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Herbarium Samples in Evolutionary Botany. Natural History Collections: Advancing the Frontiers of Science. Natural history collections – whether a natural history museum, botanical garden, herbaria, tissue collection, university-based biodiversity collection, or a living stock collection – are a global network of research institutions and affiliated scientists and educators that are a foundation for interdisciplinary and global research and education.

Natural History Collections: Advancing the Frontiers of Science

New tools and techniques are catalyzing important research. This special collection of natural history collection-related articles from BioScience highlights some of the exciting new ways scientists and educators are mobilizing and using biodiversity data from natural history collections. Additional articles are regularly being published, so visit the journal's archive for more articles.


DNA. Drugs. Environmental. Examples of Uses. Ethnobotany. Forensics. Herbivory. Infection. Invasive Species. Miscellaneous. Species Distribution. Taxonomy. Phenological change modelling for selected Himalayan medicinal herbs using herbarium records: A case study. Applications in Plant Sciences. Fungi constitute a hyperdiverse kingdom representing an array of ecological lifestyles, including human pathogens, ectomycorrhizae, lichens, and many more (Burgess et al., 2006; Blackwell, 2011; Li et al., 2016; Medeiros et al., 2017; Crossay et al., 2018; Chang et al., 2019; Mujic et al., 2019).

Applications in Plant Sciences

Due to their fundamentally microscopic nature and their usually ephemeral reproductive structures (e.g., mushrooms, apothecia, etc.), the identification of fungi has historically been exceptionally difficult, relying on often artificial groupings based on limited morphological features. The advent and maturation of molecular approaches has revolutionized mycology; in the past two decades, a significant number of new orders, classes, and even phyla have been described (Schüβler et al., 2001; Zalar et al., 2005; Hosaka et al., 2006; Schoch et al., 2009; Rosling et al., 2011; Hodkinson et al., 2014). The results of the BLAST analysis are included in Appendix S1. Acknowledgments. Scientists Use Century-Old Seaweed to Solve a Marine Mystery. There are few things I enjoy more than turning a slimy piece of seaweed into a work of art.

Scientists Use Century-Old Seaweed to Solve a Marine Mystery

From scouring the tide pools for the perfect blades, to artfully arranging them on a piece of paper in my herbarium press, every step of the process is immensely satisfying. Using the same technique that people use to press flowers, I can turn almost any algae into a natural work of art that can last for centuries. Although I press algae for artistic purposes, algae pressing has long been a scientific pursuit. The practice emerged in 19th-century England as a way for scientists and natural history buffs to preserve and catalog the diverse array of seaweeds found along the country’s coasts. Women were among the most avid algae pressers. Thanks to the efforts of early algae pressers, many natural history museums contain vast collections of algal pressings that date back centuries.

The algae’s nitrogen stable isotopes were of particular interest to the researchers. Related stories from Hakai Magazine: Plastome sequencing of a 167-year-old herbarium specimen and classical morphology resolve the systematics of two potentially extinct grass species. Sequencing of a 167yo herbarium specimen has finally resolved a longstanding 'dustbin' group in the grasses. The work is part of a trend of increasingly ambitious genetic work on old specimens. My latest for Botany One. #iamabotanist. Systematics of extinct grass species resolved with sequencing of 167-year-old herbarium specimen. With new technology and techniques leading to new specimen uses and means for analysis, natural history collections are only becoming more valuable as time goes by.

Systematics of extinct grass species resolved with sequencing of 167-year-old herbarium specimen

Limitations in sequencing technology had until recently made sequencing very old herbarium specimens next to impossible. Advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) are continually pushing back the age at which samples are still viable, opening up avenues for the analysis of type specimens and recently extinct taxa that are over a century and a half old. This work has the potential to refine the systematics of numerous groups. The possibly extinct Philippine pitcher plant. AUS: Tracking data usage: ecology, ed, cit sci. Abstract Premise of the Study Globally, natural history collections are focused on digitizing specimens and information and making these data accessible.

AUS: Tracking data usage: ecology, ed, cit sci

Usage information on National Herbarium of Victoria data made available through the Atlas of Living Australia and The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) is analyzed to understand how and by whom herbarium data are being used. Methods Since 2010, AVH data usage information has been gathered from users and supplied to data custodians as a spreadsheet that includes number of download events, number of records downloaded, and user reasons for downloading data in predefined categories. Results. Herbarium data: Global biodiversity and societal botanical needs for novel research - James - 2018 - Applications in Plant Sciences. Building on centuries of research based on herbarium specimens gathered through time and around the globe, a new era of discovery, synthesis, and prediction using digitized collections data has begun.

Herbarium data: Global biodiversity and societal botanical needs for novel research - James - 2018 - Applications in Plant Sciences

This paper provides an overview of how aggregated, open access botanical and associated biological, environmental, and ecological data sets, from genes to the ecosystem, can be used to document the impacts of global change on communities, organisms, and society; predict future impacts; and help to drive the remediation of change. Areas of plant diversity—What do we know? - Brummitt - Over 200 years ago the geographer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, exploring the New World with the botanist Aimé Bonpland, famously wrote home to his brother from Venezuela in 1799 to say that he and Bonpland “… rush around like the demented, in the first 3 days we were unable to classify anything … Bonpland assures me he will go mad if the wonders do not cease soon” (Stearn, 1988).

Areas of plant diversity—What do we know? - Brummitt -

Since this time it has long been recognized that tropical regions house the greatest diversity of plant species, the new discovery of which will continue for many years into the future (Joppa, Roberts, Myers, & Pimm, 2011). The following 19th century is widely considered to have been the high water mark of biological exploration, as first European and later local scientists and explorers pressed ever further into remote regions. Humboldt was the later inspiration, through his acclaimed Personal Narrative (von Humboldt, 1818), of both Charles Darwin, who circumnavigated the world on H.M.S. Herbarium specimens' varied uses. While some might press flowers into books to preserve their beauty, researcher Mark Whitten does it to preserve history.

Herbarium specimens' varied uses

Whitten, a botanist in the Florida Museum of Natural History Herbarium, glues pressed plants onto archival paper and stores them as specimens in the museum’s collection. He said herbarium specimens show data about plants’ location, habitat, flowers and fruits at the time of their collection. With this information, researchers are starting to make connections about recent climate change and its influence on the seasonal cycles of plants, or plant phenology. Whitten said researchers lack good observational records on when plants start to flower, produce fruit or form leaves, which is where herbarium specimens come in. This specimen was prepared by Florida botanist Robert K. A special journal explains the critical importance of biological collections.

Tropical Plant Collections: Legacies from the Past? Essential Tools for the Future? Henrik Balslev and Ib Friis, Editors. Ep. 169 - Herbaria Are Data Gold Mines. Phenology, population size, distribution, genetic diversity - these are just some of the data locked up in herbaria around the globe.

Ep. 169 - Herbaria Are Data Gold Mines

My guest today is Katelin Pearson and she has been working hard on making sure herbarium data are as available as they can be to everyone from scientists to artists, and even the general public. As you will hear, we herbaria succeed, so do the plants they help understand. Digital Collections Programme – Blogs from the Natural History Museum. There is an incredible amount of specimen data providing critical information on the natural world, but with less than 10% of the estimated 1.5 billion specimens digitally accessible, who is using this information?

Digital Collections Programme – Blogs from the Natural History Museum

This blog provides a brief overview of how the Museum’s digital collection sits within the wider landscape of efforts to digitise our collections and some insight into how these data are making an impact on the wider scientific community. The Museum’s Data Portal​ currently holds over 4.3 million specimen records from the Museum collection. One of the major destinations of this data is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), an international network and research infrastructure that provides free and open access to the world’s biodiversity data. Historical Data provides a baseline To look at biodiversity over longer timescales, however, we need historical records. Green digitization: Botanical collections data answer real-world questions. Good Argument for Herbaria; there uses. Harvesting Collections for Social Benefit: Hidden Stories at the Herbarium of RBGE. Background to the project.

The advent of the era of Big Data has highlighted a truism in scientific discovery: an inference is only as good as the data that underlie it. While it is tempting to believe that large, open-access data repositories are a recent invention, in fact scientific collections such as herbaria have been filling this purpose for hundreds of years.

But, while the data in these collections are nearly always open (e.g., the Royal Botanic Garden Herbarium has shared specimens with any who so request since at least the 1960s), they are not always accessible. Editorial: Integrative and Translational Uses of Herbarium Collections Across Time, Space, and Species. Frontiers in Plant Science. Frontiers in Plant Science is a leading journal in its field, publishing rigorously peer-reviewed research that seeks to advance our understanding of fundamental processes in plant biology. Field Chief Editor Joshua L. Heazlewood at the University of Melbourne is supported by an outstanding Editorial Board of international researchers. This multidisciplinary open-access journal is at the forefront of disseminating and communicating scientific knowledge and impactful discoveries to researchers, academics, policy makers and the public worldwide.

In an ever-changing world, plant science is of the utmost importance for securing humankind's future well-being. On the identity and typification of Solanum brasilianum Dunal (Solanaceae) Dunal MF (1813) Histoire naturelle, médicale et économique des Solanum et des generes qui ont été confondus avec eux. Chez Renaud Libraire, Montpellier, 248 pp. Dunal MF (1852) Solanaceae. Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis 13(1): 1-690. Harris S, Serena K, Proença C (2016) William Dampier’s Brazilian botanical observations in 1699. Botanists Use Data Collected by Thoreau to Uncover Unexpected Effects of Climate Change - Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Harris Plant lists and herbarium collections.

Herbarium: An Echo of a Past Love. Among the hortus sicci (bound collections of pressed plant material) in the Rare Book Room of the RBGE Library is a volume containing samples of 34 species of flowering plant, moss and fern collected on a two day ramble in June 1858. The walkers were John Sadler (1837-1882) and an unnamed companion. The book was donated to the Edinburgh Botanic Garden Trust in May 1983, and passed by them to the RBGE Library. John Sadler (1837-1882) John began his working life as a gardener at Moncrieffe House, near Perth. In 1854 he started work at the RBGE in the propagating department. In 1858 he also became Assistant Secretary of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. NHM Botany sur Twitter : "The Reverend Adam Buddle's #herbarium specimen of Equisetum ramosissimum pushed back the first British record of this plant by over 250yrs. Cystopteris diaphana was first considered a British wild plant in 2000. Buddle's specimen.

Stories from California Herbaria. ​It can be hard to imagine Greater Los Angeles as anything other than the bustling, vibrant, hot, and smoggy metropolis that it currently is. 50-Year-Old Biology Collection Enables New Research Opportunities. Texas Tech University’s E.L. Reed Herbarium is now the official repository for plant specimens from Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Thanks to the work of two Texas Tech University researchers half a century ago, a new agreement between the university and the National Park Service will benefit both for the foreseeable future. The E.L.