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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Dolan, Rebecca [1].

Using Herbarium Records to Track Changes in Urban Wild Plants.

The Friesner Herbarium of Butler University (BUT), Indianapolis, Indiana USA is a 100,000 specimen collection, nearly half collected in Indiana. Over a period of ten years, staff and student assistants compiled a database of label information for our in-state sheets. The 1930s and 1940s were the most active collection decades. Butler students and faculty active at the time, including several who became prominent plant ecologists, were interested in florisitics and plant community associations. Electronic access to these records provides an easily searchable, vouchered historical record of Indiana flora. We are using these records, along with recent field studies documenting the contemporary flora of Indianapolis/Marion County, to track changes through time. The last 70 years have seen a significant turnover in species presence, most notably a decrease in native plant species number (2.4 per year) and quality, with an accompanying increase in non-native plants of 1.4 per year. Loss of species has been non-random, with a disproportionate number of high-quality wetland plants lost. Notable additions to Indianapolis' wild flora include invasive woody ornamental shrubs escaped from cultivation. In an effort to further awareness of, and access to, BUT, we are about a quarter of the way through creation of an online searchable digital herbarium with images of our Indiana specimens.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Friesner Herbarium website with link to digital collection

1 - Butler University, Friesner Herbarium, 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46208, USA

Urban ecology
Historical flora
invasive species.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC012
Abstract ID:370

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