The Vascular Plants of Cuba
Werner Greuter and Rosa Rankin Rodríguez
This Checklist results from a decision of the Comité Científico Nacional para la Flora de la República de Cuba, taken during the XVI Flora de la República de Cuba Workshop (National Botanical Garden, University of Havana, 5 to 7 May 2015): That the feasibility of preparing a “check-list” of Cuban plants be evaluated by the editors of the Flora.
The assessment requested by the National Scientific Committee was swift and positive. It resulted in the implementation of the first edition of this preliminary inventory or Checklist within less than one year. The pteridophytes were added in the second edition (2017). A checklist for Cuba's bryophytes and other groups of cryptogamic plants, algae and fungi is still missing. The online version presented here is constantly updated.
In preparing this Checklist, our main sources of information were as follows:
- The Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies of Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong (2012). [A&S].
- The Flora de la República de Cuba [FRC] for all families published so far.
- The Flora de Cuba of brother León and brother Alain. [FC, FC-S].
- The International Plant Name Index (http://ipni.org/).
- The Tropicos database (http://www.tropicos.org/).
- The Catalogue of Life (http://www.catalogueoflife.org/col/search/all). [CoL].
- Various sources on the flora of the island of Cuba, including those detailed in the Bibliography, as well as particular books and papers, including many protologues (original publications of new taxa), and information provided by specialists (see Credits).
- The Lista de los helechos y licófitos de Cuba of Sánchez (2017)
The Checklist was initially prepared in the traditional way, in the form of formatted text arranged in tables. The information was then imported into a relational database by Andreas Müller and the team of the Centre for Biodiversity Informatics of the Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. Updating of the database for the second and third edition was supervised by Walter Berendsohn. The presentation of the Checklist on the Internet (Andreas Kohlbecker and Florian Reimeier) is to occur in two formats: one of static text, generated by direct data export into a pdf document, which lends itself to be cited; the other for interactive online consultation with possibilities of advanced search and flexible layout, including maps, which can be kept up to date permanently.
Our plan, to present the distribution by Cuban provinces for each taxon, could so far be implemented only for a part of the taxa: those of the families (or subfamilies) for which treatments have already been published in the Flora de la República de Cuba, plus those for which we found specialists willing to provide the mostly unpublished relevant information, who therefore, in the second edition, signed as coauthors for the respective treatments and are maintained as such in the present one. Most of them have again revised their texts and have contributed to updating them, notably: Sigrid Liede-Schumann (Asclepiadoideae), Hermann Manitz (Convolvulaceae), Jacqueline Pérez Camacho (Dioscoreaceae), Isidro Méndez Santos (Lamiaceae), Pedro González Gutiérrez (Malpighiaceae) and Alelí Morales Martínez (Orchidaceae). The uneven level of distributional treatment was the main reason why we qualified the two first versions of the Checklist as “preliminary”. Now, with a large number of additional data included, we consider the Checklist to be complete and reliable enough to eliminate the word “preliminary” from its title.