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Australias Virtual Herbarium – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Australia


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Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • Innovations for accessing biological information
  • On-line access to herbarium specimen information
    and botanical knowledge
  • Lindy Cayzer, Greg Whitbread Brigitte Kuchlmayr
  • Australian National Herbarium

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Outline of Presentation
  • Background to Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • What is the AVH ?
  • Aspects of the AVH
  • Plant names, specimens
  • Plant images, plant identification tools
  • Uses and users of the AVH
  • Botanical research
  • Community projects
  • Summary

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What is a Virtual Herbarium?
  • A collaborative project of the Australian
    Herbarium community
  • The AVH provides immediate on-line access to the
    wealth of data associated with six million
    scientific plant specimens maintained and managed
    in Australian herbaria

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Where is the AVH?
  • Spread across Australian herbaria
  • Each herbarium has a portal to receive requests
    and to deliver data
  • A common query AVH interface in each herbarium
    polls all herbaria and provides a single,
    integrated response

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Why is there an AVH?
  • Pressure on Herbaria to work more efficiently
  • Demand for access to larger amounts of data
  • Demand to access data more quickly
  • Demand to view data in different ways
  • Pressure on herbaria to appear and to be more
    responsive to community needs

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What is the problem?
  • At least 20,000 species of higher plants in
    Australia, many endemic
  • About 68,000 referenced names in the Australian
    Plant Name Index (APNI) as a result of
  • Complex and extensive synonymy for most commonly
    occurring plants
  • Alternative taxonomic concepts resulting in
    different names in different states (e.g.
    Caladenia, Orchidaceae)
  • 8 major government-funded herbaria
  • Similar number of university herbaria
  • gt 6,500,000 specimens in Aust. Herbaria
  • 50-100 data elements per specimen
  • Several Kb per specimen (excl. images)

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Specimen data from major herbaria
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Herbarium database status
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Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • On-line access to herbarium specimen information
    and botanical knowledge

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What do we want to know?
  • What is this plant?
  • Is this the current name?
  • What other species is it related to?
  • What does it look like?
  • How does it grow?
  • Where does it grow?
  • Where might it grow?
  • What other species grow with it?
  • What species grow in a defined area?
  • How did they get there?

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Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • Some views of the data

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Portraits of Plant species
  • National Plant Photograph Index
  • Search on-line
  • Some digital imagesavailable
  • 35,000 images ofAustralian plantsand vegetation

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Botanical illustrations
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Type Images on demand
  • High resolution image oftype specimen of
    Austrobaileyadownloaded over the Internetfrom
    the Herbarium of theNew York Botanical Garden

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Specimen data
Core information is from herbarium specimens
  • Collections data
  • Scientific name
  • Collection date
  • Collector name number
  • Location
  • Soils
  • Habitat (incl. topography)
  • Vegetation community
  • Associated species
  • Plant features, e.g. colour

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Related Products
  • On-line Flora information systems
  • Generally regionally based
  • Integrating
  • Plant names
  • Descriptive Flora treatments
  • Illustrations
  • Distributions

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Flora Information Systems
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Interactive Key Identification
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Potential users of the AVH
  • Participating herbaria have access to all the
    data at the highest precision
  • Research and industry
  • Education and general public interest
  • Conservation agencies
  • Land managers
  • Environmental decision makers

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What do we want to know?
  • What is this plant?
  • Is this the current name?
  • What other species is it related to?
  • What does it look like?
  • How does it grow?
  • Where does it grow?
  • Where might it grow?
  • What other species grow with it?
  • What species grow in a defined area?
  • How did they get there?

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Invasive Plant Notification
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Plant distribution analysis
  • Pultenaea species in eastern Australia

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There is some urgency
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Summary
  • Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • A collaborative national project
  • Making botanical information easily available
  • Using modern technology
  • Using cheap, readily available components
  • A model for regional and global cooperation

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Acknowledgements
State Herbarium of South Australia Queensland
Herbarium Australian National Herbarium Northern
Territory Herbarium Tasmanian
Herbarium Industry Partner KE Software
National Herbarium of Victoria National
Herbarium of New South Wales Western Australian
Herbarium Australian Biological Resources Study
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