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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Gernandt, David [1], Salazar, Gerardo [2], Giménez Héau, Joaquín [3], Melo Samper, Ubaldo [3], Sánchez Cordero, Victor [3].

Digitization of the National Herbarium of Mexico.

With over 23,000 vascular plant species, 500 mammals, 1,700 birds, and almost 800 amphibians, Mexico is one of the most biologically rich countries in the world. The National Herbarium of Mexico houses 1.35 million mounted vascular plants and more than 90,000 mosses, algae, fungi, lichens, and ethnobotanical objects. As part of a collaborative effort with the National Commission of Biodiversity (CONABIO) to document Mexico’s biodiversity, a four-year digitization project was initiated in June 2012 for the Herbarium and several other national zoological collections including Crustaceans, Arachnids, and Insects. Mounted vascular plants are being digitally photographed in light boxes by the equivalent of two full time workers, and label data are being captured manually by the equivalent of 9 to 18 full time student workers. During the first 10 months of the project, an average of 1,000 specimens per day were photographed for a total of 200,000 images. Boxed collections including fruits, seeds, fungi, and lichens are being captured directly from labels without taking photographs. Data from over 300,000 plant and fungal specimens have been captured. Combining the vascular plant accessions with those from previously digitized specimens gives a total of 375,000 accessions, equivalent to 26% of the collection. Fifty relatively small vascular plants families are completely digitized. Families with the greatest number of accessions captured since the start of the project are Poaceae (21,794), Asteraceae (18,187) and Malvaceae (14,832). Families captured previously (but not to 100%) and available online include Fabaceae (45,870) and Rubiaceae (39,772). The specimen database is being managed with PostgreSQL and other open source software under development at the Instituto de Biología, including several automated data quality protocols. At the current rate, 1.25 million specimens (86% of the collection) should be captured during the four-year project. The herbarium invites taxonomists to curate groups during the digitization effort.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Home page for the Instituto de Biología, UNAM

1 - Instituto De Biologia, UNAM, Apartado Postal 70-233, Coyoacan, Mexico, N/A, 04510, Mexico
3 - Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Circuito exterior S/N Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico, D.F., 04510, Mexico

Biological research collections.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSY007
Abstract ID:919
Candidate for Awards:None

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