Texas Master Naturalist, Rio Brazos Chapter and Native Plant Society of Texas, Prairie Rose Chapter assist the S.M. Tracy Herbarium with updating the plant species existing in Somervell County, Texas

On February 19th, 2022 the Curator of the S.M. Tracy Herbarium (Dale Kruse) presented a lecture to 40 Texas Master Naturalist and Native Plant Society of Texas members at Little L Ranch. The purpose of the lecture was to train a group of volunteers in the art of collecting and pressing plant samples suitable for presentation to S.M. Tracy and other herbariums.

Dale plans to make 3-4 trips to the ranch annually with a group from Texas A&M over the next 2-3 years, while updating the plant species in Somervell County. Between his trips, those that attended the lecture will be collecting bryophytes (Dales speciality), forbs, grasses, shrubs and tree samples. These samples will be pressed, dried and mailed to the Herbarium where everything will be properly identified, mounted and samples shared with other herbariums.

The collecting of plant samples for herbariums is important for the study of plant taxonomy, as well as understanding the distribution of plants not only now, but how those plant distributions change over the years. This role is becoming more important as human influences move plant species to locations far from where they evolved. Additionally, with the influence of climate change and habitat destruction, tracking regional changes of plants has a direct influence on migration patterns and suitable habitat for the survival of all animals.

Posted by robertjwalker robertjwalker, April 04, 2022 14:28

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