Bryophytes in the online Flora of Victoria, VicFlora

Daniel J. Ohlsen

The online Flora of Victoria, VicFlora, provides information, photographs and identification keys for all native and naturalised species of vascular plants in Victoria, but currently does not include any bryophytes. Consequently, around a third of the land plant diversity in Victoria is being overlooked and a single reference work that covers all species of bryophytes in Victoria remains to be completed. To address these shortcomings, species profiles, photographs and identification keys to all bryophyte taxa will eventually be provided on VicFlora, starting with the mosses. To be inclusive of a broad range of audiences with differing degrees of background knowledge, multi-access keys will be added, one for the mosses and one for the liverworts and hornworts. These keys will complement traditional dichotomous keys that will also be provided. The multi-access keys will provide a large number of characters, including both those that are easily interpreted by users with little background knowledge, such as distribution and leaf measurements, and some that require specialist knowledge. To identify a bryophyte with these multi-access keys the user gets the power to choose a set of characters that they can interpret correctly and that they can view in their specimen to be identified rather than being forced to choose between options in couplets of the dichotomous keys that they may not understand or be able to view. It is hoped that upon completion, the bryophyte extension to VicFlora will be a valuable resource for all interested audiences, from amateur naturalists to professional bryologists.

Presenting Author:  Daniel J. Ohlsen

Author Affiliation: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.