Mining species number of any plant family

Here in this article, we show how to use the package’s function powoFam for mining the species number for any family of flowering plants. By providing a family name or a vector of family names, the powoFam function visits each POWO page of the genera within the queried family(ies) to extract the accepted species number. Then, it sums these values to deliver the total species number within each plant family.


Install the latest development version of expowo from GitHub:


Mining the total species number for any angiosperm family

The function powoFam returns a dataframe or saves a CSV file listing the total species number (excluding hybrid species) for the queried plant families.

The example below shows how to mine the total species number by defining a vector of three families: Cabombaceae, Lecythidaceae, and Martyniaceae. The resulting output (TABLE 1) is also saved directly in the specified directory results_powoFam.

CLM <- powoFam(family = c("Cabombaceae", "Lecythidaceae", "Martyniaceae"),
               verbose = TRUE,
               save = FALSE,
               dir = "results_powoFam/",
               filename = "Camb_Lecy_Martyniaceae_diversity")
TABLE 1. A general powoFam search for mining the total species number of three angiosperm families.
family species_number kew_id powo_uri
Cabombaceae 7 77126578-1
Lecythidaceae 381 30000348-2
Martyniaceae 14 77126797-1

Mining species number accross all angiosperm families

To mine the species number of all families of flowering plants, we recommend to load the data frame-formatted object called POWOcodes that comes associated with the expowo package. The POWOcodes data object already contains the URI addresses for all angiosperms families recognized in the POWO database, so you just need to call it to your R environment.

The example below shows how to mine the species number of all plant families by using the vector of all angiosperm families and associated URI addresses stored in the POWOcodes object.


ALL_fam <- powoFam(POWOcodes$family,
                   verbose = TRUE,
                   save = FALSE,
                   dir = "results_powoFam/",
                   filename = "all_angiosperms_species_number")