Monday, June 6, 2011

Current 2011 Herbarium Specimen Density for California

A key took to understanding the California flora is the availability of observation and specimen records. The CCH web portal shows statistics for specimen density for each of the 58 California counties. Here, I summarize these data by county. With 1.2 million specimens databased, the mean collection density state wide is 3.2 specimens/square kilometer. The striking pattern obtained by mapping specimen density within quartiles on a county basis is the inequality pattern: slightly over half of counties fall below the mean. but a sizable number of counties (San Benito, Fresno, Shasta, Glenn, Stanislaus, Imperial, Madera, Lassen, Merced, San Joaquin and Kings) fall in the lower quartile (that is, below 1.6 specimens/km2). The undercollected nature of Kings County can be attributed to little remaining natural habitat, as might be argued for Madera and Fresno Counties. However, if we discount the ag portions of these counties (at roughly half their area), their specimen density still falls below the median. Understandably, the lower herbarium specimen density for Shasta and Lassen counties is owing to remoteness.

as Jepson's bookplate admonished "something is still lost beyond the ranges, over yonder go ye' there"

But go ye to the lower quartile counties.

1 comment:

Faerthen Felix said...

Jepson seems to be paraphrasing Kipling's "The Explorer":

"Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges - Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go!"