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Abstract Detail


Payne, Krystal [1], Gillespie, Emily [2].

Using herbarium informatics to revise county based distributions of the Ericaceae (heather) family throughout West Virginia.

The Ericaceae (heather) family of vascular plants is of great ecological and economic importance in forest ecosystems of the Appalachian Mountains, including agricultural and horticultural cultivars. Data had been previously collected from several large herbaria to establish the known range of native species of West Virginia based on locality (Harmon et al., 2006), with the exception of the Marshall University Herbaria (MUHW), which largely was not included in this effort. The Marshall University Herbarium (MUHW) is the second largest herbarium in the state of West Virginia and contains over 50,000 specimens. The goal of the current study was to use herbarium informatics to compare and contrast known county level distributions of the Ericaceae family that were recorded in the Checklist and Atlas of the Vascular Flora of West Virginia (Harmon et al. 2006) to data provided by the specimens in the Marshall University Herbarium. Several species were found to have sharply contrasting distributions from those previously noted, including several species of Rhododendron and Vaccinium. These apparent new distributions may be an artifact of the lack of documentation in larger herbaria. By updating and utilizing herbarium databases a baseline of reliable data can be established and used for biodiversity studies. Updates in these distributions may lead researchers to develop a clearer understanding of the ecology of ericaceous species, as well as their response to anthropogenic activity. 

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1 - Marshall University , Department of Biological Science, One John Marshall Drive , Science Building 350, Huntington, WV, 25755, USA
2 - Marshall University, 1700 3rd Avenue, Huntington, WV, 25755, USA


Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBG005
Abstract ID:680
Candidate for Awards:None


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