Despite the accelerated loss of biodiversity observed since the second half of the 20th century, it is assumed that c. 400 000 species of plants still inhabit the planet; but knowledge on this diversity is largely fragmentary. This is particularly true for the tropical and subtropical regions of the globe that are both species-rich and strongly impacted by the destruction of the natural habitats and the global climate change.
To progress on the general knowledge and preservation of this fragile and exceptional diversity (1) we describe and analyse species morphological and ecological patterns (species descriptions, publication of floristic treatments and identification keys), and (2) we reconstruct phylogenetic relationships for various groups of plants. This work contributes to the continuous update of the phylogenetic classification of life (systematics) and to the knowledge on the state of biodiversity; this information is key to the global policies towards preservation of the natural heritage.
Our current projects in taxonomy and systematics are centred around several large flowering plant and conifer families (Asteraceae, Commelinaceae, Cupressaceae, Gesneriaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Iridaceae, Magnoliaceae, Pinaceae, Ranunculaceae and Solanaceae), various regions of the world (Caribbean, Madagascar, Mediterranean region, South America and Tropical Asia) and make use of a large range of methods and biological material.