Abstract Detail



Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Koenemann, Daniel [1], Durand, Amber [2], Burke, Janelle [3].

A Digital Flora for Wheaton Regional Park, Montgomery County, Maryland.

            Wheaton Regional Park (WRP) is an example of a parcel of land that has transitioned from rural forest to urban forest in a single generation. In 1960, the park was founded on 500 acres in rural Montgomery County, Maryland. Today the park is completely encompassed by the suburban communities of Wheaton and Glenmont. Surveys conducted at the foundation of the park by H. David Hammond of Howard University revealed 459 taxa of vascular plants from more than 80 families, a large number considering that the recent Flora of Virginia counts only a little less than 200 families for that entire state. In addition to WRP, Hammond conducted similar surveys at other parks outside Washington, DC. Of the total 486 species collected in all the parks, all but 27 of them were found in WRP, showing it to be a microcosm of the local flora. The questions that this study seeks to answer are: has the floral composition of WRP changed significantly since its foundation? And, what do changes in the floristics of WRP tell us about the value of urban and suburban forests as means of conserving diversity as cities get larger? A resampling of the WRP flora began in 2014. The park was visited regularly (weekly) by members of the Burke Lab at Howard University. In addition to vascular plants, we included bryophytes in our surveys. The digitized collections (from the Hammond and Burke Lab surveys) are published online, in an open-access database associated with the Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis (MAM) project. This digital medium will allow for the publication of a series of electronic checklists of the plants in WRP. Unlike traditional checklists, these lists will contain images and collection data (locality, phenology, etc.) for each specimen. The database will be continually updated, facilitating ongoing studies of the park.


Related Links:
MAM Specimen Portal


1 - Howard University, Biology Department, 415 College Street, NW, Washington , DC, 20059, USA
2 - Howard University, 415 College St. NW, Just Hall 349, Washington, District of Columbia, 20059, United States
3 - Howard University, Dept. Of Biology, 415 College St. NW, Just Hall 328, Washington, DC, 20059, United States

Keywords:
specimen digitization
Floristics.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number:
Abstract ID:924
Candidate for Awards:None


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