Archive for the ‘Plant Distribution’ category

New York Counties Lacking Records for Common Genera. Let’s Fill the Gaps!

January 31, 2011

Recently I was looking at species of Rosa in the New York Flora Atlas. When I looked at the genus I noticed that the genus map had Cortland County as the only county without a record of any species of Rosa. That made me curious to find out if any other common genera had been recorded in all but a few counties. I decided to look through Mitchell’s 1997 checklist and pick out common genera, ones that had one or more pages of species listed for them. I looked in the atlas at each one and recorded those that had fewer than 5 counties where no species had been recorded in the atlas. The genera are listed below in taxonomic order followed by the counties that have no records.

Thalictrum – Wayne
Ulmus – Allegany, Seneca
Quercus – Herkimer, Cortland
Betula – Seneca, Schuyler, Cortland, Chenango
Silene – Broome, Allegany, Wyoming
Stellaria – Franklin, Steuben, Wyoming, Orleans
Rumex – Herkimer
Hypericum – Schuyler
Cardamine – Cortland, Sullivan, Schoharie
Lysimachia – Cortland, Orleans
Ribes – Broome, Schuyler, Ontario, Orleans
Amelanchier – Livingston
Geum – Wayne, Seneca, Broome, Franklin
Potentilla – Cortland, Seneca, Wyoming, Orleans
Rosa – Cortland
Trifolium – Herkimer, Schenectady, Cortland, Seneca
Acer – Cortland
Asclepias – Cortland, Wayne
Scutellaria – Schuyler, Cortland, Broome, Schoharie
Veronica – Orleans
Galium – Orleans
Lonicera – Wayne, Wyoming
Bidens – Broome, Schuyler
Potamogeton – Broome, Schoharie
Scirpus – Wyoming, Orleans
Muhlenbergia – Broome
Panicum – Franklin
Trillium – Kings
Cypripedium – Fulton, Seneca, Orleans

Cortland County appeared most often in this list with Orleans County second. I think they would be good candidates for additional flora work. Maybe you can find other less common genera that also have gaps in just a few counties. If you are out collecting plants in some of these counties this summer, make sure you collect these common genera to fill the gaps in the atlas. Happy botanizing! – Steve Young

Genus Rosa map with the Cortland County gap.


New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada

January 11, 2011

A website is now available for the New Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Visit this website to find out more about this exciting project which is being organized by Rob Naczi of the New York Botanical Garden.

Yes, Old Pressed Plants Are Really Useful

December 30, 2010

CLICK HERE to see an article about how ecologists are using herbarium specimens to study global warming.  Brooklyn Botanic Garden is featured.

Database of Vascular Plants of Canada Released

December 14, 2010

Canadensys announces the release of VASCAN, the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada, a comprehensive list of all vascular plants reported in Canada, Greenland (Denmark) and Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France).

Canadensys is a Canada-wide effort to unlock the biodiversity information held in biological collections. The network currently includes biological collections from 11 participating universities, five botanical gardens, and two museums, covering insects, fungi and plants. The network is operated from the Biodiversity Centre, Université de Montréal.

The goal of VASCAN is to provide an up-to-date, documented source of the names of vascular plants in Canada, Greenland, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, both scientific and vernacular. For every species, subspecies and variety, VASCAN provides the accepted scientific name (Latin), the accepted French and English vernacular names, and their synonyms/alternatives in Canada. The distribution status (native, introduced, etc.) of the plant for each province or territory, and the habit (tree, shrub, herb or vine) of the plant in Canada are given. Maps at the provincial/territorial level are provided with an indication of status. For reported hybrids (nothotaxa or hybrid formulas), the parents also are provided. A source is given for each name, classification and distribution information (still being completed).
All taxa are linked to a classification. The following were used: Smith et al. (2006) for ferns, APG III (2009) for flowering plants, and Chase and Reveal (2009) for the higher taxonomy.

It is possible to generate lists in VASCAN using the Checklist builder tool. Data can be downloaded from VASCAN under the Creative Commons (BY-NC) license.

New Lists Posted on NYFA Google Map of Plant Lists

November 16, 2010

Lists recently posted include these lists from St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties by Anne Johnson:

Payne Lake

Grass Lake

Butterfield Lake

Sylvia Lake

In addition to these are lists from the Moose River Plains by the Keelans and Oakwood Cemetery in Troy by Warren Broderick.

Click the Google map of plant lists in the links section on the right side of the page.

Deer Impact Study on Vegetation Taking Place at Beaver Meadows State Forest

August 23, 2010

We all know how destructive deer populations have been on native plants in New York.  DEC is now funding a study to quantify this effect on a state forest in Chenango County.  See more details HERE. We hope more of these studies will result in better management practices that will stop the serious loss of native vegetation. – Steve Young

Is Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris) Native or Exotic? It’s both!

August 3, 2010

I always thought that Prunella was exotic but it is listed as native in Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. As it turns out there are two varieties and one is native (var. lanceolata) and one is not (var. vulgaris).  In the NYFA Atlas David Werier sets forth the history of this distinction:

Numerous early botanists recognized Prunella vulgaris as consisting of at least two taxa. One is considered to be native to North America (P. vulgaris var. lanceolata) and the other as native to Eurasia (P. v. var. vulgaris). Fernald (1913b) gives an overview of how these taxa have been treated in North America, provides a key to the varieties, and publishes the new combination P. v. var. lanceolata (W.P.C. Barton) Fernald. Fernald (1950) and Gleason and Cronquist (1991) follow this taxonomy while Mitchell (1986) and Mitchell and Tucker (1997) treat Prunella vulgaris as a non-native taxon without infraspecific taxa. A limited study from California (Nelson 1964) supports the distinction between the two taxa and also demonstrates support for a limited amount of introgression or hybridization at one California population. We follow Fernald in recognition of two taxa but a modern large scale study is still warranted. The North American native taxon (P. vulgaris var. lanceolata) has median cauline leaf blades ovate to ovate-oblong, 1.5-2.5 (avg. 2) times as long as wide, and rounded at the base. The Eurasian P. vulgaris var. vulgaris has median cauline leaf blades lanceolate to oblong, 2-5 (avg. 3) times as long as wide, and cuneate at the base (Fernald 1913b).

It would be nice to know if the distribution differs in range or ecology in New York so you might want to try to distinguish them in the field. Be sure to use the leaves in the middle of the stem for the measurements.  See the Atlas entry for the species HERE.