Project groups

DM-3.2 | DEVELOPMENT OF NEW STANDARDS FOR THE SCREENING AND ANALYSIS OF LEAF VENATION IN HERBARIUM SPECIMENS WITH MICRORADIOGRAPHY

Herbaria with their large collections of recent and historical plant specimens document environmental changes over historical periods and are therefore increasingly used as environmental archives in research. Especially leaf venation traits have proven useful as a proxy for environmental conditions. However, the traditional chemical-based methods for the preparation of leaf venation are destructive and time-consuming and not suitable for the analysis of large series of leaf samples as required in functional ecological research. X-ray imaging has recently been demonstrated to be a promising technique to visualize the architecture of leaf venation. Therefore, the aim of the project is to develop digitization standards that permit a rapid, non-destructive, largely automated assessment of leaf venation traits from herbarium specimens. The digitized data will be made available to the public via online databases.
The project (start: April, 1, 2014) is scheduled for two years and funded by the DFG. It is based on the botanical collections at Senckenberg in Görlitz and Frankfurt and the methodological expertise at the Messel department. We cooperate closely with PD Dr. Karsten Wesche and Dr. Jörg Habersetzer.