Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1974 v20 No 4 Winter
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
December 1974 Vol. 20 No. 4
Emotional Responses by Plants Adolph Hecht 46
Emotional Responses by Plants
Peter Tompkins, coauthor with Christopher Bird of the new book, "The Secret Life of Plants," (1) was interviewed on the CBS morning news program of December 26, 1973. Tompkins restated what he and Bird had published more than a year ago in an article that appeared in Harpers Magazine under the provocative title, "Love Among the Cabbages." (2) He gave the impression that plant scientists were avidly following the lead of Cleve Backster whose initial experiments led to Tompkins' and Bird's publications. To the contrary it appears that those who have presented these initial startling results (unfortunately or fortunately?) are members of neither the Botanical Society of America nor the American Society of Plant Physiologists.
What, then, should be the professional botanist's answer to the popular surge of interest stimulated by these accounts? Last year Tompkins and Bird were interviewed by Barbara Walters on the early morning (NBC) television program, "The Today Show." Letters to Ann Landers (or was it Abigail van Buren?) continued the public discussion, as did an article, "Tea for Three," by Frank L. Remington in the December 1972 issue of Elks Magazine (3). The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers have published notices concerning these studies, but perhaps the most elaborate presentation with colored illustrations appeared in National Wildlife for February/ March, 1969, an article by Thorn Bacon entitled, "The Man Who Reads Nature's Secret Signals." (4)
Observations and experiments that stimulated these articles have been described as a chance discovery by Cleve Backster, a New York lie-detector (polygraph) ex-pert, during the winter of 1966. Backster published an ac-count of his work in the Winter, 1968 issue of the International Journal of Parapsychology, "Evidence of a Primary Perception in Plant Life." (5) His initial experiment involved the attachment of electrodes to leaves of a Dracaena plant in his office, and the use of a wheat-stone bridge in order to measure the rate of the ascent of water from the roots to the leaves. Finding that the tracings obtained "exhibited a contour similar to a reaction pattern typical of a human subject experiencing an emotional stimulation of short duration," Backster says that he decided to see what would happen should he threaten the plant. As he thought about burning a leaf of the plant with a lighted match, he noted a dramatic up-sweep of the recording pen. Further tests on this and on other "plant varieties" of threats to the plant's well-being, he says, confirmed this initial result. Accordingly he decided to refine his experimental procedures, and to exclude "human presence in the experiment environment." He selected Philodendron plants to be the receptors and brine shrimp as the living organisms whose death would be the trauma to which the Philodendron might react.
Details and diagrams of Backster's experimental procedure are presented in his article mentioned above (5). Philodendron cordatum was the species employed, and was selected for its leaf size and structure which facilitated the attachment and operation of the electrodes. Three plants were used in each experiment, yet each was grown in a separate room, with wires to recording instruments in a separate instrument room. The brine shrimp were kept in yet another room at the far end away from the plants, with an intervening, apparently unoccupied room between the nearest plant and the room in which the brine shrimp were housed. An electrical "randomizer" located in an outside corridor automatically initiated a process whereby the container of live brine shrimp was dumped into hot water and thereby killed. Sterile brine water controls were used to compare results obtained with the termination of life of the living brine shrimp. Results from 7 runs with 3 plants' reactions for each run produced a total of twenty-one charts. Eight of these charts were disqualified for various reasons. From the remaining 13 charts the author concluded that he obtained "evidence of the existence of a yet undefined primary perception in plant life." The Philodendron plants, he found, were somehow aware of the death of the brine shrimp, whereas similar mechanical treatment of sterile brine water elicited no comparable reaction.
Backster, according to Tompkins and Bird (2), has claimed that his plants have responded to his thoughts even when he was in another room, another building, and even when he was 15 miles away in New Jersey. The plants perked up the moment he decided to return to New York, according to his data. He checked responses in plants belonging to a friend who was on a :3000 mile plane ride across the United States. Each time her plane took off or landed, it is claimed that her plants responded to her emotional stress. An IBM research chemist in California has been reported to have had his students repeat some of Backster's experiments. The plants were quiescent when the students discussed engineering, but showed sudden ex-citation when the subject was sex, or ghost stories!
Response of plants to music has received considerable attention, both in the popular press and by some research botanists. Klein and Edsall (6) in a somewhat "tongue-in-cheek" paper reviewed the literature and described some inconclusive experiments that they conducted. The varied musical selections that they played had no significant effects on the growth of vegetative or reproductive structures of Tagetes erecta, which was the species that they used. According to an article in the New York Times (7), Mrs. Dorothy Retallack, then at Temple Buell College in Denver, Colorado, observed favorable response by her plants both to compositions by Bach and to classical sitar music; however within a few weeks after she played them "acid rock" they died. She recently published a book, "The Sound of Music and Plants," (8).
Many years ago the Indian botanist, Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose, published several books (e. g. "Plant Autographs and their Revelations") (9), and many papers in which he was purportedly searching for the heart and nervous systems of plants. His techniques were excellent and descriptions of his experiments showed that he understood the necessity for adequate controls. Perhaps some of his conclusions went beyond the evidence, yet satisfactory alternate explanations for many of his observations have yet to be proposed. Bose was a classically-trained botanist, and undoubtedly was thoroughly familiar with what was then known about plant anatomy and physiology. Other than for Klein and Edsall, most of the persons currently associated with the unusual plant responses cited above appear not to be trained botanists, yet this alone cannot justify our ignoring the wide publicity that has been given to their reports. Perhaps
some competent botanists are already repeating experiments comparable to those reported by Backster, and will either confirm his findings or will be able to show only random responses. But even assuming the latter result, the folklore that plants (also dogs and horses) have telepathic and clairvoyant powers will certainly not be laid to rest.
De Vorss and Co., Santa Monica, Calif. 1973.
Revelations. Macmillan, New York, 1927.
Ask Not What the University Can Do for You But What You Can Do For the University
Hardly a month goes by that I am not asked by my departmental chairman and other administrative officers if I couldn't provide funds from my research grant to subsidize what must be considered basic university functions. Requests range from the costs of repairs of general equipment facilities to telephone and mail charges as well as contributions to graduate student support. The scenario is a common one in state universities today and rep-resents an increasing tendency to have its staff members seek outside funds not only to pay for all costs of their research but also to pick up an increasing proportion of the tab for basic university operations.
As a faculty member in a large state institution I have become bothered by these trends in university financing. I begin to feel more like a pawn whose principal role is to attract extramural funds rather than to make basic contributions to teaching and research. Since research is one of the most important elements of my job, it is the component which weighs most heavily in my promotion and evaluation of my professional standing. Yet it is the element which receives the least support from the university. This situation generates two basic questions: (1) What is the university's responsibility to its faculty if it expects research productivity as a key element of their performance?; and (2) To what extent is it justified for the university to expect faculty to generate grant funds to finance what should be covered by the university's general support budget?
Obviously there are no simple answers. With the tremendous increase in governmental support for scientific research in the late nineteen fifties and early sixties, research in the universities came to be funded more and more by outside sources. At that time few doubted that this large governmental source of funds would continue to flow and therefore it was felt that the campuses could shift the fiscal responsibility for research and other areas of their operations to these seemingly limitless pots of gold. Now only a decade later, we have come to realize that those resources are not inexhaustible. Frustrations of the faculty continue to mount because the state has not stepped in to fill the breach and also because there has been no corresponding reduction in the expectations placed on the faculty members for research productivity and grant procurement. This problem has become particularly acute for junior faculty members who, in some institutions, are not even given the minimal allocations for equipment and are expected to seek outside sources of funds just to get their laboratories set up and research started.
It was over a year ago that the then new chancellor of our campus spoke with pride on how, despite reduced fun-ding at both the state and national levels, faculty productivity at Berkeley was at the same high level as it had been previously. He did not seem to appreciate that the maintenance of such high standards had been bought at the expense of increased efforts and ingenuity on the part of each investigator. How long faculty members can be expected to produce such heroic efforts with little or no sup-port is certainly questionable. The apparent decrease in the research half-life of scientists in areas requiring extensive financial support in favor of purely administrative posts may be one response to this question.
Clearly the first step in the resolution of such complex problems is for faculty members to sit down with administrators from the university and state and attempt to define the goals of university research, the extent to which the university can afford and is willing to support their research and the expectations placed on faculty members given these more limited resources. If extramural funds continue to diminish it will no longer be possible for researchers to have the technical assistance necessary to maintain the unusually high level of quality research and the resultant source of outside funds that have characterized the past decade. There therefore should be established a ground level of research support to be provided by the state that would include the costs of ancillary university operations which until now have been shifted to faculty grants.
This is not to suggest that investigators should be discouraged from seeking outside sources of support for more ambitious research projects; I am not in any sense against the idea of grants. However, I think that it is imperative that we evaluate the extent to which a university can count on extramural sources for its general operation-al budget and to what extent it should be permitted to pressure individual faculty members, either directly or in-directly, to supply these needs.
Donald R. Kaplan
The Unscientific Method1
By ignoring accepted rules of evidence, the authors of a popularized book on plants reach many false conclusions
Arthur W. Galston
Did you know that plants can respond to human speech, thoughts, emotions, and prayers? That they are capable of purposeful alteration of their behavior? That they can count, communicate with each other, and receive signals from distant life-forms on other stars and in other galaxies? That they can respond selectively to certain forms of music, develop conditioned reflexes, and predict cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, and volcanoes? Did you know that plants have accomplished the dream of the alchemists: transmuting one element into another? And did you know that you can rid plants of insect pests or fertilize the soil in which they grow simply by exposing pictures of the growing plants to particular frequencies of electromagnetic radiation? All this, and lots more, is laid out for you in The Secret Life of Plants, written by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, and recently published by Harper and Row. Judging by the garish full-page advertisements trumpeting its appearance and by the large stacks of copies available in stores, the book is well on its way to becoming a best seller. Well, that's show biz. But the harm this volume is capable of doing may outlast both the profits and the authors.
How can any two reasonable authors advance so many patently false, unprovable, or impossible conclusions? The answer is by ignoring all the ordinary rules of evidence and by damning, circumventing, or flouting the scientific method whenever it serves their purpose to do so.
The experiments of Cleve Backster on electrical phenomena form the foundation for much of what Tompkins and Bird have written. On December 11, 197:3, Backster, a former CIA polygraph expert, told the Christian Science Monitor (page 9, 2nd section): "The only problem in this kind of research is that Mother Nature doesn't want to jump through the hoop ten times in a row simply because someone wants her to. It's difficult to structure repeatable experiments. There are some phenomena that occur that make this kind of thing very difficult. For instance, once you are sure something will happen, it very well may not. I suspect that's because you are communicating to the biological material as long as you keep your consciousness involved in the experiment."
Isn't that neat? According to that explanation, anyone doing experiments can "prove" anything he wishes simply by getting a result once — or perhaps once in a while. What about the times the experiment doesn't work? Mother Nature is just being a little coy. What about another experimenter who tries to repeat your work and can't? Well, that person may not have the proper mental attitude or may not be properly attuned to the plant being employed. As Marcel Vogel, another Tompkins-Bird hero who is trained in electronics but not botany, puts it: "Hundreds of laboratory workers around the world are going to be frustrated and disappointed ... until they realize that empathy between plant and human is the key, and learn how to establish it. No amount of checking in laboratories is going to prove a thing until the experiments are done by properly trained observers. Spiritual development is indispensable. But this runs counter to the philosophy of many scientists, who do not realize that creative experimentation means that the experimenters must become part of their experiments."
Well, that at least is putting it squarely and honestly. What do you want to believe? Results that are obtained when carefully described experiments are repeated by competent investigators anywhere in the world? Or results that can be obtained only by a select few in "special con-tact" with their test material? Scientists are well acquainted with results that occur only occasionally. They have learned that under such circumstances it is easy to fool yourself into thinking you mave obtained a positive result, when all that has really happened is that a random variation, either in biological material or experimental conditions, has cropped up. It is therefore an unwritten rule not to believe anything until you have been able to repeat it several successive times. And when both negative and positive results are interspersed, it is necessary to resort to appropriate statistical procedures to validate or at least describe the uncertainty attached to any conclusion that seems to flow from the data. It is also axiomatic among scientists not to really trust any results that have been reported successful in only one laboratory. Published results must describe the experiments and organisms in such detail that conscientious researchers elsewhere can get approximately the same results. When the same results are produced several times in different laboratories, scientists begin to accept the original conclusions. But no answer in science is considered absolute, final, or immutable. Everything is challengeable and nothing is sacred. Through such hard-nosed procedures, science has come up with generalizations and procedures that have transformed all aspects of our physical and intellectual world.
This is not to say that flashes of intuition are ruled out as a valid means of inferring the truth about nature. The nineteenth-century German chemist Kekule; long puzzled about the structure of the benzene molecule, is said to have formulated his now widely accepted ring structure for benzene after dreaming about a snake swallowing its tail. But without subsequent experiments to support it, the dream-derived intuition would have been of little value to Kekule The situation is the same today. Ideas are relatively cheap. It is only through experiments that test their validity that they acquire scientific value.
The trouble with The Secret Life of Plants is that it consists almost exclusively of bizarre claims presented without adequate supporting evidence. Thus, if the unwary reader believes.much of what Tompkins and Bird have set down, he will be cluttering his mind with mythology rather than science. And if the reader attempts to order his life on the principles and generalizations they put forth, he will be led seriously astray. This book bears the same relation to scientific botany as astrology does to astronomy. Many of our daily newspapers, of course, carry regular astrology columns, but none, to my knowledge, supports a daily column on astronomy or even on science in general. Astronomers tell me ruefully that the American public annually spends more money on astrology, through purchase of publications, for instance, and the preparation of horoscopes, than is spent each year on astronomical research. I suspect that those individuals who permit astrologers to guide their daily lives through the preparation of horoscopes will also permit Tompkins and Bird to guide their thinking about plants.
1Reprinted with permission, Natural History, March 1974.
As a professional plant physiologist, concerned with an analysis of such plant-life processes as flowering, leaf movements, rhythmic behavior, and hormonally con-trolled growth, I can only react with incredulity to the Tompkins-Bird description of botany: "Why botany, a potentially fascinating subject dealing with plants, living and extinct, their uses, classification, anatomy, physiology, geographical distribution, should have been from the beginning reduced to a dull taxonomy, an endless Latin dirge, in which progress is measured more by the number of corpses catalogued than by the numbers of blossoms cherished, is perhaps the greatest mystery in the study of plant life." This statement stems either from ignorance or from willful misrepresentation. For the study of botany, as almost any university catalog in the subject spells out, is precisely the study of plant structure, function, distribution, evolution, physiology, and biochemistry. Taxonomy, so castigated by the authors, is an essential foundation for the understanding of plant group relationships and evolution. Some of the data may seem dull to gather, analyze, and read about, but in their relation to evolutionary thought, they furnish character and plot to one of the most exciting and elegant stories ever told.
To say, as the authors do, that "what makes plants live, or why, does not appear to be the purview of science," is to pretend that vast libraries of books on plant physiology, growth, and development do not exist. I have an eighteen-volume encyclopedia on the subject of plant physiology in my office, as well as more than twenty-five textbooks and monographs. Each year I read the Annual Review of Plant Physiology, which is about G00 pages long, and each year I attend a meeting of the American Society of Plant Physiologists, which has about 3,000 members. Similar societies exist in almost every country in the world, and almost every society publishes its own monthly journal. Each year, through articles in these journals, we learn more about the structure and chemical composition of plants; how they grow, metabolize, and change; why they go into and out of dormancy; why leaves turn color and fall; and why plants become senescent. In-deed, plant physiology is now the largest branch of botany. Can Tompkins and Bird be innocent of this in-formation?
The authors obviously know some science, but they present it in such a fragmented and selected form as to create consistently incorrect impressions. For example, they mention the experiments of the late Alexander Gurewitsch, a Russian biologist who claimed to have proved that dividing cells emit "mitogenetic radiations" that cause other cells to divide, and they cite only other investigators who agree with him. They say nothing about the crucial experiments of Alexander Hollaender, the retired former head of biology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which disproved the existence of mitogenetic radiations. They attribute to L. Ron Hubbard, a former science fiction writer and the founder of Scientology, the discovery that light from sodium vapor lamps is harmful to plants. This information was described many times before Hubbard's mention of it, and its basis is well understood.
A contemporary Russian, Panishkin, is cited as evidence for the conclusion, surprising to the authors, that some plants do not flourish in uninterrupted light; they also need some darkness. References to similar work abound in the literature of plant physiology and are even cited in many textbooks, including my own. The authors talk about plant rhythms without ever mentioning Erwin Biinning, the distinguished German plant physiologist who spent his whole life investigating their physiology and establishing their significance. They talk about day length without mentioning Garner and Allard, the researchers who discovered photoperiodism, and they are apparently ignorant of the existence of the pigment phytochrome, which plays such an important role in this process. They describe certain experiments in plant bioelectrics without mentioning the bulk of the recent work in the field. They are flatly wrong when they say that the plant growth hormone, auxin, is "summoned and even transported by the cell-generated electric fields to the place where growth is known to occur." This was disproved several years ago by the work of Grahm and Hertz in Sweden, but Tompkins and Bird are obviously not familiar with the recent literature.
In time, the effects of this book will fade away — you can't fool too many people for too long a time. Meanwhile, some plant lovers will croon to their cattleyas and murmur to their mimosas. This may comfort the vocalizers, but it won't do a thing for the plants . . . unless Tompkins and Bird have more hard evidence than they have yet shared with us.
Changes of Address: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America, Inc. Dr. C. Ritchie Bell, Department of Botany, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 26514.
Subscriptions for libraries and persons not members of the Botanical Society of America are obtainable at the rate of $4.00 a year. Send orders with checks payable to "Botanical Society of America, Inc." to the Treasurer.
Manuscripts intended for publication in PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN should he addressed to Dr. Robert W. Long, editor, Life Science Bldg. 174, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 31620. Announcements, notes, short scientific articles of general interest to the members of the Botanical Society of America and the botanical community at large will be considered for publication to the extent that the limited space of the publication permits. Line illustrations and good, glossy, black and white photographs to accompany such papers are invited. Authors may order extracted reprints without change in pagination at the time proof is submitted.
Materials submitted for publication should be typewritten, doublespaced, and sent in duplicate to the Editor. Copy should follow the style of recent issues of the Bulletin.
Microfilms of Plant Science Bulletin are available from University Micro-film, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
The Plant Science Bulletin is published quarterly at the University of South Florida, 42117 Fowler Ave., Tampa, Fla. 33620. Second class postage paid at Tampa, Florida.
Giardiasis in Travelers
Giardial diarrhea has come into prominence in recent years in the United States, Western Europe and Russia as the result of frequent outbreaks of the disease among travelers (1), (2). Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan which parasitizes the small intestine of man and which produces, in some but not all infected persons, mild to severe diarrhea accompanied usually by nausea, cramps, flatulence, loss of appetite and fatigue.
Infection with Giardia lamblia is acquired by ingestion of the cystic form which may be present in fecally contaminated water or food. Recent studies have shown that infection has occurred with regularity among groups of American tourists visiting Copenhagen, London, Paris, Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, and Stockholm (2). At least one recent well documented outbreak of giardial diarrhea in the United States was shown to be the result of sewage contamination of water supplies (1).
In order to minimize the chance for infection travelers should avoid drinking of unboiled water, use of ice for cooling beverages and the eating of uncooked food. Giardial diarrhea may be safely and effectively treated by oral administration of quinacrine, 100 mg three times daily for five days for adults or 8 mg/kg daily for five days for children (3). It should be borne in mind that quinacrine or similar antigiardial drugs may not be effective in the treatment of diarrheal disease due to other microorganisms.
Dr. William A. Summers
THE COMMITTEE ON THE DARBAKER PRIZE of the Botanical Society of America will accept nominations for an award to be announced at the annual meeting of the Society at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, in 1975. Under the terms of the bequest, the award is to be made for meritorious work in the study of microscopical algae. The Committee will base its judgment primarily on the papers published by the nominee during the last two full calendar years previous to the closing date for nominations. At present, the award will be limited to residents of North America. Only papers published in the English language will be considered. The value of the Prize for 1975 will depend on the income from the trust fund but is expected to be about $425. Nominations for the 1975 award accompanied by a statement of the merits of the case and by reprints of the publications supporting the candidacy must be received by February 1, 1975, by the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Michael Wynne, Department of Botany, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 78712.
TO PROVIDE AUTHORITATIVE INFORMATION ABOUT INDIVIDUALS trained and experienced in the various disciplines related to food and animal studies, R. R. Bowker, a Xerox education company, is publishing American Men and Women of Science, Agricultural, Animal and Veterinary Sciences 1974 on December 18.
Edited by the Jaques Cattell Press, this book compiles entries that appeared throughout the 12th edition of American Men and Women of Science: Physical & Biological and Social & Behavioral volumes. More than 14,250 men and women who administer, research, and plan projects and programs in such areas as animal husbandry, dairy and food sciences, fisheries, forest soils, poultry nutrition, pulp and paper technology, range conservation, vegetable crops, veterinary medicine, and wildlife research, are listed alphabetically.
THE BOTANICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA has just published the GUIDE TO GRADUATE STUDY IN BOTANY for the United States and Canada. The Guide lists 108 departments in the U. S. and 21 in Canada which offer Ph.D. work in botany. The listing includes the name and address of the institution, name of the department, number of faculty and names of related departments; name of chairman, graduate degrees offered with number of Ph.D's conferred in last 5 years and in 1972-73, current graduate enrollment; fields of specialization represented in the department, and name, academic background, areas of specialization, and titles of recent Ph.D. theses directed for all botanical faculty in the department. The Guide is available for $3.00 postpaid from Dr. Patricia Holmgren, Secretary, Botanical Society of America, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, N. Y. 10458. Make checks payable to the Botanical Society of America.
THE MUSEUM, THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, AND THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ARID AND SEMI-ARID LAND STUDIES of Texas Tech University and the Southwest Region of the National Park Service will sponsor a Symposium on Biological Investigations in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. The symposium will be held at The Museum, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, on April 4 and 5, 1975. Hugh H. Genoways, The Museum, and Robert J. Baker, Department of Biological Sciences, will act as coordinators for the symposium. For additional information, please ad-dress all inquiries to: Hugh H. Genoways, The Museum, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409.
THE THIRD REVISION OF THE HERBICIDE HAND-BOOK of the Weed Science Society of America is now available. This new edition contains detailed biological and toxicological information on 132 herbicidal chemicals. Thirty-four new compounds are included and the information on many of the old compounds has been revised and brought up to date. The official definition of terms as used in Weed Science publications are given, tables of practical conversion factors are listed, and the Wiswesser Line Notation is included for all the chemicals.
Order and send your check for $5 to: Weed Science Society of America, 113 N. Neil Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
MORE THAN 40 PITTSBURGH AREA ARTISTS will be represented in an exhibition of artwork with plants as the subject or inspiration at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie-Mellon University.
It will feature about 80 items, including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, glass, wood sculpture, weaving, embroidery and tapestry on plant subjects.
The show will be open to the public without charge weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, February 14.
TWO UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE STAFF MEMBERS have been asked by the National Park Service (through West Virginia University) to find Potential National Natural Landmarks in the Cumberland Mountains/Plateau areas of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. These are areas, many of which are in and would remain in private ownership, which illustrate significant geologic deposits (processes, fossils) or significant ecological communities such as forests of large size trees, marshes, swamps, or barrens. Their designation by the Park Service leads to national recognition for the site. Persons with sites in mind should contact Hal DeSelm (Ecology Program) or Mike Clark (Geology Department), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37916.
Dr. Royall T. Moore has been appointed Chairman of Biology in the School of Biological & Environmental Studies, New University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
Dr. Kenneth L. Howard, formerly of Kirkland College, Clinton, N.Y., has been awarded a Leverhulme (U.K.) Fellowship; he will be spending the year in Biology at the New University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ire-land, studying the local occurrence of water moulds and oomycete ultrastructure and participating in several courses.
Dr. J. L. Mahoney has recently joined the staff of the Center for Water Resources Research, Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada System, at Reno. Dr. Mahoney is a phycologist who is interested in the physiology, ecology and taxonomy of algae.
Dr. Theodore T. Kozlowski was the recipient of the Society of American Foresters Barrington Moore Memorial Award for 1974. This award is made annually in recognition of outstanding achievement in biological research leading to the advancement of forestry.
Dr. A. E. Linkins has accepted the appointment of Assistant Professor of Botany in the Biology Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Linkins recently completed a Postdoctorate in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, River-side.
Deane W. Malott, chairman of the board of the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden, announced today the appointment of Dr. William L. Theo bald to be director of the Garden effective July 1, 1975. Dr. Theobald will replace Dr. William S. Stewart, who is retiring, and who has been director of the Garden since it began operations in Hawaii five years ago.
On 1 October 1974 Richard Trumbull became the third executive director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences headquartered in Arlington, Va., filling the slot left vacant by the death of John R. Olive on 30 March.
Trumbull is best known as past director of research at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and most recently as deputy executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to his 17 years at ONR, he taught at Green Mountain Junior College, at Syracuse University where he received his Ph.D., and was a lecturer at the University of Maryland and at Tulane University.
A physiological psychologist, Trumbull served in the US Navy during World War II and the Korean conflict as an Aviation Psychologist, achieving the rank of Captain which he currently holds in the US Naval Reserves.
THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, is seeking applications for the position of Assistant Plant In-formation Officer. The function of this position is to assist with and supplement the work of the Plant Information Office in its efforts to provide scientific, technical and practical information on botanical, horticultural and related topics in response to inquiries from the general public, business and industry and from governmental agencies.
The applicant must have a thorough knowledge of botany, horticulture and plant pathology. A Masters degree in horticulture, floriculture, plant biology or a closely related field is required. Some working experience in public information or education is required.
This is a full-time (12-month), permanent position. Salary range: $10,000 - $12,500 per year. Please send full, written resume to: Mr. Larry G. Pardue, Plant Information Officer, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York 10458.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA invites applications for the position of Botanical Garden Director at the assistant/associate professor rank, Ph.D. required. The appointment includes a half-time teaching obligation at the undergraduate and graduate levels. An active research program is expected. Send curriculum vitae and names of three references to: Dr. Richard L. Mansell, Chairman of Search Committee, Department of Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, 33620. Application deadline, January 15, 1975. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
THE DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an opening for a PLANT ECOLOGIST available fall 1975. Applicants with a Ph.D. and interest in physiological ecology, quantitative ecology or aquatic ecology are invited to write to Dr. Helmut Lieth, Chairman, Search Committee, Department of Botany, UNC, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514. Graduate and undergraduate teaching. Rank and salary determined by qualifications. Send curriculum vitae, bibliography, and a complete list of references. The University of North Carolina is an equal opportunity employer with an affirmative action program. Applications from members of minority groups and women are therefore welcome.
THE COLLEGE OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, invites qualified applicants to apply for the following four faculty positions:
Assistant or Associate Professor, ecology (physiological or community). Assistant or Associate Professor, plant ultrastructure. Assistant Professor, structural botany (anatomy and morphology of vascular plants). Assistant Professor, reproductive biology. Candidates must hold the Ph.D., be interested in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and developing a strong research program in his/ her specialty. Appointments will be for nine months, beginning 1 October 1975. Salary range: Assistant Professors $12,500 - $14,000, Associate Professors $14,500 - $16,000. Candidates should submit a complete curriculum vitae including reprints of published papers and at least three letters of recommendation to Dr. Thomas N. Taylor, Chairman, Department of Botany, College of Biological Sciences, The Ohio State University, 1735 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT, The Systematic and Evolutionary Biology Section, Biological Sciences Group, has available to start in September 1975 an Assistant Professorship in paleobotany. Duties include teaching courses in paleobotany, and plant anatomy, instructing graduate students, and conducting research in paleobotany. A Ph.D. is required, and preference will be given to candidates with teaching experience and publications in paleobotany. The University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Applications including curriculum vitae and the names of three referees are to be sent to Dr. George A. Clark, Jr., Box U-43, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn. 06268.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY, DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY, invites applications for an anticipated opening at the level of Assistant Professor in Botany. The teaching and research interests of the candidate should be in the area of PLANT CELL BIOLOGY. Competence in the areas of plant biochemistry, plant physiology or molecular biology would be additionally desirable. The successful candidate will teach a course in plant cell biology, contribute to the teaching of general biology or botany, and develop a graduate teaching and research program. Applicants should submit the names and addresses of three referees, and send curriculum vitae (including relevant course work), bibliography with copies of publications and a summary of teaching and research objectives to Russell L. Jones, Chairman, Search Committee, Department of Botany, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720. The University of California is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII at MANOA is seeking a vascular-plant systematist to replace Dr. Theobald who has accepted the position of director of the Pacific Tropical Botanical Gar-den. Rank and salary will be determined by level of experience. A commitment to problems in systematics in the tropical Pacific Islands and Asia is a necessity for success in the position. A person with interests in various experimental or biosystematic approaches to problems in vascular-plant systematics is sought. Applications including resumes and the names of three referees, will be accepted up to January 15, 1975 by Dr. N. P. Kefford, Chairman, Department of Botany, 3190 Maile Way, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822,
At first blush it might appear that the editor has run amuck since the lead article this time deals with something called the emotional responses of plants! The appropriateness of this topic was brought home to me recently when I noted that THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS is now available in paperback in the local drug stores, is apparently a best seller, and according to reports has been chosen as a special selection by several book clubs. The authors have certainly struck some kind of sympathetic chord with many readers, and this may be a commentary on our times. Hopefully the articles by Dr. Hecht and Dr. Galston will put some of this matter in perspective, and demonstrate where professional botanists stand in regard to the subject.
On an entirely different subject, I wish to report that President Delevoryas has appointed a committee to select a new editor for the Plant Science Bulletin since my five year term of office has but one year to run. Dr. Emanuel Rudolph, Ohio State University, Dr. William Stern, Universty of Maryland, and myself as chairman comprise the selection committee, and I am confident we would welcome nominations from members of the Society for this position. Hopefully the new editor can be announced at the next annual meeting of the Society.
Some Noteworthy Floras
Recently, several noteworthy, new, reprinted, or translated floras have become available and are reviewed here. The first of these is a reprint of the important classic work of Andre Michaux's Flora Boreali-Americana while the others comprise a board spectrum of Old World floras.
MICHAUX, ANDRE Flora Boreali-Americana. Paris, 1803. Facsimile edition with introduction by Joseph Ewan, Hafner Press, New York, 1974. 2 volumes, cloth. Price $42.50.
Andre Michaux's two volume work, North America's first flora, first appeared nearly 175 years ago and is now reprinted in a facsimile edition with a fine introduction by Joseph Ewan. The availability of the Flora is in itself important, but is enhanced by Ewan's discussion of the work which puts it into its proper perspective. Several important points are well made by Ewan: the role of Francois Andre Michaux and others in the preparation for publication of the uncompleted manuscript after Andre Michaux's death; the intent of Michaux to make the work equally of interest to horticulturalists as well as to systematists; the deposition of herbarium material and the reliability of the label data which served as a basis for the Flora. Of special interest are a gazetteer for locality names used in the Flora and a chronology of documented events in Michaux's life and shortly after his death.
The text of this classic of North American botany follows the Sexual System of Linnaeus rather than the Natural System of Jussieu, although Michaux has been schooled in the latter. The reason for Michaux adopting Linnaeus' system is briefly discussed by Ewan. The Flora is a nearly complete one in the sense that vascular and nonvascular cryptogams (excluding algae) are treated.
This edition is unquestionably a valuable addition to the library of every botanist interested in North American botany.
The following two Old World floras are now available:
HAMZAH, AMIR, MOHAMED TOHA, AND C. G. G. VAN STEENIS The Mountain Flora of Jaua. E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1972. 90 pp. + 57 plates & 57 pp. of ex-planation, cloth. Price Gld. 150. -.
A work containing 57 color plates of 456 species of plants occurring in the mountains of Java made from living specimens by Hamzeh and Toha with the text by van Steenis. The introductory text contains a good description of the ecology, biogeography, and vegetation of the region. Seventy-one photographs of vegetation provide an excellent perspective of the flora and the geography of the area. Numerous line drawings enhance the under-standing of the text. The explanation of the color plates provide brief descriptions and distributional information for the species illustrated. The arrangement is more or less alphabetical by family, but use of the index is almost a necessity.
Of the approximately 2300 native species of flowering plants found above 1000 meters elevation in Java, only 455 are illustrated in this work. However, many of these are here illustrated for the first time. The plants are illustrated natural size with the plate artistically pleasing, but generally wanting in detail. Species not illustrated are generally uncommon species, difficult to illustrate because of minute differences between species, or are simply too large to accommodate on a single page. Common introduced and naturalized species of flowering plants are omitted, save one, as are all of the cryptogams, including the approximately 500 species of ferns and fern allies.
This work is of limited use to the professional botanist, but does provide a good introduction to the common native species of flowering plants of the mountains of Java as well as to the ecology, vegetation, and biogeography of the region. For the amateur botanist it should provide a good reference, but because of its size (15V2" x 11'14"), one not easily taken into the field.
STONES, MARGARET, AND WINIFRED CURTIS The Endemic Flora of Tasmania. The Ariel Press, Lon-don, 1973. Part IV, 227-298 + iii pp., cloth. Price ca. L16. -.
This book, illustrated with beautiful and technically accurate colored illustrations of :39 species, is part four of a proposed six part work. The first three parts have been previously published and the last two parts are scheduled for publication in the very near future. The illustrations were made from living specimens by Stones with the botanical and ecological commentary by Curtis. This and the first three parts were sponsored by the late Lord Talbot de Malahide with parts five and six being sponsored by his sister, Miss Rose Talbot. The 39 species are illustrated in 24 plates with one to three species per plate. The large page size (15'14" x 11'12"), allows for a beautiful portrayal of the plants. The descriptions are generally brief and written in a nontechnical style. Concluding the volume is an 18 page appendix by Lord Talbot containing miscellaneous notes regarding the cultivation of some of the species contained in this and previous volumes. The inside front and back covers contain a colored relief map of Tasmania with pertinent localities indicated.
This work, like the one previously reviewed, is not a technical field manual or scholarly reference, but one which is designed primarily for use by the lay-person.
The following four Old World floras are now avail-able as reprints:
PITARD, J., AND L. PROUST Les Iles Canaries. Flora de L'Archipel. Paris, 1908. Reprinted by Otto Koeltz Antiquariat, Koenigstein-Tsl B.R.D., 1973. 503 pp., cloth. Price DM 150. -.
This is the main work of the flora of the Canary Islands treating phanerogams, vascular cryptogams, mosses, and liverworts. Parts on the algae and lichen flora were planned, but apparently were never published. The book consists of a general introduction on climate and phytogeography with the main text being a catalog of 1350 species with synonymy, distribution, habitat, and occasional notes. Neither keys nor descriptions are provided. Numerous new taxa are described in this work.
RECHINGER, K. H. Flora Aegaea. Wein, 1943. Reprinted by Otto Koeltz Antiquariat, Koenigstein-Ts/B.R.D., 1973. 924 pp., cloth. Price DM 389. -.
This is an important work on the flora of the area in and around the Aegean sea. It is a flora in the true sense in that it includes phanerogams and cryptogams. Keys, synonymy, and distributional data are provided, although descriptions are lacking except for infraspecific and new taxa. Keys and descriptions are in Latin while the remaining descriptive parts are in German. Numerous new taxa are described and new combinations made in the text. A reprint of Rechinger's Florae Aegaeae Supplementum (Phyton 1(2-4): 194-224. 1949) is attached to the inside of the back cover.
TACKHOLM, VIVI, GUNNAR TACKHOLM, AND MOHAMMED DRAR Flora of Egypt. Cairo, 1941-1954. Reprinted by Otto Koeltz Antiquariat, Koenigstein-TsIB.R.D., 1973. 3 volumes, cloth. Price DM 463. -.
This work is a modern flora with keys, synonymy, descriptions, habitat data, and discussion. Many exotics and economic plants are included. Volume one (Tack-holm, Tackholm, & Drar. 574 pp. 1941) treats the pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and monocots (Typhaceae through Gramineae), volume two (Tackholm & Drar. 537 pp. 1950) treats the Cyperaceae through the Juncaceae, and volume three (Tackholm & Drar. 638 pp. 1954) treats the Liliaceae through the Musaceae.
TORNABENE, FRANCISCO Flora Sicula. Catinae, 1887. Reprinted by Otto Koeltz Antiquariat, Koenigstein-Ts/B.R.D. and Forni-Editore, Bologna, 197:3. 687 pp., cloth. Price DM 100. -.
This is an important work on the Flora of Sicily. The introduction contains information on the history, climate, biogeography, fossil flora, and a discussion of doubtfully native species. The main text is a catalog of 2488 species of plants including phanerogams, vascular cryptogams, liverworts, Characeae (algae), and lichens with synonymy, distribution, habitat data, and miscellaneous notes on the taxa. Neither keys nor descriptions are provided. The introductory text is in Italian while the catalog is in Latin. A statistical synopsis is provided in the back of the work.
The following four English translations of the Flora of the USSR from the Russian are now available:
SHISHKIN, B. K. Editor Flora of the USSR, Volume
This and the following three volumes are indispensible works for the serious student of the northern hemispheric Old World flora. The general format of this and the following works are essentially the same as that of the previous volumes of this series. The works are complete in the sense that keys, descriptions, synonymy, habitats, distribution in Russia and the Eurasian continent, flowering season, location of type specimen, and frequently valuable supplemental notes are provided. Several species are illustrated in full or part with line drawings. Descriptions are provided for all taxonomic categories above the rank of species through the ordinal level. Footnotes regarding the etymology of selected names are also provided. The pagination of the Russian original is given in the table of contents and the text. An index of contributors with their subjects and the artists responsible for the plates is also given. A photographic reproduction of the Russian original (with slight modifications) of the systematic index of species, diagnosis of new species (including several nomenclatural changes and diagnosis of most infrageneric taxa), and an alphabetical index to names are also provided. An index to the abbreviations for the vegetational regions of the USSR and the Russian institutions and periodicals cited in the text are added as new appendices. Finally, two fold-out map-inserts are included in the back; one for the floristic regions of Russia and the other of the floristic regions used in the discussion of general distributions.
This volume contains descriptions of 547 native and :30 cultivated species. Numerous new taxa are described and new combinations are made. Thirty-nine plates contributed by nine artists are included. Treatments were contributed by 17 taxonomists. Several of the treatments have significant taxonomic changes, many of which have been followed by later workers outside the USSR. However, a number of the species described as new have since been relegated to synonymy by later workers. One orthographic error noted is the consistent misspelling of Croizat's name as Croiza in the Euphorbiaceae. The keys are, for the most part., well constructed, although species are sometimes difficult to separate with the characters given.
SHISHKIN, B. K., Editor Flora of the USSR, Volume
This volume of the flora contains descriptions of 496 native and 28 cultivated species belonging to 19 families. Forty-five new species are described. Many economic plants, particularly jute, cotton, tea, and the eucalyptuses are described in the text. Four artists are responsible for the :31 plates and 14 taxonomists are responsible for the systematic treatments. The treatment of the Malvaceac by M. M. I1'in, the Violaceae by S. V. Yuzepchuk and M. V. Klokov, and the Hydrocaryaceae by V. N. Vasil'ev are especially noteworthy.
SHISHKIN, B. K., Editor Flora of the USSR, Volume
This volume contains 470 native and one cultivated species. Numerous new taxa are described and new combinations made. Two artists are responsible for the 37 plates and seven taxonomists have contributed the systematic treatments. The Umbelliferae was written primarily by Shishkin and comprises over 90% of the volume. The generic key contains numerous anatomic features which makes it extremely difficult to use as sectioning of the fruits are often required to determine the genus. The systematics of the present volume appear to be very sound as few of the species described as new have been disputed by later workers.
SHISHKIN, B. K., Editor Flora of the USSR, Volume
This volume concludes the Umbelliflorae (conclusion of Umbelliferae; Nyssaceae, and Cornaceae) and contains 304 native and four introduced cultivated species. Several new taxa and nomenclatural changes are made, including three new genera of the Umbelliferae. The treatments in this volume were contributed by six taxonomists and three artists are responsible for the 25 plates. Following the Umbelliferae text is a much needed key to the genera of the Umbelliferae based on external characters, as the one provided in Volume XVI based primarily on anatomical characters, is very difficult to use. Included also in this volume is an index to families contained in volumes V through XVII.
Richard P. Wunderlin University of South Florida, Tampa
LESHEM, YA'ACOV. The Molecular and Hormonal Bases of Plant Growth Regulation. xii + 156 pp. Pergamon Press, Oxford, England, 1973. $7.50.
This slender volume, translated from the Hebrew, has as its aim the rational explanation of plant growth and development and of the ways in which plant hormones act in controlling such development. Leshem focuses his attention on the central dogma of modern biology, and ex-plains virtually all hormonal effects in term of modulation of the DNA RNA --a protein control system. Occasional diversions from this central theme permit discussions of action on plasma membrane components, Golgi vesicles, cell walls, enzymes, and other bits of cellular apparatus. The author sometimes expresses currently unfashionable views (certainly his prerogative!) but one wishes that he had given a bit more prominence to the contrary evidence on such matters as RNA-mediated memory transfer and histone repression of gene action.
Basically, the difficulty is that it is premature to at-tempt total synthesis of the sort Leshem has undertaken. Thus, the title is somewhat overstated when compared with the message delivered. But if one enters the reading of this book with a balanced attitude resulting from some previous exposure to the subject, then one will find much useful information, attractively presented. A molecular biologist wanting to know something about the relevance of his field for botany, a student of animal hormones and a plant physiologist could all profit more from this book than a complete neophyte.
More than half the book is an exposition of topics in molecular biology and most of the remainder stresses their application to plant problems. There are numerous
illustrations, references after each chapter and comprehensive subject and author indices. The type is at-tractive and the general appearance of the book pleasant and clean.
Arthur W. Galston Yale University
MARKS, G. C. and T. T. KOZLOWSKI (eds.) Ectomycorrhizae: Their Ecology and Physiology. Academic Press New York and London. 1973. $28.50.
This book, a summary of what has been accomplished in studies of Ectomycorrhizae, is an excellent source book for classes in mycology, and for those doing research in this or closely related areas. It covers all aspects from a definition of an Ectomycorrhiza, to a discussion of practical procedures involved in forest practice. Essentially the book is a series of chapters written by different individuals or combinations of individuals. The following are the contributors: G. D. Bowen, Adelaide, South Australia; R. E. Foster, Victoria, Australia; Edward Hacskaylo, Beltsville, Maryland, USA; G. C. Marks, Victoria, Australia; Donald H. Marx, Athens, Georgia, USA; F. H. Meyer, Herrenharuser, West Germany; Peitsa Mikola, Helsinki, Finland; Angelo Rambelli, Rome, Italy; V. Slankis, Maple, Ontario, Canada; C. Theodorou, Adelaide, South Australia;, and B. Zak, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. I found the chapter by Dr. Mikola to be very well written.
A convenient glossary is included, and at the end of each chapter there is a long list of references particularly of recent papers. The electron micrographs and photographs of morphological types of ectomycorrhizae are remarkably even in their high quality throughout. In spite of each chapter being written by a different author or combination of authors, the editing has been successful to the point of producing a very useful treatment rather easy to read, even for a taxonomist. It is somewhat of an anomaly, however, that an ectomycorrhiza is seemingly treated as an organism, at least by some investigators, even to establishing a "generic" classification for them. One soon learns, in reading the various chapters, that there are many unsolved problems remaining in the study of mycorrhizae. The present work should stimulate further research.
Like all books, this one has its imperfections and editorial slips, but I choose not to dwell unduly on them. An example of a rather common type of unfortunate presentation is found on p. 120, last Par.: "The neglect of volatile compounds in root exudate studies may have seriously underestimated the extent of exudation." All that is needed to make the statement translateable to one for whom English is a foreign language, is a change to
... may have caused investigators to seriously underestimate ...." On page 21 and other pages, we find septae used as a plural for septa (singular). The correct usage, of course, is septum (neuter: singular) and the plural septa, but at least the editors were consistent.
One feature of the book I like in particular was Zak's list of characters for recognizing "kinds" of mycorrhizae. It quite forcefully dispels the notion that all ectomycorrhizae are similar. The next problem to be studied in detail in pure culture is whether or not the mycorrhizae formed by, say, Chroogomphus rutilus have the same morphological features when formed on different hosts. Also, the regular occurrence of basidiocarps of, say, Suillus subluteus with Pinus banksiana may be based on some feature other than the simple establishment of the mycorrhizal relationship. For instance, I have always found C. rubipes under oak, never in stands where sugar maple was present arid oak absent. In short, this book does what it should do: suggest directly or indirectly areas where future research might well be profitable. Certainly there are many problems which come to mind when one compares the number of fungi which are ectomycorrhizaformers with the number studied in detail to date.
With the realization that the ectomycorrhizae as such are the focal point for a study of the complexities of the rhizosphere, this book truly deals with the fundamentals of physiological ecology. The authors are to be congratulated upon the completion of a much-needed work.
Alexander H. Smith University of Michigan
ROBERT J. WEAVER, Plant Growth Substances in Agri-culture. W. H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco. 1972. xviii + 594 pp., illus., $19.50.
Professor Weaver, who has worked for many years in the area indicated by the title, has written this book primarily as a text for classroom instruction. The book should also be a valuable reference for those teaching or studying principally the more basic aspects of plant growth substances, which is probably the case for many of the readers of this Bulletin. For the latter this book may thus be primarily of interest as a reference for numerous examples of actual or potential applications for the many plant growth substances. When teaching a course in general botany or general plant physiology to students of di-verse background and various majors, it is often valuable to point out some of the applied economic benefits accruing from the basic knowledge. One can note, for example, that the "Thompson Seedless" grapes found in supermarkets nowadays are considerably bigger than they used to be because of the practice of using a plant growth substance (gibberellin) on them during their growth in the field (a development for which Professor Weaver can claim much credit). Many of the students who take under-graduate courses in plant physiology are agriculture majors, and reference to practical applications helps make such courses more relevant for them.
The first four chapters give general background information on the plant growth substances, and lay a good foundation for the discussion of applications found in the remainder of the book. Chapter 1 covers "Nomenclature and Historical Aspects." (The somewhat ambiguous nature of our present nomenclature is evident in this chapter.) Five types of growth substance are described: auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, inhibitors, and ethylene. Subsequent chapters or topics are often neatly subdivided into sections that take up the properties or effects of each type in turn. Chapter 2 considers "Biological and Chemical Determination." The author suggests in the preface that this chapter is probably not detailed enough to guide the uninitiated, but, as is the case with all other chapters in the book, a list of supplementary readings concludes the chapter. Chapters 3 and 4 cover occurrence, chemistry, biological effects, and mechanisms of action. These chapters give a generally well balanced picture of the current state of knowledge and points of view.
The remainder of the book (eight chapters) covers the numerous actual or potential practical uses of growth sub-stances in agriculture. Topics covered are: "Rooting and Propagation," "Dormancy," "Flowering," "Fruit Set and Development," "Senescence," "Abscission," "Size Control and Related Phenomena," and "Weed Control." Each topic is introduced with appropriate concise anatomical, physiological and/or other background information which will help the reader to understand the roles of growth sub-
stances and principles behind their application. There then follow descriptions of roles growth substances play, or might play with further development, in crop production. The descriptions are based on published reports and there is a total of some 1100 references. The book is thus a gold mine for the agriculturalist seeking, in one source, information and ideas on the possible uses of growth substances, and for the non-agriculturalist looking for examples that, as noted earlier, might be useful in teaching. The index is also quite good. This reviewer was struck by the very large number of potential practical uses, compared with the much fewer actual practical uses. It would seem that there is much to be done to realize the potential which, given time and money, might be realized to the advantage of agriculture and horticulture.
As an undergraduate or beginning graduate level text, this book is very well done. The subject matter is well organized and the writing style clear. There are very few typographical errors or editorial oversights. It is unfortunate that the price is so high.
L. M. Blakely California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
STONE, WITMER. The Plants of Southern New Jersey. Quarterman Publications, Inc., Boston. 1973. 828 pp. + 129 plates., $25.00.
This is a reprint of a comprehensive classic work originally published in 1911 as part of the Annual Report of the New Jersey State Museum for 1910, entitled "The Plants of Southern New Jersey with Especial Reference to the Flora of the Pine Barrens and the Geographic Distribution of the Species." Except for a few minor changes, the reprint is identical with the original work. The 1973 reprint contains an interesting biographical sketch and appreciation of Witmer Stone in a new foreword by Elizabeth M. Woodford, a Pine Barrens naturalist. It also contains a photograph of Witmer Stone where the original edition had a picture of Woodrow Wilson, then Governor of New Jersey.
The book has been superbly reprinted with very clear type on good quality paper, and it is attractively bound in green cloth on heavy binders board. The illustrations, mostly black and white photographs and some line drawings by the author are clearly and well reproduced. On the whole, the book is attractive and looks much better than the 63 year old original edition at this date.
This is a very valuable reference because of its comprehensive coverage of mosses, ferns, grasses, sedges, rushes, trees, shrubs and native wildflowers. 1401 species are described, often with interesting and useful accessory information in addition to the botanical data. It is a monumental work, still unequalled as a guide to the plants of the New Jersey Pine Barrens and adjacent regions. This reprint is especially valuable because the original edition had limited publication and copies of it are exceedingly rare. The reprint will make possible much wider use of this important reference as well as acquaintance with Stone's unique gems of writing. It is also useful for those who wish to know what the region and flora were like in 1910 in order to make their own comparisons.
This is no dry taxonomic work. Stone has recorded his explorations in Southern New Jersey with special anecdotes and accounts of what he and his botanizing companions experienced in the early 1900s. There are picturesque and charming descriptions of plants, ecological habitats, folklore, local areas and customs that make for fascinating and enjoyable reading. In a number of places the text is quite poetic.
Although some species have had name changes since 1911, the common names are the same, and the book re-mains the most valuable reference for the area covered. The exacting research on geographic distribution of species and ecological factors are very valuable for understanding the flora of the region. Many of the plants of New Jersey range as far north as Newfoundland and others as far south as Florida, and these are given special attention. Anyone interested in the flora of the eastern United States will find this a valuable book to have on hand. The book is available at a retail price of $25.00. It may be ordered directly from "Quarterman Publications, Inc., 5 South Union Street, Lawrence Mass. 01809. The company indicates that this is their first botanical publication. It is an auspicious beginning.
Sydney S. Greenfield Rutgers University at Newark, N. J.
WALTER, H. Vegetation of the Earth in Relation to Climate and the Eco-physiological Conditions. Springer-Verlag, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010, 1973. xvi + 237 pages. $5.90.
Carrying on a German tradition of excellence in the field of plant geography, Heindrich Walter stands out as one of today's leading practitioners. His classic works include the two volume Die Vegetatien der Erde and, with H. Leith, the Klimadiagramm-Weltatlas. Because these works are available only in German they have often gone unappreciated by English speaking biologists. With this publication in English of his tantalizing review of vegetation and its relationship to physical factors, the more complete works by Dr. Walter and his colleagues should come into their own.
The little book is essentially an abridged primer and gives almost no original sources and includes only a cursory bibliography. Consequently, readers intrigued by various bits of information will be forced to consult the author's more complete texts for primary source material.
Organizationally, the book begins with a very brief description of the concept of an ecosystem, the relevance of competition, the general interplay between physical and biotic factors in a community, and an outline of the ten major vegetational zones which are discussed in detail in the major part of the book. During the next 190 pages, Dr. Walter does not, however, merely describe vegetation types, but rather discusses, often in astonishing detail, the reasons for distributions of specific kinds of plants in various parts of the world.
For example, he answers such questions as: Why do many species of tropical rainforests (e. g. Ficus spp.) have leaves of an apparent xerophytic nature? What causes the bloated succulent appearance of halophytic plants? or, Why do deciduous trees outcompete evergreen species in mild temperate environments?
In a more practical vein, Professor Walter mentions the causes of brush encroachment in the North American southwest and describes why areas now covered by rain-forest can not be successfully cleared and put into agriculture.
.Two other important features of the book include a lucid description and ample use of climate diagrams and the application of numerous terms currently restricted to Russian and German literature.
The translation is good and the text very readable. The spelling mistakes, most of which occur in illustrations, are easy to overlook. The only really glaring, and perhaps ironic, flaw occurs in the final sentence of the
book. This summary statement, written in italics as a sort of piece de resistance contains a serious units problem. Nevertheless, the English version of Walter's book is a welcome addition to the botanical literature and could be profitably read by biologists in all areas of natural science and certainly could be used as a supplementary text in courses ranging from plant taxonomy to physiology.
Beryl B. Simpson Smithsonian Institution
MOORE, HAROLD E., JR. The Major Groups of Palms
and their Distribution. 1973. 115 pp. (Reprinted and
repaged from Gentes Herbarum 11(2): 27-141. 1973.)
The palms constitute one of the most natural and also commercially important families of flowering plants. Furthermore they are scientifically important because they are central to an understanding of the monocotyledons, not necessarily in an evolutionary sense, but certainly in a morphological one. As Hug von Mohl pointed out, in 1845, ". . . the characters of monocotyledons are most clearly exhibited in them (the palms) and they there-fore afford the most favorable means of acquiring satisfactory ideas of the structure and growth of this great class of plants." Regrettably this central position has never been accorded the palms by those who have at-tempted to interpret evolutionary interrelationships between extant groups of angiosperms simply because writers on this subject have never been familiar with palms at first hand. Few botanists indeed have; palms are tropical, widely distributed and diverse in their habit and habitat; they are statuesque in their vegetative pro-portions so that they do not lend themselves to orthodox methods of botanical collecting. They are avoided by general collectors and consequently they are poorly and, at best, fragmentarily represented in herbaria; they must be studied alive, either in the field or collected together in tropical botanical gardens.
Paradoxically, though most botanists have shunned the palms, they are perhaps one of the best investigated of tropical angiosperm families. This is largely the effort of Dr. H. E. Moore of the Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University who has made the family his life work. He has travelled more extensively in search of palms than any other botanist. Of equal significance, he has stimulated a generation of students and colleagues to delve deeply into specialized aspects of palm morphology, anatomy and biology. This information provides a more profound back-ground to the taxonomy of palms than is available for most families of plants. Palm Taxonomy is Dr. Moore's own chosen field and in this his knowledge is unrivalled, not by any principle of exclusion but simply because no one can match his abilities. He has thus been at one and the same time both synthesizer and analyzer.
The monograph reviewed here represents a temporary resting stage on the way to a more complete synthesis in the sense that it is a crystallization of the author's current views, supported by all available evidence. Because it is condensed much of the descriptive writing may seem indigestible to the non-specialist but when one considers the amount of information compacted into these one-hundred or so pages, a little dehydration is excusable. For an encyclopedia this is remarkably portable.
The basis of the treatment is taxonomic within the framework of the major groups of palms (essentially sub-families, although this term is not admitted). Frequent reference is made to the more specialized current literature on palms, for much of which Dr. Moore is directly or indirectly responsible. There is a brief introduction to the foundations of modern classifications and nomenclature of palms, with a comparison of the major groups established by various authors. Since most sub-groups have remained virtually unchanged since they were first established by Martius in 1853 this serves to emphasize their naturalness. In the present publication, reflecting its interim status, no formal nomenclature hierarchy is established, essentially nick-names are used but in such a way that a clear indication of likely relationships amongst larger taxa is given.
After a thumb-nail sketch of the palm family, the fifteen major groups are diagnosed by means of a synoptic key. Subsequently each group is provided with a concise but detailed description aided by pen-and-brush diagnostic illustrations and habit photographs. The systematic treatment concludes with a discussion of the phytogeography of palms supported by an extensive series of distribution maps. There is a final, lengthy table which lists species distribution on a general geographic basis so that the overview is complete. A finding-list of generic names forms a useful and necessary index.
Almost 20 years ago I sailed to Singapore to begin the study of palms in an appropriate environment. I could find little to read about palms to accompany me on the sea voyage. At that time there was no reliable up-to-date literature on palms. Available information was mainly locked up in monographs, usually bulky, rarely in English and mostly out of print. How much more fortunate is the modern student (does this make me ancient!!). He now has a portable handbook which is a pathway into a large, profusely-illustrated literature in English on palms. We owe a debt to Dr. Moore for providing much of this literature in the first place and now this compact guide. We look forward to the more detailed statement for which this booklet is a precis. My only hope is that this present volume is also available in hard covers, the current paper-back will disintegrate with constant handling.
P. B. Tomlinson Harvard University
GINDEL, I. A New Ecophysiological Approach to Forest-Water Relationships in Arid Climates, W. Junk B. V., Publishers, The Hague, 1973.
This is a difficult book to review. It has not been touched by an editor (there are at least 60 errors in the 3-'/2 page index, and a cursory check of the Bibliography turned up 26 mistakes and misprints). Sonneratia in the text is spelled Sconneratia but in the index Sconeratia, and polysaccharides appear in the index as pentosus. The text is not much better. On two facing pages (50 and 51) there are first quotations of the bible with misspellings (distill), misquotes (Micah 5, 6 instead of 5:7) and no-book quotes (714:6). Then the lomas vegetation of the Atacama desert is mentioned, as "loma" in the Atacom (actually the lomas occur only north of the Atacama). Then in the deserts of "Nomagualand" (Is Namaqualand) and Umdons (what is meant is a complete mystery to me), "succulent plants which gather water from the mists, actually appear within the rocks" (only plants raised above the ground surface can condense mist) and as example 6 plants are mentioned, of which 4 are misspelled. Being a crossword puzzle fan, I recognized Soncrecoulen as Sarcocaulon.
On the next page Cactaceae are referred to twice, once as growing "within rocks", their roots being "fed by dew and mists," flowing along "characteristic fissures" (there is no dew and mist in most areas where cacti grow). They are also endowed with the mystic quality of having "a
greater synthesis of carbohydrates" at night. Then Gindel refers to MacDouglas (should be MacDougal) who worked with a cactus Thewillea Somorae, which I discovered to be Ibervillea Sonorae in the original text. One also wonders about the data in the tables when for instance, in table XVIII in column 10: "Mean daily leaf moisture for season per tree (mh/g/h)" (probably % is meant) the figure 5:3.00 is given for Pinus halepensis (spelled correctly) as an average between a maximum of 44.40% and a minimum of 51.40% .
These inaccuracies, mistakes, gross errors and misprints could be augmented by a page after page scrutiny. Therefore there must be a very good reason why I want to review this book. It never should be given in the hands of students, but from personal acquaintance with the author and with the problems he discusses I would like to have all botanical specialists in water problems take good notice of this book. Discounting all errors, there remains a significant body of information, which should be considered very seriously. The transpiration data of the second half of the book conform with much which is known about water loss by plants in arid climates. It can-not come as a surprise that Prof. Gindel concludes that transpiration is far more complex than a reflection of the evaporative power of the environment. In the description of this work he uses many new unnecessary word-combinations, such as anatomo-morphogenesis, physicometeorological and xero-anatomical. But the real meat of the book is found in the first half. There Prof. Gindel describes how during the dry summer in the mediterranean climate of Israel the soil under forest trees is much moister than in near-by open areas. This is true even in the driest areas where trees can be grown without irrigation. This may sound startling to many scientists, but this has been reported by quite a number of other botanists, such as Duvdevani in Israel, Specht in Australia, Brezeale in Arizona, and most recently Sudzuki in Chile. Gindel has enough data (e. g. tables II, III, IV, V, VI and fig. 19/20) to prove his point beyond any doubt. And my own observations in the Pampa del Tamarugal (as also described by F. Sudzuki 1969, in Est. Exp. Agron. Bol. Tee. 30: 1-2;3, Santiago, Chile, which are subject to none of the uncertainties which the inaccuracies in Gindel's hook leave) make me accept the basic fact that atmospheric moisture can be condensed by trees. For the conditions in Israel, where so much dew has been recorded in the deserts in summer, Gindel assumes that it is dew which is absorbed by the trees and deposited in the soil.
According to Gindel most of the dew should be absorbed through the stomata, and he provides some data about stomata] distribution in trees, showing that they are present on both sides (but how does he know which is up-per or lower epidermis when the leaves are bifacial such as in Eucalyptus) and that they are open predominantly during night. Finally Gindel provides data about growth and development of trees provided with extra rain and dew deposition, suggesting new methods for such watering.
F. W Went
DROUET, FRANCIS. 197:3. Revision of the Nostocaceae with Cylindrical Trichomes (Formerly Scytonemataceae and Rivulariaceae). Hafner Press, A Division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. New York. 292 pp. $14.95.
This book constitutes the third, and presumably the penultimate volume, in Dr. Drouet's long-term effort to revise the blue-green algae. The first by Drouet & Daily (1956) was entitled "A revision of the coccoid Myxophyceae"; the second by Drouet (1961), covered "The Oscillatoriaceae"; and the present work (1973) treats the Scytonemataceae and Rivulariaceae. Remaining to be done, are the Nostocaceae and Stigonemataceae.
Once again, Dr. Drouet provides the botanical world with the ultimate in scholarly documentary workmanship. From his study of some 20,000 specimens and the majority of types, nearly 1700 of them, he describes his few accepted species. Each accepted taxon is described in Latin and in English and each has a chronologically-arranged synonymy with citation of name, authors, transfers and types. He also provides 83 illustrations largely drawn from types of the major synonyms. The volume is indexed both to names and synonyms, an invaluable asset to the reader.
Experimentalists may well want a more thorough description of methodology, and it is not stated just what Drouet did with the hundreds of cultures he states that he studied. It is presumed by the reviewer, however, that Drouet has continued to apply his philosophy on ecophenes in which he found that in gradually drying-up habitats the morphology of a species population changes; the different appearances being constant for a given set of conditions. It is these intraspecific ecological states he considered as ecophenes, many of which have been published as separate species. By watching changes induced in cultures, and examining thousands of collections as they related to conditions in the habitats, it is presumed that Drouet arrived at his decisions. Having accepted this concept, Drouet has been able to make a vast number of decisions.
However precisely and thoroughly Drouet handles his data, the fact that he has found from over 3000 specific and infraspecific names such a small number of acceptable taxa may strain the confidence of even the most credulous colleague. A reduction from :3000 taxa to 4 is astounding. But, perhaps the more difficult to accept is that in reducing so many described taxa to four, he has not found cause to offer infraspecific variants. Assuredly, if Drouet is correct and entire groups of described species are just synonyms, he would then have done a great service in reducing them to the few viable ones he describes. On the other hand, there are workers who do not accept all of Drouet's basic assumptions. Recent reports have indicated induced variation in the expression of granules along the intracellular walls of a trichome — a fundamental character is Drouet's system. However, it is the reviewer's conviction that Drouet is well aware of such problems, and that he has doubtless mastered optical detection of such variations. On the other hand, culture studies by Baker & Bold arrive at a considerably different classification system from the algae studied; and the questions of uniform applicability of Drouet's ecophenes and taxa may continue to be in question.
It will certainly be hard for the serious collector who has found certain types of blue-green populations consistently in certain different habitats year after year to have to accept. them as but ecologically-induced variations of a single species. However, the similarities among the illustrated type specimens demonstrate the likelihood that Drouet may be correct. Bearing in mind that probably no
other person has examined as many specimens of blue-greens as has Dr. Drouet, he is admittedly in a more authoritative position than most critics. Unless it is shown that Drouet's criteria are definitely unacceptable on fundamental grounds, it will doubtless ultimately be agreed that he has taken another effective and bold step in clarification and simplification of blue-green algal systematics.
The book is nicely printed in modern format. The binding seems well done, but the signatures did separate in one place shortly after the reviewer began studying the volume.
R. D. Wood
WEBER, G. F. 1973. Bacterial and Fungal Diseases of Plants in the Tropics. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida. 673 p., $22.50.
The Tropics is a very large part of the agricultural world, increasing politically, economically and in its crop production. This book is about many diseases of tropical crops. It is handsomely published, deals with diagnoses, and would be strengthened with the words "Diagnoses of in the title. The Introduction is interesting, informal and refreshingly like the thoughtful and vigorous speaking of the author himself. In it is indicated his proclivities and the especially practical bases upon which he has been so successful in his teaching, training and consulting.
The main text represents long hard work, a labor of love, with mountains of cards about diseases, sheafs of re-search and teaching notes, and much literature reading. The book is closely restricted to diagnosis, and citations bolstering such analysis are good. But with few exceptions those cited are in English with a minimum number of the definitive tropical studies in other languages. It is not surprising that the author of such a huge undertaking, is not consistent in many usages. He unfortunately eschews inclusion, as mycologists do, of some commoner, helpful Latin binominals, and he disregards certain synonymy. Such are so often indicated within parentheses or brackets and aid readers.
This large volume was no easy task. Length of the manuscript had to be determined by selection of which diseases to include. It boils down to a personal matter, and not necessarily as to relative importance. It is impossible to divide with complete clarity what to retain and what to relegate to that of lesser concern. This resulted in the thing many do and Weber has properly done: diseases that interested him most, in teaching or for other reasons, even if rare, were those given priority. He left out of diagnosis the country or region or hemisphere of occurrence.
It is obvious that the book has its limits and does not claim to present under each host an all-inclusive list. Take 2 crops for examples: Coffee has over 300 diseases from fungi and bacteria reported in the tropical world; Weber gives diagnoses for only 31 and lists an added 19 binominals as other fungi-associated. On rice are a total of some 500 fungus and bacterial diseases; in this book 26 are given diagnoses and 13 are named as by other organisms. To some readers outside of Florida and the United States, it may be disappointing that there are not more citations of works by newer tropical pathologists and by more "foreign" mycologists. However that may be, the book is re-pleat with much helpful diagnostic information.
Frederick L. Wellman North Carolina State University
HOFF, .JOHAN E. and JULES JANICK. Food. Readings
from Scientific American. W. H. Freeman and Co.,
San Francisco. 1973. 268 pp. illus. $11.00 (paper-
This is another useful compilation of articles of related interest previously published in Scientific American. It consists of twenty-eight articles that appeared between 1950 and 1972, arranged in three sections, each having a good introductory essay by the editors. It cannot, of course, cover all aspects of the complex subject of food, and although it contains a wide variety of topics, there is a lack of balance in that some very important aspects are not included.
The following listing of contents will indicate cover-age and omissions. Part I Nutrition and Malnutrition: - smell and taste, sources of muscular energy, appetite and obesity, proteins, lactose and lactase, physiology of starvation, kwashiorkor, biotin, endemic goiter, toxic sub-stances and ecological cycles, mercury in the environment. Part II Conventional Sources and Resources: - wheat, hybrid corn, milk, cattle, poultry production, food resources of the ocean, food additives, beer, wine. Part III The Future-Feast or Famine?: - the human population, food, human food production as a process in the biosphere, a world agricultural plan, orthodox and unorthodox methods of meeting world food needs, marine farming, high-lysine corn, protein from petroleum.
The lack of articles on such topics as vitamin C, E, and others of current interest in part I, and on other cereals and legumes in Part II would seem to he real deficiencies, but perhaps inevitable in a book produced in this manner. (Since this book was published there has been an article on soybeans in Scientific American which would have been an important addition to the book.)
Nevertheless, the book should be very useful. The articles are all written by experts, and in a very clear and interesting manner give the results of scientific research in each of the areas discussed. There are many excellent illustrations. The introductory essay to each of the three sections is a valuable part of the book. Each serves to orient the reader to the general subject of the section, to interpret the relationship of the separate articles to each other, to indicate wherein some of the articles are not up-to-date, and to compensate for this deficiency. Bibliographies for each article and a general index are included at the end. This book should prove valuable as supplementary reading for a variety of courses.
Sydney S. Greenfield Rutgers University at Newark, New Jersey
BENSEN, DAVID W. and ARNOLD H. SPARROW, Eds. Survival of Food Crops and Livestock in the Event of Nuclear War. U. S. Atomic Energy Commission Office of Information Services. 1971. XI + 745 pp. Available as CONF-700909 from National Technical In-formation Service, U. S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, Virginia 22151. $9.00. Paperback.
This volume which includes the proceedings of a symposium held at Brookhaven National Laboratory, September 15-18, 1970, essentially confirms the consensus of the symposium on Postattack Recovery from Nuclear War, Fort Monroe, Virginia, November 1967, when it was generally agreed that "crippling problems of food, health, ecology, and long-term effects on man were unlikely." Less optimism was expressed then and at the Brookhaven sym-
posium on effective management of the economy, on motivations, incentives and the behavior of the population in the wake of a nuclear disaster. The Brookhaven symposium was the fourth specifically on the subject of survivability of food crops and livestock after nuclear attack; the first of this series was held at Estes Park, Colorado in 1967, the second at Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1968 and the third at Fort Collins, Colorado in 1969.
The symposium was divided into 5 sessions comprising a total of 42 papers (616 pages) on diverse topics ranging from physical, chemical and radiological proper-ties of fallout particles, through problems of dosimetry, simulated fallout patterns and effects, and the effects of particular nuclides on specific crops, livestock species and other test organisms (e. g., the African Violet). Also considered were effects on ecosystems, both in natural and agrobiological communities.
The seven papers of Appendix A are the reports of the 7 "Committee Working Groups". One of these summarizes information on livestock, two are concerned specifically with crops, whereas the other committees summarize data on dosimetry, fallout, and the use of the research data in planning for agricultural defense. The 3 papers of Appendix B are entitled, "Vulnerability of Livestock to Fallout Gamma Radiation," "Radiation Effects on Farm Animals: A Review," and "The Effects of External Gamma Radiation from Radioactive Fallout on Plants, with Special Reference to Crop Production." A "List of Attendees" followed by separate author and subject in-dices completes the volume.
Like most symposia reports, this volume is highly in-formative only to those who already are familiar with the topics involved. For them it provides an amazing array of data assembled from a wide group of research workers. The 3 papers of Appendix B have probably greater interest for the general biologist, and the last paper by Sparrow, Schwemmer and Bottino on gamma radiation effects on plants will probably be of greatest value to botanists. Tables present the predicted killing and yield reduction dosages of gamma radiation for an extensive listing of species.
Adolph Hecht Washington State University
HARDIN, JAMES W. and JAY M. ARENA. Human Poisoning from Native and Cultivated Plants. ed. 2. 194 pp. illus. Duke University Press. 1974.
Hardin and Arena have revised and expanded their original book to provide what is probably the most useful single reference available on the topic. The subject of plant poisonings, of course, is of wide interest to man. The stated goal of the authors was to gear their book ". . . for the layman and for public use." Not only have they done this, but they have provided a manual for the professional botanist and physician as well.
The arrangement of plants into groups causing allergies, dermatitis, and internal poisoning is particularly useful because of the preceding list of dangerous plants. Native and cultivated plants are covered, and they have included a section on poisoning of pets. Several changes have been made in the illustrations. Most of the line drawings and photographs are diagnostic as well as artistic and are printed well. Narcissus (Plate 6, p. 59), however, is printed upside-down and Euphorbia milii (Figure 50, p. 114) is too dark. A few of the other illustrations do not show enough detail, but most are excellent. Species descriptions are concise but accurate; the geographical notes useful; and the instructions on recommended medical treatment for the physician, while they appear to be somewhat repetitive, adequate.
On page 32 the authors discuss and support "name changing" in plants according to the Code of Nomenclature. Moreover, they suggest that the best person to contact in a case of suspected poisoning is, in addition to a physician, a taxonomist. For the most part the authors have followed their own advice and used current names for the taxa. In many cases they give synonyms, e. g. Rhus vs. Toxicodendron (p. 21-25). For reasons obscure to me they have chosen to continue using two names common in ethnobotanical literature which taxonomists have repeatedly demonstrated to be incorrect: Ipomoea violacea and Riuea corymbosa (p. 134). Without doubt, I am overly sensitive to mistakes in the Convolvulaceae, but I do not understand why the correct names, Ipomoea tricolor and Turbina corymbosa, were not at least listed as synonyms.
All factors considered, the book is a good resource for anyone interested in the subject. No physician or plant taxonomist should be without a copy no matter where he resides in the United States. Coverage of tropical and temperate plants is good, although not complete. This book does not replace Muencher's Poisonous Plants of the United States or Kingsbury's Poisonous Plants of the United States and Canada. Yet, if a person wants a single reasonably priced book on the subject, this is an excellent choice.
Daniel F. Austin
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN LIFE SCIENCE BUILDING UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA TAMPA, FLORIDA 33620