Australian Vegetation Attribute Manual

National Vegetation Information System, Version 6.0
Executive Steering Committee for Australian Vegetation Information (ESCAVI)
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISBN 0 642 54953 2

Appendix B: Recommended Abbreviations and Contractions for Entering Taxonomic Data into NVIS

The following abbreviations were adapted from Chapman (2002) and the Herbarium Information Standards and Protocols for Interchange of Data (HISPID4, 2000). HISPID was developed by a committee of representatives from all Australian Herbaria.

cv. - cultivar
f. - form/ forma
fam. - family
gen. nov. - genus novus – a newly described genus
ined. - ineditus (unpublished)
ms. - manuscript (unpublished manuscript name - generally follows an author name)
p.p. - pro parte (in part)
sect. - section/sectio
s. lat. - sensu lato (in the broad sense)
s. str. - sensu stricto (in the narrow or strict sense)
sp. - species (singular)
sp. aff. - species with affinity to …, or close to … (NB. ‘aff. sp.’ should not be used)
sp. nov. - species novus – a newly described species (NB. ‘nov. sp.’ should not be used)
spp. - species (plural)
ssp. - (not preferred - see subsp.)
subg. - subgenus
subsp. - subspecies
subspp. - subspecies (plural)
syn. - synonym
var. - variety


  • The above abbreviations are normally used in the INFRASPECIFIC_RANK attribute in the Taxon_Lists table and in the appropriate place in the full taxon name in the attribute TAXON_DATA_DESCRIPTION in the Taxon_Data table.
  • Where full stops are shown, these should be recorded in the data.
  • Species names in the NVIS database are input, managed and output in normal, not italic typeface. Future output tools, perhaps based on XML, may include the facility to output species names in italics.
  • The common practice in the written literature of abbreviating the genus to its initial capital letter is not permitted in the NVIS database, since ambiguity would soon result.
  • Hybrids add considerable complexity to a database (HISPID4, 2000) and are not presently catered for in NVIS.
  • The above abbreviations have been combined from the allowable values for HISPID4 (2000) fields: spql and isprk.