Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1976 v22 No 3 Fall
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
September 1976 Volume 22 No. 3
An Editor Reminisces. Norman H. Boke 26
AN EDITOR REMINISCES
Norman H. Doke
When, in the spring of 1969, Bill Stern called me to ask whether I would accept the editorship of the American Journal of Botany, I hesitated in order to ponder the implications of the invitation. Most of us who undertake such responsibilities are not trained editors: we know little about the details of publishing, have never marked a manuscript for the printers, and our knowledge of grammatical details and punctuation is apt to be rusty. Although it is quite a distinction to be chosen the editor of a prestigious journal, the candidate is apt to indulge in a careful assay of his abilities, as I did. After a couple of weeks I decided that I had a reasonable chance of being able to cope with the job, so I accepted, though not without trepidation. As things turned out, the decision was correct; during my five years as editor there were no unsolvable problems, and the task was both interesting and educational, even though it required much of my time. It proved to be a thoroughly rewarding experience.
The editorial transition began in late October, when I spent two days with Charlie Heimsch at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Charlie had three part-time assistants as well as a proofreader, and one of the assistants had had considerable editorial experience. By the time I left, I felt overwhelmed with problems and details, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. However, there was no turning back, and I had to return to Oklahoma and organize an editorial office and staff. To soften the blow, Charlie's assistants had prepared a comprehensive foldef that contained all details and sequential operations that he and they had evolved during his editorship. This "Bible" proved to be of inestimable value, for it gave us a firm basis on which to begin our task. As the years progressed, we were able to make some innovative revisions and pass everything on to my successor, Ernie Gifford.
Fortunately, the office adjacent to mine had been vacated. It had ample space, and one wall was equipped with bookshelves that were divided into convenient compartments in which we could arrange manuscripts and journal issues in sequential order. Recruiting a staff was a problem, but with the aid of the University of Oklahoma Press I was able to obtain a few leads. As it turned out, there was a proofreader in Norman, and there were people who were interested in doing editorial work. During the first seven months of operation I had to release one of my original assistants for incompetency, and the other resigned at the beginning of summer. Then I had the good fortune to acquire two student wives who were both intelligent and capable; they remained on the staff for four years and contributed immensely to whatever success I had as editor. Both were excellent typists, and both enjoyed the numerous details that confront an editorial operation. Further staff changes occurred only during the last eight months of my incumbency, but by then we knew what we were doing, and the changes presented no difficulties.
Because manuscripts received and journal issues, like objects on an assembly line, are always in various stages of preparation, the transfer of editorial duties must be a gradual process. We began to receive new manuscripts and those that had been through the reviewing system in early November. By the time we submitted the April issue of the Journal to the printers the transfer was complete, and we were on our own. For several months thereafter, how-ever, I still found that I occasionally needed Charlie's advice.
It was Charlie's practice to read manuscripts in detail after they had been returned to him from the reviewers and before they were sent to the authors for revision. Final editing was then left to one of his assistants. Wisely or not, I decided to perform the latter task myself. This meant that I could ill afford the time to read manuscripts in detail before they were revised by the authors. Instead, if I felt that my editorial changes were so extensive that there was danger of changing the author's intended meaning, I returned the marked manuscript to him for his approval. In general, this procedure was successful, but it did create the only argument I allowed myself to get into during my editorship. Among several other things, I had objected to the use of noun clusters and stacked modifiers as exemplified by expressions such as "apical dome tissue doubling time." Although improving this involves some loss of brevity, lucidity is too important a commodity to be sacrificed on the altar of conciseness. The authors, however, contended that my objections were trivial and that it should be their privilege to express themselves as they pleased. I may have been hypercritical and somewhat less than diplomatic at first, but I reasoned that a major function of an editor is to promote the use of good English—as defined in such publications as the CBE Style Manual and the Harbrace College Handbook. However, the least abrasive policy may be to point out objectionable syntax and, if the author still insists, let him retain it at his own peril. I had discovered that contributors can be very defensive about their writing.
Past editors of the Journal have confirmed a discovery I made shortly after beginning my term: one can edit a manuscript and know and remember very little about its content. Because reviewers tend to be perfunctory about syntax, it seems best for the editor to concentrate on such details and rely on reviewers for the evaluation of content. Besides, no one editor is equipped to judge the merits and validity of investigations in the many fields of endeavor represented in an unspecialized journal. In my opinion, a person who agrees to review an article is obligated to do a thorough, conscientious job, but not all reviewers feel that way about it. Some reviews were returned to us with no more than a single commentary sentence—nothing that might offer the researcher suggestions to improve his work. When reviews are this superficial, it becomes possible for an occasional article of dubious virtue to slip into print. This has happened in the past and will doubt-less continue to happen in the future.
The Journal has many contributors who write concisely and well and whose illustrations are a joy to behold. Conversely, there are others whose manuscripts are sloppy, carelessly written, and atrociously illustrated. Receipt of such a manuscript always made me feel that the author's research was suspect. I reasoned that anyone who was careless with manuscript preparation would very likely be
careless with investigative techniques. Conscientious and careful people usually display these traits in anything they do; presumably, the reverse is also true.
More than a few times we encountered substandard manuscripts that bore the name of a distinguished professor as co-author. We could only surmise that the professor was in the habit of sticking his name on everything that came under his jurisdiction and that he had had little or nothing else to do with the dubious manuscript. To my way of thinking this is a questionable policy at best. In other cases a young author would state, under acknowledgements, that he thanked the eminent Professor Boondogle for "critical reading of the manuscript," when it was obvious that Professor Boondogle had either never bothered to look at it, or that he had lapsed into hopeless senility.
In addition to jargon and the abuse of nouns as adjectives, many of our contributors are addicted to excessive use of the passive voice. The latter appears in expressions such as "is seen," which I often encountered in the figure lines for illustrations. "There is." "occurs," or "appears" represent improvements. The most frequent offenders that I found in my five years with the Journal were "using" and "due to." While there is nothing inherently wrong with the present participle "using," it invariably dangles when it is employed with th ._passive voice. If an author states that "the wood was mascerat~) using Jeffrey's solution," we suspect that he had an unusual piece of wood that not only chose the proper (t- -E's-iterating fluid but also jumped into the liquid by itself. He could have said "I ran scerated i the wood, using Jeffrey's, solution," but it is even simpler to substitute "with" for the objectionable participle. Although "due to" is now regarded as a compound preposition, careful writers will avoid it except when it modifies a substantive as in "etiolation due to low light intensity." They will employ "because of," "on account of," or "by" in "the apple crop was limited due to early frost."
Despite the existence of directions to the contrary, we frequently had trouble getting authors to butt the illustrations on their photographic plates—no space between adjacent photos. They seemed unable to understand that spacing is done with a routing tool by the engravers and that when they attempt it themselves, the results are less satisfactory and the engraving more expensive. A few contributors sent us graphs with colored lines. Apparently they did not realize that colored lines do not reproduce well in black and white and that color reproduction is prohibitively expensive so far as the Journal is concerned. There were also difficulties with plates damaged in transit because of poor packing, with illustrations poorly cemented to the backing, and with broken transfer letters. Often we were able to make repairs; at other times we had to return the plates to the authors. On some drawing plates the lines were too fine and delicate to reproduce well, if at all. Use of a reducing lens can help a contributor to anticipate this difficulty and correct it before submitting the plates to the editor.
During 1970 and 1971 the quality of photographic reproductions in the Journal declined steadily. Possibly because of this, the number of manuscripts submitted to us also declined. Several of the 1971 issues were conspicuously thin, and the volume for that year was some 150 pages less than desirable. The situation became worrisome to all of us, Larry Crockett in particular; and it became obvious that it was time to negotiate with another printing firm, for the fault lay there, not with the en-gravers. In fact, the engravers were as disturbed as we because the sloppy work of the printers reflected upon them. The final issue of 1971 attained a nadir of low quality that was most distressing to those authors whose articles appeared in it. We tried to make amends by having the reprints redone by our new printers, Allen Press, of Lawrence, Kansas; but we could ill afford to redo the entire issue. With the change in printers quality immediately improved, and from that time on there was no dearth of manuscripts. Rather, so many were submitted that by the end of my term we had already forwarded 1975 issues through July to Allen Press. There were two reasons for getting so far ahead: we felt it best not to accumulate manuscripts in our own office, and we had to limit each issue to about 115 pages for financial reasons. One undesirable consequence of the latter was an increase in time between receipt of a manuscript and its publication to approximately 1 l months. Had it been possible to increase the size of each issue or to publish 12 issues a year instead of 10—as had been suggested by some contributors, the time interval could have been reduced to 4-5 months. This problem still confronts Ernie Gifford, the new editor.
The inflation that began in 1973 was largely responsible for our being unable to publish manuscripts as fast as we received them, hence the increasing delay between receipt and publication. There is no visible answer to this problem other than securing more funds or insisting upon shorter manuscripts. In order to permit new and unfunded investigators to publish the results of their efforts, it is almost essential that established investigators who have grants should pay full page charges. Even so, the page restrictions placed upon younger workers are onerous, particularly if their subject requires extensive illustrative documentation. On the other hand, the restrictions may discourage prolixity.
Often during my editorship I received manuscripts in which the author seemed intent on publishing every datum he collected during his investigation. The resulting tables and graphs appeared to me to be excessive. In other cases the literature cited seemed unnecessarily extensive. Some writers seem to feel that they must cite everything that has
Changes of Address: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America, Inc., Dr. C. Ritchie Bell, Department of Botany, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 26514.
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a bearing on their subject, from Theophrastus to the present. Why not, instead, cite only the most significant references and refer the reader to pertinent review articles for a more comprehensive list of the literature? I think that economic conditions are going to force greater limitations on all scientific writing. If publications costs continue to escalate, we may be restricted to publishing scarcely more than abstracts. However, because the "publish or perish' syndrome has already cluttered the literature with many trite and unworthy articles, the situation may not be utterly deplorable. We will probably have to insist on greater brevity and review manuscripts submitted to us much more critically than in the past, but this need not be entirely detrimental to the advancement of knowledge.
The Journal will have problems that did not confront me during the "golden years" that I enjoyed, hut I have faith that the Society will he able to adapt and that the importance and quality of the Journal will be maintained indefinitely.
The Legacy of Plant-world:
Sanat K. Majumder Westfield State College
Myth and folklore have played an important role in the development of man's association with the plant world. The predominance of objective scientific knowledge in modern times has not obscured this role.
Myths are not necessarily reflections of man's ignorance. They reflect imaginative efforts on his part to size up reality in human terms. Often couched in a mixture of truths, half-truths and total inaccuracies, myths associated with plants provide meaningful historical and contemporary insights into the respective human cultures.
In both Greco-Roman and Oriental history, abundant evidence exists to indicate that riches of Nature were viewed with reverence. Still today in India, devotional songs and dances accompany the tree planting ceremony (Majumder 1971). The scientific basis for the vital reciprocity between plants and man, however, was not even suspected until 1774 when Joseph Priestly, a Unitarian minister from Leeds. England, concluded, "Plants . . . reverse the effects of breathing and tend to keep atmosphere sweet and wholesome" for animals. Today, while scientists rigorously study photosynthesis, bumper stickers on the cars inquire: Have you remembered to thank a green plant today?"
During the nascent period of human development (sixth century B.C. through the end of second century. A.D.) as Reed (1942) identifies it, there appeared some organized knowledge about plants with considerable socioreligious bias. We began to humanize Nature—the skies. sunset, storm, flower and trees. Expressions such as palms of victory, lily of purity, willowy grace and olive branch of peace illustrate the point. Even Theophrastus, the prodigious Greek recognized as the Father of Botany, could not conceal his orthodox "vitalism" as he wrote. . . nourished by the impetus for germination . . . all plants everywhere, old as well as young, feel the urge for growth" (Reed 1942; p. 38).
Originating in ancient China and spreading into Europe through the Middle Ages, the Doctrine of Signature insisted that the appearance of a plant (or its parts) was a guide to its utility, and that the sign was placed by God for the benefit of faltering nian. A case in point is the herb, mandrake (Mandragora o)ficinarum of the Solanaceae). The presence in mandrake roots of such pain-killing alkaloids as scopolamine and hyoscine was not known to us until 1889. We know now that this plant does not let out a "death-dealing shriek" to protect itself from indiscriminate users.
Similar empirical observations in widely-isolated cultures have often given momentum and credence to similar episodes, the most prominent among them being those related to medicinal plants (Baker 1970; Heiser 1973).
THE CONTEMPORARY SCENE
Assuming again that myths are generated under social stress and perpetuated by social values, we can identify the contemporary myths about plant-man association in such revealing aphorisms as "organic gardening". "natural food", "secret life of plants", and "green revolution". I submit that these myths would not have emerged if it were not for our preoccupation with the environmental crisis and the dehumanized corporate life in highly industrialized societies.
The "fad" of organic gardening obscures its scientific legitimacy. The technique is designed to benefit the soil by regulating its aeration, microbial life, water-holding capacity, mineral contents and pH. Plants grow just as well with inorganic fertilizers. In fact, they are incapable of utilizing organic fertilizers directly; they absorb only the cations and anions which are the end results of bacterial as well as chemical breakdown of organic molecules. Why, then, "organic gardening"?
One can view organic gardening as a social protest in response to high-handed agri-business that advocated for so long indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. The sudden awareness of our world as a finite spaceship renders high acceptability to the equating of organic gardening with the recycling of wastes. There is both a biological and psychological benefit in the practice of recreating what we destroy. Organic gardening can indeed be such a practice, a practice that minimizes the abuse of technology and at the same time protects the unique custodian of plant nutrients—the soil.
Biologically, food is a basic need. From the point of view of human cultural evolution, however, the food habit is not entirely predicated upon this need. To paraphrase Harvard nutritionist Professor Jean Mayer, it is deter-mined variously by "conscience, nutrition and pocket-book".
In an earlier article (Majumder 1972), vegetarianism was evaluated as an alternative to diets based on animal protein. While the credibility of this nutritional mode has increased in recent years, it has often been associated with the crusade for "nature food" with undesirable results. What is ''natural'is not always inexpensive and nutritious. Neither is it true that the nutritive value of "natural" food cannot be improved. The protest against the adulteration of food is a social protest of individuals against the corporate food industry. What is really important in this socio-economic confrontation is not that "natural food" is better, but the diversification of our present food habit is highly desirable.
While on the subject of food, a brief reference should be made to the myth and reality of the "Green Revolution". With the introduction of high-yielding "miracle rice" and dwarf wheat, countries in Asia, Africa and South America sought to become self-sufficient in food produc-
Lion. While some countries benefited from this magnificent harvest of scientific research, many others suffered an ironic consequence of the opposite nature (Brown 1975). Incapable of restricting their population expansion and already tied inseparably to world-wide economic competition among rich nations, the developing countries succumbed to the crushing blow of the "energy crisis." Furthermore, under relentless advocacy of mechanization and consumerism, great discrepancies developed between opportunistic rich farmers and illiterate poor ones. Is there a lesson to be learned from the success of agriculture in China—a reasonable microcosm for the developing nations (Sprague 1975; Wortman 1975)? We are "back to the drawing board", this time with the politicians, not the scientists, on center stage.
"You Have to Believe to See!"
Is it possible that plants have a secret life that the plant biologists are not aware of? Tompkin and Bird (1973) assure us: "What makes plants live, or why, does not appear to be the purview of science". Galston (1974) argues persuasively that Tompkin and Bird successfully reached many false conclusions by ignoring accepted rules of evidence.
The key expression here is "accepted rules of evidence" which, at present, will not allow us to "croon to our cattleyas" and "murmur to our mimosas" in order to make these plants grow better.
It may interest readers to learn that I was one of two plant physiologists entrusted by the Government of India in 1961 to investigate Dr. T. C. Singh's pioneer claim that musical sounds enhanced plant growth. Contrary to Tompkin and Bird's implication about Dr. Singh's experiments (see Chapter 10), we failed to confirm any of his assertions.
The evolution of organized knowledge on any subject appears to follow a historical pattern that has its parallels in many cultures. Since we are probing the unknown, we have no alternative but to begin with a multitude of assumptions. The evolution of man's understanding of the plant world is no exception. Over a period of time, the refinement of our knowledge is brought about by the interaction between existing social values and the integrity of our measuring tools—scientific and philosophical rationale.
Baker, H. G. 1970. Plants and Civilization (2nd ed.)
Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Co. Inc., p. 23. Brown, L. R. 1974. By Bread Alone. New York: Praeger
Galston, A. W. "The Unscientific Method". Natural History. March 1974. pp. 18-24.
Heiser, C. B., Jr. 1973. Seeds to Civilization: The Story of Man's Food. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Co., p. 145.
Majumder, S. K. 1971. The Drama of Man and Nature.
Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Pub. Co., p. 7.
1972. "Vegetarianism: Fad, Faith or
Fact?" American Scientist 60: 175-179.
Reed, H. S. 1942. A Short History of the Plant Sciences.
Waltham. Mass.: Chronica Botanica Co., p. 38. Sprague, G. F. 1975. "Agriculture in China". Science 188:
Tompkins, P. and C. Bird. 1973. The Secret Life of Plants. New York: Harper and Row Pubs., inc.
Wortman, S. 1975. "Agriculture in China". Scientific American 232: 13-21.
TREES IN THE TROPICS
The floristic diversity of woody plants in the tropics is best indicated by analyses which contrast numbers of species in a given area of tropical and temperate forest; differences of more than an order of magnitude are easily demonstrated. The enormous task of recognizing and de-scribing tropical trees continues, while aspects of structure, growth, function, reproduction, and ecology remain largely unknown. Generalizations about the biology of woody plants are still determined with temperate trees as model systems. A more balanced view was attempted at the Fourth Cabot Symposium, held at Harvard Forest, Harvard University, April 26-30, 1976, under the title "Tropical Trees as Living Systems." The approach to the topic was unique; the tree was considered initially as an individual and its functions were examined from many points of view. This meant that scientists with widely varying specialization presented an overview of our current understanding of aspects of the biology of tropical trees. Early sessions dealt with evolution, diversity and patterns of organization and included a perspective on fossil evidence of their origins (Doyle, Michigan, U.S.A.), a study of geographical variation revealed by biochemical analysis (Whiffin, Melbourne, Australia), discussions of representative families—Palmae (Dransfield, Kew, England) and Araliaceae (Philipson, Christchurch, New Zealand) and Araucaria (Veillon, Noumea, New Caledonia). There was consideration of branching (Tomlinson, Petersham, U.S.A.), modular construction (Prevost, Adiopodoumē, Ivory Coast), architectural variation (Halle, Montpellier, France) and a precise analysis of Terminalia-branching was presented (Fisher, Miami, U.S.A.). Roots were dealt with by Jenik (Prague, Czechoslovakia) and the ecological significance of leaf shape by Givnish (Cambridge, U.S.A.). Our knowledge of correlative morphogenetic processes was summarized in relation to branch differentiation (Nozeran, Paris, France) and to trunk differentiation (Champagnat, Paris, France). A session considered aspects of floral biology (Baker, Berkeley, U.S.A.), seeding strategies (Janzen, Michigan, U.S.A.), seedling establishment (Ng, Kepong, Malaysia) and examples of demo-graphic analysis (Sarukhan, Mexico City, Mexico). Physiological mechanisms were given attention with a discussion of hormonal aspects of shoot growth and flowering (Browning, Aberystwyth, Wales), of extension growth (Longman, Edinburgh, Scotland), and physiological periodicity in relation to climate (Alvim, Itabuna, Brazil). A survey of abscission strategies by Addicott (Davis, U.S.A.) emphasized loss of parts as an important biological process. Water relations were dealt with both in relation to wood structure (Zimmermann, Petersham, U.S.A.) and to possible regulation of extension growth (Borchert, Kansas, U.S.A.).
The last session had the task of analyzing interactions of processes in the communities of individuals we recognize as forests. This included a discussion of primary productivity (Kira, Osaka, Japan), of architecture (Oldeman, Quito, Ecuador) and crown-shape (Ashton, Aberdeen, Scotland) in relation to the successional mosaic which makes the forest. Regeneration (Hartshorn, San Jose, Costa Rica) and forest dynamics (Whitmore, Oxford, England) were discussed. In this progression from form to function of the individual the speakers uniformly treated tropical forests as living systems.
The results of this Fourth Cabot Symposium, to be published, will hopefully stimulate research on woody plants in the tropics. At the moment we seem to lack the wisdom to protect and preserve tropical forests and their diverse biota. This wisdom may come when we have knowledge of the way in which trees grow and interact to make forests.
P. B. Tomlinson
Fourth Cabot Symposium
Harvard University, Harvard Forest Petersham, MA 01366
A SYMPOSIUM ON THE USE OF INDUCED MUTATIONS for improving disease resistance in crop plants will be convened in Vienna, Austria on January 21 to February 4, 1977 under the auspices of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Additional information can be obtained from John H. Kane, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration, Washington, D.C. 20545.
A SYMPOSIUM ON THE GRASSES AND GRASS-LANDS OF OKLAHOMA will be convened as part of the fall meeting of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences at Northwestern Oklahoma State University at Alva, Oklahoma on November 12, 1976. Topics will include the ecology of native and introduced grasses and the production of cereal and small grain crops. Additional information can be obtained from James R. Estes, Department of Botany & Microbiology. University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019.
THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY (Volume 1, No. 1 January 1967) is being published for the Ecological Society of Australia by Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford OX2 OEL, England.
THE NINTH ANNUAL JESSE M. GREENMAN AWARD, a cash prize for the best paper in plant systematics based on a doctoral dissertation was awarded to Stephan Robert Gradstein for "A Taxonomic Monograph of the Genus Acrolejeunea (Hepaticae) published in Bryophytorum Bibliotheca 4, 1975. Papers published in 1976 rre now being considered for the 1977 award. Reprints of such papers should be sent to Alwyn H. Gentry, Missouri Botanical Garden, 2315 Tower Grove Road, St. Louis, Missouri 66130, before May 1977.
THE AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY has just published a list of environmentally tolerant plants. The 30-page compilation, "Environmentally tolerant trees, shrubs, and ground covers" was supported by the Founder's Fund of the Garden Club of America. Copies can be obtained for $2.95 from the American Horticultural Society, Mount Vernon, Va. 22121.
A MASTER INVENTORY OF PLANT RECORDS has been prepared by the Plant Sciences Data Center, Mt. Vernon, Va. 22121. The Master Inventory is a computer listing of the plant records from 29 North American botanical gardens and arboreta and includes a total of 139,162 records of living plants cultivated in public gar-dens. It is available in microfiche for $25.
ACTIVITIES OF THE
DEVELOPMENTAL SECTION annual business meeting-luncheon was called to order by chairperson Howard Bonnett on 2 June 1976 at Tulane University. Among other business, the following items of concern were approved. 1. To improve communication among members, publication of reports of Section activities should continue to be published in Plant Science Bulletin. 2. Don Kaplan, Bill Jacobs and Jerry Miksche were gently persuaded to volunteer to review and update the By-laws of the section. 3. Archives of the Botanical Society of America, now at the University of Texas, should include items from the Developmental Section. 4. Joint programming with the Structural Section was approved and will be continued. 5. The Wampler Bill (HR 11743) establishes a National Agricultural Policy Committee to make policy decisions on priorities of agricultural research and will assure that the research is effectively planned, coordinated and evaluated. It also provides $15 million for the first year of a competitive grants program. Since the grants program can become an important additional source of support for individuals in developmental botany and can improve the funding climate for the Developmental Biology Program of the National Science Foundation, members of the Section are urged to write their congressional representatives, informing them of the importance of a competitive grants program to basic research and urging them to support the bill.
Dr. S. Lane Wilson, Department of Biology, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa 50311 has five shoeboxes of moss specimens. The material was collected about 1950, primarily from Dickinson and Emmet counties in Iowa by C. M. Goodwin with determinations made by H. S. Conard and R. V. Drexler. About 300 species are identified and index cards, sketches, etc. are attached. Dr. Wilson would like to transfer this material to an herbarium where active moss research is under way.
The Plant Science Bulletin can always use interesting and instructive articles on teaching innovations, ideas and concepts on botany, announcements and reports.
DIRECTOR AND PROFESSOR, DIVISION OF BIOLOGY
Kansas State University's Division of Biology has 45 faculty members in all areas of Biology and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology, Micro-biology and Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. The Director will be responsible for administrative leadership and future development of the Division. Qualifications include out-standing records in research and teaching. Candidates should submit a CV with the names of three persons qualified to evaluate in depth the qualifications of the applicant. Applications should be sent by November 15, 1976 to Dr. Brian Spooner, Biology Directorship Search Committee, c/o Dean of Arts and Sciences, Eisenhower Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506.
The Department of Biological Sciences of Illinois State University has a position open for an Assistant Professor as a plant ecologist committed to both teaching and research. The appointee will teach graduate-level courses in plant ecology and advanced ecology plus involvement in a team-taught course in biology for non-science majors. Applications and three letters of recommendation should be sent to Dr. Howard R. Hetzel. Chairman, Department of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, III. 61761.
CHAIRMAN, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY
The Department of Biology, Winthrop College, Rock Hill, So. Carolina 29733 invites applications for a full professor and chairman of the department. A doctorate in a biological field is required and applicants in botany are especially desired. The appointment will start on 1 July 1977 and applications will be accepted until 1 December 1976. Applications and names of three recommendees should be sent to Dr. L. V. Davis, Chairman of the Search Committee, Department of Biology, Winthrop College, Rock Hill, South Carolina 29733.
The Herbarium of the University of California. Los Angeles has an opening for a museum technician. Desirable qualifications include a B.S. or B.A. in botany, biology or plant sciences with a major including course work and training in plant systematics. Applications should be sent to Dr. Frank Almeda, Department of Biology, University of California. 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024.
The Department of Horticulture of Washington State University announces a Horticulturist position at WSU's irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington. A Ph.D. in horticulture, plant science or related discipline with a strong background in plant physiology in plant growth and water relations is required. The position is 100% research on vegetable crop production and physiology. Complete resume, transcripts and three letters of reference should be sent to Dr. O. E. Smith, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163.
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN..." I didn't bother to check the original reference.
"OF GREAT SCIENTIFIC INTEREST . . ." It piqued my interest.
"I THANK MY RESEARCH ASSISTANT . .." Jimmy actually did the experiments.
"TYPICAL RESULTS ARE GIVEN ..." These are the only data I have.
"ADDITIONAL STUDIES WILL BE REPORTED . .." I will get another paper from this study.
"IT IS BELIEVED THAT . . ." I think so, but am afraid to admit it.
"IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT .. ." My students believe it too.
"IT IS GENERALLY ACCEPTED THAT . . ." A guy at a meeting thought so too.
"IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT . . ." My colleague down the hall isn't sure.
"CORRECT WITHIN AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE ..." Probably wrong.
"EXTREMELY HIGH PURITY . . ." Label on bottle was smudged.
"SHOULD STIMULATE RENEWED INTEREST . . ." Let someone else get frustrated.
"HANDLED WITH EXTREME CARE DURING PREPARATION ..." Not dropped on the floor.
"SIMILAR TO THE TYPE SPECIMEN . . ." At least in the same family.
"HEAVILY STAINED ..." Accidently left overnight in fast green.
"ONE SAMPLE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY ..." Fixed material smashed in transit.
Dr. Jere Brunken, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois, has been appointed assistant professor of botany and curator of the Herbarium at The Ohio State University. He is currently working on a revision of the genus Pennisetuun (Gramineae).
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
The Endangered Species Act of 1973, enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives, is of importance to botanists. The Act is designed to "provide for the conservation of endangered and threatened species of fish, wildlife and plants ..." Quoting again (p. 2), "The purposes of this Act are to provide means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of treaties and conventions ..." to which the United States has pledged its sup-port in the worldwide conservation of wild fauna and flora.
The principal authority holding responsibility for the enforcement and the operation of the Act is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through its Office of Endangered Species. Other agencies of the federal government involved in the implementation of the Act are the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Smithsonian Institution.
Several lists of plants have been prepared by the Smithsonian Institution and these have been published in the Federal Register, Department of the Interior volume 40, Part V on 1 July 1975. Listing is by states and includes the family, genus and species of plants considered to be endangered or threatened. The Office of Endangered Species has set criteria for listing. Before the final listing of a plant as threatened or endangered, the Office must have a status report. Quoting from a letter received from the botanists in the Office of Endangered Species, "Obviously, we may not know certain items for a species, but must be able to indicate enough in terms of the current threats listed in the Act. One of our main functions is to seek those data from the botanical community; we have sufficient contract money at this time to aid the effort." Anyone with sufficient information can request or petition the Office of Endangered Species to consider a species for listing. The Office is now responsible for some 24,000 species, but is clearly inadequate with regard to mention or listing of cryptograms.
It is clear that the botanists to whom the task of organizing the compliance with the Act has been given are going to need help. It is hoped that the concerned specialists who are members of the Botanical Society, as well as other interested individuals, will cooperate in every way possible in assisting in the registration of endangered and threatened species of plants. Drs. Bruce MacBryde (Chief Botanist) and Dr. Gail S. Baker (Botanist) are charged with the development of the program. Their address is:
United States Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service
Office of Endangered Species
Washington, D.C. 20240.
This Office has prepared a publication which will be of interest to botanists concerned with the matter: "Liaison Conservation Directory for Endangered and Threatened Species." Botanists are urged to get involved in this important activity.
Wilhelm G. Solheim, Chairperson Conservation Committee, 1975
Dr. Robert W. Long died in his sleep on 21 July 1976. During the 1971-1975 period, Bob was the Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin. His tenure in this office was marked by many innovations in the Bulletin, all of which succeeded in making the Bulletin into a publication of distinction in science. He was a distinguished teacher and research scientist and Botany has lost one of our fine people.
RAYLE, DAVID AND LEE WEDBERG. Botany: A Human Concern. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 1975. 401 pp., illustrated. Instructor's Manual available.
Beginning Botany students have a variety of needs and expectations. Some are beginning a career; others are forced to take the course. Members of either group may, however, be in the other camp before the semester ends, so every student has a need in common: the course must provide a working grasp of what Botanists do, what they claim to know, what the goals of research are, where the frontiers and doubts lie, and how problems are approached and solved. Because the authors faced this responsibility, and to a large extent succeeded, Rayle and Wedberg's Botany: A Human Concern is a fine new textbook for Introductory Botany.
The book is readable and intelligently organized. After discussing photosynthesis, for instance, the importance of the process to the biotic world is discussed, along with man's impact on it. In presenting data to illustrate a point, the authors often pause to discuss the experiment and who performed it. This integration of method and background with botanical concepts clarifies the nebulous images many people have of scientists and their activities. The conversational style of the book is pleasant, but I object to the authors' use of contractions.
The major theme, presented through introductions to physiology, taxonomy, ecology, anatomy, evolution and agriculture, is that the biotic world is complex, often beyond man's understanding, yet that man's needs are satisfied by exploiting it, often with unpredictable consequences. The authors do not pander doomsday tales, but encourage reflection on disquieting facts, presented fairly and convincingly. This device conveys the relevance of biological phenomena and intrigues students with plant-related interests. It draws and warms them without intimidating less involved students.
Much basic information is presented, with valuable reflection and commentary. The result is the successful conveyance that Botany has both substance and soul.
Jerry Davis University of Vermont
RUSSELL, E. W. Soil Conditions and Plant Growth. 10th Ed. Longman, New York. 1974. xviii plus 849 pp. $23.50.
The 10th Edition reaffirms this book as a classic on soil conditions and plant growth. As soil is indispensable to the growth of most plants, adequate knowledge of soils is necessary for most botanists. If this book were to be dissected for content specific to a unit area of plant science, I believe the plant physiologist would get first share. This reflects Russell's great knowledge of soil and plant chemistry and physics. The ecologist would likewise find a rich harvest, mycologists could hardly fail to be well rewarded, and morphologists, geneticists, and taxonomists may find viewpoints or data of interest from an otherwise unfamiliar field. In comparing the 10th with my well-used 8th Edition an expected similarity in content is evident. Its size has been increased and new material has been added. The literature coverage is extensive and impressive and substantial coverage is given tropical and arid regions, so the book is definitely not limited to topics of interest in Britain. There is an author index, but no bibliography.
The 10th Edition has a heightened scientific quality and authority but I found it not so consistently readable as the 8th, sometimes because of the technical aspects of a topic and sometimes because of the style. Editorial gremlins were not fully exorcised in the preparation of the text or figures. The breadth of coverage, the excellence of topical presentation, and the command of the literature all commend this book strongly to botanists. Its use could rescue students from the deplorable presentations of the nitrogen cycle found in all too many biology and ecology texts these days.
HARBORNE, J. B. AND C. F. VAN SUMERE (eds.). The Chemistry and Biochemistry of Plant Proteins. Academic Press (London). 1975. $30.75.
There is need for a general reference volume on plant proteins. Unfortunately, that need will remain for a while. In spite of its title, this volume is simply a collection of papers presented at the Phytochemical Society Symposium in Sept. 1973. The ten papers are individually well-organized and illustrated, and cover amino acid sequence analysis, immunochemistry, storage proteins, barley proteins, protein synthesis, mitochondrial and chloroplast biogenesis, effect of phenolics, protein sweeteners, and taxonomy. If your interests lie here, you will be well-served. Many topics of obvious interest to the plant biochemist or student are not included, nor is there a general summary or attempt to put these individual topics into a phenomenological or historical context. Whatever the merits of the individual papers, I find myself disappointed with tantalizingly titled books which turn out to be multi-authored potpourris.
David Racusen University of Vermont
PRIDHAM, J. B. (ed.). Plant Carbohydrate Biochemistry. Academic Press (London). 1974.
This is a collection of 16 papers presented at the Phytochemical Society Symposium in April 1973. As in the volume reviewed above, there is a considerable gap between the very general title and the specialized content. However, that discrepancy is not felt as keenly because the need for a reference volume on carbohydrates is less pressing. The coverage of topics is wide and timely: from photosynthetic carboxylation to the synthesis and degradation of polysaccharides, including three papers on the lesser known carbohydrate relatives: polyols, glycolipids, and glycoproteins. The papers are well-organized and illustrated. I was especially happy with Walker's diagrammatic comparison of chloroplasts in the light and dark (p. 12) and Sharon's "spectrum" of glycoprotein carbohydrate content (p. 238). This volume would be a good addition to biochemistry departmental libraries.
David Racusen University of Vermont
STACE, C. A. (ed.). Hybridization and the Flora of the British Isles. London: Academic Press, 1975. Pp. xiii + 626. $39.25.
C. A. Stace has brought together the descriptive and experimental knowledge accumulated on hybrids of the British vascular plants. With the collaboration of 86 specialists, Dr. Stace has provided a useful reference work for the botanist interested in cytotaxonomy. All of the hybrids recorded from the British Isles are represented here in a systematic review.
In the Introduction, Dr. Stace presents a useful summary of the topic of hybridization. A general review of evolutionary significance, structural features and recognition, establishment, sterility and fertility, nomenclature, and chemical studies is presented. This background provides an up-to-date, practical aid for anyone interested in studying hybrids.
In the systematic section, accounts of over 1400 hybrids are given. Dr. Stace has used Dandy's List of British Vascular Plants as the definitive list of plants naturalized in this area. Brief mention is made of the occurrence of foreign hybrids. Information concerning naturalized hybrids is divided into several paragraphs covering valid binomial and important synonyms, summary of characteristics, ecological and geographical distribution, survey of experimental work, and known chromosome numbers of hybrids and parents. For each hybrid, background literature and illustrated publications are cited.
This is an excellent reference for use in cytotaxonomic research and teaching as well as for the field botanist interested in hybrids.
Janet R. Sullivan University of Vermont
ZIMMERMANN, ULRICH AND JACK DAINTY (eds.). Membrane Transport in Plants. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1974. 473 pp. illust. $30.00.
In February, 1974, an "International Workshop on Membrane Transport in Plants" was held at the Nuclear Research Centre, Julich, West Germany. The Workshop brought together expertise from all fields related to membrane transport for clarification of the problems facing membranologists. The need to survey the fields in the form of a workshop reflects the failure of the literature to re- view adequately recent advances. Membrane science has fractured into many subtopics which are now the subject of reviews, and the goal of the Workshop was to integrate the progress made in each of these subfields. Zimmermann and Dainty's book, an account of the proceedings of the Workshop, is a survey rather than a review.
The book consists of sixty-four papers representing nine topics and sessions with an edited "Round Table Discussion" by participating scientists following each session. Papers are short (six to nine pages) and documented. Although the papers present some new data, they are written to give concise descriptions of particular problems. Topics include thermodynamics of synthetic membranes, electrical properties of bio-membranes, osmosis, regulation of transport, transport in algae, cell suspension cultures, chloroplasts, and organs of higher plants. The only comment on conflicting data and/or hypotheses is in the Round Table Discussions. These are well-edited and are the most important part of the book. No attempt was made to bridge the topic gap, e.g., between membrane ATPases and osmotic regulation. Thus, the book presents most of the problems but provides little insight into possible solutions. This underscores the need for a comprehensive re-view of our current understanding of membranes.
Teachers, students and investigators will find this book to be a quick directory to the literature and a source of contemporary membrane theory. The potpourri of approaches to understanding membranes should spark ideas along new avenues of research.
Steven P. Briggs University of Vermont
CARLQUIST, SHERWIN. Ecological Strategies of Xylem Evolution. University of California Press, Berkeley. 1974. 259 pp., illust.
This very literate author has attempted to attribute ecological significance (or functional significance or selective value) wherever possible to histological features of the xylem. In this he has to a large degree succeeded. His arguments are persuasive, backed by considerably more evidence than were the interpretations of earlier physiologically-minded anatomists who indulged in intuitive reasoning. In Carlquist's book one will find answers (or probable answers) to such questions as: Where (in which habitat, in which organ, in a young or old organ, in a plant of what habit) would you expect to find longer or shorter xylem elements, wider or narrower elements, simple or scalariform perforation plates, etc.? Why do the Hawaiian Islands have a flora with simple perforation plates? All of this he treats from a functional point of view. His chapters on conifers, monocots and dicots are by far the best. Other taxa are less well treated and in certain instances important characteristics bearing on his arguments are overlooked or are obscured by generalizations. I'll assign the book to my students and I'll likely read it again a time or two.
David W. Bierhorst University of Massachusetts
Plant Studies in the People's Republic of China: A trip report of the American Plant Studies Delegation. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 1975. xiii + 205 pp. $7.25.
Within a year after the opening of the gates of New China to the United States, delegations of scientists from the U.S. and the People's Republic were visiting their
counterparts in the other country. In the United States, most official visits were handled by the National Academy of Science's Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China. This book is the report of one such sponsored visit, from August 27-September 23, 1974.
Led by Sterling Wortman of the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. delegation included Nobelist Norman Borlaug, Nyle Brady of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, seven other crop and plant scientists, an Asian specialist and translator, and a staff member of the Committee. They traveled from Canton in the south to Ch'angch'un in the north, Shanghai, Peking, Nanking and Sian as well as other stops. The visitors met scientists, agricultural workers, officials and political leaders, their liaison and comfort being assured by a Chinese plant physiologist and four staff members assigned to them. Each delegation member accepted responsibility for preparation of a portion of the report.
Like many American travelers before them, the delegation found China's development "remarkably successful." They noted that "crops looked good wherever the team traveled." They credit the Chinese for efficient organization and for excellent use of existing information and technology, noting possibilities for improvement through extended use of chemical fertilizers and breeding for in-sect and disease control. Like others, they are puzzled by the educational aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, and cannot judge what will happen to the education of scientists in the near future. They note and applaud the effort to reduce population growth rate.
This is a valuable publication, as far as it goes. It accurately reports what the members saw and heard, and will undoubtedly inform many Americans of facts they still insufficiently appreciate. Yet, in some respects, the book misses the mark by not emphasizing what has made China so uniquely able to transform itself from a back-ward, destitute nation to a disciplined, self-sufficient, healthy country where education is available to all and literacy is the rule. The price paid, in loss of personal freedom, is unacceptable to western democracies, yet China is an attractive model for emerging third-world and fourth-world nations. The agricultural communes of China, on which more than six hundred million people now live and work, may well be the most important social instrumentality on earth outside the family. On the security and prosperity of these huge cooperative enterprises, less than on biological innovation, rests the future of the New China. In not giving adequate emphasis to these political realities, the delegation fails to see the agriculture for the plants.
Arthur W. Galston Yale University
THOMAS, MERION, S. L. RANSON AND J. A. RICHARDSON. Plant Physiology (5th edition). Long-man Group Limited, London. 1973.
There are many ways to teach and to write about plant physiology, but this book chooses what must be one of the dullest. Nowhere is the excitement or the wonder of plant function permitted to shine through. Rather, information is presented dryly, with parsimonious use of pictorial material. The result is a verbose and monotonous presentation, unpunctuated with data to help the reader discriminate between major and minor considerations. Given that the text is over a thousand pages long, this is too much to ask of any student. I, for one, feel that this is a shame, since the book does present much valuable information on many aspects of plant physiology. Some of it is very dated, and has not really been brought up to the 1970's, despite the recent date of publication. A note on p. 739 informs us that the revision was completed in 1965, and supplemented only in particular places by Dr. D. R. Thomas. The strongest points in the book are the extensive and authoritative treatments of intermediary metabolism and general plant biochemistry. The weakest points concern growth phenomena. Despite its drawbacks as a text, this volume will make a useful addition to the reference shelf.
Arthur W. Galston Yale University
RICHARDSON, DAVID H. S. The vanishing lichens, their history, biology and importance. Hafncr Press, Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. 1974. 231 pp., 68 fig. $12.00.
This excellent popular work on lichens is a summary of recent literature. After a brief chapter on the history of lichenology, a summary of lichen growth rates is used to date glacial moraines and the megaliths of Easter Island. Assuming tombstones were erected within a year or two of death, rates of growth over a period of years can be determined by measuring the diameters of thalli of the same species in the same cemetery. Another chapter discusses the role of lichens in soil formation, and in erosion of surfaces of statuary, tombstones, and stained glass.
Lichens were widely used as dyestuffs in northern Europe before the advent of aniline dyes. Roccella sp. were used in the production of litmus until the synthesis of sulfonephthallein indicators during the First World War, resulting in the practical extinction of the genus in Baja California and greatly reduced yields on other coasts.
Lichens have been used as human food and Cladina rangiferina forms an important food for caribou in the Subarctic. Many lichens produce antibiotics, but none commercially. Lichens are used as bases for perfumes in central Europe. Mites, insects and gastropods feed on lichens and some birds use fragments of foliose and fruticose lichens in building their nests.
Another interesting aspect of lichen growth is their use as indicators of atmospheric pollution, especially to sulfur dioxide and by metals such as nickel and copper. Atmospheric pollution has eliminated lichens from large centers of population. If one follows a road to outlying areas, one notes the absence of lichens in the center, then the beginning of depauperate thalli on trees after several miles, then better developed sterile thalli and, finally, normally-reproducing lichens twenty to thirty miles from the center.
This popular work is provided with a large bibliography of recent literature, mostly in English, for further reading.
C. W. Dodge University of Vermont
Flora Brasiliensis, Volume III, parts IV-VI. C.F.P. de Martius, A.G. Eichler (successors to Ignatius Urban), editors. Orchidaceae, parts I-III (including all plates), written by Alfred Cogniaux, 1893-1906. Reprint 1975 by Otto Koeltz Science Publishers, D-624 Koeningstein, West Germany. Subscription price DM 540 (about $230); post publication price DM 650 (about $277).
Many classic orchid books are now out of print and rare. When available, they are expensive because collectors, scientists, libraries, speculators and (disgustingly) interior decorators (who tear them up and use the illustrations to paper powder rooms) snap up every available copy. Libraries often refuse to lend them on interlibrary loan be-cause of their rarity and great value. Thus, one must often bypass careful, first-hand examination of such books.
One of the firms which has been very active in orchid book reprinting is Otto Koeltz Antiquariat. They are in the process of reprinting all of Schlechter's books and have republished the three orchid volumes of Flora Brasiliensis by Alfred Cogniaux. These are Volume III, part IV, originally published 1893-1896 (Orchidaceae I); Volume III, part V, originally published in 1893-1902 (Orchidaceae II) and Volume III, part VI, 1904-1906 (Orchidaceae III), which contain text only. A fourth volume contains the illustrations. The quality of reproduction and binding are excellent. The nomenclature and approach may not be considered entirely correct today but they will prove extremely useful to those trying to resolve problems which still exist.
Considering the rarity of the originals (they are virtually unobtainable), their high price (if available) and the importance of this work, the four volumes are inexpensive, if not for individuals, at least for libraries.
SUTTON, STEPHANNE BARRY. In China's Border Provinces. The Turbulent Career of Joseph Rock, Botanist-Explorer. 334 pp. New York, Hastings House. $9.95.
Although Ernest "Chinese" Wilson opened the door of the Far East to western horticulture, Joseph Rock brought new dimensions to Chinese and Tibetan exploration. Those who have examined Rock's meticulous specimens will agree with Egbert Walker on his "thorough and unstinting" habits of work.
Joseph Franz Karl Rock was born in Vienna in 1884, attended Benedictine primary school, and was destined for the ministry. At thirteen he taught himself Chinese and after the Gymnasium, wandered over Europe and North Africa dodging penury, poverty, and bouts with tuberculosis. By his early twenties he was in New York, then in Texas, Mexico, and finally, still in search of a victory over tuberculosis, he arrived in Honolulu in 1907.
Rock's competence in ten languages—"a linguistic smorgasbord"—lead to an appointment teaching Latin and natural history at Mills School in Honolulu. Soon he was collecting seeds and herbarium specimens for the Territorial Division of Forestry. He published forty-five titles between 1911 and 1921, including his classic Indigenous Trees of the Hawaiian Islands (1913).
Rock left Hawaii in 1920. He went to Burma for chaulmoogra, valued for leprosy, and began a long association with the National Geographic Magazine. His search for blight-resistant chestnuts took him into the China he had longed to know. Rock's own recollections quoted from his diaries and a manuscript autobiography, which Rock called his "funnybook," are so rich and pungent that we often wish for less Sutton and more Rock.
Joseph Ewan Tulane University
STREET, H. E., Editor-in-chief. Tissue Culture and Plant Science. Academic Press, New York. 1974. xii + 502 pp., illust. $19.75.
This book is a collection of the nineteen plenary leccures given at the Third International Congress of Plant Tissue and Cell Culture held in Leicester, England in the summer of 1974. Of the nineteen chapters (plus a summary chapter), I thought those on organogenesis in epidermal and subepidermal cells, protoplast fusion, selection of biochemical mutants, and genetic transformation in plants were outstandingly excellent. Some chapters I thought were rather ordinary. No doubt, other readers might express a different set of preferences. The point, however, is that the obligation to publish the major invited papers presented at a meeting such as this always runs the risk of producing just such a heterogeneous collection of chapters. This book has value in that it gives one an overview of what certain people consider to be the current research front in plant tissue culture, but a good deal of old ground also is replowed. The book is printed by offset from double-spaced typescript. I would feel a little more positive about it if it had been single-spaced and printed on recycled paper.
Kurt Norstog Northern Illinois University
BROWN, CLAIR A. Wildflowers of Louisiana and Ad-joining States. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. xi + 247 pp. $10.00.
Clair A. Brown has prepared a useful and welcome guide to many of the wildflowers in Louisiana and adjacent states. There are other similar works available in the Southeast, but none which cover at a reasonable price specifically this area. Dr. Brown's many years in Louisiana brought a familiarity with the flora evident throughout the book.
The extensive introduction covers many points which will be useful to the amateur and the professional botanist. Significance, nomenclature, and classification of plants are discussed in sufficient detail for the beginning enthusiast. A concise, but very thorough section on the structures of flowers, including those of certain families, is especially useful. The section on the vegetation of Louisiana includes a map of the regions.
The bulk of the work consists of color photographs accompanied by short descriptions. Generally, two species are treated per page. The descriptions are short, but diagnostic. Habitat and distribution by state are briefly mentioned. The species chosen for treatment are not always those one would expect. A few such as Ottelia alismoides and Mertensia virginica are known only from one or two locations within the area. In my opinion, a few photo-graphs do not show enough of the plant for the beginner, and some are not as clear as would be liked and some reproductions of colors are not exact. The illustrations for Liatris pycnostachya and L. squarrosa are reversed, though other errors are few. These minor criticisms should not detract from the usefulness of the book.
Sidney McDaniel Mississippi State University
ASTON, HELEN I. Aquatic Plants of Australia. A Guide to the Identification of the Aquatic Ferns and Flowering Plants of Australia, Both Native and Naturalized. Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, April 1974. xv + 368 pp., 138 figs., 83 maps. $34.65 (USA).
The latest addition to the rapidly growing bookshelf of aquatic botany is this elegantly illustrated small book
by Helen I. Aston. The 138 accurate and detailed line drawings, many of them full-page plates, were done by the author from freshly-collected material. They are extremely informative and artistically arranged.
The author has defined aquatic vascular plants rather narrowly so that only truly submersed, floating, or emersed species in permanent bodies of water are included, thus treating only 222 species of the rich aquatic and sub-aquatic Australian flora. Woody plants and rushes and most aquatic sedges and grasses are excluded. This narrow interpretation eliminates the fascinating ephemerals of temporary pools and wetland plants of salt marshes, man-grove swamps, bogs, and shallow fresh-water marshes and swamps. The author fully considers and delineates marine phanerogams often ignored by other botanists.
The taxonomic treatment is conservative and even-handed. The alphabetical arrangement of taxa within each class or subclass is especially laudable. The marine aquatics are split rather unrealistically, but generally I can find little fault with the taxonomy. The author seems quite up-to-date in her knowledge of taxonomic and distributional literature. Specialists and well-informed amateurs will not miss a key to families, but many environmentalists and aquarists will flounder about in the pages of this book examining the drawings to spot the family and genus of the aquatic in hand. A simple family key would save an enormous amount of time and prevent much exasperation.
In addition to the superb illustrations, there are 81 dot maps to show the distribution of key species in Victoria. The rest of Australia is not entirely slighted; Appendix 3 is a 7-page distribution chart indicating the known range of each aquatic in each of Australia's states and territories, with one column added for "Ex-Aust." There are also good location maps for Victoria and for the whole of Australia with Tasmania. No botanical library nor enthusiastic aquarist can afford to by-pass this excellent volume.
Robert F. Thorne Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
MOHAN RAM, H. Y., J. J. SHAH AND C. K. SHAH (eds.). Form, Structure and Function in Plants. Professor B. M. Johri Commemorative Volume. Santa Prakashan, Nauchandi, India. 1975. x, 457 pages, illustrated. $30.00 postpaid.
It is appropriate that Professor B. M. Johri was honored by a commemorative volume on the occasion of his retirement from the Botany Chair at the University of Delhi. Not only is he part of a distinguished botanical tradition, but he has been a powerful driving force in botany both in India and internationally. As one expects in such a volume, it is a collection of papers by students, colleagues and friends, some of them original contribu-
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT BURLINGTON, VERMONT 05401
tions, some general reviews, and some little more than laboratory reports. The collection is heterogeneous and there is little underlying theme that binds the papers in a section or the various sections together. A major impression one gets of the volume is the broad range of botanical research sparked by Professor Johri and the extent of his influence on plant science.
Richard M. Klein University of Vermont
BURNS, GEORGE W. The Plant Kingdom. Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. 1974. 540 plus ix pages, illustrated.
It was a pleasure to examine George Burns' introduction to the diversity of plants, The Plant Kingdom, for the quality and clarity of his thought is apparent throughout. The book begins with a discussion of the variety and importance of life cycles, and introduces a vocabulary and clear diagrammatic system used consistently throughout the book. He stresses the universality and necessity of syngamy and meiosis for true sex, and indicates the range and evolutionary plasticity of the various cycles. Too many students in plant diversity courses attain this under-standing late in the semester or not at all, and become mired in an endless and seemingly meaningless variety of life cycles.
With one foundation thus firmly established, Burns clarifies a second core idea. He examines the historic plant/animal dichotomy and its weaknesses, then introduces the five kingdom concept, not without the admonition that it, too, is not inviolate. The book then proceeds through the plant divisions. Burns does not cover the viruses, and chooses to delineate four gymnospermous di-visions. Discussions of morphology, phylogenetic trends and economic importance are certainly not unique. In this book, however, they are readable and thought-provoking. The study questions at the end of each chapter are intriguing and heuristic. I have never so enjoyed such questions in a comparable book. When Burns examines the evolutionary history of a group he presents the evidence clearly enough that students new to such considerations will be able to follow the logic. Life cycle diagrams are clear but other diagrams and photographs are not consistently so. Readers will note the paucity of biographical material. Certainly, everything cannot be included, and no criticism is intended in my pointing out its absence. Burns describes the plant world rigorously, faithfully and readably.
Jerry Davis University of Vermont