Some people say that the flora of this tiny city-state is among the most well-documented in the world.
In terms of species lists, and for the tropics at least, we seem to have a pretty comprehensive record of what WAS here, what IS here, and given our small size, it would be easier for us than for others to carry on recording what WILL BE found here, as well as what will be going extinct.
But given the dearth of plant autecological studies, not just in Singapore but throughout the tropics, we hardly know anything about many of our plant species aside from their names. Although we are armed with our species lists, we are scarcely able to make full use of it to understand or make predictions on the impacts of urban development on ecosystems.
To catch up on this backlog of unresearched knowledge, it would probably take us another decade or two, by the time which ecological sophistication would have moved even further. Also, who would want to fund and support such research, which has been though of as so 19th century?
There is a way, however. We can attempt to make use of technology and information tools to share our combined knowledge. Through incremental efforts, disparate bits and pieces of information from book floras, annotated checklists and online databases, as well as anecdoctal observations and published studies, can be put together in one place for easy cross-reference. Several plant-based biodiversity projects are always going on, and if the outputs can be summarised back to the same information source that they drew from, we can streamline the way our knowledge will grow.
This blog is an attempt to bring together community and academic knowledge of plant biodiversity and ecology in Singapore. We will attempt to list all vascular plant species, of all habitats ranging from dipterocarps to seagrasses, whether exotic like the iconic raintree or Koster’s curse, or native like the sole surviving endemic Spatholobus ridleyi. With multiple pairs of eyes but one mouthpiece, this blog will be our combined notepad and textbook for information on the vascular plant flora of Singapore.