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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Figueroa, Maricelys [1], Chinea, Jesķs [1].

Assessing the Representativeness of the Plant Collection Effort in the Guánica Forest Reserve; Puerto Rico.

Museum data provide information on the distribution of species in the form of documented presence. These data have become vital in the development of scientific research in the STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, for its acronym in English), therefore it requires high reliability. However, the data collection effort could be biased by taxon, site or environment, which could prevent researchers to answer their questions correctly, or what is even worse, give false answers. To evaluate the degree of bias in a dataset, we georeferenced the records of the plant collection from the Gu√°nica Dry Forest, available in BRAHMS.1,339 records were georeferenced in ArcMap 10 with the “point and circle” method, 883 had uncertainties less than 500m., which gives high reliability for their use in different kind of projects. The 456 records with uncertainties greater than 500 m. could be used in projects at a landscape scale. The number of species in the reserve shows a highly diverse environment in recovery process: a total of 456 species were documented, distributed in 232 species of trees, succulents and palms; 71 of vines, 149 of herbs and 4 species of ferns. The distribution of the plant collection effort through the decades shows some fluctuations and a significant increase since the first decade of the 21th Century, documenting approximately 800 records collected. The increase in collecting has given to the forest plant collection an enormous value. There is still some work to do to determine the significance of an infrastructure and environmental bias. A strategic plan of collection will be developed to improve the quality of the material collected in the Gu√°nica dry forest but we hope that it can be used in different kinds of environments. The plan will focus in attending those unvisited areas of the forest that can be habitat of different species to assure the properly representation of its biodiversity.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Puerto Rico, , Biology Department, PO Box 9000, apt. 801, MayagŁez, PR, 00681-9000 , USA

Museum data

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 10
Location: Ascot/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 2:30 PM
Number: 10005
Abstract ID:286
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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