The Forest Pathology Herbarium at the Pacific Forestry Centre is an internationally recognized collection of over 35,300 preserved and catalogued forest fungi and disease specimens, representing over 3,000 different fungal species, including over 140 type specimens. Abbreviated in the Index Herbariorum, a catalogue of the world’s herbaria, as DAVFP (Department of Agriculture, Victoria, Forest Pathology), the herbarium has existed through a number of departmental changes since its establishment in 1940.
Voucher collections are deposited in DAVFP for permanent documentation of new species and disease distribution records in British Columbia and Yukon. DAVFP specimens are also loaned for research purposes to scientists all over the world. Permanent displays adjacent to the specimen storage area are a favourite stop for visitors touring the Pacific Forestry Centre.
Many of the older DAVFP collections were made by former Forest Insect and Disease Survey rangers. More recent specimens are the results of biodiversity and forest pathology research by Canadian Forest Service staff and other regional collaborators. Important contributions include those made by Wolf G. Ziller, an authority on tree rusts, and Alvin Funk, an expert on pathogenic microfungi of western trees.
DAVFP Collections Database
The DAVFP database maintains specimen label information for the majority of the material housed in the herbarium. The database can be searched using a variety of parameters, including fungus name, host name, other pests/damage, collector, determiner, location and year of collection.
Requests for loans of DAVFP specimens
Loan requests are accepted only from universities and research institutions with appropriate facilities for storage of herbarium specimens. These institutions must accept responsibility for the safe custody and return of the loaned material. All specimens must be stored in insect-proof cabinets and treated carefully. They should remain in their protective packages except during actual examination. Unless otherwise arranged, loans are for six months.
Loan requests should include the following information:
- the researcher’s name and institutional affiliation
- the reason for borrowing the material
- the names, host names and DAVFP numbers (available online) of the specimens requested (Note: If the DAVFP number of a requested specimen is unknown, please supply synonyms, bibliographic information, and any known collection data to facilitate your request.)
Loan requests may be submitted by mail or e-mail to:
Forest Pathology Herbarium
Pacific Forestry Centre
506 West Burnside Rd.
Victoria BC V8Z 1M5
Requests for DNA extraction from DAVFP specimens
The herbarium curator will make decisions regarding destructive sampling for DNA extraction on a case-by-case basis.
If a request is approved, DNA extraction results, including GenBank database accession numbers, should be sent to the DAVFP curator, so that the information can be added to the DAVFP Collections Database.