Rafaël Herman Anna Govaerts

Rafaël Herman Anna Govaerts
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew · Jodrell Laboratory

BSc (hons): EHSAL, Brussels

About

129
Publications
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Introduction
As head of the Plant & Fungal Names Team at Kew, my role involves compilation, curation and dissemination of core datasets: IPNI (International Plant Names Index) which provides nomenclatural data. WCVP (World Checklist of Vascular Plants) which provides Taxonomic data, and POWO (Plants of the World Online) which provides Floristic data including descriptions and images. These data are freely available and core component of the majority of online plant databases. I manage a global network of reviewers and compilers for WCVP resulting in peer reviewed and high quality data. My research focuses on large scale questions that can be answered using the extensive WCVP dataset.

Publications

Publications (129)
Article
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Registration systems have long been in place for names of plant cultivars, fungi, prokaryotes and animals, and more recently for algae (Müller et al. 2022). Yet, despite previous attempts, nothing has become established for vascular plants. The newly released International Plant Names Index (IPNI) registration system aims to address this. We will b...
Article
IPNI (International Plant Names Index) has been providing nomenclatural data in one form or another for the past 138 years. Over the past decade, great progress has been made in improving the data and making it accessible via a new website. We will be showcasing the new features that have been added to the website, in particular the latest addition...
Article
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Species richness varies immensely around the world. Variation in the rate of diversification (speciation minus extinction) is often hypothesized to explain this pattern, while alternative explanations invoke time or ecological carrying capacities as drivers. Focusing on seed plants, the world’s most important engineers of terrestrial ecosystems, we...
Article
The Darwinian shortfall, i.e. the lack of knowledge of phylogenetic relationships, significantly impedes our understanding of evolutionary drivers of global patterns of biodiversity. Spatial bias in the Darwinian shortfall, where phylogenetic knowledge in some regions is more complete than others, could undermine eco‐ and biogeographic inferences....
Article
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To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, the international community requires clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially and how multiple targets can be pursued concurrently. To support goal setting and the implementation of international strategies and action plans, spatial guidance is needed...
Article
There is a lack of concrete knowledge about floristic change in Britain before the mid-20th century. Relevant evidence is available, but it is principally contained in disparate historical sources. In this article, we demonstrate how such sources can be efficiently collated and analysed through the implementation of state-of-the-art computational-l...
Preprint
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Curbing biodiversity loss and its impact on ecosystem services, resilience and Nature’s Contributions to People is one of the main challenges of our generation (IPBES, 2019b, 2019a; Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, 2020). A global baseline assessment of the threat status of all of biodiversity is crucial to moni...
Article
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Functionally and evolutionarily distinct species have traits or an evolutionary history that are shared by few others in a given set, which make them priority species for biodiversity conservation. On islands, life in isolation has led to the evolution of many distinct forms and functions as well as to a high level of endemism. The aim of this stud...
Article
Taxonomic names are critical to the communication of biodiversity—they link data together whether it be distribution data, traits or phylogeny. Large taxonomic groups, such as many plant families, are globally distributed as is the taxonomic expertise of the family. A growing knowledge base requires collaboration to develop an up-to-date checklist...
Article
The monotypic genus Bryomorphe Harv. is found to be homotypic with Klenzea lycopodioides Sch.Bip., which is considered to be a later synonym of Dolichothrix ericoides (Lam.) Hilliard & Burtt, and Bryomorphe is thus a synonym of Dolichothrix. The new genus Muscosomorphe J.C.Manning is proposed to accommodate the species previously included in Bryomo...
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The use of ranks of infraspecific names in Salix L. published by Gaudin in Flora Helvetica (1830) is reconsidered and the identity, nomenclature and taxonomy of Salix alba L. f. tristis Gaudin and related taxa are clarified. A new combination, S. × pendulina nothof. tristis is made which is established as the correct name with new synonyms. The epi...
Article
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The World Checklist of Vascular Plants (WCVP) is a comprehensive list of scientifically described plant species, compiled over four decades, from peer-reviewed literature, authoritative scientific databases, herbaria and observations, then reviewed by experts. It is a vital tool to facilitate plant diversity research, conservation and effective man...
Article
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The tribe Loteae of the family Leguminosae has major centers of diversity in the Mediterranean Region and California. It is used here to illustrate different traditions of taxonomic interpretation of infraspecific variation among researchers in different continents. Recent accounts of European and Mediterranean taxa commonly make an emphasis on rec...
Book
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Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi project provides assessments of our current knowledge of the diversity of plants and fungi on Earth, the global threats that they face, and the policies to safeguard them. Produced in conjunction with an international scientific symposium, Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi sets an important inte...
Article
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Plant and fungal biodiversity support all life on earth and merit careful stewardship in an increasingly uncertain environment. However, gaps and biases in documented extinction risks to plant and fungal species impede effective management. Formal extinction risk assessments help avoid extinctions, through engagement, financial or legal mechanisms,...
Article
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Global biodiversity hotspots are areas containing high levels of species richness, endemism and threat. Similarly, regions of agriculturally relevant diversity have been identified where many domesticated plants and animals originated, and co-occurred with their wild ancestors and relatives. The agro-biodiversity in these regions has, likewise, oft...
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New Guinea is the world’s largest tropical island and has fascinated naturalists for centuries. Home to some of the best-preserved ecosystems on the planet and to intact ecological gradients—from mangroves to tropical alpine grasslands—that are unmatched in the Asia-Pacific region, it is a globally recognized centre of biological and cultural diver...
Article
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Plants are essential for all life, providing the infrastructure and energy for our ecosystems. A recent report indicates that more than 500 plant species are already presumed extinct and many more could have been lost without anyone being aware, especially in species‐rich areas with high levels of human impact, and where botanical knowledge is poor...
Article
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The use of edible flowers in cooking dates back to ancient times, but recently it is gaining success among the consumers, increasingly attentive to healthy and sustainable foods of high quality, without neglecting taste, flavour, and visual appeal. The present study aims to deepen the knowledge regarding the mineral composition of edible flowers, a...
Article
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The global distribution of exotic species is the result of abiotic, biotic and dispersal filtering processes that shape the movement and success of species outside their native range. In this study we aim to understand how these filtering processes drive the fluxes of grass species among regions, the factors that influence which species establish o...
Preprint
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paragraph To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, countries and the international community require clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially, and multiple targets be pursued concurrently ¹ . To support governments and political conventions, spatial guidance is needed to identify which areas...
Preprint
Functionally and evolutionary original species are those whose traits or evolutionary history are shared by few others in a given set. These original species promote ecosystem multifunctionality, the ability to cope with an uncertain future, future benefits to society and therefore have a high conservation value. A potential signal of their extinct...
Article
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Island systems are among the most vulnerable to climate change, which is predicted to induce shifts in temperature, rainfall and/or sea levels. Our aim was: (i) to map the relative vulnerability of islands to each of these threats from climate change on a worldwide scale; (ii) to estimate how island vulnerability would impact phylogenetic diversity...
Article
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A synopsis of the genera Coleus Lour, Equilabium A.J.Paton, Mwany. & Culham and Plectranthus L’Hér. (Lamiaceae, Tribe Ocimeae, Subtribe Plecranthinae) is presented. Generic delimitation follows a recently published molecular phylogeny which identified Coleus as the sister of the remaining genera of Subtribe Plectranthinae; Plectranthus as sister to...
Article
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Islands have remarkable levels of endemism and contribute greatly to global biodiversity. Establishing the age of island endemics is important to gain insights into the processes that have shaped the biodiversity patterns of island biota. We investigated the relative age of monocots across islands worldwide, using different measures of phylogenetic...
Article
Carex bulgarica (Domin) Lazare 1986 is a younger homonym of C. bulgarica Velen. 1889, the latter being validly published as an alternative name along with C. digitata var. bulgarica Velen. Therefore we publish here a replacement name, Carex lazarei, for the species previously called C. bulgarica by Lazare. Carex lazarei belongs to the C. sempervire...
Article
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Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name a recently extinct plant. We present a comprehensive, global analysis of modern extinction in plants. Almost 600 species have become extinct, at a higher rate than background extinction, but almost as many have been erroneously declared extinct and t...
Preprint
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At their early age, a large proportion of island pools were a partial sampling of mainland pools whatever islands are oceanic or fragments of the mainland. Through time, colonization, diversification, extinctions, have deeply transformed insular and continental communities and therefore the degree to which they share species. We studied the relativ...
Article
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The World Checklist of Vascular Plants (WCVP) is the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew’s global names and taxonomy output. The underlying data sources, the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP), and the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families – in Review (WCSP – In Review) are actively curate...
Article
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A total of 175 abietane quinone diterpenes with ortho- or para-quinone chromophore, namely 11,12-ortho-quinone abietane, 11,14-para-quinone abietane, seco-abietane and abeo-abietanes quinones were surveyed from 130 species of Salvia of central Asia/Mediterranean area, eastern Asia, and Central and South America. An organized information on the phyt...
Article
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The nomenclatural notes, discussed in the present communication, are based on the revision of Iris Linnaeus (1753: 38) names described from Turkey, considering this genus in its wide sense (e.g., Dykes 1924, Mathew 1989, Güner 2012). Iris haussknechtii Bornm. ex Baker (1892: 4) is a species endemic to Turkey referred to I. ser. Spuriae (Diels 1930:...
Article
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The nomenclature and taxonomy of the taxa related to S. vitellina L. are clarified. Two new combinations, Salix × fragilis L. f. vitellina (L.) I.V.Belyaeva and S. × pendulina f. salamonii (Carrière) I.V.Belyaeva, are made and one new form, S. × pendulina f. erythroflexuosa I.V.Belyaeva, is described. Twenty-seven names are synonymised to the three...
Article
(2554) Schoenus hornei C.B. Clarke in Durand & Schinz, Consp. Fl. Afric. 5: 657. Dec 1894 [Angiosp.: Cyper.], nom. cons. prop. Typus: Seychelles, Horne 626 (K barcode K000244890), typ. cons. prop.
Article
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Linocalix Lindau, one of the few remaining unplaced genera for the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families database, is found to be a synonym of Chlamydocardia Lindau (Acanthaceae). An extant type at the BR herbarium of Linocalix albus Lindau is referable to Chlamydocardia subrhomboidea Lindau. A synopsis of the two species of Chlamydocardia, C....
Article
The genus Grumilea was established by Gaertner (1788: 138, t. 28, f. 2) on the basis of a single species, G. nigra Gaertner from Sri Lanka. The genus was subsequently recognized and treated by a number of authors such as Candolle (1830: 495), Wight & Arnott (1834: 432), Miquel (1857: 295) and Thwaites (1859: 147). However, Bentham & Hooker (1873: 1...
Article
Three new combinations are published: --- Agave amica (Medikus) Thiede & Govaerts, comb. nov. (77153983-1). Basionym: Tuberosa amica Medikus (1790: 430) ≡ Polianthes tuberosa Linnaeus (1753: 316) ≡ Agave tuberosa (L.) Thiede & Eggli (1999: 112), nom. illeg., Art. 53.1. ≡ Agave polianthes Thiede & Eggli (2001: 166). --- Agave nanchititlensis (Matu...
Article
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Some juno irises that have been described from Western Asia, Western Europe, and North Africa are in need of typification. Twenty eight names of juno irises (22 species, 5 varieties, and 1 form) are here typified, or nomenclatural remarks are provided. In the western portion of the species range, juno irises are represented mainly by Iris aucheri,...
Book
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Downloadable from http://resource.inbar.int/download/showdownload.php?lang=cn&id=167815
Article
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Background and Aims Earth’s climate is dynamic, with strong glacial–interglacial cycles through the Late Quaternary. These climate changes have had major consequences for the distributions of species through time, and may have produced historical legacies in modern ecological patterns. Unstable regions are expected to contain few endemic species, m...
Article
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We present revised estimates of the numbers of accepted species of flowering plants (369,434), seed plants (370,492), vascular plants (383,671) and land plants (403,911) based on a recently de-duplicated version of the International Plant Names Index and rates of synonymy calculated from the seed plant families published in the World checklist of s...
Article
The replacement name Cyperus lipocarpha T. Koyama published in 1960 for Lipocarpha chinensis (Osbeck) J. Kern is incorrect, because an earlier epithet of a heterotypic name is available for combination in Cyperus. A new combination, Cyperus albescens (Steud.) Larridon & Govaerts is here proposed.
Conference Paper
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Plant names are the key to communicating and managing information about plants. This paper considers how providers of high quality technical plant name information can better meet the requirements non-botanical audiences who also rely on plant names for elements of their work. The International Plant Name Index, World Checklist of Selected Plant Fa...
Article
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To clarify the last pineapple classification, which only recognizes the tetraploid crownless A. macrodontes and the diploid A. comosus, with three cultivated and two wild botanical varieties, we re-establish A. comosus var. microstachys and revise ancient synonymies, underlining misinterpretations and distinguishing horticultural names from botanic...
Article
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New combinations and new reductions to synonymy are reported here for 11 Convolvulaceae so that nomenclaturally satisfactory names are available for use in the on-line World Checklist of Convolvulaceae. The new names and new combinations replace names in current use that were found to be illegitimate or had earlier epithets available that must be t...
Book
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Red listing of all species of Betulaceae
Article
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The new combination, Cenchrus divisus (J.F. Gmelin) Verloove, Govaerts & Buttler, is proposed for the species widely known as Pennisetum divisum (J.F. Gmelin) Henrard, and a lectotype for Panicum divisum J.F. Gmelin is designated.
Article
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This nomenclatural note, a sequel to a recently published taxonomic revision of the Old World species of the genus Boehmeria (Urticaceae), establishes: 1) a holotype of B. maugereti, synonym of taxon no. 8b in the revision (B. clidemioides var. diffusa); 2) B. zollingeriana Wedd. var. blinii (H.Lév.) C.J.Chen in Chen et al. (2003) as the correct na...
Article
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Zipp. ex Blume (Rumphia 2: 75. 1839), develop from inflorescences with numerous slender rachillae. At the very base of each rachilla there are one to five pistillate flowers, the rest of the rachillae being slender and purely staminate. This staminate portion dries and falls after anthesis, resulting in an infructescence of spicate appearance that...
Article
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Early flowering plants are thought to have been woody species restricted to warm habitats. This lineage has since radiated into almost every climate, with manifold growth forms. As angiosperms spread and climate changed, they evolved mechanisms to cope with episodic freezing. To explore the evolution of traits underpinning the ability to persist in...