I am very glad to announce the release of a full-featured version of the electronic checklist of North Dakota plants and the “Flora of North Dakota: Illustrated Checklist” electronic book. URL:http://ashipunov.info/shipunov/fnddb/

The first draft version of this checklist appeared one year ago. In 2012, more than 30 publications were digitized, and more than 2,000 plant samples were collected in 99 locations covering the “botanical white spots” of our state. The size of

Minot State University herbarium (now internationally recognized as “MISU”) was doubled. All of these lead to the serious improvement of the initial checklist.

The checklist exists in two forms: as an active, searchable table and as a PDF book (60 Mb, more than 760 pages). In addition, the MISU herbarium database was also put online as a Google spreadsheet.

The current count for the flora of North Dakota is 1649 plant species (we found 16 new species for the state in 2011-12). There are also approximately 250 species “under the question” without any references to the location within the state.

The Book and table checklists have similar informational content: names, maps and photographs. However, there are some differences. For example, the book version contains species, authorship, and the most important synonyms, whereas the table version has links to plant photographs in full resolution (plant photographs in the book are downsampled). It is probably easier to find the plant name in the table, but the book may be used without Internet connection and even printed. (Here I need to mention that all materials are dedicated to the public domain, I do not claim any kind of copyright). When our sources (herbarium databases and publications) will be updated, both the table and the book versions will be updated simultaneously. Therefore, if you decided to download the book, check for the updates regularly.

The work is still far from completion. First of all, we need to access more “botanical hot spots” of the state. Most important are Border Butte (Bottineau county), George Lake environs (McHenry county), UND Forest River biology area (Grand Forks county) and Pembina Gorge (Cavalier county). These places are rich in plant diversity, and are also located in under-researched parts of the state.

The second checklist needs further improvement. Due to enormous amount of data (more than 2,700 images), not all photographs were placed correctly. The book needs keys, descriptions, and even more images. Many species concepts need clarification. All questions, comments, suggestions and corrections are very welcome!

This checklist is the result of collaborative efforts of many people. I am extremely grateful to all of you!

Note for biodiversity informaticians: internally, the list is based on several plain text tables which are processed into static HTML and PDF with R language and TeX text formatting system on every update. Distribution maps are produced with simple PHP script. Table representation is based on DataTables jQuery JavaScript plugin. LuaLaTeX is responsible for PDF produciton.

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