Date of Award
Master of Biological Science (MBioSci)
This project had two main objectives. The first objective was to document comprehensively the vascular flora of Crawford and Cherokee counties in extreme southeast Kansas. Each county had seen limited collecting in recent decades, though a comprehensive survey had never been done for Cherokee County. PSU student E.S. Gibson summarized the flora for Crawford County in 1963. Fieldwork for the present study occurred mostly in 2014 and 2015. Based on 6500+ newly collected specimens, vouchers from Gibson’s study, and taxa documented by Biota of North America (BONAP) (Kartesz 2017), 1440 taxa are reported, which includes 33 state and 263 county records. The number of records was significantly more than expected. These results, coupled with other recent floristic studies nationally, indicate that current plant distributions in many parts of North America at the state and county levels are less thoroughly documented than many believe. The second objective was to make a five-decade comparison between the taxa Gibson (1963) reported for Crawford County and the values reported here. Its goal was to document changes in vascular plant diversity and report on native and non-native plant species that have moved into the area. The amount of taxonomic and nomenclatural change that has affected vascular plants in Crawford County was assessed. The total vouchered taxa for Crawford County increased by 32.6%, 24.4% of which were native and 8.1% non-native. In the nomenclatural comparison, a 22.6% change in binomial species names was documented.
Pryer, Samantha, "Floristic Survey Of Crawford And Cherokee Counties In Southeast Kansas: An Evaluation Of Change Over Five Decades" (2018). Electronic Thesis Collection. 256.