Vascular plant biodiversity and floristics of the Canadian Arctic

<p><b>Abstract:</b></p><p>Despite nearly 200 years of exploration, substantial gaps remain in our understanding of the diversity and distribution of the vascular plant flora of the Canadian Arctic, which comprises over one third of the global Arctic ecozone. Detailed information on the diversity and distribution of Arctic plants is urgently needed to understand the potential impacts of climate change on the region’s flora. Since 2008 we have been conducting detailed floristic surveys in botanically-understudied regions of the Canadian Arctic. The comprehensive baseline data of our >8000 new collections, all housed in the National Herbarium of Canada and other herbaria in Canada and internationally, adds important knowledge to our understanding of Arctic plant biodiversity. Many of our collections represent first records for specific areas, others represent the second or third collections of poorly-known species at the edge of their ranges in the Canadian Arctic, and many fill in gaps in the known distributions of Arctic species. We will summarize our floristic work to date in the context of current understanding of the Canadian Arctic flora, with a focus on our many particularly noteworthy discoveries. </p><p><i>Poster presented at XIX International Botanical Congress, Shenzhen, China, 23–29 July 2017.<br></i></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>