Leveraging the use of herbarium collections in modern systematics—examples from Pteridology
Sundue, Michael , Sigel, Erin M. .
Leveraging the use of herbarium collections in modern systematics—examples from Pteridology.
Herbaria have long been the corner stone of botanical research; they are the basis for classical taxonomy and systematics. With increased utilization of molecular techniques over the past 30 years, the perceived importance of herbaria has declined. This opinion is only reinforced by declining funds for the maintenance and expansion of natural history collections, exemplified by the recent closing of the Utrecht Herbarium (U), a major European collection. We argue that rapid development and enthusiastic adoption of molecular techniques has only created more opportunities for answering novel questions in systematics in concert with the ecological, morphological, physiological, and genetic data acquired from herbarium specimens.
This symposium will expand upon earlier attempts (American Fern Journal Vol. 76(3), 1986) to highlight the continuing importance of herbarium specimens in botanical research, with special focus on pteridology. It is intended to address biosystematic questions in pteridology where molecular techniques alone are insufficient. These include determinations of sexuality and ploidy, investigations of morphological evolution, analyzing distributional and ecological shifts of taxa over time, use of GIS and habitat niche modeling, and tracking of invasive species. The topic is particularly timely as pteridology embraces the genomic age with the initiation of several fern studies utilizing next generation high throughput sequencing technologies. In response, we ask how data gathered from herbarium specimen have the potential to contextualize and broaden the impact of molecular and genomic research. Moving forward, herbaria will only persist as cornerstones of botany if we continue to demonstrate that they provide the data necessary for integrated approaches to addressing multifaceted systematic questions.
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1 - The New York Botanical Society, Institute for Systematic Botany, 200th St. and Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, USA
2 - Duke University, Department of Biology, 139 Biological Sciences Building, PO Box 90338, Durham, North Carolina, 27708, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Ballroom C/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 8:00 AM