The New York Botanical Garden is digitizing all of specimens of oak, beech and chestnut trees as part of a project to understand the relationship between plants and insects.
All the nearly 20,000 plant species in North America are attacked by insect pests, including those in the group Hemiptera (known as the "true bugs"), which are in turn attacked by parasitoid insects in the Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, ants), widely used for biological control of agricultural pests. Scientists from around the country are collaborating to digitize approximately 8 million specimens of plants and insects to try to better understand the relationships between these organisms. Data generated through this study will benefit basic scientific questions and practical applications in the agricultural sciences, conservation biology, ecosystem studies and climate change and biogeography research.
Many of the specimens you will be transcribing are historic, up to 150 years old! The life stories of some of these collectors are very interesting. Be on the lookout for collections made by the following important figures in the history of botanical exploration. You can learn more about these people by following the links included:
Fremont, J. C.
Rydberg, P. A.
Torrey, J. A.
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