Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory
The Oklahoma Vascular Plants Database (OVPD) provides the citizens of Oklahoma, the scientific community, and others with the most current knowledge of Oklahoma plant distributions. The goal of the OVPD project is to database all Oklahoma Plant specimens housed in state herbaria.
Specimen data have been recorded from the Bebb Herbarium (OKL) at the University of Oklahoma, and the herbaria at Oklahoma State University (OKLA), the University of Tulsa (TULS), University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (OCLA), Northeastern State University (NSU), Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU), Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SEOSU), Cameron University (CAMU), Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Oklahoma Biological Station, and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT).
Currently, there are 245,000+ specimens in the database. For each specimen, all information provided on the specimen label and annotation history are recorded. However, with an estimated 262,000 specimens of Oklahoma plants residing in state herbaria, the work is ongoing. Some taxa are more thoroughly represented than others. It is recommended that you visit the OVPD website regularly in order to view the most recent data. Also, note that the taxonomy follows the Integrated Taxonomic Inforation System.
The website is composed of two major search options. The first allows you to generate a species list for a selected Oklahoma county. When viewing these results, it is important to remember that the species list is generated from herbarium records. If a botanist has not collected a plant in your county and deposited a voucher specimen at one of the state herbaria, it will not appear on the list. Consequently, the number of species records for some counties are low. In many cases we actually know of/or suspect the presence of a species in a county, but it is not listed until a specimen has been collected. Once a specimen has been deposited in an herbarium, it will be added to the database.
The second search option generates a map showing the distribution of a selected species. Upon searching for the species of interest, the results page returns a list of all specimens currently recorded in the database. At the top of the page is a "map results" option. When you click this button, a map is generated of the distribution of species by county. If you click on a county, a list of specimens for that species in the selected county will be displayed.
When using the OVPD for research purposes, you should be aware of the biases associated with this database. It is important to remember that the OVPD is soley based on herbarium records. If a botanist has not collected a plant from a particular location and then deposited a voucher specimen at one of the state herbaria, it will not appear on the OVPD. Studies utilizing herbarium records have noted difficulties due to: unequal sampling effort over time; poor location information; and incorrect identification.
If you use the OVPD in your research we ask you to use the following citation format in your bibliography: Hoagland, B.W., A.K. Buthod, and T.D. Fagin. 2004-Present. Oklahoma Vascular Plants Database. (http://www.oklahomaplantdatabase.org/). Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.
The Oklahoma Vascular Plant Database could not have been created without the effort of many individuals and generous financial support. We thank the muliple undergraduate and graduate research assistants, various herbaria staff, and others who have contributed to the OVPD over the years.
This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation; the environmental Protection Agency; and the Oklahoma Biological Survey.