Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets | Specimen Condition | Container Condition | Label Condition | Label Content | Level of Taxonomic Identification

DISCO - Diversity Initiative for the Southern California Ocean

Section Responsible for Processing (Top)


Significance (Top)

This initiative focuses on Southern California marine invertebrate fauna, from intertidal to 1,000 m depth, and from Point Conception to the Mexican border. The initiative's purpose is to create authoritative, accessible, and effective tools to help understand coastal invertebrate diversity. Specimens attributed to this project are/will be useful for DNA extraction.

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Background (Top)

We know that our oceans are changing quickly, and our coastal biota are responding. Successful management requires that we know what species are where, and how their distributions change with time.

Current monitoring technology, based on specialist identifications of individual organisms, just cannot keep pace. Standard approaches to ecological research and monitoring efforts that look at marine species distributions depend on highly trained taxonomists to sort and identify the animals in environmental samples. Identification of marine macroinvertebrates is challenging because of their small size, complex morphology, and extreme diversity. Therefore, because of the expertise and time required, relatively few sites can be sampled, and often studies are restricted to a handful of "indicator" species, rather than comprehensively looking at the community. This cripples our ability to see the widespread but subtle changes to our coastal biota that accompany variations in ocean temperature and acidity. We need quicker and more effective ways to identify the species in marine samples.

Collection Location and Dates (Top)

Collections attributed to this project come from opportunistic collecting efforts by NHM staff and associates.

Taxonomic Contents (Top)

All marine invertebrate phyla represented in the Southern California Ocean.

Documentation (Top)

Full label data is available from the MBC database.

Description of Collection (Top)

Specimens are wet preserved -- mostly in 95% ethanol, on rare occasion 70% ethanol.

Collection Inventory (Top)

Material available for genetic work is being assembled in the MBC Collection Room and MBC freezers and mostly contained in 1 oz. jars whenever possible.

Collection Assets (Top)

No collection assets available.

Specimen Condition (Top)

Date 4: New alcohol needed immediately (specimens will otherwise be irreparably damaged) 3: Containers need to be 'topped off' 2: New alcohol needed within next 6-12 months 1: No curation needed at present
04/07/2016 0% 0% 0% 100%

Container Condition (Top)

Date 4: Immediate short-term (less than 5 years) storage container replacement needed. Present containers are inadequate. Curate in the short-term with plastic buckets, whirltop bags, or similar. 3: Specimens contained in museum-grade long-term (greater than 5 years) storage containers. Jars need new closures (e.g. replace Bakelite and metal lids). 2: Transfer to museum-grade long-term storage containers. Replace or transfer to new jars and glass vials, replace cotton and closures. 1: Containers are museum-grade and meet highest curation standards.
04/07/2016 0% 0% 0% 100%

Label Condition (Top)

Date 4: New labels needed immediately (original labels in poor condition, paper torn/worn, legibility poor). 3: New labels needed within next 1-2 years (original labels beginning to wear, pencil writing fading, low quality paper was used). 2: New labels needed are as a result of curation and accretion of collection. 1: No new labels needed at present.
04/07/2016 0% 0% 0% 100%

Label Content (Top)

Date 2: New label or additional label needed because original label data is incomplete and supporting documentation provides additional collection data which greately enhances significance and value of each lot. 1: Label content complete. All collection data are contained on label.
04/07/2016 0% 100%

Level of Taxonomic Identification (Top)

Date 7: Not identified 6: Phylum 5: Class 4: Order 3: Family 2: Genus 1: Species
02/02/2017 0% 0% 0% 50% 30% 5% 5%
This is an actively growing collection. As more obscure specimens are being added to the collection, identification levels are diminishing - the quality of specimens is not.
04/07/2016 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% 8% 90%
Most taxa have been identified by taxon experts to the lowest rank possible.