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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Shaw, Blanka [1], Gilbert, Edward [2], Gries, Corinna [3].

The national bryophyte web portal of the Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria.

Funded by a recent grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, almost 1.5 million bryophyte specimen labels from over 60 institutions will be imaged, databased, and made searchable to the public in 2011-2015, using the data portal of the Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria. Added to the already existing online records, it represents over 90% of existing North American bryophyte collections. Distribution data from over 1 million specimens mainly from (but not limited to) North America housed at 10 U.S. herbaria are already accessible on The bryophyte portal is running on the software package SYMBIOTA, which provides a number of functionalities best described as a virtual and dynamic flora. Based on user defined checklists (geographic and/or taxonomic) the program generates custom keys, species pages with species descriptions and images, distribution maps, and taxonomic information.These checklists and, therefore, the floras can be as large as a state (e.g., Sphagnum of North Carolina) or as small as a school yard (e.g., mosses of West High School). This feature in combination with flash card games for species recognition training makes it ideal for classes from the middle school level to graduate courses as well as the trained botanist and naturalist. In addition to these very prominent features Symbiota supports specimen record management, i.e., data entry, geo-referencing, annotations, as well as observations and published checklists. The Bryophyte community is encouraged to create an account, explore the portal, save personal species lists, contribute already digitized collection records, and leave feedback or annotations. This is a community effort and the software supports contributions from everyone with an internet connection. Depending on skill, knowledge and interest level, images may be uploaded, species descriptions contributed, character and character state information entered, label images transcribed, or taxonomies developed.Parallel efforts are coordinated by the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria (

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria Symbiota Portal
Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria Symbiota Portal

1 - Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
2 - Arizona State University, Global Institute Of Sustainability, 2831 E. 18th St, Tucson, AZ, 85716, USA
3 - University of Wisconsin Madison, Center for Limnology, , 680 North Park Street, Madison, wi, 53706, USA

virtual floras

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT015
Abstract ID:1308

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