The Faculty of Sciences, Saint-Joseph University (USJ), organized a workshop on plant identification within the framework of the project “Determination of Important Areas for Plants and Creation of Micro-Reserves to Conserve Rare or Endemic Species in Lebanon”, funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). This workshop provided keys to identify the main families of native plants found in Lebanon. Identifying a plant to the level of species can be a challenge. However, identifying plant families and genera reduces the amount of time required to properly identify most plant species. This training offered classroom presentations, a field excursion to Ehden Nature Reserve and laboratory activities.
Participants from different Lebanese institutions, working in the field of conservation, and already having basic knowledge in botany, gathered for this event.
At 9 am, Dr. Magda Bou Dagher Kharrat, the Director of the Department of Life and Earth Sciences, project manager and organizer of the workshop, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants.
- flora and taxonomy
Dr. Errol Vela (University of Montpellier – France) briefed the participants over botanical identification tools and ways to collect data. The essential working tools to identify and study plant species are floras. All the different steps for plant identification were presented by order of importance, identification of plant using flora(s), observation and categorizing their risk of extinction.
Pr. Ali Donmez explained in details the procedure of creating a herbarium from collection to maintenance with the needed equipment.
- Collecting data:
Errol Vela then showed the participants how to encode observations in « Carnet en ligne » which is an encoding online tool that can feed the database on Lebanon flora http://www.lebanon-flora.org and can provide useful information about distribution throughout the country.
- Key features of main plant families in Lebanon:
Julien Viglione, Errol Vela and Ali Donmez presented the key features of few genera of the Orchidaceae family, fabaceae and Liliacae.
The participants had the chance to practice identification and studying the habitats of the plants at Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve.
1. Key features of main plant families in Lebanon:
Pr. Joan Valles from Barcelona University along with the three other instructors then presented the key features of Asteraceae, lamiaceae, apiaceae and rosaceae families. Afterwards, the participants moved to the laboratory to study the plant material collected where they exposed, selected, identified and mounted herbaria sheet according to instructor’s advices in order to meet with international standards.
In the light of the hard work of the participants, they are now able to show a critical approach to plant identification and nomenclature.