Botanists from the Slovak Academy of Sciences have been mapping the Slovak flora already for more than 50 years
Scientists from the Department of Vascular Plant Taxonomy at the Institute of Botany of the Plant Science and Biodiversity Center SAS are engaged in the study of wild-growing vascular plants of the temperate zone. They carry out modern research using classic but also sophisticated methods, the output of which are scientific publications published in the top scientific journals. They focus on endemic and protected species, as well as invasive and non-native plants. Since 1966, they have been publishing their results in the form of an extensive multi-volume work called Flóra Slovenska, which belongs to one of the basic overview works on the vegetation of Slovakia.
The result of a decades-long systematic inventory of the Slovak flora is an edition of fifteen book publications that summarize knowledge about plant taxa in Slovakia.“Each volume contains a detailed list of species, families and genera of vascular plants found in Slovakia. The records are supplemented by a graphic description, biological properties, ecology and a detailed map of the spread of the given plant,” explains Marek Slovák from the Department of Vascular Plant Taxonomy.
An important part of the mapping of the Slovak flora are databases of Slovak and Latin names, chromosomes and a detailed spread of plant species in Slovakia. “These databases are of great importance to us, scientists, because they allow us to participate in international European projects, such as the Horizont 2020 projects,” says Slovák.
All species described in the Flóra Slovenska are documented and stored in the herbarium of the Institute of Botany PSBC SAS, which is one of the largest in Slovakia. The herbarium collection was founded in 1953 and today keeps more than 100,000 items.
Before the beginning of the publication of individual volumes of the Flóra Slovenska, only Gustáv Reuss described the complete flora of Slovakia in the work Květena Slovenska čili opis všech jevnosnubných divorostoucích rostlin published in 1853.
Text and photo: Katarína Gáliková
Video: Martin Bystriansky