Identifying Difficult Higher Plants
This course is designed to give a scientific introduction to the identification of higher plants and also an analytical approach to the use and presentation of higher plant distribution data. Key skills to be developed include introductory sessions on identification of a range of families and groups typically including sedges, grasses, pteridophytes (ferns and their allies), umbellifers, yellow composites and crucifers. The groups that are covered depends on the season to some extent, and typically consists of an introductory session of 1-2 hours will be given for each introducing the main characters and how to interpret them and the keys. We will also cover construction of dichotomous and other types of key, recording of critical taxa, preparation of pressed plant specimens on herbarium paper to produce an archive-quality voucher specimens, surveying and recording of difficult plants, and an example of how to cover a very challenging group such as whitebeams. There will be a field visits to a site in Shropshire where we will look at different habitats and practice using species keys and looking at family characteristics. This course is part of the MSc in Biological Recording run by Manchester Metropolitan University.
Tim Rich is a national botanical expert with particular interest in difficult plant groups such as crucifers, whitebeams, hawkweeds and dandelions. He has authored over 300 papers and books on the British and Irish floras and descried over 20 new species. He ran the Welsh National Herbarium for 17 years and is currently researching gentians and three sections of hawkweed. Mark Duffell has had a lifetime interest in plants, gaining the RHS Diploma in Horticulture, becoming 'Young Horticulturist of the Year' in 2001 and completing an MSc in Biological Recording. He now runs Arvensis Ecology, splitting his time between conducting botanical surveys and teaching botanical identification and survey techniques to undergraduate and postgraduate students of universities, consultancies and environmental organisations.
This is one of a series of courses run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University contributing to the MSc Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring and the PG Certificate in Biological Recording. To gain university credits you must be registered for the Masters programme in advance of this course. For further details please contact: The Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology Manchester Metropolitan University. E-mail: [email protected] The course is also suitable for non-credit students.
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