Title

Evaluating the geographic distribution of plants in Utah from the Atlas of Vascular Plants of Utah

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Western North American Naturalist

Volume

64

Issue

4

Publisher

Brigham Young University, Monte L Bean Life Science Museau

Publication Date

2004

First Page

421

Last Page

432

Abstract

Locations of 73,219 vascular plant vouchers representing 2438 species were digitized from the Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Utah (Albee et al. 1988). Source maps consist of 1:6,000,000-scale shaded relief maps of Utah with points representing collection locations by species. Location points, representing 1 or more specimens, were transposed onto these maps from the approximately 400,000 herbarium records of 3 major universities and federal land management agencies. These source maps were digitized into an ARC/InfoTM database in order to reproduce the atlas in digital form. Analysis of all locations revealed a mapping bias of the original authors to avoid placing sample locations on county boundaries and over major river corridors. A comparison between ecoregions and elevation showed that the Colorado Plateau and Wasatch/Uinta Mountains have the highest species diversity, and that areas of low elevation (1000-2000 m) have the highest number of unique species in the state. Further, species richness is related to elevation and to ecoregion boundaries.