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Woods, Teresa M. [1], Strakosh, Suzanne C. [1], Simpson, Nicholas B. [1], Nepal, Madhav P. [1], Chakrabharti, Seemanti [2], Ferguson, Carolyn [1].

Floristic changes documented by historical herbarium specimens: plant species introduced to Kansas.

Tracking the introduction and spread of non-native plant species increasingly plays a vital role in both basic research and applied fields. A strong set of herbarium specimens is the critical resource necessary to examine such floristic changes. To explore historical floristic data on introduced species in the central Great Plains, we utilized the Kansas State University Herbarium, KSC, an herbarium known for its strong historical collections. A list of all plant taxa introduced to Kansas was generated from the PLANTS Database (; USDA-NRCS), and data (collector, year and county) were gathered for all in-state specimens (excluding crop species). A total of 5,803 specimens of introduced plants were recorded, comprising 275 species in 188 genera and 51 families, and dating from 1869 to 2002. While 924 different collectors are represented, 18 collectors each contributed more than 50 specimens of introduced plants. Numerous intriguing patterns are observed, and noteworthy findings include 1) most introduced species were present in Kansas prior to 1900, 2) all Kansas counties are represented by the early KSC material (1890s), which positively affects our ability to infer floristic changes, and 3) careful study of the data enables assessment of biases inherent in the collections, so that these biases can be taken into account in interpretation of patterns. This study demonstrates the wealth of data housed at KSC, and by extension in other historical collections, that enables the study of regional floristic changes of interest.

1 - Kansas State University, Division of Biology, 232 Ackert Hall, Manhattan, Kansas, 66506-4901, United States
2 - Kansas State University, Department of Entomology, 123 Waters Hall, Manhattan, Kansas, 66506-4901, United States

herbarium use
introduced species

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 32-141
Location: Special Event Center (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:1136

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