The Hindu: Botanical Survey of India’s collection of rare paintings, dyes, fabrics and type specimens to go public

The Hindu: Botanical Survey of India’s collection of rare paintings, dyes, fabrics and type specimens to go public. “Apart from botanical paintings, the digital archive also displays rare natural dyes, fabrics and type specimens (the first collection that’s used for describing a plant). Each one of these rare holdings has its own story. Thomas Wardle, a Scottish businessman, whose business in silk dyes wasn’t doing well, visited the industrial section of the Indian Museum and, in one year, came up with about 3,500 samples of dye patterns extracted from 64 Indian plants. The 15 volumes of Wardle’s Specimen of Fabrics Dyed with Indian Dyes, published in 1886 and preserved with the BSI, has also been digitised.”

ABC News (Australia): Race to save frogs, quokkas, parrots and koalas from extinction helped by new threat database

ABC News (Australia): Race to save frogs, quokkas, parrots and koalas from extinction helped by new threat database . “Researchers across Australia have spent 18 months forming the database of threats forcing species to the brink of extinction. The list of more than 1,700 species was done to help wildlife warriors and organisations stop foreshadowed declines in flora and fauna populations, and even possible extinctions.”

University of Alabama at Birmingham: Plant AI project aims to bring food to tables and students into science

University of Alabama at Birmingham: Plant AI project aims to bring food to tables and students into science. “With a new four-year, $1 million-plus grant from the National Science Foundation, [Shahid] Mukhtar and his research partner and wife, Karolina Mukhtar, Ph.D., associate professor and associate chair in the biology department, are doing something big. The researchers are using machine learning and other high-tech approaches to identify fresh ways to squeeze extra growing power out of the world’s crops.”

In China’s blossoming live-streaming scene, new stars take root: Succulents (Washington Post)

Washington Post: In China’s blossoming live-streaming scene, new stars take root: Succulents. “The thick, fleshy plants have been growing in popularity in China for nearly a decade, but only recently collided with live-streaming in e-commerce, a $60 billion industry that got a massive boost during the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people are logging on daily to admire these vegetating celebrities, oohing as chattering hosts turn and twirl them around, showing off blushes of new color, entire centimeters of growth, or — what a treat! — some velvety new leaves.”

Southeastern US herbaria digitize three million specimens, now freely available online (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Southeastern US herbaria digitize three million specimens, now freely available online. “A network of over 100 herbaria spread out across the southeastern United States recently completed the herculean task of fully digitizing more than three million specimens collected by botanists and naturalists over a span of 200 years…. In a new study published in the journal Applications in Plant Sciences, researchers involved in the project analyzed the rate at which specimens could be reliably photographed, digitized, and databased to assess how much similar efforts might cost in the future.”

Mississippi State University: MSU faculty member devises automated system to aid museums in collecting genetic data

Mississippi State University: MSU faculty member devises automated system to aid museums in collecting genetic data. “Ryan A. Folk, an assistant professor of biological sciences and herbarium curator at MSU, is using a $432,781 three-year National Science Foundation grant to automate the data collection process by using a combination of unique object identifiers, QR codes and citizen scientists, or non-biologists recruited to help with data acquisition.”

Google Blog: Take a trip around UK Gardens with Google Arts & Culture

Google Blog: Take a trip around UK Gardens with Google Arts & Culture. “Gardens United is a new, interactive digital hub sharing the stories of a range of gardens around the country, thanks to collaboration between Google Arts & Culture and over 30 cultural partners in the UK. From archives to allotments, from botanic gardens to heritage bodies, there is something for everyone to enjoy and discover.”

From the ashes: historical botanic photos destroyed in Cape Town fire resurrected (The Guardian)

The Guardian: From the ashes: historical botanic photos destroyed in Cape Town fire resurrected. “Luckily, after joining the university in 2000, [Professor Timm] Hoffman invested in the digitisation of the photographic archive. Although he is yet to muster the courage to go through the digital databases – ‘I’m still grieving,’ he says – he estimates that 30,000 images have been digitised and that he has at least one image for 90% of his most important sites. But only 10% of another collection of 35,000 slides had been digitised. ‘If we’d invested in bigger, faster scanners we could have finished by now,’ he laments. ‘But I’m also very proud that we digitised at all. Not many ecologists are focused on digital archives. No one else has a collection like this in Africa.’”

EurekAlert: A new site for banana-related research

EurekAlert: A new site for banana-related research. “MusaNet, the global collaborative network for Musa-related research, was created in 2011 to implement the Global Musa Strategy established with the banana research community. MusaNet is excited to announce the launch of a new website that collects and shares information on all aspects of banana, be it diversity, conservation or current threats.”

Green Blog: UC launches WeedCUT, a new online tool to manage invasive weeds in wildlands without herbicides

Green Blog: UC launches WeedCUT, a new online tool to manage invasive weeds in wildlands without herbicides. “Cal-IPC and the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM), with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Alliance Grants Program, developed two resources that provide land managers access to the latest information on non-herbicide practices for managing weeds in wildlands. Best Management Practices for Non-Chemical Weed Control is a free downloadable manual. The same information has been incorporated into an interactive online tool called WeedCUT.”

Vegetation of planet Earth: Researchers publish unique database as Open Access (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: Vegetation of planet Earth: Researchers publish unique database as Open Access. “It’s a treasure trove of data: the global geodatabase of vegetation plots ‘sPlotOpen’ is now freely accessible. It contains data on vegetation from 114 countries and from all climate zones on Earth. The database was compiled by an international team of researchers led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).”

Brown Daily Herald: The HerbUX Project works on making Herbarium data more accessible

Brown Daily Herald: The HerbUX Project works on making Herbarium data more accessible. “When a student visits the Brown University Herbarium, they’re greeted by countless plants meticulously climate-controlled in storage. Rebecca Kartzinel, director of the Herbarium and assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, defines herbaria as ‘collections of dried, pressed plants, historically … used for people studying taxonomy, the study of classifying and naming new plants and identifying plants.’… Kartzinel, along with students and other researchers, is working to develop the HerbUX Project, which aims to make the wealth of information within the Herbarium easily accessible online.”