We are plant ecologists studying the evolutionary and ecological genetics of Campanula americana (Campanulaceae) (syn = Campanulastrum americanum; common names = American bellflower; tall bellflower). As part of our ongoing research (funded by the National Science Foundation), we need to locate and collect seed from 40 populations of this species from throughout its range (essentially the eastern half of the U.S.). This seed will be used for experimental work in the greenhouse at the University of Virginia.
We are writing because we identified you (or your organization) as being native plant enthusiasts, and we wondered whether you might be able to help us with the following (if you cannot help us but know of someone who can we would greatly appreciate you forwarding this request):
(1) We wondered whether you might know of one or more specific population locations for this species? We have already gathered location information from dozens of herbaria, however many herbarium specimens are quite old, and we have often found that the populations to which they refer no longer exist. If in doubt as to its morphology, a decent account of the species can be found here: http://www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Campanula_americana_page.html
(2) As you might imagine, collecting seed from 40 populations distributed across (at least) 21 states will require a great amount of time and effort. Therefore, we are extremely interested to find kind-hearted volunteers (living or working near local populations) who might be willing to collect for us. The collection process is very straightforward, would take no more than 15-30 minutes, and all collection and mailing materials (and funds to cover mailing costs) would be sent to the appropriate person(s) well ahead of time.
Please note that even if you are not willing/able to collect seed on our behalf, we would still be very interested to obtain population location information if you are willing to share.
Thank you for any help you might be able to offer,
Brian Barringer and Laura Gallowaybcbarringer@virginia.edu
Department of Biology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904