When searching in the database or consulting the checklist you will retrieve a list of specimens that match the search parameters or represent the species clicked on in the checklists. At first, you will see an abbreviated list of specimen data running across the screen. In order to see more details, including images, click on the species name.
This site is driven by a specimen based database. As data from specimens are entered into the database they appear overnight on the web pages. The specimens document the species as occurring in the Preserve and provide the data needed to identify unknown plants (e.g., collection locality, collectors names and numbers, and description of the species collected). Images of herbarium sheets and field images appear when searches are made or when a species name is selected from the checklist of a group. The specimens are called "vouchers" which are deposited in the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium of The New York Botanical Garden. The information helps the user to identify species. For example, one can easily identify an orchid species in the preserve by comparing the images associated with the few species of orchids known to occur in the Preserve.
When species names are clicked on in the checklist or searched for in the database images of the species appear on the screen. Scroll down to access other data associated with the collection; for example; the collector and number, when the specimen was collected, common names, and descriptions of the plant on the label.
Another way to identify a species is to search for specimens by adding information to the search fields on the specimens page. For example, one could search for a flowering plant collected in June with white flowers. Using this search, 30 different collections were retrieved. By comparing images, I was able to determine that the plant was the rounded shinleaf (Pyrola americana). In addition, whenn a common name is known one can consult "Common Names" to learn its scientific name
The lists for the flowering plants, pines and their relatives, ferns, lycopods, and fungi are more informative than are the lists of the mosses, hepatics, and lichens. The latter groups are lists of names documented by herbarium specimens, These groups have very few field images of the species and no herbarium sheet scans have been added to the records.
There are many changes in plant and fungal classification due, for the most part, to studies based on molecular data. For example, in the flowering plant group the Aceraceae are placed in the Sapindaceae, Sterculiaceae; in the Malvaceae; Nyssaceae in the Cornaceae; and the Asclepiadaceae and Apocynaceae combined to form a larger Asclepiadaceae. To determine changes in classification consult the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) (Stevens, 2004 onward) or WikiPedia for current classification. The fungi, which have many more species than the flowering plants, have some unresolved classification issues, and that is reflected in our database. When data were added to the database, the family name assigned to it by the database was accepted.