Mobilizing New England Vascular Plant Specimen Data

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Digitization TCN: Mobilizing New England Vascular Plant Specimen Data to Track Environmental Change (NEVP)

New England Vascular Plants TCN
NEVP.jpg
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Project Summary

Herbarium specimens provide a source of historical information useful to the study of global environmental change. The goal of this project is to provide data to support studies of the nature and consequences of environmental change in the New England region over the last three centuries. This project will digitally capture specimen data and images from about 1.3 million vascular plant specimens from herbaria across New England, enhancing the data with georeferencing, habitat, and phonological information. The digitization process will integrate with existing community efforts and will develop novel high-throughput digitization technologies to increase efficiency and decrease costs. All resulting data and images will be freely available on-line.

The data from this project will be of immediate use to scientists who study climate and land-use change, and will provide a better understanding of how global changes will impact the distribution of native and introduced plant species. This project will benefit research in taxonomy, ecology, morphology, biogeography, and evolutionary history by making available data on an entire regional flora in an electronic format. The methodologies developed will provide a model for other regions around the nation. In addition the project will utilize citizen scientists, school groups, and students providing training, research, and educational opportunities. . This award is made as part of the National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections through the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program and all data resulting from this award will be available through the national resource (iDigBio.org).

Current Research

  • Understanding the effects of rising temperature on the phenology (flowering and leafing-out stage) for New England taxa.
  • Impact on landscape of human activity through deforestation, agriculture, and the development of human infrastructure on New England habitat.
  • Intersection of climate change and land use and effects on biotic systems in New England, such as sensitivity of habitats, changes in species abundance and phenology.
  • Documentation and conservation of biological diversity, including assessing the distribution of rare and endangered species, changes in species abundance over time, arrival and expansion of non-native and invasive species.
  • Project Websites & Social Media

    NEVP Website http://nevp.org
    Consortium of Northeastern Herbaria http://portal.neherbaria.org/portal

    Citizen Science & Outreach Projects

    Project Leadership

    Project Sponsor: Yale University (NSF Award 1209149)

    Principal Investigators (PIs): Patrick Sweeney (PI), Michael Donoghue (Co-PI)

    Project Collaborators

    Map of Collaborating Institutions

    Bartlett Arboretum
    Berkshire Museum
    Boston University (NSF Award 1208989)
    Brown University (NSF Award 1208972)
    Central Connecticut State University
    Chicago Botanic Garden, Project Budburst (no data)
    Connecticut Botanical Society
    Connecticut College
    Harvard University (NSF Award 1208835)
    Harvard University Herbarium, New England Botanical Club
    Harvard University, Arnold Arboretum
    Harvard University, Economic Herbarium of Oakes Ames
    Harvard University, Farlow Herbarium
    Harvard University, Gray Herbarium
    Harvard University, Harvard Forest
    Harvard University, Orchid Herbarium of Oakes Ames
    Keene State College
    North Carolina State University (no data)
    University of Arizona National Phenology Network (no data)
    University of Massachusetts - Amherst (NSF Award 1208975)
    University of New Hampshire (NSF Award 1208829)
    University of Oklahoma (no data)
    University of Vermont (NSF Award 1208973)
    Western Connecticut State University
    Westfield State University
    Yale University, Peabody Museum

    PENs:
    New York Botanical Garden (NSF Award 1502452) Project wiki page
    University of Maine (NSF Award 1503583) Project wiki page

    Protocols & Workflows

    Digitization resources

    Publications

    Professional Presentations

    iDigBio Summit V, 2015

    Other project documentation

    PENs

    Digitization PEN: Partnership to the New England Vascular Plant Network for the University of Maine Herbarium

    Data from Maine fills an important gap in the study of environmental changes in New England. The state comprises about half the total area of New England, extending about 2.5 degrees north and 3 degrees east of the rest of New England. Plant specimens in the University of Maine Herbarium record both the spatial and temporal distribution of species over the past 170 years. These specimens, along with associated data, inform the study of environmental changes in Maine and New England. In this project the University of Maine Herbarium will complete the databasing of specimen records and generate high-quality digital images of 55,000 plant specimens. These digitized data will contribute to the accomplishment of the research and outreach goals of the New England Vascular Plant Network.

    High quality images of herbarium specimens can be used to study shifts in the abundance, distribution, and reproduction of plants, as influenced by environmental change, document the number of populations of rare plants and the introduction and spread of invasive plants. They can also be used to gather information indicative of plant response to change, and train the public and professionals in techniques of plant identification, structure and developmental changes over time. The project will directly train undergraduates and members of an amateur botanical society. This award is made as part of the National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections through the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program and all data resulting from this award will be available through the national resource (iDigBio.org).

    Project Sponsor: University of Maine
    (NSF Award 1503583)

    Principal Investigator (PIs): Christopher Campbell

    Digitization PEN: Partnership to the Existing New England Vascular Plant Network for Collections at the New York Botanical Garden

    The New York Botanical Garden's William and Lynda Steere Herbarium (NY) proposes to join the existing Thematic Collections Network (TCN) entitled, Mobilizing New England Vascular Plant Specimen Data to Track Environmental Changes. The goal of this project is to mine data from preserved plant specimens in order to support studies of the nature and consequences of environmental change in the New England region over the last three centuries. The New York Botanical Garden will contribute approximately 150,000 digitized specimens to the 1.3 million specimens that will be digitized at other institutions.

    Data generated through this project will be of immediate use to scientists who study climate and land-use change, and will provide a better understanding of how global changes will impact the distribution of native and introduced plant species in the future. The project will provide career-relevant management training for a recent college graduate, and will provide employment and job experience for college undergraduates, exposing these young people to an aspect of environmental science not commonly taught in universities. Citizen scientists will be invited to participate in this project by helping to transcribe label data, georeferencing, and scoring specimens for phenological state. This award is made as part of the National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections through the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program and all data resulting from this award will be available through the national resource (iDigBio.org).

    Project Sponsor: New York Botanical Garden
    (NSF Award 1502452)

    Principal Investigator (PIs): Barbara Thiers