New York Flora Atlas - User's Guide

 

HISTORY OF THE ATLAS:

Homer D. House became the second State Botanist of New York in 1915 after the first State Botanist of New York, Charles H. Peck, retired (House 1915). At the New York State Museum (NYSM) in Albany, House started a “card index system” for all the vascular plants of New York (House 1939). Each card is a large manila sheet and will be referred to as the NY State Museum master plant distribution files or NYSM card files for short. The first card for each taxon has a spreadsheet on one side and a map of New York State on the reverse. The spreadsheet contains records which note locality, county, collector, date, where the collection is housed, and “remarks and references”. Many of these records document specimens. In addition, some of the records are literature reports and unvouchered field observations. The map on the card shows the distribution of the taxon in New York based on all of these records. For taxa with numerous records, there are additional cards consisting solely of spreadsheets. House (1939) described the NYSM card files as a “card index system showing the distribution in the State of every known species of fern and flowering plant. Notation of specimens in this [NYS] and other institutions is entered on the card, while on the reverse side occurs an outline map of the State, dotted to show the locality from which each specimen comes, and thus shows at a glance the known distribution in this State of the particular plant of which this card is a record”.

While House started the NYSM card files the data was continually updated until sometime in the 1980’s when these efforts petered out (Mitchell 1986, Charles Sheviak personal communication) although it appears that at least some data continued to be added to the master files until at least the early 1990’s. The majority of entries on the master files are from House and Stanly J. Smith (a past curator of botany at the NYSM) with “over two-thirds of the entries” attributed to Smith (Mitchell 1986) and for this reason the NYSM card files are sometimes referred to as the House or Smith cards or maps.

The first New York Flora Atlas (New York Flora Association 1990, then called the Preliminary Vouchered Atlas of New York State Flora) was created in 1990 based primarily on the vouchered specimen records noted on the NYSM card files. The field observations and literature citation records from the NYSM card files, for which specimen data was not available, were not included in the preliminary atlas. Additional specimen data from the Flora of the Vascular Plants of Cattaraugus County, New York (Eaton and Schrot 1987) was included in the preliminary atlas (New York Flora Association 1990). The NYSM card files and therefore the preliminary atlas does not include data from tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of additional New York State specimens currently housed at numerous herbaria. Therefore, the preliminary atlas was considered a “bare-bones beginning” (New York Flora Association 1990).

The preliminary atlas of 1990 is a hard copy unpublished document that was initially circulated to members of the New York Flora Association. It consists of a list of all the vascular plant taxa known from New York. Each taxon is listed adjacent to a map showing the counties of New York with a single dot placed in counties where records of vouchered specimens (as described above) were known.

The preliminary atlas was digitized and the county distribution data was converted into a spreadsheet format by John Kartesz. Some additional specimen data was gathered from herbaria. In 2002, a static online atlas was created which included the data from the preliminary atlas as well as these new records (Weldy et. al 2002).

In 2004, funding for the current dynamic atlas (i.e. when new records are added they are reflected in the distribution maps) was obtained from the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute with matching funds contributed by the New York Flora Association. Additional funding from the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute has been used to update the database, website, and data. The current atlas has been enhanced by adding additional information on each taxon in addition to adding to the distribution records. See the “current atlas” section below for more details.

HOW TO USE THE ATLAS:

The atlas can be used to find out information about a particular taxon or to create a list of taxa.

Quick summary:

To begin, a user searches or browses the atlas. Some search and browse categories available include scientific name, common name, and county. After searching or browsing, the user is provided with a results grid or list. If the search or browse was very narrow the list may only include one taxon. The list may be the end point for some users.

If the user wants more information on a particular taxon from the results grid, they can click on a particular taxon’s name in the results grid and the user will be taken to that taxon’s web page. This web page has all the information that is available for the taxon including a distribution map. Since this is a lot of information the user may need to scroll down the page to see some of the details.

Detailed version:

Depending on what information is desired by the user there are up to two main steps to be taken. Step one involves either searching or browsing the atlas. This will take the user to a results grid. Step two involves finding out more information about a taxon (in this case a specific or infraspecific taxon) by clicking on one of the taxa in the results grid. This will take the user to the individual taxon’s web page where all the information about a taxon is listed. These two main steps and the various options that can be implemented are described in detail below. Genus and family pages are also available and details about getting to these pages are also described in detail below.

SEARCHING:

Basic search:

From any page in the atlas, a basic search function is available where one can search based on a few categories including: scientific name, common name, family, genus, or county (i.e. a county where the Atlas has data on a vouchered specimen documenting its presence in that county).

The default setting when a user arrives at a page in the Atlas is for a basic search. If the user has gone away from this default setting simply click on Home or after the word “Action:” in the Atlas banner click on Search.

The user is now ready to implement a basic search. Enter text to search in the empty box in the Atlas banner and choose a category to search. Press enter or click on the search button immediately to the right of the box that contains the category selected. This will return a results grid (i.e. a spreadsheet or list). For details about the results grid see information under the “results grid” section below.

Correct spelling of scientific or common names is necessary for desired results but searching the full name is not necessary. Any correct part of a taxon’s name can be entered and the results grid that will be generated will generally be short and will contain the desired name.

For example, matching the full name exactly in a scientific name search for Piptochaetium avenaceum may be difficult, but strings of either tium aven or avenace or m avenac or pipto will all result in a very small list that contains Piptochaetium avenaceum.

A similar example in a common name search is Virginia snakeroot. Searching using "snake root" will not result in a list containing Virginia snakeroot due to the extra space, but searching "snake" will generate a short list of plants with the word "snake" in the common name including Virginia snakeroot. Furthermore, a search of "Virginia snake" or even "nia snak" yields one result: Virginia snakeroot.

Advanced search:

An advanced search is also available allowing a more refined search. From any page in the atlas, after the word “Action:” in the Atlas banner, click on “Advanced Search”. This takes the user to the advanced search page. After the user is done filing out the advanced search page they click one of the “Search” buttons which are located at the top and bottom of the advanced search page. A results grid will then be displayed. For details about the results grid see information under the “results grid” section below. Details regarding filing out the advanced search page are as follows:

On the advanced search page the user inputs text in the empty “enter keyword” box. This box can also be left empty which will result in all possibilities being searched for.

In the “match type” box the user can choose that results from the inputted text field come from any part of the field or the start of the field or the end of the field or an exact match only.

In the “in this category” box the user can choose what category to have the inputted text search. The choices are scientific name or common name or family or genus or species or infraspecies.

In the “records per page” box the user can choose how many records will be visible in the results grid. The possible choices are 25 or 50 or 100 or 1000 or all.

The user can choose which type of names will appear in the results grid. The possibilities are accepted names, synonyms, and excluded names. Accepted names are the names of taxa that are considered part of the past or present flora of New York. Synonyms are just that, synonyms of accepted names. Synonyms include both true synonyms and occasionally misapplied names. Excluded names are names of taxa that are considered to not occur in New York and generally are based on erroneous reports.

The user can then further direct the search with additional search options. Numerous additional parameters can be chosen at once. These parameters generally limit the initial search. For example, if the user chooses to search for members of the Asteraceae family, the user inputs the text Asteraceae in the “enter keyword” box and then chooses family in the “in this category” box. This will result in a list of all the Asteraceae taxa for New York. If the user wants to restrict this list to just the non-native species then the user chooses non-native in the “nativity” box.

Options available in the additional search options section include: native status, endemic status, persisting status, duration, category, NWI wetland status, state listed status, US listed status, state rank, and global rank. Details about these categories can be found by clicking the “?” adjacent to these items on the advanced search page. Information can also be found out about these categories in the “basic information” section of the “data available for each taxon” section below.

Finally, on the advanced search page users are able to search based on counties where species are present or absent in addition to all the other search options available on the advanced search page. Users add counties to the “counties to include” and/or “counties to exclude” boxes by highlighting the county(ies) interested in and clicking the “include” or “exclude” buttons. Then users choose between “any” and “all” on the “counties to include” as well as the “counties to exclude” boxes. These details are explained below and help on the “any” and “all” selections can also be found by clicking on the “?” adjacent to the “any” and “all” bubbles on the advanced search page.

The results grid from a search with counties added to the “counties to include” box will include the taxa that occur in the county(ies) listed. For example, if a user wants to know all the members of the Asteraceae family that occur in Albany county they would input the text Asteraceae in the “enter keyword” box (at the top of the page), choose family in the “in this category” box (at the top of the page), and add Albany county to the “counties to include” box. If the user instead wants to know all the members of the Asteraceae family that occur in Albany or Rensselaer counties (i.e. occur in at least one of these counties) they would instead add both Albany and Rensselaer counties to the “counties to include” box and click on the “any” bubble at the top of the “counties to include” box. If instead the user wants to know all the members of the Asteraceae family that occur in Albany and Rensselaer counties (i.e. occur in both of these counties) they would click on the “all” bubble at the top of the “counties to include” box.

The results grid from a search with counties added to the “counties to exclude” box will include the taxa that do not occur in the county(ies) listed. For example, if a user wants to know all the members of the Asteraceae family from New York that do not occur in Albany county they would input the text Asteraceae in the “enter keyword” box (at the top of the page), choose family in the “in this category” box (at the top of the page), and add Albany county to the “counties to exclude” box. If the user instead wanted to know all the members of the Asteraceae family from New York that do not occur in Albany or Rensselaer counties (i.e. do not occur in at least one of these counties) they would instead add both Albany and Rensselaer counties to the “counties to exclude” box and click on the “any” bubble at the top of the “counties to include” box. If instead the user wants to know all the members of the Asteraceae family that do not occur in Albany and Rensselaer counties (i.e. do not occur in both of these counties) they would instead click on the “all” bubble at the top of the “counties to exclude” box.

If a user wants to know all the members of the Asteraceae family from New York that occur in Albany or Rensselaer counties but do not occur in Columbia or Greene counties they would input the text Asteraceae in the “enter keyword” box (at the top of the page), choose family in the “in this category” box (at the top of the page), add Albany and Rensselaer counties to the “counties to include” box, click on the “any” bubble at the top of the “counties to include” box, add Columbia and Greene counties to the “counties to exclude” box, and click on the “any” bubble at the top of the “counties to exclude” box.

BROWSING:

One can browse by various categories including: scientific name, common name, family, genus, and county. There are two main ways to start browsing. Only one of these is needed to begin the browsing process. A third way to browse is also available if the user only wants to browse a list of taxa that are known from one particular county. For this, the user goes to the Atlas home page. From the home page a map of New York State with color coded counties is visible. Click on one of these counties and the user is taken to a results grid that includes all the taxa that are known from that county. For details about the results grid see information under the “results grid” section below.

1. From any page in the atlas, after the word “Action:” in the Atlas banner, click on “Browse”. Then select a category in the drop down box. The default category is scientific name. If a different category is desired click on the category box and a list of the other categories will appear. Scroll down to the desired category and click on it. When the desired category to browse on is visible in the category box, click on the “Browse” button immediately to the right of the category box.

2. From any page in the atlas, in the header, is a drop down box labeled “Browse Atlas By”. The user can hover their curser over this label and a list of categories will be displayed. Scroll down to one of these categories and click on it.

After the user completes step 1 or 2 listed above they arrive at one of five different “Browse Plants by” pages depending on which category was selected. These “Browse Plants by” pages are described below.

The “Browse Plants by Scientific Name”, “Browse Plants by Common Name”, “Browse Plants by Family”, and “Browse Plants by Genus” pages are all very similar. At the top of these pages the letters of the alphabet are listed. Select one of these letters and a list with all members of the category chosen that start with the selected letter will be listed. Click on one of these and a results grid will be displayed. For details about the results grid see information under the “results grid” section below.

The “Browse Plants by County” page allows the user to create a list of taxa that are known from a particular county or counties and/or that are not known from a particular county or counties. The user selects one or more counties in the “counties to include” and/or “the counties to exclude” boxes by clicking on the county names in the appropriate box. Clicking on a county name twice will deselect it. For example, if a user wants to know all the taxa that are known from Albany or Rensselaer counties they select these two counties in the “counties to include” box. If a user wants to know all the taxa that are known from Albany or Rensselaer counties but do not occur in Columbia or Greene counties they select Albany and Rensselaer counties in the “counties to include” box and select Columbia and Greene counties in the “counties to exclude” box. After selecting the counties in the appropriate boxes the user clicks one of the “Browse” buttons and a results grid will be displayed. For details about the results grid see information under the “results grid” section below.

RESULTS GRID:

After browsing or searching the user will be presented with a results grid or list. The results grid contains all the accepted, excluded, and synonym names that meet the criteria of the browse or search selection. In addition, any accepted names that have synonyms that meet the criteria of the initial browse or search selection will be listed.

The first field or column in the results grid is “Record Format”. There are four record format categories: accepted, excluded, synonym, and accepted of syn. (i.e. accepted of synonym).

Accepted names are names that are considered to be part of the flora of New York (see “accepted and excluded taxa of New York” section for more detail).

Excluded names are names that are rejected as part of the flora of New York (again see “accepted and excluded taxa of New York” section for more detail). The category excluded name is applied to synonyms of excluded names as well.

Synonym names are synonyms of accepted names including true synonyms and misapplied names (see “synonym” section for more details).

Accepted of synonym names are names that are considered to be part of the flora of New York (i.e. they are accepted names) but did not fall within the criteria of the search or browse selection and have a synonym that did fall within the criteria of the search or browse selection. For example, if a basic search on scientific names is done for Senecio aureus, the name Packera aurea will show up in the results grid with a record format of Accepted as synonym. This is because although Packera aurea does not fit the criteria searched it is an accepted name that has a synonym (Senecio aureus) that does fit the criteria searched. This function allows users to search on names that may be synonyms of currently accepted name and have those accepted names returned in the results grid. Therefore, a user does not need to know what the currently accepted name of a taxon is to be able search for it. Taxa that are placed in the accepted of synonym record format category will be considered synonyms for filtering purposes (see information about filtering below).

The initial results grid will often be filtered depending on what record format categories (see above) are in the results grid in order to make the initial results grid more useful. If the results grid contains accepted names (not including accepted of synonym names) and also contains synonyms (including accepted of synonym names) and/or excluded names the initial results grid will be filtered to show only accepted names (a message will be displayed indicating this). If there are only synonyms (including accepted of synonym names) and excluded names in the initial results grid then the initial results grid will be filtered to show only synonyms (including accepted of synonym names).

Any grid that is filtered will display the message “Records are being filtered, turn off?” at the top left hand corner of the results grid. Clicking on this message will result in turning off the filter and all the records (accepted, synonyms, and excluded) will be displayed.

Filtered results grids can also be modified by changing the “Record Format” filter. To modify this filter click on the box below the word “Record Format” and a list will appear that includes four possibilities: any, accepted, synonym, and excluded. “Any” will include all names whether they are accepted names, synonyms, or excluded names. “Accepted” will only include names on the accepted list. “Synonym” will only include synonyms of accepted names. “Excluded” will only include names on the excluded list including synonyms of these names. Scroll down and click the category desired and the results grid will be appropriately modified.

The results grid is also originally set to a default of 25 taxa per page but can be expanded to include more taxa per page. To change the number of taxa per page, click the box to the right of the words “Records per Page” in the “Display Options” area. A list of options (25, 50, 100, 500, 1000, All) will appear. Scroll down and click on one of these options and the results grid will be modified.

Depending on how many taxa result from a search or browse selection and the number of taxa per page selected there may be more than one page of results in the results grid. To view the other pages click one of the arrows at the top or bottom of the grid.

Some information on each taxon is available for viewing in the results grid. Additional fields can be made visible in the results grid by clicking, after the words “Results View”, on “Custom”. A box will appear that lists all the fields that can be viewed in a results custom grid. There are other fields available for each taxon which can only be seen by going directly to the specific taxon’s page (more on that below). The user checks the small boxes next to the fields desired and clicks the “Update” button. An updated results grid will appear showing the same list of taxa but with all the fields selected by the user. To return to the regular results grid with only a few selected default fields click, after the words “Results View”, on “Grid”.

If the custom results grid has so many fields that some of the data is displayed to the right of the user’s screen the user will need to scroll right in order to see the initially hidden fields.

These result grids can be exported to a Microsoft Excel document or printed by clicking the appropriate button in the upper right corner of the results grid page. With the appropriate software a user can also “print” the page as a document such as a PDF.

GALLERY GRID:

A gallery grid is also available. The gallery grid is a results grid with a few default fields or columns listed including a photograph column. To get to the gallery grid from any results grid page click, after the words “Results View”, on “Gallery”. A standard results grid can also be customizing to include a photograph column (see above).

SPECIES COMPARISON PAGES:

Taxa of interest from a results grid can be conveniently compared. From a results grid check the boxes in the "Compare" column for the taxa desired. Then click on "Compare Records" just above the result grid. A Species Comparison Page will then be displayed with the desired taxa. For each taxon a medium size thumbnail image (if available) is displayed along with some basic information including: scientific name, common name, family, genus, and record format. To see more photos (if present) of a particular taxon and to see the thumbnail image enlarged click on the thumbnail image. To go to the full page for a particular taxon click on the scientific name. Links to family and genus pages are also available directly from the Species Comparison Page.

TAXA PAGES:

A preferred way of viewing information about each taxon especially if the user only wants information about one taxon is to click directly on the desired taxon from a results grid. This will take the user to the taxon’s web page. If the taxon clicked on is a synonym the user will be taken to the web page of the accepted name of the synonym (a message will be displayed indicating this). The taxon’s web page includes all the data available for a particular taxon. The user will need to scroll down the page in order to see all the available information. See “data available for each taxon” section below for information on what data is available for each taxon.

These taxa pages can be printed by clicking on the print button on the upper right part of the page. With the appropriate software a user can also “print” the page as a document such as a PDF.

The only information that is not immediately present on the taxon’s web page is photographs of the taxon (if the Atlas has photographs of the taxon in question). These can be displayed by clicking on one of the three categories listed to the right of “Map” in the upper portion of the map box. These categories include: Photo Gallery, Fullscreen Slideshow, and Photo Resize Tool. These are explained below. If no photos are available the words “No Photo Available” will be listed immediately to the right of “Map” in the upper portion of the map box.

Photo Gallery: If this category is selected a photograph will replace the map. If various photographs of a particular taxon are available these will be displayed one after the next. To stop this slideshow click the pause button symbol in the lower right hand corner of the photograph box. To then resume the slideshow click the play button symbol in the lower right hand corner of the photograph box. A few other buttons are available to help move through the various photographs (if available) of a particular taxon.

Fulscreen Slideshow: If this category is selected a photograph will be shown that takes up a large part of the users computer screen. To fill the entire screen click on the photo or on the button in the lower right hand corner of the photograph box. To then return to the smaller photo hit escape. Then to return to the taxon’s web page hit escape again or click on the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the photograph box. There are a few other options available in the Full Screen Slideshow.

Photo Resize Tool: If this category is selected a photograph will be shown which can then be enlarged or shrunken. To return to the taxon’s web page click on “View species page” just above the photograph. The Photo Resize Tool will also allow for the printing of the photo by clicking on the print icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. With the appropriate software a user can also “print” the page as a document such as a PDF.

GENUS AND FAMILY PAGES:

Each genus and family has its own page. See “Data available for each genus and family” section below for information on what data is available on these pages.

There are a few ways to get to a genus page.
1) From a taxon’s (species or infraspecific taxon’s) page go to the classification section. In this classification section the genus name is listed and can be clicked, taking the user to that genus’ page.

2) From a results grid that contains members of the genus of interest, create a custom results grid that includes the field “genus”. In the column “Genus”, the genus names will be hyperlinks that can be clicked, taking the user to that genus’ page.

3) Start a new browse. Browse by a genus. Just above the resulting grid will be a for your information statement that provides a hyperlink to the genus page.

4) Each family page has a genera grid. In this grid is a “Genus” column. The genera in this column are hyperlinks that can be clicked, taking the user to that genus’ page.

There are a few ways to get to a family page.
1) Near the top of a taxon’s (species or infraspecific taxon’s) page is the category “Family”. The family name listed is a hyperlink which can be clicked, taking the user to that family’s page.

2) From a taxon’s (species or infraspecific taxon’s) page go to the classification section. In this classification section the family name will appear and can be clicked, taking the user to that family’s page.

3) The default results grid that contains members of the family of interest has a column “Family”. In the “Family” column, the family names are hyperlinks that can be clicked, taking the user to that family’s page.

4) Start a new browse. Browse by a family. Just above the resulting grid will be a for your information statement that provides a hyperlink to the family page.

5) From near the top of a genus’ page is the category “Family”. The family name listed is a hyperlink which can be clicked, taking the user to that family’s page.

CURRENT ATLAS:

Accepted and excluded taxa for New York:

Vascular Plants:

The taxa that were listed in the preliminary 1990 atlas (New York Flora Association 1990) forms the basis for the current list of taxa. The nomenclature from the preliminary atlas was originally updated based on the USDA Plants Database. Since then, the nomenclature and taxonomy of the list has been revised to reflect the outcome of research available in the literature as well as independent field and herbarium investigations. This information has also led to the inclusion of additional taxa to the list and the exclusion of others.

We have yet to critically examine most of the relevant taxa for New York and therefore the current list is considered preliminary and in a draft stage.

ACCEPTED TAXA:

We have taken a broad approach as to what plants should be included in the atlas. The reason for this approach is to allow users to have a full understanding of the flora of New York. It is our goal to include all taxa that may be encountered in the field or the herbarium that have not been directly cultivated. Taxa are considered as accepted if they fall under any of the following categories:

1. Taxa that are believed to be native to New York as of the European colonization of the Americas (within the past 500 years). This includes taxa which have become extirpated from New York since this time. It is not always clear what taxa were native as of this time and for species which this is unsure notes are included discussing the situation. Almost all taxa in this category are documented by voucher specimens. On very rare cases taxa are included as accepted native taxa without the presence of voucher specimens (e.g. Phoradendron leucarpum).

A few additional taxa are currently listed as accepted even though they lack voucher specimens. Ongoing research will help to determine if there are vouchers for these taxa and if they lack vouchers they will be moved to the excluded list.

2. Taxa that are known to be naturalized in New York. This includes non-native taxa which occur outside of cultivation. Sometimes a taxon is cultivated and then simply persists over time. These taxa are generally not included in the atlas unless they are able to spread, even slightly, from where they were originally cultivated. Sometimes this becomes a fine line. In general we try to err on the side of inclusion in the atlas with explanations as to the current situation of the taxon. Taxa in this category are vouchered by specimens.

3. Taxa that are known to have become introduced in New York for only a short period of time. These taxa are not truly naturalized and can be considered short duration waifs. Examples include taxa that appeared on ballast or newly seeded areas for only one or two seasons. This group is often excluded from many floras but we feel their inclusion, albeit with the appropriate commentary, is important since specimens of these taxa will be encountered in herbaria, the information is useful in assessing the ability of taxa to persist in New York, the taxa may still be persisting but have simply gone undetected, and the information is useful in interpreting reports in the literature. These taxa must also be vouchered by specimens.

4. Taxa that were clearly naturalized in New York at one point in time but currently are not considered to be present in the State. This category merges, at times imperceptibly with category 3. These taxa must also be vouchered by specimens.

EXCLUDED TAXA:

Taxa that have been reported from New York erroneously are considered excluded from the flora. This includes taxa that have been reported based on misidentifications. Also, taxa are considered excluded if they had been reported to occur outside of cultivation but later were determined to occur only in cultivation. In almost all cases, taxa are considered excluded if they were reported but no vouchers are known documenting their presence in New York. Some names that have been used extensively on herbarium sheets erroneously but have never been published are also listed as excluded.

Currently many names that should be on the excluded taxa list are missing from the Atlas. Ongoing research into the flora of New York will add additional names of excluded taxa to the Atlas.

Distribution records:

The current atlas still relies heavily on the county distribution data from the preliminary New York Flora atlas (New York Flora Association 1990) with approximately 51,360 records from this source. The rest of the distribution records come directly from herbaria, from individuals who report data of specimens housed at herbaria, in a few cases on reports of specimens in the literature, and from the New York Natural Heritage Program’s records of specimens housed at herbaria. While the current distribution records should all be based on vouchered specimens housed at herbaria some of the data is second hand. Eventually, we hope to eliminate all distribution records that are not directly provided by herbaria. Since, most herbaria have yet or only begun to database their collections it is currently (2009) premature to remove all the second hand record data.

Herbaria that the atlas has data for are listed on the “Contributors” page which can be found in the “About the Atlas” tab on the Atlas header of the home page. This list includes the full herbarium names along with the number of specimens from each herbarium that are currently included in the atlas. For specimen records based on the preliminary atlas (New York Flora Association 1990) which in turn are primarily based on the NYSM card files (see the "history" section above) the acronym NYFA_1990 is used since the preliminary atlas did not indicate which herbaria voucher specimens were housed.

All distribution records that are entered into the database as of 2009 will indicate who or what institution submitted the record and when the data was submitted. In addition, all new records will indicate what names were given to the specimens by the herbaria. At times this “herbarium name” may differ from our accepted name.

Currently (2009) there are perhaps hundreds of thousands of voucher specimens housed at herbaria which we do not have data for. We currently have no or only minimal data from some of the major herbaria which house New York specimens (e.g. BH, BUF, HUH [including A, GH, NEBC], PH, NY, NYS, ROCH, US). For this reason, the current distributions shown for taxa should be considered preliminary. In other words, just because a taxon is not listed for a particular county does not mean that there is not a voucher specimen of this taxon from that county housed at a herbarium. In addition, a taxon may occur in a county but no voucher has been collected from this county. As data from herbaria become data-based and incorporated into the atlas it should allow for a clearer picture of the distribution of taxa in New York.

We have not verified most herbarium records, so to be certain of the identification of a particular specimen users are encouraged to seek out the actual specimen and verify its identification. For records based on the preliminary atlas (i.e. noted as from NYFA_1990) users need to consult the NYSM card files at the New York State Museum to determine what voucher specimen the record is based on and at what herbarium it is located. The NYSM card files were digitized in 2010 and images of specific cards are available upon request by contacting us (Troy Weldy or David Werier).

Since a lot of our distribution data is currently second hand we might not have captured information on annotations of specimens that were annotated after the data was originally collected. Herbaria that database their specimens keep track of these annotations so information that is provided directly from herbaria is more reliable than second hand reports. This is part of the reason why we eventually hope to eliminate all second hand distributional data including information from the preliminary 1990 atlas.

Technology:

Data available for each taxon (species or infraspecific level):

Various information about each taxon is recorded in the Atlas. Different fields are used to capture this information. Certain fields apply specifically to accepted taxa while other fields apply to excluded taxa. All of this information is available in one of two places.

1. For a complete list of all the details recorded by the Atlas on each taxon view the taxon’s own web page (See “how to use the Atlas” section above). All the information available regarding each taxon is displayed on these pages. These taxa pages can be printed by clicking on the print button on the upper right part of the page. With the appropriate software a user can also “print” the page as a document such as a PDF.

2. For only some of the details recorded by the Atlas on each taxon a user can view the results grid that is reached by the initial search or browse (See “how to use the atlas” section above). These result grids can be modified to include particular fields of interest (again see “how to use the atlas” section above). These results grids can be printed or exported to a Microsoft Excel document by clicking the appropriate button on the upper right of the results grid page. With the appropriate software a user can also “print” the page as a document such as a PDF.

Accepted taxa:

Each web page for a specific taxon has information separated into different sections. These sections can be viewed by scrolling down the page or by clicking on the links in the “Jump to section” area at the top of the page. The various sections include: a basic information section, classification section, citation section, source section, and synonym section. In addition, a map/photo section occurs in the upper right portion of the taxon’s web page.

Map/photo section:

In the upper right hand section of a taxon’s web page is a map of New York. The counties where the Atlas has voucher specimen data are shaded. A shaded county does not mean that the taxon occurs throughout this county but simply that it occurs or occurred in at least one part of the county. The names of the counties can be displayed by placing the cursor over the county in question. The sources for the voucher specimens can be found lower down on the taxon’s web page in the source section.

If the Atlas has a photo of the taxon it can be displayed by clicking on one of the three categories listed to the right of “Map” in the upper portion of the map box. These categories include: Photo Gallery, Fullscreen Slideshow, and Photo Resize Tool. These are explained in the “how to use the atlas” section above. If no photos are available the words “No Photo Available” will be listed immediately to the right of “Map” in the upper portion of the map box.

Basic information section:

Scientific name: The scientific name including naming authorities is listed for each taxon. For details on what taxa are included and names used see the “accepted and excluded taxa for New York” section above.

Family: The scientific family name is listed for each taxon. These family names were originally pulled from the USDA Plants Database. Eventually we will be modifying these names to better reflect current research.

Common names: Sometimes a few common names are listed. For vascular plant taxa many common names were originally pulled from the USDA Plants Database. The common names are being changed to more accurately reflect common names used in New York. Sources for these common names include the literature as well our own knowledge. Sometimes we add newly coined common names. If multiple names are listed the first can be considered the primary common name. We have yet to critically review and change if necessary all the common names that are currently listed in the atlas so some of the common names that are currently listed may seem inappropriate for New York or that particular taxon.

Habitat: Habitat data is currently provided for many taxa with the goal of eventually providing habitat data for all taxa. Habitat information is based on our field experience from New York and occasionally supplemented by field experience from outside New York. In addition, habitat descriptions are sometimes augmented by or solely based on information on herbarium specimen labels. The eventual goal is to have all the habitat data based on both field observations and herbarium specimen labels.

Associated ecological communities: Ecological communities are “a variable assemblage of interacting plant and animal populations that share a common environment” (Edinger et. al. 2002). There are various ecological community classifications. We follow the classification for New York State by Edinger et al. (2002).

In the Atlas, taxa are assigned to one or more ecological communities based on our knowledge of the taxa as well as information provided by Edinger et al. (2002). Currently most species in the Atlas lack ecological community information.

Growth habit: The growth habit of taxa is described in the atlas. The basic terms we use to describe a plants habit are herb, shrub, tree, and vine. These terms are then modified to make the descriptions more informative.

The growth habit information was originally pulled from the USDA Plants database. The goal is to review this information, change it as appropriate to bring it in line with our understanding of the plants, and make the descriptions more informative.

Duration: Vascular plants are designated as being annual, biennial, or perennial.

Category: There are currently three main categories: vascular, bryophyte, and lichen. Vascular plants or tracheophytes are labeled as “vascular”. For convenience mosses, liverworts, and hornworts are labeled as ‘bryophytes” even though strong evidence indicates that bryophytes are not monophyletic. Lichens are labeled as “lichens”.

Plant notes: Various notes about taxa are listed here. These notes are not consistent from taxon to taxon but are meant to provide the user with various details that are not covered elsewhere in the Atlas. Some items that are included in the plant notes field include information related to a taxon’s native status when this information is not straight forward, details related to literature reports, information related to distribution of a taxon in New York, and information on special uses of a taxon.

Taxonomic notes: The taxonomic notes field displays information related to the taxonomy and nomenclature of a taxon. This field can be used to help a user understand some of the taxonomic and nomenclatural issues related to a taxon. This field also helps justify and/or explain the names used in the Atlas.

Status: The status field covers a number of separate items including: nativity status, persisting status, state rank, global rank, state rarity status, US rarity status, and NWI wetland status. These fields will be displayed if information related to a taxon occurs in the Atlas. The separate status fields are described below.

Nativity status: All taxa are listed as native or non-native in New York. When there are issues regarding a taxon’s native status these are discussed in the plant notes field. This includes information regarding taxa that are native in parts of New York but non-native in other parts.

Persisting status: Taxa are considered to be either persisting or not persisting. Species that are considered not to be persisting are noted in the status field by "Not Persisting". There is no notation in the status field for species that are considered to be persisting. A taxon that is persisting is currently considered to be growing outside of cultivation in New York. A taxon that is listed as not persisting is currently not considered to be growing outside of cultivation in New York. We apply this to both native and non-native taxa. The terms persisting or not persisting do not fully encompass the complexities that occur on the ground but they attempt to give a quick summation of the situation. If applicable, further details are noted in the plant notes field.

State rank: State ranks of taxa that are rare in New York are generally assigned by the New York Natural Heritage Program. State ranks for the rest of the taxa have been applied by us.

This numeric rank provides the relative rarity for each taxon based on a scale from 1 (very rare) to 5 (common). These ranks carry no legal status.

  • S1 - Critically imperiled in New York State because of extreme rarity (5 or fewer sites or very few remaining individuals) or extremely vulnerable to extirpation from New York State due to biological or human factors.
  • S2 - Imperiled in New York State because of rarity (6 - 20 sites or few remaining individuals) or highly vulnerable to extirpation from New York State due to biological or human factors.
  • S3 - Rare in New York State (usually 21 - 35 extant sites).
  • S4 - Apparently secure in New York State.
  • S5 - Demonstrably secure in New York State.
  • SE - State exotic or non-native
  • SH - Historical. No existing sites known in New York State in the last 20-30 years but it may be rediscovered.
  • SNR - Not yet ranked
  • SX - Apparently extirpated from New York State, very low probability of rediscovery.

  • A "?" indicates that an identification question exists about known populations. It also indicates that the rank presumably corresponds to actual populations even though the information has not yet been documented.

DOUBLE RANKS (e.g. S1S2, S2S3, S1S3)
The first rank indicates rarity based upon current documentation. The second rank indicates the probable rarity after all historical records and likely habitat have been checked.

Global rank: Each taxon’s global rank is determined by NatureServe. These ranks carry no legal weight. The global rank reflects the relative rarity of the taxon worldwide.

  • G1 - Critically imperiled throughout its range due to extreme rarity (5 or fewer sites or very few remaining individuals) or extremely vulnerable to extinction due to biological factors.
  • G2 - Imperiled throughout its range due to rarity (6 - 20 sites or few remaining individuals) or highly vulnerable to extinction due to biological factors.
  • G3 - Either very rare and local throughout its range (21 - 100 sites), with a restricted range (but possibly locally abundant), or vulnerable to extinction due to biological factors.
  • G4 - Apparently secure throughout its range (but possibly rare in parts).
  • G5 - Demonstrably secure throughout its range (but possibly rare in parts).
  • GH - Historically known, with the expectation that it might be rediscovered.
  • GNA - Species for which a rank is not applicable (e.g. NatureServe does not typically rank hybrids).
  • GNR - Not yet ranked.
  • GU - Currently unrankable due to lack of information or due to substantially conflicting information about status or trends.
  • GX - Species believed to be extinct.

  • A "?" denotes inexact numeric rank.
  • A "Q" indicates that the distinctiveness of this entity as a taxon at the current level is questionable.

DOUBLE RANKS (i.e., G1G2, G2G3, G1G3)
The first rank indicates rarity based upon current documentation. The second rank indicates the probable rarity after all historical records and likely habitat have been checked.

TAXON RANK
The T-ranks are defined in the same way as the Global ranks, but the T-rank only refers to the rarity of the subspecific taxon, not the rarity of the species as a whole. If needed, the T-rank is placed immediately following the G-rank.

State rarity status: The appropriate state rarity status is displayed for all taxa that are listed as threatened or endangered in New York State. If a taxon is not listed as threatened or endangered in New York State no information will be displayed in the Atlas regarding the taxon’s state rarity status. An explanation of New York State’s rarity statuses can be found in the atlas by clicking on the state rarity status on a taxon’s web page.

Plants in the categories described below are protected under New York State Environmental Conservation Law section 9-1503. Part (f) of the law reads as follows: "It is a violation for any person, anywhere in the state to pick, pluck, sever, remove, damage by the application of herbicides or defoliants, or carry away, without the consent of the owner, any protected plant. Each protected plant so picked, plucked, severed, removed, damaged or carried away shall constitute a separate violation." At this time, the Atlas only identifies those species listed as threatened or endangered.

Endangered:

  • 5 or fewer extant sites, or
  • fewer than 1,000 individuals, or
  • restricted to fewer than 4 U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 minute topographical maps, or
  • species listed as endangered by the U. S. Department of Interior, as enumerated in the Code of Federal Regulations 50 CFR 17.11.

Threatened:

  • 6 to fewer than 20 extant sites, or
  • 1,000 to fewer than 3,000 individuals, or
  • restricted to not less than 4 or more than 7 U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 minute topographical maps, or
  • listed as threatened by the U. S. Department of the Interior, as enumerated in the Code of Federal Regulations 50 CFR 17.11.

Rare:

  • 20 to 35 extant sites, or
  • 3,000 to 5,000 individuals statewide.

Exploitably vulnerable:

Species which are likely to become threatened in the near future throughout all or a significant portion of their range within the state if causal factors continue unchecked.

US rarity status: The appropriate US rarity status is displayed for all taxa that are listed as threatened or endangered in the United States. If a taxon is not listed as threatened or endangered in the US, no information will be displayed in the Atlas regarding the taxon’s US rarity status. An explanation of US’s rarity statuses can be found in the atlas by clicking on the US rarity status on a taxon’s web page.

The US rarity status is based on the list of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.

Endangered: Any species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Threatened: Any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

NWI Wetland status: The US Fish and Wildlife Service (1988) have assigned plant taxa that occur in wetlands a wetland indicator category based on the probability that these taxa occur in wetlands. Each taxon has been assigned an indicator category by region as well as an overall national indicator category which represent the full range of estimated probabilities of a species occurring in wetlands versus non-wetland across the entire distribution of the species.

In the Atlas we currently provide the national indicator category but plan to modify this data to represent only our region’s (region 1’s) indicator category. An explanation of the indicator categories can be seen in the Atlas by clicking on the NWI wetland category. They are also explained below.

In the Atlas, all taxa that have been assigned a wetland indicator category display the appropriate indicator category in the status section of the taxon’s web page. If a taxon is strictly an upland species no wetland indicator category is listed.

The wetland indicator categories are as follows:

OBL: Obligate Wetland. Occurs almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.

FACW: Facultative Wetland. Usually occurs in wetlands (estimated probability 67%-99%), but occasionally found in non-wetlands.

FAC: Facultative. Equally likely to occur in wetlands or non-wetlands (estimated probability 34%-66%).

FACU: Facultative Upland. Usually occurs in non-wetlands (estimated probability 67%-99%), but occasionally found in wetlands (estimated probability 1%-33%).

A positive (+) or negative (-) sign is used with the facultative indicator category to more specifically define the regional frequency of occurrence in wetlands. The positive sign indicates a frequency toward the higher end of the category (more frequently found in wetlands), and a negative sign indicates a frequency toward the lower end of the category (less frequently found in wetlands).

References: A list of abbreviated citations is listed for significant or relevant literature references related to the each taxon. The full citations can be found under “References” in the “About the Atlas” tab on the Atlas header of the home page.

Classification section:

For each taxon a brief summary of its classification is displayed including the taxon’s division, class, subclass, order, family, genus, and full scientific name.

The classification information has been extracted from the USDA Plants Database. We will be revising this classification to more accurately reflect phylogeny based on current taxonomic research.

Citation section:

The citation section consists of three main elements: the full citation, the full citation of the basionym, and details about the type.

Full citation: The full citation is the full name of the taxon along with its naming authorities and place of valid publication.

In many cases we are not doing original research to determine these full citations but are relying on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases for this data. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct full citation information.

Basionym: The basionym is a previously published legitimate epithet-bringing synonym from which the currently accepted name is formed. For these basionyms, the full name along with its naming authorities and place of valid publication is displayed. Sometimes the basionym is the same as the currently accepted name and a pair of stars is displayed next to the basionym category. A pair of stars is also displayed if we have yet to fill in the basionym data.

Much of the basionym data provided is not our own original research but is based on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct basionym information.

Type: Details related to the type specimen that the accepted taxon is based on are displayed in the Type field of the Citation section. If we have yet to determine type specimen information two stars are shown.

Much of the type specimen data provided is not our own original research but is based on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct type specimen data.

Source section:

For each taxon in the atlas a map is displayed showing its distribution based on vouchered specimens housed at herbaria for which we currently have data. Details about each vouchered specimen are visible in the “Source” section of each taxon’s web page.

Various data is included for each specimen record in the “Source” section including the following:

County: This is the county where the specimen was collected.

Year: The year the specimen was collected is displayed. If no year is listed on the specimen label, the year listed will be “none”. If on the other hand we do not have the year data from the specimen then the year listed will be “0” or “unknown”.

Herbaria: Under the herbaria column in the “Source” section are a few separate items including:

  • Herbarium code: The herbarium acronym for the herbarium where the specimen is located is displayed. The herbarium acronyms follow Index Herbariorum (Holmgren and Holmgren 1998-present) when a herbarium has registered with Index Herbariorum. For herbaria that do not have an official Index Herbariorum listing an acronym supplied by the herbarium is used. Herbaria are encouraged to register with Index Herbariorum. If a herbarium has a web site the herbarium acronym in the Atlas becomes a hyperlink which takes the user directly to that herbarium’s web page.

  • Herbaria that the atlas has data for are listed on the “Contributors” page which can be found in the “About the Atlas” tab on the Atlas header of the home page. The contributors list is alphabetical by the herbarium acronym. This list also includes full herbarium names along with the number of specimens from each herbarium that are currently included in the atlas.

  • For specimen records based on the preliminary atlas (New York Flora Association 1990) which in turn are primarily based on the NYSM card files (see the History section above) the acronym NYFA_1990 is used since the preliminary atlas did not indicate which herbaria voucher specimens were housed.

  • Unique specimen id or barcode: If a particular specimen is bar coded or has a unique id associated with it and the Atlas has this data it is included in the Herbaria column of the Source section. If present, it is displayed immediately below the herbarium code. This id is a useful way for users to track down specific specimens at a particular herbarium. If a herbarium has databased their specimens and these are available on the web the id in the Atlas becomes a hyperlink which takes the user directly to the record/photo of that particular specimen on that herbarium’s web page.

  • Herbarium name used: The scientific name that was supplied to the Atlas by a particular herbarium or data provider is listed in the Herbaria column of the Source section. This information allows the user to compare the name used by the herbarium and the name used by the Atlas. This is particularly useful for users that are trying to track down specimens at herbaria. It also helps user to see how we are interpreting data supplied by herbaria. For example, in the Atlas we recognize two subspecies of Toxicodendron radicans (ssp. negundo and ssp. radicans) as occurring in New York. If a herbarium supplies the Atlas with a record that they call only Toxicodendron radicans we can not be sure which subspecies this specimen belongs to. We will take this record and place it under one of the subspecies. In this instance, since the distribution of ssp. negundo occurs primarily in western and central New York and ssp. radicans occurs primarily in eastern and southeastern New York, a specimen listed as T. radicans from central New York will be placed under T. radicans ssp. negundo in the Atlas but under the “herbarium name used” will be listed only T. radicans. In this case, the user knows that the specimen was not distinguished to subspecific level by the herbarium and in order to confirm the identification the specimen needs to be examined.

Notes: Any notes provided by a herbarium or individual reporting specimens, related to a specific specimen, will be listed in the Notes column of the Source section.

If we have comments about a particular specimen these will usually not be listed here but will instead will be listed under the Plant Notes field at the top of the web page for a specific taxon. This allows our comments to persist in the Atlas even if a herbarium updates their data.

Submission information: Under the Submission Info column in the “Source” section are a few separate items including:

  • Name of the person or herbarium that provided the data: The data in the atlas comes either directly from herbaria or in some cases from individuals or institutions that have personally documented specimens occurring in herbaria. The name of the herbarium (displayed as the herbarium acronym) or the individual who supplied the atlas with the data is listed under the Submission Info column in the “Source” section. This information allows the user to know where our data is coming from. Most of the data that was collected during the early stages of the Atlas lacks information about the source of the data.

  • When the data was provided: The date the data was provided to the Atlas is also listed. Most of the data that was collected during the early stages of the Atlas lacks information about the date the data was provided.

Synonym section:

The synonym section provides information on the “synonyms” of a particular taxon. The synonyms listed include true synonyms (i.e. nomenclatural and taxonomic synonyms) as well as misapplied or misinterpreted names.

Nomenclatural synonyms (homotypic synonyms) are names that are based on the same type as the accepted name. For example, the names Carex mesochorea Mackenzie and Carex cephalophora Mackenzie ex Willdenow var. mesochorea (Mackenzie) Gleason are both based on the type of C. mesochorea Mackenzie. The taxon is currently recognized at the specific level as C. mesochorea Mackenzie and therefore C. cephalophora Mackenzie ex Willdenow var. mesochorea (Mackenzie) Gleason is considered a nomenclatural synonym.

Taxonomic synonyms (heterotypic synonyms) are names that are based on different types both of which are currently believed to be the same taxon. For example, the name Carex setacea Dewey and Carex vulpinoidea Michaux are based on different types but currently are believed to represent the same taxon. The accepted name is Carex vulpinoidea Michaux so Carex setacea Dewey becomes a taxonomic synonym.

On the other hand, misapplied or misinterpreted names are not true synonyms but are names that some authors have misapplied to a name. For example, the name Carex umbellata Schkuhr ex Willdenow was applied by Fernald (1950) to what is now consider to be Carex tonsa (Fernald) E.P. Bicknell var. rugosperma (Mackenzie) Crins. Since these two names are based on different types which are believed to represent distinct taxa Carex umbellata can not be considered a true synonym of C. tonsa var. rugosperma. So we say C. umbellata auct. non Schkuhr ex Willdenow (which means Carex umbellata of authors not of Schkuhr ex Willdenow) or C. umbellata sensu Fernald (1950), non Schkuhr ex Willdenow (which means Carex umbellata in the sense of Fernald (1950) not Schkuhr ex Willdenow).

Sometimes a name is considered to be misapplied because the old concept of the name was broadly interpreted. For example, the names Gaylussacia bigeloviana (Fernald) Sorrie & Weakley and G. dumosa (Andrews) Torr. & A. Gray are currently considered to be distinct taxa at the specific level. G. bigeloviana occurs in New York while G. dumosa is known from Maryland and further south. Mitchell and Tucker (1997) lumped these two taxa under the name G. dumosa. Since these two taxa are based on different types, and are currently considered distinct, the name G. dumosa (Andrews) Torr. & A. Gray cannot be considered a synonym of G. bigeloviana. Instead, in the synonym list under G. bigeloviana we say G. dumosa auct. non (Andrews) Torr. & A. Gray (which means G. dumosa of authors not (Andrews) Torr. & A. Gray.

The synonyms currently in the Atlas were originally imported from USDA plants. As we systematically go through the atlas we plan to delete all the synonyms that do not apply to New York and include others. We intend to account for all names (as synonyms, misapplied names, accepted names, or excluded names) that have been used by major publications covering New York. This includes: House (1924), Fernald (1950), Mitchell (1986), Gleason and Cronquist (1991), Mitchell and Tucker (1997), Flora of North America volumes, and the Contributions to a Flora of New York State series. Names from additional literature that cover taxa from New York will be included on a more casual basis.

The Synonym Section includes a few separate fields which are discussed below:

Synonyms: The full scientific name of the “synonym” with the naming authorities.

Full citation: The full citation is the full name of the “synonym” along with its naming authorities and place of valid publication.

In many cases we are not doing original research to determine these full citations but are relying on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases for this data. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct full citation information.

Basionym: The basionym is a previously published legitimate epithet-bringing synonym from which the “synonym” in question is formed. For these basionyms, the full name along with its naming authorities and place of valid publication is displayed. Sometimes the synonym is the basionym. In these cases the basionym field is left blank. The basionym field is also left blank if the “synonym” is truly a misapplied name and not a true synonym. The basionym field is also left blank if we have yet to fill in the basionym data. We hope to eventually have all the appropriate data entered into the atlas.

Much of the basionym data provided is not our own original research but is based on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct basionym information.

Type: This field displays details related to the type specimen that the synonym is based on. If the “synonym” is truly a misapplied name then this field is left blank. If we have yet to determine the type information this field is also left blank.

Much of the type specimen data provided is not our own original research but is based on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct type specimen data.

Notes: Any notes related to the “synonym” are displayed in the notes field of the Synonym section.

Excluded taxa:

Similar to accepted taxa, each excluded taxon has its own web page. The web page for each excluded taxa has information separated into different sections. These sections can be viewed by scrolling down the page or by clicking on the links in the “Jump to section” area at the top of the page. The various sections include: a basic information section, classification section, citation section, and synonym section.

Basic information section:

Family: The scientific name of the family of the excluded taxon is listed.

Species: The full scientific name of the taxon is listed.

Exclusion explanation: A brief explanation of why the taxon is considered excluded is listed.

Accepted name: If an accepted taxon has been misidentified or the name misapplied to a taxon that is not considered to occur in New York the incorrect name is placed in the excluded taxa list and the accepted name is listed. The excluded taxon’s name should not be considered a true synonym of any accepted name that is listed.

Full explanation: A full explanation of why the taxon is considered to be excluded is listed.

Classification section:

For each excluded taxon an abbreviated summary of its classification is displayed including the taxon’s family, genus, and full scientific name.

Citation section:

For each excluded taxon the full citation is listed with naming authorities and place of publication.

In many cases we are not doing original research to determine these full citations but are relying on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases for this data. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct full citation information.

Synonyms section:

The synonyms listed here are synonyms of the excluded names. As opposed to the synonyms listed for the accepted taxa the synonyms listed for the excluded taxa are all true synonyms and do not include misapplied names.

The Synonyms section has two separate fields including:

Synonym: The full scientific name of the synonym is listed.

Synonymous taxon: The full citation of the synonym along with its naming authorities and place of valid publication is listed.

Data available for each genus and family:

Genera:

For each genus a separate page is available which contains various data related to that genus. This information can be viewed by scrolling down the genus page or by clicking on the links in the “Jump to a section” area at the top of the page. The sections available include: basic information section, classification section, citation section, and species section. In addition, a map/photo section occurs in the upper right portion of the genus’ web page.

Map/photo section:

In the upper right hand section of a genus’ web page is a map of New York. The counties where we have voucher specimen data for all members of this genus are shaded. A shaded county does not mean that members of the genus occur throughout this county but simply that they occur or occurred in at least one part of the county. The names of the counties can be displayed by placing the cursor over the county in question.

The photo section on the genus pages displays all the photos that are present in the atlas for that particular genus.

Basic information section:

At the top of the basic information section is a sentence which states the number of accepted taxa that genus has in New York.

Family: The scientific family name for that genus is listed.

Common names: The common name for the genus is listed. For vascular plant taxa many genus common names were originally pulled from the USDA Plants Database. The common names are being changed to more accurately reflect common names used in New York. Sources for these common names include the literature as well our own knowledge. Sometimes we add newly coined common names. If multiple names are listed the first can be considered the primary common name. We have yet to critically review and change if necessary all the common names that are currently listed in the atlas so some of the common names that are currently listed may seem inappropriate for New York or that particular genus.

Classification section:

For each genus a brief summary of its classification is displayed including the division, class, subclass, order, family, and genus.

The classification information has been extracted from the USDA Plants Database. We will be revising this classification to more accurately reflect current taxonomic realignments that have been made to better reflect phylogeny.

Citation section:

The citation section consists of three main elements: the full citation, the full citation of the basionym, and details about the type.

Full citation: The full citation is the name of the genus with its naming authorities and place of valid publication.

In many cases we are not doing original research to determine these full citations but are relying on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases for this data. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct full citation information.

Basionym: The basionym is a previously published legitimate epithet-bringing synonym from which the current accepted genus is formed. For these basionyms, the full name along with its naming authorities and place of valid publication is displayed. Sometimes the basionym is the same as the currently accepted name and a pair of stars is displayed next to the basionym category. A pair of stars is also displayed if we have yet to fill in the basionym data.

Much of the basionym data provided is not our own original research but is based on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct basionym information.

Type: The scientific name of the type of the genus is listed along with its naming authorities. If we have yet to determine the type information two stars are shown.

Much of the type data provided is not our own original research but is based on authoritative treatments or taxonomic databases. In cases where we notice problems or there are discrepancies in the literature and taxonomic databases we have done original research to determine the correct type data.

Species section:

The species section consists of a grid listing all the accepted taxa known to occur in New York. Both the scientific and common names are listed.

Families:

For each family a separate page is available which contains various data related to that family. This information can be viewed by scrolling down the page or by clicking on the links in the “Jump to a section” area at the top of the page. The sections available include: classification section and genera section. In addition, a map/photo section occurs in the upper right portion of the taxon’s web page.

At the top of the family page is a sentence which states the number of genera and accepted taxa that the family has in New York.

Map/photo section:

In the upper right hand section of a family’s web page is a map of New York. Shaded counties indicate that the Atlas has voucher specimen data for at least one member of this family. A shaded county does not mean that members of the family occur throughout this county but simply that they occur or occurred in at least one part of the county. The names of the counties can be displayed by placing the cursor over the county in question.

The photo section on the family pages displays all the photos that are present in the atlas for that particular family.

Classification section:

For each family a brief summary of its classification is displayed including the division, class, subclass, order, and family.

The classification information has been extracted from the USDA Plants Database. We will be revising this classification to more accurately reflect current taxonomic realignments that have been made to better reflect phylogeny.

Genera section:

The genera section consists of a grid listing all the accepted genera known to occur in New York. For each genus both the scientific and common names are listed. In addition, the number of taxa within each genus is listed.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Please see our acknowledgements of individuals and institutions on the "Contributors" page.