Physical + Virtual Herbarium of Wetland Plants

for making more ecologically responsible landscapes

Ecology has become a central concern in the making of cities. Perhaps the most pressing concerns are habitat diversity and water quality. Emerging technologies and design strategies like bioengineering, bioretention, and storm water wetlands are becoming part of the standard vocabulary of design professionals: landscape architects, architects, urban planners, civil engineers, and city officials. Unfortunately, designers are handicapped in their ability to become proficient in these technologies because of their limited access to one of the technology's most important components-- plants. While there is a host of literature on wetlands, little of it is in a form that is useful to designers. And all of the plant literature is encyclopedic rather than synthetic.

This database of plant-environment interactions will synthesize disparate literature into a singular source. Because we are modeling plants' vitality in response to human interaction, the model will expand current modeling efforts beyond 'reserves' (in which people are often excluded) into urban landscapes where some of the most pressing water quality and ecosystem issues remain.

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