About and Acknowledgements

CNABH is a distributed network of universities, museums, and state and federal agencies that provides an integrated network of floristic, taxonomic, and environmental information. The specimen-based virtual flora model used in this website follows the tradition of using biological specimen records as the central data foundation to support taxonomic and floristic research. However, technical advances in biodiversity informatics now enable us to establish and maintain enhanced connections to the core specimen data in a manner that was not previously possible. This enhanced relationship ensures a high level of scientific integrity of the online resource. Furthermore, integrating the virtual environment with a bio-collaborative approach allows the scientific community to establish an extensive floristic resource that is complete, accurate, and continually being enriched by the community at large, yet flexible enough to be of value to both the novice and the expert biologist. The primary goal of this project is to advance scientific research while simultaneously creating a resource that educates and inspires our future biologists.
This integrated, bio-collaborative resource is a direct product of the scientific community. Since the core data is frequently being added to and maintained through a network of researchers, data quality is continuously being improved and enhanced. Initially created with financial assistance from the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, the consortium is growing to extend its network to other partners within North America. Financial and technical support is also being supplied by the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) and the National Science Fountain funded Symbiota Virtual Flora Software Project (NSF ABI 0743827). In July 2011, the US National Science Foundation awarded support to a collaboration of herbaria in order to database ca. 2.3 million North American bryophyte and lichen specimens (ADBC 2011 announcement, NSF ADBC 1115116). With completion expected to occur within 4-5 years, this portal will offer access to over 85% of the North American (Canada, Mexico, USA) records held in U.S., non-governmental herbaria.
Liverwort and hornwort taxonomy has been supplied and is currently maintained by Matt Van Konrat, following the taxonomy laid out within Konrat et al (2010). Since herbarium specimens serve as the scientific foundation of the integrated dataset, participating herbaria need to be formally recognized as an essential component of this collaborative effort.
KONRAT, MATT VON, LARS SÖDERSTRÖM & ANDERS HAGBORG. 2010. The Early Land Plants Today project (ELPT): A community-driven effort and a new partnership with Phytotaxa. Phytotaxa 9: 11–21