Tervuren Xylarium Wood Database

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Lignified plant tissues are omnipresent in the terrestrial living nature. Also a big part of the material culture consists of wooden objects. Because of the multifunctional character of wood, the Tervuren Xylarium (abbreviation: Tw) is established to serve the different disciplines interested in wood research: technology, ecology, palaeontology, art history, archaeology,...

Since the Tervuren Xylarium is the only governmental wood collection in Belgium there is no geographical limitation: it has a worldwide concern, though being housed in the Africa museum. Because of the scientific nature of the collection, the value of it depends largely on derivative collections like thin sections for microscopy and microphotographs. Moreover there are collections of stem discs that make dendrochronological research possible.

Three databases constitute the information accompanying the collection: (1) the Tervuren Xylarium Taxa, (2) Tervuren Xylarium Specimens and (3) Tervuren Xylarium Images. "Tervuren Xylarium Taxa" groups all the information on the abstract entities (the taxa: species and some other taxa). The scientific names and the botanical families of the species present in the xylarium are being listed. These are the names that are actually being used to manage the collection. They do not necessarily follow the most recent botanical nomenclature. Additionally synonyms, commercial names and local names are being given. This information is being compiled from the available literature and is not corrected. Vernacular names of Central African species are being modified according to linguistic conventions.

Collection Details
Number of specimens: 61 474
Number of species: +/-14 000
Geographical span: As the Tervuren xylarium is the only governmental collection in Belgium, it has a worldwide concern: next to African, other tropical and temperate woods are being included
Time span: collected from end 19th century onwards