Electronic cataloguing and imaging of monocot type specimens
This project will digitise all monocots, c. 20% of the flowering plants. Monocots contain plant taxa of the highest conservation, ecological and economic importance, such as orchids, grasses, sedges and palms and provide 75% of human nutrition.
A major corporate goal for Kew is to database and image type and other specimens in the Herbarium. We are now making standardised specimen data and images easily accessible in electronic form to a wide range of stakeholders, especially in the biodiverse countries that are remote from Kew. This will ensure the longevity of our specimens by reducing the need to handle them and/or send them out on loan. It will also ensure effective sharing of data in an appropriate manner.
To date c. 28,000 monocot types have been digitised. Much of the work has been undertaken by core-funded college-based sandwich-course students. The project originally obtained funding from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) to employ a digitiser for one year. We continue the work through a mixture of core-funded staff and dedicated project staff on external funding, including the Global Plants Initiative.
The focus for the project has been on the digitisation of specimens from Kew’s priority regions and within priority families. All monocot types from SE Asia, Africa and Latin America have been digitised. The remaining types are being digitised through the Global Plants Initiative.. There is also an increasing focus on digitising non-type specimens in our actively researched monocot families, especially Arecaceae, Araceae, Cyperaceae, Dracaenaceae, Orchidaceae and Poaceae. To date c.115,000 non-type specimens have been databased.
Summary specimen data are available through ePIC. Full data and images are accessible through the Herbarium Catalogue website and JSTOR Plant Science. Selected data are also available through the GBIF portal.
Project Leader: Simpson, David
Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives
Anna Haigh, David Simpson, Odile Weber, Paul Wilkin, Martin Xanthos, Bill Baker, Renata Borosova, Lauren Gardiner, Andre Schuiteman, Anna Trias Blasi, Maria Vorontsova, Jeffrey Wood.
Global Plants Initiative