The new Biological Flora of the British Isles database

The Journal of Ecology team are delighted to present the new Biological Flora of the British Isles database! Accounts covering over 300 species have been published to date – find them all in the new database. BFBI Editor Tony Davy introduces the database below. 

Have you ever struggled to find out whether there is an account of a species you are interested in the Biological Flora of the British Isles series or, for that matter, how to access one you suspect exists?

Such difficulties would not be surprising, because these monographic accounts of the ecology of individual British species have been published in the Journal of Ecology at an average rate of about four per year since 1941. They have been published as they became available from willing authors and in no particular order. The current tally is 288 separate accounts, covering 348 species.

Our new online database now provides extremely easy access to the whole publication history of the Biological Flora project.


You can search by species, author, year, and also browse species accounts A-Z.

The alphabetical list of scientific names also displays the author names, year of publication and doi; in addition, it provides links to entries in the Ecological Flora database and, where available, to information in the databases of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI).

Clicking on the scientific name takes you directly to the account itself – accounts published from 1999 onwards are available to access free of charge, and articles published before 1999 can be accessed online through JSTOR. You can browse the species using the A-Z tool, and search for accounts by species name, author name or year of publication using the search tool.

The names are according to Stace (2010), although sometimes older names are used in the original accounts. The accounts themselves generally include synonyms used up to the time of publication. New species will be added to the database as they are published.

Browsing the database reveals that, sadly, many important and interesting species have not yet been covered. Moreover, some of the early accounts are woefully out of date, although a few of these have been replaced recently (in which case both accounts are in the database).

If you cannot find an account of your favourite species, why not offer to write it? Please do get in touch ( if you are interested in contributing an account.

Anthony Davy, University of East Anglia, UK, and Biological Flora of the British Isles Editor. 

One thought on “The new Biological Flora of the British Isles database

  1. Pingback: Meet the Biological Flora Associate Editors | Journal of Ecology Blog

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