Plant data helps map potential ‘bio-cultural diversity’ hotspots
Science Alert, 21 September 2011

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: The Customary Medicinal Knowledgebase (CMKb), based at Macquarie University, is teaming up with the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), which hosts the GBIF national node, to integrate medicinal knowledge with other information on Australian biodiversity. A recent study modeled suitable ecological niches for more than 400 plant species that are of medicinal importance, using data accessed through the GBIF portal and Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH), one of the main resources contributing data to ALA. The study Ecological niche modeling of customary medicinal plant species used by Australian Aborigines to identify species-rich and culturally valuable areas for conservation, which combined traditional knowledge with state-of-the-art ecological niche modeling technologies, was conducted by Dr Jitendra Gaikwad, Dr Peter Wilson and Prof Shoba Ranganathan from Macquarie University. It was published in the journal Ecological Modelling. The outcome was a map of potential “bio-cultural diversity hotspots”, areas suitable for the occurrence of multiple species known to be used in traditional medicine. Read the article … Read a GBIF release on the research … Read the study’s abstract …