Digitizing and databasing Sumatran flora (part II)

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Zingiber spectabile
Zingiber spectabile. Photo by David Renoult (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Herbarium Universitas Andalas (ANDA) is the biggest herbarium on the island of Sumatra and the biggest university-based herbarium in Indonesia. Since its establishment, the herbarium has been the center for Sumatran plant studies, used by international students and scientists as well as local and national government agencies.

The access to the ANDA collections, however, is limited by the lack of an open-access database, and many specimens have not been fully cataloged. Developing an online database and digitizing the herbarium collections will improve access to our specimens. It will provide more research opportunities and collaborations, and for some extent will foster the conservation of species on Sumatra.

A previous BIFA-supported project enabled the digitization and publication of 13,500 herbarium sheet records, surpassing the initial goal of 12,000 records. This effort, however, only covers 15 out of 175 families hosted at ANDA.

The present project proposes to continue this process and to digitize another 20,000 sheets of flowering plants. The project will include developing an offline digital catalog with more detailed information, incorporating information for sensitive collections unavailable online. The offline database will be made available for identified researchers and specialists working on plants. This project will be supported by InaBIF and four notable museums for Asian plants.

Project Progress

The project started off by capturing data and finished the data entry for 20,000 sheets of specimens reaching this part of their aim. They published a dataset with 3682 occurences on vascular plants from Batang Toru Forest thorugh GBIF. A list of the selected families from Batang Toru can be found in the attached files at the bottom of this page.

A workshop was conducted in September 2019 in collaboration with the Department of Biology, Andalas University, with the purpose of training volunteers in data management as well as to promote the BIFA project to relevant institutions in Indonesia. One of the members of the project attened the BIFA Capacity Building Workshop in Vietnam in July 2019 and received a certificate of completion.

The project reached their target of digitizing 20,000 sheets of specimens consisting of two datasets. The latest dataset was published with 17.600 occurrences. This makes a total of 21,282 sheets of specimens, encompassing 790 species in 406 genera and 111 families of angiosperms. The family Compositae and Leguminosae were the families with the most digitized specimens of all the families that have been digitized. Also, the project recorded 4 species of plants endemic to Sumatra.

Furthermore, the project created an offline database of the specimens at Herbarium ANDA. It uses open-source software relational database management system.

The team behind this project has improved their experience and capabilities on team management, biodiversity data management following the Darwin Core standard, digitgal data management using state-of-the-art software, dataset mangement, and data publication using IPT protocol.

€ {{ 13807 | localNumber }}
€ {{ 8074 | localNumber }}
1 May 2019 - 30 April 2020
Project identifier
Contact details

Herbarium of Andalas University (ANDA)
Department of Biology, Mathematics and Natural Science, Andalas University
Andalas University campus
Limau Manis Padang, West Sumatra