LIAS is a global information system for Lichenized and Non-Lichenized Ascomycetes. It includes several interoperable data repositories.
In recent years, the two core components ‘LIAS names’ and ‘LIAS light’ have been much enlarged.
LIAS light is storing phenotypic trait data. They includes > 10,300 descriptions (about 2/3 of all known lichen species), each with up to 75 descriptors comprising 2,000 traits (descriptor states and values), including 1,000 secondary metabolites. 500 traits may have biological functions and more than 1,000 may have phylogenetic relevance. LIAS is thus one of the most comprehensive trait databases in organismal biology. The online interactive identification key for more than 10,000 lichens is powered by the Java applet NaviKey and has been translated into 19 languages (besides English) in cooperation with lichenologists worldwide.
The component ‘LIAS names’ is a platform for managing taxonomic names and classifications with currently >45,000 names, including the c. 10,300 accepted species and recognized synonyms.
The LIAS portal contents, interfaces, and databases run on servers of the IT Center of the Bavarian Natural History Collections and are maintained there. 'LIAS names' and ‘LIAS light’ also deliver content data to the Catalogue of Life, acting as the Global Species Database (GSD) for lichens. LIAS is powered by the Diversity Workbench database framework with several interfaces for data management and publication. The LIAS long-term project was initiated in the early 1990s and has since been continued with funding from the DFG, the BMBF, and the EU.