TAXON team – Taxonomic diversity and systematics

Our research focuses on taxa, taxonomy, systematics, paleobotany and bioinformatics. Our objective is to document and study the origin, geographical distribution and evolution of plant species in the past and present. In terms of basic research, this work contributes to a better understanding of the plant biodiversity dynamics and its endogenous (innovations in collaboration with the INDIVIDUAL team) and exogenous (environment in collaboration with the COMMUNITY team) determinants. The team conduct also applied research for the management and conservation of native species, and the control of invasive species, mainly in tropical regions; we also contribute to the development of tools for computer-aided species identification that rely on collaborative data management systems developed in the MAIA cross-cutting team.

TAXON team works in several biogeographical regions (the Mediterranean Rim, Subsaharian Africa, tropical Asia and America, and the Pacific), with 50% of its members permanently positioned in these regions. The team is also involved in the management of plant collections at the IRD herbaria of Cayenne (CAY) and Nouméa (NOU) in French Guiana and New Caledonia, respectively, and also in the management of the UM herbarium of Montpellier (MPU) and parts of the UM collection of fossil plants. In collaboration with the INDIVIDUAL team, we are also involved in the management of a technical platform devoted to the preparation and analysis of anatomic structures in fresh and fossil plants, which are of critical importance for species identification.