Australasian Virtual Herbarium

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Australasian Virtual Herbarium
Available inEnglish
Current statusActive

The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) is an online resource[1] that allows access to plant specimen data held by various Australian and New Zealand herbaria.[1][2] It is part of the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA),[3] and was formed by the amalgamation of Australia's Virtual Herbarium and NZ Virtual Herbarium.[4] As of 12 August 2014, more than five million specimens of the 8 million and upwards specimens available from participating institutions have been databased.[5]


This resource is used by academics, students, and anyone interested in research in botany in Australia or New Zealand, since each record tells all that is known about the specimen: where and when it was collected; by whom; its current identification together with the botanist who identified it; and information on habitat and associated species.[1] ALA post processes the original herbarium data, giving further fields with respect to taxonomy and quality of the data.[6] When interrogating individual specimen records, the environmental overlays show reverse jackknife testing[7][8] to see whether the specimen is an outlier with respect to the climate and other environmental layers. See e.g., MEL 0304065A (Scaevola amblyanthera).

All records are downloadable in their entirety, by anyone.[9] Examples of the use of these records may be found in

A google scholar search, using the phrase Australia's Virtual Herbarium, shows that well over 200 articles (as of 3 May 2018) have been published using data from this resource.[19]

Participating herbaria[edit]


Herbaria and their codes may be found at Wikipedia's list of herbaria which is based on the New York Botanical Garden's continuously updated index.[20]


Plans for Australia's Virtual Herbarium were announced in 2001.[21] An article by Tim Entwisle in 2003[22] shows it still to be largely in the planning stage at that time, although the projected usages for preservation of biodiversity in western New South Wales were already visible.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Australasian Virtual Herbarium". AVH. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  2. ^ "What is Australia's Virtual Herbarium? Australian National Botanical Gardens, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  3. ^ "AVH Blog: October 15, 2013". Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  4. ^ "NZ Virtual Herbarium". Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ "AVH Press release 12 August 2014". Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Atlas of Living Australia: Data processing (October 9, 2013)". Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  7. ^ Atlas of Living Australia data quality: detected outlier jackknife. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  8. ^ Bennett, S. (2012)"Notes on Methods for Detecting Spatial Outliers in Species Occurrence Data" Atlas of Living Australia. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  9. ^ "AVH Blog: June 1, 2012". Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  10. ^ Wernberg, T., Russell, B.D., Thomsen, M.S., Gurgel, F.D., Bradshaw, C.J.A., Poloczanska, E.S., Connell, S.D.Wernberg, Thomas; Russell, Bayden D.; Thomsen, Mads S.; Gurgel, C. Frederico D.; Bradshaw, Corey J.A.; Poloczanska, Elvira S.; Connell, Sean D. (2011). "Seaweed communities in Retreat from Ocean Warming". Current Biology. 21 (21): 1828–1832. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.09.028. PMID 22036178.pdf[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Waters, J.M, Wernberg, T., Connell, S.D., Thomsen, M.S., Zuccarello, G.C., Kraft, G.T., Sanderson, J.C., West, J.A., Gurgel, C.F.D. 2010. Australia's marine biogeography revisited: Back to the future? Austral Ecology 35, 988-992. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02114.x
  12. ^ Richardson, D.M., Carruthers, J., Hui, C., Impson, F.A.C., Miller, J.T., Robertson, M.P., Rouget, M., Roux, J.J.L., Wilson, J.R.U. 2011. Human‐mediated introductions of Australian acacias – a global experiment in biogeography. Diversity and Distributions 17, 771-787.doi:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00824.xpdf
  13. ^ Beaumont, Linda J.; Gallagher, Rachael V.; Leishman, Michelle R.; Hughes, Lesley; Downey, Paul O.; Wilson, John (2014). "How can knowledge of the climate niche inform the weed risk assessment process? A case study of Chrysanthemoides monilifera in Australia". Diversity and Distributions. 20 (6): 613–625. Bibcode:2014DivDi..20..613B. doi:10.1111/ddi.12190. ISSN 1366-9516. S2CID 84205376.
  14. ^ Dodd, Aaron J.; Burgman, Mark A.; McCarthy, Michael A.; Ainsworth, Nigel; Duncan, Richard (2015). "The changing patterns of plant naturalization in Australia". Diversity and Distributions. 21 (9): 1038–1050. Bibcode:2015DivDi..21.1038D. doi:10.1111/ddi.12351. hdl:11343/217150. ISSN 1366-9516. S2CID 83936255.
  15. ^ Joger, Ulrich; González-Orozco, Carlos E.; Ebach, Malte C.; Laffan, Shawn; Thornhill, Andrew H.; Knerr, Nunzio J.; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N.; Cargill, Christine C.; Clements, Mark; Nagalingum, Nathalie S.; Mishler, Brent D.; Miller, Joseph T. (2014). "Quantifying Phytogeographical Regions of Australia Using Geospatial Turnover in Species Composition". PLOS ONE. 9 (3): e92558. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...992558G. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092558. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3962426. PMID 24658356.
  16. ^ Booth, Trevor H.; Williams, Kristen J.; Belbin, Lee (2012). "Developing biodiverse plantings suitable for changing climatic conditions 2: Using the Atlas of Living Australia". Ecological Management & Restoration. 13 (3): 274–281. Bibcode:2012EcoMR..13..274B. doi:10.1111/emr.12000. ISSN 1442-7001.
  17. ^ Pollock, L. J.; Rosauer, D. F.; Thornhill, A. H.; Kujala, H.; Crisp, M. D.; Miller, J. T.; McCarthy, M. A. (2015). "Phylogenetic diversity meets conservation policy: small areas are key to preserving eucalypt lineages". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 370 (1662): 20140007. doi:10.1098/rstb.2014.0007. ISSN 0962-8436. PMC 4290421. PMID 25561668.
  18. ^ Hyndman, R. J.; Mesgaran, M. B.; Cousens, R. D. (2015). "Statistical issues with using herbarium data for the estimation of invasion lag-phases". Biological Invasions. 17 (12): 3371–3381. Bibcode:2015BiInv..17.3371H. doi:10.1007/s10530-015-0962-8. hdl:11343/282687. ISSN 1387-3547. S2CID 16212951.
  19. ^ "Google Scholar: Australia's Virtual Herbarium". Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  20. ^ Holmgren, P.K. & Holmgren, N.H. 1998 (continuously updated). "Index Herbariorum: A global directory of public herbaria and associated staff". New York: New York Botanical Garden. Archived from the original on 28 December 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2008.
  21. ^ "Parliament of Australia: Senator Robert Hill: Media release: June 14, 2001". Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  22. ^ a b Entwisle, T. 2003. Australia's virtual herbarium. Australian Geographic, 08161658, Apr-Jun2003, Issue 70.

External links[edit]