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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section

Croutch, D. Shannon [1], Watson, Kimberly [1].

The PBI Solanum Project: Bringing the New York Botanical Garden's Solanum Collection into the Digital Age.

Solanum is one of the most species-rich and economically important genera of angiosperms, and interest in the group is therefore widespread among specialists from a diversity of fields. In 2004, a team of researchers from the USA and UK was awarded a Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (PBI) grant to study Solanum, with the long-term goal of providing a species-level treatment for the group. Given the ambitious scope of this project, a large team was assembled to work in a number of areas. The New York Botanical Garden (NY) was selected as the main site for herbarium specimen cataloguing and imaging. Consisting of over 34,000 specimens, NYís Solanum collection is among the largest in the world. This collection provides a wealth of knowledge about the genusí range and diversity, and has been used by scientists the world over in developing conservation strategies for the group. The digitization of Solanum specimens has made it possible for NY curators to understand several features of the collection, such as how it is changing over time, which countries are best represented, which regions require special attention for conservation and further collecting, and how species distributions are changing over time. The NY cataloguing project has made specimen data for all Solanum collections available on the institutionís Virtual Herbarium. Further, collaborators at the Natural History Museum in London have imported all NY specimen records into the PBI Solanum project website, Solanaceae Source, which allows for greater access to NYís Solanum specimen data. Along with collection data, there are over 6,000 specimen images available on the Virtual Herbarium and Solanaceae Source. This widespread dissemination of specimen data allows researchers from around the world to enjoy a degree of information accessibility that has been previously unrealized for this important group of plants.

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Related Links:
Solanaceae Source
The C. V. Starr Virtual Herbarium

1 - The New York Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany, 200th Street and Kazimiroff Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458-5126, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 47
Location: Magpie A/Cliff Lodge - Level B
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: 47004
Abstract ID:330