New perspectives on plant biodiversity in Germany.
Importance and protection of biodiversity is common sense in Germany shown by notable media coverage and many publicly funded programs to support certain species up to whole ecosystems. Plants have a huge influence on biodiversity since they represent largely the first layer of the food chain and deserve therefore special attention. In the past great work has been done to capture and share knowledge about plant species through books and paintings (e.g. Ciba-Geigy Weed Tables, etc.). Together with public research institutions, the crop protection industry has a profound knowledge of plant species in agricultural fields. We report here on new options around digital agronomy, especially smartphone applications, and provide a sound overview on what is available and useful, including our new app Proximais® containing phenotypic and ecological information of 320 European weeds. It is intended to provide valuable support to farmers during weed identification and management. In addition to such new practical capabilities, this new technology has a great potential to increase and update our knowledge about plant species further. Enlarging the plant species database beyond classical weeds while enlarging the user base could, for the first time, allow a broad documentation and mapping of plant species on agricultural land in Germany.