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AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM A national collaborative model for integrated access to distributed biological information Jim Croft, Greg Whitbread Australian.

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Presentation on theme: "AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM A national collaborative model for integrated access to distributed biological information Jim Croft, Greg Whitbread Australian."— Presentation transcript:

1 AUSTRALIAS VIRTUAL HERBARIUM A national collaborative model for integrated access to distributed biological information Jim Croft, Greg Whitbread Australian National Herbarium

2 Outline of presentation Background to the AVH –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

3 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

4 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

5 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

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 There is some urgency … Historical ignorance Australias biodiversity has been damaged At risk from inappropriate land management practices We know a lot about what not to do Redressing the damage, and managing better for the future, requires sound information Sustainable natural resource management needs scientific knowledge – what was there and where it occurred – what is there now

10 There is some urgency … 1907 2002

11 > 20,000 species of higher plants > 64,000 available names Extensive synonymy (4 names per plant) Many alternative taxonomic concepts 8 major government-funded herbaria Similar number of university herbaria > 6,500,000 specimens in Aust. herbaria 50-100 data elements per specimen Several Kb per specimen (excl. images) What is the problem?

12 Specimen data from major herbaria

13 Herbarium database status

14 $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 The AVH Agreement

15 Australias Virtual Herbarium On-line access to herbarium specimen information and botanical knowledge

16 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?

17 Data refinement data information knowledge action Increasing refinement & utility of data the real world observations Envir. decision making conservation restoration biology resource mgmt utilisation Policy & strategy government corporate individual

18 Botanical Literature

19 Herbarium Specimens

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

21 Specimen Data Capture

22 A Herbarium Database Structure

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25 Race to database Need for semantic standard recognized HISPID ExchangeDistributed query Standard syntax Need for common semantic schema recognized Botanical ontology? Evolution of the AVH How does the AVH work?

26 AVH General Architecture ClientsCommon Web portals GatewaysDatabases

27 Australias Virtual Herbarium Some views of the data

28 Australian Plant Name Index (APNI)

29 www.anbg.gov.au/apni

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31 http://www.chah.gov.au/avh.html

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33 Acacia salicina

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41 Incurved Recurved Plant distribution analysis ? Incurved Recurved Pultenaea species in eastern Australia ?

42 Predictive Modelling

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

45 Flora Information Systems

46 Botanical illustrations

47 National Plant Photograph Index Search on-line Some digital images available 35,000 images of Australian plants and vegetation Portraits of Plant species www.anbg.gov.au/anbg/photo-collection/

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50 High resolution image of type specimen of Austrobaileya downloaded over the Internet from the Herbarium of the New York Botanical Garden Type Images on demand

51 Interactive Plant Identification

52 Invasive Plant Notification

53 Why it is working 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 now…we need to maintain commitment to project

54 Summary Australias Virtual Herbarium: A collaborative national project Making botanical information available Using modern technology Using cheap readily available components A model for regional and global cooperation

55 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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