Bernard Goffinet, University of Connecticut, USA
Bernard Goffinet, University of Connecticut, USA; Matt von Konrat, Field Museum, USA
Anton Güntsch, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin (BGBM)
BGBM, MBG, COL
Specimens, Taxonomic checklists
Bryophytes comprise about 20,000 species distributed among three major lineages: the mosses (Bryophyta), the liverworts (Marchantiophyta), and the hornworts (Anthocerotophyta). With an origin dating to around 450 million years ago, bryophytes represent an effective strategy alternative to that of the vascular plants for succeeding on land. Important bryophyte collections are found across all major herbaria around the globe, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) currently contains about 16 million observational records, including 6.5 million digitised herbarium collections. These and other, not yet digitised collections are an indispensable testimony to the global biodiversity of bryophytes throughout the past three centuries.
The German botanist Jan-Peter Frahm (1945-2014) was one of the world's foremost bryologists, with expertise particularly in mosses and the genus Campylopus. Frahm was active in many areas of bryological research, including biodiversity inventories in tropical areas and the Southern Hemisphere (for instance the Bryotrop projects), but also the use of bryophytes in bioindication and other applied aspects. He published over 650 scientific papers and amassed a personal collection of over 80,000 specimens. After his death, the Frahm collection came to the herbarium of the Botanischer Garten of the Freie Universität Berlin (B), where it is being incorporated into the bryophyte collection, a process that will be concluded towards the end of 2022. This includes specimen remounting and digitization of specimen labels, recording skeleton data (barcode, taxonomic name etc.) into a preliminary database. However, to fully unlock the information contained in this highly diverse and important collection, additional label data need to be transcribed or established, particularly geocoordinates for mapping and unique identifiers, such as the combination of collector(s) and collecting number or other accessory numbers (e.g., exsiccatae numbers).
The objective of the present project is to obtain this information by tapping into the Herbonauten project of the Botanischer Garten as an important tool of citizen science.
The primary output of this project consists of partially transcribed and fully georeferenced label data for approximately 80,000 Frahm bryophyte collections, to be available through the Bo Virtual Herbarium, the GBIF portal and the Catalogue of Life. In addition, the project PIs envision a data paper in collaboration with experts at the Bo (Robert Lücking, Anton Güntsch), analysing the main aspects of the data unlocked through this project, such as global biodiversity and distribution patterns visible in this unique and important collection.