Presentation on theme: "Herbaria, Voucher Specimens, and YOUR research. Outline Herbaria What are they? The Intermountain Herbarium Voucher specimens What are they? Why make."— Presentation transcript:
And more teaching resources… Demonstration mounts
Voucher specimens What are they? Why make them?
Voucher specimens Voucher specimens are herbarium specimens that: Document your work Explain what you mean by a name Give your work longevity May end up being an integral part of studies you never thought of – giving you greater fame.
When are voucher specimens needed? Any time the name being used is important to the story you are telling. If others might use your work If you want the value of your work to outlast you If using “grass 1” and “blue flower 2” would not change your story, voucher specimens are not needed.
Why make voucher specimens ? Because plant identification is not easy Because names mean different things to different people Because the meaning of plant names may change over time For credibility As a contribution to knowledge
Identification is not easy Every taxonomist has found mistakes of their own to correct Every taxonomist has had others correct their mistakes ‘New’ species are not new; they are species that have not yet been recognized – not even by experienced taxonomists. Identification is not always easy; compare with specimens, not pictures.
Some warnings If the name is important, as much effort should go into determining the appropriate name as selecting a method of data analysis. Field identifications should be verified in an herbarium Checklists are often incomplete – and may contain errors
Why isn’t the name enough? Because its meaning may differ according to the reference used.
Citing authorities Adds little information. State which reference you used for identification
Making voucher specimens Requires time and some equipment The folks in the herbarium will show you how to make specimens, loan you the inexpensive equipment, get you started on identification.
Other tools needed Field notebook Clippers and digger Pencil(s) Tags Bags GPS*, altimeter** Field press**
Other needs The Intermountain Herbarium will loan plant presses and allow you to use its plant dryer and label making program.
And, most importantly… A place to identify your plants. Floras are on shelves adjacent to this space. Specimens are in cabinets all around.