Species Distribution Modeling

In 2011, we started research in modeling the species distribution of rare plants in the western United States. The project, funded by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, is examining the current and potential distribution of more than 500 rare plants, including many cacti species. In 2014, additional distribution models were created for most of the species being studied and staff again spent time validating the distribution models for a small portion of our rare species. Throughout the ground-validation process, we have verified approximately 140 rare plant occurrences, of which nearly 60 are new. As a side benefit to the research project, we have added hundreds of voucher specimens to the herbarium. These will be useful for other researchers studying the flora of the West (Still, Vitt, and Havens-Young).