A new resource for Tasmania: www.tmag.tas.gov.au/FloraTasmania
The Flora of Tasmania Online (FTO) is a publicly available web-based resource for the identification of plants and the dissemination of modern taxonomic information. FTO was launched on 9 June 2009 by Michelle O’Byrne MHA (Minister, Department Environment Parks Heritage and the Arts). It will be published in parts, each covering 1 family. FTO contains keys, descriptions, synonymy, distributional and habitat data etc for all taxa with appropriate referencing. For now, the focus of the FTO will be on the Angiosperms (Flowering Plants; 139 families), especially the Dicotyledons (100 families). The first 45 accounts (all Dicotyledons) have now been published. These include families, eg. Griseliniaceae, that have never had treatments for Tasmania (or indeed Australia!) published before. Other families have had major changes since the Student’s Flora of Tasmania was published and the FTO accounts outline new concepts, species and genera. Families that will be published later in 2009 include Amaranthaceae (includes Chenopodiaceae), Elaeocarpaceae (includes Tremandraceae - Tetratheca), Ericaceae (includes Epacridaceae), Malvaceae (includes Sterculiaceae) and Myrtaceae (Eucalyptus).
FTO combines the scientific value of citable and permanently available documents with the speed and accessability of the internet. FTO is notable in that:
1. family accounts are provided free of charge (web pages & PDF files);
2. each account is a stand alone, citable, scientific document with unique version and ISBN numbers;
3. all accounts will remain publicly available even when superseded by new and revised accounts;
4. public feedback is encouraged;
5. there is commitment to continuously update and improve the FTO by assimilating public feedback, new research and new discoveries;
6. for the first time the flora for the entire State of Tasmania (including Macquarie Is.) will be covered;
7. all documents will also be electronically archived (and publicly available) at the State Library of Tasmania.
To assist workers with the new classification system used in the FTO there is an interface to determine what family a genus is placed in. In addition, there are mechanisms for feedback [strongly encouraged as this will help improve and refine the FTO] and adding your name to a notification system. This last system will be used to notify users when new accounts are published and of any other changes to the website.
Dr. Marco F. Duretto, Senior Curator