W. Szafer Institute of Botany of the Polish Academy of Sciences is an important research center in the field of evolution and biological diversity of organisms traditionally classified as plants and fungi, their present and past distribution on Earth, as well as their interaction with the biotic and abiotic environment. Studies and experiments are carried out here at all scales of the organization of the living world, from molecular to ecosystem level. The Institute maintains and develops the largest collection of contemporary and fossil botanical and mycological specimens in the country, numbering approximately 1.5 million objects. These unique herbarium collections, very diverse in terms of the representation of systematic groups from all continents, are known under the international acronym KRAM and have been included into the Polish Roadmap for Research Infrastructures under the name of the
National Biodiversity Collection of Recent and Fossil Organisms at IB PAS (NKB IB PAN). Together with the databases of vascular plants and cryptogams (bryophytes, algae, fungi including lichens, and myxomycetes) created at the Institute, documenting biodiversity on a global scale, they constitute the basis for research carried out by the Institute's research staff in extensive international cooperation.