Close up of a white yucca flower.

Biodiversity Collections

Scientific collections—resources from and about the natural world—are primary objects for discovering and understanding species diversity for informing efforts to conserve and manage that diversity. The Botanical Garden’s William and Lynda Steere Herbarium houses approximately 7.4 million plant and fungal specimens collected from around the world. The associated C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium provides rapid Internet access to data, images, and distribution maps for specimens in the Steere Herbarium and is an essential resource for Garden scientists, Caribbean colleagues, and the international community of scientists, students, and scholars. The Steere Herbarium and the Virtual Herbarium are in a constant state of growth and improvement through integration of new specimens, ongoing curation, and expansion of digital catalogs in the Virtual Herbarium. Some research projects emphasize the use of specimen data to address evolutionary and ecological questions.

NYBG’s Biodiversity Collections Research Projects:

American Crossroads: Digitizing the Vascular Flora of the South-Central United States
Assembly and Evolution of the Amazonian Biota and its Environment: An Integrated Approach
Building a Global Consortium of Bryophytes and Lichens: Keystones of Cryptobiotic Communities (GLOBAL)
Collaborative Research: Plants, Herbivores, and Parasitoids: A Model System for the Study of Tri-Trophic Associations
Comparative Exploration of Plants and Local Knowledge in Portland Parish, Jamaica
Digitization of Caribbean Plants and Fungi in The New York Botanical Garden Herbarium
Documenting the Occurrence through Space and Time of Aquatic Non-indigenous Fish, Mollusks, Algae, and Plants Threatening North America’s Great Lakes
Endless Forms: Digitizing the World’s Most Interesting Plants
Expansion of the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium to Incorporate Newly Acquired Specimens and Improve Curation
Flora of Central Park
Identifying Cuba’s Most Vulnerable Plant Species in the Face of Climate Change and Habitat Loss
Improving Health Care for Underserved Immigrant Caribbean and Latino Communities in New York City
Index Herbariorum Upgrade: A Project to Improve Access to Information about the World’s Plant and Fungal Collections Assets
Legume Research at The New York Botanical Garden
The Macroalgal Herbarium Consortium: Accessing 150 Years of Specimen Data to Understand Changes in the Marine/Aquatic Environment
The Macrofungi Collection Consortium: Unlocking a Biodiversity Resource for Understanding Biotic Interactions, Nutrient Cycling and Human Affairs
The Microfungi Collections Consortium: A Networked Approach to Digitizing Small Fungi with Large Impacts on the Function and Health of Ecosystems
The Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis: Achieving a greater scientific understanding of our urban world
The Pteridological Collections Consortium: An integrative approach to pteridophyte diversity over the last 420 million years
Natural History Collections: Developing Ericaceae Research Resources through Collections Enhancement and Data Integration
North American Lichens and Bryophytes: Sensitive Indicators of Environmental Quality and Change
Partnership to the Existing New England Vascular Plant Network for Collections at the New York Botanical Garden
Using Herbarium Data To Document Plant Niches In The High Peaks And High Plains Of The Southern Rockies – Past, Present, And Future