BHSU Herbarium Database Project Image 1
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BHSU Herbarium Database Project (Image 1)

July 1, 2010
BHSU Herbarium Database Project (Image 1) Grace Kostel, Herbarium manager at Black Hills State University (BHSU), is shown here at work on one of several current floristic projects at the Herbarium. Grace is currently working on the flora of Harding County, SD, which was last studied in 1914. Information gained from this project will reveal species that have either been introduced or disappeared since that time. A Herbarium is a collection of dried plants mounted, labeled and systematically arranged for use in scientific study. At present, the BHSU Herbarium holds over 30,000 specimens of vascular plants from around the globe, as well as the world's most extensive collection of Black Hills plants. The holdings of the Herbarium include approximately a thousand specimens of macrofungi, lichens and slime molds. Most of the specimens are state records, and are frequently the only records of fungi from the region. Some specimens are over 100 years old, and provide a good record of changes in biodiversity, as well as a storehouse of genetic information. The BHSU Herbarium is also home to several thousand specimens of fossil plants, especially fossils from the Great Plains of North America, including a number of type collections. These fossils contribute to our knowledge of past environments and provide a record of climate changes over the last 30 million years. This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant DBI 05-45102, awarded for the construction of a database of vascular plant specimens contained in 16 Herbaria from western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. The grant also supported the purchase and installation of mobile storage units and cabinets. (Date of Image: 2007) [One of 4 related images. See Next Image.]

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