Abstract Detail

Floristics in North America: Current needs, priorities and opportunities

Snow, Neil [1].

Floristics in North America: Current needs, priorities and opportunities.

Floristics is the intensive field surveying of a given area to document its plant diversity. Typically running two or more flowering seasons, the results of such surveys normally include detailed annotated checklists of the plant taxa, as well as aspects of species´┐Ż distributions, native or non-native status, relative frequency of occurrence, comments regarding taxa of conservation concern, and other relevant variables. Floristic surveys may occur on private or public lands, on small parcels, or across large geographic regions that encompass one or more counties. Given that floristic surveys often represent a first approximation of plant diversity, some may inaccurately believe that one floristic survey area adequately documents the diversity of a given area. Despite over 300 years of plant collecting in North America, locally intensive floristic surveys continue to yield remarkably high levels of state (double-digit) records, county (triple-digit) records, and taxa new to science. These new reports reflect not just sparsely settled portions of the Rockies and Intermountain region, but also in heavily agricultural areas such as Kansas and Oklahoma, and densely populated states such as California, New York, and Texas. The southeast and Appalachians continue to yield a steady stream of new taxa, as do the western states. The newly proposed taxa are not due solely to taxonomic splitting based on molecular studies. Remote parts of Canada are now experiencing their first floristic surveys. Moreover, recent work has shown that temporal comparisons of floristics data across several decades can reveal significant (>20%) levels of taxonomic and nomenclatural change between successive floristic summaries. Given the increasing levels of human pressure on the landscape from habitat conversion, the ongoing spread of invasive species, climate change, plant blindness amongst the general population, and a perception among some that little is left to discover in North America, this timely colloquium will bring together a wide geographic and disciplinary cross-section of speakers in North America who will discuss the status of floristics in North America, and comment on opportunities, priorities, and challenges for the future. Relevance: Floristic studies provide the foundational knowledge of plant distributions worldwide. Whereas some may think that the age of North American floristics would taper off with the retirement of Dr. Ronald Hartman at the Rocky Mountain herbarium, abundant recent work in the USA and Canada by a wide diversity of researchers indicates strongly that our knowledge of plant distributions remains far from complete. BOTANY 2019 will be in the heart of the American Southwest (at the University of Arizona), an area where floristic research continues to yield important new discoveries, and where SEINet, one of the most widely used data base platforms, was developed and is hosted (Arizona State University). The proposed colloquium will provide a timely and integrated series of field-oriented botanical talks, which frequently are of great interest to students and those considering entering the botany.

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North America
student projects.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 001
Abstract ID:12
Candidate for Awards:None

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