Vancouver, BC – A $20-million project that will help discover unknown species of Canada’s plants, fungi and insects, and improving environmental management of the countrys biodiversity, has received $213,000 in funding from the BC government.
The funding supports the Canadian University Biodiversity Consortium project, which includes 12 universities that are creating a networked database of all biodiversity-related information held in Canadian institutions.
The BC contribution is being led by the University of British Columbia at the UBC Botanical Garden and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, where areas of research include the evolution of jumping spiders and the sex life of sunflowers.
Canadas capacity to identify new species and preserve existing collections has declined in recent years but there are several important collections in universities, museums and botanical gardens. The consortium will gather the information in these collections and the expertise of more than 40 research participants to create a web-based, information-rich database that can be accessed by anyone with an interest in Canadas animal and plant life.
Biological collections are used for determining species and ecosystem responses to climate change and other environmental disturbances, to biological invasions, and to forestry and agricultural practices.