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Some major AVH stakeholder groups Some of the benefits of the AVH

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					                                   Building an electronic Australian Flora                                                        Some major AVH stakeholder groups                                        The future for the AVH
Australian botanists have produced thousands of                                                                                   · State & Commonwealth          · Scientific community        The partners of the project have mapped out the
authoritative publications on plants, algae and fungi                                             < Species lists for States,       Conservation Agencies         · Conservation groups         workplan and development for implementation of
                                                                                                  administrative and biological                                                                                                                                     Australia's Virtual Herbarium
including scientific papers and floras and other semi-                                                                            · Natural resource, agriculture · Botanic Gardens             the AVH, including:
                                                                                                  regions, plant groups, etc.
popular handbooks, founded on the cooperation and                                                 National Herbarium of NSW         and forestry agencies         · Greening Australia          · Completion of data capture and validation of the
extensive resources of the Australian herbaria.                                                   PlantNET                        · Universities and schools · Horticultural industry               6 million specimens in Australian herbaria by 2007,
                                                                                                                                  · Farmers and graziers          · Research & Development          incorporating data quality protocols and geocoded
The Flora of Australia and Fungi of Australia, published                                                                          · Australian and overseas         Corporations                    point location data
by the Australian Biological Resources Study in                                                                                     herbaria                      · Global Environment Fund     •   Enhanced spatial query and visualization capabilities
cooperation with the Australian herbaria and                                                                                      · Biodiversity networks, e.g. · International Organisation
botanists, are key projects in the long tradition of                                                                                Community Biodiversity          for Plant Information       ·   Integrated national census of current and historic names
Australia-wide research in plant classification.                                                                                    Network, Australian           · Global Biodiversity             of Australian plants - The Australian Plant Census
These internationally recognised publications are                    > Species fact sheets,                                         Network for Plant               Information Facility        ·   Incorporation of enhancements such as images,
                                                                     one of the illustrated                                                                                                         descriptions and identification tools
underpinned by collection data, information outputs,                                                                                Conservation                  • Australian Biodiversity
                                                                     components of State
such as regional floras and e-floras held by the                     electronic Floras WA                                         · Mining industry                 Information Facility        ·   Development of mechanisms for interpreting
Australian herbaria.                                                 Herbarium FloraBase                                          · Streamwatch                   · Environmental consultants       spatial distribution data through strategic partnerships,
                                                                                                                                  · Bushcare                      · Ecotourism industry             used, for example, in environmental decision making
The ease of computer storage of data and                                                                                          · Landcare                      · Home gardeners              •   Enhanced and sustained linkages, contributions and
information, and the World Wide Web, can provide                                                                                  · Coastcare                     · Bush regenerators               participation with GBIF and ABIF
sophisticated remote access to these data. It is ideally                                                                                                                                        •   Commitment of each participating herbarium to
suited to projecting this important knowledge to a                                                                                                                                                  maintain and enhance its database and associated
wider client base.                                                                                                                 Some of the benefits of the AVH                                  products beyond initial databasing phase
                                                                                                                                      to major stakeholders                                     •   Further development of herbaria inter-institutional
                                                                                                                                                                                                    collaboration, extending to Australasia
                                                                                                                                  · Easy and quick access to plant information                  ·   Raising acceptance and awareness among the
                                                                                                                                  · Location and mapping of rare and threatened species             community of the value of herbarium collections
                                                                                                                                  · Correct naming of plants for science, conservation,             and applications of the data available via the AVH
                                                                                                                                   medicine, agriculture and horticulture
                                                                                                                                  · Historical and baseline information
                                                                                                                                   for revegetation projects
                                                                     > Species collection
                                                                     data Australian National                                     · Inspiration and enjoyment of
                                                                     Herbarium ANHSIR database                                     Australia's native vegetation
                                                                     available on-line                                            · Biological information for seed
                                                                                                                                   collection and fauna management
                                                                     Australia's Virtual Herbarium provides the                   · Early notification of weed species
                                                                     opportunity to deliver descriptions of the flora             · Better understanding of our natural heritage
                                                                     dynamically linked to data and information from              · Bioprospecting and commercial utilisation of native
                                                                     across the continent, and distributed on-line as an           flora, bushfoods and natural medicines
                                                                     electronic Australian Flora - a one-stop source of           · Selection of suitable conservation reserves
                                                                     current information on the plants, algae and fungi of        · Prioritisation of resources for collecting and
                                                                     the entire Australian continent. New observations             biodiversity surveys
Flexible on-line search options allow you to customise the data      can be released with minimal delay as they are               · Informed environmental planning                             Spatial applications of AVH data and environmental stratification
                                                                                                                                                                                                for population sampling. Australian National Herbarium Murray
you generate to suit your requirements, Flora of Australia on-line   confirmed and recorded in the database.                      · Historical and heritage information                         Darling Basin research.
                                What is Australia's Virtual Herbarium?                                                              How the AVH works                                 Resources of Australian herbaria                                  A long-term cooperative project
Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH) is an on-line               The AVH is a collaborative project of the State,          The AVH is accessed via the website of any                  Herbaria are research and information institutions             The vision of Australia's Virtual Herbarium is
botanical information resource accessible via the web.          Commonwealth and Territory herbaria. It is being          participating herbarium. A gateway at each of these         developing botanical knowledge and providing                   long-term, requiring commitment to the sourcing of
It provides immediate access to the wealth of data              developed under the auspices of the Council of            herbaria links to the databases of all the other            information, underpinned by preserved collections.             data and making the information widely available.
associated with scientific plant specimens in each              Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH), representing       herbaria, consolidating the combined data into a                                                                           While some aspects of the project such as capturing
Australian herbarium. Six million specimen records, of          the major Australian collections.                         nation-wide view of the botanical information. Most         More than 70% of the specimens housed in Australian            the backlog of existing specimen data can be measured
particular value in displaying geographic distribution,                                                                   data related to specimens will be stored by the             herbaria have been databased, providing a                      in years, the Virtual Herbarium itself is ongoing.
will be enhanced by images, descriptive text and                Australian herbaria house over six million specimens      custodial institution, and there will be some               comprehensive resource for:
identification tools.                                           that date from the earliest days of European              resources, such as the scientific names database            · Accurate depiction of geographic distribution and            The Australian government herbaria are particularly
                                                                exploration and are a primary source of information       (Australian Plant Names Index, APNI) which will be            occurrence of plants, algae and fungi                        suited to tackling this project, having actively
                                                                on the classification and distribution of plants, algae   common to all.                                              · Historical mapping of all plant, algal and fungal            maintained their collections for many decades. They
                                                                and fungi. These specimens are the working tools of                                                                     species - information valuable for understanding             have a long history of cooperation to meet the
                                                                scientists who contribute to our knowledge and            From the website of each participating herbarium,             the threatening processes of vegetation clearance            common goal of advancing knowledge of the plants,
                                                                understanding of biodiversity and conservation            users will also be able to access regional botanical          and weed invasion                                            algae and fungi of this megadiverse continent.
                                                                through the discovery, classification and description     information and locally generated e-flora products.         · Revising classifications of each plant, algal and fungal     Increasingly, Australians now appreciate the
                                                                of new species.                                                                                                         group to give an accurate portrayal of our biodiversity      tremendous importance of ecologically sustainable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     development, and the wise use of our natural resources.
                                                                Every specimen held in an Australian herbarium is                                                                     Accurate descriptions of over 60% of Australia's
                                                                accompanied by information on where and when it was                                                                   vascular plant species have been compiled in the past
                                                                collected, by whom, its                                                                                               20 years, with many already available electronically
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Partners in
                                                                correct botanical name,                                                                                               and the remainder able to be readily scanned.                        Australia's Virtual Herbarium
                                                                and often information on
                                                                associated species and                                                                                                Each Herbarium maintains an authoritative Census of
                                                                ecological      preferences.                                                                                          plants for its region in electronic form.
                                                                This seemingly simple
                                                                information has great power                                                                                                                                                             National Herbarium of           Herbarium of Northern Territory   Australian National Herbarium
                                                                when organised into a                                                                                                                                                                      New South Wales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Department of Infrastructure,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Planning and Environment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Centre for Plant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Biodiversity Research
                                                                single distributed database
                                                                system such as the AVH.

                                                                Our herbaria hold an historical record of over two
                                                                hundred years of changes to our vegetation -
                                                                unparalleled data for conservation and revegetation                                                                                                                                Queensland Herbarium            Western Australian       Tasmanian Herbarium       National Herbarium

                                                                work, and a permanent reference collection to                    Increasing knowledge of                              WATTLE,      Acacias  of                                         Environmental
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Protection Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Herbarium
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Conservation and Land
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Tasmanian Museum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               and Art Gallery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           of Victoria
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Royal Botanic
                                                                                                                                                                                      Australia an interactive                                                                       Management                                       Gardens Melbourne
                                                                monitor changes in plant names. It is the only plant                Australian plants                                 identification key
                                                                information system based on scientifically verifiable
                                                                voucher specimens, maintained by herbaria to ensure       Australia's biodiversity is still in the discovery phase.   Computer tools have been developed for the
                                                                the currency of names as knowledge improves.              Scientific names of plants, algae and fungi continue to     interactive identification of some regional floras and
                                                                                                                          change with new discoveries, and as knowledge of            of Australian plant families, genera and species for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   State Herbarium of South Australia                                               Australian Biological
                                                                Since the mid 1970s Australian herbaria have been         our species continues to increase. This still happens,      CD-ROM or the Web.                                              Department for Environment                                                     Resources Study
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and Heritage
                                                                cooperatively digitising their data on plants, algae      even in the better known plant groups and less
                                                                and fungi. "HISPID", a set of specimen data               remote regions. Australia's Virtual Herbarium will          A growing resource of images (line drawings, colour                Australia's Virtual Herbarium is being developed with support from the
Australian herbaria hold specimens ranging in age from Cook's   interchange standards developed by Australian             highlight the gaps in our knowledge of the flora of         photographs) is available, with only a small portion                    Nature Resources Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC)
1770 voyage to the present, including all plant groups.         herbaria, has now been adopted internationally.           this country.                                               currently in digital form.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  www.chah.gov.au/avh.html

				
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Description: Some major AVH stakeholder groups Some of the benefits of the AVH