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Abstract Detail


Majack, Marika [1], Bruederle, Leo P. [1].

Pondweeds (Potamogetonaceae) of Colorado: revisions to the distribution of an undercollected aquatic plant family.

The pondweed family (Potamogetonaceae) is one of the most ecologically important plant families in aquatic ecosystems, but pondweeds are undercollected, taxonomically complex, and notoriously difficult to identify to species. These factors, combined with the family’s purported propensity for hybridization and extensive phenotypic plasticity, result in a paucity of representative herbarium specimens. In 2013, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program published a Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants, which provides county-level distributional data for pondweeds in Colorado. The authors call attention to the fact that these distributions are based on relatively few vouchers, many of which are historic. In an effort to further document the distribution of pondweeds in Colorado, we are annotating existing pondweed specimens to correct misidentifications and update nomenclature, as well as conducting fieldwork to create vouchers from understudied areas of the state. Our first field season (2013) focused on six counties associated with few or no pondweed specimens in electronic herbarium databases. These collecting efforts, which focused on Chaffee, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Mesa, and Pitkin counties, dramatically expanded the known distribution of pondweeds in Colorado. In addition to 15+ county records, a population of Potamogeton diversifolius Raf. (critically imperiled in Colorado) was discovered in Douglas County, and the known distribution of the invasive Potamogeton crispus L. was expanded from four to eight counties. Additionally, two populations of Potamogeton robbinsii Oakes were documented in Colorado, a species previously unknown to occur in the state. As web-based herbarium queries become a common method of generating distribution maps, our results highlight the continued importance of focused fieldwork and annotation of existing specimens for undercollected and taxonomically complex groups.

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1 - University of Colorado Denver, Department of Integrative Biology, Campus Box 171, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO, 80217, USA

aquatic plants
Virtual Herbaria.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBG008
Abstract ID:870
Candidate for Awards:None

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