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Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Lewis, Deborah [1], Drobney, Pauline [2], Pearson, John [3], Roosa, Dean [4], Rosburg, Thomas [5], Smith, Daryl [6], Widrlechner, Mark [7].

A revival of interest in Iowa floristics: goals and progress.

Iowa is one of the few states for which no state Flora has been produced; thus, the floristic diversity of the state has been rather poorly documented. Historically, the Iowa landscape was dominated by tallgrass prairie which transitioned to savanna, sedge meadow or wetland, depending on landform and geologic features. Eastern deciduous forest occurred where fire was rare, especially in riverine corridors and in the more rugged Paleozoic Plateau of northeastern Iowa. This diversity of habitats harbors distinctive taxa. However, a majority of the landscape is now used for agriculture, severely fragmenting examples of remnant natural communities. Robert Thorne, Lawrence Eilers and Dean Roosa worked toward completion of a Flora, but these efforts subsequently stalled for more than two decades following publication of a state checklist in 1994 by Eilers and Roosa. A group of plant taxonomists and ecologists convened in 2014 with an initial goal of revising the Iowa species' coefficients of conservatism, but it soon evolved into a broader revision of the 1994 checklist. Fieldwork, publications, specimen digitization efforts and new treatments in Flora of North America and other references have expanded our knowledge of the taxa present in the state and their distribution. Reexamination of herbarium specimens of the state's reported endangered, threatened and special concern species has resolved several questionable and spurious reports of rare taxa. Updating of the 1994 checklist is underway, a significant step toward an Iowa Flora.

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1 - Iowa State University, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Dept, 342 Bessey Hall, 2200 Osborn Dr, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
2 - Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 9981 Pacific St, Prairie City, IA, 50228, USA
3 - Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East 9th St, Des Moines, IA, 50319, USA
4 - 569 Riverside Rd, Ames, IA, 50010, USA
5 - Drake University, Biology Dept, Olin Hall, 2507 University Ave, Des Moines, IA, 50311, USA
6 - University of Northern Iowa, Tallgrass Prairie Center, 2412 West 27th St, Cedar Falls, IA, 50614, USA
7 - Iowa State University, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Dept, 251 Bessey, 2200 Osborn Dr, Ames, IA, 50011, USA

Iowa floristics.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 46, Floristics & Taxonomy
Location: 105/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: 46007
Abstract ID:669
Candidate for Awards:None

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