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Digital Herbarium Lab with RStudio: Are shifting abundances of native species detectable over time?

Author(s): Rebecca Penny Humphrey

Aquinas College

423 total view(s), 53 download(s)

Summary:

This 2- to 3-hour lab activity introduces sophomore-level students to digitized herbarium collections, R-coding, and potential reasons for shifting abundances in native and non-native plant species over time.

Contents:

Description

This 2- to 3-hour lab activity introduces sophomore-level students to digitized herbarium collections, possible scientific applications of specimens, and basic R coding. Students will briefly explore assigned specimens within the NYBG C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium. Student pairs then use provided R code to investigate an assigned topic related to the relative abundance of two species that occupy similar habitats in North America. Students will produce two R-generated histograms showing abundance of each species across years and a lab report that requires students to complete outside research to explain temporal shifts in abundance of the two focal species.

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