About Us

Global registry of scientific names of fossil organisms covered by the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (formerly International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) and International Code of Zoological Nomenclature

IFPNI provides an authoritative online, open-access, community-generated registry of fossil plant nomenclature as a service to the global scientific community. Dynamic data base documents all nomenclatural novelties (new scientific names of extinct organisms) and associated data, including registration of the scientific publications containing nomenclatural acts and authors generated taxonomic literature in palaeobotany and palaeontology in general, and allied disciplines.

The goal of THE INTERNATIONAL FOSSIL PLANT NAMES INDEX (IFPNI) Project is to compile and maintain a comprehensive literature based record of the scientific names of all fossil plants, algae, fungi, allied prokaryotic forms, protists (ambiregnal organisms) and microproblematica.

IFPNI coverage

In modern science there is no comprehensive index of recorded fossil forms of algae, cyanobacteria and related prokaryotic microorganisms (interpreted in the past as algae), fungi and plants, which were all described since early XIX century up to our days. IFPNI is a pioneering attempt to compile the names of ALL fossil forms whatsoever attributed to Plant Kingdom and to accumulate comprehensive bibliographical record of taxonomic literature containing descriptions and illustrations of fossil organisms.

Fossil Generic Names

IFPNI incorporates data from the previously compiled, but now outdated Index of Generic Names of Fossil Plants, 1820-1965 (Andrews, 1955 & 1970), Index of generic names of fossil plants, 1966-1973 (A.M. Blazer, 1975), Index of generic names of fossil plants, 1974-1978 (A. D. Watt, 1978), and Index of generic names of fossil plants, 1979-2000 (J. Schultze-Motel, 2003). Numerous generic entries were revised and processed as for their validity in accord with the modern revised versions of the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (formerly International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. The final upload and nomenclatural processing of old generic names (published prior 2012) is expected by December, 2014. Generic names of extant organisms were uploaded into IFPNI when their extinct members were assigned taxonomically to extant taxa; IFPNI currently does not incorporate fossil record data for the living organisms.

Fossil Infrageneric Names

There is no separate available compilation of infrageneric names of fossil plant organisms; these names were and are used intermittently in the developing taxonomic classifications of fossils. Their input is expected to be done bit by bit when they would be recovered from the available taxonomic literature.

Fossil Suprageneric Names

Suprageneric names of fossil and extant algae, cyanobacteria, fungi and plants were extracted from Doweld’s Prosyllabus Tracheophytorum (2001) and published volumes of the New Syllabus of Plant Families (2005+). Suprageneric names of extant vascular plants (incomplete record of names when used in IFPI) were also verified against Indices Nominum Supragenericorum Plantarum Vascularium (http://www.plantsystematics.org/reveal/pbio/fam/allspgnames.html) and International Index of Plant Names (IPNI) (http://ipni.org/), Algae (including fossils) against Index Nominum Algarum (http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/INA.html), and bryophytes and hepatics against Bryophyte Names Authority List (http://www.mobot.org/mobot/tropicos/most/bryolist.shtml).

Fossil Spore and Pollen Names

The fossil spore and pollen taxonomic names are expected to be added in 2014-2017; the registration of not validly published sporomorph names and distinct Group (Turma) names of artificial system of classification of spores and pollens is processed at the same time as registration of validly published taxonomic names. The processing of the Jansonius & Hills’ Genera File of Fossil Spores (1976-2002) is expected to be finished in 2015. IFPNI will continue registration of fossil fungal sporomorphs, once described and earlier interpreted as spore sporomorphs.

Fossil Fungal Names

The fossil fungal taxonomic names, published between XIX century-2012, are expected to be added in 2014-2015 after verification against original taxonomic literature and new provisions of the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (formerly International Code of Botanical Nomenclature). IFPNI currently providing registration of fossil fungal names in coordination with Index Fungorum (http://www.indexfungorum.org/) and Mycobank (http://www.mycobank.org/). Fossil Cyanobacteria and Prokaryotic Names Registration of fossil cyanobacteria and related prokaryotic microorganisms is continued along with registration of fossil algae and related protist-like forms; however, it is planned in further to segregate all names of prokaryotic microorganisms into a separate International Index of Fossil Prokaryotes in 2015. At present time the revised version of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (formerly International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria) does not contain nomenclatural regulations for the fossil prokaryotic taxa. ‘Ambiregnal’ Fossil Microorganisms and Microproblematica IFPNI registers all previously described fossil taxa, once described or once interpreted as of plant nature, irrespective their current taxonomic position and reference to animal (protistan) or prokaryotic taxa. Special groups of fossil algae, which are considered simultaneously as fossil protists and therefore sometimes referred to animal kingdom (Chloromonada, Chrysomonada, Dinoflagellatae, Euglenomonada, Haptomonada, Prasinomonada, etc.), are registered with additional checking of their availability (validity) as for the homonymy and other provisions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

Type Specimens

IFPNI provides registration of lectotypes, neotypes, epitypes and other permissible typification for the fossil plant taxa. Since this type of registration of nomenclatural acts is sensitive as for correct application of the names in systematics, IFPNI Staff scrupulously evaluated users’ changes and additions to the database; erroneous or superfluous typification actions are not permissible and deleted from the system. IFPNI provides comfortable platform and tools for uploading of photos and inventory numbers of the types specimens which currently housed in Museums and Palaeontological Collections worldwide.

Taxonomic Literature (Palaeobotany)

Formation of the comprehensive Taxonomic Literature (Palaeobotany) as a result of registration of the scientific publications containing nomenclatural acts and scientific names is based on the format used in Taxonomic Literature II (http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/tl-2/index.cfm), including full bibliographic description of publications on the basis of the International Standard Bibliographical Documentation (ISBD) and providing working links to available digitized literature. Retroactive scanning of the principal botanical and geological journals and serials, once registered in IFPNI, as for new fossil plant names and nomenclatural acts, is done regularly by IFPNI Staff. Currently IFPNI analyzes and registers literature in 45 languages, viz. Abkhazian, Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Byelorussian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Korean, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moldavian, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tajik, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Uzbek, and Vietnamese. Publication titles are abbreviated according to Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum, Supplement (BPH/S) (1991) (http://fmhibd.library.cmu.edu/fmi/iwp/cgi?-db=BPH_Online&-loadframes) and Taxonomic Literature (TL-2) (http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/tl-2/search.cfm) (1976-1988) and its Supplements (TL-2/S) (1992-2000) with a few exceptions. IFPNI Staff continued bibliographic searches for missing in TL-2 precise publication dates of taxonomic literature as well as registration of newly published taxonomic publications beyond the coverage of TL-2 (1753-1940). For the purposes of data standardization, IFPNI accepts only original titles in native language, not their Latin, Cyrillic or other counterparts or parallel titles. When the alphabet of the language was changed (for example, Azerbaijani alphabet is currently based on Latin, although being originally based on Cyrillic in taxonomic publications), both versions of spelling are registered, but in the database IFPNI accepts only modern form of alphabet (Latin in case of Azerbaijani). Pinyin (formally Hanyu Pinyin) is the official IFPNI phonetic system for transcribing the Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet, which is also adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Transliteration of books and serials in Cyrillic and Eastern languages is done in accord with ISO standards. Since from 1 January 2012 electronic materials published online in Portable Document Format (PDF) with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) constitutes effective publication, the registration of published electronic publications has a priority in IFPNI data processing. Publishers and Authors are welcome to coordinate their publishing activity with pre-publication registration of the scientific names, taxonomic works and authors along with interim verification of the proposed new names as for putative homonymy or isonymy, and fulfillment the requirements of acting versions of the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (formerly International Code of Botanical Nomenclature) and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.


Author names are standardized against Brummitt and Powell’s Authors of Plant Names (1992) with minor changes and alterations reflected priority of author’s original spelling used in taxonomic publications. Transliteration of the author names in Cyrillic and Eastern languages are mostly done on the basis of the accepted author’s original spelling in his taxonomic works. When the alphabet of the language was changed (for example, Azerbaijani alphabet is currently based on Latin, although being originally based on Cyrillic in taxonomic publications), both versions of spelling are registered, but in database IFPNI accepts only modern form of alphabet (Latin in case of Azerbaijani). Pinyin (formally Hanyu Pinyin) is the official IFPNI phonetic system for transcribing the Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet, which is also adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).


The names of counties or their equivalents have been standardized using the Times Atlas of the World (12th ed., 2013) or Webster’s New Geographical Dictionary (3rd ed., 1997). Place names have been converted to their modern country equivalents, but the original name is retained in a comment field.


Names of palaeocontinents, terranes, tectonic plates, palaeo oceans and seas, mountain systems, palaeogeographic provinces are extracted from the available geological literature. Palaeogeographic names are used in IFPNI as well as modern geographical names in the correct describing of the distribution of fossil plant taxa in the geological history. A revised Synopsis of Palaeogeographic Names in Palaeobotany is planned to be produced in 2017 as a separate publication and special tool for advanced searches of the taxonomic database and palaeogeographical distribution of extinct plant taxa. Standardization of palaeogeographical names would be a separate subproject of the IFPNI to be planned in 2015-2017 to allow further mapping of the taxonomic record on the available reconstructed palaeomaps and palaeoatlases; this work is being done in collaboration with wide geological community.


Names of the global stratigraphic units (systems, series and stages) of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart and the subordinate units (periods, epochs, and age) of the International Geologic Time Scale are used when accepted by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) (http://www.stratigraphy.org/). When different names of stratigraphic units were used in the protologues of described plant fossils in the past, these are to be changed for the use in IFPNI in accord with modern International Geologic Time Scale (http://www.stratigraphy.org/index.php/ics-chart-timescale). Regional and outdated old stratigraphic units are mostly rejected or mentioned in a comment field when their precise age is still unknown or doubtful. We invite you to support IFPNI, but also to question our practices if you believe that we could be doing better for scientific community.

IFPNI is headquartered at the Fundamental Botanical Library, National Institute of Carpology (Gaertnerian Institution), Moscow, Russian Federation.

All enquiries should be addressed to:

Valentina Nazarenko (vandreevna@fossilplants.info) and Anna Pavlova (pavlova@fossilplants.info)
IFPNI Staff Managing editors
Fundamental Botanical Library
National Institute of Carpology (Gaertnerian Institution)
21-167 Konenkov Str.
tel./fax +7495-6258607; +7499-2074562
Copyright © The International Fossil Plant Names Index (IFPNI) Project. All rights reserved. To cite the IFPNI database, please use: IFPNI International Editorial Board, 2014-. The International Fossil Plant Names Index. http://www.fossilplants.info


Creation of Personal Account Since the IFPNI is a community-generated type of scientific data base, the creation of personal account is necessary for self-contribution of data missing in IFPNI. All of the contributions are reviewed by the IFPNI Editors. Regardless of the status of the user, they can accept, reject or query (pending further research). If the contribution is rejected, the changes will be rolled back using the information in the contribution object to restore the database to its previous condition. Apply for login from the Editors of the IFPNI; anonymous accounts prohibited. Once the account has been established, you may start adding content to IFPNI and also edit content that you created, or to comment the available content. However, if the user does not wish to establish your own user account, or if having trouble using the IFPNI website, you can send missing information to Editors of the IFPNI asking its upload within 7 working days. Users could contribute to IFPNI a sole type of data, one of Scientific Names, Taxonomic Publications, Author Names, or Taxonomic Opinions, or a combination of any of them.

Registration of Scientific Names

Users are asked to follow the proposed sequence of steps for easy and comfortable working with data input. Step 1. Before registering a new scientific name, not found in IFPNI, you need to register the publication in which the name was (or will be) established, or to use previously registered publication/book. If the Author of publication is still not entered into IFPNI system, please provide first available and accurate as much as possible known data on author names. Step 2. Register new names established in this work in order of rank, from highest to lowest, i.e. suprageneric names before registering generic names, and any new generic or infrageneric names before species or infraspecies names. Step 3. Once the scientific name registered, please specify its currently known nomenclatural status (valid name accepted in the system by default). If the name was not validly published, i.e. in contradiction to modern rules of botanical (http://www.iapt-taxon.org/nomen/main.php) or zoological (http://iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp) nomenclatures, please specify corresponding reasons or nomenclatural errors from the list of nomenclatural statuses. Step 4. Users could publish their own additional comments on the nomenclatural matters associated with any scientific name registered in IFPNI. IFPNI welcome professional taxonomic opinions issued in accord with modern rules of botanical (http://www.iapt-taxon.org/nomen/main.php) or zoological (http://iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp) nomenclatures.

Registration of Authors of Names

Users are asked to contribute data on Authors of Names. A special form is offered for data contribution. Users are requested to input accurate and reliable data stated with evidence, otherwise ask Editors to clarify the missing or possible confused contents. The IFPNI Staff will process such requests within 7 working days. Registration of Taxonomic Publications Users are permitted to contribute separate data on Taxonomic Publications containing nomenclatural acts and scientific names. Users are requested to follow standards of Taxonomic Literature-2 (http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/tl-2/index.cfm), namely standard abbreviations for use in taxonomic publications: abbreviations for the author's name, short titles and abbreviations of the short titles for publications, precise dates (including Day and Month of exact publication). In the context of IFPNI, only references of publications that are published works (in the sense of the Botanical and Zoological Codes) are registered. Publishers willing to register nearly published scientific names should provide a PDF copy of paper in press as well as effective date of publication after its exact printing/publishing (Day and Month) to Editors; LSIDs provided by IFPNI Staff within 48 hours. Contribution of Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Opinions Taxonomic and Nomenclatural opinions are solely responsibility of contributing users of IFPNI and do not have any official status, and therefore do not reflect opinions of IFPNI Editors. Users are requested to consult modern rules of botanical (http://www.iapt-taxon.org/nomen/main.php) or zoological (http://iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp) nomenclatures prior to publication their professional opinions on the nomenclatural and taxonomic matters. Editing of IFPNI content To edit content in IFPNI that was created by other users, you must become a recognized IFPNI Editor yourself. IFPNI welcome editorial input in a strong agreement to adhere to the established high professional standards. Please contact the IFPNI Editors by email at editors@fossilplants.info to learn more. Provide content by email If you would like to provide content to IFPNI but do not wish to establish your own user account, or if you are having trouble using the IFPNI website, you can send content by email. Please contact the IFPNI Editors by email at editors@fossilplants.info and provide content for further uploading to IFPNI. Please allow 7 days for a reply.

Useful links

Databases Algaebase: Listing the World's Algae http://www.algaebase.org Angiosperm Phylogeny Website http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/APweb/welcome.html Bibliography of Paleobotany http://paleobotany.bio.ku.edu/BiblioOfPaleo.htm Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum (BPH) http://fmhibd.library.cmu.edu/fmi/iwp/cgi?-db=BPH_Online&-loadframes Catalogue of Diatom Names http://research.calacademy.org/research/diatoms/names/index.asp The Compendium Index of North American Mesozoic and Cenozoic Type Fossil Plants http://peabody.research.yale.edu/pbci/ DINOFLAJ2 http://dinoflaj.smu.ca/wiki/Main_Page GeoScienceWorld http://www.geoscienceworld.org/ Geoscience e-Journals http://paleopolis.rediris.es/geosciences/ Index Fungorum: the global fungal nomenclator http://www.indexfungorum.org/ Index Nominum Algarum Bibliographia Phycologica Universalis http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/ina/ Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum) http://botany.si.edu/ing/ Indices Nominum Supragenericorum Plantarum Vascularium http://www.plantsystematics.org/reveal/pbio/fam/allspgnames.html Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature http://kbd.kew.org/kbd/searchpage.do Mycobank http://www.mycobank.org/ Nomenclator Zoologicus http://uio.mbl.edu/NomenclatorZoologicus/ The Paleobiology Database http://paleobiodb.org/#/ Proposals and Disposals for conservation or rejection of scientific names (Botany) http://botany.si.edu/references/codes/props/index.cfm Taxonomic Literature (TL-2) (1976-1988) http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/tl-2/search.cfm Zoobank: The Official Registry of Zoological Nomenclature http://zoobank.org/

Organisations and portals

Links for Palaeobotanists http://www.equisetites.de/palbot1.html Geology and Palaeontology of the Jurassic and Mesozoic http://jurassic.ru/ International Association for Plant Taxonomy http://www.iapt-taxon.org/index_layer.php International Commission of the Palaeozoic Microflora/Commission Internationale de la Microflore du Paléozoique (CIMP) http://cimp.weebly.com/ International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) http://www.stratigraphy.org/ International Federation of Palynological Societies http://www.geo.arizona.edu/palynology/ifps.html International Organisation of Palaeobotany (IOP) http://www.palaeobotany.org/ Paleomap Project http://www.scotese.com/


Digital Library of the Royal Botanic Garden (CSIC) http://bibdigital.rjb.csic.es/ing/index.php Biodiversity Heritage Library http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/ Botanicus http://www.botanicus.org/browse Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) http://doaj.org/ Electronic Sites of Botany, Plant Biology and Plant Science Journals http://www.e-journals.org/botany/ Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek EZB (Electronic Journals Library) http://rzblx1.uni-regensburg.de/ezeit/index.phtml?bibid=AAAAA&colors=7&lang=en Europeana http://www.europeana.eu/ Fundamental Electronic Library “Flora and Fauna”/Фундаментальная электронная библиотека «Флора и фауна» http://ashipunov.info/shipunov/school/sch-ru.htm Gallica http://gallica.bnf.fr/


46877 names from 5476 publications from 1186 journals and 606 books authored by 3227 authors are registered on this website.