Centre for Plant Diversity and Systematics

Carnivorous plantsBiodiversity is high on the political agenda. The University of Reading has a long-established and continuing reputation in the study of Plant Diversity in many disciplines from Floristic Inventory through Biodiversity Informatics to Molecular Systematics, and Plant and Habitat Conservation. We hold a substantial  Herbarium of vascular plants used extensively in teaching and research as well as a smaller bryophyte and lichen herbarium.

The Centre is the home for Species 2000 who collaborate with ITIS to produce the Catalogue of Life, a major inventory of life on Earth as well as host to ILDIS, a World database of the Legume family.

Long-term Floristic studies include those of of the Mediterranean basin. Major works include Flora Europaea and the Euro+Med PlantBase and now research is expanding into North Africa, especially Morocco.

Phylogenetic studies include research into plant diversification in Mediterranean-type climate zones including South Africa, but also in other areas.

The study of the effect of climate change on plant evolution has led to the development of novel approaches to climate optimisation on phylogenies that helps us understand the impact of climate change over evolutionary timescales.

In addition, the Centre coordinates teaching of the MSc Plant Diversity that was initiated in 1969 and has run continuously since providing trained staff for taxonomic institutions around the World.

The reference book 'Flowering Plant Families of the World' was written largely by members of CPDS together with staff from Kew and University of Copenhagen.

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