New Costa Rica’s National Herbarium displays 220,000 plant specimens

Costa Rica’s National Herbarium announced  it had launched a website with information on 95 percent of the country’s plant species — some 220,000 specimens.

The site collects scientific data on 5,600 types of fungi, 2,000 lichens and tens of thousands of other larger plants and moss, ferns and algae.

The encyclopedic collection is the product of over 120 years of research, said the institute in a statement.costa_plant

The site represents an “invaluable wealth of information on the biological riches of the country,” said the Herbarium, which began collecting and identifying Costa Rican flora in 1887, when the country’s National Museum was created.

A key component of the site is the historic collection, which showcases specimens collected and identified between 1887 and 1910.

The 9,624 specimens are of particular interest, and “huge cultural and historical value,” said the Herbarium, because they highlight the original flora in areas that are currently under great environmental strain, including deforestation.

Biologist Armando Estrada, from the Herbarium, said the institute’s objective was to contribute to the public’s knowledge of the country’s rich biodiversity, and to promote conservation in the central American nation.
Costa Rica’s National Herbarium website displays 220,000 plant specimens = Staff Writers
San Jose (AFP) Nov 13, 2008

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