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Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Schuette, Scott [1], Folk, Ryan [2], Cantley, Jason T. [3], Martine, Christopher [4].

The hidden Heuchera: How science and Twitter uncovered a globally imperiled species in Pennsylvania, USA.

The genus Heuchera is recognized as one of the most diverse endemic radiations of Saxifragaceae in North America, yet species delimitation and geographic distribution within the group remain controversial. Many species remain difficult to identify, including Heuchera alba, a narrow Appalachian endemic and globally imperiled (G2) taxon recorded only from West Virginia and Virginia that occurs in sympatry with H. pubescens and H. americana. A recent survey of the cliffside flora of the Shikellamy Bluffs, PA recorded dozens of Heuchera individuals that, through the use of social media, were positively identified as H. alba. Aided by examination of historical herbarium records, subsequent searches of similar habitats in Pennsylvania led to the discovery of seven more populations and established a significant range expansion for this rare species. The uncovering of H. alba in Pennsylvania is an exciting conservation outcome and an example of what can happen when botanists embrace a combination of modern and classical approaches to discovery and collaboration.

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Related Links:
Rappelling Scientists Find Rare Species Hiding for 100+ Years | Plants Are Cool, Too!

1 - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, 800 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.0, United States
2 - Florida Museum Of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, 1659 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, 32611, United States
3 - San Francisco State University, Biology, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94132, USA
4 - Bucknell University, Bucknell University, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States

undergraduate research
science communication
Rare plant

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 46, Floristics & Taxonomy
Location: 105/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 2:30 PM
Number: 46005
Abstract ID:509
Candidate for Awards:None

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