The collection of aquatic plants is often done as part of ecological or impact studies, both as a record of conditions at a given time for comparison with later conditions, and as a necessity when the collectors are not able to identify the specimens in the field and need to send a specimen to an expert. These specimens are a valuable scientific record and their collection and subsequent handling should be done with care so that much of the time and expense that has gone into their collection is not wasted. Herbaria exist for the purpose of long term care and storage of the specimens and some standards have been set up for the care and storage of plant specimens. These standards should be followed so that the plants will become valuable scientific specimens for more than the specific purpose for which they were collected. In addition, their storage in a long term facility like an herbarium will make them accessible to subsequent researchers for other uses. Herbaria provide a permanent record of what was found and if identifications need to be rechecked the specimen is available. Even when the major thrust of the work is for biomass studies or tissue analyses, representative specimens must still be collected and saved as vouchers of what species were analysed or studied.
Warrington, P, BC Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks. 1994. Collecting and Preserving Aquatic Plants Illustrated Manual by Groups of Plants. BC Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks