Plant Identification Techniques

Plant Identification Techniques

Interactive Keys for Plant Identification Conventional Identification keys vs Interactive keys Plant Identification Tools The methods of identification include (1) expert determination, (2) recognition, (3) comparison, and (4) the use of keys and similar devices. Both monographs and Floras usually incorporate a diagnostic key, by the use of which the reader may identify an unknown plant. A further important development is the use of computerized methods of identification. Interactive Keys

Identification is the process of finding the taxon to which a specimen belongs. Several methods are available for aiding this process. The most important are conventional identification keys and interactive keys. An interactive key is an interactive computer program in which the user enters attributes (character-state values) of the specimen. The program eliminates taxa whose attributes do not match those of the specimen. This process is continued until only one taxon remains. ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Interactive Keys.htm ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Identify a Plant Using Interactive Tools and Easy to Use Keys.htm

..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Related Identification Datasets and Interactive Keys.htm ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Identify a Plant by its Color or Group - Step 1 of 4.htm ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Identify a Plant by its Color or Group - Step 2 of 4.htm ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Identify a Plant by its Color or Group - Step 3 of 4.htm ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\PlantNET - FloraOnline - Interactive Identification Keys.htm Computer-access Polyclave Keys Computer-access keys involve the principles of multi-access (or polyclave) keys rather than sequential or single access (bracketed) keys, and they may not be greatly affected if only one or two

of many characters do not fit. It is relatively easy, given the proper computer software, to convert multi-access keys to a computer-interactive format. Original URL: http://www.colby.edu/info.tech/BI211/ PlantFamilyID.html Worldwide Flowering Plant Family Identification ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Family Identification queries.htm ..\..\..\Krishna\Projects\Nepal Flora\2004 files\Identification Results.htm Listing of Families Identification Tools DELTA (Descriptive Language for Taxonomy A descriptive database (Dallwitz 1980, Dallwitz

et al. 1993, 2000), from which descriptions, a variety of identification aids, and analyses of relationships can all be derived. [http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta] MEKA PANDORA (database programs for plant identification), On-line Databases International Plant Name Index: The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of all seed plants. IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium. [http://www.ipni.org/]

Index Herbariorum: Index Herbariorum, a joint project of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) and The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), is a detailed directory of 3000+ public herbaria of the world and the 8800+ staff members associated with them. [http://www.nybg.org/bsci/ih/ih.html] On-line Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature - This valuable resource lists references to all publications relating to the taxonomy of flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns along with references to phytogeography, nomenclature, chemotaxonomy, molecular taxonomy, chromosome surveys, palynology , are also included along with relevant bibliographies. The database currently contains some 175 thousand references published from 1971 to 2000 with new references being added once a week. [http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/bibliographies/KR//KRHomeExt.html]

VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database - This site provides access to the Missouri Botanical Garden's VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database and associated authority files. [http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/vast.html] Nomenclatural database Plant Specimen database Suggestions for the Use of Keys 1. The keys may be in a flora, manual, guide, monograph or revision. 2. Read the introductory comments on format details, abbreviations, etc. before using the key. 3. Read both leads of a couplet before making a choice. 4. Use a glossary to check the meaning of

terms you do not understand. 5. Measure several similar structures when measurements are used in the key, e.g. measure several leaves not a single leaf. 6. Do not base your decisions on a single observation It is often desirable to examine several specimens. 7. Try both choices when dichotomies are not clear or when information is insufficient, and make a decision as to which of the two answers best fits the descriptions. 8. Verify your results by reading a description, comparing the specimen with an illustration or an authentically named herbarium specimen. Suggestions for Construction of Keys

Prepare a description of each taxon. Select "key characters" with contrasting character states. Use macroscopic, morphological characters and constant character states when possible. Prepare a Comparison Chart Construct strictly dichotomous keys. Use parallel construction and comparative terminology in each lead of a couple.

Use at least two characters per lead when possible. Follow key format (indented or bracketed keys). Start both leads of a couple with the same word if at all possible and successive leads with different words. Mention the name of the plant part before descriptive phrases, e.g. flowers blue not blue flowers, leaves alternate not alternate leaves. A Dichotomous Key To Selected Genera Of Saxifragaceae (Example of a bracketed key) 1. Shrub or woody vine 1. Herbs

2. 6. 2. Woody vine; petals 7 or more 2. Shrub; petals 4 or 5 3. Decumaria. 3. Leaves alternate or on short spur branches 3. Leaves opposite 5. 4. 4. Leaves pinnately veined; ovary superior; fruit a capsule Itea. 4. Leaves palmately veined; ovary inferior; fruit a berry

Ribes. 5. Petals usually 4; stamens 20-40; fruit longitudinally dehiscent, not ribbed Philadelphus 5. Petals usually 5; stamens 8-10; fruit poricidally dehiscent, 10-15 ribbed Hydrangea. 6. Staminodia present; petals more than 10 mm long 6. Staminodia absent; petals less than 10 mm long Parnassia. 7. A Dichotomous Key To Selected Genera Of Saxifragaceae (Example of an Indented key)

Shrub or woody vine. Woody vine; petals 7 or more 3. Decumaria Shrub; petals 4 or 5. Leaves alternate or on short spur branches. Leaves pinnately veined; ovary superior; fruit a capsule Leaves palmately veined; ovary inferior; fruit a berry 1. Itea 2. Ribes Leaves opposite. Petals usually 4;-stamens 20-40; fruit longitudinally dehiscent, not ribbed; 4. Philadelphus Petals usually 5; stamens 8-10; fruit poricidally dehiscent, 10- o 15ribbed 5. Hydrangea

Herbs. Staminodia present; petals more than 10 mm long 6. Parnassia Staminodia absent; petals less than 10 mm long. Leaves ternately decompound 7. Astilbe Leaves simple.

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