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An integrated assessment of the vascular plant species of the Americas.

  • Ulloa Ulloa, Carmen1
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro2
  • Beck, Stephan3
  • Belgrano, Manuel J4
  • Bernal, Rodrigo5
  • Berry, Paul E6
  • Brako, Lois7
  • Celis, Marcela8, 9
  • Davidse, Gerrit10
  • Forzza, Rafaela C11
  • Gradstein, S Robbert12
  • Hokche, Omaira13
  • León, Blanca14, 15
  • León-Yánez, Susana16
  • Magill, Robert E10
  • Neill, David A17
  • Nee, Michael10
  • Raven, Peter H10
  • Stimmel, Heather10
  • Strong, Mark T2
  • And 4 more
  • 1 Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 U.S. National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA.
  • 3 Herbario Nacional de Bolivia, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia. , (Bolivia)
  • 4 Instituto de Botánica Darwinion, Buenos Aires, Argentina. , (Argentina)
  • 5 Jardín Botánico del Quindío, Calarcá, Quindío, Colombia. , (Colombia)
  • 6 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • 7 Office of Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • 8 Departamento de Química y Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia. , (Colombia)
  • 9 Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. , (Colombia)
  • 10 Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA.
  • 11 Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 12 Herbier National, Institut de Systématique Evolution Biodiversité, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. , (France)
  • 13 Herbario Nacional de Venezuela, Instituto Experimental Jardín Botánico Dr. Tobías Lasser, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. , (Venezuela)
  • 14 Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.
  • 15 Museo de Historia Natural, Lima, Peru. , (Peru)
  • 16 Herbario QCA, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador. , (Ecuador)
  • 17 Universidad Estatal Amazónica, Puyo, Ecuador. , (Ecuador)
  • 18 Departamento de Botánica, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F., Mexico. , (Mexico)
Published Article
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Publication Date
Dec 22, 2017
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0398
PMID: 29269477


The cataloging of the vascular plants of the Americas has a centuries-long history, but it is only in recent decades that an overview of the entire flora has become possible. We present an integrated assessment of all known native species of vascular plants in the Americas. Twelve regional and national checklists, prepared over the past 25 years and including two large ongoing flora projects, were merged into a single list. Our publicly searchable checklist includes 124,993 species, 6227 genera, and 355 families, which correspond to 33% of the 383,671 vascular plant species known worldwide. In the past 25 years, the rate at which new species descriptions are added has averaged 744 annually for the Americas, and we can expect the total to reach about 150,000.

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