The most basic component of a flora/fauna is the species list. One of the benefits of the virtual environment is the ability to establish an all-inclusive species list, as well as a multitude of smaller lists covering more limited regions within the overall area of study. Ideally, each species list is carefully compiled by one or more researchers visiting a study area over a period of several years. This controlled study method tends to produce a high-quality species list where each species is scientifically verified and documented to occur within the area. Documentation involves the collection of one to several specimens of each species, pressing and drying for long-term preservation, and making the preserved specimens publicly available by depositing them within regional natural history collection. These specimens serve as proof that all species actually occur within the research area. If there is any doubt, one can inspect a voucher and verify or change the identification as needed. This protocol ensures that a floristic study maintains scientifically reproducible results.
Symbiota virtual portals offer an extremely flexible interface for exploring a species list of a given area. Users can filter lists by family, genus, species, or even common name. Results can be displayed with species authors, common names, habitat information, and/or voucher details. The list can even be displayed as a list of thumbnail images, making it easier to visualize the biota represented within the area. Furthermore, these species lists can be incorporated into multistate identification keys, flash card type quizzes, or other tools and games. See links below to explore these capabilities firsthand.
Upper San Pedro Checklist
Asteraceae of the Upper San Pedro
Poaceae of Upper San Pedro as an image list
Identification Key to the Poaceae of the Upper San Pedro
Flashcard Quiz of the Poaceae of the Upper San Pedro