Abstract Detail

Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Hubbard, Sierra [1], Fishbein, Mark [2].

Analyzing spatial bias in herbarium data in Oklahoma and Texas.

Digitized herbarium collections are valuable sources of data for many types of plant research, especially those focused on spatial distributions. However, herbarium data are often spatially biased; easily accessible locations are often overrepresented in herbaria, while remote locations are underrepresented. These spatial biases are compounded by the lack of digitization and georeferencing efforts in certain regions. The Texas Oklahoma Regional Consortium of Herbaria (TORCH) database currently houses ~1.2 million vascular plant records, but only ~30% have been assigned geographic coordinates. Additional georeferencing improves data accessibility for researchers and can help address spatial bias, but it is necessary to develop methods for prioritizing locations for georeferencing. My objective is to analyze the spatial distribution of herbarium collections in Oklahoma and Texas to identify underrepresented locations that should be targeted for additional collection and/or georeferencing efforts. At the county scale and at a 0.5° raster resolution, examination of herbarium record abundances, the proportions of georeferenced records, and species richness estimates calculated using rarefactions has revealed major gaps in herbarium data across north and northwest Texas. There are very few records collected from many counties in this region, and the majority of those records have not yet been georeferenced. I have identified certain counties which could greatly improve regional species richness estimates if targeted for digitization and georeferencing. In addition, my findings suggest that low diversity estimates in some counties are likely due to low sampling efforts rather than a lack of digitization, and that these counties are in greater need of additional collections.

1 - Oklahoma State University, Plant Biology, Ecology & Evolution, 301 Physical Sciences, Stillwater, OK, 74075, USA
2 - Oklahoma State University, Dept Of Plant Biology, Ecology & Evolution, 301 Physical Science, Stillwater, OK, 74078, United States

Herbarium Digitization

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: BI&HD II005
Abstract ID:378
Candidate for Awards:None

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