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Abstract Detail

The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation

Armstrong, Kate [1].

Steps towards documenting the flora of Myanmar.

Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world without even a rudimentary flora. The country-wide checklist records the occurrence of nearly 12,000 species, but does not cite specimens or contain detailed distribution or altitudinal data, descriptions or synonymy, and most genera remain unrevised. Floristically, Myanmar is at the crossroads between South Asia, East Asia and Indochina, with influences from each adjacent region. The mixing of floristic elements in combination with a varied topography and climate, has resulted in extremely high botanical diversity. Despite this diversity, Myanmar has probably the most poorly documented flora in the northern hemisphere. How do we bring this flora from obscurity into the modern age? Although traditionally published as volumes of books, floras are not static. They grow and evolve as new data are generated. Writing the flora of a large and diverse country is an immense undertaking that necessitates broad-reaching collaboration. The botanical community doesn't yet have a good on-line template to facilitate this kind of cooperation. We need an updated and innovative approach to data collection, aggregation and the collaborative production of taxonomic outputs that utilizes the dynamic medium of the internet. Since 2014, the New York Botanical Garden has been collaborating with Myanmar's Forest Research Institute to document the flora of the country's Northern Forest Complex through botanical inventories. Simultaneously, we have been digitizing, databasing and georeferencing historical collections with the plan to aggregate all of these specimen data in a unified Myanmar Flora Data Portal hosted by the database Monographia, which would form the basis for flora writing and other taxonomic outputs. In this way, even if a flora is incomplete all the specimen data are captured and can be utilized for a variety of purposes ̶ from developing checklists to regional floristic analyses ̶ and researchers worldwide could work together on the same platform. Although the Flora of Myanmar is still far from being written, well-curated, identified and georeferenced specimens are fundamental to this research and enable a whole host of pre-flora outputs. One of these has been the characterization of ecosystems for the first country level IUCN Red List of Ecosystems assessment. This is just one of the ways in which floristic data can underpin conservation planning and support ecological analyses.

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1 - Boise State University, Snake River Plains Herbaria, , Boise, Idaho, 83725, USA


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C10, The Contribution of Regional Flora Projects to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
Location: /
Date: Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Time: 10:45 AM(EDT)
Number: C10004
Abstract ID:365
Candidate for Awards:None

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