Regional flora: Hunting for plants.
Text: Noëmi Kern
What plants are growing in Basel? To answer this question, in 2021, “Flora beider Basel” (Flora of Basel cantons) launched a citizen science project – a project in which the public is encouraged to participate.
Botany fans have recorded over 1,500 sightings of threatened plant species since the project was first launched. These include reports of populations that had not been observed for over 40 years. “That’s an impressive testament to the diversity of our region,” says Ramon Müller, who is clearly pleased with the results. Ramon Müller is general manager of the project and a research associate in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Basel. Around 100 volunteers currently involved in the project document more common species as well. Staff at the University of Basel lend their academic expertise to the process of identifying and cataloging the species found by the volunteers. Nature conservation organizations and the Species Conservation Office of the Canton of Basel-Stadt are also involved in the project. In the 17th century, Basel's own Professor of Botany Caspar Bauhin (1560–1624) penned one of the world's very first local floras.
More articles in this issue of UNI NOVA (May 2023).