Dublin: In a move that may help scientists preserve plants better, botanists at Trinity College, Dublin have launched a database with information for nearly 600 plant species across the globe.
With climate change and growing human population rapidly re-shaping plant distributions, the database called COMPADRE Plant Matrix, will foster collaborations between scientists, said the researchers.
"We hope that other scientists will use these data to answer questions such as why, unlike humans, some plants do not deteriorate as they age, why some environments are better for agriculture than others, and how fast plant populations will move in response to climate change," said Yvonne Buckley, professor of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin's School of Natural Sciences.
The database has been made freely available for scientists across the globe.
The database contains far more information than one person could ever hope to put together over a lifetime, added Yvonne.
The data have been collected over a period spanning 48 years across five continents, with sites ranging from deserts to the freezing cold of arctic and alpine plant communities.
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), Rostock, Germany funded the project.
MPIDR is famous for its work on human population growth, ageing and fertility, as well as the demography of animals and plants.
The study appeared in Journal of Ecology.