A Web site that provides information on plant distributions based
solely on herbarium records - and provides information on the specimens
documenting a particular record.
- Only maps based on herbarium specimens can be verified and, when appropriate,
modified to reflect changing taxonomic knowledge.
- Herbaria need publicity for the value of their holdings.
- Gaps in maps will stimulate further floristic research.
- Oddball distributions and distributions supported by only one
specimen, will stimulate further research.
- Voluntary participation by herbaria; data remain property of
- Initially, export data to server that has relevant programs.
- Draw maps on demand and enable viewers to obtain a list of the
specimens documenting a record (locality or, for contiguous U.S.A., a
- Offer herbaria the option of permitting direct access to their
database or continuing to export data.
- Arrange for automated notification to participating institutions of
new distribution records or differently identified duplicate
- Permit participating institutions to obtain listings of taxa for
specific region or complete listing of holdings for a taxon.
- Link to other kinds of information about taxa.
- Pilot project will be based on grasses; records for other taxa not
refused, but primary emphasis will be on grasses.
- Taxonomy and nomenclature will reflect that used in treatments
submitted for the Manual of Grasses for North America and first
published as part of the Flora North America series.
- Names will be placed in one of three classes:
(1) No dispute: Names associated with taxa whose boundaries and
taxonomic treatment are not disputed, for instance: Coix lacryma-jobi.
(2) Nomenclatural disagreement, not boundary disagreement. Example:
Achnatherum hymenoides/Stipa hymenoides/Oryzopsis hymenoides. All three
names apply to the same taxon; the differing names reflect differing
opinions concerning the appropriate generic treatment.
(3) Controversial: Names of taxa whose boundaries are disputed.
Example: Stipa occidentalis. This name was interpreted much more
broadly by C.L. Hitchcock than by other taxonomists. Specimens bearing
this name would have to be re-examined to determine how they would be
identified according to the Manual treatment.
- Alternative treatments: Links will be provided to sites providing
alternative treatments or, if the contributor agrees, a new treatment
will be posted and the alternative maps adopted.
Any recognized herbaria can participate in providing data, but not
individuals. The reason for this is that it is easier to request a loan of
specimens from herbaria than individuals - and recognized herbaria are
where specimens should, ultimately, reside. "Recognized"
for the purposes of this project means listed in Index
Because this project is building on resources developed for the Grass
Manual project, we will initially only be able to show maps for
grasses in Greenland, Canada, and the continental United States. We are
already exploring expanding its reach, through collaboration, to other
countries and other taxa.
If you are interested in participating immediately, please contact Mary
Barkworth by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is relatively easy to accommodate data exported according to a rather
rigid format; it is much harder to accommodate data that does not conform
to this format. Because this is, at present, an unfunded project, we
are asking that data be submitted according to the specified format. If
your herbarium has not yet begun to database its specimens, click here.
The above maps are based
on a variety of data sources. Only records based on herbarium specimens
can be verified. The absence of Echinochloa muricata from western
North America reflects differing taxonomic treatments, not reality.
Accurate distribution maps require accurate plant
identification. High quality illustrations, interactive identification
keys, and descriptions will be an integral part of the Grass Map Web Site.