---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: chrischadwell...@btinternet.com <chrischadwell...@btinternet.com> Date: 15 October 2016 at 18:56 Subject: Re: SK126OCT042016:ID To: efloraofindia <email@example.com> Cc: jmga...@gmail.com
Yet more to say and try to explain about the challenges involved in *attempting* to identify *Berberis.* Whilst preparing my previous comments I was concentrating upon information about Nepal/E.Himalaya as the two suggested species are not known from *W.Himalaya.* However, the observations of Jafri (then Herbarium, University of Karachi) who revised Berberidaceae for 'Flora of Pakistan' are worth sharing here (I have a copy of this booklet - what is available on the internet on efloraofPakistan is only a fraction of the original details. "*A difficult genus due to variable nature of its many species, probably affected by environment and hybridization. Overlapping of characters, especially in leaves, stem colour, flower and berry size etc. are not lacking in our several closely related species. Leaf texture, serrations etc, are said to vary from season to season and with the age of the plant in some of our species [observation of Parker]. Fruits may be red when immature but turn black or dark-blue with maturity. Gregarious or sporadic distribution, evergreen or deciduous habit, fruit colour etc. cannot be ascertained from a dried herbarium specimen unless comprehensive fielkd notes are provided. Among our species... need experimental studies. Ahrendt made comprehensive studies on the genus in several cases but he had very few specimens from our area. No doubt he compared herbarium specimens and any living ones grown at Kew and other places but still some of our species, described by him, are based on a single specimen. From the small number of herbarium specimens at my disposal, I find quite a number of intergrading forms between some of the species. Looking into the range of variation the descriptions provided by Ahrendt for some of our species are quite inadequate".* *May I add that much of what he said applies to many different genera in the Himalaya. Previous authors often had few, often poor quality specimens, frequently with no field notes at all. I feel I must comment that the quality of collection of pressed specimens for India herbaria needs to improve for all genera. This has resulted often in scrappy, poorly pressed & dried specimens, usually only a single one for smaller specimens when several should have been gathered to fill a herbarium sheet they would ultimately be attached to. And field notes are generally exceedingly poor to non-existent. This results in the reference material in Indian herbaria frequently being inadequate. Even if correctly identified, only having such scraps means it is very difficult to then compare with fresh material. I return to my approach to plant identification being akin to detective work - the fewer clues/supporting evidence, the harder the task, making it more difficult to have confidence in the ultimate objective of accurate and reliable identifications.* *Modern-day digital cameras have the potential to help transform the situation provided they are utilised methodically and carefully, with quality close-ups of the essential parts of the plant. The traditional photos (in pre-digital days) of 1 at most two general images of the "pretty bits" are often inadequate to identify a plant with confidence - which is why most herbarium taxonomists declined the opportunity to attempt to identify plants from slides in the 1980s-1990s. Nowadays, certain specialists rightly consider pressed specimens remain essential but these combined with the best of what digital photography can offer is a way forward. Likewise their is a need for specialists to observe living material (whether in the wild or cultivation). As I shall continue to repeat the Nagoya Protocol (no matter its good intentions) will damage the study of plants and efforts to reliably identify plants.* *AND UNLESS ONE CAN RELIABLY IDENTIFY PLANTS, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CORRECTLY ASSESS THEIR RARITY OR ABUNDANCE IN THE WILD - surely what limited resources exist SHOULD be focussed on the plant species which are GENUINELY rare. Not those which are claimed to be 'Rare & Endangered' when they are not.......* *One of the many reasons this google group and the efforts of Mr Garg should be actively supported is the objective of improving the level and consistency of identification of Indian plants. The involvement of both those who hold professional positions in the field of botany (not all of them are involved directly in plant identification), those with botanical training (though holding a degree in botany, as was the case in the UK where nowadays no traditional botany degree courses exist, was never a guarantee one knew how to identify plants) combined with interested amateurs can achieve much. In the UK we have a fine tradition, through the BSBI (now the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland) of a vast amount of field studies have been undertaken through a combination of professionals and amateurs (many of whom were of professional standard).* *I draw another comparison with the UK. If someone goes for a walk on a Sunday afternoon admiring the wild flowers they come across and casually identify them, it does not really matter, whether or not the are correctly named. But if any type of survey is undertaken or the identifications are used in any sort of printed or nowadays other means of publication, it really does. Too many data-bases (the world over) are being ruined by incorrectly identified records.* On Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 3:23:23 PM UTC+1, Saroj Kumar Kasaju wrote: > Dear Members, > > Sharing some pictures for ID shot at the Chandragiri Hill Kathmandu on 19 > September 2016 at 8200 ft. > > Could it be > > *Berberis griffithiana *var.* pallida* (J. D. Hooker & Thomson) D. F. > Chamberlain & C. M. Hu > syn: > *Berberis bhutanensis* Ahrendt (synonym) > The plant is tall about 15 ft in height or more. > > Thank you. > -- With regards, J.M.Garg 'Creating awareness of Indian Flora & Fauna' <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jmgarg1> Winner of Wipro-NFS Sparrow Awards 2014 for efloraofindia <https://sites.google.com/site/efloraofindia/award-for-efloraofindia>. For identification, learning, discussion & documentation of Indian Flora, please visit/ join our Efloraofindia Google e-group <https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/indiantreepix> (largest in the world- around 2700 members & 2,40,000 messages on 31.3.16) or Efloraofindia website <https://sites.google.com/site/efloraofindia/> (with a species database of more than 11,000 species & 2,20,000 images). The whole world uses my Image Resource <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:J.M.Garg> of more than a thousand species & eight thousand images of Birds, Butterflies, Plants etc. (arranged alphabetically & place-wise). You can also use them for free as per Creative Commons license attached with each image. Also author of 'A Photoguide to the Birds of Kolkata & Common Birds of India'. -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "efloraofindia" group. 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