CONSTRUCTION OF HERBARIUM AND ITS IMPORTANCE ON TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY
The role of biology as science cannot be overemphasized in the natural development of a country. There is absolutely no doubt that Nigeria, as a developing nation, is aware of the vital roles of science and technologies in the National development. Therefore the construction of herbarium becomes an important method/technique for the familiarization of local plants. The herbarium is a collection of dried, pressed and properly documented plant specimens arranged in the sequence of an accepted system of classification. This research study focuses entirely on constructing an herbarium of 200 different plant as well as tutoring biology student in secondary school on the techniques involve in construction, collection and presentation of plant specimens in an herbarium. Proper presentation of specimen in an insect free box and is advisable in order to prevent the destruction of specimens. Moreso users must first consult the herbarium guide catalogue before retrieving specimens from the box. These precautions prevent deterioration of specimen. Finally use of scientific name on labels of specimen as well as authority is most preferred to a vernacular name. This is because the binomen are universally accepted.
CHAPTER ONE CONSTRUCTION OF HERBARIUM
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Science is an intellectual and practical approach encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world either through observation or experiment. Scientific activity are factual verficable journal, when solution to an in event problem are being solved (discovery). All scientific study are found in the physical world, hence, science is the study of nature and behaviour of natural things and their environment.
Biology, the study of life is rooted in the human spirit, people keep pets, and nurture ornamental plants both for exterior and interior beautification invite avian visitors with backyard birdhouse and visit zoos and nature parks. Therefore, Biology is the scientific extension of this human tendency to feel connected to and curious about all form of life. It is a science for adventurous mind that take us personally into jungles, deserts, deep see exploration (divers) as well as their immediate environment, where a variety of living forms and their physical surroundings are interwoven into complex wear called the ecosystem.
Biology being the study of life is inherently interesting and exciting; the key to make it more interesting for schools lies in providing concrete instructional aids that can facilitate or bridge what they had been taught in classroom situation with the living things they observe in their environment. Plants generally, are one of the most naturally occurring living things around us except in deserts where the vegetation may be sparse or unavailable.
More than any other science, biology involves a very large collection of facts and terms. There are so many facts and terms that learning biology itself is similar to learning a new language. However, student studying biology concepts are not encouraged to memorize facts and terms. Hence it is more important to relate these facts and terms to your everyday life and to your surroundings.
Botany is a branch of biology that works with the scientific study of plant, including their anatomy morphology, physiology, biochemistry, taxonomy, cytology, genetics, ecology evolution and geographical distribution. In order words, it is the discipline that involves the whole plant i.e. the plant life, or the properties and life phenomena exhibited by a plant, plant type or group of plant.
After learning about object through observation the early man took pain to identify object classify and preserve object in their environment. Therefore the identification, classification and preservation of plant has been in existence for long although, the early man classification was based on the view of the location with utilization of the plant there was no knowledge of the evolutionary trend involved (phylogeny)
The system of classification in biology involves identification and clustering of species into hierarchical arrangement (Taxa) based on some criteria that is due to understanding of their relationship to other species. In addition to these ordering system, scientist began to assign Latin names to species, these names which are usually two (binomial nomenclature) and comprises of the ‘generic’ and ‘specific’ names of the individual organism. These systems of Nomenclature became universally acceptable and help to address confuse of the use of vernacular or common names
The issue of plant classification and identification has been in existence for several centuries and this has post lots of challenges to both instructors and students in the discipline. These painstaking effect had however affect the incentive of biology students towards the study of plant in reference to its familiarization, their scientific name, usability, morphology e.t.c Though, these plant are readily available in their local community while other even spend fort nurturing the plant, but still identification of the flora is absent among people and these is as a result of lack of interest for the concept.
This research work then focuses on the challenges as well as remedial approach to communicate the names (scientific names) of the flora to student through construction of herbarium that should be accessible and available for the study of plant diversity in their local community. Besides using concrete aids to drive home ideas for student promote retention and information acquired in this process will be stored in the long term memory. In addition involving students in the collection and classification will also promote, increase or improve their motives towards plant study as well as familiarization with basic concept that are attributed to plant.
Herbarium is a facility that holds the official collection of pressed plant specimen of a region in which each plant is passed dried and mounted to make an herbarium specimen. This collection could be use to survey identify collect and preserve all plant species including those associated with national tradition and cultures. The collection of herbarium is a National property in some country e.g. for example the Royal botanic garden in Kew England was founded in 1853 and boost of collection from famous scientist such as Charles Darum. Therefore herbarium be could go down to posterity through generation for hundred of years and also serve as reference materials on the flora of the country.
Apparently, herbarium practices began in Italy in the 14th century by Luca Ghinni (1490-1556). Up till 1820s, the herbaria herbalist and of nearly all botanist consisted of specimens posted into books of black pages. One major herbaria in Nigeria is the university of Ibadan herbarium the boost of over 27,000 plant specimen while the Missouri botanical garden and Royal botanical garden in Kew London has one of the best dried plants collections in the world.
Herbariums are located commonly in the university, college, museums and botanic garden so they would serve as research resource centre for student and botanist as well as tourist. Herbariums usually serve as reference materials to the plant diversity of a region. Hence an herbarium may be a property of a
· National, state, city or private institutions
· Resources centre in university or a college
· A division of museum (arboretum) or a botanical garden
· Privately owned collection
Occasionally, an herbarium may be a combination of two of these categories
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Herbarium is constructed to reduce the difficulties of identification of plants. Therefore the primary objective of this research work is to provide a plant resource centre that is accessible and designed to address the inherent incentive of students towards plant study while also promoting familiarization of plant specimen. The research work will be carried out also along with few secondary school students in the collection and this approach is expected to develop potential collectors of plant specimen in the nearest futer.
This research work will look into technique that could be adopted to address the following problem such as
i Availability of herbarium library in school
ii Does the teacher have an idea of herbarium construction
iii Does student derive satisfaction in the collection and use of herbarium
iv Does the student have access to the herbarium event when they are available
V Has herbarium been able to enhance effective teaching and learning of plants in their surrounding
vi Has herbarium been able to minimize the problem of identification
1.3 PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTING AN HERBARIUM
The main intention for this construct is to reduce the difficulties of identification of plants among biology scholars especially beginners in secondary school. Beside herbarium plays an important role in the conservation of the environment and the ecosystem. Hence, these research works is designed to
i. Collect and preserve plant for instructional aid
ii. To make the institution where the herbarium is located a research resources centre
iii. To provide institutional an supervisory assistance to the university and college students in performing their higher studies on plant taxonomy
iv. To identify name and classify the preserved plant specimen. In the herbarium. (Cause the documented plant samples in the herbarium serve as the basis of correct identification on plant diversity).
v. To identify plants macro-morphological characters and train biology student (secondary school). The techniques for herbarium construction
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study had been designed for both biology and agricultural science student as well as nature lovers (naturalist) and adventurous mind. This research will help to serve as Cultural, Recreational, Research conservation, information & education tools for the Public and Students in the institution in particular.
The study shall:
1 Serve as identification centre for all kinds of plant part for different group of individuals
2 Expose students to systematic research
3 Provide samples for museum and education exhibition
4 Serve as education tool for the public (garden, club school groups society e. t. c )
5 Interact with local people of a community to form volunteer group for conservation effort.
6 Run education course for the public e.g. local plant family
7 Provide internship and job opportunity
8 Promote appreciation of botanical diversity by making specimen available for viewing by student, researchers and the public.
9 Provide material for teaching
10 Provide rare information on rare or extinct species that can no longer be found in nature
1.5 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION
The study is carried out in Lagos and Oyo state. In Oyo state collection was limited to the botanical garden of the university of Ibadan were 15% of the plant/ specimen was acquired. However, specimen collection in Lagos was limited to Ojo, Badagry, Alimosho and the Lekki conservation centre in Lekki. The collection has 50% of specimen from Badagry 20% from Ojo 10% from Alimosho while 5% was acquired from Lekki conservation centre. Beside some secondary student in pure heart international high school and Araromi Ilogbo senior secondary school were tutored on herbarium construction
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint and time availability influenced the research work. Beside collection of specimen were limited to majorly Ojo and Badagry while few other specimens were also acquired from Lekki, Alimosho and botanical garden in Oyo state.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Herbarium: a location of preserved and labeled plant specimen arranged to allow easy access and archival storage
Taxonomy: is the study of theory, practice and rules of classification living and extinct organism
Specimen: it plant or fragment of plant taken and preserved to represent a species or other taxon or a population or to serve as a voucher to document observation made on a plant or population of plants
Index herborarium: a series of indices to herbaria and collectors published in Regnum vegetable by the international Association for plant Taxanomy.
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