PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
SPRING 2005 VOLUME 51 NUMBER 1
The Botanical Society of America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
A new year! A new volume! A new Issue
The Native Plant Conservation Campaign - The National Advocacy
Network for Native Plant Science and
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
News from the Society
Increasing Undergraduate Diversity in Botany
Centennial Celebration: We Need a Theme
Theodore M. Barkley, 1934-2004
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
The International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature
2005 in Vitro Biology Meeting
International Carnivorous Plants Society
Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University
Grants for Botanical Gardens and Arboreta
M.Sc. Opportunity at Acadia University
Summer Internships at Chicago Botanic Garden
Value of a Garden.
Northwestern and Chicago Botanic Garden Join Forces
to Train Botanists
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Awarded Prestigious $150,000
GA Herbarium Closing Down During Infrastructure Upgrades
Opportunities to Comment on NEON
Third Annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden
Botany in Introductory-level Courses
in This Issue.
of America Logo Items.
|Plant Science Bulletin
|Published quarterly by Botanical Society of America,
Inc., 4475 Castleman Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299. The yearly
subscription rate of $15 is included in the membership dues of the Botanical
Society of America, Inc. Periodical postage paid at St. Louisd, MO and additional
Editor: Marshall D. Sundberg
Department of Biological Sciences
Emporia State University
1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, KS 66801-5707
Telephone: 620-341-5605 Fax: 620-341-5607
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
Botanical Society of America
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
Editorial Committee for Volume 51
|Andrew W. Douglas (2005)
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
|Douglas W. Darnowski (2006)
Department of Biology
Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, IN 47150
Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
Department of EEOB
1735 Neil Ave., OSU
Columbus, OH 43210-1293
Samuel Hammer (2008)
College of General Studies
Boston, MA 02215
Joanne M. Sharpe (2009)
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
P.O. Box 234
Boothbay ME 04537
A new year! A new volume! A new issue!
There are some new things associated with the Plant Science Bulletin
(PSB) this year so let me point out just a few. Following the policy established
last year for the American Journal of Botany (AJB), contributors to
PSB are now asked to submit a copyright release form. When articles or reviews
are accepted, the editor will send the form to the author who should complete
it and forward it to the BSA office. Related to this, contributed articles
will be reviewed by one or more members of the editorial board as well as
the editor before they are accepted for publication. Finally, the mailing
date for AJB has been moved forward so that members will receive their copy
at the beginning of the month, rather than the middle or later in the month.
Because Plant Science Bulletin is bundled with the Journal to members
who receive hard copy of the latter, our deadlines for submission of material
to PSB must also be moved forward. Effective with the next issue, deadlines
for receipt of materials for the spring, summer, fall, and winter issues
will be 15 January, 15 April, 15 July, and 15 October respectively.
The changes noted above are minor and soon will become part of the accepted
norm. A part of that norm is to solicit articles of importance to the mission
of the Society and/or of general interest to the membership. This issue is no
exception. We started last year with an article addressing the direction botany
is heading [PSB 50(1):2-7]. As mentioned in that article federal agencies and
others are having difficulty finding applicants well trained in basic taxonomy
to fill some of their positions. We are not the only group aware of this problem.
The first article describes the Native Plant Conservation Campaign, a growing
network of societies, gardens, and arboreta that among other things shares our
concern with declining botany research and education. The second article highlights
what will be "just around the corner" from our annual meeting later this summer
in Austin. With many of us looking out the window at snow these days, the images
in this article may be just the incentive you need to submit that abstract for
BOTANY 2005 in the Lone Star State.
The Native Plant Conservation Campaign - The National Advocacy Network
For Native Plant Science and Conservation
Native plants are not as firmly established in the public eye as their
animal counterparts — but they are the foundations of ecosystems. The Center
for Biological Diversity, the California Native Plant Society and 30 other
plant science and conservation advocacy groups have joined forces to step
up the oft-forgotten fight to protect our native flora.
The U.S. is home to more than 15,000 native plant taxa. But as many as
one-third of these (more than 5,000 taxa) may be at risk of extinction. Most
of these imperiled plants receive little or no protection from environmental
laws. Every day, roads and houses are being built on wildflower fields; off
road vehicles are driven over imperiled plants, and livestock trample delicate
mountain meadows. Forests are logged after wildfires, and herbicides applied
to kill post-fire natives which might slow timber species regrowth.
In 2002, the Center for Biological Diversity and California Native Plant
Society formed the Native Plant Conservation Campaign (NPCC)— the first U.S.
national organization dedicated to advocacy for native plant science and
conservation. Imperiled animals, even some single species, have national organizations
working on their behalf. Remarkably, however, before the NPCC the entire
plant kingdom had no organized national constituency for its protection.
As a result, native plants have become "second class conservation citizens".
Conservation laws such as the federal Endangered Species Act provide weaker
protection for plants than for other species. In fact, under some circumstances,
plants listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, among the rarest
and most imperiled in the world, can be deliberately driven to extinction
without violating the law.
The lower priority given to plant protection is also reflected in grossly
inadequate staffing and funding for botanical training and research, and for
plant conservation and management programs nationwide. Opportunities to study
and practice plant taxonomy, biology, and ecology are declining. Botany professorships,
departments, herbaria and arboreta have quietly disappeared at many universities.
Further, conservation agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and Bureau of Land Management employ far fewer botanists than other specialists—despite
the central role of plants in ecosystem function, and despite the fact that
there are generally more imperiled plants than other taxa in need of conservation
experts. The U.S. Forest Service, for example, has only 175 full time botanists
to manage botanical resources on its 191 million acres. Recovery is the primary
goal of the Endangered Species Act, and sixty-one percent of the organisms
on the federal endangered species list are plants. However, the Department
of Interior reports that less than four percent of funding for recovery programs
goes to plants. Thus, many plant recovery plans are not implemented.
In short, imperiled plants face even longer odds for survival and recovery
than the rest of our gravely endangered species. Meanwhile, irreplaceable
plants and their habitat continue to be destroyed by development and mismanaged
logging, road building, grazing, and recreation. We created the Native Plant
Conservation Campaign to find solutions to these problems.
Astragalus brauntonii. Braunton's milkvetch is an edaphic
endemic in small areas of Southern California. It is among the most imperiled
species in the world, and was listed as an endangered species under the federal
Endangered Species Act in 1997. Nonetheless, it has been bulldozed, sprayed
with herbicides, and dug up for years by developers who want to build on
its habitat. Unbelievably, none of this is illegal. Although the federal
Endangered Species Act protects federally listed animals wherever they occur,
it does not prohibit destruction of federally listed plants unless the destruction
occurs during a project on federal lands or is permitted or funded by a federal
agency. Because of this loophole, the California Native Plant Society is
seeking state protection for this plant. The Native Plant Conservation Campaign
initiated the Equal Protection for Plants project in 1999 to raise awareness
of this problem with the law and of inadequate protection for imperiled plants
BUILDING THE FOUNDATION
In the three years since we launched the NPCC, we have already built a
thriving campaign. Our accomplishments include:
· The NPCC Affiliates. We have a growing network of 32 affiliate
native plant societies, botanic gardens, and arboreta in 30 states—representing
almost 60,000 individual members.
· Cooperators. We have recruited of 13 cooperating scientific
and conservation groups that share our biodiversity conservation goals but
do not focus primarily on plants. These groups allow us to reach hundreds
of thousands of scientists and activists with information on the plight of
plants and tools to fight for them.
· Tools for Local Advocacy. One of NPCC's top priorities
is to make plant conservation easier, more effective - and more fun. Effective
advocacy requires understanding of complex agency procedures and legal and
scientific issues. Because agencies, laws and policies often treat plants
differently than animals, and because basic principles of conservation biology
differ for plants and animals, it is crucial to provide plant-specific information
to our advocates. We develop plain language "how to" guides and summaries
of key legal, political, and scientific information that can be shared with
agencies, elected officials, and the press and help local advocates take
· Federal Advocacy. We give Congressional testimony and meet
regularly with legislators and agency leaders to educate them about the value
and imperilment of native plants and the inadequate funding and staffing
for plant programs.
· International Initiatives. NPCC worked with PlantaEuropa,
a European native plant conservation organization, to secure the 2002 adoption
of a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation by the Global Convention on Biological
· Public Outreach. We bring native plant issues into the
public eye through outreach materials, an educational website, and media coverage.
||A SUCCESS STORY! Robbins' cinquefoil (Potentilla
robbinsiana ) is an alpine rose endemic to two sites in New Hampshire's
White Mountains. It was listed as federally endangered and critical habitat
was designated in 1980 after decades of trampling by recreationists and
An NPCC affiliate, the New England Wildflower Society, joined with the
Appalachian Mountain Club and federal agencies to reroute recreation away
from the plant's protected habitat and propagate the species for replanting
in the wild.
Thanks to these efforts, the Robbins' cinquefoil rebounded from about 1,800
plants in 1973 to more than 14,000 by 2002. It was removed from the endangered
species list in August 2002 but continues to be monitored and protected by
agencies and volunteers.
The Path Ahead
We are expanding our existing advocacy and grassroots technical support
programs and also developing new programs using a variety of methods and resources
to address the wide range of challenges facing native plants and their advocates:
Research and Public Education
"Second Class Conservation Citizens" We analyze data from federal
agencies and peer reviewed studies to quantify the underfunding and understaffing
of botany programs in federal land and endangered species management. We use
these data to inform decisionmakers and the public about the urgent need
for increased support for plant conservation.
Declining Botany Research And Education We are in the early stages
of a project to quantify the reduction in botany course offerings, departments,
herbaria and graduate programs. This is an urgent issue. If the U.S. stops
producing botanists and studying native plant biology and ecology, there will
be no one to manage and conserve our flora.
Important Plant Areas The Important Plant Areas model is already
being implemented in Europe. It is based on Birdlife International's Important
Bird Areas Program. Important Plant Areas are sites where native plant protection
is a priority—due to the presence of high diversity, rare species, or simply
intact and healthy native plant communities. We work with botanists and agencies
to identify these areas and advocate for their protection.
Conservation Economics We seek to counter the widely held belief
that protection of the environment must come at the expense of the economy.
We give presentations, develop literature reviews and fact sheets to publicize
the growing body of evidence that ecosystem health and conservation of biological
diversity are essential for economic health.
Advocacy and Technical Support. We are building on the local and
federal advocacy work described above. We have recently begun to provide
one on one "tech support" to help advocates put imperiled plants on the endangered
species list, or challenge projects that threaten native plants. We also
are initiating annual trips to Washington DC for plant scientists and advocates
to meet with policymakers. Congress needs to be educated on plant issues
and reminded that plants have a large and diverse constituency across the
The Equal Protection For Plants Initiative seeks to broaden awareness
of the second-class status of plant conservation in staffing, funding and
law, and to increase support to remedy the situation. Our Equal Protection
statement has been signed by 62 groups representing hundreds of thousands
of individuals, including the Society for Conservation Biology, the Botanical
Society of America, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and Defenders
Environmental Group Outreach. Many large wilderness and wildlife
conservation organizations have traditionally placed relatively little emphasis
on plant issues. These groups have unparalleled public access through their
newsletters, magazines, and websites, as well as influential lobbying programs.
We work to educate the leaders and members of these groups about native plants,
and to supply information so that they can incorporate botanical issues in
their policy advocacy, publications and outreach.
WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS
Through these programs, we are making significant progress. The large environmental
groups are hearing our message, and plant conservation is increasingly becoming
a central issue in the mainstream environmental discussion. Plants are now
routinely included in environmental lobbying and outreach programs. The agencies
are hearing our message as well. In the past 3 years, there has been a 30
percent increase in the number of botanists employed by the U.S. Forest Service—still
far from what is needed, but a strong first step. We have also worked
with federal agencies to advocate for use of local native plants in restoration
projects such as roadside stabilization and stream restoration. With NPCC
support, the federal government has spent more than $10 million to grow seed
from local native plants, construct greenhouses, establish contracts with
local nurseries, and these plant materials are used more widely every year.
We have created the first national native plant conservation organization
in our nation's history. Now we must use that organization to change policy.
We will continue to document plant problems and produce up-to-date outreach
tools for policymakers and grassroots advocates—and citizens who want to become
native plant advocates but do not know where to begin. We will continue to
make sure our message is heard in the halls of Congress, in university classrooms,
in academic societies, in the media and in environmental group headquarters.
Finally, we will expand our roster of affiliate and cooperating groups to
build an ever-stronger and more effective voice for native plants.
To learn more about how you can help preserve native plant diversity and
support the Native Plant Conservation Campaign, please contact NPPC Director,
Emily Roberson, at:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Decades ago, Lady Bird Johnson recognized the country's mounting loss of
natural landscapes, native wildflowers, and natural beauty.
In 1982 she founded the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to help preserve
and restore the natural beauty and biological richness of North America.
Entry arches. Photo by Ron Sprouse
|"My special cause…is to preserve the wildflowers and
native plants that define the regions of our land - to encourage and promote
their use. Native plants are as much a part of our national heritage as
Old Faithful or the Capitol Building in Washington, and they speak the regional
accents of the land, saying this is Virginia, or New Mexico, or the California
desert after rain." Lady Bird Johnson, 1990.
The mission of Lady Bird Wildflower Center is to educate people about the
environmental necessity, economic value, and natural beauty of native plants.
The Wildflower Center works nationally and regionally to raise awareness
about native plants and native landscapes, and provides people with the knowledge
they need to protect and restore their own native places.
The Center's award-winning headquarters in Austin, Texas reflect the natural
and architectural heritage of the Texas Hill Country, and provides unique
educational opportunities for professionals, individuals, and families. From
this inspiring location, the Wildflower Center also conducts research and
promotes native plant conservation to a national and international audience.
The Center's facilities display regional architecture, green building principles,
and exemplary site planning - the hallmarks of environmentally sensitive
design. The buildings also reflect local history, culture, and the use of
regionally available materials.
Display gardens, McDermott Learning Center and butterfly
habitat gardens. Photo by Bob Daemmrich.
The gardens showcase the beauty and benefits of the wildflowers and native
plants of Texas, particularly of the Texas Hill Country. They introduce people
to native plants and demonstrate how they can be used in formal as well as
informal landscapes. For home gardeners and landscape professionals who may
be uncertain about growing natives, the Center's gardens provide useful horticultural
information and diverse examples of landscape design using native species.
As one of only three public gardens in the United States that exclusively
uses regionally native wildflowers, trees, grasses and shrubs, the Center
demonstrates that interesting design and compellingly beautiful gardens can
be achieved with ecologically sound plantings.
Land restoration techniques, a centerpiece of the Center's conservation
mission, are tested and demonstrated across the entire site. Public trails
lead visitors through a living laboratory for restoration research where they
can view both disturbed and healthy landscape areas, and learn first-hand
how to restore native vegetation on degraded landscapes. The Center works
directly with landowners, commercial developers, cities and counties to apply
land restoration techniques and bring back healthy native vegetative communities
on a landscape level.
Critical to the Wildflower Center's mission is protecting native plants
in danger of extinction. As part of a national and international community
of scientists, the Wildflower Center is working to understand rare plants
and to develop conservation strategies to keep these species where they belong:
in the wild. The Center participates in The Center for Plant Conservation,
a national coalition of gardens and arboreta committed to preserving the rare
plants of North America. By working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department, and other agencies, species of concern are
identified and seeds of these rare and endangered species are collected and
banked. As a partner in the Millennium Seed Bank Project, a global plant
conservation effort led by the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, seeds are collected
from two priority ecoregions, the Edwards Plateau and the Blackland Prairie.
||Tower and library with Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora
secundiflora ) in the foreground. Photos by Bob Daemmrich.
The lack of information about native plants has made it more difficult
for people to appreciate, use, and conserve them. In many areas, it can be
hard to find a commercial source of native plants, or landscapers experienced
in designing with them.
To address this problem, the Wildflower Center established an information
clearinghouse. The Internet-based Native Plant Information Network (NPIN
) is the largest clearinghouse of native plant information in North America.
Since its inception in September 2003, more than 73,000 individuals have used
the network to find plant images, information about plant species of North
America, and regional information about landscapers and plant suppliers,
and a calendar of events related to native plants. NPIN is a free service
that is useful to home gardeners as well as professional land managers and
plant scientists. An "Ask the Expert" feature allows anyone to get answers
and advice from Center staff.
East view of tower, part of the
rainwater collection system. Photo by Ron Sprouse.
Native Plants magazine is published quarterly and enjoyed by more
than 13,000 Wildflower Center members nationwide and other supporters and
enthusiasts. Complemented with beautiful photographs, the magazine features
stories from across the North America on native plant species, landscaping
with natives, horticultural advice, wildlife habitat, and organizations and
individuals having an impact on native plant conservation.
For more information about the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, to
access the NPIN databases, or to become a member, visit
or call 512-292-4200.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
News from the Society
The annual Botany Conference brings together a broad spectrum of researchers,
professors, educators and motivated students, all focused on what's new and
vibrant in the diverse field of plant biology. Botany 2005 promises to be
the most successful in the series. This is the annual conference of four
leading professional societies, including the Botanical Society of America,
the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, the American Society
of Plant Taxonomists, and the American Fern Society.
An anticipated 600 participants will present an anticipated over 500 scientific
contributions including 7 symposia, papers, posters, and special lectures.
A full slate of field trips and scientific workshops and social events will
round out the program.
Botany 2005 is being held at the Austin Hilton, a new hotel that has a
enough meeting space for our entire program. An Exhibit Hall will be located
in a plush ballroom, and will be the center of social activities including
conference-wide breaks and poster session for the meeting.
Saturday, August 13, will feature the 4th Educational and Outreach Forum.
This successful component of the Botany conference is designed to draw an
audience of educators and researchers involved in the teaching of biology
and plant science on many levels, from kindergarten through college. The day
will include a range of interesting discussion-type sessions, a keynote lecture
and will conclude with a reception, which will give attendees the opportunity
to discuss and network in a social setting. For the first time, attendees
will be able to apply for Texas Continuing Professional Education Credits
for attending Forum sessions and activities.
Sunday, August 14, will be an active day of scientific workshops, and fieldtrips.
Sunday evening will open the scientific meeting with the conference-wide Plenary
Lecture, followed by an All Society Mixer.
Monday morning, August 15, kicks off the scientific sessions and symposia.
Tuesday afternoon, August 16, will feature a conference-wide Poster Session,
with an expected 200 posters featuring current research and recent topics.
Scientific Sessions will conclude on Wednesday August 17. Participating Societies
will also hold social events and meetings through out the week.
American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS)
American Fern Society (AFS)
American Society of Plant Taxonomists
Botanical Society of America (BSA)
Increasing Undergraduate Diversity
The Botanical Society of America (BSA) is pleased to announce the third year
of a program entitled "Increasing diversity at the annual Botanical Society
of America meeting," This program is supported by the National Science Foundation
(Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) Program) and will provide
financial and professional assistance for 10 minority (African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans,
Native Americans/Alaskan Natives and persons with disabilities) undergraduate
research students to attend the Botany2005 conference. Through a supportive
mentoring network and orientation activities, the students will be integrated
into professional and social activities of the Botany 2005 conference (
http://www.botanyconference.org/ ). If you know of an eligible
and deserving undergraduates who would benefit from this experience, or if you
would like to serve as a mentor, please contact Karen Renzaglia (email@example.com)
or Jeffrey Osborn (firstname.lastname@example.org). A call for applications and application guidelines are available
on the BSA (http://www.botany.org) and Botany 2005
) web sites. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2005. This program
is an important step towards strengthening the science workforce by utilizing
the full range of intellectual talent from diverse ethnic and minority populations.
We encourage and welcome your participation.
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION: WE NEED
As you know, BSA will be celebrating its centennial when we meet at Chico
State University, California, in 2006. In the last issue of the PSB, you
read about the various plans underway to help make this a very special event.
However, a decision has not yet been made on a theme for the meeting, and
the Centennial Committee would like to present one or more ideas to the Executive
Committee at its spring meeting on April 8th. The possible themes
identified thus far are:
1. Looking to the Future - Conserving the Past
2. Green Earth - Blue Planet
3. Plant a Seed - Sow the Future
4. Plants are Us
5. Growing Our Future, Conserving Our Past
6. Planting Our Future, Conserving Our Past
Thus, please think about the theme and send Bill Dahl (email@example.com) your choice, ideas and thoughts. Also, any ideas for making the centennial
meeting extra special would be greatly appreciated. Dr. William Dahl, BSA
Business Office, Botanical Society of America, 4475 Castleman Avenue, P.O.
Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63416-6299 (phone 314-577-9566)
Stay tuned. In the next issue of the PSB, the design for the Centennial
Medallion will be revealed.
Chair - BSA Centennial Committee
Theodore M. Barkley, 1934_2004
Dr. Theodore M. (Ted) Barkley, Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT),
died on 24 July 2004 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 70.
Ted was born on 14 May 1934 in Modesto, California. He received his B.S.
from Kansas State University in 1955, his M.S. from Oregon State University
in 1957, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1960. Ted joined the faculty
of Kansas State University in 1961 where he enjoyed a 37-year career as a
professor and curator of the herbarium. He retired from K-State in 1998 and
moved to Fort Worth, where he was a Research Associate at BRIT until his
Ted was well-known for his research on the systematics of the North American
Senecioneae (Asteraceae), especially Senecio, Packera, and
allied genera. He published more than 30 research papers on the nomenclature,
systematics, and phytogeography of these challenging plants. Ted trained nearly
a dozen Masters and Ph.D. students, and influenced the careers of countless
other undergraduate and graduate students during his tenure at K-State.
Ted firmly believed that the results of systematic research must be made
accessible to the broader scientific community and to the general public
through the writing of floras. "How does this allow a person to put a name
on a plant in hand?" he often asked. He devoted much of his career to floristic
research. Based partly on the published and unpublished manuscripts of Frank
C. Gates, botany professor at K-State from 1919-1955, Ted wrote A Manual
of the Flowering Plants of Kansas in 1968, which he used in his plant
taxonomy class. Ted was a central figure in the Great Plains Flora Association,
an alliance of 15 botanists from 13 institutions that produced two seminal
floristic works about the vascular plants of the central North American grasslands:
Atlas of the Flora of the Great Plains (1977) and Flora of the
Great Plains (1986, 1991). Ted was an editor and contributor for these
books, the latter of which received the Henry Allan Gleason Award in 1987
for outstanding publication in the fields of plant taxonomy, plant ecology,
and plant geography.
Ted carried his passion for floristics to another major initiative in the
1980s - the Flora of North America (FNA) project. He played a central role
in the project during its formative year and remained active in FNA until
his death. He served as North Central U.S. Regional Coordinator from 1991-1998,
Taxon Editor for Asteraceae from 1991_2004, Lead Editor for Asteraceae for
1998-2004, member of the Editoral Committee from 1984-2004, and member of
the Management Committee from 1996-2004. He moved to BRIT in 1998 in large
part to devote his full attention to the establishment of an editorial center
there to coordinate production of three volumes covering the Asteraceae.
That center carries on, and Ted's work, and that of many colleagues, will
be published in 2005 - a remarkable achievement in North American botany.
Ted was a life-long student of the history and philosophy of taxonomy.
He often concluded his plant taxonomy lecture on the history of botany by
recounting his own academic lineage: Barkley was a student of Cronquist, who
was student of Rosendahl, who was a student of Engler, who was a student of
Göppert, who was a student of Beckmann, who was a student of Linnaeus.
The impact on students was tangible and indelible. While respecting botany's
history, Ted foresaw many of the challenges and opportunities that the revolution
in information technology would bring to the discipline and to science in
general. He pushed for a new generation of biologists to be trained to mine
the voluminous data accumulated from experimentation and observation, to
place them in a broader context, and to extend their utility.
A gifted communicator, Ted had a clear and unencumbered manner of expressing
himself. His love of puns - magnified when he was a doctoral student with
Art Cronquist - was renowned. Ted's finely honed lectures were replete with
puns, wordplay, and the occasional double entendre, many of which were lost
on students feverishly transcribing lecture notes. For me, one of his most
memorable lectures was delivered when I was a teaching assistant in his plant
taxonomy class. Ted's mother, Faye, was visiting from California, and Ted
invited her to sit in on the class. Faye and I planted ourselves in the back
of the lab as Ted launched into his lecture with characteristic enthusiasm.
Soon into it, we decided to evaluate Ted's performance. With each pun, Faye
and I hastily scrawled scores from 1 to 10 on notebook paper and flashed
them at Ted. Nonplussed at first, Ted quickly grasped the significance of
the numbers and seized the challenge to rack up maximum points for delivery
and impact. The students were oblivious; the performance was the stuff of
Ted cherished the opera and tea time. At K-State, he spent most Saturdays
in his office in the herbarium perfecting manuscripts, listening to the Metropolitan
Opera on the radio, and breaking for a pot of Lapsang Souchong or Oolong
in the mid-afternoon. Ever the teacher, light conversation over tea inevitably
would give way to science, and Ted would regale participants with a homily
about some botanical luminary, generic concepts in the Senecioneae, or the
floristic heritage of North America.
Memorial services were held in Texas on 26 and 27 November 2004. Another
service is planned for 2 April 2005 at the College Avenue United Methodist
Church in Manhattan, Kansas. The Botanical Research Institute of Texas has
renamed its academic seminar series, now the T.M. Barkley Plant Science and
Ecology Seminar, to honor Ted's dedication to research in botany and ecology.
Craig C. Freeman, R.L. McGregor Herbarium, University of Kansas, Lawrence,
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
The International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature
The International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature (ISPN) is a newly
formed organization the purpose of which is to encourage and facilitate the
development, codification, and utilization of phylogenetic nomenclature. Phylogenetic
nomenclature is, in short, the theory and practice of naming groups of organisms
and applying existing names to such groups in the context of newly proposed
phylogenetic hypotheses using principles and methods derived from the fundamental
principle of common descent. The ISPN (in particular, its Committee on Phylogenetic
Nomenclature) will be responsible for ratifying and overseeing future changes
in the PhyloCode, a codified set of principles and rules of phylogenetic
nomenclature. The ISPN was inaugurated and met for the first time in July
2004 in Paris, France. The Society is open to all persons interested in phylogenetic
nomenclature and is now accepting members. A membership form can be downloaded
from the PhyloCode/ISPN website at
(see the link at the bottom of the gray bar on the left-hand side of the
home page). The Council of the ISPN would like to encourage all interested
persons to join the Society.
Kevin de Queiroz
2005 In Vitro Biology Meeting
June 5 - 8, 2005
The 2005 In Vitro Biology Meeting will be held from June 5 - 8, 2005 in
Baltimore, Maryland. The meeting, which will attract scientific participation
from many countries, will focus on issues pertinent to Plant, Vertebrate,
Invertebrate, and Cellular Toxicology research to give participants a unique
learning experience on plant and animal cell culture and biotechnology. Scientists,
sponsors, and exhibitors interested in participating in the 2005 Meeting
are asked to contact Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, 2005 Program Chair, or the
specific Section Program Chairs: Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Cellular Toxicology
Program Chair; William J. Smith, Vertebrate Program Chair; Guy Smagghe, Invertebrate
Program Chair; or Allan Wenck, Plant Program Chair.
For additional information see <
International Carnivorous Plants Society
The 2006 Meeting of the ICPS will be held at Frostburg State University
in Frostburg, Maryland, from Friday June 2, 2006, to Sunday June 4, 2006 (participants
can arrive Thursday June 1), with field trips on Monday June 5. Frostburg
is several hours west of the Washington/Baltimore/Philadelphia area, and
Frostburg University has a conference center experience d in hosting international
conferences. Transportation to and from major international airports
will be available, and there are several relevant for this meeting.
Housing and meals will be available on the University campus as well as
in hotels near the University, and space for vendors will be available very
close to the sites for talks and posters.
In addition to all of the usual activities, the committee is planning
a workshop on botanical art and one on using cp's to teach children about
science. Several fieldtrips to the Middle Atlantic region of the USA are
being planned for immediately after the conference.
For updates on the web, please watch the ICPS homepage
The organizing committee is co-chaired by Doug Darnowski of Indiana University
Southeast and Hong-qi Li of Frostburg State University and also includes
Terre Golembiewski of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Steve Williams
of Lebanon Valley College.
for links to the conference website, which should be available during February
2005 for information, mid-2005 for registration and abstract submission.
Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University
Applications are invited for a faculty position at the rank of Assistant
Professor in research and Extension on environmental issues related to nursery
production as well as biotic or abiotic factors limiting plant production
or quality, with emphasis on integrated container production systems.
Appointment to the position will become effective as early as July 1, 2005.
For a complete announcement, visit the website of the Department of Horticulture,
. Oregon State University is an AA/EOE.
Department of Horticulture
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-7304
GRANTS FOR BOTANICAL GARDENS AND ARBORETA
The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust invites applications for grants up to
$20,000 for education and research in ornamental horticulture. Not-for-profit
botanical gardens, arboreta, and similar institutions are eligible. The
deadline for applications is August 15, 2005. For current guidelines,
contact Thomas F. Daniel, Grants Director, SSHT, Dept. of Botany, California
Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94103, USA email: (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thomas F. Daniel, Grants Director, Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, Dept.
of Botany, California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard Street, San Francisco,
CA 94103 U.S.A.
M.Sc. Opportunity at Acadia University.
Helianthemum canadense is an endangered plant species in Nova Scotia that
uses two very distinct modes of reproduction to produce seed in the same
season. This project, beginning in April 2005, will involve the use of specialized
microscopy techniques (paraffin and resin embedding and sectioning; scanning
electron microscopy) to study comparative floral development, and associated
changes in reproductive biology, in chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers
of Helianthemum canadense. The successful candidate must be willing and able
to carry out some independent field research at a site approximately 60 km
from Acadia University. The candidate should also be willing to travel and
obtain specimens from other remote sites (e.g., northeast USA). A stipend
of $15000 CDN per year will be made available for two years. Please send
a cover letter, CV and two letters of reference (preferably from undergraduate
24 University Ave.
SUMMER INTERNSHIPS AT CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES
2005 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships
PLANT BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
Application deadline: March 15, 2005
The Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University are accepting applications
for a Summer esearch Program in Plant Biology and Conservation Science (June
15 - August 30, 2005) supported by a National Science Foundation-REU site
grant. This year we will offer up to 8 awards to qualified undergraduates
interested in conducting plant research. Stipends of $3,000 plus accommodation
costs will be awarded to successful applicants. Funds are also available to
support research and travel. We offer students hands-on experience and training
in a wide variety of field studies, including: plant demography, quantitative
genetics, molecular ecology, plant breeding, invasive plant dynamics, paleoethnobotany,
economic botany, soil ecology, and remote sensing. Responsibilities may include
field sampling, laboratory studies, and data analysis. Core program activities
include the design and execution of independent, mentored research projects,
and participation in weekly seminars. Through these activities, students
will learn the fundamentals of experimental design, the use of the scientific
literature, data collection and analysis, and oral presentation. At the end
of the summer, students will analyze their data, prepare an abstract, and
present their findings at a student research symposium. Applications and
further information can be obtained from Dr. David Lentz
(email@example.com). Completed applications (see form attached)
for the summer of 2005 must be received by March 15 and notification of acceptance
into the program will be provided by April 20. Acceptance into the program
will be based on academic performance, your professional goals and research
VALUE OF A GARDEN
This new lesson makes a total of 37 lessons available for classroom use.
It engages students in critical thinking about the value of botanical, community,
and other gardens in preserving biodiversity and in contributing to sustainable
communities. The lesson is accompanied by a
PowerPoint presentation, FEEDBACK LOOPS FOR FLOWER GARDENING. Access the
lesson and PP presentation from the lesson directory at:
NORTHWESTERN AND CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN JOIN FORCES TO TRAIN BOTANISTS
EVANSTON, Ill. — Chocolate, coffee, rice, wheat, corn, eucalyptus, aloe
vera, wood, cotton and oxygen. Where would we be without plants? At a time
when native plant species are increasingly endangered around the world so,
it seems, is the plant scientist. Not enough botanists or plant conservationists
are being trained to address the growing national and international threats
to biodiversity and impending global mass extinctions.
In response to this critical shortage, Northwestern University and the
Chicago Botanic Garden are joining forces to offer the nation's first master
of science degree in plant biology and conservation — a unique interdisciplinary
program designed to educate the next generation of plant scientists. This
is the first major collaboration between the two institutions.
"This is a wonderful new marriage of intellectual interests, culminating
in an important new graduate program that neither institution could offer
alone," said Jon E. Levine, professor of neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern
and director of the program in biological sciences. "We are experiencing
major environmental changes — loss of habitat and biodiversity, extinction
of species, global climactic change — and these shifts are having a major
impact on human life and the science of our globe. By teaching new scientists
to apply human reason and science to these large and complex problems we
are looking to the future."
>From the Eastern prairie white fringed orchid of the Midwest to the Aloe
rauhii of Madagascar, the Earth's plants are in peril. According to a
1997 World Conservation Union report, 34,000 species, or 12.5 percent, of
the world's flora are facing extinction. In the United States, 4,669 species,
or 29 percent of the country's plants, are in danger of becoming extinct.
The United States' flora is the fourth most endangered in the world. Here
in Illinois, more than 300 species of native plants are listed as threatened
The primary causes of species extinction or endangerment are habitat destruction,
commercial exploitation (such as plant collecting), damage caused by nonnative
plants and animals introduced into an area, and pollution. Of all of these
causes, direct habitat destruction is the most problematic for plant species.
To stem the loss of biodiversity and its harm to ecosystems, threatened
and endangered plants must be located and safeguarded; their reproductive
biology must be understood; and they must be propagated and reintroduced to
native habitats that will sustain them into the future. This requires qualified
and committed botanists and plant conservationists.
"In light of the colossal environmental changes taking place across the
globe, this dynamic partnership between the Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern
University seeks to create an educational springboard for tomorrow's leaders
in plant conservation and biodiversity research," said David Lentz, vice
president of scientific affairs at the Chicago Botanic Garden. "This new
program is urgently needed to produce conservation biologists who will help
anticipate and prevent the potential loss of plant species and the valuable
genetic and chemical information they contain."
Students in the Northwestern/Chicago Botanic Garden program will study
populations of endangered plants — their genetics, the environmental changes
to their habitats and their potential for reintroduction. They will learn
how to use the Code of Botanical Nomenclature and define plant populations;
acquire an understanding of the complexity and interactions of the many organisms
that comprise plant communities and ecosystems; learn the diverse ways that
plants are valuable to people; develop a working knowledge of nucleic acid
and chromosome structure; and master DNA sequencing and gene cloning.
Upon graduation, the plant scientists will go on to work in the nation's
botanical gardens, for the federal government, as teachers in high schools
or junior colleges, or continue their studies in doctoral programs, leading
efforts to save plant species from extinction and increase public awareness.
Applications are being accepted for the first class, entering in fall 2005.
The master's degree — five core courses, four electives, independent research
and a thesis — can be finished in four or five quarters. Molecular biology,
biostatistics and plant science will be at the curriculum's core; the independent
research component will provide students with opportunities to work on "real
world" conservation and botanical problems. Classes will meet at Northwestern
and the Chicago Botanic Garden and be taught by faculty from biology, environmental
studies, anthropology, engineering and economics.
"The master's program is part of a bigger effort to build synergy between
Northwestern and the Chicago Botanic Garden," said Levine. "Our undergraduate
science students also will benefit from access to new classes and independent
research projects conducted under faculty at the Garden. This is an exciting
opportunity for them as well."
Applications are being accepted for the first class, entering in fall 2005.
The master's degree —five core courses, four electives, independent research,
and a thesis — can be finished in four or five quarters.
Classes will meet at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University.
Jon E. Levine
Professor of neurobiology and physiology
Director of the program in Biological Sciences
Assistant to Professor Jon E. Levine
Department of neurobiology and physiology
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Awarded Prestigious $150,000 Grant Second Year in
a RowFrom Institute of Museum and Library Services
BBG Receives Maximum Grant Amount to Promote Message That Plants
Are Essential To Life
BROOKLYN, NY—November 10, 2004— Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) was
awarded a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
for the second year in a row. The three-year $150,000 grant, Where Plants
Come to Life: Interpreting the Garden for the 21st Century, will fund
BBG in its mission to promote lifelong learning through an innovative interpretation
program that will convey essential information about the environment, while
demonstrating to visitors that plants are both fascinating and essential
to life. The goal of this program is to give BBG the institutional capacity
to provide visitors with a better understanding of the vital role plants
play in their lives, and consequently, to become better stewards of the environment.
The IMLS Museums for America grant will enable BBG to develop a formal, institution-wide
interpretation program dedicated to conveying the vital conservation message,
"Plants are essential to life." This important message will target the Garden's
more than 750,000 annual visitors. Specifically, the grant will fund the
development of the Garden's first interpretive master plan, the creation and
testing of a variety of interpretive devices to be used onsite at BBG, and staff
development to facilitate this program. The Garden will pilot new signage and
install new interpretive signs in order to create a long-lasting awareness of
the importance of plant conservation.
"Receiving a prestigious IMLS grant for the second time is an enormous
honor for BBG," said Judith Zuk, president Brooklyn Botanic Garden. "This
year's award goes right to the heart of our mission which is to educate the
public about the importance of conserving plants—our most vital and threatened
resource. Our new interpretation will communicate our plant conservation
message and encourage visitors to see their trip to the Garden not as a one-time
experience, but as a starting point to lifelong learning about the environment,"
Zuk explained. "This vital funding from IMLS will help us capture visitors'
imaginations — perhaps the most powerful way of engaging and exciting people
— with the hope of encouraging visitors to develop a more active and responsible
relationship to the world around them," Zuk added.
According to Dr. Robert S. Martin, Director of the Institute of Museum
and Library Services, "We are pleased that Brooklyn Botanic Garden will use
this grant to enrich the visitor's learning experience and communicate an
important message that plants are essential to life. BBG's new signage efforts
are impressive; they will be comprehensive, interpretive communication vehicles,"
Dr. Martin added. "The purpose of Museums for America grants is to help museums
advance their roles as trusted resources that serve communities by creating
and sustaining a nation of learners. Receiving this competitive award
is a great accomplishment and demonstrates the ability of BBG staff to provide
highly valued museum services," said Dr. Martin.
IMLS is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating
and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve
their communities. IMLS Museum of America grants reinforce the ability of
museums to serve the public more effectively by supporting high-priority activities
that advance the institution's goals. The grant application process is highly
competitive; this year IMLS received 829 applications for the Museum of America
grants, and distributed 190 awards totaling in $16 million.
Julie Warsowe, Director of Continuing Education at BBG will direct this three-year
program. "I am honored to have been selected to head up this groundbreaking
project. The grant allows us to provide a useful and easy-to-understand
interpretation of the plants in the Garden with the twin goals of inspiring
curiosity about plants in our lives and facilitating a deeper understanding
of the importance of plant conservation," said Warsowe. "BBG's new signage
efforts will make it one of the only gardens in the country with this kind of
comprehensive, interpretive communication vehicle. We will develop an interactive,
creative interpretative program to encourage visitors to physically interact
with the Garden in a new way. Traditional signs and brochures will be re-designed,
and non-traditional mechanisms, such as storytelling or new ways of using the
website, will be introduced to help our visitors better understand and enjoy
BBG's collections," she explained.
In 2003 IMLS awarded BBG a Learning Opportunities Grant to support the
Garden's role in creating Brooklyn's first environmental high school in partnership
with the NYC Department of Education and the Prospect Park Alliance. Brooklyn
Academy of Science and the Environment (BASE) opened its doors in September
2003 to a starting freshman
class of 125 students. Last year's grant enabled Brooklyn Botanic Garden to
develop curriculum for BASE and to fully utilize the Garden's staff to evaluate
the curriculum's success. In addition, the grant gives BASE students access
to BBG's world-class botanical resources, including its plant collections,
Library, and Herbarium as part of the high school campus. BASE students ended
their first year with an impressive average attendance rate of 90%, and over
75% of the students passed the Living Environment regents exam at a level
to qualify for a Regents diploma.
GA Herbarium Closed During Infrastructure Upgrades
The University of Georgia Herbarium [GA] collection will be unavailable
from 4 Jan. through 1 April 2005 due to NSF/BRC-funded infrastructural upgrades
to the compactor system [NSF DBI-0450818; W. B. Zomlefer, PI & D. E.
Giannasi, coPI] and associated specimen reorganization. During this time,
we will likely be unable to fulfill loan requests; we can, however, accept
loan returns and exchange (but would prefer to receive them after 1 April).
We apologize for any inconvenience.
Wendy B. Zomlefer, Curator; Kelly A. Bettinger, Collections Manager
Opportunities to Comment on NEON
Planning for the NSF-funded National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
is on a fast track. A distinguished body of scientists, engineers, and educators
has been selected to serve on the committees that will shape the blueprint
for NEON's implementation. Members of the biological community will have
a number of opportunities to review and comment on draft materials as the
NEON Design Consortium produces documents early in 2005.
In September 2004, AIBS finalized a cooperative agreement with the National
Science Foundation to develop a detailed NEON planning document by June 2006.
The NEON Design Consortium — with more than 150 committee and subcommittee
members — formally begins its work with meetings in January, March, and June
of 2005. The committee reports will identify which continental-scale science
questions NEON will address, what kinds of sensor technology and cyberinfrastructure
will be required, and how to realize NEON's potential for educating new generations
The eight Subcommittees of the Science and Human Dimensions Committee will
focus on invasive species, land use, biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles,
climate change, infectious disease, hydrology, and emerging issues. Additional
subcommittees will develop NEON's approaches to research infrastructure, IT
and communication, and sensors and sensor networks. Education subcommittees
will address NEON opportunities for K-12, the graduate and postdoctoral level,
and informal education.
Members of the bioscience community can find the latest news about NEON
at www.neoninc.org, including a full roster of
NEON's Design Consortium members. Draft documents will be posted online for
peer review shortly after each of the three meetings scheduled in 2005: January
4-6, March 15-17, and June 7-9.
Third Annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden
February 26-March 27, 2005
Just when the winter blues are most likely to have set in, The Orchid Show
at the New York Botanical Garden offers a warm getaway to exotic locales that
proffer countless varieties of orchids - by way of the landmark Enid A. Haupt
Conservatory in the Bronx.
More than 5000 orchid specimens will be on dramatic display in naturalistic
habitats and artistic settings.
The 2005 show, which carries the distinction of being the only curated
and designed museum-quality orchid exhibition, is themed "Orchid Adventures."
The focus is on orchid exploration, particularly of orchids that have become
scarce in the wild, and conservation in the Old World - primarily Asia -
and the new World.
Orchid-filled canoes afloat in a pool surrounded by towering palm trees
in the Conservatory's Palms of the Americas gallery mark the beginning of
the exciting journey.
In the Lowland Rain Forest gallery, the sight and scents of Oncidiums,
Epidendrum, Cattleyas, and other New World orchid species amid dense,
lush greenery brings the illusion that one is exploring the jungles of the
Enter the Seasonal Exhibition galleries and you are suddenly traveling
through the farthest reaches of Asia. Among the thousands of Old World
Vandas, Dendrobium, Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, and more is set a reed hut,
illustrative of a site where orchid explorers (and smugglers) would make
Orchid adventures don't end in the Conservatory. Just a short walk on the
Garden grounds from America's preeminent glasshouse, varieties of Old and
New World slipper orchids will be on view in the terrarium of the Mertz Librarty's
Orchid Rotunda for additional study and enjoyment. These captivating beauties
come in a wide range of colors, sizes, and forms, all sporting the pouch
lip reminiscent of fine ballroom slippers. The intriguing beauty of slipper
orchids has made them targets for unscrupulous plant collectors for well
over a century. Today, international laws restrict their removal from the
Thousands of top-quality, exotic, and hard-to-find orchid specimens are
available for purchase in the Shop in the Garden, along with orchid products
for the home grower and dozens upon dozens of orchid book titles.
Exhibition tours home gardening demonstrations, expert Q & A sessions,
Continuing Education classes, and children's programming round out the month-long
orchid adventures at the New York Botanical Garden.
Botany in Introductory-level Courses
As a follow-up to the botany in US universities survey we did a year or
so ago and published in the Plant Science Bulletin, I'd like to take
a closer look at the botany students are getting in our introductory-level
courses. If you are teaching an introductory-level botany course or an
introductory-level biology course (for either majors or non-majors), I
would appreciate it if you would send me a copy of your syllabus(i) (electronic
is preferred, but hard copy will do). I'd also appreciate any anecdotal comments
you'd like to share about teaching botany to your students.
Thank you in advance
Plant Science Bulletin
Department of Biological Sciences
Emporia State University
Emporia, KS 66801
Books Reviewed In this issue:
Evolutionary Theory - Mathematical and Conceptual
Foundations. Sean H. Rice - - Thomas J. Herbert.......18
Seed Conservation: Turning Science Into Practice
. Smith, Roger D., J.B. Dickie, S.H. Linington,
H.W. Pritchard, and R.J. Probert (eds) - John Beckner...............................................................................18
Timber Press Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses
. Rick Darke. - James Luteyn.........................................20
Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition: An Ethnobotany
of Britain & Ireland
. Allen, David and
Gabrielle Hatfield. - Lynette Y. Wong..........................................................................................................20
Multimedia Toolkit for Educators in the Plant Sciences
. Michael Clayton. - John Pascarella............................21
BPH-2: Periodicals with Botanical Content.
Gavin D.R. Bridson. - Don Les...................................................23
Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs
. Pierre Joseph Redoute. - Douglas Darnowski..................................................24
Sex, Botany & Empire: The Story of Carl Linnaeus and
. Patricia Fara. - John Z. Kiss................24
The Sacred Tree in Religion and Myth
. J.H. Philpot. - John Beckner................................................................15
The Physiology of Tropical Orchids in Relation to
. 2nd ed. Hew, C.S. and J.W.H. Yong.
- Joseph Arditti................................................................................................................................................27
Phytoremediation, Transformation and Control
. McCutcheon, S.C. and J.L. Schnoor (eds)
- Nina Baghai-Riding........................................................................................................................................28
The Cattleyas and Their Relatives. The Debatable
. Withner, Carl L and Patricia Harding.
- Joseph Arditti..................................................................................................................................................29
he Natural History of Madagascar
. Goodman, Steven M. and Jonathan P. Benstead (eds) - Gerhard Prenner....30
The Genus Paeonia
. Halda, Josef J. - Mark Fishbein..........................................................................................32
. Large, Mark F. and John E. Braggins. - Douglas Darnowski.............................................................33
Wild Plants in Auckland
. Alan Esler. - P. Barry Tomlinson...................................................................................34
Evolutionary Theory - Mathematical and Conceptional Foundations. Sean
H. Rice. 1997. Sinauer Associates, Inc. 370 pp. ISBN 0-87893-702-1. Mathematical
modeling of biological systems is a powerful technique that can result in
a synthesis of details and provides a basis for testing of new hypotheses.
In recent decades, a synthetic mathematical approach has been applied to
such diverse problems as population biology, community ecology, and evolutionary
Much of the mathematical work in evolutionary biology has centered on population
genetics. Rice has taken a more comprehensive approach, combining a discussion
of mathematical population genetics with modeling of phenotypic evolution.
The first chapters of the book cover selection on one and two loci, drift
at neutral loci, effective population size and diffusion theory. In the sixth
chapter, Rice builds on classical population genetics by introducing Price's
Theorem, which describes the mean phenotype of descendents as a function
of phenotypes and numbers of ancestors. Development of chapter 6 continues,
showing how Price's Theorem unites material covered in previous chapters.
The remaining chapters include discussion of developmental evolution and
evolutionary game theory, but the first 6 chapters are the core of "Evolutionary
Rice states that "Evolutionary Theory" forms the basis for a graduate course
that he teaches. Furthermore, he claims that only a basic knowledge of calculus
is required. Though I am not an evolutionary biologist, I have considerable
experience in mathematical biology and come from a physics background. Reading
through Rice's book, I found that some sophistication in understanding mathematical
notation might be required. The basic mathematics isn't very difficult, but
the use of notation might sometimes be a bit much for graduate students of
biology. I'm happier with the more straightforward notation and directness
of authors like Roughgarden.
The mathematical treatment starts abruptly and moves into a not too elegant
description of chaos, in the first dozen or so pages of the text. A student
with only a basic calculus background will likely find the description of
the diffusion equation a bit difficult. Mercifully, Rice doesn't use gradient
and Laplacian operators. On page 78, the discussion of random walk seems
to imply that the mean of the absolute value of distance from the origin
is somehow the same as the standard deviation of distance from the origin.
One reason we use standard deviations, the root mean square deviation, is
that absolute values are notoriously difficult to calculate and express in
a simple way. Lack of care in the use of notation
seems to confuse this discussion of random walk. I suspect that my problems
with other parts of this book may lie more with lack of clarity in notation
than with inherent conceptual difficulty.
In short, the selection of topics in "Evolutionary Theory" is excellent.
I'm sure that the author understands the subject well. However, I'm not sure
that students of biology, even with some experience in mathematical modeling
of evolutionary and ecological problems, will fully benefit from using this
book. A student of mathematics or a biologist guided by a skilled instructor
will be able to glide over the rough spots and benefit from the detailed
and comprehensive structure of the book. - Thomas J. Herbert, Department
of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0421
Plant Diversity and Evolution: Genotypic and Phenotypic
Variation in Higher Plants. R J Henry (ed), Centre for Plant Conservation
Genetics, Southern Cross University, Australia. 2004. ISBN: 0 85199 904 2.
HB. 352 pages.CABI Publishing
As a special offer to members of the Botanical Society
of America, CABI Publishing are offering a 20% discount on this title.
Special discount price £44.00 (US$80.00) (Normal
price £65.00 / US$120.00)
North and Central America book orders are handled
by our exclusive books distributor, Oxford University Press: 2001 Evans
Road, Cary, North Carolina 27513-2009, USA
Tel: +1 800 451 7556 Fax: +1 919 677 1303 Email:
To obtain your discount simply quote reference
L175 when placing your order by phone, fax, or email, or go to www.oup.com/us
enter the code L175 in the `Enter Sales Promo Code' box and then select the
Seed Conservation: Turning Science Into Practice. Roger D. Smith, J.B.
Dickie, S.H. Linington, H.W. Pritchard, and R.J. Probert (eds). 2003. ISBN
1842460528. (Cloth US$116.90) 1023 p. The Cromwell Press Ltd. Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB. Multicellular organisms are obviously
very complex phenomena. Their structure, behavior, interactions with both
the biological and the non-biological are involved and often counterintuitive
(to us). Seeds, now, there's a simpler matter. Probably we tend to assume
this attitude, rather than consciously express it. No doubt there is
some truth in, but only a relative truth. Seeds are surprisingly complex.
Seed Conservation is the proceedings of a 2001 conference. There
are 56 chapters and close to 1000 pages of text. It does not pretend to cover
all seed plants, nor all aspects of its topic. This is too heavy a book for
bedtime reading and hardly the style for it anyway. Basically, it is a reference
manual. In a forward that provides a good overview, Peter R. Crane, of Kew,
says the book is not recipes, but a road map. Recipes are useful (and there
are some in the book), but road maps are also useful. Much of the text does
strive to provide us with guidance on some interstates, various US and a
few state and local routes. There is a lot about planning and how to do things.
A goal of conserving, as seed, 10% of the world's flora by 2009 was set.
This is a good enough objective (in 2 senses) so, let us wait and see how
it turns out. Since dry country plants are easiest to store, with present
techniques, they will be emphasized. Every bit helps, but 24,000 species,
mostly xeric grasses, shrubs, and pharmaceutical plants may not be at the
top of everyone's conservation priorities. If we could save Ginkgo
or Franklinia, or else a lot of savanna grasses, how many hundreds
of these last would seem like a fair trade? There are many invaluable facts
and figures in the book, but I was most taken by page 49. The cost of conservation
of ONE species is £1000 to £33000 per year.
Reread this, pause, and think about the implications.
There are aspects of this book that I must criticize. The color cover illustration
is representative of the contents. But there are 56 chapters plus three sections
and a couple of other subdivisions. The same photo, full page, in a blurry
gray greets us in front of each. The reverse of the page is blank. That makes
about 120 totally wasted pages. Save a tree? It would have been nice to have
good illustrations of some of the plants discussed, especially ones we do
not otherwise see. Millettia leucantha and Warburgia salutaris
may be boringly common to East Africans but are completely unfamiliar
Most angiosperms are mycorrhizal. This topic is discussed in several places.
But I had a feeling the problems of identifying, preserving ex situ, and
sometime in the future reassembling the symbiosis may need far more attention.
Near the end, p.986, lack of discussion of restoration to the wild is excused
by saying that seed bank managers can't be expected to do everything. But
there are many authors and couldn't someone else
have been added, to at least provide a road map to restoration? What about
1 or 2 case histories? If funding agencies, taxpayers, and conservation people
see 24,000 species freeze dried at enormous cost, but no evidence of any
impact on the environment, how soon will the funds dry up? And then what
becomes of the seed?
I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in Florida if you give
a talk and even mention ex situ seeds or live plants, you will be criticized
or attacked by native plant enthusiasts and even a few academic biologists
for messing with Mother Nature. You can plead that nature is being heavily
messed with by others and ex situ is essential to counter some of this. Thank
God that Ginkgo, Franklinia, and Delonix regia
survive! To this, they become agitated, because you are saving nonnative
species. Some readers may think this paragraph is an exaggerated joke. It
is not. I have come to the point of often avoiding giving talks because of
these unpleasant encounters. But if we could show actual strong restoration
results, I think matters would go smoother.
The country of Jordan does not extend from longitude 33° to 22°
East and latitude 29° to 11° "East" as stated on p. 913. The editors
should have caught this strange confusion.
There is a much more serious error on p.258. We are told that pollen tube
growth and fertilization takes, "just a few minutes or hours" in angiosperms,
versus weeks in gymnosperms (except Ephedra). The Orchidaceae have
25,000 plus species, more than 10% of angiosperms (by the count implied in
Seed Conservation). So, this one family is larger than their goal
of 24,000 species saved. Fertilization is fast in Listera, but most
orchids take weeks, months, in many cases the better part of a year. There
are several published summaries of this, including long lists of taxa and
their timing, in various books and journals.
But overall, this is a very worthwhile road map. Those who will not be
doing ex situ seed conservation can still find much of value. There are numerous
facts and ideas worth incorporating in freshman botany and biology courses,
for example. On p. 655, it is said that models should sharpen the questions.
All of us need that attitude every day. I wish the conferences had paid a
lot more attention to plants of wetter habitats, particularly on tropical
mountains. That would have sharpened some of their questions. I find myself
sharpening my questions about dry habitat plants, such as in our white sand
scrub. If the road map leads us to new things it is a useful tool to keep
at hand. John Beckner - Marie Selby Botanical Garden.
Timber Press Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses. Rick Darke. 2004. ISBN
0-88192-653-1 (Flexbind US$19.95) 224 pp. Timber Press. 133 S.W. Second Avenue,
Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527. The Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses
is another attempt by Timber Press to provide the general public, gardeners,
and horticulturists with authoritative and comprehensive references to plant
groups of horticultural interest. This particular volume is a condensed,
pocket version of Rick Darke's more comprehensive book The Color Encyclopedia
of Ornamental Grasses (Timber Press, 1999) and its revised and expanded
companion version The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses on CD-ROM
(Timber Press, 2004). Together these books and the cd provide back-yard
gardeners and professionals alike with an impressive array of color photographs,
many in natural settings, and readable and informative text on how to grow
grasses and which species and cultivars are available for cultivation.
The first 20 pages of this pocket book provide basic, general information
about ornamental grass habits, growing seasons, sun and soil preferences,
fertilization, diseases and pests, planting and mulching techniques, weeding,
cutting back and burning, and dividing and transplanting techniques, as well
as a helpful list of grasses for specific purposes and locations, i.e., cool-season
ornamental grasses, ornamental grasses for movement in breezes, ornamental
grasses for fall color, etc. The remaining c. 180 pages describe 430
species and cultivars, illustrating 320 with beautiful color photographs
(there are 721 high-resolution, full-screen photos in the cd-rom version).
Most of the entries are ornamental grasses, but grass-like plants such as
sedges, rushes, restios (Restionaceae), and cat-tails are also included.
The entries are arranged in alphabetical order by scientific (genus) and
cultivar names. Common names and some synonyms are also provided (check
the Index for additional "missing" names, i.e., nomenclatural synonyms).
Each entry provides information as to the plant's potential size and shape,
light and moisture requirements, USDA cold-hardiness zones, important seasonal
color variations of foliage and inflorescences, and ideas on display and
propagation methods. Rick Darke's personal insight into each plants
outstanding horticultural features and his excellent photographs demonstrate
both a professional and hands-on love of ornamental grasses.
This is a great book for weekend gardeners (and would-bes like me) to carry
to their neighborhood nursery, garden-supply store, or botanical garden to
develop ideas about which available plants might fit into an overall scheme
for the home garden or local landscape! - Dr. James L. Luteyn, The New York
Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458-5126
Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition: An Ethnobotany of Britain & Ireland
, Allen, David E. and Gabrielle Hatfield. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-638-8 (hardcover
US$29.95) 431 pp. Timber Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450,
Portland, OR 97204-3527.
In recent years Gabrielle Hatfield has published prolifically on the folk
traditions of medicinal plants in the old and new world. This fourth book,
co-authored with David E. Allen, appears to be a compendium of some of her
previous work. The focus of this book is on the oft neglected history of
plants in human health. Documentation of medical tradition is provided for
more than 400 entries representing three major kingdoms still found in the
wilds of Ireland and Britain: Plantae, Protista, and Fungi. An extensive collection
of "herbal use" to treat humans, as well as animals, has been gleaned through
over 16 years of research and anecdotal survey.
The book’s chapters are broken down and loosely based on the Cronquist system
of classification of scientific order and family, which is not entirely intuitive.
Without the three indices in the back of the book — folk uses, scientific
names, and vernacular names — it would be difficult to find a particular
plant of interest. Each chapter begins with a list of family names.
Beneath family names are specific entries listed by Latin name. Each
Latin name is followed by the most common vernacular names (and in some cases
Celtic names), and records of herbal use. The records are broken down by
geographical area; herbal uses in the counties of Britain are listed before
the counties of Ireland. The records of herbal use are historical in nature,
enumerating the county and/or country in which the use occurred, the ailment,
and the ways in which the plant was used. Depending upon the text and oral
records that the information was gleaned from, these historical accounts
of herbal use can be as short as a sentence or extend as long as a few pages.
Sometimes the absence or acceptance of herbal use in a particular area bears
comment, especially if it seems notable due to a geographic location. Citations
within the herbal use records are numbered. Each chapter ends with a numbered
list of authors/titles corresponding to the citations. However, the full
citation is only listed at the end of the book, which makes for cumbersome
cross-referencing. The illustrations within the text are reproduced from
various sources and lack consistency. Some illustrations may be helpful for
taxonomic identification while others are only vaguely representative of
the plant. There is only a small section of color plates.
This was an ambitious scholarly work and, in light of the resurging interest
in traditional and folk medicine, it is worthwhile to examine this book.
The documentation and preservation of medicinal plant traditions in any region
is a worthwhile goal. However, in sampling entries, the reviewer found the
deliberate exclusion of the science behind ethnobotany to be disappointing.
Given the litigious nature of today's society, it is not surprising that
the authors distance themselves from endorsing any of the herbals but there
was a surprisingly brief acknowledgement of any modern application. Many
of the recent tomes regarding medicinal plants and ethnobotany have raised
interest in the genesis of herbal lore to modern Western medicine. Creating
interest in the symbiotic relationship between plants and human health provides
the opportunity to convey a profound respect for indigenous cultures, people,
and environment. The authors missed the opportunity to add value to their
book and reduced the readability by restricting its scope. This is not a
book for those seeking a story of the history of a plant for specific medical
use, but it would fit into an academic library's collection of traditional
medicine. — Lynette Y. Wong, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota,
St. Paul, MN 55108
Multimedia Toolkit for Educators in the Plant Sciences. Vol. 1: Basic Biological
Principles and Plant Structure, Vol. II: Botanical Diversity. 2003.
2 CD's. Michael Clayton, UW-Department of Botany. University of Wisconsin
Board of Regents.
This 2 CD volume contains a great diversity of material including 18 lecture
outlines (HTML format), lab manual covering 23 topics, and a large number
of images and movies. Volume I covers basic principles, including cell structure,
cell division, and anatomy and morphology while Vol. II includes the broad
reach of Botany including Bacteria, Protists, Fungi, and the Plant Kingdom.
As such, nearly all the material that would be covered in an introductory
botany course at the undergraduate level is available. To me, the best aspect
of the CD's are the great variety of images, which are in JPEG format (2365
image files) and the 35 digital movies. The images can be searched using
an enclosed Portfolio catalog that can searched by topic, genus, or part.
Also included are 3 Macromedia Authorware interactive activities and an interactive
pictorial key to the common trees of the Midwest.
For those using MACS, do not fear. The CD's are cross-platform compatible.
I ran the CD's on a Compaq PC using Windows XP and everything worked as intended.
The material is accessed through a somewhat unwieldy use of Abode acrobat
(Adobe reader is included). I had some difficulty maneuvering through the
material without getting lost. However, as the author notes, this CD is really
meant to be incorporated, as needed, into your own lecture and lab materials
and this requires copying files and folders to your computer. These are NOT
disks that will be handed out to students or purchased as a supplemental
learning aid, they are meant for the educator to utilize to develop or enhance
an existing botany course. All of the material is available, under fair use,
to be incorporated into courses elsewhere.
Will this set of CD's be useful to you? That will depend on how far along
you are in developing your course. If you have not yet made the transition
to the electronic age of information dissemination, yes they will. However,
those of us who have spent much time developing our own electronic format
courses might not find much to use here as I suspect most of this material,
in one form or another, already is included in our electronic lecture notes
and web-accessible material. Most of the Botany textbooks come with an extensive
image collection on CD. Even so, the image collection can still enhance one's
lecture, if nothing else by providing different images than the ones from
the book. I find that students will pay more attention to an image that is
NOT from their textbook, even though it covers the same material (I guess
they either already know the image from deep study (we hope) or figure they
can same material (I guess they either already know the image from
deep study (we hope) or figure they can cram it in later). Although I enjoyed
using the pictorial key to try to identify trees from my ancestral home in
the Midwest, it is of lesser heuristic value here in the outer
coastal plain of the Southeast. However, it did provide me with a great idea
for a similar pictorial key for the next botany class project. That is the
true value of the CD-to provide ideas and inspiration for educators to develop
similar materials for their courses and regions. Please note that all proceeds
from the CD’s will go to support undergraduate activities in Botany at UW-Madison.
- John Pascarella, Department of Biology, Valdosta State University, Valdosta,
BPH-2: Periodicals with Botanical Content. Compiled by GavinD.R. Bridson.
2004. ISBN 0-913196-78-9. 2 volumes. (cloth, US $130 plus $9.20 shipping/insurance
[shipping /insurance rates higher for international orders]). v_xx + 1,470
pp. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Any botanist in the business of writing scientific
papers knows that BPH is not just that thing that afflicts most men over
60. Rather, it is an essential reference of titles "… that regularly contain
… articles dealing with the plant sciences …" and a work that now has served
botanical authors faithfully for more than 35 years. The original B-P-H (Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum)
was published by the Hunt Institute in 1968 and has become somewhat of a
botanical "Rosetta Stone" for deciphering the myriad of multilingual scientific
periodical citations. Consequently, the abbreviated periodical titles compiled
in BPH comprise the accepted "standard" citation format that is required
by many botanical publications. It should be obvious to anyone that a global
compilation of botanical periodical data represents a Herculean task, yet
BPH has made extraordinary progress towards the fulfillment of that objective.
The list of indexed titles has grown considerably from 12,000+ in 1968,
to 25,000+ in the supplement to the first edition (B-P-H/S), to more than
33,000 titles with over 8,000 cross-references in the new second edition.
The expanded coverage in BPH-2 has necessitated a 2-volume format for the
first time. Volume I (819 pp.) contains the introductory remarks, a list of
"selected references" (that has now grown to 208 titles), a list of state
and province abbreviations, and the alphabetical catalogue of titles from
A-M. The somewhat thinner volume II (pp. 821-1470) completes the catalogue
coverage from N-Z and adds an Appendix that provides a complete list of words
used in titles along with their abbreviated form. This list would be helpful
for predicting the appropriate abbreviation for any journal that was, for
some reason, not included in the catalogue. Good luck finding one! I sat
down with a colleague and asked him to "try me" with any obscure plant journal
that he could think of. Although we tried quite a few of them, they all were
in there. However, I was a bit concerned about the "missing" page 820. Although
I'm pretty sure that it simply is the unnumbered blank side of page 819,
I feared initially that it was that notorious, proverbial page that should
have contained the one reference that I was trying to find. How many times
has stuff like that happened to you? Eventually I concluded that there were
no pages missing from BPH-2.
Although it is difficult to formulate a review strategy for this type of
work, I do want to emphasize that BPH-2 is not simply an addition of titles
that have appeared since the publication of B-P-H/S. Indeed, the coverage
of journals has been expanded considerably, owing in large part, to an intensive
survey (and index of botanical content) made by the Hunt Institute of all
pre-1841 scientific, medical and general periodicals (paleobotanical literature
remains incompletely surveyed due to its dispersion across more than 2,000
earth science journals). Also, there are numerous additions of new titles
that have appeared since the publication of B-P-H/S; e.g., Arnaldoa (1991),
Ilicifolia (1996), and Rock Garden Quarterly (1995) to name a few. However,
BPH-2 also is the product of an incredible amount of editorial work devoted
to the clarification and correction of information that has appeared
in the two previous volumes. Unfortunately, much of this meticulous editorial
grooming probably would go unnoticed by most casual users. For example, a
major refinement of entry principles has resulted in greater consistency
and the elimination of many duplicate title entries. In some cases, these
necessary corrections have resulted in a word order that differs from previous
versions. Although this might seem like a trivial issue, it is not. When
recently revising the literature of a ms. for which the editor now requested
BPH-2 citations, I found four entries that had to be corrected from my original
BPH/S versions. One example of a subtle abbreviation change is Bull. Jard.
Bot. Belg. which now becomes Bull. Jard. Bot. Natl. Belg. So,
if you want to ensure that all of your literature citations are abbreviated
correctly, then you will have to use BPH-2. The 5-digit Hunt Institute index
numbers have been retained for each accepted entry, making it easy to determine
whether a change of title has occurred between the current and past editions.
Several improvements have been made by identifying duplicate titles by their
geographical place of publication. There are now three listings (cf. one
in B-P-H/S) for the quite different "Western Naturalist" journals published
in Kansas, Wisconsin and Scotland. The three "Journal of Oceanography" titles
(none appearing in B-P-H/S) are distinguished similarly. Less evident to
most readers will be the addition of missing diacritical marks to a number
of references; e.g., the correction of the phrase "Produccion y proteccion"
to "Producción y protección" in the unabbreviated title of
Invest. Agrar., Prod. Protecc. Veg. on page 574. Another novelty is
the removal of hyphens from "BPH" in the title acronym, presumably to accentuate
the status of the second edition, i.e., BPH-2. A subtitle "Periodicals with
botanical content" has been newly added. The Hunt Institute logo of the Crown
Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis L.) is retained on the spines of
each volume, but has increased substantially in size.
Is there anything wrong with BPH-2? After reading Gavin Bridson's remarks
on the trying woes of bringing such a monumental task to fruition, I cannot
muster much inspiration to point out any mistakes. But anybody who knows me
also knows that I can't resist such a temptation. I did find a typo ("in"
for "is") on line 13 of p. vii. I also noticed that there was no diacritical
mark above the "i" in Jardín in the citation appearing as Anales del
Jardin Botánico de Madrid on p. 75. Our original copy of that journal
shows the acute accent mark over the "i." A few minor omissions still persist
such as the lack of a cross-reference for the title "Environmentalica" as
"Acta Universitatis Carolinae. Environmentalica." Some references contain
vague symbols (e.g., <1>, <2>) such as those included in some
dates for the series of "Mémoires de la classe des sciences mathématiques
et physiques …" titles that appear on p. 748. Apparently, two different titles
appeared during three years (1810-1812) as one title eventually superseded
the other; however, an explanation for the odd notation should be included
in the introduction because it is quite confusing. The work is produced well,
but I found the lighter type to be more difficult to read than the darker
version used in B-P-H/S (each contains roughly the same number of entries
per page). Younger botanists won't even notice. Electronic journals ("e-journals")
have not been identified as such, but a reference to a pertinent website is
provided. I also wondered whether BPH ever would be released electronically.
An electronic version would make searches much easier and would facilitate
input of the data into other databases. I also found it a bit peculiar that
none of the periodical titles included in the selected references of BPH-2
itself was abbreviated!
All said, I wish that I could produce 1,470 pages of text with such few
and mostly "picky" faults. Certainly, the overall level of accuracy and comprehensiveness
is simply astounding for a work of this nature. Bridson and colleagues truly
have produced a masterpiece of reference literature in the new BPH-2. Although
the work is described modestly as "… a fairly, but not wholly, comprehensive
listing …", it surely will be an invaluable and reliable reference tool to
botanical writers for years to come.
As one last observation, I noticed that the copyright page of B-P-H/S commented
that the work had been produced using an Apple Macintosh IIcx. Computer geeks
will immediately recognize that this machine (16 mhz 68030 processor, 16
mhz FSB, 1 mb RAM, 80 mb HDD, no ethernet adapter), has been eclipsed by
the new G5 PowerMacs (dual 2.5 ghz processors, 1.25 ghz FSB, 8 gb RAM, 250
gb HDD, gigabit ethernet). Although no computer system is identified in the
production of BPH-2, just think of it as the "G5" of botanical references!
_ Don Les, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3043.
Pierre Joseph Redouté's Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs arrives
in a digital reproduction from Octavo Press, which specializes in producing
digital versions of famous and rare works on a range of topics, including
botany. The original book was Redouté's last major work and was illustrated
with color-printed, hand-finished stippled engravings. It is particularly
interesting to see these editions making great works of botanical art more
generally accessible at a time when botanical art is experiencing a great
renaissance, with works being made today which approach those of the greatest
botanical artists, such as Redouté.
The PDF file in which the full text of Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs is
included also provides the reader with an introduction discussing the nature
and significance of the work as well as several pages on the provenance of
the actual volume using in making this edition. That particular copy came
from the collection of the California Academy of Sciences, and the introductory
material was written by Sandra Raphael.
In this introductory section she discusses the importance of Redouté
as one of the finest botanical illustrators of the golden age of botanical
illustration. His style, as fans of botanical art will know, involved very
smoothly graded images and vivid colors, with ample detail presented. His
presentations of leaves tend to be more muted than those of flowers themselves,
and in general Redouté ranks as one of the finest botanical artists,
along with such as Ehret and the Bauers.
Redouté's two best known works, which are often available as fairly
inexpensive editions in large chain bookstores, were on roses and lilies,
and they included extenisve amounts of text on the plants described. In contrast,
Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs, instead of concentrating like those books on
one group of plants, presents a range of species and horticulturally interesting
plants, some with their fruits, along with a brief text describing each plate.
The pieces of text are grouped at the beginning of the book. The introductory
material correctly points out that Redouté's work on fruit was not
the equal of his work on flowers—the pomegranate in View 71 is, as Raphael
notes, not tempting to eat and oddly colored, though the pomgranate blossoms
are elegant and instantly recognizable.
In general, while the few pages of text from the original book were slightly
warped and scanned with obvious shadows, the plates scanned flat and without
shadows, which would have interfered with the images. The plates are referred
to by "View" number, which very helpfully appears in the pdf's margins along
with the page number as the reader
scrolls through the pages.
Who should buy a copy of this work? Certainly, given the price and the
importance of Redouté in the history of science/botany and its value
as art, this work belongs in the libraries of colleges and universities. Any
botanist would find pleasure in these images, as beautifully rendered as
they are, and in particular they might be useful illustrations for introductory
horticulture, or just for a lecture on botanical art and its part in the history
of science. Douglas Darnowski, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany,
Sex, Botany & Empire: The Story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks
. Fara, Patricia , 2004. ISBN: 0231134266 (Cloth US$19.50) 176 pp. Columbia
University Press, 136 S. Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533. While having an interesting
and provocative title, this book was somewhat of a disappointment. The story
focuses on the famous Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) of Sweden and Joseph Banks
(1743-1820), the British scientist who popularized Linnaeus' system of classification.
One of the main points of the author is that both of these scientists were
not simply driven by their fascination of nature, but they also were interested
in power, money, fame, and in linking science with commercial and imperial
development. "Sex" in the title refers to the fact that floral reproductive
structures were import in the new classification system.
Most of the material on Linnaeus is well known and has extensively covered
in other treatments of his life. Linnaeus developed the binomial system of
classification and spent most of his career at the University of Uppsala.
He as well as Banks were excellent at self-promotion. As mentioned in other
biographies, a key life-transforming event for Linnaeus was his field work
and extensive travels in Lappland in northern Sweden.
The botanist Joseph Banks mixed science with politics in England primarily
through the Royal Society, which is the scientific academy of Britain and
one of the oldest in the world. Banks was president of the society for an
amazing 42 years and exercised an authoritarian grip on the organization.
He used his influence to make science central to British culture and to the
British Empire. Banks' life transforming event was to serve as scientist on
a world expedition of Captain Cook on the ship Endeavor from 1768-1771.
This voyage took Banks to Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia. Evidently,
while Banks is not well known in the present day United Kingdom, he has become
a national hero in Australia. In contrast to Linnaeus, Joseph Banks left
little mark in basic scientific research but was influential in "making science
work for the state_and making the state pay for science."
The main problem with this short book, which can be interesting at times,
is that rather than providing an integrated view of these two influential
botanists, it seems to present two separate stories and fails to show the
interrelationships between these two men. However, Sex, Botany & Empire
may have some limited appeal to readers interested in the history of botany
and the history of science. - John Z. Kiss, Department of Botany, Miami University,
Oxford, OH 45056
The Sacred Tree In Religion and Myth, Mrs. J.H. Philpot ISBN 0-486-43612-8
(paper US$11.95 ) Unabridged Republication of 1897. The Sacred Tree or the
Tree in Religion and Myth. Macmillan and Co., Limited, London and New York.
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, NY 2004 Dover has, for a long time, been
giving the world a wonderful series of reprints of older books. For a reasonable
cost, people and institutions have access to a great portion of our intellectual
heritage. Hopefully, the newly announced plans to digitalize major libraries
will whet appetites for these more versatile and usable book versions, rather
than destroy the trade. We shall see.
Unfortunately, no biographical information on Mrs. Philpot is added to
this reprint. From internal evidence, she was British, living in or near
London. Her sources were classical, biblical, 19th century books,
and such, not original fieldwork by the author. Since this book attempts
to review a large subject on a worldwide basis, that is to be expected. The
illustrations are well chosen and vital to understand parts of the text.
Unfortunately, not every example that she discusses in the text is illustrated.
Tree worship was united with astronomy, sacred mountains, calendrical systems,
etc. Even today, western civilization has major holidays based upon this
world-view. Consider Christmas (Winter Solstice and decorated trees) Easter
(Spring and the Cross), the national holidays (flagpoles), May Day (poles
and trees), harvest festivals (fruit and nut trees plus nonwoody crops).
Cemeteries make considerable use of narrow tall conifers.
A basic artistic convention appears in many countries. A decorated tree
or an exalted human figure (hero, king, a god or goddess) is in the center
facing us. On each side is a warrior or goddess or fierce beast or chimera,
and these face the central figure. In some, the central figure (or else members
of the pair) will have a raised arm, often with a forefinger that points
up. The sun or a mythic symbol floats above the scene, often left of center.
Many other artistic conventions are widespread. The Scythians cast willow
rods, the Germanic tribes threw fruit tree branch segments on a white cloth,
Druids had omen sticks, while kings, warlords, and high priests held up scepters,
batons, sticks of power. Dowsers hold forked sticks. The Chinese cast yarrow
pieces to consult the I Ching.
Paradise gardens are another pattern. The gods reside in them, or else
the blessed or heroic dead go to them. Alternatively, the first parents of
mankind start off in these lush and sacred places isolated by an enclosure.
Snakes, special fruits, beings holding fire, fountains that often feed four
rivers, zodiacal animals, and ambrosial drinks are part of the cast. There
is often a final climatic scene of leaving via a gate or over a mountain
These artistic and mythic conventions, or archetypes, or whatever name
we chose to hide our basic ignorance of what it all means, have been dominant
forces in human minds, in many lands for thousands of years.
This book can be read purely for recreation. That is acceptable, but it
can be read for information and understanding, at a more serious level. A
drawback is the lack of Latin names for many of the plants. We might laboriously
consult various floras that give common names for plants of India and elsewhere,
but can we be sure the original sources correctly identified the trees and
correctly recorded the local names? Nor do we know if a single species was
involved, or several species or a whole genus was involved.
Archeological names and dates are those understood over a century ago.
They are shaky in light of what we know today. Whole civilizations of the
past, such as the Hittites, are not represented. Our broader, more theoretical
paradigms of cultural evolution were formed upon the incomplete evidence plus
particular biases and interests of earlier generations of folklore scholars,
anthropologists, and archeologists. Recently, William Gruben has written
a thriller novel about bizarre murders, set naturally in Miami. Tropic
of Night challenges us with what it calls, "The Great Silence". Very
recent research shows that Homo sapiens, people just like us today, were
in Africa and elsewhere for a hundred thousand (or more) years before any
literate civilizations that we know of. What were they doing? Gruben suggests
they were investing a lot of their time into thoroughly experimenting with
the properties of plants and fungi. Plants were power, and if power corrupts…?
So Mrs. Philpot, by this current viewpoint, was merely giving us the end
of a very long process, not the beginnings of a much shorter one, as she
Ethnobotany was defined for some of us a few days ago, as "the study of
the human use of plants." Fair enough. We see this in terms defined by our
society and its economy at the time of our studies. The great 16th
to 19th century Age of Empire building was much involved with
trees. Spices, logwood, tea, coffee, mahogany, ebony, sandalwood, timbers
for naval use, rubber plantations and many other examples are obvious. So
The Sacred Tree reflects that bias. Some present day readers will
be irritated at Mrs. Philpot's condescending view of "the natives" as
child-like. But we need to learn from other cultures (including earlier versions
of our own), not just build walls around the political correctness of our
own time. Our own time has some generally accepted academic and popular prejudices
that are just as bad - but that is another story.
Trees and empires gave us Frazer's Golden Bough and many other works.
As late as the mid 20th century Robert Graves, in The White
Goddess, The Greek Myths, etc., entertained us with his own version.
But after 1900, empires had largely grabbed what was grabable. The application
of Mendel's Laws, the demands of growing populations with massive wars, the
rise of agribusinesses, the massive fertilizer industry created a different
ethnobotany. Vavilov in Russia, Fairchild, Ames, and Edgar Anderson (and
many others) focused on agricultural crops and their lesser-known allies.
In the exploding world economy after 1945, with leisure time and jet airliners
for middle class youths, (who had been brain-washed into consumers) food
was unexciting compared to recreational drugs. Schultes and his followers
(including the Wassons with Robert Graves enlightening us on magical mushrooms)
led to Timothy Leary and the wild disorders of 1963 to the late 70's. Psychedelic
plants involve complex molecules that do things to human bodies and minds.
The pharmaceutical industry jumped in and a new ethnobotany, the search for
cures in the rainforest, absorbed hundred of millions of dollars. Some good
came of this, but a lot less than expected. I see it all summarized in the
movie scene where Sean Connery and Laura Bracca realize it was the ants,
not the bromeliads, which cured cancer. Score one for sloppy lab work.
What will the next ethnobotany be? Gruben's "Great Silence" would be great
fun, using highly sophisticated techniques. But I suspect it could more easily
be ethnobotany of conservation of biodiversity and landscapes, plus sustainability,
with deadly clashes of cultures threatening the continuation of both civilization
and nature as we know them. So we could go back and revisit Mrs. Philpot's
trees (including with our new insights of evolutionary psychology), and also
Ames and Anderson's less familiar crops. Now, this could also be fun, be
scientifically interesting, and be very useful.
So there may be good reason to read an "out-of-date" book. All of the ethnobotanies
just discussed defined "human use" in terms of cultures, the uses of plants
by masses of people. Will there ever be an ethnobotany based upon individuals?
Evolutionary psychology linked to Mrs. Philpot's fascinating pictures, expressed
in art, including music, might do the trick. Reading The Sacred Tree
and wandering into bookstores with large displays of The Da Vinci Code
and similar books will conjure ideas. John Beckner, Marie Selby Botanical
Gardens, Sarasota, FL.
The Physiology of Tropical Orchids in Relation to the Industry,
2nd edition. C. S. Hew and J. W. H. Yong. 2004. ISBN 981-238-801-X
(hardcover) 370 pp. World Scientific Publishing Co., Pte., Ltd., 5 Toh Tuck
Link, Singapore 596224. In my review to the first edition of this book I
indicated that the author, Prof. Choy sin Hew (now retired) was part of an
impressive group of orchid scientists gathered at the National University
of Singapore by the long time and outstanding chair and leader of the Department
of Botany at the National University of Singapore (BOTNUS), Prof. Adisheshappa
Nagaraja Rao (also retired). The group no longer exists because its members
have retired, but its spirit survives in a number of students. This edition
is the result of collaboration between Dr. John Yong, one of Prof. Hew's
students, now at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The book
is aimed at orchid growers and much of the information in it is of the kind
horticulturists can use. It contains the same topics covered in the first
edition expanded with information generated by post 1997 research findings
and covers additional areas.
The book contains information on world orchid markets. Despite being aware
that orchids are big business I was amazed to learn that in the year 2000
the total number of orchids plants sold for cut flower plantations and as
pot plants was estimated at 1,598,000,000 and their value was $2,061,000,000.
Japan alone imported $142.8 worth of orchid cut flowers (less that 10% of
that from the Americas) in 1993. The value of the potted orchids market in
Japan was $261 million in the same year and exports have grown since. These
figures not only explain the attention given to orchids and orchid research
in countries which produce and export these plants thy also justify the need
for this book.
As in the first edition the second chapter deals with orchid structure
and nomenclature. It is well illustrated and very informative. This chapter
is an excellent reading to recommend to students and growers (both hobby and
professional) in search of a concise, clear and accurate source of information
on the basics of orchid morphology and nomenclature.
Chapter three deals with carbon fixation in orchids. It updates the information
in the first edition and reiterates that the CAM and C3 pathways are found
in orchids, but " . . . direct evidence supporting the occurrence of C
4 . . . is lacking. . . " Appendix II essentially continues this chapter
and relates to it very well because it asks and answers the question "Can
we use elevated carbon dioxide to increase productivity in the orchid industry?"
The chapters on respiration (four), mineral nutrition (five), control of
flowering (six), partition of assimilates (seven), flower senescence and
post harvest physiology (eight), and tissue culture (nine) all explain basics
very well and then proceed to a more detailed and advanced level. There are
two appendixes. One updates the literature citations. The other was mention
above. Subject and plant name indexes complete the book.
This is an excellently written, well illustrated and solidly produced book
which is very suitable for a wide audience. For me the book also marks an
end of an era because Prof. Hew is the last of Prof. Rao's BOTNUS department
to retire. I spent many summers and sabbatical leaves at that wonderful department,
considered it my second academic home for a long time and often wished it
were the first. _ Joseph Arditti, Professor Emeritus, Department of Developmental
and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine.
Phytoremediation, Transformation and Control of Contaminants. S. C. McCutcheon
and J. L. Schnoor,eds. 2003, ISBN 0-471-39435-1 (hardcover, $120.00) , 987
pp . Wiley-Interscience, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey. Pollution
is becoming a global concern as the world's population continues to grow.
A new industrial ecology, phytoremediation, is emerging as a way to reduce
the impact of pollution. Phytoremediation incorporates vascular plants, fungi,
algae, microbial mats, and bacteria in the management of wastes and treatment
of contaminated air, soil, waste streams, and groundwater. Plants are currently
used to reduce brine volume in oil fields, accumulate toxic metals such as
selenium in wetlands, create vertical and horizontal barriers, and as landfill
covers. Although this is not a new technology, the ways that plants metabolize,
store, utilize, and transpire assorted organic and inorganic chemicals are
not well understood.
The book "Phytoremediation, Transformation and Control of Contaminants"
edited by Steven C. McCutcheon and Jerald L. Schnoor, provides an overview
of historical and recent advances in the field of phytoremediation. The book
contains 31 papers organized into seven sections. Major topics include phytovolatilization,
rhizosphere degradation, phytodegradation, phytotransformation, and phytostabilization.
Each section commences with a fundamental contribution that defines the state
of the science. Later chapters focus on specific applications and processes
in practical settings. Many research groups and leading experts from national,
state, and local agencies have authored the various chapters or assisted
in the evaluation of the technical quality of each work.
Section I consist of three chapters that provide a basic overview of phytoremediation
and its applications. These chapters also address economic, social, regulatory,
and technical issues that relate to cleanup procedures. In chapter 2, Burken,
J. G. describes and discusses the vital molecular greenliver model for plant
metabolism of Sandermann, H. Jr. He emphasizes how both plant metabolism
and mammalian livers share specific enzymatic and substrate pathways as well
as how xenobiotic compounds are transformed, conjugated, and detoxified.
The major dissimilarity is in the ultimate fate _ plants sequester compounds
in their vacuoles and cell walls whereas mammalian systems often eliminate
compounds via excretion. Understanding internal plant processes used in phytoremediation
can provide valuable knowledge regarding contamination of food chains and
the impact of bioaccumulation of compounds such as dioxin and DDT.
Section II presents five chapters that report on molecular biology and
physiological properties of plants that may be responsible in detoxifying
xenobiotic chemicals. Major topics include enzyme metabolic processes, proteins
and genes associated with plant tolerance, detoxification of organic pollutants
(sulfonated and nitro aromatic compounds, nitroesters, and chlorinated contaminants),
and physiological processes associated with seed growth, leaf area, and root
morphology and development. Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum
), giant duckweed (Spirodela oligorrhiza), hybrid poplar (Populus
deltoides and P. nigra), willow (Salix spp.) and
smooth bromegrass (Bromusinermis) were common test species
throughout these pilot studies. They were abundant, easy to obtain and grow
quickly. Many other dicotyledons and monocotyledons were also used. Throughout
this section it is made evident that certain plants are able to degrade and
transform specific xenobiotic chemicals. For example, poplar and aquatic
plants can degrade trichloroethylene to water, carbon dioxide, and chloride
through the use of oxidative enzymes. Various grass species tolerant to soils
contaminated with 2, 4, 6-trinitrotolune (TNT) are also profiled. In chapter
8, Vose, J. M. et al. related the success of phytoremediation processes
to transpiration. They quantified and compared transpiration rates of assorted
tree species growing at sites in Texas, Colorado, and Florida and investigated
how biotic and abiotic factors vary transpiration rates. Their study suggested
that ring-porous hardwood species typically had higher sap-flow rates compared
to conifers and diffuse-porous species living in the same environment. They
added that seasonal variations might alter transpiration rates. Models for
sampling and measuring, therefore, need to be calibrated, specified, and
evaluated at each site over a several month span.
Sections III - V covered many laboratory (plant cell tissue and root cultures)
and field testing investigations for 1) aromatic, phenolic, and hydrocarbon
contaminants, 2) explosives, and 3) chlorinated and halogenated compounds
respectively. Rhizosphere biodegradation processes were linked to soil microbial
populations. Optimizing the dynamic interactions between plants and microbes
largely determined the success of volatilization, stabilization, transformation,
and degradation of the contaminant in the plant and the rhizosphere. These
sections further reiterated that the uptake of xenobiotic compounds is specific
to on plant species and that a single species cannot be used in all soil
and climatic conditions. In chapter 10, Olson, P. E. et al. suggested
that native plants and plants that produce secondary metabolites can be used
in effective plant management practices regarding rhizosphere bioremediation.
These plants increase the rate that organic compounds are released into the
soil. Secondary plant metabolites often excite microorganisms that are involved
in the rhizodegradation of recalcitrant pollutants.
Section VI conveyed the latest modeling, design, and field pilot applications
involving trees such as Eucalyptus, red maple (Acer rubrum),
poplar (Populus), and willow (Salix). This section begins with
dynamic well-designed plans to achieve desired cleanup levels in groundwater
under both irrigated and nonirrigated conditions. Later chapters (Chapters
22 - 24) discuss the use of trees in effective cost-management and environmentally
attractive methods to cleaning up wastewater, landfill leachates, and salty
brines associated with natural gas and oil production.
Section VII discusses the latest advances in using plants to help manage,
remediate, and detoxify nitrogen oxides and halocarbon atmospheric pollutants,
methyl tertiary-butyl ether from soil and groundwater, cyanide wastes in soil,
and perchlorate salts contained in wastewater. Genetic engineering and bioinformatics
are incorporated in understanding the capabilities of plants to assimilate
and detoxify chemicals. The final two chapters introduce worldwide databases
of plants and organisms that possess phytoremediation potential and summarize
current field studies and evaluations of phytoremediation processes.
The practice of phytoremediation embraces many different allied fields:
botany, biochemistry, geology, soil science, agriculture, forestry, genetic
engineering, microbiology, chemical and civil engineering, land use planning,
hazardous waste management, and so forth. This book is intended as a reference
for specialists involved with phytoremediation and for undergraduate and graduate
students who are entering the field. Two major strengths of this text are:
the chapters are cross-referenced throughout the book which enhances understanding
of various phytoremediation concepts and all chapters have a similar format.
Each chapter begins with a summary of practical applications. A glossary
of important terms often follows a chapter's summary. This book could be
useful in assorted college courses that concern phytoremediation. Classroom
assignments could be derived easily from practical elements and implications
discussed in each chapter. It would be helpful, however, to have an instructor's
guide with assignments and laboratory exercises that relate to various topics
discussed in this book. - Dr. Nina Baghai-Riding, Delta State University
The Cattleyas and Their Relatives. The Debatable Epidendrums. Carl L.
Withner and Patricia Harding. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-621-3
(Hardcover US$44.95) 300 pp. This series was initially intended to span six
volumes and cover cattleyas and their closer relatives, but when the authors
were asked why some Epidendrum species were left out they replied
with this book. It deals with several genera which can be or have been segregated
from Epidendrum and does so very well. And, as what can be viewed
as a bonus it also presents in the introduction a very enlightening discussion
of orchid classification in general.
A total of 18 genera and four aberrant species are dealt with in this book,
all in appropriate detail with clear keys, good line drawings and mostly
excellent and clear color photographs (exceptions can be found on pages 168,
175, 186 and 187). And (fortunately) missing from this volume are the contrived
"common names" that plagued the previous volumes. Not missing and very welcome
are lists of synonyms for each species, derivations of names, lists of habitats,
indications of flowering times and information regarding culture. There are
also comments about the taxa being considered in the book and measurements
of pseudobulbs, leaves, inflorescences, and floral segments (without indications
regarding the number of specimens which were measured to obtain the values
which are given in the book; since these are obviously averages standard
deviations would have enhanced the information).
There are four pages of "selected references for additional reading." This
may not seem to be much but these references are in addition to the numerous
literature citations on the text which refer to synonyms and names of species
and genera. The book has indexes of persons and plant names, but, alas, not
The book does not have shortcomings (at least none that caught my eye),
but I would like to complain about is a case of "theitis" in the last paragraph
on page 29 where six sentences in a row start with "the." Others may quibble
with its taxonomy here and there but it is safe to assume that a day will
never come when orchid taxonomists will stop quibbling. And, of course, it
is safe and reasonable to assume that future molecular taxonomy research will
bring about changes in classification. For me, now and in the past, fine
points (real or nit picking) about taxonomy are/were less important than
order, cataloging and arrangements which can be of use to growers and other
(non taxonomic) scientists.
Like the rest of this series this is a well written, carefully edited and
solidly produced book. It should be of interest and of use to all those who
grow these orchids, or, like me want to read about them. And, given current
book prices this excellent volume is certainly a bargain. - Joseph Arditti,
Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine.
The Natural History of Madagascar. Steven M. Goodman and Jonathan P.
Benstead (eds.) 2003. ISBN 0-226-30306-3. (Cloth US$ 85.00) 1728pp. The University
of Chicago Press, 1427 East 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637-2954.
With more than 1700 pages and weighing in at about 4 kg, `The natural history
of Madagascar' (NHM) is an appropriate compendium for a unique island such
as Madagascar. More than 280 specialists contribute to this extraordinary
book, which is recommendable for everyone who is interested in Madagascar's
natural history. The book will be a valuable basis for researchers, teachers
and interested eco-tourists and it should be on the "must purchase list"
of major university libraries and of course in Malagasy research stations.
Furthermore, NHM will be an inevitable standard for conservation. Scattered
color plates and half tones are in most cases of good quality and give the
book aesthetic appeal.
Considering the large number of contributors, and its compilation within
about 16 months, the editors did an admirable job. As mentioned in their acknowledgements,
the book is a measure of the facility of modern communication, specifically
e-mail. More than 800 manuscript pages were translated from non-English languages
(the bulk of it in French) which is an important service, since scientific
work other than in English runs the risk of being neglected.
The reader will find an overwhelming amount of information when browsing
through the 14 main chapters, which are: History of Scientific Exploration;
Geology and Soils; Climate; Forest Ecology; Human Ecology; Marine and Coastal
Ecosystems; Plants; Invertebrates; Fishes; Amphibians; Reptiles; Birds; Mammals;
and Conservation. Each of these chapters contains a variable number of contributions,
dealing with general topics as well as with more detailed information, particularly
under `systematic accounts'. The contributions differ in length and style
and could possibly have been a bit more uniform with precise editorial guidelines.
Some chapters contain extensive lists of species, some of which include further
information on distribution, endemism or protection. These lists are very
valuable in respect of research. For the use as checklists in the field,
they should be provided on the www. Ideally the web page of one central organization
for conservation and biodiversity would be the most appropriate frame for
such a resource.
Looking for common threads within NHM, I became aware of three superlatives:
First, the exceptional high rate of endemic taxa ; second, the exceptional
high rate of endangered species and ecological devastation; and third, the
exceptional gaps in our knowledge concerning Madagascar's natural history
(Fisher on p. 815, for example, estimates that two-thirds of the ant species
still remain to be described). The sobering conclusion of these facts is that
it is at least five minutes to twelve for the survival, and in parallel the
exploration, of many of Madagascar's unique organisms and biota.
Under `Conservation' the reader will find a broad overview of what actually
happens with respect to nature conservation and destruction. Wright and Andriamihaja
(p. 1485ff) give an interesting contribution about the conservation value
of long-term research and they highlight that research can be a major factor
in conservation effectiveness. On p. 1486 the authors also acknowledge reality,
when mentioning that `No one has come up with a reliable long-term solution
to the problem of tavy (slash-and-burn agriculture), and if the destruction
of the forest is not stopped, biodiversity loss will continue. Madagascar
is one of the world's `biodiversity hot spots' and more than any other geographic
region it may be struggling with the biggest risk of immediate mass extinctions.
In this context, we have to consider that effective nature conservation is
not an easy task for industrial countries, and that it is even more difficult
for developing countries with high analphabetism and high population growth
(according to Holloway p. 1449, Madagascar has one of the highest population
growth rates in the world). Therefore, Wright and Andriamihaja (p. 1486)
are possibly right when mentioning that `the small number of protected areas
and their weak on-the-ground protection suggest that only a large input of
well-managed funding can attain the goal of preserving Madagascar's unique
biodiversity into the next decades'. In this context, NHM can also be seen
as an emphatic appeal to call attention to the unique biodiversity of Madagascar's
natural resources and its risk of extinction.
There is a large number of most impressive creatures, which can act as flagships
for conservation. The most prominent are the endemic lemurs, which are addressed
in several contributions. The counterpart in plants could be the Malagasy
flamboyant, Delonix regia (Caesalpinioideae) which is one of the most
familiar ornamental trees in the tropics.
Another widely known plant is the traveler's palm, Ravenala madagascariensis
, which is not a true palm but a member of the Strelitziaceae, and whose principal
pollinators are lemurs. And finally one should mention Takhtajania perrieri
, an up to 9 m high shrub or small tree of Winteraceae. After its first collection
in 1909, it was not found again for 85 years, and it was a botanical sensation
when the plant was rediscovered in 1994 (Schatz et al. 1998).
It is highlighted on the flap of the jacket, that of its estimated 12,000
plant species nearly 10,000 are unique to Madagascar. Deeply impressed by
this fact, I was surprised to find the plant chapter a bit sparse. Regarding
the number of pages, almost the same proportion as for plants were spent for
the approximately 100 Malagasy mammals. As a botanist I also missed plant
images on the jacket. Nonetheless, the included chapters give a good insight
into several big and important plant groups, such as Pteridophytes, Leguminosae,
Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae, and about 20 other plant taxa.
Unfortunately the second largest plant family, i.e., Orchidaceae is entirely
absent. At least one of the most prominent Malagasy orchids, Angraecum
sesquipedale, should have been mentioned. Because of its spur which reaches
a length of more than 30 cm, and its heavy nocturnal fragrance, Darwin (1862)
predicted the existence of moths with a proboscis longer than 20 cm, as pollinators.
Darwin was laughed at, but in 1903 Rothschild and Jordan described Xanthopan
morgani praedicta with a tongue length of about 22 cm. With the epithet
`predicta', the authors refer to its prediction by Darwin. Only recently
Wasserthal (1997) demonstrated the pollination of Angraecum sesquipedale
by Xanthopan morgani praedicta in Fort Dauphin. Concerning its conservation,
Darwin (1862) also mentioned that `if such great moths were to become extinct
in Madagascar, assuredly the Angraecum would become extinct'. In fact,
Wasserthal (1993) documents a decrease in pollinator abundance due to fragmentation
of the primary forest and thus exceptionally low fruit set in Angraecum
Ratsirarson and Silander (p. 272 ff) mention that little is known about
plant-pollinator interaction in Madagascar. In this context it should be mentioned
that Darwin observed the Angraecum in a greenhouse outside of Madagascar.
Like in this case, other spectacular Malagasy flowering plants have been
observed outside of Madagascar. Endress (1994) for example, elucidated outstanding
peculiarities in floral behavior and morphology of Delonix regia which
he observed in Australia. Another example is the Malagasy Dombeya cacuminum
(Sterculiaceae) which has been observed in the Botanical Garden near Funchal
(Madeira) and which shows a distinct mode of secondary pollen presentation
on its petals (Prenner 2002). Observations in the natural environment, which
could lead to new insights into the biological significance of the observed
phenomena, are broadly lacking.
To conclude, NHM certainly is a very useful and interesting guide through
Madagascar's living world. The compressed amount of information on most of
the Malagasy organisms is an invitation to step across the border of one's
own special field of interest. In this way it leads to a fundamental understanding
of Madagascar's environment. NHM certainly can be an inspiration for many
researchers and hopefully it will also be an emphatic sign for policy makers
and investors to help saving one of the species richest, most fascinating,
and still extant parts of nature. - Gerhard Prenner, Institute of Plant Sciences,
Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria (Europe).
Darwin, Ch. 1868. On the various contrivances by which British and foreign
orchids are fertilized by insects. London: Murray.
Endress, P.K. 1994. Diversity and evolutionary biology of tropical flowers.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Prenner, G. 2002. Secondary pollen presentation on petals of Dembeya
cacuminum Hochr. (Sterculiaceae). Stapfia 80: 323-326.
Schatz, G.E., Lowry, P.P.II., Ramisamihantanirina A. 1998. Takhtajania
perrieri rediscovered. Nature 391: 133-134.
Wasserthal, L.T. The pollinators of the Malagasy star orchids Angraecum
sesquipedale, A. sororium and A. compactum and the evolution
of extremely long spurs by pollinator shift. Bot. Acta 110: 343-359.
The Genus Paeonia, Halda, Josef J. with James W. Waddick. Botanical
illustrations by Jarmila Haldová. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-612-4 (Cloth
$34.95, £25.00) 227 pages. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite
450, Portland, Oregon 97204, in association with the Heartland Peony Society.
Peonies belong to a very select group of garden plants that elicit awe and
reverence far beyond the ranks of their aficionados. Whether this is due
to the long history of medical applications in both Eastern and Western traditions,
or the exuberance of the massive flowers, especially in double forms, or
some other cause, we cannot say. However, the gravitational pull of peonies
seems to be universal. As a child, one of us (MF) surreptitiously unpeeled
the buds of his neighbors' plants (please don't tell!), patiently uncovering
layer upon layer of petals, dying to see what mysteries lay within. Even
the most commonly encountered cultivars draw notice when in full bloom.
The Genus Paeonia is a gorgeously illustrated volume that is guaranteed
to find appreciation among devotees of peonies and a broad spectrum of gardeners.
It will also appeal to professional and amateur botanists interested in a
concise and up-to-date monograph and key to the species.
This latest effort at treating the diversity and cultivation of peonies
follows closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, F. C. Stern's (1946)
A Study of the Genus Paeonia. By following the organization of Stern's
classic monograph and also emphasizing magnificent full-page color illustrations,
the authors inevitably invite comparison to the earlier work. Both treatments
cover the history of western knowledge of peonies, morphology, cytology, taxonomy
and classification, geography, cultivation, and detailed species accounts.
The Genus Paeonia consists of a taxonomic monograph by the principal
author, Joseph J. Halda, cultivation notes by James W. Waddick, and morphologically
exact and beautiful illustrations by Jarmila Haldová. Halda's monograph
departs sharply from the species concepts of Stern, and of course includes
novelties unknown to mid-20th Century botanists. The spate of
new taxa described by T. Hong and D.-Y. Hong in the 1990s (e.g., Hong &
Pan 1999) are treated, but their significance (usually taxonomic rank) is
generally disputed by Halda. Some species recognized by D.-Y. Hong [e.g.,
P. ludlowii (Stern & G. Taylor) D. Y. Hong] are only given scant
mention by Halda. Whereas Stern treated 29 species (with an additional 18
subspecies and varieties), Halda recognizes 25 species (including an additional
29 infrageneric taxa). The similar totals at the specific level belie dramatic
differences in species circumscription. For example, in the present work
Halda recognizes P. mascula (L.) Miller as being comprised of seven
subspecies, one composed of two varieties. Of these taxa, three subspecies
and one variety were described since Stern (1946), two subspecies were
recognized as species by Stern, and one subspecies was placed as a variety
of a different species recognized by both Stern and Halda. Evaluating the
adequacy of these taxonomic renovations is far beyond our combined expertise.
We are sure that readers of Halda's monograph will have much food for thought
regarding these new concepts in peony species. We only wish to note here
that no objective species concept is cited by Halda and in only a few cases
are changes of circumscription based on explicit criteria.
Infrageneric classification is also at odds with Stern's treatment of the
genus. Stern (1946) recognized three sections, two of which are further divided
into two subsections. Halda takes a finer view of relationships, recognizing
four subgenera, two of which are composed of two and four sections. The largest
subgenus has one of its four sections further divided into four subsections.
Halda appears to have made only minor modifications to an infrageneric classification
that has been developed by specialists over the last 20 years. Unfortunately,
the tremendous advances in classification afforded by modern systematic methods
have been thoroughly ignored by Halda. In particular, Halda fails to consider
the significant contributions of T. Sang (e.g., Sang et al. 1997) to the
infrageneric relationships of Paeonia. Reference to these studies
would elicit support for some groupings (e.g., subgenera), but conflict with
others (e.g., subsection Anomalae). In the same vein, it is unfortunate
that an absolutely discredited hypothesis of close relationship between
Paeonia and Glaucidium is promulgated by Halda (contra a wealth
of morphological and molecular systematic data, summarized by Hufford 1992
and Soltis & Soltis 1997). These lapses in incorporating the current
understanding of the evolutionary relationships of peonies will probably
affect few readers, however it is most disappointing that another opportunity
to introduce modern ideas about systematics to a general audience of plant
lovers has been lost again.
The chapter on cultivation is very general but provides some useful guidelines
on soils and fertility. The propagation chapter contains good information
on root cuttings, grafting, and growing from seed, and the summary at the
end of the chapter is quite helpful. In the chapter on diseases and pests,
we disagree with the authors' opinion that botrytis is easy to control. In
our experience, botrytis rarely kills peonies, but it diminishes bloom size
and number every year, no matter how much is cleaned around the plants. We
were glad to see the mention of ants and their roles in the lives of peonies.
Another note: the high concentrations of sulfur and copper in Bordeaux mix
can have serious effects on the soil if applied frequently and throughout
the long life of a peony. The last chapter in the book is extremely useful
to general horticulturists wanting to add peonies to their gardens, but who
are unsure of the species to try. We liked the information on hardiness and
found it actually more helpful than the traditional USDA Hardiness Zone information.
However, we believe this chapter would have benefited greatly from the addition
of cultivar information, particularly for those species that are so highly
It is worth commenting on the production quality of this book. The high
standards of Timber Press are maintained here and the devotion of so many
pages to the wonderful illustrations is commendable. Comparison of these illustrations
to those in Stern's (1946) monograph makes one yearn for a production quality
that is no longer economically feasible. Nonetheless, The Genus Paeonia
is a beautiful book.
Overall The Genus Paeonia is a must-have monograph for devotees
of peonies. The economical cost makes it a worthy addition to the libraries
of those, like us, who relish well-illustrated and botanically detailed generic
treatments. Given the recent increase in knowledge of natural populations
of peonies in China, this book brings two decades of important new discoveries
to a wider audience. We do take this opportunity to offer a plea to the publishers
of such books to insist that reviewers require that modern systematic knowledge
be considered requisite for popular monographs.- Mark Fishbein, Department
of Biological Sciences, and Lane Greer, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences,
Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762.
Hong, D.-Y., and K.-Y. Pan. 1999. A revision of the Paeonia suffruticosa
complex (Paeoniaceae). Nordic Journal of Botany 19:289-299.
Hufford, L. 1992. Rosidae and their relationships to other nonmagnoliid
dicotyledons: a phylogenetic analysis using morphological and chemical data.
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 79:218-248.
Sang, T., M. J. Donoghue, and D. Zhang. 1997. Evolution of alcohol dehydrogenase
genes in peonies (Paeonia): phylogenetic relationships of putative
nonhybrid species. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14:994-1007.
Soltis, D. E., and P. S. Soltis. 1997. Phylogenetic relationships in Saxifragaceae
sensu lato: a comparison of topologies based on 18S rDNA and rbcL
sequences. American Journal of Botany 84:504-522.
Stern, F. C. 1946. A Study of the Genus Paeonia. The Royal Horticultural
Tree Ferns. Large, Mark F. and John E. Braggins. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-630-2
(Cloth US$39.95) 360 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W> Second Avenue, Portland,
OR. Tree Ferns aims to present a comprehensive look at the various members
of the ferns which have a stem which is, to some degree at least, upright.
The authors themselves acknowledge that the term "tree fern" is "a somewhat
arbitrary term that has been applied to any fern with a large erect rhizome..."
(p. 15), and so they take a broad view and include families which are always
accepted as tree ferns, such as the Dicksoniaceae and Cyatheaceae, but also
other families, such as the Blechnaceae and Marattiaceae, which some might
exclude from this informal group.
Throughout, Tree Ferns is clear and concise. It opens with a chapter that
provides basic information on taxonomy, ethnobotany, biogeography, and similar
topics. This material can be accessed even by non-botanists as basics concepts—such
as definitions of sporophyte and gameotophyte—are included in discussions
which are specific to tree ferns. Topics are given context, as where the
use of tree fern fiber is discussed along with a consideration of when this
endangers some species of tree ferns but not others which grow in great abundance
in pine plantations, and interesting asides are also covered, such as the
famous "vegetable lambs" having been made, in part, from rhizomes of the
tree fern Cibotium barometz.
The second chapter then guides the reader through the cultivation and propagation
of tree ferns. Tree ferns for both cooler and warmer areas are considered
along with general shared features of cultivation, such as low humidity being
one of the most common factors in the death of cultivated tree ferns. Readers
are instructed in how the ferns are best propagated from spores and how purchased
tree ferns arrive as unrooted cuttings.
Chapter three then turns to a description of the various tree ferns. The
various families are considered first, with a key, followed by species and
genera. Distribution maps are included for each genus, even ones endemic to
very small areas. Hundreds of species are considered, each with one or more
paragraphs on distinctive features and always including information on the
size of the trunk and the degree to which it is erect.
Appendices supplement this information with lists of tree ferns possibly
needing taxonomic revision, lists of ferns by native region, and lists of
tree ferns suitable for cultivation in warm and cool sites. An extensive bibliography
is also included.
The many plates, which are collected in one section, have excellent contrast
and brightness. The quality of the photographs is especially striking since
the authors had to produce images where the major differences were among
shades of only one
color, green. A few photographs cover stages of the lifecycle and ecological
details, and Plate 94, with Cyathea smithii growing in the foreground with
a glacier in the background, is especially striking.
Tree Ferns is a very pleasing book which will entrance serious undergraduate
botanists and which belongs in college and university libraries, as well as
the library of any pteridologist and of any gardener in warmer parts of North
America. _ Douglas Darnowski, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN
Wild Plants in Auckland. Alan Esler 2004 ISBN 1 86940 329 0 (Paper NZ$
39.99 ,~US$ 27.00) Auckland University Press Private Bag 92 019 Auckland
New Zealand http://www2.auckland.ac.nz/aup
Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and blessed by a mild climate with
abundant rainfall. This distinctive book describes the applied ecology of
its largely introduced flora. "Wild" plant is defined as one that is "self
perpetuating throughout several generations", without making the distinction
between native and exotic plants. Auckland is also self-styled as "the weediest
city in the world" although only about 200 of the estimated 615 introduced
species are described as weeds. The flora thus includes elements from Europe
(the majority) as well as Australia, South Africa, Asia, and the Americas,
together with a fair sprinkling of native species. The latter are most easily
seen in the many parks and reserves (often styled "Bush") that grace Auckland's
urban sprawl. Nevertheless, the visiting botanist is immediately presented
with the problem of distinguishing native from introduced flora, a predicament
not assisted by the existence of the several excellent New Zealand floras
that elsewhere separately describe the two entities. They are here separated
in the index. However, the book is not an identification manual, but rather
is an account of the ecology of the city's flora, with discussion of the
adaptive processes that make an exotic species a successful resident.
Alan Esler claims the intriguing title of "forensic botanist', a profession
that has provided him with an opportunity to examine minutely and in the field
this fascinating flora. He represents that strong emphasis on field biology
that characterizes the New Zealander, living in a country where considerable
familiarity with plants is a feature of popular culture. The visitor will
thus be challenged by the constant use of common names, especially those
of Maori origin, but the index is again of great help. In the absence of
diagnostic keys the book still has use in identification because 322 plants
are illustrated by excellent line drawings from the author's pen. This is
a wonderful talent put to good use.
The ecological description is largely anecdotal and subdivided into the
many urban habitats whose diversity appears most clearly in the last-page
index to the "plant portraits". There is some historical information, which
largely presents the picture of a bracken-infested initial landscape, created
by fire, before subsequent cultivation and urbanization. There are numerous
insightful vignettes that are often positive in their outlook. The ecology
of lawns ("grassy places") is dealt with in some detail and there are recommendations
for the preservation of a protective vegetation cover on Auckland's numerous
volcanic cones, many of which serve as public parks. If this is often grass,
remember that New Zealand has the highest per capita sheep population in the
world, with representatives only a short distance from the city center. Cemeteries
may be used as wildflower sanctuaries, even though seedlings of the stately
Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) are said to "move cemetery
slabs faster than any other plant".
The account is very much a tale of good guys (many) and bad (fewer) but
the overall picture is one of appreciation for the adaptive features, both
vegetative and reproductive that allow a plant to occupy its favored habitat.
There is no great emphasis on "aggressiveness" or "invasiveness, seemingly
because Alan Esler likes plants too much. The approach is not about the "control"
of exotic invaders but to provide insight into the biology of successful
aliens based on continued field familiarity. It is almost as if the book
is presented from the perspective of the plants themselves, but still emphasizes
the ways in which weeds affect us economically. Here is a refreshing book
on botany written by someone who has sought enlightenment and entertainment
from plants all his life.
Obvious deficiencies are the absence of any mention of family names, any
citation of precise sources that would lead a reader onward, and of identifying
keys. Nevertheless, a visitor exploring Auckland for the first time should
buy this book as it is an effective introduction to the floras of parks and
waste places. Then, on to the nearby Waitakere Hills to begin the study of
the native flora. There is a lot of botany in New Zealand and here is some
of it presented in a distinctive way. - P.Barry Tomlinson, Harvard Forest,
Petersham, MA 01366 and The Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden,
Coconut Grove, 4013 Douglas Rd. Miami FL 33133
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 Janauary,15
April, 15 July or 15 October). Send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, call or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list
because they go quickly! Editor
Cacti of the Trans-Pecos and Adjacent Areas. Powell, A. Michael
and James F. Weedin. 2004. ISBN 0-89672-531-6 (Cloth US$60.00) 512 pp. Texas
Tech University Press, Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79410.
Creative Propagation, 2nd ed. Thompson, Peter. 2005.
ISBN 0-88192-681-7. (Flexbind US$24.95) 360 pp. Timber Press. 133 S.W. Second
Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Famiglie di Piante Vascolari Italiane: 1-60. 2002, 2003. Marchi,
P., E. Pepe D'Amato and G. Bianchi. ISBN 88-498-0642-6 (Paper €46,00
_ 2 vol) 121 pp (vol 1) 89 pp (vol 2) Università degli Studi de Roma
"La Sapienza." P.le Aldo Moro, 5-00185, Rome, Italy.
Forest Canopies (2nd ed) Lowman, Margaret D. and H. Bruce
Rinker. 2004. ISBN 0-12-457553-6 (Cloth US$79.95) 517 pp Elsevier Academic
Press, 200 Wheeler Road, 6th Floor, Burlington, MA. 92101-4495.
Garden History: Philosophy and Design, 200BC _ 200 AD. Turner, Tom.
2004. ISBN 0-415-31748-7 (Cloth US$78.00) 294 pp. Routledge, Taylor &
Francis Group, 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Herbs in Bloom: A Guide to Growing Herbs as Ornamental Plants.
Gardner, JoAnn. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-698-1 (Paper US$24.95). 394 pp. Timber
Press. 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland. 2004. Smith, A.J.E. ISBN
0-521-54672-9 (Paper US$85.00) 1012 pp/ Cambridge University Press, 40 West
20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211.
Plant Cell Death Processes. Noodén, Larry D. 2004. ISBN 0-12-520915-0
(Cloth US$84.95) 392pp Academic Press, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego,
Plant Functional Genomics. Leister, Dario (ed). 2004. ISBN 1-56022-999-3
(Paper US$89.95) 677 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton,
Plastids: Annual Plant Reviews, Volume 13. Møller, Simon
Geir (ed). 2004. ISBN 1405118822 (Cloth £99.50) 244 pp. Blackwell Publishing
Ltd., 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, U.K.
Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations. Kirkham, M.B. 2005.
ISBN 0-12-409751-0 (Cloth US$79.95) 500 pp. Elsevier Academic Press, 200 Wheeler
Road, 6th Floor, Burlington, MA. 92101-4495.
Seeds: The Definitive Guide to Growing, History & Lore. 2005.
ISBN 0-88192-682-5 (Paper US$17.95) 240 pp Timber Press. 133 S.W. Second Avenue,
Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Statistics without Math. Magnusson, William E. and Guilherme Mourão.
2004 ISBN 85-902002-2-1. (Paper US$24.95) 136 pp. Sinaur Associates Inc.,
P.O. Box 407, Sunderland, MA 01375-0407.
Timber Press Picket Guide to Shade Perennials. Schmid, W. George.
2005. ISBN 0-88192-709-0 (Flex US$19.95) 256 pp. Timber Press. 133 S.W. Second
Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Working Forest in the Neotropics: Conservation through Sustainable Management?
Zarin, Daniel J., Alavalaparti, Janaki R.R., Putz, Francis E., and Schmink,
Marianne (eds). 2004. ISBN 0-231-12907-6 (Paper US$42.50) 437 pp Columbia
University Press, 61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023.
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