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Korean J. Pl. Taxon > Volume 29(3); 1999 > Article
Korean Journal of Plant Taxonomy 1999;29(3): 275-284.
doi: https://doi.org/10.11110/kjpt.1999.29.3.275
한국 식물지와 식물상 연구의 중요성
Flora of Korea and the role of floristic study
Hyoung Tak Im
The term “Species diversity” is widely used not only in the academic circle but also among general public. The coming 21st century is called “the Century of Ecological Environment.” These phenomena can be said to reflect the increasing social consensus on the species diversity. The first step of scientific approach to species diversity begins through plant taxonomy, more specifically, with floristic research. Plant taxonomy in Korea, compared with other field, has seen a leap of development recently. Molecular taxonomy has formed the main stream of taxonomy studies in the 1990s with the efforts of young researchers who had entered the academic circle in the 1990s. A great majority of laboratories carry out taxonomical studies (γ-taxonomy) which parallel those of advanced countries. However, the compilation of the Flora of Korea is a goal yet too far away to achieve at the moment. The Flora reflects the level of taxonomical study of a country. Even those countries economically less developed than Korea such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam have their own florae. China is actively working on not only national flora but also regional florae. Even North Korea published national flora in 1972. One the biggest problems that Korean plant taxonomy has is that no satisfactory study has been made on the contemporary interpretation of Nakai species. Dr. Nakai reported about 181 taxa endemic to Korea. First of all, information on geographical distribution is necessary to overcome this problem. However, many species groups are recognized only through description and several specimens. To work out these problems, we need to renew our understanding of Korean flora and floristic study. Currently, we suffer from the absolute lack of basic information such as on geographical distribution, ecological condition of habitat, and life history. Some well-known mountain areas have been examined so far; but more detailed information is badly needed on each region of Korea. Finally, there remains a big problem as well in the management and operation of herbarium. The significance
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