Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1998 v44 No 3 Fall
Volume 44, Number 3: Autumn 1998
Editor: Joe Leverich
Department of Biology, Saint Louis University
3507 Laclede Ave., Saint Louis MO 63103-2010
Telephone: (314) 977-3903
Fax: (314) 977-3658
e-mail: leverich @ slu.edu
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
Call for Nominations: Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Botany
In keeping with the by-laws (Vl-1) of the society that specify a five-year term for the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany, the Botanical Society of America is soliciting nominations for the position of Editor-in-Chief beginning in the year 2000. Please consider nominating yourself or others for this extremely important position. Qualities for candidates should include a research career in botany, a commitment to improving the journal and willingness to pursue innovations such as electronic publication, a breadth of botanical experience, and good communication skills. The Editor-in-Chief will have assistance from an office manager and a copy editor and will receive an annual honorarium. Specifics of the position will be negotiated with the Executive Committee of the Society. Please send nominations to Dr. Beryl B. Simpson, Editorial Selection Committee Chair, Department of Botany, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713.
BSA Enjoys August Meeting in Baltimore
The annual meeting of the Botanical Society was held August 2-6 in Baltimore, Maryland, at the Baltimore Convention Center. The participants agreed that the Baltimore meeting was one of the most successful in the past few years. The meeting was held under the umbrella of the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. The theme of the AIBS meeting was "Managing Human-Impacted Systems."
This year the Society met jointly with the National Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, the American Fern Society, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Association for Tropical Biology, the Association of Systematics Collections, the Ecological Society of America, the International Society for Ecological Modeling, and the Torrey Botanical Society. A large number of symposia and contributed paper sessions were offered in addition to the important business meetings of the Society and its various sections. There are a number of reports from this meeting in this issue of the Plant Science Bulletin, and additional reports will appear in future issues. The Past-President's symposium, organized by Dan Crawford, focused on "G. Ledyard Stebbins and Plant Evolutionary Biology in the Next Millenium."
Looking to the future, the 1999 meeting will be held August 1-7 at the America's Center in Saint Louis, Missouri, in conjunction with the XVI International Botanical Congress. Planning is proceeding for a year 2000 BSA meeting August 6-10, 2000, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. Sites in the Southwest are being examined for 2001.
Young Botanist Awards - 1998
The following individuals received recognition for Special Achievement as Young Botanists:
The following individuals received Recognition from the Young Botanists Program:
Past President's Report
In addition to Chairing the Election and the Corresponding Members Committees, the Past President's Symposium was organized and letters were sent to all Past Presidents requesting funds for the Karling Awards.
The Symposium for 1998 is entitled "G. Ledyard Stebbins and Plant Evolutionary Biology in the Next Millennium". The basic theme is to discuss Stebbins' views on the topics of hybridization, speciation, polyploidy and origin and radiation of the angiosperms in light of more recent data and theory. The speakers will also present their visions of future research efforts necessary for answering important questions in the pattern and process of plant evolution. Those speaking are Michael Arnold, Donald Levin, Pamela and Douglas Soltis, and Mark W. Chase. Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis will present introductory remarks.
The letters to all living Past Presidents soliciting financial support for the Karling Award fund resulted in several positive responses.
Daniel J. Crawford
News from the Committees
Archives and History Committee:
The archival material is still in the possession of Jim Mauseth in Austin, Texas, and no new material has been received over the course of the year. Other than this, the Committee has dealt with only one small piece of business this year, a student's request for biographical information on Margaret Clay Ferguson, who was president of the Botanical Society in 1929. We were able to give him quite a bit of information, with the help of the Missouri Botanical Garden archives.
Alan Whittemore, Chair
Corresponding Members Committee
The Committee enthusiastically support the nomination of Dr. Konrad Bachmann, Head, Department of Taxonomy, Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, IPK, Gatersleben, Germany as a Corresponding Member of BSA. Professor Bachmann has been a productive researcher for more than three decades while holding faculty positions in the United States, The Netherlands and his native Germany. He has made pioneering contributions to understanding the genetic basis of morphological features in plants, using the genus Microseris as a model. He was among the first to use molecular markers for dissecting the genetic basis of morphological variation in plants. His research is of fundamental importance for understanding morphological differences between species and the genetic basis of speciation. Dr. Bachmann was the first to document that adaptations in wild plants may be controlled by one or a few major genes; these results have important implications for models of adaptation and speciation in plants.
Dr. Bachmann has been actively involved in professional societies at the international level. He is now President of the International Organization of Plant Biosystematists (IOPB), serves on the editorial committees of three highly respected journals, and has organized a number of symposia including the IOPB Symposium in Amsterdam in August, 1998.
Professor Bachmann is a dedicated and effective teacher, and a number of postdoctoral researchers from his laboratory have moved on to excellent academic positions and have become productive researchers. Numerous letters from distinguished scientists express very high regard for Dr. Bachmann, and all strongly and enthusiastically endorse his nomination as a Corresponding Member of BSA.
Daniel J. Crawford, Chair
This year our activities included:
The liaison will be Kayri Havens in both cases.
Kayri Havens, Chair
Education Committee Stays Busy
The committee continued work on several major projects:
Support of the BSA Web Page
GOAL: To publicize the Botanical Society's web page, especially to non-member teachers, and to tell them about resources available to them from the BSA.
STATUS: David Kramer designed a printed page containing a list of Education Committee activities and a tearoff bookmark with our web page address. This was printed at BSA expense and distributed at the 1998 convention of the National Association of Science Teachers in Las Vegas.
Improvement of Pre-College Science Education
GOAL: To support the improvement of science education through participation at conventions of science teachers.
STATUS: Rob Reinsvold and Ethel Stanley attended the annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association in Las Vegas as representatives of the BSA Education Committee and the Teaching Section. They worked out of a booth sponsored by ASPP and Fast Plants organized by Paul Williams. Rob reports that "It was a huge success in the educational outreach efforts of BSA to K- 1 2 teachers. The conference was well attended by over 20,000 science educators. We distributed BSA materials and increased the awareness of effectively using more plants to teach biological principles at the K-16 levels."
This outreach was supported by a $1500 appropriation to our committee by last year's Council. The success of this first outreach effort attests to the need for expansion of these efforts. We want to participate again at the NSTA meeting in 1999 and also send representatives to the 1999 meeting of the National Association of Biology Teachers. We have an invitation from ASPP, APS, and other professional societies to join in sponsoring a booth dedicated to plant biology education at these conferences. To expand this work, the Committee submits the following resolution to Council:
Motion: That the Council approves a sum, not to exceed $5000 (for travel, lodging, registration fees, and a share of booth rental) for selected BSA members to attend national, regional, or state meetings of organizations like the National Association of Biology Teachers and National Science Teachers Association for the purpose of presenting workshops on plant biology in the K-12 curriculum and distributing education materials in support of expanding the quantity and quality of plant biology.
If the Council approves the expenditure, the Education Committee will select members to represent BSA in these activities and will authorize payments upon proof that the workshops and other outreach activities had been performed as proposed.
Digitized Botanical Images
GOAL: To digitize the BSA's collection of +/- 700 35mm slides, then to make the images available through a web page or CD-ROM or both.
STATUS: Thomas W. Jurik (Dept. of Botany, Iowa State University) chairs a subcommittee in charge of this project. He reports that they are ready to begin digitizing the slides and we hope to have them available through the web page in the next six months. Council has already authorized (at the 1997 Council meeting) the publication of the images in this format. The subcommittee continues to explore the many technical and legal details associated with this project but we expect the pieces to come together soon.
Motion: That the Council approves a sum, not to exceed $500 (for software and disks) for this project.
Participation in Workshops of the Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS)
GOAL: The Botanical Society is a member of CELS, "a national coalition of professional societies in the biological sciences. The mission of CELS is to improve undergraduate education in the life sciences by bringing the expertise and resources of the life sciences professional societies to bear upon critical issues relating to life science undergraduate education in the United States."
STATUS: Members of the Education Committee represented BSA at three CELS events this year:
Publication of Plant Biology Laboratory Activities
GOAL: To publish hands-on, discovery-type plant biology exercises for use in schools as well as at colleges and universities.
STATUS: Gordon Uno, a member of our committee and chair of the AIBS Education Committee, believes that a set of such activities published earlier by the National Association of Biology Teachers, but now out of print, can be updated and revised for publication. We have discussed this project with Dr. Wayne Carley of the NABT. Gordon will pursue the project after his relocation to Washington, DC.
Review of Plant Biology Manuscripts for Publishers
GOAL: To offer assistance to publishers who are seeking professional review of manuscripts for plant biology books. We want to make sure the plant biology content is correct before it is published.
STATUS:Last year we reported on a successful manuscript review for a publisher of children's books. The committee wants to encourage other publishers to use this service. This year, we need to find a way of publicizing this service to all publishers of science materials (electronic as well as print media). If we receive many requests for this service, we will need to recruit reviewers from our membership.
David W. Kramer, Chair
There were elections for the offices of President-Elect and Treasurer, with two candidates for each of the offices. Douglas Soltis was elected President-Elect and Edward Schneider was elected Treasurer.
The four proposed bylaws changes, dealing with membership categories, award committees and duties of the Treasurer, were all approved.
Daniel J. Crawford, Chair
Esau Award Committee
Each year, the Esau Award is given for the best student paper presented in the Developmental and Structural Section at the annual Botanical Society of America meetings. This year, the Esau Award was given to Amber Moody of the University of Colorado for her presentation "Architectural and developmental analysis of the vegetative propagule of Mimulus gemmiparus (Scrophulariaceae)" that was coauthored with Pamela K. Diggle and David A. Steingraber. This paper explored the morphological identity and evolution of novel asexual propagules in Mimulus gemmiparus, a rare endemic of Colorado. In Mimulus gemmiparus, two meristems are initiated in the axil of each leaf primordium. The distal meristem has the potential to become either a lateral branch or a flower, and the proximal meristem becomes a vegetative propagule (the gemma) that is ultimately surrounded by an expanded, saccate petiole. The first leaves of the propagules are thickened and are the site of nutrient storage. Through developmental analysis of the propagules and comparative analysis with the suspected progenitor species, Mimulus guttatus, Amber Moody was able to demonstrate that these unusual vegetative reproductive structures are brood bulbils that correspond both architecturally, developmentally and evolutionarily to the proximal meristems (which typically remain dormant) of M. guttatus.
William (Ned) Friedman, Chair
Membership and Appraisal Committee
A new membership brochure and poster are in the final stages of design prior to production. These will initially be distributed through a network of local campus representatives of the Society. Committee members are canvassing those identified on the previous list of campus representatives (approximately 400 individuals) to verify willingness to continue in this capacity. Additional representatives will be solicited, as needed, to ensure distribution to all campuses where an active BSA member resides.
Marshall Sundberg, Chair
Moseley Award Committee
Article X, Section 4 (f): "Moseley Award" consisting of a chair appointed by the President and two other members, chosen by the President in consultation with the Development and Structural Section and Paleobotanical Section chairs, each serving three-year terms with one new member being appointed each year. 'Me prize is awarded to a student who is the sole or senior author of a paper, orally presented in the Developmental and Structural Section or Paleobotanical Section of the annual meeting, that best advances our understanding of the plant anatomy and/or morphology of vascular plants within an evolutionary context.
Number of Papers to be Judged in 1998
Esau and Moseley Committees are meeting to ensure collaboration on judging and selection of awardees. Also meeting with Paleo student award Committee.
Ed Schneider, Chair
Editorial Committee for Volume 44
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees, part 2
Reports from the Sections:
Bryological and Lichenological Section
The Bryological and Lichenological Section participated in the joint American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS) and Mycological Society of America (MSA) Meetings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 11 - 16. The meetings included a pre-meeting bryology and lichenology foray to the Luquillo Mountains, a society mixer and the annual ABLS breakfast. The scientific program included 24 contributed presentations and 8 contributed posters. To encourage student participation in the annual meeting, the section is providing $600 toward travel awards for graduate students, and $100 toward the A. J. Sharp Award for outstanding student presentation. Five students competed for the l998 award, which was won by Abbey Rosso (Oregon State University) for the presentation "Responses of shrub epiphyte communities to overstory thinning in forests of western Oregon." The 1997 award went to Katherine Preston (Indiana University) for her paper, "Ecological and developmental studies on the dwarf male breeding system of the moss Dicranum scoparium in the North Carolina Piedmont," with honorable mentions to Tracey Mattock (University of Alberta) and Walter Bien (Drexel University).
Paula DePriest, Chair
Developmental and Structural Section
The section continues to have high levels of activity associated with the annual meeting. During the past year, the first fund raising drive was undertaken to establish travel grants for students to attend annual BSA meetings. Two separate programs for travel awards to student members of the Developmental and Structural Section of the Botanical Society of America were established. In total, over $2,800 was contributed by the members of the section and an additional match of $2,500 was committed, bringing the total amount raised this past year to over $5,300.
The goal for each of these funds is to encourage and support student attendance at the annual BSA meeting. Each travel award will be in the amount of the student registration fee ($85 this year) for the current annual BSA meeting. There is no requirement for a student to present a contributed paper in association with either of these travel awards. At the 1998 annual meetings, 7 student members of the Developmental and Structural Section received awards!
Vernon Cheadle Student Travel Award Endowment-In honor of the memory of Dr. Vernon Cheadle, the goal of this endowment is to grow the principal over the long term, while making travel awards to several students per year to attend the annual meetings of the Botanical Society of America.
Developmental & Structural Section Student Travel Award Fund-An annual drive to generate contributions from the sectional membership to support student attendance at the annual meetings of the Botanical Society of America. Donations will be solicited in units equivalent to the current student registration fee (this year, for example, $85). In essence, each contributor will effectively sponsor the attendance of one or more students.
At the 1998 Developmental and Structural business meeting, an election was held for the next chair of the section. Professor Jean Gerrath (University of Northern Iowa) was elected and will hold this office for the next three years.
William (Ned) Friedman, Chair
At the 1998 meetings, the Ecological Section is sponsoring a symposium entitled "Consequences of plant responses to spatial and temporal heterogeneity, " organized by Irwin Forseth and Alexander Wait, University of Maryland. Co-sponsorship is provided by ESA. Contributed papers from our section total 49 and posters 30.
We annually sponsor awards for the best student paper and poster. Judging this year is being organized by Carolyn Keiffer, Miami University. Winners last year were Michael Ganger, University of New Hampshire for best paper "The ecological implications of ramet context: a case study," and Maureen Kerwin, Miami University for best poster "Pollen and pistil effects on pollen germination and tube growth in selfing and out-crossing populations of Clarkia tembloriensis (Onagraceae) and their hybrids." This year for the first time, we presented travel awards to graduate students presenting a paper or poster; we made six awards of $100 each. The recipients were Kevin Bums, UCLA, Amy Faivre, University of Arizona, Carolee Franklin, Ohio State, Siti Nor Hidayati, University of Kentucky, John Lambrinos, UCLA, and Cynthia Riccardi, Ohio University.
Section officers were just elected for the next three year term (1998 - 2000): Chair - Maxine Watson, Indiana University, Vice-Chair- Elizabeth Lacey, UNC Greensboro, and Secretary - Massimo Pigliucci, University of Tennessee.
Brenda B. Casper, Chair
One paper and one poster are being presented at the Baltimore meeting. The Historical Section is co-sponsoring a symposium with the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) at next year's International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. The title of the symposium is 'Towards an International Preserving Botanical Documentation: Critical Problems and Potential Solutions."
Larry J. Dorr, Secretary-Treasurer
The Paleobotanical Section currently has 343 members (265 regular members, 18 emeritus regular members, 39 affiliate members, 4 emeritus affiliate members, and 17 honorary members). This represents an increase of 37 members since last year.
The Section has a program for the Baltimore meeting with 38 contributed papers, 3 posters, and an informal presentation session. Of the contributed papers, 13 are student papers which will all be in competition for the Isabel Cookson Award, and 6 will be in competition for the Maynard Moseley Award. In addition, many members of Section will be presenting papers in other sections and participating in several symposia. The Section will hold its annual mixer and banquet on Monday evening, August 3, 1997. The Second Annual Paleobotanical Auction will immediately follow the banquet. Items to be auctioned will be those donated by members and friends of the Section and will include materials such as books, reprints, photographs, slides, humorous items, etc. Student presenters received complimentary tickets to the Paleobotanical Banquet. The annual business meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4,1998. The Section also sponsored a pre-meeting tour of the paleobotanical happenings at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) and George Washington University, both in Washington, DC.
During the past year the Paleobotanical Section has been raising money for its various endowment funds, with special emphasis on the Winfried Remy and Renata Remy Fund. This fund was established in 1997 and will endow the Remy and Remy Award, for the best published paper in Paleobotany or Palynology during the foregoing year. The Section received two applications for Karling Student Research Awards this year, one of which was funded to Susana Magallon-Puebla (University of Chicago). The Paleobotanical Section has also recently inquired about formally affiliating with the American Geological Institute.
The Bibliography of American Paleobotany for 1997 was mailed to members and to 38 institutional subscribers in May 1998. Copies will be provided for the BSA Archives and for the editor of the Plant Science Bulletin. Others may purchase copies for $18 each.
During the past year the Section has also continued to maintain a paleobotany News List (PALEOBOT) on the internet and a homepage on the World Wide Web. To subscribe to the list, interested persons should send an e-mail message to < PALEOBOT@dartmouth.edu> containing the following message: < subscribe PALEOBOT your name >. The WWW homepage can be visited at <http://www.dartmouth.edu/~daghlian/paleo/>or via the BSA homepage.
Jeffrey M. Osborn, Secretary-Treasurer
The Phycological Section, BSA, did not participate in this year's annual BSA meeting. We will be actively involved in the 1999 meeting in St. Louis, where among other things, we will be sponsoring a symposium centering on the green alga Volvox, convened by Annette W. Coleman.
The section is currently conducting an election for the three year position of Chair, with the new Chair to be announce in mid-August.
Daniel E. Wujak, Chair
The Physiological Section had 10 contributed papers and 9 posters at the meeting in Montreal. The business meeting was attended by ten people. Lunch was provided during the business meeting. We focused our attention on planning a symposium for the Baltimore meeting. To this end, Pete Straub organized a symposium on American Beachgrass. We also discussed officer elections which will come up at the meeting in Baltimore. Henri Maurice indicated that he will not serve as section chair or council representative when his term is up in 1998. None of the attendees expressed interest in serving as section chair or as council representative.
Henri Roger Maurice, Chair
The Pteridological Section cosponsored with the American Fem Society, a half day of contributed papers and a full day symposium on the Conservation Biology of Pteridophytes organized by Tom Ranker. In addition, the section continues to contribute to support the Annual Review of Pteridological Research which is published by the International Association of Pteridologists. This year the section elected Tom Ranker to a three year term as Secretary/Treasurer, the term of Dave Conant having expired.
Dave Conant, Secretary-Treasurer
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
The teaching section of the BSA joined with ASPP educators to support a plant education booth at the annual meeting of the NSTA meeting in Las Vegas this April 16-19. The booth included numerous living plants such as the rapid-cycling brassica (Fast Plants) and dwarf wheat used in the Farming in Space growing systems, CFerns, liverworts/club mosses in miniature bottle biology gardens, and Sockheads.
About 2,500 teachers stopped by to find out more about the plants and plant teaching materials. Paul Williams, Dan Lauffer, and Coe Williams from ASPP were joined by Ethel Stanley and Rob Reinsvold from the BSA Teaching Section to support nearly continuous teacher participation in the booth projects and widespread interest in using plants in the classroom.
Located diagonally from the NASA booth which featured the Fast Plants/NASA Collaborative Ukranian Experiment, the booth proved to quite popular. Tom Dreschel (NASA) sent teachers over to the colorful, plant-crowded booth as they began to ask about the plants featured in the Farming in Space Exhibit. BSA materials such as the brochure on Careers in Botany, Botany for the Next Millennium, and Next Millennium posters were quickly picked up as were Fast Plant materials describing several projects focused on classroom experimentation with rapid-cycling brassicas and the ASPP Plant Cubes. In addition, the booth personnel conveyed their enthusiasm and expertise in using plants as model organisms for learning biology.
A special thank you to Kim Hiser and Julia Schmitt for their help in getting the BSA materials to the site!
We are quite pleased to share the success of this collaboration with plant educators from the ASPP with the BSA members and would like to ask individuals who are interested in future collaborations to contact Ethel Stanley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rob Reinsvold (rjreins@bentley.UnivNorthCo.edu) by email or meet with us during the AIBS meeting in Baltimore.
Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences
On July 2 at University of Wisconsin- Madison, the workshop "Toward Literacy in Plant Biology" was co-sponsored by CELS and the ASPP. Participants were invited from the ASPP membership, representatives of other professional societies, and University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty who teach a wide range of plant-based courses to discuss the ASPP compilation of "Principles of Plant Biology - Concepts for Science Education." Undergraduate plant science education, the identification of its underlying principles, and the roles of professional societies were explored by the group in a series of breakout sessions and mini-presentations. A lively discussion of the publication of teaching articles provided a capstone experience.
The BSA publication "Botany for the Next Millennium" was included in the packet of background materials distributed to workshop participants and the agenda for the meeting gave Rob Reinsvold, as Chair-Elect of the Teaching Section, a 30-minute slot to discuss this publication and contemporary issues in BSA. Marsh Sundberg, as an invited speaker, presented on assessment as well as pedagogical strategies for the classroom. Also in attendance was Ethel Stanley who represented the Association of College and University Educators as coeditor of the Biocide: Journal of College Biology Teaching as well as the BSA Teaching Section.
National Biology Teachers Association (NBTA)
The Teaching Section has organized a workshop for the NABT meeting in Reno during November 48, 1998. "Leave It to the Plants" will focus on using leaves to look more closely at the biology of plants. Plants are ideal organisms for teaching unifying concepts of biology. By treating the leaves on a single tree as a population, questions in ecology, development, biochemistry, and adaptation can be explored. Even though attached to the same tree, the morphology of each leaf is dependent on the localized, environmental conditions. For example, leaves of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) are often t)innately compound in the early growth of the season and bipinnately compound later. Students can make hypotheses, gather data, and investigate some questions applicable to ecology, development, biochemistry, and adaptation. In addition, suggestions for modification of these activities will be provided along with construction plans for low-cost plant presses.
We think our efforts to impact K-12 education are working and should be continued. Rob Reinsvold submitted a formal proposal to the BSA Council for continued financial support. Last year, the Council voted to direct $1500 to the Education Committee towards educational out reach efforts. This year we would propose increasing the amount to $5000 to cover the cost of having a booth at the NSTA conference in Boston. If we can get 3-4 of the prominent plant societies side-by-side we will make significant impression at this national meeting that draws 12-16,000 teaching participants that include undergraduate faculty as well each year.
We are also considering the development of regional workshops like the NABT workshop on the effective use of plants to teach biological principles and would like to call on the general membership to support this proposal.
David Kramer has been selected to receive the 1998 Samual N. Postlethwait Award in recognition of his outstanding support and contributions to the Teaching Section. (This will come as a surprise to no one who has had the privilege of working with Dave on the myriad of educational projects he has contributed to in the past.)
SYMPOSIA (Papers and Posters):
Program Chair: J. S. Shipman reports the following contributions:
TEACHING SECTION WEB PAGE:
Our web page was moved from a server at Beloit College to one at Illinois State University this year and is locally administered by Joe Armstrong. Despite an extensive delay in updating the page, the current page reflects the activities of the past year and the planning with several links. We hope to improve the web site by making activities from the workshops accessible there and keeping relevant educational links updated.
Ethel Stanley, Chair
Tropical Biology Section
The Tropical Biology Section, in collaboration with the Association for Tropical Biology, co-sponsored a plenary address by Thomas Lovejoy, entitled "Tropical Conservation Biology", and we cordially invite the membership of the Society to attend. The Tropical Biology Section co-sponsored a symposium with the Genetics Section on Population genetics and gene flow in tropical plants. In conjunction with the Ecology Section a contributed paper session was sponsored on Tropical Ecology.
Susanne Renner, University of Missouri-St. Louis is the chair-elect and will represent the Tropical Biology section to the BSA council for the next three years. After deciding to consolidate two officers positions, Andrew Douglas, Field Museum of Natural History, was elected to be the Program Chair/Secretary/ Treasurer for the next three years.
The Tropical Biology section's web page has been updated, and we hope will continue to grow. If you have sites or information that you think should be posted on this page, please contact either Susanne Renner or Joseph Armstrong.
Joseph E. Armstrong, Chair
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
Awards and Prizes at BSA Annual Meeting:
The following awards and prizes were announced on 5 August 1998, at the Banquet for All Botanists given by the Botanical Society of America (BSA) at its Annual Meeting held in Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
Botanical Society of America Merit Awards
These awards are made to persons judged to have made outstanding contributions to botanical science. The first awards were made in 1956 at the 50th anniversary of the Botanical Society, and one or more have been presented each year since that time. This year Merit Awards went to four botanists.
Special Service Awards
In recognition of her years of service to the Botanical Society, a Special Service Award was presented to outgoing BSA Treasurer Judy Jernstedt. In recognition of his service to the Botanical Society and, in particular, his efforts in developing the BSA Website, a Service Award was presented to Webmaster Scott Russell.
The Darbaker Prize
This award is made for meritorious work in the study of microscopical algae. The recipient is selected by a Committee of the Botanical Society which bases its judgment primarily on papers published during the last two calendar years. The recipient receives a certificate and a monetary award. The award this year went to R. Jan Stevenson from the University of Louisville for published work on, microscopic algae.
The Katherine Esau Award
This award, established in 1985 with a gift from Dr. Esau, is given to the graduate student who presents the outstanding paper in developmental and structural botany at the annual meeting. This year, the Esau Award was given to Amber Moody of the University of Colorado for her presentation "Architectural and developmental analysis of the vegetative propagule of Mimulus gemmiparus (Scrophulariaceae)" that was co-authored with Pamela K. Diggle and David A. Steingraber.
The Jeanette Siron Pelton Award
The Conservation and Research Foundation honors the memory of Jeanette Siron Pelton with sponsorship of this award given for exceptional promise or sustained excellence in the field of plant morphogenesis. The award consists of a $1,000 premium and a certificate to be given not more than annually. The award was presented this year to Dr. Donald R. Kaplan, University of California, Berkeley.
The John S. Karling Award
This award was given for the first time in 1997. The award was made possible by a gift from the late John Sidney Karling. His research interests were in cytology, marine fungi, and tropical biology. He was an active member of both the Torrey Botanical Club and the BSA. This year Karling Graduate Student Research Awards were presented to ten individuals: Janet C. Barber, University of at Austin, Julie Beckstead, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jeff P. Castelli, University of Pennsylvania, Theresa M. Culley, Ohio State University, Sandra K. Floyd, University of Colorado at Boulder, Leslie Goertzen, University of Texas at Austin, Douglas Goldman, University of Texas at Austin, Susana Magallon-Puebla, The Field Museum, Randall Small, Iowa State University, and Anna Woodfill, Michigan State University.
The Maynard F. Moseley Award
The Maynard F. Moseley Award was established to honor a career of dedicated teaching, scholarship, and service to the furtherance of the botanical sciences. The award recognizes a student paper that best advances out understanding of the plant anatomy and/or morphology of vascular plants within an evolutionary context. The award this year was presented to Michelle McMahon, Washington State University, Pullman for her paper entitled " Corolla-androecium synorganization in the flowers of the tribe Amorpheae (Fabaceae)," coauthored with Larry Hufford.
The A. J. Sharp Award
This award is given for the best student paper presented in the Bryological and Lichenological sessions. This year's award went to Abbey Rosso of Oregon State University for her paper entitled "Responses of shrub epiphyte communities to overstory thinning in forest of Western Oregon."
The Isabel C. Cookson Paleobotanical Award
Each year the Isabel C. Cookson Award is given for the best contributed paper in paleobotany or palynology presented at the annual meeting. This year awards were presented Jennifer Cordi, SUNY Binghamton, for her paper entitled "Devonian vascular plant groups and the inference of macroevolutionary pattern and process: A phylogenetic comparative approach to the analysis of trends in early vascular plant evolution," and to Trevor Lantz, Univ. of Alberta, for his paper entitled "A permineralized tree fem from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) of northern California."
The Margaret Menzel Award
This award is given by the Genetics Section for an outstanding paper presented in the contributed papers sessions of the annual meetings. This year's award went to Paula Randall, Brigham Young University, for her talk entitled "Homologs of the Antirrhinum majus centroradialis and floricaula genes in Atriplex garrettii."
The Physiological Section Awards
Each year the Physiological Section presents the Li-Cor prize, which acknowledges the best presentation made by any student, regardless of subdiscipline, at the annual meeting. The award this year went to Stephen Witzig from Salisbury State University for his talk entitled "A microbial symbiont used to alter the nutritional quality of plants."
This year the Physiological Section also presented the Tissue Culture Prize. This award went to Katie A. Gustavsen from University of Delaware for her paper entitled "Genetic transformation of Atriplex triangularis (seaside greens) using Agrobacterium tumefaciens and the p35 GUSint Ti plasmid."
The Samuel N. Postlethwait Award
The Teaching Section presents the Samuel Noel Postlethwait award for exceptional teaching on behalf of the teaching Section of the BSA. This year the award was presented to David Kramer of Ohio State University Mansfield.
The George R. Cooley Award
This award is given annually by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists for the best contributed paper in plant systematics presented at the annual meeting. This year's award was given to Randy Linder , University of Texas, for the talk entitled "The external transcribed spacer of the rDNA repeat: A new means of resolving low-level relationships in the Asteraceae and closely allied families." Co-authors were Leslie Goertzen, Javier Francisco-Ortega, and Robert Jansen.
The Henry Allan Gleason Award
This award is given annually by the New York Botanical Garden in recognition of an outstanding recent publication in the fields of plant taxonomy, plant ecology, or plant geography. The award committee is provided by the New York Botanical Garden. The award consists of a cash grant from a fund established by the late Dr. Gleason and an award certificate. This year the award was presented to Dr. Paul Kenrick of the Natural History Museum, London, and Dr. Peter R. Crane of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, for their book "The Origin and Early Diversification of Land Plants: A Cladistic Study."
The Jessie M. Greenman Award
The Jessie M. Greenman Award is presented each year by the Alumni Association of the Missouri Botanical Garden. It recognizes the paper judged best in vascular plant or bryophyte systematics based on a doctoral dissertation published during the previous year. The recipient receives a certificate and a cash prize. This year's award went to Lawrence M. Kelly for his publication entitled "A cladistic analysis of Asarum (Aristolochiaceae) and implications for the evolution of herkogamy, "published in the American Journal of Botany, vol. 84: 1752-1756 (1997). This study is based on a Ph.D. dissertation from Cornell University under the direction of Dr. Melissa A. Luckow. Dr. Luckow was the recipient of the 1994 Greenman Award.
The Lawrence Memorial Award
The Lawrence Memorial Fund was established to commemorate the life and achievements of Dr. George H. M. Lawrence. Proceeds from the fund are presented by the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation of Carnegie-Mellon University and are used to support travel expenses of a doctoral candidate in systematic botany, horticulture, or the history of the plant sciences. The award this year went to Mr. J. Chris Pires, a student of Dr. Kenneth J. Sytsma at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Professional Society Leaders Discuss Undergraduate Education
On July 9, 1998, David Kramer, BSA Education Committee Chair, met with leaders of 24 other professional societies in the life sciences to discuss their undergraduate education initiatives. The workshop, "Collaborations in Undergraduate Biology Education," was sponsored by the Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS). Participants exchanged information about undergraduate activities supported by their societies, discussed the types of programs that are well suited to sponsorship by individual societies or clusters of societies, and identified potential roles for CELS in coordinating activities sponsored by clusters of societies.
Workshop participants discussed the nature of teaching as a professional and scholarly pursuit and the place for peer-reviewed educational articles in societies, journals. They also discussed the CELS "Issues-Based Framework for Bio 101," a curricular framework for introductory biology courses. CELS invited the professional societies to enrich this framework by identifying concepts in their own disciplines that are critical to literacy. Dr. Kramer expressed his hopes that BSA will examine this framework and showcase hands-on activities that illustrate concepts in plant biology. "As faculties revise and improve introductory biology courses I hope we will give special consideration to the way those courses fit into our pre-service education programs," commented Dr. Kramer. "Our future teachers will foster lifelong attitudes and beliefs about science in their classrooms. It behooves all of us who teach introductory courses to equip our future teachers with respect and understanding for our natural world."
Education committee chairs from several professional societies recommended that CELS partner with them in coordinating workshops on undergraduate education for their annual meetings. These could focus on teaching as a scholarly pursuit, critical components of biological literacy, and exemplary curricular activities drawn from particular disciplines.
This CELS workshop built on a workshop cohosted by CELS and the American Society of Plant Physiologists (ASPP) on July 2, 1998. That workshop, "Toward Literacy in Plant Biology," launched a discussion among plant-based professional society representatives on ASPP's document, "Principles of Plant Biology - Concepts for Science Education." BSA was represented at that workshop by Robert Reinsvold, Ethel Stanley, and Marshall Sundberg. Dr. Reinsvold, past chair of BSA's Teaching Section, distributed copies of the BSA publication, Botany for the Next Millennium. He remarked that "Representatives from other professional societies were impressed with BSA's declaration that 'Teaching students about plant biology is as critical to the future of the field as is research and must take its proper place as an equally laudatory endeavor for botanists.' All of us were excited by the depth of undergraduate educational activities supported by professional societies in recent years, as illustrated by ASPP's document."
These workshops marked the debut of a CELS monograph, Professional Societies and the Faculty Scholar.- Promoting Scholarship and Learning in the Life Sciences. This 87-page report celebrates the contributions of dozens of professional societies to undergraduate biology education and recommends specific actions to enrich teaching and learning. The monograph can be viewed at the CELS website, http://www.wisc.edu/cels/. The website also posts information for ordering bound monograph copies and posts the "Issues-Based Framework for Bio 101."
The Botanical Society of America is a supporting member of CELS, a coalition of professional societies committed to enhancing life science undergraduate education. For more information about CELS, contact Dr. Louise W. Liao, CELS Program Director, email: email@example.com.
Louise W. Liao, Ph.D.
BARTON H. WARNOCK, 1911-1998
His body was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car, face peering pensively out of the windshield across a section or two of Creosote bushes. He died of a heart attack about 20 miles northeast of Alpine, Texas along the highway to Fort Stockton (the place of his birth), the motor of his four wheel drive Bronco still running (how appropriate!).
The Department of Public Safety in Alpine was alerted by some anonymous truck driver on the morning of June 16 that he had observed a car beyond the road shoulder that had apparently been driven through a barbed wire fence, coming to rest about 100 yards off the tarmac: "maybe you should check it out." And they did, not knowing that the newly purchased vehicle was purring away the passing of a legendary Botanist.
As soon as the state troopers peered into the window of the car they were startled, one of them remarking, "Be damn, why it's the doc," very casual like Southwesterners are prone to be facing death.
Nearly everyone in Texas west of the Pecos River knew Barton as the doc. To them he was a legend. And that's what the byline on the front page of the Alpine Avalanche read, BOTANICAL LEGEND IN WEST TEXAS DIES AT 86. And The Big Bend Quarterly (vol. II, No. 4) headed their eulogy of the man with this masthead, "LIKE TAKING A WALK WITH THE CREATOR." Clearly the man was a revered figure, to them at least, those who still trod the open range in scuffed boots and rusty spurs, driving pickups and cursing the blue skies "cause it ain't gonna rain today, maybe never," looking at their new growth of gramma grasses (they were botanists too!) with hope and fear (not showing either in their faces, true Texans). Barton belonged to the ranchers. He was their systematist. From El Paso to the Pecos, Barton knew them all, who owned what spread, how many sections, what kind of plants dominated, and why; he even knew the history of their places better than they did, having outlived most of the original owners.
Interestingly, Barton spent much of his time after retiring from his Professorship at Sul Ross State University, Alpine, as a plant collector and "curator" of ranch herbaria. He set up numerous small collections in one or two herbarium cases at the ranch headquarters of the bigger spreads in the trans-Pecos so that the ranch owner, or his manager, or the owners children (now too remote from ranching to be concerned) might know what their land grew and where.
Dr. Warnock was always an enigma to me, mainly because he seemed such a simple cuss to sport a Ph.D. I was an acquaintance of his for fully fifty years and in our many one- on- one conversations, never managed to probe successfully into any of his views on things psychological. Sometimes he would dumbfound me, however, with a remark from out of nowhere, "Turner, do you believe that there are really homosexuals in this world?" And after some briefly expressed incredulousity on my part as to the question itself, he would let the topic drop, as if the question was merely the flicker of a moment. I mention this because, to me, he was one of the most intellectually naive professors to pass his shadow over my shoulder. Indeed, the mention of some of the more banal intellectual questions in our discussions, such as "the meaning of life? why we do what we do?" etc., would nearly always result in his retreat into some avuncular world unfamiliar to me: quoting homilies, or inventing these on the spot. Such conversations lived short lives.
But he did channel the course of my professional life. As a prelaw student at Sul Ross State College in 1947, age 22 and fresh out of the military, feeling my future, thinking I'd be a great lawyer, fighting the cases that counted, putting my learning on the line for the "...scorned, the rejected, the men hemmed in by the spears..." I was ever an idealist! So constituted in frame and bent, I enrolled in a freshman biology course at Sul Ross. Barton was the teacher.
Meeting Dr. Warnock (aged 36 at the time, fresh out of graduate school at The University of Texas, Austin, with a Ph.D. in plant ecology, his doctoral thesis entitled "A vegetational study of the Glass Mountains" [a sliver of elevated limestone about 30 miles east of Alpine, aligned in a north-south direction, beginning near Marathon and extending northwards into Pecos Co., where it soon peters out into flat lands dominated by Creosote and Black Brush]), changed my career, if not my life. How? He wooed me with words, smiles, and competition; noting that I excelled in his class with little effort and much enthusiasm, he began to ask me out on his collecting forays. Weird fellow, I thought, collecting plants in sets of four?" I asked. "For exchange," he replied. "What's that?" I replied, "I mean 'for exchange' ?" And so it would go mile after mile, picking up the beginnings of botany, the names of plants, where the grew, what they were related to, those kinds of beginnings...
And he talked about other aspects of life too, the trivial aspects, often foolishly stated, like "Your wife nearly always knows what's best," uttered with a sincere little laugh, and a mischievous look, as if joshing. But he wasn't; for him this was seemingly true; for me it was idle chatter.
Anyway, I loved those field trips, beautiful landscapes, botanical unknowns, populations of this or that species strewn along highways and mountain crests, some of them even undescribed, Barton would venture, often adamantly so, "Now I know this plant is new, but every time I send it off to Dr. Tharp [his doctoral mentor at The University of Texas] it always comes back as so-and-so , but I know damn well it's not."
Lots of botany, laughter, teasing, and competition. I still remember one of his challenges: faced with an ascent of about 2000 feet up to the top of Altuda Peak, an isolated protrusion about 15 miles east of Alpine overgrown with oaks and miscellaneous shrubbery, Barton hollered out suddenly, "Beat you to the top Turner, you find your own way." And he took off in a trot up a broad gully at the base of the peak. I snickered, thinking, "Like hell, you will," and took off up my own little gully, knowing that my young legs would get there first. But they didn't. When I got to the top, there was the doc, smiling like a pig eating swill, remarking casually, " What took you so long, Turner? Been waiting here ten minutes or so." That kind of manner and mien in the man appealed to me: fully contagious, like teachers ought to be.
That kind of contagion and teaching careened many a Sul Ross student into graduate schools in botany departments across the country. To name but a few (those introduced to botany via Barton's tutelage), other than myself: A. Michael Powell, currently Professor at Sul Ross, having replaced Dr. Warnock upon the latter's retirement; John Averett, currently Professor of Biology and Chairman at Georgia Southern University; John Bacon, Professor of Biology at the University of Texas, Arlington; Tom Watson, independent researcher, now retired; not to mention the numerous Masters Degree students who became high school science teachers, wildlife researchers and yet other dedicated biological workers of this or that ilk.
While Dr. Warnock never published his doctoral thesis, noted in the above (a fine study for its day, the various plant communities beautifully documented with full page photographs, etc.), he did publish, a number of taxonomic papers, mostly having to do with new species from the trans-Pecos, often with co-authors, such as Dr. M. C. Johnston, who briefly occupied a faculty position at Sul Ross during his long and productive academic career. But such papers did not create his legendary status; rather, the latter was largely due to the publication of several books on the wildflowers of trans-Pecos, Texas. These include:
At the time of his death he had put together a fourth volume on the wildflowers of the trans-Pecos region, and this should be published in due course by some press other than Sul Ross. At least I was informed by Barton that such a text was ready to go to press.
All of the above wildflower books, except for the soon to be published text, were published in collaboration with Peter Koch, now deceased, who provided a large array of colored photographs for the books (several hundred or more to a text, six to a page, of varying quality, including everything from bryophytes to sunflowers).
Probably, Dr. Warnock would not have ventured into the wildflower publication business except for a bit of personal vanity and competitiveness (the "I'll show- them" syndrome). Barton, in the late 1960s, began to think of himself as the botanical guru of the trans-Pecos, which he was, in a sense, as noted in the above. At least, I think he thought that most taxonomists in the United States knew of his work in that area, might even be aware that he had personally collected over 26,000 numbers from this region and that they would surely back his proposal, submitted to the National Science Foundation, to produce a Flora of the trans-Pecos. Barton even gave a paper before the American Society of Plant Taxonomists in which he outlined his ambitious plans, beguiling the professional audience with 24 carat smiles, and charming them with cowboy quips and humbling homilies. I was in that audience and felt he did a wonderful job of salesmanship. He thought the same. But it wasn't to be. His trans-Pecos flora project was rejected by his peers, nearly all of whom had been in the audience. Why? Not because they thought he couldn't do it, but simply because they were all aware, as was Dr. Warnock, that there was to appear shortly A Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas by Correll and Johnston, this having been underwritten by the National Science Foundation over a ten year period or more.
Dr. Warnock never recovered from this rejection by his peers. He became bitter towards the taxonomic community, irrationally so, refusing to loan specimens of his holdings to yet other institutions and, upon occasion, even refusing professional visitors the courtesy of examining the SRSC herbarium sheets, in situ. I tried to explain to him that the tax payers might see little point in supporting the production of two floras of the same region, albeit overlapping. Alas, to no avail; he saw all of this as a personal vendetta. To my knowledge he never forgave the taxonomic establishment; thereafter he strode his own path, never again collecting plants in sets of four for exchange purposes; indeed he became disdainful of academic institutions in general, especially the bigger ones that thought they could call the plays, lay down the rules, pass judgment on the little fellows, something like that I think, drove him into his alienation from the larger systematic community.
But as Shakespeare put it, "Sweet are the uses of adversity, which, like the toad, ugly and venomous wears yet a precious jewel in its crown." Had not the doc suffered the ignominy of rejection he would surely have squandered years working on a mundane flora of the trans-Pecos that would have raised but few eyebrows. As it turned out, his competitive zeal and desire to show the academic elites that he didn't need their support, made possible his trans-Pecos, if not statewide, sainthood.
Dr. Warnock really has had appreciation aplenty. Numerous taxa from the trans-Pecos and elsewhere have been named in his honor, including an endemic Texas genus, Warnockia (Lamiaceae). In addition, a building on the Sul Ross campus bears his name, as does a state park facility along the Rio Grande in Presidio County, Texas; few botanists can claim such edificial honors.
It is ironic, that had the legendary botanist, Art Cronquist, died of a heart attack driving in the environs of New York city (where he resided), car motor still purring away, it is likely that the first official persons on the scene might peer through the window and comment, "Boy, that's some big Swede," as if he had little legendary status on Long Island, an area infinitely smaller than the trans-Pecos region where the doc received instant recognition from the first persons on the scene. So who is the bigger legend? In the international community, of course, it was Cronquist; but in the confines of the trans- Pecos, it was Warnock.
I would like to add that Cronquist is said to have had his heart attack while in a herbarium gazing down at a specimen of Mentzelia from his beloved state of Utah. Warnock had his heart attack in the field gazing across an expanse of Creosote (Larrea tridentata). How appropriate for both! And as to their legendary status? Each was an epic figure in their own milieu, as it should be.
Reed Rollins, 1911-1998
Reed C. Rollins, the Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany Emeritus and director of the Gray Herbarium from 1948 to 1978 at Harvard University died April 28. He was 86.
Born in Lyman, Wyoming, Rollins graduated with honors from the University of Wyoming, received his master's degree from Washington State University and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1941. A member of the Society of Fellows from 1937 to 1940, he joined Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1948. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and many professional societies.
Before coming to Harvard, Rollins served as associate professor of biology at Stanford University and as a geneticist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He worked on the Emergency Guayule Rubber Research Project for the U.S. Department of Agriculture during World War 11. His research covered many areas in taxonomy and genetics but the primary focus of his work was on the mustard family, Brassicaceae.
He leaves his wife Kathryn; a daughter, Linda White of Hingham; a son, Richard of Portland, Ore.; stepdaughters, Sydney Roby of Baltimore and Helen Roby of Toronto, Ontario; a brother, Dr. S.P. Rollins of Phoenix, Ariz.; a sister, Mrs. Alene Carter of Tulsa, Okla., and five grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at Harvard University May 22 in Appleton Chapel in the Memorial Church. Contributions may be made to the Reed C. Rollins Fund for Botanical Field Work in care of the Harvard University Herbaria.
Call for Applications, Positions Available
Calls for Applications
The Rupert Barneby Award
The New York Botanical Garden invites applications for the 1998 Rupert Barneby Award. The award of $1,000.00 is to assist researchers to visit the New York Botanical Garden to study the rich collection of Leguminosae. Anyone interested in applying for the award should submit their curriculum vitae and a detailed letter describing the project for which the award is sought. Travel to NYBG should be planned for sometime in 1999. The letter should be addressed to Dr. James L. Luteyn, Institute of Systematic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126 USA, and received no later than December 1, 1998. Announcement of the recipient will be made by December 15th. Anyone interested in making a contribution to The Rupert Barneby Fund in Legume Systematics, which supports this award, may send their check, payable to The New York Botanical Garden, to Dr. Luteyn.
The Furniss Foundation/American Orchid Society Graduate Fellowship
The American Orchid Society solicits applications from graduate students working towards their Ph.D. degree on orchid related dissertations for The Furniss Foundation / American Orchid Society Graduate Fellowship ($9,000 per annum for up to three years). Interested candidates should submit an outline of their project, college transcript, a letter of recommendation from their chairperson, and a brief, one page statement of the value of their project and its impact on the future of orchidology. The deadline for submission is September 1, 1998. The successful candidate will be notified by November 15, 1998. Send applications to the American Orchid Society, attention Ms. Pam Giust, 6000 South Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33405-4199.
Bullard Fellowships in Forest Research Harvard University
Each year Harvard University awards a limited number of Bullard Fellowships to individuals in biological, social, physical and political sciences to promote advanced study, research or integration of subjects pertaining to forested ecosystems. The fellowships, which include stipends up to $30,000, are intended to provide individuals in mid-career with an opportunity to utilize the resources and to interact with personnel in any department within Harvard University in order to develop their own scientific and professional growth. In recent years Bullard Fellows have been associated with the Harvard Forest, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and the J.F. Kennedy School of Government and have worked in areas of ecology, forest management, policy and conservation. Fellowships are available for periods ranging from four months to one year and can begin at any time in the year. Applications from international scientists, women and minorities are encouraged. Fellowships are not intended for graduate students or recent post-doctoral candidates. Further information may be obtained from: Committee on the Charles Bullard Fund for Forest Research, Harvard University, Harvard Forest, P.O. Box 68, Petersham, MA 01366 USA. Annual deadline for applications is February 1.
American Philosophical Society Grants
The American Philosophical Society makes grants towards the cost of scholarly research in all areas of knowledge except those where support by government or corporate enterprise is more appropriate. Projects likely to culminate in scholarly publications are preferred; projects in the creative or performing arts, for the general readership, and educational materials for classroom use are not eligible.
Grants cover travel to the objects of research, purchase of photoreproductions of documents, and consumable professional supplies not available at the applicant's institution. The Society makes no grants for study, salary replacement, travel to conferences, consultation with other scholars, assistance with data entry, publication or translation, or the purchase of permanent equipment, telephone calls or stationery.
Eligibility: Applicants are expected to have held the doctorate for at least one year. Foreign nationals applying from abroad must state precisely what objects of research, only available in the United States, need to be consulted.
Amount of award: averages $3,000; $6,000 maximum. In accordance with federal regulations, a 1099 miscellaneous income form will be issued for all grants that exceed $600.
Deadlines: March 1 for decisions by mid-June, October 1 for decisions by mid-January, and December 1 for decisions by mid-March.
Obtaining forms: Written requests for forms must indicate eligibility, specify the area of research, and state the proposed use of grant funds. Include a self-addressed mailing label. Telephone requests for forms cannot be honored. Write to Committee on Research, American Philosophical Society, Independence Mall East, 104 S. 5th Street, Philadelphia PA 19106-3387.
Questions concerning the eligibility of a project or applicant are accepted at (215) 440-3429 (M, T, Th, F 9-5; W 9-1) or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information, directions, and forms are also available through Acrobat Reader at the Society's website, http://www.amphilsoc.org/.
Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award
The Botany Department at The Field Museum invites applications for the 1999 Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award. The award of $1500.00 is designed to assist students and young professionals to visit the Field Museum and use our extensive economic botany and systematic collections. Individuals from Latin America and projects in the field of ethnobotany or systematics of economically important plant groups will be given special consideration.
Applicants interested in the award should submit their curriculum vitae and a detailed letter describing the project for which the award is sought. The information should be forwarded to the Timothy C. Plowman Award Committee, Department of Botany, The Field Museum, Roosevelt Rd at Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA and received no later than 31 October 1998. Announcement of the recipient will be made no later than 31 December 1998.
Anyone wishing to contribute to The Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Fund, which supports this award, may send their checks, payable to The Field Museum, c/o Department of Botany, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA. Make certain to indicate the intended fund.
Plant Anatomy/Vascular Plant Morphology and/or Paleobotany
Updated Positions Available:
Current position announcements are maintained on the Botanical Society’s website Announcement page at URL http://www.botany.org/bsa/announce/index.html. Please check that location for announcement which have appeared since this issue of Plant Science Bulletin went to press. To post an announcement, contact the webmaster: <email@example.com>.
The Morton Arboretum, a leader in the search and development of disease-resistant hybrid elm trees, will host an International Elm Conference on October 1-3, 1998. The conference will provide an international exchange of information about current research to develop new trees and established and emerging methods of saving remaining elms.
The Morton Arboretum is accepting 150-word abstracts of papers describing elm research, breeding, management, and the future of elms in the urban forest until June 30 for possible presentation, poster session, and publication in proceedings. Deadline for submission of abstract is June 30. To submit a paper or to learn more about the International Elm Conference, contact: Dr. Christopher Dunn, Director of Research, The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532 USA, 630-719-2423; fax 630-719-2433; e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Latin American Botanical Society is sponsoring the VII Latin American Botanical Congress from 18-24 October, 1998 in Mexico City. For the open programme posters on any branch of botany will be welcome, and students are particularly encouraged to come and present their work. Registration will be open to any person interested in botany. Fees: After March 31: All members 150.00 USD. Submission of Abstracts Deadline: May 15, 1998. Abstracts should be sent to: Dr. Ramon Riba, Presidente del VII Congreso Latinoamericano de Botanica, UAM-Iztapalapa, Apdo. Postal 55-535, 09340 Mexico, D.F. For further information write to: < email@example.com> < firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Practice of Restoring Native Ecosystems, a conference offered by the National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with Land and Water Magazine, will be held November 5-6, 1998, at Arbor Day Farm's Lied Conference Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
For more information about the conference, call the National Arbor Day Foundation at 402-474-5655 or write to P.O. Box 81415, Lincoln NE 68501-1415, or e-mail to email@example.com.
The conference and task force meeting are intended to provide a forum for exchanging research results on rare Midwestern plants, for setting regional plant conservation priorities, and for developing and implementing collaborative plant conservation projects in the Midwest. The first day of the conference will feature a symposium by invited speakers titled "Pollination Biology: Implications for Rare Plant Conservation". The second day will consist of contributed presentations on research and stewardship projects. To participate in the task force meeting on Nov. 6 (you must actively participate), contact Kayri Havens, Ph.D., Manager of Endangered Plants at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member $129 Nonmember $162 Student $85 with copy of current student I.D. Members of sponsoring organizations may pay the member fee. To obtain a brochure or to register with credit card, call the Registrar at (847) 835-8261.
XVI International Botanical Congress will meet 1-7 August 1999 at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri. A nomenclature meeting will be held the week before, 26-30 July 1999, at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The International Botanical Congress (IBC) is a convention of scientists from around the world which meets once every six years to discuss new research in all the plant sciences. The early registration fee, not including hotel, will be $300 ($200 for registrants from developing countries) and students pay a reduced fee of $ 100. There are some fellowships for travel to IBC available, with applications particularly encouraged from registrants from developing countries and from graduate students and recent graduates. The conference will also have space for commercial and scientific exhibits. For more information or a registration form, please consult the website at: http://www.ibc99.org/ or contact: Secretary General, XVI IBC c/o Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 Tel: 314/577-5175, fax: 314/577-9589, e-mail: email@example.com. Receptions, field trips, excursions, and other social events are planned prior to, during, and after IBC.
We intend to organize a Workshop for the International Union for Quaternary Research during the INQUA XV International Congress in Durban (3-11 August, 1999) with the following topic: "Migration of Asiatic (Turanian) and ecosystems to East and South Africa during the Miocene-Pliocene and the environmental conditions contributing to evolution of Hominidae (Kovalev's hypothesis)". This problem might include the following issues. 1. The Messinian climatic crisis (6.7-5.3 Myr) and the formation of ecosystems involving C4 plants of the aspartate type in Southern Turan. Migration of riparian ecosystems (with Tamarix, Phragmites, Caroxylon and Populus as dominant elements) from Southern Turan to East and South Africa, where they replaced the climate-affected tropical rain forest. Comparison of such communities with their modem analogs (the South African relic communities and the North American saltcedars of the Asiatic origin). 2. Traces of the faunal migration accompanying the spreading of the Turanian plant assemblages and the possible Asiatic origin of the early hominoids (e.g., migration of Sivapithecus). 3. Developing of such communities in Africa during the Pliocene. The influence of these exotic (adventive) plant assemblages upon the African mammalian fauna, causing its essential pauperization and providing relatively safe conditions for the early hominid inhabiting (in contrast with the intensive predators' pressure in the savannahs). Contacts: Dr. Oleg V.Kovalev, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dr. Sergey G.Zhilin, Dept. of Palaeobotany, Komarov Botanical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 197376 St. Petersburg, Russia; e-mail: email@example.com; fax: (812)234-4512
The 4th International conference follows the tradition of the Royal Horticultural Society in organizing conferences addressing the major developments in conifers. The conference will be held 22-25 August 1999, Wye College, Kent, England. This conference is designed to promote maximum interchange of information between all users of conifers. Keynote sessions will address major subject areas of current interest. The conference will have a worldwide geographical coverage from the arctic to the tropics.
Main scientific sponsors: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Royal Horticultural Society, Forestry Commissions and The International Dendrology Society. For more information contact: Miss Lisa von Schlippe, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE. Tel.: 0181 332 5198, Fax.: 0181 332 5197, E-mail: L.firstname.lastname@example.org
The VIII International Aroid Conference, sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden and the International Aroid Society, will meet 9-11 August 1999 at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri. This is a three-day conference directly following the XVI International Botanical Congress and will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of all aspects of aroid biology, ecology, taxonomy and horticulture. Over 50 presentations are scheduled and will include discussions of Araceae in large and small floristic regions, revisionary works of a variety of genera, glimpses of the best public and private Araceae collections, and descriptions of successful horticultural and breeding techniques currently in use. An unlimited number of poster sessions will also be made available to those who prefer to have their presentations on display for the duration of the conference.
Congress highlights include a barbecue at Tom Croat's house, a banquet held at the gardens, evening lectures and a welcoming address given by Peter Raven, Director of Missouri Botanical Garden. We would also like to organize an aroid seed and seedling swap to make a variety of aroids available for all attendees.
For more information please consult the web page at: http://hoya.mobot.org/ias/iac99/ or contact: Secretary General, VIII International Aroid Conference, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 631660299 USA, e-mail: <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination Baskin, Carol C., and Jerry M. Baskin, 1998. ISBN 0-12080260-0 (cloth US$99.95) 666 pp. Academic Press, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego CA 92101-4495. - If you are interested in seeds, their germination ecology, or evolution of seed plants, and do not already own this book, I encourage you to buy it for yourself and also order a copy for your library..... perhaps even before perusing this review! Carol and Jerry Baskin bring many years of seed germination experience with a wide array of species to what is an inspiring work. They interweave their own studies of numerous temperate North American species with those done by others world wide. To provide some idea of scope, individual chapters contain hundreds of references, with two chapters each having more than a thousand. Data for individual species are summarized in tables for particular dormancy types; also often included is information about stratification (warm or cold treatment that breaks dormancy), optimal temperatures for germination, and / or responses to light. Despite a qualifying statement in the Preface regarding possible omissions, virtually all pertinent studies of which I am aware are included; some may only be noted in a table, but anyone interested in the germination behavior of a particular species or family can follow the leads provided.
Just as the number of studies presented is extensive, so too is the number of species. Nearly 6400 are listed in the taxonomic index! These species provide a substantive base for the concluding discussion of biogeographic and evolutionary aspects of seed dormancy and germination.
For students just beginning germination studies, there is much to inform experimental designs. A chapter on methodology provides guidelines for undertaking ecologically meaningful studies, even of seeds about which nothing is yet known. Elsewhere, discussions of dormancy and germination attributes of particular species provide insights about handling seeds and carrying out studies; in addition, throughout the authors raise pertinent questions that might be addressed. Both empirical studies and models suggest varying approaches to achieving a primary aim of the methods chapter which is to encourage studies that achieve understanding germination in nature. Toward this end, laboratory studies may be supplemented with those conducted in the field, slathouse, non heated greenhouse, or transplant garden. Another outcome should be increased comparability between studies.
Where needed, background information is provided. There are short understandable explanations, for example, of the effect of light on phytochrome, as well as descriptions of both modern and paleoclimates, of vegetation types, and of embryo types. There are many interesting examples; among those I noted were: (1) The type of germination paper (e.g., Whatman No. 2 vs. Nos. 4 and 5 filter paper) can influence germination percentage. (2) The geographic site of origin of Triticum aestivum (red wheat) seeds accounted for differences in yield in the second (but not third) generation. . (3) Seeds of Setaria faberi from both 2,4 D treated and control plants required cold stratification for germination; however, after overwintering in the field, seeds from 2,4 D treated plants germinated to significantly higher percentages. (4) Seeds from montane plants of Penstemon eatonii have physiological dormancy and require cold stratification; seeds from low elevation warm desert plants have nondormant seeds. (5) Ipomoea pestigridis from India has nine seed forms that differ in size, weight, color, and dormancy and germination characteristics. (6) From the background information about parasites, I also learned that there are no parasitic monocots and that the Rafflesiaceae exist as endophytes within the tissues of the host and break out of the tissues when flowering occurs.
Much attention is given to dormancy types because they are used to compare seed characteristics of various vegetation zones and ultimately as the basis for evolution of dormancy / germination characteristics. These dormancy types are: (1) Physiological: seeds are generally permeable to water but either warm or cold treatment permits radicle emergence. (2) Morphological: the seed is unable to germinate due to the undifferentiated nature of an embryo that is only a mass of cells or to an underdeveloped radicle or cotyledon(s). (3) Morphophysiological: seeds have both underdeveloped embryos and physiological dormancy (the embryo must reach a critical size and the physiological dormancy has to be broken). (4) Physical: the seed coat is not permeable to water. (5) Physical and physiological (chemicals are present in the pericarp). (6) Mechanical (fruit / seed structures prevent germination). These dormancy types are those proposed by Nikolaeva (1977); numbers 5 and 6 are generally considered as subsets of physiological and physical dormancy. Dormancy types are related to embryo type, which in turn, are plant family characteristics. Thus, by knowing the family and its embryo type, certain suggestions regarding dormancy characteristics for a given species may be entertained.
Following a thorough discussion of dormancy types, seed ecology is related to the fate of seeds in the soil and in aerial seed banks (in serotinous cones and fruits), to the influence of seed banks on populations and communities, and to the genetic basis and variation in dormancy and germination characteristics. Many examples are provided, including, e.g., the effect of mineral nutrients, position on the mother plant, and temperature during seed production on germination responses.
Seed size is also affected by many environmental factors, including position on the plant, seed number, habitat, day length, and temperature. Although seed size has many potential effects on plant biology, including recruitment, there are species whose large seeds germinate to higher percentages than small ones, others (fewer in number) whose small seeds germinate better, and still others (still fewer in number) for which germination is independent of seed size. In addition, the geographical distribution of dormancy types is considered for tropical and subtropical zones and temperate and arctic zones. For each zone there is discussion and summary in numerous tables of the available information regarding the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on the germination of tree, shrub, vine, herbaceous, and weed species. Depending on zone, special factors involving seed ecology, such as seed predation, fire, allelopathy, myrmecochory, and vivipary, are highlighted.
Species with specialized life cycles and habitats are considered separately. Accordingly, parasites, saprophytes, orchids, carnivorous plants, aquatics, halophytes, and psammophytes (plants of sandy habitats) are discussed in light of their special requirements (e.g., the relationships between orchids and fungi, inundation and aquatic plants, and the depth of burial for psammophytes.
The final chapter, a major contribution of this book, examines seed dormancy in the context of biogeography and evolution of seed dormancy. It provides an important synthesis of embryo types, dormancy types, and how they relate to the evolution of dormancy. A relationship between paleoclimates and the evolution of plant families with their particular embryo and dormancy characteristics is discussed. Familial distribution of dormancy types across the phylogenetic tree of Takhtajan (1980), coupled with evolutionary origins of extant families, shows interesting trends. First appearance of extant angiosperm families with physiological and morphophysiological dormancy in the fossil record dates back to the Pliocene. Morphological and physical dormancy, which are more restricted, appeared much later in the fossil record. Also, in contrast to morphological and physical dormancy, nondormancy and physiological dormancy by family are widely distributed among the higher taxa of the phylogenetic tree. Unfortunately, there is little supporting evidence from the fossil embryo record for ideas presented about the origins and evolutionary relationships of the dormancy types. Embryo studies by paleobotanists could yield important supporting evidence.
The text is quite readable. There are very few typographical errors although a bothersome one occurs in the methodology chapter. (From careful reading, however, it would be obvious that the dark period often used for photoperiod studies is 12 hours long not 1). Oddly, all diacritical marks are missing from various non-English language citations. The book is well produced with the exception of a few figures, taken from other sources, where the illustrations are not as crisp as they might be, perhaps due to the poor quality of the originals.
The objectives, to provide people beginning seed germination studies with a comprehensive overview and active researchers with a sense of what is known and not known about seed biology, are fully accomplished. There were places where I would have liked a concluding "Therefore..." paragraph, but the text deserves the reader's own thought. As noted at the outset, I believe this book belongs on the desk of everyone interested in seed biology. We can each select defining books, like Sculthorpe's (1967) on aquatic plants or Harper's (1977) on population biology, that set the standard for many years to come. This on seed ecology and evolution, like those, will have "staying power", and fills an important niche, complementing other recent seed biology texts. We are indebted to the Baskins for their fine contribution, surely a labor of love, to the seed literature. - Mary A. Leck, Rider University, Lawrenceville NJ 08648
The Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants de Kroon, Hans, and Jan van Groenendael, 1997. ISBN 90-73348-73-0(paperNLG120.00US$67.00) 456 pp. Backhuys Publishers, P.O. Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, the Netherlands. - Both within and among chapters, this book is an impressive international collaboration. The book consists of 18 contributed papers by authors from 12 different countries. Two positive features that stood out to us are the following: First, the book is carefully organized to facilitate connections among different levels of questions (and among different contributed papers). The book moves from topics related to physiology and clonal integration to higher scales of populations, communities and ecosystems. Second, even in the initial chapters that cover mechanistic topics such as plant development and physiological integration of clones, authors strongly maintain both the ecological and evolutionary themes stated in the title the book. We were excited by all the opportunities presented to incorporate evolutionary questions into research on clonal plants.
In terms of what readers may gain from these papers, several benefits were apparent. Readers interested in broad ecological patterns associated with clonality will be most interested in the first chapter by Klimes and colleagues. This chapter tackles the difficult task of trying to assess the frequency of clonal plants in the flora of central Europe. Further, this chapter addresses the relationship between clonal traits and other factors (habitat, other characteristics of the species, etc.). We suspect this chapter will be cited in the introductions of many future papers on clonal plants. Subsequent chapters deal with specific areas of research within the clonal plant arena. Every chapter ends with suggestions for future research, and consequently, the book is a wealth of information and ideas for anyone developing projects on clonal plants. For readers looking for help with methods, the book includes a review of issues related to spatial modeling of plant populations and to the study of natural selection in situations where genets exist as multiple ramets. Those researchers interested in applied topics will find the last chapter by Pysek on plant invasions and clonality valuable.
We had a few minor complaints that are very biased by our own interests. Although the title of the book is "Ecology and Evolution of Clonal Plants", this book covers only clonal growth not clonal reproduction. The production, dispersal and establishment of clonal propagules are topics only briefly discussed. While we recognize that specialized clonal propagules are rare in most terrestrial vascular plants and are thus rarely studied, they are not uncommon in some aquatic vascular plants and, they are very common in bryophytes. We were pleased that bryophytes received attention in two chapters: one by van der Hoeven and During and another by Herben and Hara. However, after finishing the book, we felt that one suggestion for future research had been missed, and that is the opportunity to incorporate literature on bryophytes and seedless vascular plants into the strong vascular plant theory on clonal processes. More chapters could have included and referenced bryophyte and seedless plant literature since clonal processes are so important in many of these plants.
The chapters of this book are not unwieldy in length and the book is very readable. Again, the careful organization and the communication that appears to have occurred between authors makes it worthwhile to read the chapters in order, even from cover to cover. The book has a number of useful figures and tables and also contains a handy glossary and two indices (a taxonomic and subject).
Our overall assessment is that this is a terrific resource for anyone interested in clonal growth and that this book will be a jumping board for many future studies. - Mary Puterbaugh, Natural Sciences, University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, Bradford PA 16701 and Nicholas McLetchie, Morgan School of Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0225
Plant Invasions: Studies from North America and Europe. J. H. Brock. M. Wade, P. Pysek and D. Green. 1997. ISBN 90-73348-23-4 (paper US$52.75) 223 pp. Backhuys Publishers, P.O. Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, The Netherlands. - Studies of invasions of non-indigenous plants and animals are in vogue, but given the magnitude of the problems created by invasive species it is about time. This book adds to the accumulating literature on invasive plants and is a compilation of papers developed from a workshop held at Arizona State University in 1995.
As the subtitle suggests the book is arranged into two sections one focusing on America and the other on Europe: each section has nine papers. These are prefaced by the excellent paper by Wade, who discusses the steps of exotic plant invasions, predicting which species will become invasive and how both of these knowledge bases can be used to develop an invasive plant surveillance system. Since the establishment phase is followed by a lag phase before a species becomes invasive, he concentrates on these two early periods for surveillance as an early warning system before a species becomes a big management problem. In the preface, Brock tells us the book focuses on species' characteristics that can be used to provide an early warning system for invasive plants. As Wade points out however, we cannot adequately predict which species characteristics will determine invasibility. To be more accurate, many of the papers identify habitats that may be more prone to invasion by exotics in general or by particular species, which is very helpful in exotic plant management. The editors leave the synthesis of the papers to the reader.
The book could have been organized by the particular approach taken by the authors. There are three kinds of papers (with some overlap across types): 1) literature reviews about problem species, 2) phytosociological or distribution/abundance papers and 3) experimental studies or those that address particular hypotheses. Species covered by the literature reviews include Lepidium latifolium (Young et al.), Schinus terebinthifolius (Jones and Doren), Fallopia japonica (Sieger),Arundodonax (Bell), andprunus serotina (Starfinger). The phytosociological studies document exotic species abundance in novel habitats (Brock and Farkus), along an urban-rural riparian gradient (Green and Baker), across riparian disturbance and soil moisture gradients (Stromberg et al.), and among particular areas or regions or habitats in space and time (Wade et al., Keil, Andersen, Pysek and Manddk, and Child and de Waal). These papers show how habitat preferences or distribution data can be used in predicting future distributions and developing control strategies.
My favorite papers were the experimental studies which reveals my bias; however, this is by no means an attempt to denigrate the other papers. Bastl et al. elegantly introduced exotic plant seed into two disturbed habitats across three ages to examine habitat invasibility. They found clear patterns in only one habitat and generally found establishment was highest in mid-successional habitats (10 year old). Blank and Young documented the spatial components of Lepidium latifolium invasion, quantified the ways this species modifies soil characteristics, and experimentally showed that soil nutrient status and plant density influences the its growth and competitive ability with Bromus tectorum. Tiley and Philp discuss the ecology and morphology of Heracleum mantegazzianum and present results of experiments to examine how cutting height, shade, and population density affect the flower and fruit production. Other papers were interesting for different reasons. Wade et al. documented the invasion of H. mantegazzianum and discussed control strategies in the context of human culture and health; this species grows in riverine systems where recreation is common and physical contact with this plant produces a severe phytophotodermic reaction. Through ground water monitoring Duncan showed how the removal of Tamarix ramosissma, a species that one study showed transpires 0.3 to 1 cm per day, restored the surface water to a desert lake. Pysek and Manddk in a repeated sample study showed a dramatic increase in exotic plants in Czech villages over a 15 year timespan.
The book is well produced and largely error free. I found three errors. On page 39, the sentence on the eighth line should read 'Average shrub height [not 'density'] was 1.8 m.' The second to last sentence in the second paragraph on page 41 should have 'of' between 'levels' and 'urbanization'. On page 196, Table 3, the word 'dicot' is misspelled. The semi-gloss paper is thin so occasionally a dark photo or figure shows through to the text on the other side. I found that cross citations among papers, where relevant, were not always present. Species binomials are given first with common names in parentheses which is a benefit for the intended international audience. There is good information here for ecologists, botanists, and managers on both sides of the Atlantic and the book is a must read for those actively studying invasive plants. For students, the book is a good introduction to breadth of invasive plant research and the literature. - Noel B. Pavlovic, Lake Michigan Ecological Research Station, Great Lakes Science Center, U.S.G.S, Biological Resources Division, Porter, Indiana.
The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques DiSabato-Aust, Tracy, 1998. ISBN 0-88192-414-8 (cloth US$29.95) 338 pp. Timber Press Inc., 133 SW Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527 - Go to a garden store in the spring and you're sure to overhear someone say, "I'm giving up on planting annuals every year; I'm going into perennial gardening." Surprise! Perennials also require work. There are many books on perennial gardening that cover garden design, soil preparation, and selection of materials but fall short on the matter of maintenance. Tracy DiSabato Aust in The Well-Tended Perennial Garden is one of the first perennial experts to focus a book on the hard work but in a way that gives the work a clear purpose, even an esthetic goal.
Plant biologists who also enjoy perennial gardening as a hobby will be especially appreciative of the author's scientific approach to the subject. For many years Tracy DiSabato-Aust has been experimenting with various pruning, thinning, and division techniques to keep her perennial garden and those of her landscape clients in peak form. She not only uses pruning techniques to remove spent blooms or diseased plants but also to produce pleasing visual effects. For example, she explains how to cut plants back, even prior to anthesis, to extend their bloom period or to produce a layered effect in the garden, moving from low to medium to tall plants. Then there is the matter of cleaning up the perennial garden in autumn or spring. In the pages of this book you will learn the best time of year to cut back and/or divide most of the commonly grown perennials and some of the more unusual cultivars, too.
If you think this is about gingerly plucking individual spent blooms from all your plants ("deadheading"), think again! Tracy marches to her garden carrying grass shears, electric hedge shears, lopping pruners, even string trimmers! Even with hand pruners she advises (p 93)....... grab a handful of stems and snip, rather than doing each individual stem one at a time." With the present home landscaping trend, i.e., toward more extensive use of perennial flowering plants in place of gymnosperm shrubs and trees, there is a real need for maintenance short cuts.
Section One covers the basics of perennial gardening in seven short but informative chapters. There is good advice, profusely illustrated with excellent line drawings and colored photos, on design (especially in relationship to maintenance), soil preparation, planting, pests and diseases, staking, division, and renovation of the established perennial garden. Section Two, on pruning perennials, is the most unique part of DiSabato-Aust's contribution to perennial gardening. In five chapters she discusses the principles and gives exact instructions for several kinds of massive pruning.
Section Three, "Encyclopedia of Perennials," could have been a book in its own right. Occupying approximately half the book, this alphabetical list by genus covers most of the commonly grown species and cultivats in the northeastern United States and areas with similar growing conditions. But gardeners in other climes can simply look at a similar cultivar and perhaps shift the suggested timing forward or back on their calendars. The entry for each plant provides brief descriptive information and more detailed instructions for pruning and other maintenance. Finally, there are three highly useful appendices: ornamental grasses, a month-by-month calendar for perennial gardening and maintenance, and perennials listed according to their specific pruning requirements. A hardiness zone map, metric conversion chart, glossary, extensive bibliography, and index of plant names make the book even more useful. This book should be in the collection of every gardener who wants the perennial garden to look its very best ... from week to week, season to season, and year to year. It would also be an excellent reference for an advanced college course in horticulture. - David W. Kramer, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH 44906
The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis Evison, Raymond J., 1998. ISBN 0-88192-423-7 (cloth US$ 29.95) 160 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Ave., Suite 450, Portland OR 97204-3527. - The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis takes as its subject the horticulturally popular genus Clematis (Ranunculaceae), both the species and the hybrids. These climbers are familiar to many North American gardeners, and the information found in this guide will be a welcome addition to the gardening literature. The author certainly has extensive experience with this genus, which he says fascinates him, including extensive work on clematis for the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain and a number of honors from that society.
A general chapter opens the book with a general discussion of the habitat, systematics, and botany of Clematis. In particular the drawings illustrating various features including the floral biology of clematis flowers and the leaves of various species, forms, and cultivars of clematis, are particularly appealing. This is followed by a chapter on the history of Clematis species in cultivation from the sixteenth century to the present, including much material drawn from the author's personal experience in the world of clematis breeding. Then come chapters on the cultivation, propagation, and garden placement-of various clematis, both species and hybrid cultivars. Conservatory cultivation and the use of clematis blossoms as cut-flowers are then considered, including such information as how to dry clematis seed pods. A whole chapter is devoted to "Clematis in North America" because the author feels that, until recently, Clematis did not receive extensive exposure in North America. Extra information is included to help correct this. This extra information includes a discussion of the three species of Clematis which are native to North America. A mixed list of clematis then follows which runs from species to forms and.hybrid cultivars, with the various clematis grouped according to flower size and time of flowering. The book concludes with short appendices including relevant societies, information on sources of clematis throughout the world, and a full-color USDA plant hardiness zone map. Throughout The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis, the photographs of the Plants and flowers are very attractive and full of vibrant color. In particular, the plates illustrating various groups Of cultivars such as the early flowering C. texensis cultivars (P. 3 1 ) are well executed.
One drawback is the style used in the history chapter by the author, where many irrelevant details are included-for example on p.34 where the reader hears about the ninetieth birthday of one well known clematis breeder. Also, the author has a tendency to use personalize the text with the very frequent use of "I," particularly in the history chapter. The author's experience is substantial, but the phrasing of the text could be much more pleasing. This annoying tendency is not found nearly as often in the rest of the book, and in general the text is informative and useful.
Anyone who has a real interest in clematis in the garden and greenhouse should consider this book, whether that person is a professional horticulturist or a home gardener. The book mainly focuses on Europe, particularly Great Britain, and North America, but with knowledge of one's local growing conditions it could be of use for those gardening in a wider geographic area. This book should be found in academic libraries, and though it focuses mostly on horticulture, The Gardener's Guide to Growing Clematis has enough botanical information in the early chapter to have a broader botanical appeal. - Douglas Darnowski, University of Illinois, Urbana
The Gardener's Guide to Growing Pentstemons Way, David and Peter James, 1998. ISBN 0-88192-424-5 (cloth US$ 29.95) 160 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Ave., Suite 450, Portland OR 97204-3527. - The Gardener's Guide to Growing Penstemons attempts to comprehensively organize for the first time information on the genus Penstemon (Scrophulariaceae). They have set a complicated task for themselves, since penstemons in cultivation and hybridization have a history which is not entirely clear, with many species contributing to the modem hybrids. The formal botanical taxonomy of Penstemon also needs to be clearly and thoroughly stated in one place. Given this difficult task, the authors perform very well, treating the various species and the two rather different horticultural groups, the European hybrids and the Mexican hybrids.
The authors begin, after the Introduction, with a concise and useful chapter on the botany of penstemons, including a number of useful line drawings. The history of the genus then receives a chapter followed by the history of the hardier, European hybrids, a subject which is justifiably given its own chapter since their parentage dates back to the eighteenth century. The record keeping during the history of the horticultural use of penstemons falls short of completeness in a number of instances.
Cultivation of species, European hybrids, and Mexican hybrids comes next in consideration. Chapters with a practical orientation follow on propagation of penstemons and on "Pests, Diseases, and Disorders" of the species and hybrids. The authors then illustrate penstemons as they are currently being used around the world, and species of Penstemon are surveyed. Then follows a chapter on the various garden forms, both European and Mexican.
The appendices which have been included are both appropriate and useful for untangling the complicated world of penstemon breeding. A very detailed species checklist allows for clear identification of species, and this is followed by a list of nomenclatural errors to be avoided. Penstemons with unusual flower color and habitat tolerance come next, and then an internationallyoriented list of sites to see penstemons and sources of penstemons. Lists of ambiguous or unclear names of penstemon types, organizations devoted to penstemons, and a formal taxonomic chart of the Scrophulariaceae, emphasizing penstemons, complete the appendices.
The Gardener's Guide to Growing Penstemons includes many excellent pictures. One flaw which runs throughout the book is the tone used by the authors. They clearly state in the beginning of this work that they are working through many uncertainties in the literature, but there is no need to reemphasize that uncertainty as often as they do. Another problem involves the chapter intended to give a feeling for current horticultural uses of penstemon around the world-typical of such chapters in the Gardener's Guide series, it is weak. Given the amount of analysis of historical records involved in this volume and the amount of work that was involved in clarifying penstemon classification, this book has a larger scope than would be expected for a guide for gardeners. The horticultural value of Penstemon mitigates this, making this book appropriate for the Gardener's Guide series from Timber Press. Overall, the Gardener's Guide to Growing Penstemons does an excellent job of meeting a difficult challenge. Because of its scope, besides the gardeners for whom it is intended, it will be of great interest for professional horticulturists and perhaps also for taxonomists. University libraries should purchase a copy of this thorough work, though all who consider purchasing it should realize that the book emphasizes the United States and the United Kingdom, with some material from a broader geographic range included. - Douglas Darnowski, University of Illinois, Urbana
Marine Botany, 2nd Ed. Dawes, Clinton, 1998. ISBN 0-471-19208-2 (cloth US$79.95) 480pp. John Wiley & Sons, 605 Third Ave. New York NY 10158. - This is a second edition of the book originally published in 1981 for use as a textbook in an upper-level undergraduate or beginning graduate course. Its underlying themes are taxonomy, physiology, ecology, and human impact on marine ecosystems. The first few chapters introduce the factors in the study of marine botany: the "plants," the abiotic and biotic factors, the interactions of factors, and human impact. This is followed by more detailed chapters on macroalgae, microalgae, and their interactive communities. Then there are even more detailed chapters on the major ecosystems of the marine environment: salt marshes, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. The book ends with two appendices: one introducing specific field methods for marine botany, and the other listing some of the human uses for marine algae.
As a textbook targeted for upper-division undergraduates, I find the book is pitched at the right level. This is not a book for introductory students. The vocabulary required to read it is likely introduced in prerequisite freshman and sophomore botany and ecology courses. In my experience, though, recall of that vocabulary by upperclassmen is not flawless. The book needs a glossary to define terms and to provide a basis for understanding some of the peculiar interpretations of terms used in marine ecology. The book uses some uncommon spellings of certain terms (cartenoids vis a vis carotenoids, lenticle vis a vis lenticel) and I wish the editor had moved to more common forms. Likewise I would fault the copy editor for a range of sophomoric errors (number agreement, word choice, punctuation, etc.) that might be expected in a first edition but that should be eliminated in a second. These faults aside, the book is good, if challenging, reading for an upper-division student who has a flexible mindset and a good command of botanical and ecological vocabulary.
The substance of Marine Botany is excellent. The references are very modern and great care has been made to cite accessible reviews for student reading enrichment. The research journal articles cited are, of course, going to be found only in a well-stocked library as marine botany journals are not commonly subscribed to by small college libraries. The information content in the chapters is high and the author's perspective is excellent and broadly based yet deep and insightful.
I would point out that this author is one of only a few who go beyond the introductory fact that the earth's surface is 71 % covered by water and remind us that this water layer is VERY shallow. The analogy presented a layer of paint on a 24-inch globe - is an important realization for all of us as we continue to use the oceans as a dumping ground for toxic, radioactive, and other wastes. The anthropogenic factors upon the marine environment comprise one of the underlying themes found in each of the chapters.
In the opening chapter, I wish the author had better distinguished species from specific epithet. This is a common student eff or that needs to be corrected in many textbooks. The first chapter likewise deals with photosynthetic compensation points, but not until the end does it clarify that these compensation points are species specific. This fact is critical for students to understand one of the factors in vertical zonation of the marine flora. The emphasis on geology as a factor in speciation overshadows the significant role of competition.
The text is thorough in its coverage of abiotic factors, their causes, and impact on marine organisms. The author makes good comparisons with terrestrial environments; these should help students find the contrasts between the two ecosystems. There is very good coverage of the most-critical nutrient cycles as abiotic factors. Throughout the book nutrification of estuarine ecosystems is cited as a potential problem for marine communities, and it would be helpful if some of the techniques one might use to assess nutrification in the field were presented for pedagogical use in the appendix.
The chapter on biotic factors remedies some of the earlier deficiency in describing competition as a critical factor, but this is still not well connected with speciation. The author explains very well the way that concepts in terrestrial ecology are applied to marine biology. This should be quite helpful for students who are experiencing their first aquatic or marine course. In many cases good examples are mentioned to assist understanding, in other cases more could be cited.
The chapter on physiological ecology provides a good discussion of the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors covered in the preceding chapters. It gives good examples and is, again, quite thorough. My wish for a bit more on fertilizer-runoff here is fulfilled in later chapters.
A whole chapter is devoted to human impact on marine organisms; this includes the release of thermal, oil, domestic waste, heavy metal, radioactive material, and solid waste pollution. The impact of aquaculture, wild harvest, overfishing, introduction of exotic species, the release of carbon dioxide and loss of ozone in the atmosphere round out this chapter. There is some material on the legal and international affairs in managing and restoring the marine environment. This topic is, however, also infused in virtually all of the other chapters.
A chapter on macroalgae is very dense reading. The life histories of several dominant species are described with heavy reliance on botanical terminology that is not necessarily in the vocabulary of a typical undergraduate student. This chapter desperately needs the support a glossary would give. One word that surprisingly is almost absent from this book is pelagic, and yet it describes so well the Sargasso Sea inhabitants. These observations on the presentation of macroalgae can also be applied to the chapter on microalgae (including plankton). There is much to learn here for a student lacking experience in phycology, making reading difficult for typical juniors. One reiterated error places the pellicle of Euglenophytes outside the cell, but ultrastructural evidence places it inside the cell membrane.
The chapter on macroalgal communities is a reasonably good presentation but I would have liked a bit more on reef communities. Fortunately this is covered in sufficient depth in a free-standing chapter later in the text.
The chapter on salt marshes is excellent, particularly in describing the role of salinity in that environment. The various adaptive strategies to coping with salinity stress are described quite well. Many people are surprised to learn how much diversity can be found in what looks superficially like "grassy wasteland." I wish the author had put more in his section on anthropogenic considerations. We have decimated salt marshes worldwide and only now are realizing their importance to the offshore communities and the terrestrial communities bordering the salt marsh.
The chapter on mangroves is a good distillation of what is found in Barry Tomlinson's monograph. It provides excellent coverage of the ecophysiology of the ecosystem with dynamic models. The author does more than explain the model; he shows its value in discovering the connection to the evolution of salt marsh species in response to the selective pressures of hurricane cycles. The author also digs nicely into the controversy of a mangrove forest as a secondary sere or as a climax entity - the author points out that sea level changes destroy mangroves quite regularly, yet mangroves have remained a stable fixture through the quaternary! This observation is a critical one that deserves more consideration. Most marine ecosystems are sensitive to sea level changes and there are strong shifts in sea level with time, yet these ecosystems are ancient! So it must mean that they are mobile and dynamic as well as climactic, challenging our concepts.
A chapter on seagrass communities has a strong Caribbean-Atlantic focus and so might not be as useful for Indian-Pacific floras, but the chapter is very thorough in discussing the adaptations and coping mechanisms of seagrasses which are likely universal. The contributions of seagrass beds to marine productivity are not widely appreciated in our culture, but this chapter presents the evidence very well.
The chapter on coral reef botany is very good in exposing the many dynamic aspects of a coral reef. It is especially good at discussing the impact of nutrient stress (nutrification), sediment stress (shading), and overfishing (herbivore removal) on the competition between algae and corals for space on the reef. The roles of algae in certain types of reef are placed in the dynamic balance of the entire reef ecosystem as they should be. The interplay between oligotrophic waters and competition is well supported. Before students dive and snorkel on reefs, this chapter is essential reading. It won't help much with boiler reefs (vermetid gastropod-red algal reefs) which are not mentioned in the book, but atolls, patch, barrier, and fringing reefs are very well supported.
The appendix on marine botany methods focuses on field techniques rather than accurate and probably expensive laboratory methods. I found the procedures outlined provide a framework for discussion, but some details are lacking in certain cases. The lack of nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, iron, and silicon tests is disappointing as nutrification is such an important part of the text as a whole.
The appendix on uses of algae by humans as food, fodder, fertilizer, fuel, and phycocolloids is reasonably interesting and presents the economic impact of algal harvests in various societies.
This is a scholarly book and has been well-researched by the author. The references are up-to-date and quite pertinent. Aside from some minor carping above, this book really achieves its intent. It is a very comprehensive and modern guide to marine botany. It would be appropriate in any college library as a reference, and could be used in an upper-division undergraduate course or in a graduate course with perhaps a botany dictionary as a supplement. For the third edition, however, I strongly recommend a more meticulous copy editor and the addition of a glossary. Color plates would be a welcome addition, but this negatively impacts price and thus sales. This book is already pricey at $79.95, but the information content is very high. - Ross E. Koning, Biology Department, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic CT 06226
The Oligocene Bridge Creek Flora of the John Day Formation, Oregon Meyer, H.W. and S.R. Manchester, 1997. University of California Publications in Geological Sciences, Volume 141. ISBN 0520-09816-1 (paper US $50.00) 362 pp. University of California Press, 1445 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing, NJ. - For over forty years the University of California Press has intermittently published two dozen paleobotanically oriented monographs through their "Publications in Geological Sciences" series. Since 1956, two-thirds (16 of 24) of the contributions (including the last eight consecutive issues) relating to fossil plants have been authored by the same individual! Now, a new generation offers this outstanding revision of the 33 Ma Oligocene Bridge Creek Flora of the John Day Formation, Oregon.
Early paleobotanical treatments of the Bridge Creek flora, in the later 1800's and earliest 1900's, were by workers such as Knowlton, Lesquereux, and Newberry. It has been over 70 years since the most recent monographic update of this north-central Oregon flora (Chaney 1927). Thus, the present volume is a long overdue and much needed contribution.
The writing throughout is clean and concise and nearly error free. After the table of contents, acknowledgments, and abstract; the "heart" of the volume is divided into 12 unnumbered, chapter-like, sections. These are followed by an appendix, literature cited, index, and plates. Five of the first six of these 12 central sections are essentially equivalent to the "Introduction" and "Materials & Methods" in a typical report. The fifth (Diversity and Taxonomic Composition) and 12th (Systematic Descriptions) amount to the "Results", and the 7th through 11th sections constitute a "Discussion."
The largest single section of this monograph is the 111 page Systematic Descriptions, wherein the authors present a very careful and thorough approach.
Mechanically, Meyer and Manchester review and revise the previously known and extensive new collections of fossil leaves and reproductive structures from seven of the (at least) ten known Bridge Creek "assemblages", each "...based on one to several localities (e.g., collection sites) in close geographic and stratigraphic proximity" (Meyer and Manchester 1997 (M&M), p. 18). They have also provided a most useful table correlating various locality names to a standard usage (M&M table 3, p. 19). They then revised the systematics to recognize 91 genera and 110 species based on leaves, 52 genera and 58 species based on reproductive structures, and thus, suggest a combined minimum of 125 species. Taxonomically, 41 previously established species are honored, while five new genera (three based on fruits and seeds of undetermined affinity), 25 new species, and 9 new combinations are established. Four taxa are identified at the familial (but not the generic or specific levels), 36 taxa are identified only to the generic level, seven are compared ("cf.") to a given genus, and one taxon is compared ("cf.") to a given species.
It is refreshing to see that the authors have applied what I (and co- authors) recently suggested be called an "honesty policy" in the approach to the naming of plants (Fields, et al. 1998). Rather than misleading themselves, the authors have been honest in identifying isolated plant organs only to the level for which they are taxonomically diagnostic. They have avoided the often misleading practice of applying the same specific epithet to isolated and often specifically undiagnostic organs of the same genus, and instead used separate names or none at all. Consequently, more than three dozen Bridge Creek taxa are generically, but not specifically assigned, and at least half of these are congeneric with other, specifically named taxa in the flora.
Meyer and Manchester have taken a number of difficult groups and treated them most cautiously. Three examples will suffice: 1) In all but one case, the leaves and samaras of Acer are treated as separate taxa. It is explained that they do not entirely accept the treatment of Wolfe and Tanai (1987) that suggests morphologic details can be used to safely combine these isolated organs. Then, Meyer and Manchester provide discussion (M&M, p. 132-133) and tables to distinguish the various maple leaf or fruit taxa (M&M, Tables 7-8, p. 134-135, respectively), that they recognize in the Bridge Creek assemblages. 2) To distinguish the four recognized Ulmus species, they provide a dichotomous key (M&M p.84). And finally, 3) they specifically recognize only two Alnus taxa based on leaves (rather than four or more recognized by others), but then illustrate "...several variant leaf forms that have not been assigned to either species..." (M&M p.91).
Another breath of fresh air is their treatment of the 37 unknown taxa (one monocot and 31 dicot leaf morphotypes and five fruits). Anyone working on a megafossil floral assemblage knows there is always a residuum of unidentified specimens that seem like they are distinctive enough to be taxonomically recognizable, but based on the material at hand and the worker's knowledge, do not appear to be assignable to anything more precise than the Division or Class level. Often these are: 1) never mentioned in a published monograph (only discovered by examining fossils at the backs of museum trays or the backsides of more identifiable specimens); or these specimens are either 2) incorrectly "shoehorned" into existing taxa or 3) discarded as unidentifiable. Each of these numbered approaches loses information. In contrast, Meyer and Manchester have taken the high road by devoting about 8 pages of text and 10 plates towards making these unknowns available to as many workers as possible....... to document the known diversity and to invite comparisons with similar leaves [and fruits] in other Tertiary floras" (M&M p. 150).
The systematics section is followed by an Appendix showing synonymies of taxa recognized in the flora by previous workers, a literature cited, and an index. Both the former and latter are most useful additions to the typical paleobotanical monograph. The volume is concluded with 75 extremely high quality photographic plates. These are much nicer than those of other recent fossil plant volumes in the series and make this monograph all the more useful to future workers. This is especially noticeable in the clean white "blocking" between adjacent figures in each plate (as opposed to gray figure edges casting black shadows). The overall result is a much more professional look (suggesting whatever extra it cost the publishers, it was well worth it).
Whenever something is as well done as this, any minor problems stand out as needing improvement, no matter how insignificant. Of minimal criticism here, but for the record -and knowing that one cannot do everything, I make the following points that range from errors, to "pet peeves", to suggestions:
1) It would be nice if fossil material from all the known Bridge Creek localities could have been incorporated into the present study. The authors state that at least two of the omitted: "...assemblages contain many of the same species found in other assemblages of the Bridge Creek flora..." (M&M, p.19). This leaves one to wonder why then weren't they included in the study.
2) Of concern is the problem of age ranges between the different assemblages, scattered throughout three different facies of the John Day Formation. New incredibly precise, Ar/Ar single crystal laser fusion radiometric dates are presented and summarized for rocks from three of the seven assemblages studied. It is assumed that the remaining four assemblages are essentially the same age, as they have many taxa in common. However, the three dated sites are all clustered within about 30km of one another and removed by some 50km from some of the other assemblages under consideration. The most distant of these are located in a different facies and have a number of taxa that are unique to them. In all fairness, the authors (M&M p. I 1) are well aware of these weaknesses and suggest that: "Further work is needed, particularly within the southern facies, to establish more firmly the age relationships among the different floral assemblages..."
3) The authors recognize only one species of pine (M&M p.66), but illustrate isolated organs of both Hard and Soft pines. Hard Pine (subgenus Pinus or Diploxylon) needles with persistent basal fascicle sheaths and seeds with disarticulating wings (pl.4 f.4, pl.5 f. 1-4, 67), are illustrated next to cones and an isolated cone scale with terminal umbos (pl.4 f.5-7). The latter are of the Soft Pine type (subgenus Strobus or Haploxylon).
4) Leaf margin data suggest mean annual temperatures for six Bridge Creek floral assemblages that vary from 8-12°C (M&M table 5, p.45), but on the accompanying Nomogram (curiously labeled, without explanation, as a "Climagraph" - a new word to the English language), the authors plot the flora at about 9.5-11.5° C (M&M fig.2, p.46). The result is to graphically restrict the flora from the "Mixed Coniferous", "Mixed Northem Hardwood", and "Mixed Mesophytic" forests to just the latter. To their partial redemption, in the text, the authors suggest that the fossils from some assemblages; "...may indicate an ecotonal setting between Mixed Mesophytic and Mixed Northern Hardwood forest (fig.2), although these assemblages contain some genera more typical of Mixed Mesophytic forest." (M&M p.43).
5) The authors do not follow the trend of recent paleobotanical workers in honoring a taxon's authority as part of the Latin name, and thus using the Latin conjunction "et" or an ampersand, rather than the English "and" between multiple authors (i.e., they use "Calocedrus schomii Meyer and Manchester" instead of "C. schomii Meyer et Manchester", in direct contrast to neobotanical practices; see Recommendation 46C of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, Greuter 1994).
6) The cited edition of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is the superseded "Berlin Code" (Greuter 1988), rather than the most recent "Tokyo Code" (Greuter 1994). This seems especially curious when one considers that they cite 15 other 1994 or later references.
7) I notice very few typographic errors, but two come to mind: line 17 p.61, contains a reference to plate 3, instead of plate 2; and on the explanation page to plate 7, reference is made to fig. 6 in the 8th line (under item #8) instead of fig.7.
8) Text pages are numbered in the upper left (for even numbered pages) or upper right (for odd numbered pages). Unfortunately, this is not continued through the plates section. Users would find it much easier to locate specimen illustrations if the plates (consistently located on the right-hand sides), were directly numbered in their upper right hand corners (as in some past offerings in this series, for example see: Axelrod 1964). Instead the plates section bears no pagination and the plates themselves are unnumbered, but are facing an explanation page on left-handed pages, where plate numbers are centered (i.e., indented) at the top of the page.
Overall, this is a well written and well produced volume on an interesting subject. The Bridge Creek flora's strategic regional position 1) geographically (at paleoelevations ranging from 700 to 1200m above modem sea-level, in the Pacific Northwest between the Cascade Ranges and the Rocky Mountains), and 2) temporally (early Oligocene, right after the terminal Eocene/basal Oligocene cold snap), make this flora an important basis of comparison for earlier, contemporary, or later floras throughout the western U.S. The monograph will also be useful in comparisons to similaraged floras elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. I feel that this volume should be called to the attention of librarians, botanists, plant ecologists, plant geographers, paleobotanists, and anyone interested in a longer term view of plants over time. It will be cited by many writers long into the future. - Patrick F. Fields, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Ml 48824-1312
All About Cycads:
The Biology of the Cycads Norstog, Knut J., and Trevor J. Nichols, 1998. ISBN 0-8014-3033-X (cloth US$145) 363pp. Cornell University Press, Sage House, 512 E. State Street, Ithaca NY 14850. - To botanists, cycads are intensely interesting, above all for their great geological age and for the many primitive anatomical and morphological features exhibited. Plant a grove of half a dozen cycads, and you have the feeling of walking in a forest of the Mesozoic.
However, age and primitiveness of (some) organs are only two of the features characterizing cycads. The enigmatic toxicity, the symbiosis with cyanobacteria, all contribute to give the group a unique position between the "lower" and "higher" plants and at the same time to place them outside the phylogenetic mainstream leading to angiosperms.
Being tropic (a few subtropic), cycads came to the knowledge of European botanists rather later, and their structure was in the beginning not understood. Even the great Linnaeus classified them with the palms - because of the external similarity - and it was left to Robert Brown in 1828 to recognize them as - sort of - gymnosperms.
Since then, cycads have had a high status not only with botanists, but unfortunately also with horticulturists. Cycad collectors have been no less ruthless in pursuit of their material than other collectors; many species are endangered for that reason, and some of them on the verge of extinction. Encephalartos woodii is unknown (exterminated) in the wild, and in cultivation, male specimens only are known. Fortunately they, at any rate are easily propagated vegetatively. Apart from the horticultural use, cycads are also endangered by the general destruction of tropical vegetation and, in Florida, at some time, by the production of "sago" meal from Zamia stems. In spite of their toxicity, cycads have on a small scale been used for culinary purposes also elsewhere.
Cycad monographs have existed before. Chamberlain in 1919 gave a comprehensive survey of the group, and there have been others later. But as knowledge advances, they become outdated. The present book is a most comprehensive text, taking up data from taxonomy, geography, paleontology, morphology, anatomy, ecology etc. Obviously, even within 380 pages it is not possible to go in depth with such a wide theme. What is lost in penetration is more than compensated for by breadth of approach.
The book is in many ways charmingly amateurish. The authors' extensive knowledge of the plants is not always matched by a similar insight in causal relations with regard to the effect of ecological etc. factors. The lack of relevant exact data in various such aspects is compensated for by more hypothetical statements: "it appears that...... observations "suggest that" etc. Being pronounced by scientists with such a profound knowledge of the group, these statements are nevertheless much better than nothing, and the reader may safely assume that they are very close to explaining actual conditions, even if descriptions are often qualitative instead of quantitative.
The authors have dedicated the book "to those whose main interests are the fields of conservation and horticulture, rather than academic biology, avoiding as far as possible some of the worst pedantries of scientific form and the more obscure botanical terms." However, this program, which has been followed throughout, does not, definitely not, mean that the book does not also convey a wealth of exact information for the botanist at large.
One of the most exciting parts of the book is the one dealing with pollination, most of which is based on Norstog's recent investigations. The old idea - feeling may be a better word - was that 1. cycads are very ancient and exhibit many primitive characteristics, and 2. abiotic pollination is more primitive than biotic, ergo cycads must be abiotically pollinated, i.e. wind pollinated. It took a remarkably long time before this simplistic view was superseded in spite of 1. a very strong odor suggesting olfactoric pollinator attraction and 2. the simple fact that in many cycads the "female" organs are so well protected that no wind could blow a pollen grain into them. Admittedly, in 1773 Thunberg noticed weevils in cycad inflorescences, but considering the state of understanding of the pollination process at that time, one cannot reproach him for neglecting that observation. Even the great authority on cycads, C.J. Chamberlain, in the 1930s emphatically denied that cycads could be insect pollinated, and it remained for the post-war period, above all to Norstog himself, to definitely explode this narrow-minded view and demonstrate insect pollination, not only as a possibility, but as a must in cycads. Interesting, these primitive plants are pollinated by a group of, as pollination goes, primitive insects, viz. beetles. After all, simplistic syllogisms are not always totally off the point.
Norstog's original observations, published in 1980, have been followed by many later publications, and the weevil pollination of cycads is now a well established fact. Actually, the existence of wind pollination has been seriously questioned, even in Cycas, the reproductive organs of which are freely exposed, but stroboscopic observations indicate the feasibility of pollen deposition even at such an unadapted structure as the massive female cycad blossom.
The typical pollination process starts with olfactoric attraction (a primitive feature!). Both sexes of the weevil are attracted to the male inflorescence, where they mate, feed and breed. Emerging, covered by pollen, the young beetles also visit female cones, apparently attracted by scent, but they do not eat or in other ways utilize these. The pollination process certainly represents an ancient coevolution between blossom and insect, and there are still some questions not clearly solved.
Seed dispersal is much simpler. The toxicity of cycads comes in as a complicating factor. The outer fleshy seed coat at any rate is less toxic than the rest, but details are still somewhat obscure. Obvious is that a great portion of the seeds are eaten by many different animals (and also have been so in earlier epochs), apparently without any toxic effects.
An important part of the book is a catalog of all known cycad species. There is an identification key to genera, but species are geographically arranged, which sometimes makes it difficult to find a species without consulting the Index.
I mentioned a certain amateurism in the book's treatment of problems biological. The book contains rather broad excursus on background phenomena, to a much greater extent than would be found in a strictly scientific treatment where such facts would be presumed known. This on one side inflates the book, on the other it makes it readable and enjoyable also for the so-called lay reader towards which it aims (cf. the dedication quoted above). This broader general scientific informational standard should contribute to make the book known in much wider circles than would a cut-and-dry scientific text. In this way, hopefully the book will contribute not only to the understanding of cycads as organisms, but will also contribute to the preservation of this fascinating group of greetings from a time long, long bygone.
We cannot all be cycadologists, but these plants are of such great importance, and the book so basic that every botanical institute should be happy to include it in its library, both for the scientific personnel and, even more, for the students. - Knut Feagri, Botanisk Inst., Bergen, Norway
Pinus (Pinaceae). Farjon, Aljos and Styles, Brian T., 1997. ISBN 0-89327-411-9, (cloth US$31.00), 291 pp. Flora Neotropica, Monograph 75, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York, 1045-85126. - Among the conifers, representatives of the genus Pinus are easily recognizable and form a natural group that is distinct from all other genera assigned to the Pinaceae. While understanding of the silvicultural, physiological, and ecological aspects of the economically important species is good, the taxonomy and systematics of the genus is poor. This volume is the first major taxonomic revision of the Mexican, central American, and Caribbean pines since that of Shaw (1909).
The introduction provides the reader with a good overview of our current understanding of the morphology, ecology, paleobotany, and biogeography of the genus, but more importantly, the authors speak to two significant points. First, is the variation encountered within the definition of the species concept that have been used in the various circumscriptions of the genus and concomitant range in the number of species recognized within the genus (66120 species worldwide and 19-58 in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean). Second, is the problems created in having people other than properly trained taxonomists conducting taxonomic research. While these items may at first seem trivial, the effects of these minor transgressions have become the "thorns" in the side of monographic research. The over 400 names that have been proposed for the 47 species and 20 intraspecific taxa recognized in this volume is a good example of these seemingly small mistakes.
The authors have gone into considerable detail on the history of individuals who collected pines from 1785 to the present and some of the more important collections of pines made from Mexico, central America, and the Caribbean. It also reveals the long tradition of botany and interest in pines from these regions. Systems of classification for the pines are numerous and follow a system that either divides the genus into two sub-generic groupings or more than two groups. Although we have yet to determine which system of classification most accurately reflects the taxonomy and phylogeny of the genus, classification systems that divide the genus into Pinus and Strobus sub-genera remain the most widely accepted. The authors recognize the trend of continuing reductionism in the species concept seen in plant taxonomy and especially conifer taxonomy. Though this should not necessarily be viewed as being detrimental in light of continuing technological improvements, it is the application of these new tools and techniques to partial data sets which is frustrating. The abundance of these incomplete revisions in the literature clearly illustrates the need for up-to-date detailed taxonomic revisions and lack of qualified taxonomists who understand how taxonomic research should be conducted.
The discussion on morphology and anatomy, karyology, and reproductive biology, with further contributions by I.D. Gourlay on wood anatomy, M.H. Kurmann on pollen morphology, and J.S. Birks on monoterpenes provide a comprehensive review of the features that distinguish the genus and useful for taxonomic purposes. While the intergeneric relationships within the Pinaceae are not yet fully resolved, the basal position of Pinus within the family seems to be commonly accepted. However, we are still without a classification scheme that best reflects the phylogeny of the genus.
Nevertheless, the authors continue to refine their previous classification schemes and present a cladistic analysis for the Mexican, central American, and Caribbean species assigned to the sub-genus Strobus. I was pleasantly surprised to read about the evolution of Pinus and discover that aspects of their fossil history had been successfully woven into the discussion. The discussion on the ecology of the pines is very general and includes aspects of their distribution, community structure, mycorrhizal associations, and diseases/predators. The authors include a useful table that segregates the species on the basis of regional distribution and altitude. A short discussion on uses and conservation efforts follows.
The systematic treatment forms the bulk of the volume. Dichotomous keys segregate the species into subgenera, sections, and sub-sections using vegetative and reproductive features alone. An additional key separating the species based on their distributions proposed in the "Ecology" section of the volume is included. Each species includes a brief description, distribution map, key to varieties, ecology, synonyms, uses, specimens examined, and general remarks. Apart from a few typesetting errors and mediocre line drawings, I found this volume a pleasure to read and packed with useful information. This book is a "must have" for anyone interested in conifer taxonomy. - Ben A. LePage, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316
African Orchids in the Wild and in Cultivation La Croix, Isobyl and Eric, 1997. ISBN 0-88192-4059 (cloth US$39.95) 423 pp. Timber Press, Inc. 133 SW Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland OR 9720-43527. - Many orchid books deal with cultivation or phytogeography and/or taxonomy. Those that cover "the wild" orchids usually concentrate on a specific geographical or political region. Volumes on cultivation usually deal with a multitude of orchids from several parts of the world. Books which address the orchids of a region in "the wild" and their cultivation are rare. A danger faced by such a book is that it may fall between the cracks: Growers may not be interested in a book on "the wild" whereas those looking for a work on natural habitats will not buy one on cultivation. It will be a pity if this will happen to African Orchids in the Wild and in Cultivation because it is a good, well-rounded book on both "the wild" and "cultivation." Its contents are clear and informative, but the title is misleading because only some African orchids are covered by the book. This is made clear in table 4.1 (pages 45-48) but should have been part of the title as, for example "Some African Orchids. Not covering all African orchids is hardly a fault, but failing to mention this fact up front is.
Africa is a huge continent. Therefore chapters one (Geography and Climate), two (Vegetation) and three (Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa) are most welcome and very enlightening. They are well written, clear, and informative. In fact my 13.5 years-old son Jonathan could probably use this part of the book as a source for some of his homework assignments. Still, and unfortunately, the content of chapter 3 is not consistent with the book title. If the book is about "African" orchids why describe only subsaharan countries. Or, if it covers only subsaharan species why not change the title accordingly?
Chapter 4 deals with classification, a subject which seems to find its way in all orchid books (sometimes even including mine) regardless of whether is needed or not. Mercifully the classification chapter in this book is short (pp. 43-48). It is interesting and the subject is presented well.
Cultivation (chapter 5) is treated intelligently. The chapter goes beyond merely listing cultivation requirements. Instead it discusses natural conditions and relates them to the requirements of specific orchids. The chapter also touches on aspects often ignored in other books. One of these is the temperature of irrigation water which should "be at ambient temperature" to prevent problems. After making this statement the authors describe a simple method for attaining appropriate irrigation water temperatures. My only question here pertains to rain water in nature. Is rain at ambient temperature when it falls and if not does it have the same effect on orchids as cold irrigation water (at least in my experience rain is always colder than ambient, but then I was rain-soaked only in Asia, Europe and the Americas, never in Africa)?
A second subject is that of light. Most books limit themselves to describing light intensity requirements as ,high," "low...... shade...... bright," and similar terms or in foot candles (a questionable non SI unit of measurement). Here the authors correlate foot candles with word descriptions. This should prove to be very helpful for growers of African and other orchids.
Coverage of day length is third in this list. One of the legendary figures in orchid science, Prof. R. E. Holttum, discussed day length as it relates to orchid cultivation almost 50 years ago in his books and articles on the Singapore and Malesian tropics (which happen to be my favorite part of the world outside the U. S. A.). Few if any authors of cultivation books have covered the subject since Holttum. It is therefore commendable to note that a paragraph on page 55 deals with day length. The authors are correct in stating that "there is relatively little annual variation in day length in the tropics." However they are wrong in asserting that "day length does not appear to have significance in triggering flowering in African orchids." Research on African orchids (primarily by Prof. W. W. Sanford, but also by others in Africa) has shown that a number of African orchids are photoperiodic. Given the fact that CAM in orchids seems to occur in equal proportions among orchids in all tropics (and perhaps even the world) it is safe to assume that the same may be true for photoperiodism.
Pests and diseases (chapter 6) are covered adequately. However, details on specific measures and chemicals is lacking whereas biological control is emphasized strongly.
Orchid propagation is dealt with in chapter 7. Some growers will probably be successful if they use this chapter as a source of information, but many others would probably appreciate either more details or several specific references or both. Table 7.1 on the time required for fruits to develop and ripen and seeds to become viable should be of considerable benefit to growers. Two problems with this table are terminology and, in two cases durations. The orchid fruit is a capsule, not a pod as indicated in the caption to table 7. 1. And, I wonder how can it be that in Aerangis verdickii II months a needed for a green (i. e., immature) fruit to develop but only eight for it to mature. A similar inconsistency (six and 2.5 respectively) is associated with Mystacidium brayboniae. Careful copy editing and proofreading could have noticed these problems.
The chapter (9) on hybridization is fun to read. I have no quibbles with its contents, but my view is that classical orchid hybridization is more art and intuition (plus some luck) than science and therefore cannot be taught.
Part two gives "Plant Descriptions A to Z." The descriptions are clear, informative and accompanied by good drawings and photographs. Sections on larger genera like Aerangis include keys to species. This is a nice touch even if I did not have a chance to try the keys.
There are two appendices in the book. Appendix 1 provides useful but not enough addresses of orchid societies and publication. For example The Malayan Orchid Review (Singapore) and The Malaysian Orchid Bulletin (Malaysia), two publications which deal with tropical orchids (native and those from other areas including Africa), are not listed. Neither are Die Orchidee (Germany), The Australian Orchid Review, and Japanese publications.
Most helpful are the addresses of CITES and phytosanitary offices sources of biological control (but these are limited to the U. K. which is puzzling for a book published in the U. S. A. and suggests that copy editing could have been better). But, I wonder why are there no sources for standard fungicides and pesticides. Are the authors pushing biological control and ignoring chemicals? There is also a list of nurseries which carry African orchids.
Appendix 2 lists African genera not in cultivation. Chances are that this list will change in the future if for no other reason than this books because it makes African orchids so interesting.
A helpful glossary occupies pages 358-360. It is followed by a bibliography and an index of plant names. Neither is enough. A book like this should provide a more extensive bibliography and have an index of subjects.
Consistency of formats is lacking in this book. For example, the tables are designated as X.Y (for instance, the first table in chapter 4 is listed as "4.1"). On the other hand figures are numbered as X-Y (in chapter 3 figures are designated as "3-1" and "3-2"). Both should have been listed with a hyphen (the more common format) or a period between the numerals. Not one with "." and the other with...... A good copy editor and/or a careful proofreader would have caught this admittedly minor point. I am only rasing it because good copy editing still seems to elude Timber Press. This is a pity since the quality of their books has certainly improved greatly during the last few years.
A helpful and welcome feature in the book is a section (not numbered as a chapter or appendix) which contains clearandinformativeillustrationsof flowers,leavesand inflorescences. The figures are numbered as "I....... but the section precedes the first chapter and even part one of the book. I think that these illustrations should have been made part of the glossary or included in a separate appendix. Again, this is a copy-editing failure.
No book (not even mine) is perfect. This one is not either, but it is really good. It interested me and should prove to be of considerable value (scientifically, horticulturally and financially because its price is certainly reasonable) for those who grow, want to start growing, or aim to learn about some African orchids. - Joseph Arditti, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2300
Orchid Names and their Meanings. H Mayr.1998. ISBN 3-904144-07-3. A. R. G. Gantner Verlag K.-G. FL9490 Vaduz, Distributed by Koeltz Scientific Books, P. O. Box 1360, D61453 Königstein, Germany - Estimates of the size of the Orchidaceae vary considerably depending on who does the estimating, when and for what purpose. The high estimate is 700 (or perhaps even more) genera. A low figure is ca. 400. Species number is estimated at between 20,000 and 32,000. And, depending on the estimate and estimator, Orchidaceae is assumed to be smaller or larger than Asteraceae (i. e, the second largest or largest plant family). Frankly, I think that no one really knows how many orchids there are. One reason is that some orchids are yet to be discovered. Another reason is that classical taxonomists are constantly splitting and lumping species and/or genera, reducing "valid" names to synonymy, raising "synonyms" to validity, and creating new taxa while eliminating others. There are many reasons for this morass, but they are beyond the scope of this review. All we can hope for is that with time molecular taxonomy will produce hard data which will lead to solid determinations (rather than ones based on opinion) which will bring order into this chaotic field. Furthermore, the complex nature of molecular taxonomy may finally drive out the untrained, ego driven hobbyists or "private" experts who lack knowledge but classify and name orchids, manage to publish their drivel in non peer reviewed journals (the nomenclature code does not require peer reviewed publications) and add to the confusion.
Be all as it may, those of us who work with orchids have to contend with a huge number of generic and specific names. Of course these names do not really matter. Orchids do not have names. What they have are designations given to them by people. In other words, people create names and attach them to orchids. These names have meanings which may reflect features of the plant, be indications of geography, honor a person and/ or refer to other factors. All are in Latin and/or ancient Greek (because they are dead languages and not subject to change) and Latinized and/or "Greekized." Most of us do not know enough Latin and/or Greek (and neither do many of the name givers as evidenced by the "ana" vs "iana" fiasco of a few years ago), but would like to understand what the names mean. This book, a translation from German, was written to make such understanding possible and it does so with mixed results.
Instead of chapters in the usual sense Orchid Names has numbered sections which like orchid names seem to proliferate in some instances, but not in others. For example, the section on names in Latin and Greek has a single number (I.) whereas the fourth one goes as far as 4.4.5. Some textbooks use this method to number and identify chapters and sections, but I find it clumsy especially in a book that does not have an index. There are much better ways to organize a book. If the author did not do it the publisher should have, but obviously they did not. A good copy editor would have done marvels for this book.
The Introduction (section 2.) explains the purpose of the book "as a guide ... in the labyrinth of orchid names" and provides hints of problems to come with the translation. Examples are: "I have refrained to cite...... I recommend to acquire" and run on sentences. This does not detract from the information in the book, but it makes reading it unpleasant and sometimes slow. It is like carrying a conversation over an unclear and noisy long distance telephone line with someone who does not speak English well and is hard of hearing.
Section 3 deals with Latin and Greek names, explains them and thoroughly and well, and calls attention to possible pitfalls. I think that this section is quite good conceptually and as a source of information, but the poor translation gets in the way again. One example is "the ancient Phoenician harbor Tyros." I think that it should have been "Phoenician" (and that is what my word processor says) and "Tyre." Another is the sentence "In Carthage, capital of the punic nation ... the same dye was produced" which should have been "The same dye was produced in Carthage, capital of the Punic nation." There are so many other examples. They get tiring and not worth mentioning. Spelling is also a problem as for example "levaes" on page 23. Wording, too, is not always in English (i. e., the book seems to have been "translated" from German in German words and syntax, to German in English words and German syntax) as for instance "vegetative habitus"(also on p. 23) which should have been "vegetative habit" or "form." A translator with better command of English and/or a review of the manuscript by someone whose English is good and/ or careful copy editing could have improved the book immensely.
Sections 4-6 deals with naming rules, species names, grammar, gender and peculiarities. Coverage is good, explanations are clear as far as they go and examples are appropriate, but the English is woeful ("This rules" on page 32). In this section we also learn that "species names may also be derived from Christian names. " Aside from a need for correct spelling ("Christian") this sentence simply leaves out and/or may offend people of other religions who have orchids named after them. More appropriate terms would have been "surnames" and "first...... personal" or "given names." Names of orchid botanists are very evident in section 4. Some are given in full (i. e., "Tommy Trojan"), but others are not ("Tommy" or "Trojan" only). Dates of birth, death and/or activity are generally not given in conjunction with names although in some cases there is a reference to century. A proper format for listing people is "Tommy U. S. C. Trojan, 1801-1900" or "Tommy U. S. C. Trojan (1801-1900), director of the University Park orchid garden from 1840 to 1883" (I had to sneak in here my alma matter, the University of Southern California and their mascot).
The seventh section 7 starts with bad English and goes on to deal with "names which are frequently spelled wrong." This is well and good, especially since the book mentions that wrongly spelled names are valid and must be used simply because that is what a less than knowledgeable author assigned to a plant.
Pronunciation of generic names of orchids is the subject of section 8. This is useful especially since the author discusses Greek and Latin spelling and grammar. If only the English was good ... And there are idiosyncracies like "Lielia" for Laelia. This is followed by "some systematics" which seem superfluous (section 9).
Section 10 discusses the "meaning of ... names." This section is informative to some extent but it has many shortcomings. One of these is the introduction of accents of all sorts into the spelling of generic names which are usually spelled without squiggles, circles, lines and dots above or bellow letters. Another is incomplete information about people as for example Vanda stangedna (again an accent) which was named after "Stange, chief gardener of Consul Schiller in Hamburg. Initials and dates are not given for Stange and Schiller. For Brassavola (the second a being graced with an unnecessary accent) we are simply told that it was named for "Brasdvole" without any other explanation. As I remember, this genus was named after Antonio Musa (which is the Arabic version of Moses) Brassavola (no accent), a nobleman in Venice and also a botanist and Professor of Physics, Medicine and Logic. In the case of Bulbophyllum beccari we are at least given an initial ("O" which stands for Odoardo) Beccari, the Italian botanist who discovered Amorphophallus titanum in Sumatra.
"A little genetics in a Nutshell," discussions of hybrids, peloria, and multigeneric hybrids, "botanists important for orchid research" (the list of taxonomists is not complete and other areas of orchid science are ignored) come next. Section 12 gives the full names behind the abbreviation which follow orchid names as "Thou," for example. This is a useful section which would have been better with dates, good English and without the pretentiousness of adding accents to names that are usually spelled without them.
Section 14 is for the most part a "Lexical Table of Genus Names." There are lots of added and unneeded accents, but the table is useful. However, anyone who is interested in the derivation of generic names will learn that and much more from the excellent Generic Names of Orchids by R. E. Schultes and A. S. Pease (Academic Press, 1963).
Finally, section 15 (pp. 189-495) presents translations into English of species names. This list is rife with problems and therefore is not as useful as it could be. Just three examples are "Canarian Islands" for "Canary Islands," "candidus" for the much more common "candidum" and "haynaldianus" ratherthan "haynaldianum." And, there are language problems again, as for instance "Dr. u Mrs. Davidson" which should have been "Dr. and Mrs. . . "
Synonyms are the topic of section 16.1 guess that anyone is free to decide what is a synonym and what is a valid name especially since someone else will reverse any determination within a very short time just before the reversal is reversed and then re-reversed only to be changed, restored and altered again. However, I see no need for such a list in this book especially since the qualifications of the author are not obvious.
A short glossary and an inadequate list of references which uses an idiosyncratic format complete the book. There is no index.
A book like this one is needed and could be very useful for all who grow or work with orchids. Mayr clearly devoted a lot of time and effort to the compilation information and writing his book. The German version may be better, but the translation is so flawed that one should think twice before buying it. Most of all I am still bewildered by the addition of accents to many names which are usually spelled with standard unaccented and "unumlauted" letters. Why was this done? Is it simply because so many Europeans speak languages that use á, Â â, ç, Ê, ë, è, í, ó, ö, ø and other squiggly letters? Could it be an attempt to create an aura of érûdítíøn? Or.... what the heck, satis is satis.
I would be remiss in my duty as a reviewer without suggestions how the book can be improved. First, the translation must be improved. Second, most of the accents must be removed. Third, a good copy editor whose native language is English must go over the book with a fine tooth comb. Fourth, the organization of the book and numbering of sections/chapters must be revised. Fifth, initials and dates must be added to all names. Sixth, the glossary should be lengthened. Seventh, the list of synonyms requires justifications. Eighths, the list of references must be augmented and presented in standard format. Ninth, an index must be added, and Tenth, ... Àw shüçks, enough is enough. - Joseph Arditti, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-2300.
If you would like to review a book or books for PSB, contact the Editor, stating the book of interest and the date by which it would be reviewed (15 February, 15 May, 15 August or 15 November of the appropriate year). Send e-mail to <email@example.com>, call or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list, because they go quickly! - Ed.
* = book in review or declined for review
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