PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 37, NUMBER 2, SUMMER 1991
The Botanical Society of America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
Table of Contents
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
Ballot Results 2
BSA Report to NSF Task Force (Summary) 3
Legislative Update 4
Section Announcements 4
Botanical Society of the Americas? 6
NSF Small Grants 6
I'm okay, You're okay J. F. Hancock 8
An Ideal Hangtag J. H. Cane 10
The "1—in—20 Rule" D. H. Wagner 11
In Memoriam 15
Nature's Corner 15
BSA Report to NSF Task Force (Full Text) D. L. Dilcher 19
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN is printed on recycled paper
Volume 37, Number 2: Summer 1991
Editor: Meredith A. Lane McGregor Herbarium, University of Kansas 2045 Constant Ave., Lawrence KS 66047 913/864-4493 FAX: 913/864-5298 bitnet: MLANE@UKANVAX internet:
Plant Science Bulletin
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
BALLOT RESULTS: Change Article I, Don't Change Name
A RECENT BALLOT sent to the membership of the Society contained two questions, one an official vote to amend or not Article I of the By-laws of the Botanical Society of America, Inc., and one a straw poll to ascertain the opinions of the membership about a possible change in the name of the Society. David Dilcher, Past President of the Society, tallied the ballots on both issues, and reports the results, with comments provided by some members:
1) Amendment of Article I of the By-laws: 500 members (92% of those voting) approved the amendment. Article I now reads: 'The Botanical Society of America, Incorporated (hereinafter called "The Society") is organized under the laws of the state of Connecticut as a corporation without capital stock, not for business or profit, but only for scientific and educational purposes.
The MISSION of The Society is to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere. To accomplish this mission, the OBJECTIVES of The Society are to: sustain and provide improved formal and informal education about plants; encourage basic plant research; provide expertise, direction, and position statements concerning plants and ecosystems; and foster communication within the professional botanical community, and between botanists and the rest of humankind through publications, meetings, and committees."
Commentary on this issue included these remarks: "I am abstaining from voting on Article I as amended as this and the former are somewhat defective in this, the end of the 20th century, with the plant world being hacked to pieces at an alarming rate. Article I should, in my opinion, contain a statement that allows for interaction between basic and applied research as this is the theme today. One of the other purposes should be to stimulate interest in the collection, propagation and distribution of threatened, endangered, and rare plants. The collection of these plants for the augmentation of herbarium collections should be discouraged..."
..."I have been a member for ca. 55 years. In that time botany has had its ups and downs. I never before heard it proposed that BSA had a mission to promote botany, and I doubt that the society has the structure or the means to do anything significant along those lines."
"...Much too political." ... "Yes! An accurate, proper, lucid statement. Thanks!" ... "I'd prefer to say 'The general mission' or 'specific objectives' because mission and objectives are really synonymous." ... "Change within on line 6 to with ([plants] can't interact outside the bio-sphere). My point about 'with' is not a small one. The idea is surely that plants inter-act with the external environment (i.e. the biosphere). As it stands, the 'within' seems to mean that the plants interact with each other, within the limits of the biosphere." ... "Thanks for allowing me to respond on these important issues." ... "This is much ado about nothing." ...'This is an excellent statement and a big improvement." ... "The revised Article I sounds like a campaign speech—waffling and full of hot air. With the exception of one 'sustain and provide', the objectives are to 'encourage', 'provide expertise', and 'foster'. There's precious little commitment in those words! Is there anything more rhetorical and less useful than a 'position statement'? In comparison, the present article I objectives are to 'serve', 'support', 'provide opportunities', 'furnish', and 'accept and administer'. A 'current and forward-looking statement' of mission and objectives should not succumb to modern political melodrama, in which more words make fewer promises. " ... "Pure window dressing, but OK." ... "Much improved." ... "I am lukewarm about this matter. Was it really necessary to spell 'mission' with capital letters? An excess of missionary zeal can be obnoxious!"
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN (ISSN 0032-0919) is published quarterly by the Botanical Society of America, Inc., 1735 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210. Second class postage pending at Columbus, OH and additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Robert H. Essman, Botanical Society of America, 1735 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210.
Judith A. Jernstedt
Dept. of Agronomy & Range Science
University of California
Davis CA 95616
Dept. of Integrative Biology
University of California
Berkeley CA 94720
David L. Dilcher
Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville FL 32611-2035
2) Straw Vote on Changing the Name of the Society: The straw vote contained in the same ballot concerned the much-discussed issue of changing the name of the Botanical Society of America, Inc. [Editor's Note—see PSB 35(3):1-2, 35(4):1-4, 36(1):1-3, and 36(2):1—4 for discussion on this topic]. Of those voting, 536 (93%) were in favor of retaining the name Botanical Society of America.
Suggestions for a replacement for Botanical Society of America [Chinnery's Commentary in this issue of PSB presents a view of our Society's name from a completely different perspective—Ed.] included: "I think the problem - the real problem - that people have with the word `botany' is that it is one of the only disciplines amongst the natural sciences that does not end in `—ology'. Maybe people would feel our organization sounded more scientific if we changed the name to the `Botanological Society of America' (No, really- I'm perfectly serious)." ... "I would suggest the new name Phytobiology (and Phycobiology to the algologists!). It seems to me, at least linguistically, the best one!" ... "Society of Plant Biology" ... "American Society of Plant Biology? My feelings are not strong on this issue, but [this name] is worth considering."
Comments in favor of retaining the name included: "Definitely!" ... "Most adamantly!" ... "No way!" ... "Don't do it!!!" ... "Note how well the [current] name fits the new Article I. Why not consider changing the name of the journal rather than the society?" ... "Never change the name!" ... "A rose is a rose is a rose. We should be teaching people what the word botany means - not dropping it." ... "This is an absolutely ridiculous idea" ... "If I had 100 votes I would vote 100 times no!" ... "I strongly feel that there is too much fragmentation in science today, and that Bot. Soc. is meant to be an arena for more cross fertilization and holistic thinking. There are lots of societies we can also join if we want to. Catering to the perceived fad of the moment is not sound." ... "It would be suicidal to change the name!" ... "We need to change our emphasis and hopefully, at the same time, become more attractive to prospective members. Merely changing our own name does not ensure either"... 'Botanical' is good! It fits a downsized world because it has primary producers in its portfolio" ... "I cannot express strongly enough how much I oppose a name change. At "Anonymous U" we went from Botany to Plant Biology. We did not gain any new students, and have even been told by students that they perceived Plant Biology as less scientific than Botany. It may be entirely accidental that the department has gone more and more molecular, but I feel, however emotionally and unrealistically, that the name change was the death knell of organismal biology." ... "Ridiculous idea to change name-" ... "If the name change takes place, I will seriously consider ending my membership." ..."Not necessary!" ... "Change it and I'll drop membership!" ... "Before reading the letters etc. in PSB I avoided calling myself a 'botanist' but I came to realize that it is OK to be one!"
BOTANICAL SOCIETY REPORT TO THE NSF-BBS TASK FORCE
See also pages 19-20
Recently, a Task Force was convened by the Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences (BBS) Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF), to 1) Examine the organizational structure of the directorate for BBS, 2) Evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the structure in meeting current needs of science within BBS, and 3) Recommend options for organizational structure which would optimize the ability of the NSF to respond to new opportunities and challenges of these areas of science in the coming decade. Information, ideas and comments were requested from a wide array of professional societies; each was asked to supply a written statement and present an oral summary to the Task Force in December, 1990. Beryl Simpson, President of the Botanical Society, asked David L Dilcher, Past-President, to respond on behalf of our Society. A summary of the concerns he brought forward is in the next paragraph; turn to page 19 for his full text.
Summary: The Botanical Society of America (BSA) represents 2400 members, including about 1200 members that are active in basic plant science research. Funding for basic (versus applied) research in plant science is very limited and much of what is available comes through the National Science Foundation (NSF). Therefore, a special initiative to allocate additional funds to basic plant science research, should be implemented by the NSF. The lack of funds has and continues to influence the field of botany by discouraging re-searchers and teachers from entering the field and reducing the effectiveness of established botanists. The NSF should use rotate Program Directors because this allows a variety of people and ideas to affect the directions of NSF funding. There are many people in the BSA qualified to serve as NSF Program Directors. Suggestions for policy changes, and concerns for a small-grants and research that "falls through the cracks" of current NSF structure were made.
From the CONSERVATION COMMITTEE:
Periodically, members of the Conservation Committee will be contributing legislative updates and occasional commentaries on topics of interest to botanists. We also welcome any suggestions you might have. Inquiries or comments can be sent to Susan R. Kephart, Chairperson, Department of Biology, Willamette University, Salem, OR, 97301 (503 370-6481, FAX 503 370-6148). Other committee members include Ed Clebsch, James McGraw, Barbara Saigo, Joe Winstead, and George Yatskievych.
Last year, BSA passed a resolution in support of species and habitat protection which also endorsed the proposed National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act (then HR1268 and S 2368). These bills were reintroduced in both houses very early in the 1991 session by Rep. James Scheuer (now HR585) and Sen. Dan Moynihan (S58). The bills are nearly identical and would establish national priorities and strategies for conserving biological diversity; develop a system for including information about the status of species, populations, and communities as a part of environmental impact statements; and provide leadership in conservation effort via a national research center. Hearing dates have not yet been finalized at the time of this writing, but letters of support to both congressional offices would be helpful. For more information or to check on hearing dates, contact Aaron King at 202/226-6980.
Also last year, Congress funded the EPA to investigate ways to improve funding for environmental research, possibly by establishing a National Institutes for the Environment, which could be modeled after NIH and would address a broad range of environmental issues and problems (idea credited in part to Steve Hubbell and Henry Howe). The funds were later transferred to the National Academy of Sciences which has funded two staff positions to develop and work with an investigative committee and report back to Congress. Members are urged to provide input to NAS that would encourage better funding of environmental research related to botany and other areas. [The Committee for the National Institutes for the Environment can be reached through David E. Blockstein, Executive Director, 730 11th Street NW, Washington DC 20001-4521 (202/6284303 or FAX 202/628-4311)—Ed.]
A Federal Environmental Education Program has been established by Congress within the EPA to provide grants to schools for developing curricular materials and programs. It also establishes several national awards, internships and fellowships. See AIBS FORUM (vol. 9, no. 5, Oct 1990) or contact J. Moehlmann, AIBS pc policy analyst, at (202) 628-1500 for more information.
Tidbits: 1) "Guidelines for Research Involving Planned Introduction Into the Environment of Organisms with Deliberately Modified Hereditary Traits" were published 1 Feb 1991 by the USDA. 2) The EPA Science Advisory Board has recommended a change in structure to better address four high risk areas: habitat destruction, species extinction and loss of biodiversity, stratospheric ozone depletion, and global climatic change. 3) An Ecological Society of America ad hoc committee has completed "The Sustainable Biosphere Initiative: an Ecological Research Agenda (SBI)" which will be featured in the April 1991 issue of ECOLOGY. Reprints will be available through the ESA Public Affairs Office (Marjorie Holland, 9650 Rockville Pike, Suite 2503, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301 530-7005), which is a good source of current legislative information, as is the AIBS office mentioned above.
Ecological Section Symposium:
Drs. Michael Barbour, Joan Ehrenfeld, and Patricia Moreno-Casasola have organized a symposium for the annual meeting in San Antonio entitled, "Plant–environment relations on the strand, with special emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico." This symposium is uniquely bi-national because it includes four participants from Mexican institutions—M.T. Valverde, M. L. Martinez-Vazquez, I. Pisantry, and P. Moreno-Casasola. Furthermore, it focuses on an ecosystem that transcends national borders; namely the beach and dunes of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts. Given the participation of the Sociedad Botanica Mexico in the Botanical Society of America's program at this year's meeting, the symposium should be of particular interest.
Phycology Section: Nominations for Darbaker Prize
The Prize Committee is accepting nominations for the Darbaker Prize to be awarded at the annual meeting of the Society at San Antonio. The award honors meritorious study of microscopic algae. Judgment is based primarily on papers published during calendar years 1989-90. The award is limited to North American residents and papers published in English. The monetary prize will be awarded at the Society banquet. Nominations should include re-prints of the nominee's work and a statement of the nominee's merits addressed to the committee. Dead-line: 15 May 1991. Send nomination to K.R. Roberts, P.O. Box 42451, Dept. of Biology, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504-2451.
42nd Annual AIBS Meeting of Scientific Societies
"Education: the Future of Biology"
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) will hold its 42nd Annual Meeting of Scientific Societies on 4-8 August 1991 at the San Antonio Convention Center and the Hilton Palacio Del Rio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. This international meeting will bring together the Botanical, Ecological, and Mycological Societies of America, the Sociedad Botanica de Mexico, and seven other scientific societies for five days of symposia, paper and poster sessions, workshops, Special lectures, field trips and banquets. With the theme "Education: the Future of Biology," sessions will be presented on the present status of biology education, undergraduate curriculum assessment, ecology education for primary, secondary and undergraduate students, scientific literacy for policy makers, informal science education at natural science institutions, and essential botanical knowledge at the college/university level. In addition, Paul G. Risser, President of AIBS and Provost of the University of New Mexico will lead a presidential sympsium entitled "The Sustainable Biosphere Initiative." AIBS is seeking submissions for sessions featuring undergraduate papers in biology and is sponsoring a day-long session for minorities in biology, this year geared toward Hispanic-Americans. For more information or to receive a registration brochure, call the AIBS Meetings Department at 202/628-1500.
Historical Section Lecture
Since 1977, the Historical Section of the BSA has sponsored at the Annual Meeting a special lecture. This year we are privileged to have Stanley L. Welsh of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah speak on the "Botanical Contributions of John Charles Fremont." Dr. Welsh's lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6, 1991 at 11:00 A.M. Please consult the general program for the location of his talk. For further information concerning the activities of the Historical Section, please contact: Lawrence J. Dorr, New York Botanical Gar-den, Bronx NY 10458-5126.
Baskin Challenge: Ecological Section
Jerry and Carol Baskin have issued a challenge to encourage contributions to the student paper award fund of the Ecological Section. They will match contributions received up to $500. Send your dollars to Dr. Harry Homer, BSA Treasurer, earmarked for the Ecological Section Best Student Paper Award. His address is Department of Botany, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011-1020.
Teaching Section Workshop Schedule
Workshops sponsored by the Teaching Section were listed in the AIBS Registration Brochure for the San Antonio meeting, but the times were inadvertently left out. The workshops listed here are all to be held on Sunday, 4 August 1991. Time of day is given with each workshop listing. Persons wishing to participate in any workshop should register for it before 20 July 1991 by filling out Form B in the Registration Brochure and sending it to AIBS.
Workshop 1. An Introduction to Cladistics: Theory and Practice: Part I. 9:00-12:00. Vicki Funk, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
Workshop 2. An Introduction to Cladistics: Part II. 1:30-4:30. Vicki Funk.
Workshop 3. Teaching Botany Through Inquiry. 9:00-12:00. Gordon E. Uno, Department of Botany-and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Nor-man, OK 73019.
Workshop 4. Botany in Pre-College Classes. 1:30-4:30. Gordon E. Uno
Workshop 5. A model Open Laboratory for Introductory Biology. 1:30-4:30. Kenneth J. Curry, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406.
Workshop 6. Restriction Analysis of phage DNA by Agarose Electrophoresis: A Teaching Laboratory with Research Applications. 1:30-4:30. Raymond Galdden, Carolina Biological Supply Company, 1308 Rainey St., Burlington NC 27302.
Botanical Society of the Americas?
I would like to see an alteration in the name of the Botanical Society of America that has little to do with the debate between "Botany" and "Plant Science" but which would increase membership in the Society. My suggestion is to change in the name from "Botanical Society of America" to "Botanical Society of the Americas." I believe this would encourage membership from the Caribbean and Central and South America. This implies that the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY should publish papers in languages of the hemisphere in addition to those in English. My feeling is that all English language papers should have an additional Spanish abstract, and all papers in other languages (Portuguese or French) should have additional abstracts in both English and Spanish. I also feel that all papers, in whatever language, should have tables, figures and plates doubly labelled to include English (this is common practice in a number of journals predominantly published in Asiatic languages).
Department of Biology
University of the West Indies
P. O. Box 24
In support of NSF Small Grants
I write in support of the proposal by Scott Armbruster and Carol Bult [PSB 36(4):1] that a "Small Grants Program" be established at the National Science Foundation (NSF). I support the concept for several reasons. First, I believe that in organismic biology it is clear that more science, training and creativity comes out of individual small or medium-sized grants than out of the big programmatic grants. The best way to train independent, clear-thinking, initiative-following scientists for the 1990s and beyond is to provide incentive and support. The current NSF operation is doing that poorly. A very large percentage of my senior colleagues across the country express a common theme on (increasingly early) retirement—they are happy not to have to continue with the frustrating NSF grant application cycle. NSF grants have become many things they presumably were never intended to be, e.g. standards for measuring short term ("should we hire her/him?") and long term ("should we tenure/ promote him/her?") worth, and a means to subsidize university operations (and on the other side of that issue, an excuse to charge researchers for their research [presumably part of their job?] if they do not have external support). And with the low 10-25% rate of award, at best only one-half the proposals are supported that ought to be. There is, of course, something wrong with almost every proposal submitted, but in my experience as a reviewer and panelist, some 40-50% of the proposals are for worthy, worthwhile projects. In fields like those supported by the Division of Biotic Systems and Resources of NSF, there are virtually no other major granting agencies or funding sources, yet funding rates are similar to those in fields where other federal and private foundations provide millions of dollars of additional support.
Thus, young scientists getting started can be thwarted, and give up research/teaching, and senior scientists can be frustrated so that they abandon grant writing for some more rewarding (i.e., fulfilling, not monetarily rewarding) aspect of their job. This obviously means the field suffers, science suffers, and eventually society as a whole pays the price in fewer scientists and lack of new ideas and intellectual ferment.
The Small Grants Program proposed will not solve all of these problems, but it is a step in the right direction. I urge you to write Dr. Mary Clutter (BSR, NSF, Washington, DC 20550) and support the Armbruster and Bult proposal.
Gregory J. Anderson
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
Storrs CT 06269
Reply to Armbruster and Bult
I am writing in response to a letter printed in PSB 36(4) in which Armbruster and Bult call upon the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a Small Grants Program. They have identified some serious problems facing U.S. science, such as support for beginning investigators and for "teaching-scientists."
I, too, am especially concerned about the needs of these groups of scientists, as well as the need to support research of the more established scientists and to support projects of various sizes. Currently, the average award for individual investigators in the Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences Directorate (BBS) of the NSF is $55,000 per year. Unfortunately, this amount is a decrease in real dollars over the past decade, which means that the average grant has decreased in size just at a time when the cost of conducting the average research project has increased above the rate of inflation.
One of the most important jobs of each pro-gram officer at NSF is to balance the various needs of the program's constituency within the resources allotted to his/her program. Within the guidelines of the directorate and/or division, NSF program officers have a great deal of latitude in designing the appropriate mix of award types. For example, they have the option to make "proof of concept" awards to investigators whose research proposals received positive review but were deficient in the background and/or pilot studies, or needed to demonstrate mastery of a technique. These awards provide funds to "get started" when a proposal might otherwise have been declined outright. In 1990, for example, the programs of the Division of Biotic Systems and Resources (BSR) made 15 of these "proof of concept" awards, averaging $14,800 each.
In BBS, beginning investigators receive special consideration by review panels and program officers. Contrary to anecdotal evidence, young investigators do fare relatively well in recommendations for funding from the program regular competitive grants sections. For example, in 1990 the funding rate for regular competitive proposals in the BSR program for Population Biology and Physiological Ecology was 22% over all scientists, compared to 28% for investigators who had obtained their PhDs in the previous five years. (These rates are low for both groups!) Looking forward, the 1992 budget request for the BBS Di-rectorate highlights increased funding for beginning investigators. Other support for young scientists includes BBS Postdoctoral Fellowships in Environmental Biology and in Plant Biology, and NSF-wide programs, e.g. Presidential Young Investigator awards. As one way to blunt conservatism of funding recommendations in tight fiscal times, NSF's Small Grants for Exploratory Re-search (SGER) program cost-effectively funds high-risk research. In 1990, the BSR made 17 SGER awards, averaging $26,700. Finally, scientists in primarily undergraduate institutions can apply to the Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program.
The funding mechanisms mentioned above are well intended programs, targeted toward specific ends. They are not special or new funds, as all research is funded from one pool of money. The long-term solution to the problems addressed by Armbruster and Bult is not a major shift in the current balance of available funds which would, in turn, hurt BBS's support for other important areas and types of science and the training of new scientists. Rather, the ultimate late solution lies in our working together to increase awareness of the importance of basic biological science in providing solutions to very real problems facing the U.S.A., and to provide plans for the scientific infrastructure (including human resources) necessary to tackle them.
To this end, the BBS Directorate convened the "Looking to the 21st Century" Task Force [see page 3 — Ed.] to suggest what structure, directions and planning need to be in place to meet the challenges of the future. There are both tough issues and exciting possibilities on the table. Among these are 1) the unique role of NSF in funding the teachers, mentors and role models of our future scientists, and 2) the unique role of BBS in supporting basic research in a number of biological and social science disciplines — among them organismal biology, systematics, and plant sciences in general.
Patricia A. Werner, Director
Biotic Systems and Resources Division
National Science Foundation
I'm okay, You're okay: One botanist's perception of horticulture
James F. Hancock
Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48894
I WORK IN A HORTICULTURE DEPARTMENT, but still consider myself a botanist. I also call myself an ecologist, evolutionist, geneticist, or blueberry breeder, depending on whom I am talking to. Regardless, I remain a botanist at my core. Most of my col-leagues are botanists too.
There has always been this rather puzzling distinction between "applied" and "basic" botanists. I once heard a taped interview with Liberty Hyde Bailey in which he talked about being ostracized for working with crop plants and joining a horticultural department. This attitude has diminished over the years, but it is by no means gone. for some reason, those directly interested in production agriculture are thought by many botanists to base their careers solely on replication and trial ("spray and pray"), while many applied scientists view the basic botanists as having no grasp on the "real world". Clearly, there are individuals that fit both these descriptions, but the vast majority operate somewhere in the middle.
Let me give an example from personal experience. I obtained a B.S. in Biology from Baldwin-Wallace College and an M.S. in Botany from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. When it came time to get a Ph.D., I was convinced that I had to work with natural populations to be a good scientist and was troubled when the best assistantship offer I obtained was from a Cal-Davis strawberry breeder, Royce Bringhurst I wrote Dr. Bringhurst a long letter outlining my desire to be a basic scientist, and said I would work with him only if I could study natural populations of strawberries. It turned out that this was just the project he had in mind, and he let me study with him even though I was naive and arrogant. Working with him was one of the turning points in my life.
In my three years with Dr. Bringhurst, I learned what it really means to do agricultural research. An applied scientist is simply a botanist who concentrates on a specific crop, rather than on a specific question—there is no difference in the level of science. It often takes a very gifted botanist to solve a production problem; in fact, being restricted to a specific crop frequently makes it much harder to test a particular hypothesis. In many cases, a new technology must first be adapted to your crop before hypothesis testing can begin.
When Bringhurst and his associate Victor Voth arrived on the scene in California, strawberry yields were limited to several thousand pounds an acre. To increase these yields, they studied the basic physiology of the strawberry to determine how best to manipulate the plants to maximize yields, and they studied the systematics and ecology of the natural populations to find useful traits by measuring how winter chilling and photoperiod affected stolon and flower production, following the movement of fixed carbon during seasonal development, investigating the role of polyphenolics in resistance to fungi; they also located and isolated the genes for day neutrality and large fruit size from natural populations and transferred these genes to cultivated plants. Along the way they discovered a new species of pentaploid Fragaria, speculated on the genomic origins of the octoploid species F. chiloensis and F. virginiana, and described patterns of divergence in diploid and polyploid types. This work led to the publication of numerous basic papers (at least four in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY) and when they were forced to retire, they had increased California strawberry yields to over 60 thousand pounds an acre! Bringhurst and Voth very effectively married basic science to applied research.
Clearly, jobs in applied departments can be very stimulating to a botanist. If you are a botanist looking for employment, don't fail to scan the applied job advertisements. Many are made for the creative person who likes to adapt to shifting challenges. There is also something extremely gratifying in working with a horticultural industry: it gives you the opportunity to have a direct benefit for people while doing the same kind of science that other botanists do. In addition, you have the constant stimulation of farmers beating on your door with questions and ideas. You might also have some hard support from the agricultural experiment station, although these funds are rapidly diminishing.
In my home department of Horticulture, we have a number of individuals who are working on what we like to refer to as fundamental problems. Jim Fiore is studying the effects of environment and
fruit load on the gas exchange properties of cherry, blueberry and peach to improve their yields and fruit quality. Rebecca Grumet is cloning viral coat protein genes and incorporating them into the genomes of cucumbers and melons to produce pathogen-derived resistance. Amy Iezzoni is studying natural variation patterns in wild cherry species to elucidate the genomic origins of the cultivated cherry and more effectively capture horticulturally important genes from the native species. Muralee Nair is isolating secondary compounds from a broad array of plants and microorganisms as sources of new antibiotics and growth regulators. Ken Sink is perfecting numerous methods of somatic fusion and gene transfer to move genes more efficiently between vegetable species that are not cross-compatible. Randy Beaudry is studying the biochemistry of fruit ripening to design improved post-harvest storage techniques. All these individuals are using basic knowledge to solve applied problems.
In my own laboratory, our efforts to improve the strawberry and blueberry have led us down many interesting paths. We have been given considerable research flexibility, as long as it was perceived that our ultimate goal was to improve small fruit crops. For example, I participated in a collection trip to the Rocky Mountains to clarify the taxonomy of wild Fragaria virginiana and capture horticulturally useful traits such as day neutrality and cold tolerance. Musaffer Sakin is currently studying the photosynthetic patterns of these plants and hybrids with F. chiloensis. John Moon studied photosynthetic heat tolerance in wild, diploid blueberries and began to transfer the associated genes to cultivated varieties. Kobra Haghighi determined the cytotype of the major blueberry cultivars using an RFLP analysis and is now measuring the relationship between ploidy and organelle genome copy number. Steve Krebs examined the nature of self- infertility in wild and cultivated types of blueberries and used isozymes to clearly document that Vaccinium corymbosum is an autotetraploid. Marv Pritts measured dry matter partitioning patterns in native populations of blueberries and described their reproductive strategies. Don Workinton, Pete Callow, Jeff Backer and Theresa Acquaah are currently cloning and sequencing the coat protein genes of two virus diseases and incorporating them into the blueberry genome via Agrobacterium. Tim Holts ford and Sharon Crowley are measuring the amount of gene flow between domestic and native blueberry populations to prepare for the ultimate release of transgenic blueberries.
We have even done studies that were unrelated to production horticulture. Stan Hokanson studied patterns of gene flow in oak populations, and Carol Schuman documented the nature of plastid inheritance in alfalfa and examined the interaction between plastid number and Rubisco content. We are now setting up experiments to measure gene flow from genetically engineered cucumbers using herbicide resistance as a marker trait conferring variable fitness levels. In some cases our lab has worked alone, but in many cases we have worked with other individuals on campus such as Jim Flore, Rebecca Grumet and Don Ramsdell, or people at different institutions such as Arlen Draper, Dick Jensen, Jud Isebrands and Jim Luby.
The need for good botanists in agricultural departments has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Very rarely do departments demand that an applicant already know a crop; rather, they are much more interested in finding a solid scientist who is willing to concentrate on a crop species. People are even encouraged to work on "model systems" as long as a significant portion of a person's research is related to his/her crop. There is currently a great demand for systematists who are willing to involve themselves with germplasm exploration and plant breeding, and plant molecular biologists willing to work on physiological and genetic problems.
There has been much recent talk on how membership in the Botanical Society has been declining. Perhaps more emphasis needs to be placed on encouraging applied scientists to join. We might consider having an applied botany section and designating a portion of the journal to crop species. Monthly review articles on various phases of botany might also encourage more horticulturalists and agronomists to join since many desire periodic updates on the areas that they are not directly involved in. It is a great asset to an applied scientists to be aware of any advance that might be applicable to her/his crop.
In summary, there is a large pool of applied botanists "out there" that feel alienated from the Botanical Society. In addition, many basic botanists are unaware of the opportunities in agriculture. It is time that the two groups join together and cooperate more fully.©
[In this regard, see the ads for positions at the Indiana Crop Improvement Association and Texas A&M University, and the note about the Biotechnology Resource Center of the National Agricultural Library—Ed.]
An Ideal Hangtag for Flowers, Fruits and Petioles
James H. Cane
Department of Entomology, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849
MARKING INDIVIDUAL FLOWERS, inflorescences, fruits, petioles, buds and small twigs of plants is a frequent necessity for the biologist tracking the consequences of ontogenic change, pollination, frugivory or herbivory. Such markers must endure days, weeks or even a season of wind, rain and sun. Haunting problems with current tagging systems include short-comings of the means of attachment (tissue abrasion or breakage with wire ties, Gordian knots with string or thread, clumsiness for quick transfer, outright loss) and limitations or failures of the label itself (fading, water-damage, excessive weight, invisibility, too visible for vandals, expense). Many of these problems are magnified when working with small or delicate stems. I developed the following hangtag system for tracking fruit set and ripening in pollination studies with species of Vaccinium, Solanum and Saurauia. This tagging system has proven to be cheap, versatile, durable and quick to deploy and recover.
Tool for making embossed labels (e.g. Dymo Labelmaker™ )
Plastic label tapes (3/8"or 1/2")
[Darker colors (red, black, blue) contrast better with the embossed white characters] Punch for small holes (point punch used by entomologists is ideal)
Plastic triangular paper clips
Knife, scissors or chisel
Refer to the accompanying figure. Punch out your label strip of embossed numbers or letters, leaving 2—3 spaces for cuttingand a punched hole. Cut tags and punch hole in the blank area of strip ad-joining the em-bossed characters. Cut the triangular paper clip once through an outer corner other than the apex (a chisel against wood yields quick, neat cuts). Thread label onto the clip at this cut, and slide it around the apex to the matching uncut corner. Prepared hangtags can be accumulated in order on a simple loose leaf notebook ring.
To hang the tag, simply open the outer loop of the clip using your finger and slip it around the stem. The tag will hang freely from the paper clip's apex. Where an indicator of group membership is desired (e.g. outcross vs. self), label strips and paper clips can be selected for color coding.
My tags are currently persisting in their fourth season of use with no serious signs of wear or failure.©
Graphic by T. Rodriguez
The "1—in—20 Rule" for Plant Collectors
David H. Wagner
Department of Botany, University of Oregon, Eugene OR 97403
THERE ARE SEVERAL CASES from the past where well-meaning botanists, in the pursuit of knowledge about plants, have extirpated a species at certain sites by documenting discoveries with overzealous collecting. One would think that this wouldn't happen today, that botanists finding only one or two plants in an area would document their discovery only with photo-graphs and notes.
Nevertheless, from time to time a field worker is likely to encounter a small population of an unknown plant and feel it is necessary to collect a small amount for positive identification and documentation. The Native Plant Society of Oregon has published a set of Guide-lines and Ethical Codes for botanists, wherein it is urged that a collector use good judgement and rules of thumb when deciding whether or not to collect. Sage advice, but what is a good rule of thumb?
At some time in the past half-dozen years I began using criterion I now call the "1-in-20 Rule." (I cannot recall from whence the idea came, and so I will take credit for it until somebody shows me an earlier source. This is not unlikely, since I have a vague sense that I heard it somewhere.) Simply put, this rule dictates that one never collects more than one out of twenty plants. It means even one plant until or unless you have found at least twenty.
This rule runs counter to the traditional collector's mentality. As a teenage fern collector the sight of a rare fern sent my hand out to pluck it from the rocks as a prize. Having the plant safely in my vasculum, I started looking around for more. Now, if I run across an unusual plant I suppress my traditional impulse and first think, "can I find twenty?" Only if twenty are found will I consider collecting one plant—leaving at least nineteen for every one taken. This applies to parts of plants, also: remove no more than five percent (one-twentieth) of a shrub, one fern frond from a clump of twenty, 5% of a patch of moss. I use the "1-in-20 Rule" whether I am doing rare plant work or gathering common species for classroom use.
The "1-in-20 Rule" does not obviate the need for good judgement. Any collecting should be both necessary and permitted. Any pertinent factor relating to the survival of a population needs to be superimposed on the-1-in-20 Rule. The main value of a rule of thumb is to provide a clear point of reference from which to begin assessing a situation. I suggest this one as a minimal criterion to be met before any taking of a plant be considered.
A list of Native Plant Societies, Wildflower Societies, and Botanical Clubs of all states of the United States can be obtained from:
New England Wildflower Society, Inc.
Garden in the Woods
Framingham, Mass. 01701
Director, Plant Identity Services Indiana Crop Improvement Association
Develop and direct RFLP and related genetic identity systems for plant breeding, quality control and identification purposes. Work with management to achieve long range goal of developing world class genetic identity center. Manage the existing isozyme testing pro-grams. Interact with breeders and other scientists to bring the latest technology in genetic identity testing to the seed industry. Assume responsibilities in an adjunct position at Purdue University. Ph.D. required. Strong genetics background and experience with RFLP procedures desirable. Applications will be accepted until July 1, 1991 or until position is filled. Send resume and names of four references to: Indiana Crop Improvement Association, 3510 U.S. 52 South, Lafayette, IN 47906.
3 Plant Biology Faculty Texas A&M University
The Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University has three tenure-track positions, plant molecular genetics, postharvest biology, and horticultural products biology , to be filled at the Assistant Professor level. Individuals will organize and conduct research programs targeted at fundamental questions, teach graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in their areas of expertise, advise graduate students and postdoctoral associates, and establish and administer aggressive extramural grants programs. Cooperative programs with other scientists will be encouraged. Candidates must have earned Ph.D. degrees in horticulture, plant physiology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, food science, or related fields as appropriate to the position sought. Applicants should send resumes, official transcripts, and request that three letters of recommendation be sent to: Dr. R. Daniel Lineberger, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2133. Information concerning the positions may be obtained by writing to the above address or calling 409-845-5250 (FAX 409-845-0627). The deadline for applications is June 15, 1991, or until suitable candidates are found. Texas A&M University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer.
Plant Cell Biology Faculty Connecticut College
A tenure-track faculty appointment in plant cell biology will be filled at the Assistant Professor level, to be-gin 1 Jul 1992. Course responsibilities include: introductory cell biology, sophomore level plant structure and development, and electron microscopy. Faculty are expected to sustain an active research program which will involve undergraduates, and normally teach five courses a year. Untenured faculty on full-time appointments receive funding for a summer of research and other forms of research support. Preliminary inter-views for this position will be held at the 1991 Botanical Society of America annual meeting in San Antonio. If possible, potential applicants should write before the meeting to: Dr. Scott Warren, Department of Botany, Box 5362 Conn. College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320-4196. Connecticut College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is actively seeking to increase the diversity of its faculty and staff.
Visiting Scientists at Selby Gardens
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, which is devoted to the study, display, research, and conservation of tropical plants, especially epiphytes, announces opportunities for scientists to carry out botanical research, which should complement those of resident staff scientists, for short periods (1 to 12 months) at the Gardens. Visiting Scientists will have access to the facilities of MSBG, including herbarium, library, live plant collections, and tissue culture lab. They will be encouraged to interact with the research staff and to give a public lecture on an aspect of their research. If you are interested in this opportunity, send a C.V. and a letter stating your background, research interests, and specific goals for such a visit to Dr. Nalini M. Nadkarni, Director of Research, The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, Florida 34236 (813/ 366-5731. FAX 813/366-9807).
Graduate Assistantship University of Cincinnati
Available (beginning Fall 1991), for research on biogeography, population differentiation, and/or systematics of Philippine angiosperms. Funds will be provided for field work, as part of a larger team, to make representative collections at a minimum of 20 sites over two years. Laboratory research at the University of Cincinnati will involve analysis of DNA variation within or between species selected based upon collecting experience acquired the first year. This Assistantship is part of a cooperative project involving the Cincinnati Muse-um of Natural History, the Philippine Plant Inventory Project (Philippine National Museum/Bishop Museum), and the University of Cincinnati. Requirements: M.Sc. or equivalent in botany, preferably with tropical collecting experience. Send a curriculum vitae, a brief description of research experience and interests, and three letters of reference to Steven H. Rogstad, Department of Biological Sciences – ML6, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006 (513/ 556-9744).
University of Southwestern Louisiana The Department of Biology has available two Board of Regents Doctoral Fellowships to begin in August 1991. Each Fellow receives a renewable stipend of $15,000 per year (12 months), plus complete waiver of tuition and fees. Both Fellowships may be used to support students in PHYCOLOGY. Presently, the following areas of research are emphasized: 1) Systematics and Evolution of dinoflagellates and other algae, 2) Ultra-structure of the protist flagellar apparatus, 3) Structure, function and development of the phytoflagellate cytoskeleton, and 4) Development and architectural control of the dinoflagellate cell wall. For information and application materials write to Dr. Keith R. Roberts, Graduate Coordinator, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 42451, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana, 70504-2451 as soon as possible. Applications from minorities are particularly encouraged.
Museum Studies University of Nebraska
A New Opportunity for Botany Undergraduates The University of Nebraska has recently inaugurated a new graduate program leading to a masters degree in Museum Studies that will be of interest to botany undergraduates who would like a career that uses their training in plant science but who are not interested in academic research. The Museum Studies Program pre-pares students for a variety of positions as collection managers, curatorial assistants, preparators, museum educators, outdoor educators, naturalists, exhibit de-signers and technicians, archives managers, curators, and museum administrators. Strengths of the program at Nebraska are the emphases on scientific collections and exhibits and on informal science education. Institutions hiring museum studies graduates with scientific interests include museums, nature centers, parks, arboreta, archives, and zoos. The program requires 36 hours of graduate work, at least 9 of these hours must be in . one department to constitute a minor. For the non-theses option, a 9 credit–hour internship is required, either locally or for appropriate students, at regional or national institutions. We arc looking for bright, energetic students who do not want to get a Ph. D. but are searching for exciting career options in plants and natural history. Please contact: Hugh H. Genoways, Chair, Museum Studies Program University State Museum, 307 Morrill Hall, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln NE 68588–0338 (402/472-3779). To receive application materials, including the Graduate Studies Bulletin, please contact: Graduate Admissions, 301 Administration Building, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0434 (402/472-2878).
Joint field meeting of the Botanical Society of America, the Philadelphia Botanical Club, and the Torrey Botanical Club will take place 23-27 June 1991 in south-ern New Jersey. Host organization is the Philadelphia Botanical Club. Field trips are planned to sites in the New Jersey pine barrens, serpentine barrens in nearby Pennsylvania, fresh water wetlands, and tidal marshes. Evening programs will deal with various aspects of the ecology and flora of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Housing will be at Glassboro State College in Glassboro, NJ. The price of the Field Meeting, with housing, is $190.00 per person double occupancy; participation in the day trips only is $85.00 per person. Contact Field Meeting Chairman Ted Gordon. 29 Burrs Mill Road, Vincentown. NJ 08088 (609/8599-3566) for more in-formation.
Congreso Venezolano de Botanica will be held 24-30 Nov 1991 in Guanare, Edo. Portuguesa, Venezuela. If you are interested in participating or at-tending, please contact: Lic. Francisco Ortega, Coordinator General, unellez Guanare, Mesa de Cavacas, Edo. Portuguesa 3323, Tel. (057) 68006, FAX (057) 511-690.
Botany in the 49th State -- The Alaska Native Plant Society invites all botanists visiting south–central Alaska to come join us for a great day in the field. The Society has 2 chapters—the largest chapter is based in Anchorage and has a membership of 134. The other chapter is based in Homer, 200 miles SE of Anchorage, and has a membership of 15. We plan field forays through-out the summer—ranging from evening walks to overnight backpack trips. Almost every summer week has at least one planned activity. Our forays take us from Fairbanks to Valdez to Nome! How-ever, most of our trips are within a 50 mile range of Anchorage. Often our trips have a goal—to sec what plants colonize an active rock glacier, to find the endangered Taraxacum carneocoloratum Nels., to see fields of lady slippers—but some trips are just for fun. If your travel plans bring you to Alaska, please come join us. You can contact the society by writing to the Alaska Native Plant Society c/o Dr. Marilyn Barker, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska 99508 (bitnet: AFMHB@ ALASKA) or Alaska Native Plant Society, PO BOX 141613, Anchorage Alaska, 99514.
Canadian Botanical Association and Canadian Society of Plant Physiology
will meet jointly in Edmonton 23-27 Jun 1991. In addition to poster and paper sessions, five symposia have been organized: Phenotypic Plasticity, Woody Plant Physiology in the 1990s, Biology of Orchids, Biotechnology and Crop Improvement, and Plant Structure and Evolution. Pre- and post-conference field trips are being organized to the Rocky Mountains, Boreal Forest, and Badlands. Further information can be obtained from Dr. R. S. Currah, Dept. of Botany, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada.
First International Melastomataceae
Symposium will be hosted by the Dept. of Botany, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., on 26—27 Aug 1991 to foster exchange of information on melastomes across lines of individual disciplines and geographical areas. Invited and contributed papers and a poster session will address character evolution in the family, relationships between major groups (or within large genera), phytogeography, and melastome/ animal interactions. For information contact: Susanne S. Renner, Botanical Institute, Nordlandsvej 68, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark. Tel. 45 86-210-677, FAX 86-211-891.
Contemporary Natural Products Research and International Research Congress on Natural Products will take place in Chicago IL, 21–26 July 1991, and will feature a major International Symposium on the Contemporary Status of Natural Products Research in the areas of drug discovery, synthesis, biosynthesis and biological evaluation. Attendance and participation (oral or poster presentation) is open to all interested individuals. Con-tact Dr. Geoffrey A. Cordell, Organizing Committee, ASP Meeting 1991, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago m/c 781, Chicago, IL 60612.
International symposium : Preservation and conservation of natural history collections is to be held in Madrid, 10—15 May 1992, will focus on the concerns of the Natural History community for the present and future of Anthropological, Biological and Geological Collections in the world. The first circular is available and includes an outlined general program of the Symposium and the preliminary registration papers. Information is obtainable from: Julio Gisbert and Fernando Palacios Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales Jos Gutirrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain.
FAX 1/5645078, bitnet: MCNMA13@EMDCSIC1.
The Biotechnology Information Center is one of thirteen such centers at the National Agricultural Library located in Beltsville, MD. Each center is responsible for a different subject specialty area such as aquaculture, technology transfer, plant genome data project and food health and nutrition. The Biotechnology Information Center provides access to a variety of information services and publications; specific topics include theory and monoclonal antibodies, single cell proteins, food processing, biomass applications and risk assessment and bioethics. The Center's staff is familiar with concepts and techniques used in biotechnology and can guide library users in securing biotechnology information for business, research and study. In addition, the Center can perform brief, complimentary searches of the AGRICOLA database on specific biotechnology topics or conduct an exhaustive search on a cost recovery basis. The Center can also refer patrons to organizations or experts in the field of agricultural biotechnology and furnish users with Quick Bibliographies or Special Reference Briefs on a variety of topics such as "Genetic Engineering for Crop Plant Improvement," "Ti—plasmid and Other Plant Gene Vectors" or "Legislation and Regulation in the Field of Biotechnology." For further information concerning the services and activities of the Biotechnology Information Center, contact Dr. Robert D. Warmbrodt, National Agricultural Library, Rm 1402, 10301 Baltimore Blvd., Beltsville, MD 20705 (301/344-3340).
MultiVariate Statistical Package (MVSP) performs numerical analyses useful in many fields. It calculates principal components (PCA), principal coordinates (PCO), and correspondence analyses (CA) and also cluster analysis, with eighteen different distance and similarity measures and seven clustering strategies. Three different diversity indices may be calculated for ecological data. Scatterplots and dendrograms of the results of these analyses can he plotted in graphics mode. The program also has a built-in data editor and a variety of options for data manipulation and transformation. It is menu driven, with context-sensitive help, and provides a large number of user-defined settings that can be saved for future use. The shareware version of the program can analyse matrices up to 100x100 and comes with an abbreviated manual on disk. It is avail-able for $10. An enhanced version, MVSP Plus, is available for a moderate fee ($75); this version can analyse matrices up to 750x750 (if enough memory and hard disk space are available), supports the 80x87 math coprocessor, and comes with a complete printed manual. The program requires an IBM-PC or compatible, 2 floppy disk drives (hard drive recommended), and 512k RAM; a graphics adaptor is suggested (CGA, EGA, VGA, Hercules). Contact Dr. Warren L. Kovach, Palynological Research Centre, Institute of Earth Studies, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales SY23 3DB U.K. E-mail: Compuserve: 100016,2265 or Janet/Internet: WLK@
Charlotte Georgia Nast, Professor Emerita of Botany of the Department of Plant Biology, University of New Hampshire, died on 21 March 1991. Dr. Nast was born 19 Jan 1905, and was a1922 graduate of the Isaac Elston High School. She obtained her A.B. in Botany in 1927 and M.S. in Mycology in 1929 from the University of Wisconsin. She worked and taught from 1927 until 1931 as a technician at Wisconsin; and as histologist and Assoc. Pomologist of the Pomology Division, U. California, Davis (1931-1935) . Nast received the Ph.D. in Botany in 1938 from the U. of California at Berkeley. Dr. Nast then became Curator of the Wood Anatomy Laboratory at Harvard (1938-1947), where she collaborated with I. W. Bailey on a long series of classic papers on the morphology and anatomy of primitive dicotyledons. She taught botany at Nebraska State Teachers College, briefly, and in 1948 moved to the University of New Hampshire. For 22 years she taught courses on the plant kingdom, plant anatomy, vascular plant morphology, plant development, and plant histology, and was active in graduate student education and University programs, and was a member of a number of professional societies including: Sigma Delta Epsilon, Sigma Xi, Phi Sigma, AAAS, Botanical Society of America, AIBS, AAUP, AAUW, Society for Study of Development and Growth, and the International Plant Tissue Culture Organization.—A. Linn Bogle, Dept. of Plant Biology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824
Bassett Maguire was a well-known botanist who led many expeditions to nearly inaccessible reach-es of South America. He died on Wednesday, 6 Feb 1991 at the age of 86. Dr. Maguire held a research botanist position at the New York Botanical Garden, which he joined in 1943. Though he retired from NYBG in 1978, he had worked there every day until very recently. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1938, Dr. Maguire taught biology and botany in colleges in Georgia and New York, as well as at Utah State University, where he contributed significantly to the Intermountain Herbarium. Much of Dr. Maguire's research was in the Guyana Highlands of northern South America, a vast section of deep jungles, swift rivers and towering sandstone mountains. He ventured into remote areas to bring back thousand of exotic plant specimens. In 1954, Dr. Maguire discovered and named Cerro de Neblina (Mountain of the Clouds), an 8000-foot mountain that straddles the border of Brazil and Venezuela. It is one of the most isolated and botanically rich of all the table mountains in the area. For this discovery, he was awarded the Daniel Livingstone Centenary Medal by the American Geographical Society in 1965. Dr. Maguire was a pioneer in calling for an inventory of the worlds tropical vegetation and for the development of land-use policies that respected tropical ecosystems. He was a founder and past-president of the Association for Tropical Biology [from The New York Times]
"Nature's Corner" is reserved for descriptions of natural areas that may be just a few acres in size — just corners of nature that are being preserved by private individuals or organizations. Nature Conservancy (they have their own newsletter) and governmental (either federal or state) areas are not eligible. Please send information on "Nature's Corners" in your part of the world to the Editor, Plant Science Bulletin.
Bossier Parish Nature Study Center
Located on an 84-acre patch of land on Cypress-Black Bayou, the Bossier Parish Nature Study Center has some 4.5 miles of trails, a 3300-acre lake built adjoining the area, and an extensive collection of native Louisiana and Bossier Parish plants. The facility is jointly maintained and staffed by Cypress-Black Bayou and the Bossier Parish School System, and the trails are part of the National Trail System (certified by the U.S. Department of the Interior). They have received numerous local, state, and national awards and participated in several publications. In the Arboretum are found all of the ferns native to Bossier Parish, all of the species in 15 other native plant families, and some 80 genera represented. They have identified over 900 species of vascular plants in 443 genera and 125 families in Bossier Parish, as well as two new species of diatoms and 185 species of diatoms new to Louisiana. They also furnished ... several samples of native plants, to be included in the permanent [Louisiana] state botanical paintings. The Center has much to recommend it ..., and it offers levels of instruction from summer programs for students and school children to college research. There is also a reference library of some 500 volumes to aid in identifying many of the organisms in the area..
[from the Newsletter of the Departrnent of Botany of Louisiana State University]
The Human Impact on the Natural Environment. Andrew Goudie. 1990. MIT Press, Carnbridge MA. 388 pp. ISBN 0-262-57078-5 (paperback $17.50)
This is a depressing book. It is also a powerful book. Andrew Goudie, Professor of Geography at Ox-ford, discusses in detail virtually every conceivable human impact on the earth. The fact that he accomplishes this in less than 400 pages is remarkable. Unlike most other texts dealing with human impacts on the environment (too numerous to mention), Goudie's examples are not limited to the continent on which he lives. Rather, he provides examples from all continents, under-scoring the global nature of environmental problems.
The central question of the book is, "In what way have we humans (including our ancestral hominids) changed the earth from its hypothetical pristine condition?" In the Introduction, he charts the changing view of the relationship, or responsibility, of humans to the earth. Here, he discusses the familiar "control of nature" philosophy often ascribed to Judeo-Christian theology (he assiduously avoids any such finger-pointing), arriving finally at the writings of G. P. Marsh (clearly Goudie's hero). He also explores this question from a historical perspective, beginning with the origins of agriculture and domestication, then discusses how the invention of the wheel and wheeled cart permitted early peoples to widen their range of influence. He points out that with these technological advances, the human sphere of influence changed from merely local to global.
Each chapter is devoted to a different topic. Thus, we have chapters on human impacts on vegetation, animals, soils, water, atmosphere, geomorphology, etc. Clearly, some of these topics arc related, such as atmospheric changes and vegetation. To his credit, Goudie conscientiously cross-references ideas among chapters. In each chapter, he discusses topics from a historical viewpoint, rather than dwelling solely on the ills of to-day. Consequently, the reader is provided with palynological, archaeological, and other evidence for historical impacts, as well as details of current issues.
It is amusing that every issue is somewhere de-scribed as being one of the most significant impacts of human influence. For instance, the domestication of animals and the cultivation of plants is "among the most significant causes of the human impact." Later, deforestation is labeled as "one of the most significant ways in which humans have modified the environment." Yet again, desertification, is "one of the most important environmental issues." And finally, he makes the point that there might be no more serious threat to the environment than the continued decay of the genetic variability of crops.
The scope of topics is encyclopedic and the examples used are exhaustive. Goudie's interpretation of some examples, however, could be disputed. For in-stance, to what extent are grasslands an artifact of human activities, rather than a vegetation type that has developed in response to local site conditions, climate, natural disturbance, etc.? Or, are they, in part, a result of the interaction among these various human and natural forces? Because we have no clear historical record for many impacts, such disputes are somewhat academic. Goudie settles, hesitantly, on the latter conclusion in this case, although he admits only that "some [grass-land] may be natural" (emphasis added).
My only major criticism comes in Chapter Eight, entitled "The Future," which Goudie devotes almost exclusively to global warming and global circulation models. He begins with the well-known pessimism of the Global 2000 report and contrasts it with the optimism of the Global 2000 response. He concludes that geographers and practitioners in allied fields need to seek still more information before these disputes (mostly politically motivated) can be settled. This is unfortunate, particularly as it comes near the end of the book and therefore appears to be as close as he comes to offering a personal reflection. After devoting so much space and writing skill to documenting the adversities we have created, he falls back on the same line that too many "policy makers" use to justify postponing action on local and global environmental issues.
The Conclusion is in part a summation of the ills discussed throughout the book, tempered with the observations that (a) some changes are reversible and (b) some natural systems are surprisingly "resilient." Faint hope, indeed.—Christopher P. Dunn, Bldg. 301 (EID), Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Ave., Argonne IL 60439.
Plant Canopies--Their Growth, Form and Function. Russell, G., B. Marshall, and P. G. Jarvis, eds. 1989. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 178 pp. isbn 0-521-39563-1 (paperback $19.95).
This book, a product of a 1986 meeting of the Environmental Physiology Group of the Society for Experimental Biology, is an attempt to review all major processes occurring in plant canopies. Given the editors' caveats, it succeeds admirably. However, the editors claim that there was no space to consider three aspects of plant canopies: 1) canopy manipulation by chemical or genetic means, 2) canopies as habitat for micro-organisms, insects, or vertebrates, and 3) stands of mixed species, either in agricultural or natural communities. Given that the book is only 178 pages, I am not sure why space was limiting. It is more likely that no papers were contributed on those subjects. The editors did try to include a diversity of canopy types, al-
though most chapters deal with herbaceous forms.
The main thrust of the book is to describe the relationship between canopy structure and interactions with the abiotic environment. Therefore, there are chapters on the absorption of energy (Russell et al.), local heat and water transfer to the atmosphere (Raupach), regional canopy energy balance models (McNaughton), and nitrogen metabolism (Van Keulen). The opening chapter (Campbell and Norman) uses the hierarchical approach of Ross to describing canopies (organ, individual plant, population, community) as a framework for discussing canopy structure and models of radiation balance. Although the authors acknowledge that canopy properties are spatially and temporally variable, they take a very static approach to measuring canopy structure and form. Without so stating, they presumably are considering "mature" canopies. There is no consideration of canopies themselves as dynamic systems.
Russell and co-authors provide an interesting discussion of the relationship of biomass accumulation to canopy interception of radiation and to a parameter they refer to as the "dry matter-radiation quotient." The interception of radiation is described as a function of canopy structure, as they illustrate both mathematically and by example. They further discuss how stresses can affect these relationships. The following two chapters discuss transfers between plant canopies at the individual (Raupach) and regional (McNaughton) scales. Both authors take a very theoretical and physical approach, and successfully avoid mentioning a single plant by name.
Van Keulen et al. examine the effects of varying nitrogen supply on canopy development and thus on crop growth. This broad overview, with plenty of examples and conceptual models of nitrogen metabolism, is lucidly written and is one of the highlights of the book.
The other highlight is Harper's discussion of leaf demography, in which he views canopies as dynamic populations of leaves. Leaf "birth" and "death" rates are compared (a) among taxa, (b) under different planting densities, (c) under a range of mineral nutrient sup-ply, and (d) in some natural populations. An example of spatial and temporal variability in plant canopies is offered by Ehleringer and Forseth in their chapter on diurnal leaf movements.
Porter takes a purely architectural approach to plant canopies, describing all possible canopy and branch forms that could have arisen by evolution under the models of Halle and Oldeman. After a very brief discussion of the "adaptiveness" of different forms, the relationship of meristems and heritable malfunctions too, is architecturally presented. Although the importance of environmental factors is mentioned, it is only briefly acknowledged at the end of the chapter.
In the final chapter, Norman takes a mechanistic approach to canopy processes, leaning heavily on his Cupid model of plant-environment interactions. He devotes most of the space to detailing how the model was constructed and very little on actually testing it. This is unfortunate, as the model has already been published; those who want to know more about "rules for model construction," "programming strategies" in general, etc. could easily refer to the earlier Cupid (or other) literature.
Despite the in-depth treatment of a number of topics regarding plant canopies, I would like to have seen a little more ecology and evolution. Both topics are given some space (e.g., Harper), but mostly only lip service. There is not much here on how competition and density can alter such canopy features as growth, form and function. Do these canopy features change during the course of density-dependent thinning in pure stands? Are any of these features "plastic" in the face of stress or more benign environmental changes? As plants age, do any of these features undergo major shifts? What happens to a plant canopy in terms of growth and form (and to fluxes between it and the atmosphere) when a gap is created by death or removal of a neighbor?—Christopher P. Dunn, Bldg. 301 (EID), Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S Cass Ave., Argonne IL 60439.
Anyone wishing to review a book for PS B should write to the Editor, stating the book of interest and the date by which it would be reviewed (15 August, 15 November, 15 February or 15 April of the appropriate year). Asterisked titles in this list have al-ready been sent out for review—Ed.
Agriculture and Horticulture
Agricultural Management: Commodity and Resource Policies in Agricultural Systems. R. E. Just and N. Bockstael, editors. 1991. Springer-Verlag, 44 Hartz Way, Secaucus NJ 07096-2491. ISBN 0-387-52273-5 (hardback $98.00).
Biological Agriculture and Horticulture. International Journal for Sustainable Production Systems. R. D. Hodges, editor. 1991. A B Academic Publishers, P. O. Box 42, Bicester, Oxon OX6 7NW, England. Vol. 7, No. 2, 1990 ($155 per volume of 4 issues).
Microbial Control of Weeds. David O. TeBeest, editor. 1991. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 29 W. 35th St., New York NY 10001. ISBN 0-412-01861-6 (hardback $65.00 US, $81.50 Canadian).
Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods. Richard T. Roush and Bruce E. Tabashnik, editors. 199. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 29 W. 35th St., New York NY 10001. ISBN 0-412-01971-X (hardback $57.50 US, $69.00 Canadian).
Soil Acidity. B. Ulrich and M. E. Sumner, editors. 1991. Springer-Verlag, 44 Hartz Way, Secaucus NJ 07096-2491. ISBN 0-378-50782-5 (hardback $79.00).
The Pesticide Manual, 9th Ed. The British Crop Protection Council: Chas. Worthing and Raymond Hance. 1990. Blackwell Scientific Publications Inc., Suite 208, Cambridge MA 02142. Dec. ISBN 0-98404-42-6 (hardback $155.00).
Understanding Your Garden. Stefan Buczacki. 1991. Cambridge Univ. Press., 40 West 20th St., New York NY 10011. ISBN 0-521-33468-3 (hardback $22.95).
De Causis Plantarum. Books III-IV, V-VI. Theophrastus (B. Einarson and G. K. K. Link, editors and translators). Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA 02142. ISBN 0-674-99523-6 (Books III-IV, hardback $14.50). ISBN 0-674-99524-4 (Books V-VI, hardback $14.50).
Ecology and Conservation
After the Ice Age—The Return of Life to Glaciated North America. E. C. Pielou. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637. ISBN 0-226-66811-8 (hardback $24.95).
Ancient Forests of the Pacific Northwest. Elliott A. Norse. Island Press, P. O. Box 7, Covelo CA 95428. 1991. ISBN 1-55963-017-5 (hardback), ISBN 1-55963-016-7 (Paper).
*Conservation Atlas of Tropical Forests: Asia and the Pacific. N. Mark Collins, J. A. Sayer and T. C. Whitmore, editors. 1991. Simon & Schuster, 15 Columbus Circle, New York NY 10023. ISBN 0-13-179227-X (hardback $95.00).
*Four Neotropical Rainforests. Alwyn H. Gentry, editor. 1991. Yale University Press, 92A Yale Station, New Haven CT 06520. ISBN 0-300-04722-3 (paper $57.50).
Monitoring for Conservation and Ecology. F. B. Goldsmith, editor. 1991. Routiedge, Chapman & Hall, 29 W. 35th St., New York NY 10001. ISBN 0-412-35600-7 (hardback $79.95 US, $99.95 Canadian; paper $35.00 US, $43.95 Canadian).
Orchid Biology, Reviews and Perspectives. Vol. 5. Joseph Arditti, editor. 1990. Timber Press, Inc., 9999 S. W. Wilshire, Portland OR 97225, ISBN 0-88192-170-X (hardback $58.00).
Plant Life of Western Australia. J. S. Beard. 1990. Kangaroo Press (ISBS, 5602 N. E. Hassalo St, Portland OR 97213-3640). ISBN 0-86417-279-6. $49.95 (hardback $49.95).
Race to Save the Tropics: Ecology and Economics for a Sustainable Future. Robert Goodland, editor. 1991. Island Press, Box 7, Covelo CA 95428. ISBN 1-55963-039-6 (hardback $45.00), ISBN 1-55963-X (paper $24.95).
Amino Adds, Proteins and Nucleic Acids. L. J. Rogers, editor. 1991. Vol. 5 in Methods in Plant Biochemistry. P. M. Dey and J. B. Harborne, series editors. 1991. Academic Press, Inc., San Diego CA 92101. ISBN 0-12-461015-3 (hardback $49.95).
*Biology of the Red Algae. Kathleen M. Cole and R. G. Sheath, editors. 1990. Cambridge University Press, 40 W. 20th St, New York NY 10011. ISBN 0-521-34301-1 (hardback $110.00).
Compartmentation of Plant Metabolism in Non-Photosynthetic Tissues. Seminar Series: 42. M. J. Ernes. 1991. Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th St., New York NY 10011-4211. ISBN 0-521-36132-X.
Nitrogen Fixation: Achievements and Objectives. Peter Gresshoff, L. Evans Roth, G. Stacey and W. Newton, editors. 1991. Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 29 W. 35th St., New York NY 10001. ISBN 0-412-02591-4 (hardback $55.00 US, $68.95 Canadian).
Physiochemical and Environmental Plant Physiology. Park S. Nobel. Academic Press, 1250 Sixth Ave., San Diego CA 92101. ISBN 0-12-520021-8 (hardback $69.95; paper $34.95).
Structure and Development
Cellular and Molecular Biology of Intermediate Filaments. Robert D. Goldman and Peter M. Steinert, editors. 1990. Plenum Publishing Corp., 233 Spring St, New York NY 10013-1587. ISBN 0-306-43317-6 (hardback $89.50).
Ciliary and Flagellar Membranes. Robert A. Bloodgood, editor. 1990. Plenum Publishing Corp., 233 Spring St. New York NY 10013-1578. ISBN 0-306-43279-X (hardback $85.00).
Developmental Regulation of Plant Gene Expression. Plant Biotechnology Series. Vol. 2. Routledge, Chapman & Hall. 29 W. 35th St., New York NY 10001. ISBN 0-216-92933-4 (hardback $140.00 US, $175.00 Canadian).
Heterochrony in Evolution: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Topics in Geobiology: Vol. Michael L. McKinney, editor. 1991. Plenum Publishing Corp., 233 Spring St., New York NY 10013-1578. 1988. ISBN 0-306-42947-0 (hardback $79.50).
Systematics, Taxonomy and Floristics
Achsenverdickung und Sprossanatomic bei Valerianaceae. H. Lorcher. 1990. Akademie DerWissenschaften und Der Literatur, Mainz Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart. ISBN 3-515-05791-9.
Australian Plants Identified. Gwen Elliot. 1990. Hyland House Publications (International Specialized Book Services, Inc. [ISBS], 5602 N. E. Hassalo St., Portland OR 97213-3640). ISBN 0-9470-6263-7 (paper $24.95).
Flora of Australia. Vol. 18. Podostemaceae to Combretaceae. 1990. International Specialized Book Services,Inc., 5602 N. E. Hassalo St., Portland OR 97213-3640. ISBN 0-644-10472-4 (hardback), $34.95), 0-644-10474-0 (Paper).
Heliconia. An Identification Guide. Fred Berry and W. John Kress. Smithsonian Institution Press, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 7100, Washington, D. C. 20560. ISBN 1-56098-006-0 (hardback S35.00) 56098-007-9 (paper $16.95).
The Orchids: Natural History and Classification. Robert L. Dressler. 1990. Harvard Univ. Press. ISBN 0-674-87526-5 (hardback $35.00; paper $15.95).
*Transformed Cladistics, Taxonomy and Evolution. N. R. Scott-Ram. 1990. Cambridge Univ. Press, 40 W. 20th St, New York NY 10011. ISBN 0-521-34086-1.
News from the Society (continued from p. 3)
BOTANICAL SOCIETY REPORT TO THE NSF–BBS TASK FORCE
"Looking to the Twenty-first Century"
David L. Dilcher
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611
THE BOTANICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA (BSA) appreciates the opportunity to provide information to this task force that is gathered to assess and advise the National Science Foundation (NSF) regarding its future directions in the Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences. This report is presented on behalf of the President and Executive Committee, and the membership, of the BSA
The NSF was established to provide funds for an array of research programs in basic science. Within the life sciences, governmentally funded programs are directed mainly toward biomedical related research. Within biology in general and in university research settings in particular, overall funding is dominated by that which can be related to biomedical research programs. Funding for basic research in plant science has fallen by the wayside. While there are a large number of foundations with funding interests in basic medical-related research, those working with basic research on plants most often have no other place to seek support than the NSF. The system of funding for basic research in the life sciences is distorted, and the NSF must rectify the imbalance that currently exists. I present this not to slight the importance of other areas of biology or the usefulness of studying organisms other than plants. All living organisms are important to the biological sciences. But, botany is not given an ad-equate level of funding. As a nation and world whose future depends upon a basic understanding of plants, basic plant science research is essential.
The NSF has been the major source of funding for many individuals involved in basic plant science re-search. But much more needs to be done to redress the total imbalance of available funding for plant science and the NSF should take the lead because there is no other agency, government or private, which can interface with this group of research scientists with funding available from the U.S. Congress. The lack of plant science funding has had far reaching consequences in the botany and biology departments of universities in the United States. Because of the low level or often total lack of funds available for basic research in the plant sciences, botany and biology departments and university administrators are often reluctant to hire or retain faculty in the area of botany. Thus, positions are increasingly filled with faculty that are known to be in areas where there are more funds available for basic research. This will influence the training of undergraduate students and graduate students for many years to come. It is a vicious cycle and will continue to compound itself.
The NSF needs to incorporate into its reorganization a structure which will increase access to funds for re-search in the plant sciences. The NSF needs to dedicate more of its funds in the Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences Directorate to basic research on plants. The NSF needs to present to Congress the need for increased funding in the plant sciences in the United States. It needs to convince Congress that the NSF is the instrument of government funding which will take action for the nation, and support basic research in the plant sciences as it deserves to be supported. This is said out of a sense of the importance of plant sciences for our national needs.
Individual program directors at the NSF should fund good science and must be very careful to avoid using NSF support to ensure growth in some areas of science they favor or "consider" good science while refusing to fund good science in other areas. Individual biases cannot completely be eliminated and because of this the BSA suggests that Program Directors should be rotated from within the ranks of the scientific community they are serving. This will also provide personnel at the NSF that are in touch with the scientific community they work for, provide people sympathetic to the needs of the researchers, and bring fresh ideas for innovations and problem solving to the NSF. The valuable contributions of permanent staff at the NSF are appreciated but rotating Program Directors should be a policy strictly adhered to by the NSF.
The NSF has been a strong supporter of the individual grants to individual investigators or small teams of investigators focused upon a particular question. This has been important for basic plant science research. There is a tendency in Washington D.C. to look for "big science" projects that can be given a name and easily grasped by congressmen such as' The Human Genome," 'The Hubble Space Telescope," 'The Superconductor," Global Earth," "Polar Studies," and "Biodiversity." When these "big science" projects take money that could be directed to-wards individual investigators we are not serving the best needs of science in the United States. NSF needs to be careful to avoid using such "big science" ploys with congress to increase their base level of funding. Such increases often provide only level funding for basic pro-grams that supply funds to an increasing pool of individuals. As both Senator Gore and Congressman Hamilton have indicated, the individual investigator in basic science is an important resource in the United States which needs to be encouraged. The NSF should take a lead from
this interest of Congress and speak out for a larger budget as a defender for and provider of research grants to individual researchers and small research teams. The NSF should demonstrate to Congress the value of their granting programs and cooperate with research scientists to demand greater funding for individual research pro-grams from the President and Congress.
The BSA has some concern about projects that seem to "fall through the cracks" in the current NSF structure. In particular, proposals directed toward evolutionary questions often seem not to fit in any of the existing pigeon-holes. Projects are not often systematic enough for the systematic reviewers, not ecological enough for the ecologists, or not on the cutting edge of what behaviorists and structural biologists see as the main directions in biology. Many projects in paleobotany, morphology, ethnobotany and phytochemistry encounter these problems. The BSA believes that many of the most important advances in the next decade will, in fact, be at the interface between traditional disciplines and those at the cutting edge of biology. For example, study of the effects of genetic processes on morphogenesis and, ultimately, on form and function should be emphasized during the next decade. However, there is little funding in these areas and there are still fewer botanists who are being trained to understand the morphology and anatomy of plants.
The BSA recommends that the NSF consider more flexible means of providing grants. We think that there should be a small-grants program which would receive rapid review and response, for funding perhaps up to $10,000, and carry limited overhead. These should be available to researchers not now holding grants to act as seed money or for a particular aspect of a research project. The NSF should have special procedures to handle first-time grant requests apart from those from more seasoned research labs and grant renewals.
To a certain degree, the NSF meets the research needs of the members of the BSA. However, it is becoming increasingly common for the NSF to notify our members that their proposed research was approved for funding by the panel but because of limited funds the program could not fund a significant percentage of the proposals approved. This situation is compounded with a full year's delay before such proposals can be resubmitted for consideration. When this happens to 11% to 15% of the proposals, it demands that the budget be increased to meet this need or that these proposals be considered as special cases and not held back for one or more years as is the case now.
The current panel structure and peer review process are acceptable to many in the BSA. However, it is necessary to develop a special plant sciences initiative to increase funding in basic plant science research. The idea of balancing funding, about 50% for animal related re-search and 50% for plant related research in some of the programs, should be abandoned and a much greater proportion should be available for plant related research. This simply redresses the imbalance that is present today as a result of the lack of other agency support for basic plant research.
Specific points which the NSF has requested that we respond to follow. The BSA has about 1200 members that are active researchers and work in or run research labs. This is based upon the number that present papers at our national meetings. The BBS Directorate has been the sole source of funds for many people in our society. As detailed above, this low level of funding is affecting the entire field of botany in the United States including the education of young people looking for areas in biology which hold some promise for their future. Therefore funding in the plant science area is important in order to encourage new students to study plants and their basic biology. It also means that there arc not sufficient funds for graduate education in the basic plant sciences, for teaching equipment, and for research equipment.
The individual Program Directors should promptly notify those who have been declined support. Our members report periods of up to 11 to 18 months before such notification is received. Surprisingly, the reasons given for slow returns of declinations by the program directors in systematic biology is that they want to discourage quick repeat applications. As a matter of course they therefore always wait to notify the individual of a declination until it is too late to reapply for the next panel. This has forced some members of the BSA to keep two proposals active before the panel to insure that there is not a lapse of one full year between grants if a proposal is not funded. This is a distinct disservice to the botanical scientific community and could easily be redressed by certain policy changes.