The Deep South eFlora Workshop
14 and 15 October 2005
On the campus of Florida State University
Organized by the R. K. Godfrey Herbarium (FSU)
The subject of the workshop will be the development of a comprehensive plant database for the East Gulf Coastal Plain (EGCP) ecoregion. For the purpose of the workshop, we are recognizing the boundaries of the ecoregion as those recognized by the Nature Conservancy
(http://gis.tnc.org/data/MapbookWebsite/map_page.php?map_id=27). These boundaries stretch along the coast from just west of Gainesville, Florida to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and about 100 miles inland. Of the 1,600 vascular plant species that are endemic to the greater Southeastern Coastal Plains, at least 122 are restricted primarily to the EGCP, and at least 50% of the 1,600 occur here. A sizable number of these regional endemics are restricted to pine-dominated wetlands and uplands, two ecosystems that have dwindled significantly in extent over the past 100 years.
The primary motivation for the workshop is the desire to develop a plant database that will be of broad use to researchers, educators, land managers, and the general public. Goals of the workshop include (i) assessing collection strengths (taxonomic and geographic) of herbaria located in or near the ecoregion, (ii) assessing databasing expertise at institutions and agencies, (iii) characterizing the ideal plant database (in terms of content and technical functionality), and (iv) planning the steps necessary to make the database a reality. The online plant database might include such things as herbarium specimen images and label data, interactive keys, distribution maps, phenology diagrams, and online annotation tools for the remote curation of specimens. A primary intended outcome of the workshop is the development of one or more grant proposals (including at least one to NSF) to support the project.
If you are interested in being a part of this workshop, we would be pleased to hear from you. Please email Sarah Braun at
A comprehensive plant database has the potential to accelerate research discoveries, bolster education and natural resource management, and energize public support of conservation efforts.