In a time of continuing habitat destruction and species loss it is vitally important to ensure that fundamental botanical work is being carried out in order to identify, assess and conserve biodiversity around the world. Much of this work is dependent on collecting plant and fungi samples and preserving them for current and future research. These samples are brought together and held in herbaria (collections of preserved plant specimens for scientific study). Some of the methods for collecting herbarium specimens are similar to those developed centuries ago, but there are also new techniques, particularly in the collection of samples for DNA extraction.
The Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh holds more than 3 million specimens, the earliest of which date back to the 17th century. Written by the team that manages this collection on a day-to-day basis, Guide to Collecting Herbarium Specimens in the Field provides definitive guidance on how to collect high quality specimens and associated material.
Subjects covered include permits, equipment, data collecting, field notes, drying and collecting in spirit and for DNA analysis. Individual chapters cover the collection of bryophytes and lichens, fungi, ferns, aquatic plants and algae.
This pocket-sized booklet presents the basic information in a clear, concise format making it an essential guide for students and early career researchers, as well as botanists and ecologists who may not have been trained in herbarium collecting techniques. The design of Guide to Collecting Herbarium Specimens in the Field means that it can fit into a pocket, making it easy to take into the field as an informative quick reference guide to collecting herbarium specimens.