Herbarium – Tools for Study of Taxonomy Class 11 | Chapter – 1 | Short Notes Series PDF

Herbarium: A herbarium is defined as collection of plants that usually have been dried , pressed and preserved on sheet. Plant samples are taken from the field and then dried or otherwise preserved. They arethen carefully stored in archival conditions to ensure their longevity. The sheets are arranged in accordance with any excepted system of classification ( Usually Benthem and Hooker`s system ) . The storage of sheets forms a repository that can be used for future reference. It provides a quick refer back system and is quiet useful for people involved in taxonomicstudies. All institutes leading with botanical studies maintain their Herbaria. Students are trained to collect and identify herbarium specimen of local and distant places.

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Herbarium

Herbarium – Tools for Study of Taxonomy

The collections housed in herbaria are majorly used for scientific research. Research that might commonly take place in a herbarium includes:
• Ecological research -Mapping current and past ecological and geographic distribution of plants
• Evolutionary history of plants .
• Study of plant community dynamics plant communities and their habitats.
• Study of Invasive species and weeds
• Molecular phylogenetics.
• Classification and naming of plants

Herbarium Technique

➢ The collection of specimens require regular field visits one has to get information about the place,habitat, season and the time of collection of the specimens.

➢ The field visit helps in gathering information about environmental conditions from specimens have been collected.

➢ For collection of specimens one has to carry simple tools such as digger for digging roots, a scissor for cutting twigs, Knife for woody twigs and a pole with Hooke for collecting part of tall trees.

➢ Vasculum and polythene bags are used to temporarily store fresh shoots to avoid loss of moisture and distortions by drawing and shriveling up. Vasculum is a box of 40 X 60 cms , 20 cms width and 25 cms depth.

➢ Succulent parts , fruits , tubers , rhizome are preserved in bottles having FAA ( Formalin + Acetic Acid + Alcohol) , some of them can also be dried and kept in packets .

➢ The dried specimen are pasted on the herbarium sheets of standard size 29 X 41 cms . Specimens before fixing are kept upside down on paper sheet, glue or adhesive is applied and then they are mounted on the herbarium sheet.

➢ All the pasted specimens are sprayed with fungi sides like 0.1 % solution of mercuric chloride, pesticide like DDT, Naphthalene and carbon di sulphide to check the growth of fungi.

➢ The heavy part of plants like seeds fruits are put in a packet and attached with a sheet.

Label 7 X 12 cms is pasted over the right hand corner and carries the following information:-
1) Collection number
2) Place / locality
3) Name of collector
4) Date and time
5) Common English name
6) Vernacular Name
7) Scientific name
8) Family
9) Institution

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By Team Learning Mantras