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AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM

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AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM


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AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM
  • Mobilizing and linking botanical information
    across the country
  • Delivering scientific plant information to the
    user

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Outline of presentation
  • Background to the AVH
  • What is the AVH ?
  • Products of the AVH
  • Plant names, specimens
  • Plant identification tools
  • Users of the AVH
  • Community projects
  • Botanical research
  • Summary

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What is an herbarium?
  • A scientific collection of preserved plant
    specimens and botanical information

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Collecting specimens
The work of herbaria
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Herbarium Specimens
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Specimen Data Capture
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Public Reference Herbarium
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What is a Virtual Herbarium?
  • The physical resources and biological information
    of a herbarium represented digitally
  • On-line access to herbaria and to botanical
    information managed by herbaria
  • Integrated access to botanical information from
    various sources in a herbarium and other on-line
    botanical information

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What is the AVH?
  • A collaborative project of the Australian
    Herbarium community
  • Digital
  • Collaborative
  • On-line
  • Integrated
  • Partnership and shared access
  • Real-time access
  • Shared access to common authority files
  • Shared data-hosting,archiving and backup
  • Co-ownership

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Where is the AVH?
  • Spread across Australian herbaria
  • Data distributed resides with custodians
  • Each herbarium has a portal to receive requests
    and to deliver data
  • A common single query AVH interface in each
    herbarium polls all herbaria

Major Australian Herbaria
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AVH Partners
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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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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And there is some urgency
  • Australias biodiversity is at risk from
    inappropriate land management practices and
    historical ignorance of the implications.
  • We know a lot about what not to do, but
    redressing the damage, and managing better for
    the future, requires sound information about our
    biodiversity.
  • For sustainable natural resource management we
    need to know what was there and where it
    occurred.

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What is the problem?
  • gt 18,000 species of higher plants
  • gt 64,000 available names
  • Extensive synonymy (4 names per plant)
  • 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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Contribution of specimen data from each major
herbarium
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Herbarium database status
Us
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The AVH Agreement
  • 10M over 5 years to database all major
    Australian herbarium collections
  • 10 million - 4 million Commonwealth
  • - 4 million State/Territory
  • - 2 million private
  • Initial focus on capture of herbarium specimen
    data
  • Ultimate aim a complete flora information system

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What do we want to know?
  • What species does a plant belong to?
  • What is its name?
  • What other species is it related to?
  • What does it look like?
  • 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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Data refinement
action
knowledge
information
Increasing refinement utility of data
data
observations
the real world
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Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • On-line access to herbarium specimen information
    and botanical knowledge

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Australian Plant Name Index (APNI)
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www.anbg.gov.au/apni
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www.anbg.gov.au/win
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Specimen data
  • The core information is from herbarium specimens
  • Beyond taxonomy, systematics names
  • Collections data
  • Scientific name

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A Herbarium Database Structure
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http//www.chah.gov.au/avh.html
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Acacia
salicina
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Flora Information Systems
  • On-line systems
  • Regionally based
  • Integrating
  • Plant names
  • Descriptive Flora treatments
  • Illustrations
  • Distributions

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Flora Information Systems
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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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National Plant Photograph Index
  • Search on-line
  • Some digital images available
  • 35,000 images of Australian plants and vegetation

www.anbg.gov.au/anbg/photo-collection/
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Interactive Identification
  • Using computers to identify and name plant
    species and display information about them

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Interactive Plant Identification
  • Computer based
  • CDROM, disk drive
  • Internet accessible
  • Extension of conventional dichotomous keys
  • Multiple entry points
  • Menu driven
  • Expert systems
  • On-line help, background information
  • On-line images
  • Links to on-line fact sheets, Internet resources

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Interactive Plant Identification
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Interactive Plant Identification
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Uses potential applications
  • Education, research, community

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Why it will work
  • Communication - CHAH, few herbaria
  • Collaboration - long-standing, data sharing,
    overcoming Australias Federal/State system
  • Champions - management, public
  • Lobbying and profile of herbaria
  • Relevance of product
  • And nowwe need to maintain commitment to project
    (e.g. impact on research outputs and other
    organisational initiatives)

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Potential users of the AVH
  • The participating herbaria have access to all the
    data at the highest precision
  • Public access filter restricts access to work in
    progress, sensitive locality data, etc.
  • Research and education
  • Public general interest
  • Access to conservation agencies, land managers,
    environmental decision makers

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Research projects benefiting
  • Regular systematic taxonomic research
  • Rare plants / conservation
  • Species distribution patterns
  • Weed biogeography comparative native species
  • Remnant vegetation / revegetation
  • Phylogeography of Australian plants
  • Basically, anything requiring spatial
    visualization and defensible dots or blobs on maps

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Plant distribution analysis
Pultenaea species in eastern Australia
?
?
Incurved
Recurved
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Uses
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Greening the Grainbelt
  • A community landcare revegetation program

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Harden Murrumburrah Landcare Group
HMLG
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Greening the Grainbelt
  • The Harden Murrumburrah Landcare Group
    Revegetation project supported by the NHT
  • A pressing need to revegetate the area
  • Currently less than 3 native vegetation
    remaining in Harden shire
  • Concerns relating to appropriate species to plant
  • Approached Australian National Herbarium to
    produce a planting list based on suspected
    natural flora

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Revegetation - Methodology
  • Defensible species lists
  • Extracts from herbarium specimen database
  • Species known from the study area and associated
    species
  • Species known from surrounding areas and
    associated species
  • Historical records
  • Local landholder knowledge
  • Expert biological interpretation

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Assisting landholders with biodiversity
information
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Large map
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www.anbg.gov.au/greening-grainbelt/
www.anbg.gov.au/greening-grainbelt/
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Unexpected results ?
  • Callistemon sieberi (River bottlebrush)

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Greening the Grainbelt Outputs Outcomes
  • An improved suggested planting list 400
    species Greening the Grainbelt website
  • www.anbg.gov.au/greening-grainbelt/
  • Encourages a greater diversity of plantings
  • A practical transferable model methodology for
    other Landcare revegetation projects

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Greening the Grainbelt Outputs Outcomes
  • Significant interest in the process from
    Government and other Landcare groups
  • Enhanced communityawareness of biodiversity
    conservation issues
  • Demonstrates the utility of herbarium specimen
    data in environmental planning

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Collaboration Dissemination
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Summary
  • Australias Virtual Herbarium
  • Is a collaborative national project
  • Making botanical information available
  • Using modern technology
  • Australian innovation, emulated internationally

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