Canadensys announces the release of VASCAN, the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada, a comprehensive list of all vascular plants reported in Canada, Greenland (Denmark) and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France).
Canadensys is a Canada-wide effort to unlock the biodiversity information held in biological collections. The network currently includes biological collections from 11 participating universities, five botanical gardens, and two museums, covering insects, fungi and plants. The network is operated from the Biodiversity Centre, Université de Montréal.
The goal of VASCAN is to provide an up-to-date, documented source of the names of vascular plants in Canada, Greenland, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, both scientific and vernacular. For every species, subspecies and variety, VASCAN provides the accepted scientific name (Latin), the accepted French and English vernacular names, and their synonyms/alternatives in Canada. The distribution status (native, introduced, etc.) of the plant for each province or territory, and the habit (tree, shrub, herb or vine) of the plant in Canada are given. Maps at the provincial/territorial level are provided with an indication of status. For reported hybrids (nothotaxa or hybrid formulas), the parents also are provided. A source is given for each name, classification and distribution information (still being completed).
All taxa are linked to a classification. The following were used: Smith et al. (2006) for ferns, APG III (2009) for flowering plants, and Chase and Reveal (2009) for the higher taxonomy.
It is possible to generate lists in VASCAN using the Checklist builder tool. Data can be downloaded from VASCAN under the Creative Commons (BY-NC) license.