Locality data

Hannon othonna@gmail.com
Thu, 01 Nov 2012 21:14:05 PDT
Tim C,

I don't know any taxonomists who never have stepped into the field, and I
have known many dozens of botanists. How did you form this idea?

No one would suggest that an herbarium specimen tells the whole story. They
are essentially permanent records that can remain useful for several
hundred years. In the case of type specimens they form the referential
basis for naming plants.

Dried specimens are the only practical way to sort through variation, for
example, in a species or genus without doing months or years of field work.
Herbaria build upon generations of collectors: millions of specimens,
records of extirpated populations or species, enabling the replication of
previous studies, and on and on. There is no substitute for this, not even
DNA samples.

"There is always more to see and learn than what has already been

Of course. That is why botanists can still find jobs, if they are lucky.

Dylan Hannon

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