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Ehrenberg Collection

Molecular and Ecological Data of Diatoms

Molecular and Morphological Data of Cultures

Aero-Terrestrial Greens and Bluegreens

Diatom Names by Lange-Bertalot et al.




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The AlgaTerra IDEAL-module


The taxonomy and nomenclature of many algae, especially when described well before the age of electron microscopy by means of small magnification and line drawings, is often ambiguous. Due to changes in the species concepts in the last decades the meaning of autecological and biogeographical data in the literature have become blurred or even useless as much of it can no longer be linked to modern taxa concepts. This impedes studies of changes in biodiversity that contribute to global change research. Taxonomic problems are also often caused by collections of old type materials which have been difficult to access until recently, such as the one by C.G. Ehrenberg (1795-1876), who described taxa from habitats all over the world.
Current molecular biological methods for phylogenetic and taxonomic research cannot by themselves be directly linked to such important historical data. Statements about algal types in old collections, algal samples from before anthropogenic environmental changes, and microfossiles (important indicators for paleoclimate reconstruction) must, by the nature of the material, still be based on a detailed knowledge of their taxonomic relevant morphological features (taken from the type specimen and the protologue). Only by synthesizing the results from traditional and modern methods is it possible to link historical and modern data sets together.
The IDEAL-Module (Internet Database of Ehrenberg’s Algae Lectotypes) will supply the ‘traditional’ half for such a synthesis: evaluated original data on algal types as a calibration tool for the identification of micro-algae using modern taxonomic concepts and molecular methods.

Objectives of the project

  • a. digitization of algal types, especially Ehrenberg's taxa
  • b. digitization, translation and evaluation of protologue data

Dr. Regine Jahn (joint project coordinator)
Botanic Garden und Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Free University Berlin
Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, D-14195 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 838-50142, Fax: +49 (0) 30 841729-42

This page last updated on 25-05-2004

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