History of CSH

The former of Shanghai Chenshan Herbarium (CSH) was the herbarium of Shanghai Botanical Garden Chenshan department (2005.6~2009.3), which was established in June, 2005. Then renamed as Herbarium of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden Introduction Base in April, 2009 (2009.4~2012.3). In 2010, the Herbarium moved into the main building of Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center (CAS), then completed registration at international in August, 2010(acronym as CSH). (http://sweetgum.nybg.org/science/ih/). The Herbarium then was renamed from Herbarium of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden(2012.4~2014.6) to Shanghai Chenshan Herbarium (2014.7-now) as the construction of new herbarium completed. CSH totally occupied 1,561.5 m2 on the east part of basement in Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center (CAS). (http://eherbarium.ibiodiversity.org/VH/CSH/default.html).
Planning and construction of CSH
The layout of Shanghai Chenshan Herbarium (hereafter referred to as CSH) similar with an ancient knife coin, wider in west side and narrower in east side, running through a curved corridor in middle. The physical space in CSH were divided and rearranged in accordance with the standard process of specimens. The space can be roughly divided into specimen preserving zone and specimens processing zone. The former one is a long-term preserving area for specimen and other research materials. With appropriate temperature and humidity controlling equipment and disinfecting-fumigating facilities, environmental parameters are adjustable within a certain range. The latter one provides complete solution from field collection to digitization, which is the major area covering herbarium's daily works including drying, mounting, identification, digitization, freezing and other sectors.

The major specimen preserving zone of CSH is divided into specimen preserving room, precious specimen’s room, and temporary specimen room, duplicate specimens storage area. The total area is 909 m2, with 457 specimen cabinets and 135 groups of shelves, the capacity of herbarium collections could be up to 1 million sheets, which mean CSH has long-term developing potentiality.

There are 3 main specimen preserving hall in CSH, Hall 1 holds Liverworts, Mosses, Hornworts, Lycophytes, Monilophytes and Gymnosperms. For Liverworts, Mosses and Hornworts, using RM Schuster (1966) and R. Grolle (1983) system. For Mosses, using Chen Bangjie (1963) systems. In CSH, the specimens of Lycophytes and Monilophytes arranged by "Flora of China" volumes 2-3; Gymnosperms referred to Christenhusz et al. (2011); Angiosperms accepted APG IV.

CSH also set one precious specimen room for type specimen. One temporary specimen hall, temporarily stores stapled specimens to be further processed. And one duplicate specimen storing area, storing those dried, frozen and disinfected specimens for exchanging with other Herbariums.

Specimens preserving zone is the region for long-term preservation, specimens shall maintained in a relatively safe circumstance. Combining air condition and industrial dehumidifiers, the humidity is maintained within the range of 50±5%, the temperature is adjustable between 20-30℃. Before entering this area, all specimens must be frozen for disinfection (-40℃, 72h). Installation of rubber seal strip in doors and windows reduce the humidity and temperature exchange with the outside, keeping relatively drying and stable temperature. Using a one-direction purification pipeline pumping, rapidly exhaust toxic gases after herbarium's regularly fumigation. CSH specimen processing zone covers total of 652.5m2, in accordance with the processing order of the specimen entering, this region is divided into drying room, receiving room, specimen mounting room, digitization room, freezing room, buffer zone, specimens buffer zone, specimen identification room. In addition, CSH also set up a librarian office, server’s room, storeroom, laboratory, conference room. Specimen processing zone is a place with frequent human activity; environmental parameters should be set ergonomically comfortable and appropriate. CSH using the existing central air conditioning and installs small home dehumidifier to adjust temperature and humidity, the air humidity is 40-60% adjustable, the air temperature is 20-30℃ adjustable. Besides isolated with preserving zone, the specimens processing zone has air exchange with the outside through the fresh air duct.
The functions and positioning of CSH
CSH is one of the supporting departments for Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center which covering specimen collecting, processing, preservation, exchanging and research.
As an integration of scientific research department, the basic function of CSH is to organize and carry out collecting scientific specimens and other materials, providing safely and well-managed place for the specimens and researchers.

CSH mainly collects vascular plants in East China and East Asia, and now with relatively complete specimens of East China Sea islands, Shanghai and East China region (Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang) , and also invasive or introduced plant nationwide. As well as plentiful moss and fern specimens of Hunan province, some particular families and genera including Polypodiaceae, Lepisorus, Dennstaedtiaceae, Microlepia and Tectariaceae in ferns, Fagaceae ,  Machilus (Lauraceae), Aristolochiaceae, Celastraceae, Begoniaceae, Salvia (Lamiaceae) and other groups in China and even the range of East Asia and North America.
Management in CSH
The director of CSH is Dr Ma Jinshuang, Deputy Director of Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Head of department is Chen Jianping, he works with the other 9 full-time staff. Daily work of herbarium involves many aspects, but overall is start from "reception and mounting--digitalization--identification and entering--management and exchanging". According to workflow, all staff are divided into four teams, collaborate with each other: Specimen receiving and mounting group (Xu Yuan responsible, Su Yongxin assistance, hiring other 3 specimens mounters), Specimens digitized Group (Dr Chen Bin responsible, Shen Bin assistance), Specimen identification and entering group (Wang Zhengwei responsible), Specimen management and distribution group (Ge Binjie responsible), Biodiversity surveys in East China (Dr Zhang Qingfei responsible, Zhong Xin assistance). In addition, Chen Jianping and Gao Yanping also undertake tasks to develop and build information platform.

Each functional area and ​​each cell specimen cabinet in CSH is pasted by barcode labels for physical specimen position. Until the end of 2016, with the completion of the entire herbarium inventory, researchers who want to know the process of specimens or find interested groups, just need to log in herbarium website and inquire the collection serial number, CSH will be able to help to locate it in herbarium quickly. This is also a part of the concept of Digital Herbarium, which is now we trying to create.
Collections and researches in CSH
Currently, the information of CSH's specimens is stored in the self-developed management system, which supports specimen collecting and identifying information import and export in batches, and print labels with information in paper version. Based on the analysis of data information system, till up to October 2015, CSH collected a total of 71,569 recorded numbers of specimens, which collated into the database, mounting more than 95,000 specimens. Up to 79,489 copies have been completed by specimens digitization (image capture), with 68,000 entries of collection. After sorting, matching and screening the collecting information, 8,371 specimens, 14,235 copies, contained in 268 families comprising nearly 5,000 taxa, have been completely identified to species level and with complete collector and catalog information.

Focus on provincial distribution map of the number of specimen collection, major specimen collection of CSH mainly concentrated in the East, South and Southwest China, most collections are from five provinces or regions: Shanghai (28,264 sheets), Zhejiang (10,035 sheets), Guangdong (2,535 sheets), Hunan (2,182 sheets), Sichuan (2,160 sheets).These collections make CSH in an appropriate position and meet current research needs from each research groups. Focus on annual variation of the number of specimen collection, the amount of CSH specimen collection reaches 100,000 copies of accumulation in 10 years (from 2005 to the present, approximately 90% taken in 2010-2015). Specimen collecting of CSH started from 2005, the first specimen collection (CSYZXZ2005-001) is Lindera erythrocarpa, collected from West Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve.

2005-2009 is the plant introduction period of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, during the time of preparation. The specimens collected primarily as voucher specimens of introductions, peaked in 2007 (1,128 pieces, 3,666 copies), then declined rapidly. In 2009, specimen collecting almost interrupted. After official opening of Chenshan Botanical Garden, along with restructuring and cooperating with taxonomic research group, the amount of specimens collecting in herbarium was sharp rising, 233 pieces in 2010,then 21,011 pieces in 2011 (a nearly one hundred times increasing). These specimens mainly come from the Flora of Shanghai Metropolis Project. In 2012, the amount basically unchanged from the previous year, but markedly decline after 2013, mainly because a large number of sample information has not been submitted to the herbarium. Since 2010, in addition to work to collect the specimen-based research material, CSH also undertook a number of research projects, authored or edited 3 books, 20 published papers, 1 patent (see Appendix)

Four centuries past since the first Herbarium established in the world, the form of herbarium has changed from the initial personal collections which belongs to aristocracy, into now professional scientific research institutions which based on plants. At this moment that almost all industry of herbariums in the world is shrinking, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden (Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences) undertakes the plant diversity investigation and research in the region as its responsibility, invest a lot of resources to support the construction and development of Herbarium. In past 5 years, the area for specimens preserving in CSH has enlarged 8 times, from only 100 m2 to now over 900 m2 specimens preserving zone. The number of professional specimens preserving cabinets has increased 7 times, from originally 56, increased to 457 now, while 164 groups of shelves for temporary specimens placing also settled. More than 8 new function zones including identification workshop and digitization workshop have been added, also equipped with Diversity of Plant Morphology Laboratory, which makes CSH has ability to receive, process, preserve a large number of specimens. These improving have laid a solid foundation, which makes CSH has ability to undertake massive, deeply investigation of the plant resources in East China, as well as to create a nationwide personnel training base for plant taxonomy. ( http://www.cubg.cn/info/Progress/2014-06-10/208.html).


Jinshuang Ma (Ph.D, Professor) Curator
Address: Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chenshan Botanical Garden, 3888 Chenhua Road, Songjiang, Shanghai, 201602, China

Jianping Chen (M. S., Senior Engineer, Software Architect) Head
Director of network information, is mainly engaged in biodiversity informatics research and information platform construction, information system development and management.
Office: 86-21-37792288-928
E-mail: chenjianping@csnbgsh.cn

Binjie GE (M. S., Collection Manager)
Charged with Seed bank and DNA bank, participated in Eastern China flora survey (especially interested on islands plant and Rubus collection) and conservation works, assisted in the construction of virtual herbarium.
Office: 86-21-37792288-253

E-mail: gebinjie123@163.com;gebinjie@csnbgsh.cn

Bin Shen (Digitization Manager)
Charged with taking and processing specimen pictures, participated in Eastern China flora survey.
Office: 86-21-37792288-658
E-mail: shenbin@csnbgsh.cn

Yongxin Su (Collection Manager)
Charged with specimens storage and collection information management.
Office: 86-21-37792288-658
E-mail: suyongxin@csnbgsh.cn

Yanping Gao (B. A., Software Engineer)
Charged with information collation, database maintenance and mobile software development.
Office: 86-21-37792288-928
E-mail: gaoyanping@csnbgsh.cn

Xin Zhong (M. S., Collection Manager) 
Angiosperms system and evolution research, mainly responsible for East China plant biodiversity survey, specimens collection and identification.
Office: 86-21-37792288-253
E-mail: zhongxin@csnbgsh.cn;planezxin@gmail.com

Li Guo(B.A., Database Platform Construction Assistant ) 
Mainly responsible for database maintenance , room management and other daily affairs.