The Pteridological Collections Consortium: An integrative Approach to Pteridophyte Diversity Over the Last 420 Million Years

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Digitization TCN: The Pteridological Collections Consortium: An Integrative Approach to Pteridophyte Diversity (PCC)

PCC TCN
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Project Summary

Ferns, lycophytes, and their free-sporing relatives ("pteridophytes") arose approximately 420 million years ago and were the dominant plant groups for hundreds of millions of years afterwards. Today the pteridophytes are outnumbered by the diversity and abundance of flowering plants, but they remain diverse (with around 12,000 species), ecologically important, and are found throughout the world. This Thematic Collections Network (TCN) brings together nine core institutions whose goal is to make digital images and data on the distribution and biology of 1.6 million fossil and modern ferns and their relatives available to researchers. This effort includes 39 US Museums and Herbaria that will provide on-line access of collections data to researchers worldwide who will be able to address pressing questions about the evolution, distribution, and biology of land plants. This project will train students and reach the public through teacher training opportunities, the development of curriculum and education boxes and through the production of informative science videos.

The Pteridological Collections Consortium TCN is an interdisciplinary initiative that will database, image, and disseminate information on an unprecedented number of extant and fossil pteridophyte specimens. The combining of neo- and paleobotanical collections data will produce an online resource via a Symbiota framework to enable research on the distribution, ecology, genetics, and deep-time evolution of an important group of vascular plants. Pteridophytes are important because they 1) are relatively diverse and have extensive global distributions, 2) are associated with evolutionary innovations that shaped adaptations to terrestrial ecosystems, 3) they are sensitive to local environmental conditions and play important roles in modern communities, and 4) they have an excellent fossil record for addressing deep-time questions.

Current Research

Project Websites & Social Media

Project website: https://pteridophytes.berkeley.edu/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pterido_TCN

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pteridophyteTCN/

Citizen Science & Outreach Projects

Project Leadership

Project sponsor: University of California - Berkeley (NSF Award #1802504)

Principal Investigator (PI): Carl Rothfels

Project Collaborators

University of California - Berkeley

Carl Rothfels (Lead PI), University of California - Berkeley (NSF Award #1802504)
Diane Erwin (Co-PI), University of California - Berkeley
Cynthia Looy (Co-PI), University of California - Berkeley

University of Michigan

Robyn J. Burnham, (PI), University of Michigan (NSF Award #1802033)
Richard Rabeler (Co-PI), University of Michigan

University of Florida

Emily Sessa, (PI), University of Florida (NSF Award #1802134)

Missouri Botanical Garden

Libing Zhang, (PI), Missouri Botanical Garden (NSF Award #1802239)

University of Vermont and State Agricultural College

Michael Sundue, (PI), University of Vermont and State Agricultural College (NSF Award #1802255)

Yale University

Shusheng Hu, (PI), Yale University (NSF Award #1802270)
Patrick Sweeney, (Co-PI,)Yale University

New York Botanical Garden

Kimberly Watson,(PI), New York Botanical Garden (NSF Award #1802305)
Robbin Moran, (Co-PI), New York Botanical Garden

Field Museum of Natural History

Matt von Konrat, (PI), Field Museum of Natural History(NSF Award #1802352)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alan S. Weakley, (PI), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NSF Award #1802446)
Patricia Gensel (Co-PI),University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Protocols & Workflows

Publications

Professional Presentations

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