Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Issue 9, March 2015


New Coprosma identification app for Android and Apple

A new Coprosma app is the first of several LucidMobile identification apps being developed in New Zealand for smartphones and tablets (Android and Apple (iOS) formats). The NZ Coprosma Key app extends the accessibility of the online Java-based Lucid key for PCs and Macs developed by David Glenny, Jane Cruickshank, Chris Morse and Jeremy Rolfe.

Coprosma is a large, diverse and important genus. The interactive key enables users to identify any of the 53 species of Coprosma currently recognised in New Zealand. The key is designed for those with some experience in plant identification and who can recognise the genus. The key is supported by a factsheet for each species and 500 images of flowers, fruit, leaves and other characters. Each factsheet provides all the information needed to verify the identification. All parts of the key are built into the app so once downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet it can be used in the field where there is no Internet access.

The Coprosma app is publicly available on the Android Google Play Store and Apple’s iTunes. It is free to download.

Other LucidMobile plant identification apps under development at Landcare Research include keys for native and naturalised grasses, native orchids, flowering plant genera and weeds of New Zealand. These will similarly draw on the Lucid data driving the online versions on our website. Murray Dawson is leading the project, in collaboration with Identic, the Lucid software identification and diagnostic developers in Australia. As a result of this dialogue, Murray has been appointed to their informal Advisory Group, which should help influence the ongoing development of this class-leading identification software.

Funding for the five apps, including the NZ Coprosma Key, was provided by the New Zealand TFBIS  Terrestrial  & Freshwater Biodiversity Information System Programme.

~Murray Dawson, Researcher

Resources available at the Allan Herbarium

Staff of the Allan Herbarium create and maintain a number of information sources. These include:

Scientific Names. A list relevant to the New Zealand flora is maintained in the Plant Names Database. This includes information on accepted and vernacular names, origin and occurrence, and associated literature. It is made accessible, along with selected specimen data, via the Ngā Tipu o Aotearoa website as a searchable resource and as published reports (links accessible on home page).

Floras. There is an active research programme producing the next generation of a Flora of New Zealand – the ‘eFlora’. This programme aims not only to provide new taxonomic treatments, but also to deliver this research in a variety of formats. To date this information is available as general, weed and/or image gallery profiles, and the taxonomic treatments as PDF documents via the eFlora website.

In addition to the eFlora, the older, hard-copy volumes of the New Zealand Flora series have been converted to electronic format. These are available on the Flora of New Zealand Series website, and descriptions are also included in Ngā Tipu o Aotearoa and the eFlora where appropriate.

Specimen Data. There is an active programme to capture the primary data from herbarium specimens (e.g. locality, collectors, identification) and to photograph significant specimens (e.g. type specimens). This information is made accessible via the Systematics Collection Data website, along with specimen and culture data from the other biological collections curated by Landcare Research.

key_menuIdentification Keys. In addition to the dichotomous keys included in the Floras, staff have developed a number of interactive identification keys. These include keys to flowering plant genera, Coprosma, grasses, weed species, Cotoneaster and orchids.

~Peter Heenan, Researcher, and Ines Schönberger, Herbarium Manager

Recent publications involving Allan Herbarium researchers

Breitwieser I, Ford K, Smissen R 2015. Characterisation of SSR markers for New Zealand Craspedia and their application in Kahurangi National Park. New Zealand Journal of Botany. [early view online]

Dawson M 2014. On distant shores: New Zealand's natives as weeds abroad. New Zealand Garden Journal 17(1): 10–24.

Himmelreich S, Breitwieser I, Oberprieler C 2014. Phylogenetic relationships in the extreme polyploid complex of the New Zealand genus Leptinella (Compositae: Anthemideae) based on AFLP data. Taxon 63(4): 883–898.

Muralidhar A, Broady PA, MacIntyre DP, Wilcox MD, Garrill A, Novis PM 2014. Morphological and phylogenetic characterization of seven species of Vaucheria (Xanthophyceae), including two new species, from contrasting habitats in New Zealand. Phytotaxa 186(3): 117–136.

Novis P, Broady P 2014. Reclaiming the term algae for the Cyanobacteria. New Zealand Journal of Botany 52(4): 446–448.

Williams S, King J, Revell M, Manley Harris M, Balks M, Janusch F, Kiefer M, Clearwater M, Brooks P, Dawson M 2014. Regional, annual, and individual variations in the dihydroxyacetone content of the nectar of mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) in New Zealand. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62(42): 10332–10340.

In addition, eFlora treatments of 19 families, including representatives of mosses, ferns and lycophytes, and seed plants have been recently published. These can be found at

Examples include:

Beever JE 2014. Fissidentaceae. In: Heenan PB, Breitwieser I, Wilton AD eds Flora of New Zealand: Mosses. Fascicle 8. Lincoln, Manaaki Whenua Press.

Brownsey PJ, Perrie LR 2014. Lygodiaceae. In: Breitwieser I, Heenan PB, Wilton AD eds Flora of New Zealand: Ferns and lycophytes. Fascicle 2. Lincoln, Manaaki Whenua Press.

Fife AJ 2014. Amblystegiaceae. In: Heenan P, Breitwieser I, Wilton A eds Flora of New Zealand: Mosses. Fascicle 1. Lincoln, Manaaki Whenua Press.

Ford KA 2014. Centrolepidaceae. In: Breitwieser I, Brownsey P, Heenan P, Wilton A eds Flora of New Zealand: Seed plants. Fascicle 2. Lincoln, Manaaki Whenua Press.

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