GENMEDA members

Institut Scientifique de Rabat (ISR)

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Country: Morocco | Region: Rabat

The Department of Botany and Plant Ecology, at the Scientific Institute of Mohammed V University in Rabat – Morocco, is dedicated to cataloging the wild and spontaneous flora of the country. Conducting research in floristics, taxonomy, systematics, and ecology, both in the field and in the laboratory, the department utilizes its national herbarium, RAB, which boasts 160,000 specimens, including 1,200 type samples, uniquely recognized worldwide in North Africa (GPI, Global Plants Initiative). A significant achievement is the completion of the Practical Flora of Morocco, a comprehensive guide to plant species, released in 2014 with its third and final volume.

Established in 1920, the National Herbarium RAB is a cornerstone in Moroccan botanical research, housing approximately 160,000 vascular plant specimens, over 1,200 North African types, and more than 2,000 remarkable taxa. Notably, it contains extensive collections of lichens, bryophytes, and fungi, the latter being unique to Morocco. Collaborating with institutions like Montpellier and Paris, RAB's rich history and continuous enrichment make it a globally recognized and essential resource.

Efforts include digitization, with the Global Plants Initiative (GPI) and the African Plants Initiative (API) leading the way. Financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation facilitated the digitization of types and remarkable taxa. Collaboration with the MNHN Paris through the E-ReColNat project further advances the digitization and computerization of RAB, a crucial endeavor for national heritage and future generations.

In the short, medium, and long term, digitization revolutionizes botany and biodiversity conservation, positioning RAB to align with global herbarium advancements. The ongoing E-ReColNat project ensures the continued digitization of RAB's types and remarkable taxa.

The department is involved in various projects, including floristic databases, electronic flora, a red list of vascular flora, phytosociological databases, and the establishment of a seed bank for wild species, prioritizing endemics (seeds of 1500 species, of which 600 are endemic, are collected). These initiatives reflect the commitment to scientific advancement, biodiversity conservation, and the enduring legacy of botanical knowledge in Morocco.

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Jalal El Oualidi - +212 661 082 498 -

Chouaib Moujahdi - +212 669 956 951 -