Australian Botanic Gardens Forum
Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens

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Census of Plants in Australian Botanic Gardens

Issues for discussion - 1994

Continuation of the Project

Does the Council of Heads of Australian Botanic Gardens wish to continue with this project? If so, does it wish to modify the overall direction, content, and presentation of the list?


Standardization is desirable in the following areas:

Does CHABG, perhaps in consultation with the Australian herbaria, wish to attempt standardization in some or all of these areas?

Cooperation in collections development

The list provides a vehicle for cooperation between gardens in collections development. To what extent does CHABG wish to pursue this in reducing duplicated effort in acquiring taxa for their collections? In reducing collecting pressures on wild populations?

Centres of excellence / specialization

The list indicates that some gardens have emphasized certain taxa or plant types in their collections. Is the development of an 'Australian collection' approach to the holdings of botanical gardens desirable? Is there scope for specialization or concentration of effort?

Specialist editorial input

The list is very large and beyond reasonable expectation for a single person or organization to maintain it. It covers both Australian and exotic species. To what extent are botanic gardens able to provide specialist input on the taxonomy and entries for particular groups of plants?

Extending the list to include other botanic gardens

So far the list only includes entries from some of the major botanic Gardens. Should participation be extended to smaller and regional gardens with electronic records systems? Inclusion will not significantly increase the overall size of the list, but only information about where taxa can be located in cultivation.

Publication of the list

In addition to electronic and network versions of the list, should a bound printed version be produced? Of the list as it stands now? Or after another round of input and editing? How many copies and to what audience?

Format of the database / publication

Is the format of the list (presently a flat text file) appropriate? Is there a better way the information could be presented?

Additional information to be included

Is there any additional information that could or should be included with each entry? Is there anything there that is inappropriate?

Feedback and updating methods

There are several possibilities here. One-off notification of corrections and changes as they occur provides a very up-to-date list but is labour intensive. Once a structure and format is established, it is relatively simple to rebuild the list without a major editing effort.

Frequency of update, frequency of issue of new list

Is annual or biennial production of a new list appropriate or sufficient?

Responsibility for coordination and maintenance

Is CHABG comfortable with the present arrangements?


How does CHABG wish to handle costs associated with this project?

Related issues and future directions

Updated 14 October, 2002 , Murray Fagg (