Field Work, Herbaria, Databases, Floras,
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Field Work, Herbaria, Databases, Floras, and Monographs for Plant Systematics. Spring 2013. Systematics. Science of organismal diversity Discovery, description and interpretation of biological diversity Discovery and description of the evolutionary tree of life (phylogeny)

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Field Work, Herbaria, Databases, Floras, and Monographs for Plant Systematics

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Field Work, Herbaria, Databases, Floras,

and Monographs for Plant Systematics

Spring 2013


Systematics

  • Science of organismal diversity

  • Discovery, description and interpretation of biological diversity

  • Discovery and description of the evolutionary tree of life (phylogeny)

  • Synthesis of information in the form of predictive classification systems

  • Production of identification tools (e.g., keys, floras and faunas, monographs, databases, etc.)


What systematists do(when they are not doingphylogenetics)

  • Field work

  • Specimens/herbaria

  • Databases, keys

  • Floras, monographs, websites


Field Work


Important steps in doing field work

  • Figure out where the plants grow (herbarium specimens, databases)

  • Make contacts in those countries

  • Solicit appropriate collecting and export permits

  • Find the funds to do the field work!

  • Get the proper equipment (either take it with you or get it when you arrive)


Important steps cont’d.

  • Arrange for transportation (and lodging if visiting a field station)

  • Collect the specimens (take any necessary measurements in the field; take photos)

  • Process the specimens (drying, sorting into duplicates)

  • Make and distribute the labels (including georeferencing)

  • Arrange for shipping of your duplicates to your institution


Collecting Challenges


Costa Rica

Collecting bamboo leaf samples for DNA

(DNA usually requires a special permit)

Bamboo flowers!


Pressing

specimens


Specimens are stored in the herbarium

A herbarium is a plant library,

containing pressed and dried

plant and fungal specimens.


Fig. 18.2


Fig. 18.3


Cofre del Perote,

Veracruz, Mexico

These plants are now

part of the living bamboo

collection at the

Clavigero Botanical Garden,

Instituto de Ecología,

Xalapa, Mexico.


Buds and leaves and other parts

as appropriate may be preserved

in alcohol for anatomical study

Leaves in silica gel

for DNA extraction


Ada Hayden Herbarium

Iowa State University

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~herbarium/index.html


USDA PLANTS Database

http://plants.usda.gov/


Collections of Chusquea serpens from Costa Rica


Chusquea latifolia

(Colombia)

Chusquea serpens

(Costa Rica)


Chusquea latifolia drawings


Fig. A2.1


Leaf anatomy

and

micromorphology

It’s all about

the characters!


Description and mapping of a new species


Chusquea species description per decade


Hillcane

(Arundinaria appalachiana)

A new bamboo native to the U.S.A.

described in 2006

We still don’t know our own flora completely!


Flora of North America

http://floranorthamerica.org/

A flora is a taxonomic treatment of plant diversity

in a given region or political unit or habitat.


Grasses of Iowa

http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/research/iowagrasses/


A monograph is a

taxonomic treatment

of a particular taxon,

usually a family or genus

or subdivision of one of

these.


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