Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 303, Issue 8, pp 1109–1113 | Cite as

Comprehensive and reliable: a new online portal of critical plant taxa in Germany

  • Stefan Dressler
  • Thomas Gregor
  • Frank H. Hellwig
  • Heiko Korsch
  • Karsten Wesche
  • Jens Wesenberg
  • Christiane M. Ritz
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Polyploidy in Shallow and Deep Evolutionary Times


Morphological identification of apomictic micro-species is difficult and requires detailed comparisons with referenced herbarium material. Access to such is limited because herbaria are scattered, and even in public collections misidentifications are not uncommon in these critical taxa. In close collaboration with taxonomic experts of the apomictic polyploid genera Hieracium, Pilosella, Taraxacum sect. Palustria (Asteraceae) and Alchemilla, Crataegus, Rosa, Rubus (Rosaceae), we established an online portal ( displaying georeferenced and validated herbarium specimens for each respective micro-species of the German Flora. Our focus was on taxonomic reliability rather than on sheer data quantity and thus identifications were validated. We additionally offer macro-photographs as well as descriptions of taxonomically important morphological characters of the respective genera. Comprising currently >400 taxa, we trust the online portal will greatly facilitate research into difficult polyploid, apomictic taxa of the Central European flora.


Apomixis Asteraceae Digitized specimen Natural history collections Polyploidy Rosaceae 



We thank the herbaria B, GI, HAL, M, MSB, MSTR, STU and W for loans of their material. We are deeply indebted to the taxonomic experts S. Bräutigam, S.E. Fröhner, F. Fürnrohr, H. Henker, P. Gebauer, G. Gottschlich, G. Hügin, W. Jansen, H. Kalheber, G. Matzke-Hajek, H. Reichert, I. Uhlemann and H.E. Weber for their critical revision of specimens and for providing access to their private collections. The IT team of Senckenberg, P. Gebauer, and R. Döring provided technical support, Springer-Spektrum allowed us to use drawings of the respective taxa from the RothmalerExkursionsflora von Deutschland. The editor and two anonymous reviewers gave valuable comments on the manuscript. The project was funded by the German Research Foundation DFG (DR 437/3-1, He 2252/11-1, Ri 2090/1-1).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany and Molecular EvolutionSenckenberg Research Institute and Natural History MuseumFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Systematic BotanyFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of BotanySenckenberg Museum of Natural History GörlitzGörlitzGermany
  4. 4.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.International Institute ZittauTechnische Universität DresdenZittauGermany

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