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Melastomataceae occur in all tropical biomes, are abundant, ecologically important, and comprise many horticulturally important species. The family comprises an estimated 3,000 "good" species in the Neotropics, 240 in Africa, 230 on Madagascar, and about 1,000 in Asia. One genus, Rhexia, is endemic in North America. The sister clade of Melastomataceae, Memecylaceae, comprises 500 species, most of them in the paleotropics. The site Melastomataceae.Net will present information on the biodiversity of these two families by providing a portal to open-access databases, starting with MEL names. MEL names is a service for accessing the ca. 13,278 names of Melastomataceae and Memecylaceae with information on recognized species, synonymous names, and literature; MEL occurrence will deliver data on distribution of species and genera. The project was funded by a ECAT seed money award given by GBIF International 2005. The IT infrastructure is based on that developed for LIAS with the underlying database application DiversityTaxonNames as part of the Diversity Workbench framework.


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