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Abstract Detail

A Century Of Wood Anatomy and 75 Years Of IAWA

Gasson, Peter [1], Miller, Regis B. [2], Grosser, Dietger [3].

Wood collections: what are they good for?

MOST developed countries in the world have at least one institutional xylarium. A good xylarium is a collection of authenticated wood samples that is well-curated and accessible to the scientific community. These collections and the studies made on them permit a wide range of users to benefit from the specialist knowledge that scientists can provide, for example to archeologists, paleontologists, wood technologists, customs inspectors, the wood industry, furniture restorers and a range of others including woodworkers and hobbyists. The collections are intrinsically interesting, and have fascinating stories that parallel the history of the country that hosts them. The collections in Britain and Europe reflect the long colonial histories of those countries, the largest collection (Madison, WI) reflects a new world bias, and the Japanese collections are strongly oriented towards Asia. Despite the obvious value of wood collections to members of IAWA, botanists and foresters, their value is rarely recognized or appreciated by governments and industry. Now is a crucial time in the "life" of many wood collections. There have been many retirements of curators and amalgamations of collections, and unless there is concerted action and better Public Relations, we will continue to see a decline in the number of collections that are properly managed. We need to raise awareness of the scientific and historical value of our collections, and encourage their greater use in education, tours and by professionals and amateurs. The Internet will play a large part in this, providing easy access that was in the past very difficult to obtain. A new Index Xylariorum is in preparation, which is much needed since the last edition (Stern, 1988) is out of date. In our presentation we will examine the histories of the collections in Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA and look towards their future.

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Related Links:
International Association of Wood Anatomists
Inside Wood
Madison wood collection
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

1 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Jodrell Laboratory, Molecular Systematics Section, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, United Kingdom
2 - United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Lab, One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, 53726-2398, USA
3 - Institut fur Holzforschung der Universitat Munchen, Winzerestrasse 45, Munchen, D-80797, Germany

wood anatomy

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 36-2
Location: 102/Plumas
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 8:45 AM
Abstract ID:179

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