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Abstract Detail

NOT your average specimen!

Heberling, Mason [1], Isaac, Bonnie [2].

Monstrosities and archiving variation.

Unusual, oddball specimens are understandably popular to draw public attention to herbaria, but also may lead to the misperception that herbaria are little more than a collection of oddities, downplaying their scientific and historical value. Similarly, herbarium specimens are increasingly critiqued as an incomplete or biased documentation of trait variation found in nature. In this lightning talk, we will focus on the importance of herbaria to document phenotypic variation by highlighting two collections in the Carnegie Museum herbarium (CM). First, we highlight a unique collection of historical specimens collected in France from 1754 to 1796 by Michel Adanson, an important figure in the history of botany. Named "Monstruosités," each specimen was collected and annotated by Adanson for its oddness. Second, we will highlight a more recent collection of "life history vouchers" collected by former CM curator Frederick Utech and colleagues. These specimens archive within species trait variation across life history, from seedlings to mature plants. We are extending this approach with new ways of collecting to intentionally archive variation from across life history, phenology, and the population to enable continued use of specimens in trait research and beyond.

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1 - Carnegie Museum Of Natural, Section Of Botany, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, United States
2 - Carnegie Museum Of Natural History, Botany, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, United States

functional traits
Morphological variation
life history.

Presentation Type: Special Sessions
Session: LT1, NOT your Average Specimen! (Lightning Talks)
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM(EDT)
Number: LT1004
Abstract ID:361
Candidate for Awards:None

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