A voucher flora is a collection of light microscope images for a defined project.

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These documents are created before identification and enumeration of diatoms begins. Prepared slides are examined for an entire project, and images of most (50-80%) diatom taxa are collected. The images are grouped into species, or operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Analysts working on the project collaborate to discuss species boundaries and inform the final OTUs within the voucher flora. Then, as each analyst works on identification and enumeration, the voucher flora serves to coordinate analysts, so that all participants work from the same morphological understanding of species boundaries. Finally, the voucher flora is archived as a public, permanent record.