceae, Achariaceae, Acoraceae, Alseuosmiaceae, Altingiaceae, Anisophylleaceae, Aphloiaceae, Araliaceae, Argophyllaceae, Asteliaceae, Balanophoraceae, Betulaceae, Blandfordiaceae, Bonnetiaceae, Boryaceae, Brunelliaceae, Calyceraceae, Canellaceae, Cannabaceae, Cannaceae, Caricaceae, Casuarinaceae, Celastraceae, Ceratophyllaceae, Cercidiphyllaceae, Chloranthaceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Clethraceae, Combretaceae, Connaraceae, Cornaceae, Costaceae, Crossosomataceae, Crypteroniaceae, Cyclanthaceae, Cynomoriaceae, Daphniphyllaceae, Dichapetalaceae, Dipentodontaceae, Doryanthaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Elatinaceae, Ephedraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Francoaceae, Geissolomataceae, Gnetaceae, Griseliniaceae, Grossulariaceae, Guamatelaceae, Gunneraceae, Hamamelidaceae, Heliconiaceae, Hernandiaceae, Humiriaceae, Hydrangeaceae, Hydroleaceae, Hypoxidaceae, Icacinaceae, Iteaceae, Ixioliriaceae, Juglandaceae, Krameriaceae, Lacistemataceae, Lanariaceae, Lardizabalaceae, Lauraceae, Loasaceae, Marantaceae, Marcgraviaceae, Melanthiaceae, Menyanthaceae, Metteniusaceae, Montiniaceae, Myricaceae, Myrtaceae, Nothofagaceae, Nymphaeaceae, Nyssaceae, Olacaceae, Opiliaceae, Orchidaceae, Paeoniaceae, Paracryphiaceae, Penaeaceae, Pennantiaceae, Pentaphragmataceae, Peraceae, Peridiscaceae, Phellinaceae, Picrodendraceae, Rafflesiaceae, Resedaceae, Rhizophoraceae, Rousseaceae, Rubiaceae, Sabiaceae, Sarraceniaceae, Schisandraceae, Schoepfiaceae, Simaroubaceae, Siparunaceae, Sphenocleaceae, Stachyuraceae, Staphyleaceae, Strasburgeriaceae, Strelitziaceae, Tecophilaeaceae, Torricelliaceae, Trigoniaceae, Triuridaceae, Trochodendraceae, Tropaeolaceae, Ulmaceae, Vahliaceae, Vitaceae, Welwitschiaceae, Winteraceae, Xeronemataceae, and Zygophyllaceae.

Data cleaning and improvements to the data, facilitated by Rhakhis and Catalogue of Life ChecklistBank’s validation checks, have reduced the number of known issues by more than 5600. We continue to deduplicate as part of general curation, and have deduplicated approximately 300 name pairs. 

The data are available in four places.

The WFO Plant List section of the WFO website, https://​wfo​plantlist​.org, is the main place to browse the data.

The WFO Plant List API, https://​list​.world​flo​raon​line​.org, provides a machine readable version of the data and powers the version on the WFO website.

The Zenodo repository is under this DOI https://​doi​.org/​10​.​5281​/​z​e​n​o​d​o​.​7460141. This DOI is the one that should be used to refer to the WFO Plant List data. It will always resolve to the latest version of the data. Each version of the data also has its own DOI should it be necessary to cite a particular version. The December 2023 version’s DOI https://​doi​.org/​10​.​5281​/​z​e​n​o​d​o​.​10425161.

The data have been submitted to Checklist Bank (Catalogue of Life/​GBIF) https://​www​.check​list​bank​.org/​d​a​t​a​s​e​t​/​2004​/​about and can be browsed and downloaded from there.

Technical Updates

We have continued to refine the API and name matching features, but the bulk of the technical work has been on importing ancillary data. Over 50% (823,138) of name records now have directly links to places of publication either via DOIs or the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Our links to name authors in Wikidata have been extended by incorporating links from 728 generic names to the women they were named for (https://​doi​.org/​10​.​3897​/​B​D​J​.​11​.​e​114408). We have also instigated a system to give TENs access to name matching on more recent copies of the live dataset.

We are also highlighting this paper published immediately before the data release as it utilises the API.

Nelson EC, Oliver EGH, Pirie MD (2023) Erica L. (Ericaceae): homonyms amongst published names for African species and proposed replacement names. PhytoKeys 236: 157178. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​3897​/​p​h​y​t​o​k​e​y​s​.​236​.​110498

We supplied the WFO IDs, where we could, along with the API url. This allowed the WFO IDs in the text to become active links that lead to the WFO Plant List.