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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Pace, Matthew [1].

Introducing the new "Endless Forms' Digitization TCN: Digitizing "endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful": Facilitating Research on ImperiledPlants with Extreme Morphologies.

The ‘Endless Forms’ TCN, composed of 17 collaborating U.S. herbaria from 11 states, will digitize approximately two million specimens belonging to some of the most interesting plants on Earth. Iconic species such as the Giant Saguaro Cactus, the Venus Fly Trap, and the leafless Ghost Orchid of southern Florida are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of plants that have evolved astounding adaptations allowing them to grow in extreme terrestrial environments, from deserts, to wet tropical rain forests, and nutrient poor acidic bogs. Understanding the evolution and diversity of these unusual adaptations, including succulence, epiphytism, and carnivory/insectivory, is critical to more fully understanding how evolution works. Many of these plants can be challenging to study in nature and face elevated conservation concerns in the face of rapid climate change; plants that are highly adapted to a specific habitat or exhibit peculiar morphologies may not be able to adjust to a rapidly changing climate regime, and may face elevated risks of extinction. By digitizing herbarium specimens of these groups, researchers will gain a better understanding of these adaptations and their evolution, and can design better conservation and management strategies. The public’s interest in these unusual plants affords an opportunity for researches to engage the public in discussions about biodiversity and preservation, including efforts to teach K–12 students about adaptation, plant habitats, and mutualistic relationships. The availability of two million digitized records for species of these charismatic plant groups will help protect them and enhance their enjoyment by hobbyists, citizen scientists, and other non-academic enthusiasts

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1 - New York Botanical Garden, Herbarium, 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, 10458, United States

Carnivorous Plants
herbarium digitization
Endgangered species.

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P, Recent Topics Posters
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT005
Abstract ID:1269
Candidate for Awards:None

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