As the botanist coordinating the plant species information for NatureServe, Dr. Anne Frances has helped refine standardized methods and data structure that allow aggregation of national and international datasets to achieve a bird’s eye view of plant conservation in the United States.
Accurate plant taxonomy is important when keeping data, and especially when sharing data. Make sure that rose means the same flower to those receiving the data as it does to you! Database managers need to check the names of species in their datasets against up-to-date taxonomies regularly, because names change more often than you might think.
The CPC Best Plant Conservation Practices to Support Species Survival in the Wild includes a section, “Documentation and Data Sharing” that covers a wide range of documentation needs, from propagule collection to propagation, experiments, and back to the wild for reintroduction.
Our natural heritage is the sum total of our biodiversity, ecosystems, and geological structures. It’s essential that we know what we have in order to care for it and be able to pass it on. This knowledge is a key role of the Natural Heritage Programs that constitute the NatureServe Network.
The challenge of compiling data has real conservation importance. In 2019, the California legislature approved a $3 million budget line item to collect seed from all remaining rare plant species in California not currently represented in the California Plant Rescue seed banking network.
In this issue, we honor the state Natural Heritage Programs and the NatureServe Network. When all of us share our data, we generate great value that helps us accomplish efficient targeted plant conservation.
This presentation focuses on ways that CPC institutions can collect and transfer data to better inform conservation status assessments.
Although many labs in CPC’s Participating Institutions are currently idle, the researchers are certainly not. Researchers are digging deeper into the literature, formulating new projects and experiments, and getting creative in their stay-at-home tasks. Our collective passion for plants is undaunted. Our work to conserve them continues.
Amidst these times of great human suffering, it is important to remember rays of light that can outshine the darkness. Our Conservation Champion Jennifer Ceska is such a radiant being. She customarily calls colleagues “beloveds.” When she wraps her big smile and warm heart around a crowd, it will follow her anywhere. Her nurturing attention has helped the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance thrive over many years and even during a pandemic. We wish we could clone her!
COVID-19 has changed the logistics of plant conservation work for many CPC institutions – some more than others. Rare plants are found in their habitats – decidedly outside of home offices. Plants’ homes must be visited to monitor populations, collect seed, conduct management activities, and more. Learn how some of our PIs are adapting in their field work.