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Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS

Shaw, Blanka [1], Gilbert, Edward [2], Gries, Corinna [3], Shaw, Jonathan [4], Larrain, Juan [5], Von Konrat, Matt [6].

The national bryophyte web portal: a resource for floristics, ecology, and systematics.

Funded by a recent grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, almost 1.5 million bryophyte specimen labels from over 60 institutions will be imaged, databased, and made searchable to the public in 2011-2015, using the data portal of Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria. Added to the already existing online records, it represents over 90% of existing North American bryophyte collections. Distribution data from over 1 million specimens mainly from (but not limited to) North America housed at 27 U.S. herbaria are already accessible on The bryophyte portal is running on the software package ‘Symbiota’, which provides a number of functionalities best described as a virtual and dynamic flora. Based on user defined checklists (geographic and/or taxonomic) the program generates custom keys, species pages with species descriptions and images, distribution maps, and taxonomic information. These checklists and, therefore, the floras can be as large as a state (e.g., Sphagnum of North Carolina) or as small as a school yard (e.g., mosses of West High School). This feature in combination with flash card games for species recognition training makes it ideal for classes from the middle school level to graduate courses as well as the trained botanist and naturalist. Symbiota also supports specimen record management, i.e., data entry, geo-referencing, annotations, as well as observations and published checklists. The Frullania collaborative research network ( was established in the Fall 2012 to facilitate systematic research and collaboration via resources and data sharing using the Symbiota software. This represents a broadening of the software development towards creating linked modules including sequences, genotyping profiles, morphological and biochemical data modules and the ability to automatically generate descriptions as a basis for taxonomic monographs. Parallel efforts are coordinated by the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria (

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
The national bryophyte portal
The Frullania collaborative research network
The national lichen portal

1 - Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
2 - Arizona State University, Global Institute of Sustainability, 2831 E. 18th St, Tucson, AZ, 85716, USA
3 - University of Wisconsin, Center for Limnology, Madison, WI, 53706, USA
4 - 130 Science Drive, Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
5 - Field Museum, Chicago
6 - The Field Museum, Science and Education, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL, 60660, United States

virtual flora.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 23
Location: Ascot/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 23007
Abstract ID:789
Candidate for Awards:None

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