Atlas of Living Australia – National Species Lists

Project summary

The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is a five-year project funded under the Commonwealth Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). The aim of the project is to build online tools to access and analyse the immense amount of data on Australia’s biodiversity via a single access point. Much of this information has not previously been available to the public.

National Species Lists

The Australian National Species Lists is a flagship project of the ALA. It is a joint project between a number of Australian museums and herbaria, universities, CSIRO and the Australian Government. The National Species Lists will compile all existing names for Australian biota (including linking of names that are synonyms) as an essential support for ALA tools for mapping and modelling species distributions.

Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Melbourne has been contracted by The Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) to administer the Australian National Species Lists for plant names. CHAH is one of the 14 partners in this project acting as an umbrella organisation for Australian plant collections; CHAH will work collaboratively with several institutions – including RBG Melbourne; Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney; Australian National Botanic Gardens/Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research; and the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) – to complete the work.

The ALA Fungi Names Project

In addition to administering the National Species Lists project, RBG Melbourne has been contracted through CHAH to provide the master name list for fungi for the National Species Lists.

The Fungi Names Project will build on the existing Interactive Catalogue of Australian Fungi (ICAF) housed at RBG Melbourne to produce a list of all names applied to Australian fungi, arranged under the currently accepted name. For this project, 'fungi' includes both the true fungi and fungoid organisms in the Protista and Chromista. The fungi list will be the first compilation of the known fungi from Australia for more than 60 years, and is expected to include the names of around 8,000 accepted species of non-lichenised fungi.

The Fungi Names Project will also scope the production of an agreed names list that resolves differences in generic boundaries and species delimitation as utilised by different herbaria and researchers (along the lines of the Australian Plant Census (APC) project that is being produced for plants).

Project team

  • David Cantrill (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne)
  • Tom May (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne)
  • Suman Kashyap (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 2010–2011)
  • Rita Macheda (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 2012)
  • Chris Dunk (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 2010–2013)
  • Niels Klazenga (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne)

Support