Abstract Detail



Floristics in North America: Current needs, priorities and opportunities

Ertter, Barbara [1].

Floristics, the Specialist Network, and the (Un)Informed Consumer.

Although often perceived as the compilation and management of static data, floristics is in reality an ongoing synthesis of evolving taxonomic concepts that depends on a massive, international, collaborative work-in-progress spanning centuries.  During much of the 20th century, this collective effort was significantly expanded as a side-product of the 1862 Morrill or Agricultural College Land Act.  Because of the Act’s agricultural mandate, botanical professorships were created in most states.   These positions served as the backbone for a network of specialists in their floristic region, a particular taxonomic group, or both.  In addition to publishing revisions and floras, this specialist network routinely annotated a significant component of the holdings of at least major herbaria, ensuring that the specimens reflected on-going taxonomic changes.  Now, however, the time-consuming task of annotation by successors to this network has become increasingly limited due to changing priorities and incentives.  As a result, the correct identification of herbarium specimens in relation to current systematic treatments is becoming increasingly problematic, even as existing identifications are compiled into larger and larger datasets available for a wider audience of users, most of whom are not trained to deal with the uncertainty factor. 


1 - The College of Idaho, Harold M. Tucker Herbarium, Caldwell, ID, 83605, USA

Keywords:
Floristics
annotations
informed consumers
specialist network
Agricultural College Land Act
datasets.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0010
Abstract ID:137
Candidate for Awards:None


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