You are here:
ASPT Publications / ASPT Newsletter / Newsletter
NEW WEB SITES
Online Database for Plants of the Northern Great Plains
In 2004, Black Hills State University Herbarium (BHSC) launched a long-range plan to use computer technologies to deal with specimens of the Northern Great Plains housed in herbaria throughout the region. The project, initially funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, databased all regional species of the family Poaceae, and placed these online in 2005. The BHSC used computerized procedures to maintain the database for grasses for several years before launching a second exciting and more ambitious project in 2006 funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF): to create a database for all plants of the region. This database is now online and is a capable research tool for many activities such as producing checklists for the relatively unknown flora of the Northern Great Plains region, tracking the historical and recent appearance of invasive plant species, and for learning about the plants and plant resources that are our natural heritage.
The BHSC web site is open and ready for your use and enjoyment. This is a free resource for plant enthusiasts, educators, and research professionals everywhere. We welcome you to access the site at: http://herbarium.bhsu.edu. Watch for updates and improvements (including distribution maps) in the near future. [Posted 10 September 2009]
New Interactive Key to All Grasses and Gymnosperm Species in the US
In addition to the previously available interactive key to wetland monocots of the US (ca. 2400 taxa), keys (by state) to grass (Poaceae) species in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, as well as a new key for all gymnosperm species in the US, are now available on the USDA NRCS PLANTS website <http://plants.usda.gov>. See <http://npdc.usda.gov/technical/plantid_wetland_mono.html> for details.
All are freely available for use online, or for downloading for use with or without a web connection. In addition to dramatically optimizing the identification process, these keys are very rich sources of descriptive data. For example, nearly 300 character states are recorded for every species of grass. Each species in the key also directly links to the appropriate profile page on PLANTS, which includes images, common names, distribution maps, synomnyms, wetland indicator status, native status, wildlife habitat values and many other important pieces of information about it.
The keys are running in SLIKS vers. 2.2 and 2.3 <http://www.stingersplace.com/SLIKS> which are optimized for use with MS Internet Explorer. SLIKS requires no installation or other special software. SLIKS is released under the GNU Public license, is free, and can be easily and legally modified by users with very minimal programming experience. The data in the keys is also free and can be used in other applications. All monocot data were developed cooperatively by the Missouri Botanical Garden and the USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center and were compiled from numerous sources by Dr. David Bogler of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The gymnosperm data were developed cooperatively by Oregon State University and compiled from several sources by Stephen C. Meyers, Oregon State University in collaboration with Aaron Liston, Oregon State University, Steffi Ickert-Bond, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Damon Little, New York Botanical Garden.
New keys for all legumes, all Ericaceae, and all remaining monocot species in the US are currently in development and are forthcoming. — Gerald F. Guala, USDA, NRCS, National Plant Data Center; <firstname.lastname@example.org>. [Postedc 22 January 2008]
La Cruz Habitat Protection Project
This website provides information the La Cruz Habitat Protection Project; see <http://www.lchpp.org/>. Deforestation is a critical problem in Mexico, affecting over half the country's forests and negatively impacting ecosystems, watersheds and people's well-being. La Cruz Habitat Protection Project (LCHPP) is a successful Mexican project that is responsible for planting 3 million seedling pine and oyamel fir trees in and around the Monarch Biosphere Reserve and its buffer zone. Jose Luis Alvarez Alcala began the project in 1997 and has been working ever since to restore old fields to sustainable forest to improve soil hydrology and economic standards in these rural communities. La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, Inc. is a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and managing forests in Michoacán, México and beyond by working in close partnership with LCHPP-Mexico. [Posted 22 January 2008]