Plants, lichens and bryophytes in Baden-Württemberg - taxonomy, distribution and use

Research on native plants i is also a top priority for the Botany team at the SMNK. This work has contributed to scientific research in Baden-Württemberg for decades and is reflected in a large number of extensive books.


The work "Flechten Baden-Württembergs" was published as early as 1987, followed by a new edition in 1995, as an overall presentation of all lichens in the state, with distribution maps and complete genus diagnoses, identification keys for all species, and data on ecology, distribution and endangerment of all in southwest Germany and far beyond The species protection work "Farn- und Blütenpflanzen Baden-Württembergs" in eight volumes followed in 1990. The work described all wild growing ferns and flowering plants in Baden-Württemberg with their characteristics, ecology, distribution and need for protection, and contained a distribution map for each species In the years 2000-2005 the three-volume series "Moose Baden-Württembergs" was published, and "Die Großpilze Baden-Württembergs", published between 2000-2010, completed the inventory of plants and fungi in the state.Many of the published volumes are now out of print, or only available second-hand at exorbitant prices daily.


While all works provide an excellent overview of the taxonomy, ecology, distribution and endangerment of the species discussed, any information on use is missing. This is all the more regrettable since we now know more about the use of plants and fungi worldwide, e.g. in the Caucasus, the Himalayas and the Andes, than in the Black Forest or Adelegg.


That should be remedied. Our new project "Plants, lichens and bryophytes in Baden-Württemberg - taxonomy, distribution and use" will try to collect information about historical, recent and potential future use ("local and traditional knowledge") of all plant and lichen species in Baden-Württemberg in the coming years.


Why is that important?

The incorporation of traditional knowledge into the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) was a fundamental milestone both in recognizing its value and importance and in demonstrating its close relationship to the protection and use of biological diversity. This convention recognizes the close interdependence that indigenous and local communities have for biological resources and stipulates that parties must respect, preserve and promote traditional knowledge relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.


Traditional knowledge is seen as a source of information for designing environmental policies related to biodiversity. As part of the Intergovernmental Scientific-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), scientific findings are supplemented with data from traditional knowledge in order to promote measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in a more effective and understandable manner. To this end, the creation of inventories of traditional knowledge on biodiversity should be widely promoted.


Our planned inventory of traditional knowledge about biodiversity focuses on traditional knowledge about Baden-Württemberg's plant and lichen wild biodiversity. The inventory collects previously published traditional knowledge from works where the knowledge was captured through direct data collection, e.g. through on-site interviews with local participants. Traditional knowledge is dynamic and has diffuse boundaries, i.e. it is always evolving. In order to preserve knowledge, there is an urgent need to promote the transmission of traditional knowledge to new generations.