Coordinating work on regional and global diversity of Carex (Cyperaceae), the largest angiosperm genus of the temperate zone

09/26/2011 - 09/30/2011

Chicago, IL, USA

Carex (Cyperaceae) is the largest angiosperm genus of the temperate zone and ecologically important in floodplain forests, dry prairies, alpine meadows, peat lands, swamp forests, sedge meadows, and a wide range of other communities. This meeting will bring together systematists from North America, Europe, East Asia and Australia, floristic specialists from the Western Great Lakes Region, and the EOL’s LifeDesk staff to:

  1. Synthesize and publish online (through LifeDesks) a synonymized checklist of the estimated 2,100 species of Carex worldwide (e.g., and, organized by traditional sections and major clades identified in recent phylogenetic studies;
  2. Create a set of online portals in LifeDesks to global Carex taxonomy, literature, species pages, images, and identification keys, and evaluate alternative technologies for serving biodiversity data to conservation professionals;
  3. Publish online species pages for the ca. 200 Carex species of the Western Great Lakes Region through creation of new content and migration of existing content written for the Chicago region, as well as a representative sample of global Carex species;
  4. Create online keys for the ca. 200 Carex species of the Great Lakes region, emphasizing common and ecologically significant taxa relevant to Chicago Wilderness's conservation and education efforts, utilizing the Field Museum’s Keys to Nature system (;
  5. Create a five-year plan for the creation of LifeDesks species pages for Carex worldwide;
  6. Collaborate in enhancing the functionality of LifeDesks, allowing for more flexible online publication of versioned, citable checklists; and
  7. Provide sufficient training and buy-in for participants so that they and their students will contine to add and modify content for Carex in the on-line checklist, EOL species pages, and Keys to Nature online keys.

The meeting provides an opportunity for collaboration and communication between regional
workers and global experts in the systematics and evolution of Carex. It also brings together
EOL / LifeDesks staff with a diverse community of plant systematists and conservationists to
enhance the utility of LifeDesks for the entire EOL community.

Photo © Kurt Stueber, 2003