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table of contents   
Frontiers of Discovery
Exploring the Tropics
For many years, the Garden has conducted comprehensive botanical inventories of selected areas in the Latin American tropics, including intensive, long-term studies of small permanent plots in regions of richest diversity. To the extent funds are available, the Garden will expand the program to include more than a hundred sites of great biological significance.

The project will help focus conservation efforts and accelerate our understanding of these regions. It will generate an invaluable "Plant Inventory of the Western Hemisphere," which will serve as a model for preserving biodiversity. This kind of in-depth knowledge - a road map of tropical diversity - can be obtained in no other way.

Annonaceae

The ideal plant specimen includes samples of flowers, fruits and leaves. The collector assigns a number to each sample and notes relevant information that will not be apparent once the plant is dried. Next, specimens are positioned between sheets of newspaper and placed in a plant press, which is layered with absorbent blotters and sheets of corrugated cardboard or aluminum. Finally, the entire press is placed over a heat source until the plant specimens are thoroughly dried.
Shown: Annonaceae from Valle de Talamanca, Costa Rica.
Photo: Reinaldo Aguilar

Frontiers of Discovery: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next Section >>
Text and photos from "The Unseen Garden" available from MBG Press.
 
 
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