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Subject: Re: Help needed making herbarium specimens
From: Eugene Bozniak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Eugene Bozniak <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 9 Nov 2006 08:25:44 -0700

text/plain (114 lines) , text/enriched (175 lines)

John et al.

As with your experience, it is with fresh specimens that the staining 
occurs. Our pacific species of browns like
Desmarestia, Hedophyllum, Costaria, Cystoseira, and Macrocystis seem 
notorious for staining while the
reds like Odonthalia and Rhodomela can give one heartburn.  I've taken 
to semi-drying these somewhat before
pressing and this seems to help.  Of course your southern hemisphere 
Splachnidium presents the biggest
challenge of all.  I had to sun dry my specimens for two days before 

I have also avoided using any open weave type cloth for fear that it 
would leave permanent
indentations on the specimens.  Does this NOT happen?



On Nov 8, 2006, at 9:30 PM, John Huisman wrote:

> Hi Gene, Sophie et al.
> Gene, thanks for comments, much appreciated. With your specimens 
> staining herbarium paper, does that occur with formalin preserved 
> plants? I've noticed it with fresh specimens, but not so much with 
> preserved.
> Regarding waxed paper. I spent some time in Hawaii where waxed paper 
> was the accepted method, but I had no end of problems with the waxed 
> paper sticking to the specimens. It was the source of much 
> frustration! Alan Millar might like to chip in here, as I saw him use 
> some rather choice expletives when some valuable specimens from 
> Leleiwi were glued solid to the paper and had to be trashed.
> My preferred method these days is 'Chux' wipes, an open weave cleaning 
> cloth that can be washed. Also available in grocery stores and 
> reusable.
> Cheers,
> John
> At 12:08 AM 9/11/2006, you wrote:
>> Sophiet
>> John Huisman has given you great advice.  Their guide on collecting 
>> marine plants is a wonderful resource.
>> I recommend that you use waxed paper (available in every grocery 
>> store) to prevent specimens from sticking to blotting paper.
>> I am surprised that more folks don't use waxed paper routinely.  It 
>> is easy to remove once the specimens are dried.  On very
>> fleshy specimens you might change the waxed paper when you change the 
>> blotting paper and/or newspaper (I might change
>> these several times before the specimens are finally dried.)
>> On the issue of FW for rinsing, my experience is that for many 
>> species you will get best results if you have access to clean
>> sea water.  Even when not exposed to FW for very long, certain 
>> species will stain the herbarium paper as they dry.  This
>> tends to be reduced when using clean sea water.
>> Good luck.
>> Gene Bozniak
>> Department of Botany
>> Weber State University
>> Ogden, UT 84408-2504
>> U.S.A.
>> On Nov 7, 2006, at 6:21 AM, Sophie Nicol wrote:
>>> Hello!
>>> I have just joined this group, so please excuse any miss-posts or 
>>> silly
>>> questions!
>>> I am a PhD student in University College Dublin, Ireland, and am 
>>> working
>>> in rockpool ecology. My knowledge of algae is quite poor, and I am 
>>> having
>>> trouble identifying some species. I am hoping to make herbarium 
>>> specimens
>>> of samples I have preserved in formalin & seawater (in order to send 
>>> them
>>> to someone more knowledgeable than myself for identification help), 
>>> and am
>>> not sure how to proceed.
>>> Should I wash the specimen in seawater or freshwater before 
>>> pressing? And
>>> is it necessary to have muslin cloth over the specimen when 
>>> pressing, or
>>> can I just press it between blotting paper? I have been looking on 
>>> the
>>> web, but the information is varied.
>>> Does anyone have any suggestions?
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Sophie
>> John Huisman
>> Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
>> Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150
>> Australia

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