Online identification keys for the German Open Nature Guides
The German Project "Open Nature Guides" (Offene Naturführer) supports the individual exploration of biodiversity by providing free online identification tools to users. While experienced and dedicated amateurs are often willing to pay significant amounts of money for reliable printed identification tools, newcomers often resort to small booklets which neither reflect the true diversity nor offer reliable identification. Interested young people often explore nature topics through Wikipedia alone, where they can get information for names, but not for those individual plants, animals, or fungi in their own vicinity that would first have to be identified. Online tools offer the ability to disseminate comprehensive and richly illustrated identification keys free of charge. The goal is to invite new interested circles, especially among young people with a preference of informing themselves through digital media on the Internet or their mobile devices (Smartphones, tablets, etc.) in exploring the biodiversity of the nature that is close to them.
The "Studienstiftung Mykologie" provided support incentives to create keys for the following three genera.
- Pluteus Fr. – Dachpilze
- Boletus L. sensu stricto – Dickröhrlinge
- Amanita Pers. – Wulstlinge, Streiflinge
The keys now serve as exemplar keys to invite further contributors. The recipients of the stipend gratefully acknowledge the support of the Studienstiftung Mykologie!