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Maryland Biodiversity Project

The Maryland Biodiversity Project has extensive information on the occurrence of wild organisms, including plants, in the state of Maryland.

Website: https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/

The Maryland Biodiversity Project (MBP) is a non-profit organization that catalogues living organisms found in the state of Maryland. Although they catalogue all types of life, we focus on their cataloguing of plants.

MBP is the single best resource we have found for tracking the distribution and occurrence of plants in the state of Maryland. Maryland represents a unique gap in the data of both the USDA PLANTS database and BONAP. For some reason, Maryland lacked county-level data on plant distribution, and BONAP has only minimally improved on this deficiency in their maps. MBP, however, has much more comprehensive data on the county-level distribution of plants, but beyond this, it publishes even finer-tuned information, breaking the state into a rectangular grid of "quads" finer than the level of individual counties, and showing the density of various plants in the different locations. Although useful, the quad system does cut across ecosystems in many cases, and the site does not publish finer-detail location information.

Many of the records are pulled from iNaturalist, but the records have been submitted to extra editorial scrutiny and thus the records on MBP are much more reliable than viewing the raw data (even with the strictest settings) on iNaturalist; furthermore MBP also includes records from other sources.

In addition to the distribution information, MBP also publishes information on the seasonality of records of the plant, and photographs of each plant (also often, but not always, from iNaturalist.) There is a modest set of links for each species, some of which may be automated, representing searches by name rather than interlinking of databases. MBP also has empty records for some species, i.e. with no records in the state, which tends to mean that the species do not occur in the state, but unfortunately there are often no notes or explanations on these records, leaving the user to research and figure out on their own why these empty records exist. In some cases they represent taxa that have been reclassified, and where formerly-proposed taxa referred to by the names in question were once thought to occur in Maryland.

In some cases, MBP also has photographs or other information, including on faunal relationships, and sometimes detailed checklists showing who recorded which organisms and on what date, much like eBird. Its pages also link to other sites, although the links are generically-generated and do not necessarily reflect pages that actually exist on other sites; for example they do not distinguish between species that have been published on Flora of North America, and the links may not reflect the corresponding pages responding to the exact same taxon. Some pages have a bibliography, but unfortunately you cannot tell whether a bibilography exists without clicking a link, and it does not exist on most pages.