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GBIF data network helps map plants used in Aboriginal medicine

31 August 2011

The Customary Medicinal Knowledgebase (CMKb), based at Macquarie University, is teaming up with the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), which hosts the GBIF national node, to integrate medicinal knowledge with other information on Australian biodiversity.

A recent study modelled suitable ecological niches for more than 400 plant species that are of medicinal importance, using data accessed through the GBIF portal and Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH), one of the main resources contributing data to ALA.
The study, combining traditional knowledge with state-of-the-art ecological niche modelling technologies, was conducted by Dr Jitendra Gaikwad, Dr Peter Wilson and Prof Shoba Ranganathan (UNESCO Chair of Biodiversity Informatics) from Macquarie University. It was published in the journal Ecological Modelling.

The outcome was a map of potential “bio-cultural diversity hotspots”, areas suitable for the occurrence of multiple species known to be used in traditional medicine.

Read the full press release here.

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