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Abstract Detail


Kricsfalusy, Vladimir [1], Li, Meng [1], Gupta, Charu [1].

Combining regional data on plant species distribution to support biodiversity assessment.

Studying distribution and range dynamics of native plants can provide conservation planners with important insights into how these species may respond to the increasing anthropogenic impact and how to model the landscape to help assess the effects of development projects on biodiversity. The combined analysis of distribution data obtained from different sources may minimize the biases associated with each of the data sets which will eventually help to judge the biodiversity conditions to improve the quality of biodiversity assessments. Based on the 177 records from herbarium collections, 23 observations from phenological databases and 74 vegetation relevés from the field surveys conducted by the authors, the distribution patterns of the prairie crocus (Anemone patens L.) in Saskatchewan, Canada, were determined. Using different data sources from 1920 to 2013 the species range extent and its dynamic trends in the province were identified. Applying GIS analysis, the habitat affinities of A. patens, including the species relationships to ecological communities, soils, topography, land use, precipitation, temperature, and the climate moisture were characterized. Our study shows that regional herbaria can be successfully consulted for biogeographical and environmental research to provide the quality range reconstruction in the target species. Employing information obtained from additional sources, allowed us to improve the quality of the species range assessment and expand the current knowledge of biology and ecology of A. patens. Habitat information can also be useful for directing landscape level search for some prairie vegetation communities for which A. patens shows a high fidelity. This approach can be transferred to other species and areas with similar data sets, particularly focusing on distribution of native plant species under the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation. The suggested approach may contribute to development of Flora of Saskatchewan and other related projects. Moreover, it has potential to enhance such series as Biological Flora of the Canadian Prairie Provinces and Biological Flora of Canada, should they be renewed in the future. We hope that suggested approach will also encourage amateur naturalists and volunteers to collect base inventory data and assist in monitoring activities through mapping species distribution which could be an effective method of documenting land use and conducting different exercises for community planning. While voluntary participation in citizen science is not new, we see our approach as a mean to involve the public in environmental management, which can foster community stewardship and public support for necessary actions.

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1 - University of Saskatchewan, 117 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, S7N5C8, Canada

herbarium records
phenological observations
vegetation relevés
range limits
Anemone patens

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PBG004
Abstract ID:627
Candidate for Awards:None

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