Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 2003 v49 No 3 Fall
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 49, NUMBER 3, 2003
The Botanical Society of America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
ISSN 0032-0919 - Electronic version ISSN 1537-9752
Misconceptions about Helmont's Willow Experiment.David Hershey.......................................................................................................78
Blooming Prints. Sirce Kwai Giveon........................................................... ............................................................................................84
News from the Society
News from the Sections
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
Books Reviewed in this Issue.................................................................................................................................................................99
BSA Contact Information........................................................................................................................................ ...........................123
Botanical Society of America Logo Items.............................................................................................................................................124
Plant Science Bulletin
Published quarterly by Botanical Society of America, Inc., 1735 NeilAve., Columbus, OH 43210. The yearly subscription rate of $15 is includedin the membership dues of the Botanical Society of America, Inc. Periodicalpostage paid at Columbus, OH and additional mailing office.
Address Editorial Matters (only) to:
Send address changes to:
Editorial Committee for Volume 49
James E. Mickle (2004)
Andrew W. Douglas (2005)
Douglas W. Darnowski (2006)
Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
During his plenary address at this year's Botany Education Forum BruceAlberts, President of the National Academy of Science, made a strong case for overcoming what we all know is the "bad news" in education - inertia. His address, and the Botany 2003 plenary talk by E. O. Wilson, are summarizedin the News from the Society section of this issue. Both provided reason for optimism and suggested strategies for achieving our goals. Both presentations also served to preface some of the salient concepts presented in the Myths About Botany Education Research Symposium. Two of these concepts are addressed in the feature articles of this issue.
In the first article David Hershey tackles some misconceptions commonly perpetuated in the botany classroom. The constructivist theory of learning posits that students build upon what they know to create new understanding.A major problem arises when students try to build on incorrect ideas. Such misconceptions, or alternative conceptions, are extremely difficult toovercome because typically they seem so "common sense." Our job as teachers is to first make sure we understand the concept ourselves, then to make sure that we don't inadvertently reinforce students' misconceptions through careless word choice or over simplification. Helmont's willow experiments are classic in the history of botany - - but perhaps not as novel as most of us think.
The second article addresses the importance of making botany interesting to students - - especially to middle-school students for it is during these critical years that the creativity and enthusiasm for science of most elementary students is somehow squelched. Sirce Kwai Giveon has no botanical training, but she saw plants as a way to enrich her art curriculum and in the process turned her students on to the wonder of flowering plants. It was a tremendous experience for her, her students, and for me as I fielded questions and shared in her students' discoveries. What a difference it would make to botany if each of the thousands of you who read this issue adopted a middleschool class in your area. Imagine! Thousands of reinvigorated botanists! I bet Karl would have to deal with a boom of manuscripts in nine months- - and Wilson would have his boom of taxonomists in 19 years! Read, view, and enjoy! - - editor.
The 1648 potted willow experiment of Johannes Baptista van Helmont is widely discussed in biology teaching because it is the first known quantitative experiment in biology. Despite its familiarity, several misconceptions about Helmont's experiment have gotten into the teaching literature. The purpose of this article is to correct these misconceptions.
Helmont's willow experiment is often presented in its entirety because the description is so brief. Here is the first English translation from1662 to refer to for the subsequent discussion,
"But I have learned by this handicraft-operation that all Vegetables do immediately, and materially proceed out of the Element of water onely .For I took an Earthen vessel, in which I put 200 pounds of Earth that had been dried in a Furnace, which I moystened with Rainwater, and I implanted therein the Trunk or Stem of a Willow Tree, weighing five pounds; and atlength, five years being finished, the Tree sprung from thence, did weigh169 pounds, and about three ounces: But I moystened the Earthen Vessel with Rain-water, or distilled water (alwayes when there was need) and it was large, and implanted into the Earth, and least the dust that flew about should be co-mingled with the Earth, I covered the lip or mouth of theVessel with an Iron-Plate covered with Tin, and easily passable with many holes. I computed not the weight of the leaves that fell off in the four Autumnes. At length, I again dried the Earth of the Vessell, and there were found the same two hundred pounds, wanting about two ounces. Therefore164 pounds of Wood, Barks, and Roots, arose out of water onely." (Helmont,1662).
Textbooks sometimes credit Helmont with the idea of the pot experimentto test if plants obtained their mass from the soil. For example, Moore and Clark (1995) noted that the "concept of plants as soil-eaters went unchallenged until 1648" when Helmont published his willow experiment. However, the consensus of historians is that Helmont's experiment was almost certainly inspired by Nicolaus of Cusa's 1450 book De Staticus Experimentis, which described a nearly identical thought experiment (Howe, 1965; Huff,1966; Krikorian and Steward, 1968; Pagel, 1982). An English translation from De Staticus Experimentis reads,
"If a man should put an hundred weight of earth into a great earthen pot, and then should take some Herbs, and Seeds, and weigh them, and then plant or sow them in tha t pot, and then should let them grow there so long, untill hee had successively by little and little, gotten an hundred weight of them, hee would finde the earth but very little diminished, when hecame to weigh it againe: by which he might gather, that all the aforesaid herbs, had their weight from the water." (Krikorian and Steward, 1968).
Nicolaus of Cusa was confident of the experimental results so he may have been relying on earlier sources, experimental data or common sense that gardeners did not have to routinely add soil to potted plants but they did have to water the pots frequently. Howe (1965) traced the quantitative pot experiment idea back to a Greek work of about 200 to 400 A.D. so Nicolaus of Cusa may not have been totally original either.
Helmont and his supporters, notably Robert Boyle, were part natural philosophers, part scientists, so they did not just rely on experimental data. They also used the theory of the ancient Greek philosopher Thales (62?-546 BCE) which stated th at all matter arose from water (Krikorianand Steward, 1968; Walton, 1980). Boyle also cited the book of Genesisin the Bible as support for the theory (Walton, 1980).
Helmont and Water
Allchin (1993, 2000) stated that Helmont was "well aware that plants did not grow outside soil". However, herbals (Gerard, 1633) of Helmont'stime described free-floating aquatic plants, such as "ducks meate" (Lemnaspp.) or "frogge-bit" (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)(Figure 1), that were common in Europe. Francis Bacon (1627) grew several species of terrestrial plants in water well before Helmont's experiment was published, including a rose he grew for three months. Bacon's conclusions were similar but not quite as strong as Helmont's, "It seemeth by these instances of water, that for nourishment the water is almost all in all, and the earth dothbut keep the plant upright, and save it from overheat and over-cold." (Bacon,1627).
Figure 1. Frog's bit, a free-floating aquatic plant (Gerard,1633).
Other investigators used plant water culture in the mid-1600s including Robert Boyle, Thomas Browne and Robert Sharrock (Webster, 1966). Allchin (1993, 2000) stated that Helmont had no conception of distilled water. However, Helmont said he used distilled water in his experiment (Helmont, 1662), and distillation as a purification method was well knownin Helmont's era (Multhauf, 1956). Alchemists, such as Helmont, often usedredistilled rain water (Nash, 1957). Given Helmont's concern that dust might add to the dry weight of his soil, it seems clear that Helmont specifically used rain or distilled water because of their purity. Less pure water sources, such as well water or river water, would have contained more dissolved or suspended solids that would have added to the soil dry weight. In 1770, Antoine Lavoisier dismissed numerous water culture and Helmont-type experiments as inconclusive evi dence that plants were formed exclusively from water because they had not used rain water or distilled water (Nash, 1957). However, Lavoisier could not criticize Helmont's experiment for that weakness.
Helmont and Gas
Allchin (1993, 2000) said "carbon dioxide [was] a substance wholly outside his [Helmont's] conception." However, Helmont coined the term gas, discovered carbon dioxide and is the "real founder of pneumatic chemistry" (Leicesterand Klickstein, 1963). Helmont described several sources of gas sylvestre his name for carbon dioxide, including belches, fermenting wine and burning charcoal, which is of plant origin (Leicester and Klickstein, 1963; Pagel, 1972). Helmont even wrote that when 62 pounds of oak charcoal were burned, they would yield 61 pounds of gas and 1 pound of ash (Leicester and Klickstein,1963). Thus, Helmont knew that dry plant matter released large amountsof carbon dioxide upon burning. Helmont was apparently so dogmatic aboutthe water-forms-all-matter theory that he ignored his data that plant dry matter was composed largely of carbon dioxide gas and his data that a small amount of soil was missing from his pot. Had he not been so dogmatic, Helmont might have used his data to conclude that fresh plant matter consisted largely of water but that dry plant matter consisted mainly of carbon dioxide gas and a small amount of soil minerals. That kind of conclusion would have advanced plant biology by well over a century.
Allchin (1993, 2000) thought Helmont was "rather clever" and deserved "credit" for "isolating the relevant soil system within the boundariesof a pot." However, growing trees in pots was common in Helmont's time so Helmont was just using a standard technology.. The wealthy in Helmont's era often grew potted tropical plants, especially orange trees, and overwintered them in caves, stoves, greenhouses, or orangeries (Muijzenberg, 1980). Plants had been grown in pots as early as ancient Egyptian times (Baker,1957 ). As mentioned earlier, historians have concluded that Helmont's experiment was almost certainly inspired by Nicolaus of Cusa's 1450 description of a nearly identical thought experiment that involved growing plants in a pot.
Allchin (1993, 2000) said that Helmont sunk his pot in the ground "asif the location was a significant parameter" to control. It is not known why Helmont sunk his pot in the ground so that is a guess. Hershey (1991) suggested some practical reasons such as greatly reducing the irrigation requirement by minimizing evaporation from the porous pot walls or preventing the planted pot from being blown over by the wind. The pot being blownover and spilling the soil could have ruined the experiment. Gerard (1633) illustrated a planted pot sunk in the ground (Figure 2) so it seems likely gardeners of Helmont's time knew of one or more of the practical advantages. Sinking the pot may have also prevented the roots from being killed by subfreezing temperatures (Hershey, 1991). Perhaps Helmont sunk the potto prevent someone from falling in the hole left after the 200 pounds of soil were removed or because Mrs. Helmont didn't want a big, ugly pot sitting aboveground in the yard for five years. Maybe Helmont did not even make the decision to sink the pot because it is quite likely that the wealthy Helmont had his gardener do some, if not all, of the experiment. Boylehad his gardener carry out his Helmont-type experiments (Krikorian andSteward, 1968).
Figure 2. Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) growing ina pot sunk in the ground (Gerard, 1633).
Helmont's use of a metal pot lid to keep out dust is sometimes considered one of the more impressive parts of the experimental design (Krikorian and Steward, 1968). Helmont even coated the iron lid with tin to prevent rusting. However, common sense indicates that a metal lid with many holes would be ineffective in keeping out dust. Any dust that accumulated on the lid would have simply been washed into the pot when it rained. The lid would have been effective in keeping leaves, twigs, and other debris out of the pot. It might have also prevented larger animals from burrowing in the potted soil and prevented rain from splashing soil out of the pot. However, it would not have been effective in preventing surrounding soil from being splashed into the pot. Soil splashing into the pot was a disadvantage of sinking the pot in the ground.
Criticisms of Helmont's Methods
Allchin (1993, 2000) thought Hershey (1991) criticizing Helmont's experiment for not using replication lacked historical context. However, Boyle in the 1640s (Hoff, 1964) did three Helmont-type experiments before he had read Helmont's experiment (Krikorian and Steward, 1968). Boyle found 0pounds soil missing, then repeated the experiment and found 1.5 pounds missing (Krikorian and Steward, 1968) which revealed substantial experimental error. Boyle lost the data of the third experiment (Krikorian and Steward,1968). Woodward (1699) criticized the accuracy of Helmont's weighing and soil drying methods.
"I must confess I cannot see how this experiment can ever be made withthe nicety and justness that is required, in order to build upon it so much as these gentlemen do. 'Tis hard to weigh Earth in that quantity, or plants of the size of those they mention, with any great exactness: or to bake the Earth with that accuracy, as to reduce it twice to the same dryness." (Woodward, 1699)
Helmont's Design and Analysis
Allchin (1993, 2000) stated that Helmont's experiment was "designed and interpreted appropriately" in the context of Helmont's time. However that is untrue.
· As mentioned above, common sense inidicates that the metallid would have been ineffective in its stated purpose of keeping dust outof the pot, and sinking the pot in the ground would have created a problem of rain splashing soil into the pot.
· Helmont made no mention o f the impossibility of completely separating soil and roots, which would have been a source of experimental error. Anyone who has tried to completely separate roots from soil knows that it is basically impossible.
· Helmont's description is contradictory because he says he grew the willow for five years but had only four autumn's worth of leaves. Therewould have been five autumns in five years. Helmont's said his 164 poundsof willow included just "wood, barks, and roots" (Helmont, 1662) so what happened to the leaves from the fifth season?
· Helmont made no mention of weighing inaccuracies even though accurate soil weighing was the heart of his experiment. Even Woodward (1699) noted that twice drying and weighing 200 pounds of soil could not have been done with any great accuracy.
· Helmont was inconsistent in his weighing technique because he determined soil dry weight but plant fresh weight (Krikorian and Steward,1968). It was common knowledge in Helmont's time tha t plants did require water and contained large amounts of water because plant products were routinely dried before use, including firewood, grains, peas, beans, tobacco, cooking herbs, medicinal plants, hay, and some fruits, such as grapes to make raisins. Thus, the key question was what plant dry matter was composed of.
· Helmont's description of his experiment was very incomplete.He did not even mention the species of willow he used.
· Helmont is lauded for being quantitative but he ignored his missing two ounces of soil because he believed so strongly that all matter arose from water. Helmont was well aware that a small amount of ash or earth remained after burning plant material but did not consider the possibility that the ash represented soil minerals.
· Helmont did not have the data needed to conclude that 164 pounds of plant matter came from water alone because he had not measured the amount of water added to the pot during the experiment. The logical conclusion based on Helmont's published data would have been that very little of the plant fresh weight came from the soil.
· Helmont ignored common knowledge that manure greatly improved plant growth. Manure promotion of plant growth was well known long before Helmont's time (Tisdale and Nelson, 1975). Even Helmont supporter Boyle used that as a criticism in his 1666-67 work, The Origin of Forms and Qualities,
"And indeed experience shews us, that several plants, that thrive not well without rain water, are not yet nourish'd by it alone, since when corn in the field, and fruit-trees in orchards have consum'd the salineand sulphureous juices of the earth, they will not prosper there, how muchrain soever falls upon the land, till the ground by dung or otherwise be supply'd again with such assimilable juices" (Hunter and Davis, 1999).
Helmont as Hero and Fool
Allchin (1993) stated that it was the "Most Outlandish Use of History in Biology Education" to portray Helmont as "both hero and fool." However, in his era Helmont was regarded exactly that way (Pagel, 1972) because his "combination of mysticism, magic, alchemy, and new science irritated even his contemporaries" (Heinecke, 1995). Even Helmont admirer, Boyle had that hero-fool view because Boyle thought a mysticism-heavy treatise written by Helmont was misattributed to Helmont by his detractors (Heinecke,1995). Boyle couldn't comprehend how Helmont, who made many
Woodward Disproves Helmont
Textbooks often follow up a description of Helmont's 1648 experiment with a discussion of Joseph Priestly's 1770s experiments (Kaufman etal., 1989; Moore and Clark, 1995; Weier et al., 1982). They rarely mention how John Woodward (1699) disproved Helmont's willow experiment.Woodward (1699) used water culture experiments in which plant growth wa smuch greater in water containing a little soil than in plain water or distilledwater (Table 1). Unlike Helmont, Woodward (1699) measured the water used by his plants and provided the first quantitative measurements of transpiration (Table 1). Woodward improved upon Helmont by using replication and growing his plants indoors under more controlled conditions. However, Woodward(1699) too failed to measure plant dry weight or make the connection thatthe dry matter absorbed from the water was insufficient to account forthe entire gain in plant dry weight.
Table 1. Effect of water source on spearmint (Mentha spicata)growth and transpiration in water culture (Woodward, 1699).*
*Glass containers were covered by parchment to prevent evaporation.The stem was inserted through a hole in the parchment. Plants were grown for 56 days in a windowsill in June and July 1692.
**Grams of water lost divided by grams of fresh weight gained by plant.
Although Woodward (1699) showed that Helmont's conclusion was wrong,Woodward's work has been largely overlooked (Stanhill, 1986) while Helmont's willow experiment is still widely mentioned in biology textbooks and histories of science. The detailed case history by Nash (1957) does not even mention Woodward. Even in his own time, Woodward (1699) was overlooked. For example,Stephen Hales reported many transpiration measurements in his classic 1727book, Vegetable Staticks, and made conclusions virtually identicalto Woodward's but just briefly mentioned Woodward (Stanhill, 1986). In1770, Lavoisier did not mention Woodward in his repudiation of Helmont's pot experiment and plant water cultures as proof that matter arose from water alone (Nash, 1957).
Woodward's (1699) convincing experimental data that Helmont's conclusion was wrong went largely unnoticed possibly at least partly because his reputation was later tarnished by severe professional disputes in his main fields of medicine and geology (Stanhill, 1986). These disputes resulted in a duel and his expulsion from the council of the Royal Society (Stanhill,1986). Woodward's (1699) title was als o vague. Had he used a title suchas, "Experiments that Disprove Helmont's Willow Experiment," his work mighthave gotten more notice.
Lessons from Helmont's Experiment
The first sentence in Helmont's biography reads "Pessimism, scepticism and criticism are the outstanding key-notes of all of van Helmont's works and researches" (Pagel, 1982). However, he did not apply enough skepticism and criticism to his willow experiment. It was still a very useful and important experiment in the history of biology but was much less than it could have been. From a modern perspective, it does provide some valuable lessons for biology students.
· Do not ignore your own data when making conclusions. Helmont ignored his missing two ounces of soil and his other data that charcoal, derived from plants, produced mainly gas when burned. Had Helmont concluded that plant dry mass consisted of a small amount of minerals absorbed from the soil but mainly of gas sylvetre, his name for carbon dioxide, he couldh ave advanced plant science by more than a century.
· Be objective and do not try to prove a particular hypothesis or theory as Helmont did. When you are not objective, you are likely to make wrong conclusions. Helmont's theory that water formed all matter made him conclude that all 164 pounds of willow came from water even though he had not measured how much water he had added to the pot. Helmont also ignored his missing two ounces of soil because his theory did not allowhim to consider the possibility that the small amount of ash remaining after burning plant matter could have come from the soil.
· Consider common sense or preexisting knowledge even if you have no quantitative data to support it. In Helmont's case, he ignored common knowledge that manure promoted plant growth and that fresh plantmatter did contain large amounts of water.
· Scientists sometimes overlook or do not acknowledge preexistingwork as Helmont did for Nicolaus of Cusa's 1450 book describing a pot experimentlike Helmont's and Bacon's 1627 work on growing plants in water. This wasespecially true centuries ago when scientific literature was not as widelyavailable but can still occur. Allchin (1993, 2000) did not cite any historicalliterature on Helmont to support his claims and made errors.
· When publishing an experiment, describe the materials and methods in enough detail so others can repeat it. It appears no one ever attempted to repeat Helmont's five-year experiment with a willow tree. Helmont scholar Pagel (1982) even warned that trying to repeat Helmont's willow experimentas described "may run into technical difficulties" and "may lead to differentresults." Describing an experiment as basically unrepeatable is one ofthe worst criticisms that can be made.
· The first person who publishes an experiment gets the credit even if others proposed or did it earlier. If historians were convinced that Nicolaus of Cusa was actually describing a completed experiment in1450, rather than just a proposed experiment, Nicolaus of Cusa would havegotten the credit instead of Helmont. Similarly, if Robert Boyle had published his Helmont-type experiment before 1648, he would have gotten the fame.
· An experiment may be considered valid long after other published results that disprove it. Woodward (1699) showed Helmont's conclusion from his willow experiment was incorrect but Woodard was largely overlooked in his era and ever since (Stanhill, 1986).
David R. Hershey
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Bacon, F. (1627). Sylva Sylvarum. London: J. Haviland.
Baker, K.F. (1957). The UC System for Growing Healthy Container-Grown Plants. (University of California Agri cultural Experiment Station Manual23). Berkeley, CA: University of California.
Gerard, J. (1633). The Herbal or General History of Plants. NewYork: Dover.
Heinecke, B. (1995). The mysticism and science of Johann Baptista van Helmont (1579-1644). Ambix. 42(2),65-78.
Helmont, J.B. van. (1662). Oriatrike or Physick Refined. London: Lodowick Loyd. (translated by John Chandler).
Hershey, D.R. (1991). Digging deeper into van Helmont's famous willow tree experiment. American Biology Teacher. 53,458-460.
Hoff, H.E. (1964). Nicolaus of Cusa, van Helmont, and Boyle: The first experiment of the renaissance in quantitative biology and medicine. Journalof the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 19,99-117.
Howe, H.M. (1965). A root of van Helmont's tree. ISIS, 56,408-419.
Hunter, M. and Davis, E.B. (1999). The Works of Robert Boyle. London: Pickering and Chatto.
Kaufman, P.B., Carlson, T.F., Dayanandan, P., Evans, M.L., Fisher, J.B.,P arks, C. and Wells., J.R. 1989. Plants: Their Biology and Importance. New York: Harper and Row.
Krikorian, A.D. and Steward, F.C. (1968). Water and solutes in plant nutrition: With special reference to van Helmont and Nicolaus of Cusa. BioScience,18,286-292.
Leicester, H.M. and Klickstein, H.S. (1963). A Source Book in Chemistry1400-1900. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Moore, R. and Clark, W.D. 1995. Botany: Plant Form and Function.Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown.
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Woodward, J. (1699). Some thoughts and experiments concerning vegetation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 21,193-227.
I needed to get some flowers with some guts and muscles yet were beautifuland delicate. I didn't need these flowers to adorn my desk; I needed themfor new information to give to students. I am an art teacher at StarlightCove Elementary School in Lantana, Florida. These fifth grade boys andgirls are budding into young men and women and I thought that delicatelybeautiful, gutsy muscled flowers would be something they could relate to.Our project, required by the Florida Sunshine State Curriculum, provides5th Graders the experience of Relief Printmaking. Their suggestedtheme is Plants. Teachers are given leeway in how to focus their lessons.
In my experience of previous years, I have put up posters and silhouetteshapes of flowers on the walls and passed around books about plants, andeven brought flowers to school from my garden. Ho wever, I continued toget the question from the kids, "what do I draw"? That's mostly from theboys. The girls tend to make frilly daisy chains. Their prints came outwell crafted but lacked some visual oomph. This year, I was determinedto help them understand what they were looking at.
The best way I know how to get children to dig into more focused observationis through using Science as my introduction.
So, this year, I decided to do some digging in the worldwide web gardento unearth information about the origins of Flowers. What I found out challengedT-Rex's legacy!
I found a willing scientific informant, Dr. Marshall Sundberg, who answeredmy questions on when and where flowers began in earth time scale. He saidit was a timely question because evidence of floral beginnings has justrecently been discovered in China. It seems that flowers began in the shallowwarm waters as aqueous plants. The oldest known type of flower is the Magnoliacousin. Just last Spring, I planted the Southe rn Magnolia tree in frontof my southern Floridian home. This new information makes me especiallyproud of my Magnolia sapling. As I gaze out upon the newly opened lusciousblooms, I realize this delicately blended peach-blush-cream petal outlastedthe biggest, meanest dinosaurs. A miniscule remnant of T-Rex, the brownanole, roams the candelabra branches.
I brought photos of the magnolia bloom to the children and the emailprintouts of the information I received from Dr. Sundberg. The printoutwas read to the classes. How flowers outlasted T-Rex caught the kids' interest.From there, with Dr. Sundberg's help, I went into the structure of theFlower using overhead transparencies as if I were their science teacher.
When students asked questions about flower parts that I didn't knowwith assurance, I wrote Dr. Sundberg. One such example is why the interiorof some flowers has a different color than their outer petals. I let thekids guess and gave them their answer the following week. They gues sedthat nectar producers attract birds and bees. What they didn't know wasthat this method of attraction helped propagate the plants.
The boys especially were interested in the carnivorous plants and welet our imaginations have a wild moment thinking how scary it would beif one of those plants were human size. We have a variety of floating carnivorousplants in our black ponds nearby.
Settling back with factual information on Flowers, the students' awarenessof "What to look at" increased dramatically from last year. When I passedaround a few books on Flowers, such as the Audubon handbook on wildflowersand tacked up posters and photographs and other artists' paintings of flowers,the students set out to create. This was the proof of my effort: theirdrawings were strong and confident and much more botanically correct thanin previous years.
The next step took two stages: one was to draw four drawings of flowers;and the last step was selecting the clearest linear image from the fouran d transferring it onto the print plate.
The three paper drawings were such excellent illustrations that I hadthe children mount them on large black construction paper and we have exhibitedthem in my classroom, our school media center and the school headquartersfor our Palm Beach County Elementary School Exhibition.
The printed plate was used about eight times, creating prints with differentcolored printing ink and different colored paper. The student's pride intheir work was evident with their industry and smiles.
Being their proud Art Teacher, I sent electronic images to Dr. Sundbergas thanks for his information and support. He said he was amazed at thedetail.
I hope the Plant Science Bulletin enjoys the selections I have sent.
Sirce Kwai Giveon, Lantana, Florida.
News from the Society
From the FORUM
Our field has a real opportunity to have an impact on K-12 educationsaid Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, in hisKeynote address at the Botany Forum. This would be a key element in hisgoal to create an enlarged scientific community. Traditionally this communityconsisted of scientists in academe, government and industry, but his visionis to incorporate science teachers at all levels and science journalists.The combined efforts of this broadened community will be necessary to affectthe desired improvement in scientific literacy among the population atlarge.
This goal fits well with the charge of the Academy, which was charteredin 1863 to provide independent advi ce to the government on science policyand practice. While the majority of reports produced by the Academy fallinto the category of "Science for Policy," providing the scientific backgroundfor policy makers to make informed decisions, an increasing amount of effortis going into "Policy for Science" reports that involve promoting scienceand scientific literacy. Alberts said it was clear to him, when he beganhis tenure as President, that the latter were particularly critical. Allhe had to do was think back to his first 10 years teaching at Princetonto realize that teaching students the same way he was taught, with introductorycourses designed to weed out students who could not make the grade, wasa part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The major accomplishment of his first two years in office was the publication,in 1996, of the National Science Education Standards. There were more than18,000 reviewers who contributed to this effort and it quickly became clearthat every scien tist had strong opinions about what content in her or hisfield was critical. The task was to winnow down the list of essentialsand to do this they devised an interesting strategy. Physicists, for instancewould trim the biology list while biologists would do the same for thephysicists. The result was the 250 page document that Alberts encouragesus to consult for our own introductory courses. In fact Alberts suggestedthat the 25 page chapter on Teaching is "a must read chapter" for all scientistsin the classroom!
Subsequent to publication of the Standards, the Academy has concentratedon producing a number of supplemental booklets designed to help teachersimplement the standards. These, of course, are all available to be readand/or purchased on the Academy web site. Inquiry-based strategies areprominent in these publications, not only because of their utility in scienceteaching but because they precisely fit the needs for modern workforceskills. Alberts said that as a scientist he was optimistic that changesin science education can be implemented, but unfortunately there is alsosome bad news - - INERTIA.
Change is always difficult, but it is particularly so in education wherethere are so many masters. Alberts noted a particular concern that he calledthe "tyrany of tests." He noted that most of us fail to appreciate theextent to which a high stakes exam can determine the nature and effectivenessof what is taught, how students learn, and their entire view of education.He was able to provide examples from his daughter, a teacher in California,who is now having to deal with pressure to "teach to the test." He alsohighlighted the statement from the Princeton Study Guide for the SAT IIexam which literally tells students "you don't need to understand anything...just need to be able to make associations." Of course the real problemis not tests per se but the fact that the tests being used are "badtests." "No Child Left Behind" and the creep of business-style accou ntabilityeven into higher education makes it imperative that we develop "good tests"for the assessment process. He said that the Academy has recently embarkedon a project to develop prototype tests that are computer aided, but thatmeasure students' growth in understanding.
Our challenge, said Alberts, is to align our introductory college sciencecourses with the standards. This means that we must incorporate inquiry-basedteaching methods into lecture and show the relationship of science to society.It also means that we must incorporate inquiry-based, non-cookbook laboratoryexperiments into associated science laboratory courses. Beyond that, weas scientists must make a science out of education and science educationresearch. More research must be done on how people learn and we urgentlyneed more research on teaching science as inquiry. So who will do thisresearch? We need to develop a new tradition of cooperation between scientists,science educators and teachers. And we should consider opportunities forpostdoctoral students. According to Alberts there are currently about 40,000science post-docs in the U.S. and about 1/3 of them may consider secondaryeducation if certain conditions are met. Of course, he admits that it wouldbe a poison pill for a doctoral student or post-doc to express such aninterest to a major professor. This is an attitude that we can and shouldchange, he said.
Finally Alberts mentioned a new initiative at the Academies, the TeacherAdvisory Council, which consists only of K-12 teachers with at least a50% appointment teaching math or science. Already two outcomes have beenidentified: 1) Scientists must be educated to learn to respect teachersand to discover the true opportunities and problems science teachers facein the schools and 2) Teachers are empowered through interactions withscientists. Partnering of scientists and teachers is a powerful tool formaking the changes required to affect greater public scientific literacy.
Edward O. Wilson
Organismal biology is a calling to a lifetime of excitement, began E.O.Wilson in his address to Botany 2003, noting that he began his career onlyabout 13 blocks from the convention center where we were meeting. Furthermore,he predicted that we are on the cusp of a renaisance in taxonomic study.During the 18th century taxonomy was concerned primarily withnaming and classifying; in the 19th century understanding thegeneology of species was the primary goal; the modern synthesis of the20th century helped to explain the mechanism of speciation;but in the 21st century we will be able to provide a completeaccount of the earths biodiversity in a project on the scale of the HumanG enome Project.
It is time to reassess the importance of taxonomy - - it is not as "oldfashioned" as thought by our molecular colleagues. Unfortunately, whilethere are approximately 6000 active taxonomists in the world today, a numbernot significantly different from what it was in the 50's according to Wilson,the percent of biologists active in taxonomic investigations has droppedprecipitously with the rapid growth of other fields. According to Wilsonit is important that we recognize taxonomy not just as a tool for otherdisciplines, but as an important discipline in and of itself. Why is thisso? The obvious answer is that we know so very little about the numberof species living on earth. Our gap in knowledge is huge, especially whenyou move away from the furry and feathered creatures. The microbes in particularare a "dark hole" of biology.
But, according to Wilson, there are more reasons than this to furtherthe Linnean enterprise. Among these are the need for taxonomic inventoriesf or effective conservation, for bioprospecting, for biological impact studiesand for analyzing ecosystem assembly. A more complete taxonomy is prerequisiteto reconstructing the tree of life. But most important is the "unsurpassableadventure of explaining the unknown world." Fewer than 1% of know specieshave been studied beyond diagnostic anatomy and exosystem preference. "Molecularbiologists don't know how thin is the information they stand on."
While the goal of a complete census of biodiversity may seem naivelyambitious, Wilson suggests that it is now a possibility because of thepower of computing. He predicts that within 10-20 years we will have on-lineexpert system keys and data bases to permit rapid field identification.These will include high quality images, "e-types," to permit instant featurematching (he noted the project of the New York Botanical Garden as a modelof this possibility). Collected data on new species, including descriptionsand e-types, could be uploaded and ins tantly available to other researchersanywhere in the world. Once the census is complete, the second step willbe genomic studies, particularly of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. He predictsthat microbial systematics and microbial ecology will become dominant fieldsas we move from the nano- to the pico-level.
Wilson argued that the accelerating destruction of ecosystems and theextinction of species makes it essential to move on the All Species Initiativenow. While NSF has begun funding some of the necessary components, a majorproblem is that the world economy has stagnated and support, especiallyfrom private foundations, is lagging. What can we do in academe? We mustwork to increase the prestige of taxonomic studies, including providingbetter financial support, in order to attract new young students to thefield. This is especially critical for students from the 3rdworld. Then, says Wilson, we must argue the position that systematics,like evolution, is a concept that unites th e levels of biological thought� down to the molecular and up to the ecosystem. Furthermore, a betterunderstanding of systematics is essential to maintaining biodiversity andunderstanding evolutionary biology.
Dr. Wilson agreed to respond briefly to some questions for the PlantScience Bulletin - -
Editor: The first question from the audience concerned defining "species."How would you define it in terms of the "All Species Survey" for use withplants, fungi, and particularly microbes?
EOW: The definition of species is a deep epistemological problem, andof course also a daunting practical issue. However, rather than regardingit as an impediment to the global biodiversity map, it should be thoughta challenge and an opportunity for advance. Working tentatively with thebest criteria available according to taxon, whether reproductive isolationor genetic difference, and keeping them standard, even as we test and debatethem, we can expect to hit upon the best criteria whe n further along inthe all-species effort.
Editor: Another question had to do with training new students. Giventhe general decline in taxonomic offerings at our colleges and universities,how do you think potential funding for the "All Species Survey" could mosteffectively be distributed to train the generation of systematists whowould accomplish the task?
EOW: As funding flows into global exploratory systematics, as it undoubtedlywillas the importance of the subject is more widely realized, jobs and trainingsupport will be created in academia, museums, and various biological researchorganizations. This is the "Field of Dreams" argument, in which I believe:If you build it, they will come. First, from the depleted ranks of systematistsand taxon experts, then from others, including the young people who seethe prospects of career and adventure.
Editor: What specific role do you see for professional societies, suchas the Botanical Society of America, in implementing the All Species Survey?
EOW: I would see as immediately useful status reports to BSA memberson the global effort, which can be readily assembled from organizationsthat are actively involved in the all-species initiatives, including theGlobal Biodiversity Information Facility in Copenhagen, NatureServe inArlington, VA, and the All-Species Foundation in San Francisco. An occasionalprogress report would inform especially non-systematics BSA members ofwhat is happening, and also give a sense of goals envisioned and the technologiescoming into play to reach them. Local all-species inventories, I mightadd, are a great educational method for colleges and universities.
Edward O. Wilson
A Tale of Two Liverworts:Organismal Biology as an Essential Link between Molecular Biology and EarthSystems Studies
<f ont="" size="+2">Linda E. Graham</f>
Professor of Botany and the Gaylord Nelson Institute of EnvironmentalStudies
In modern biology, molecular and ecosystem approaches are advancingdramatically, offering tremendous potential for humans to comprehend themselvesand their place in nature. Investing scientific resources in these areasis essential. This shouldn't have to mean that support for productive researchat the organismal level must necessarily decline precipitously. But ithas. All of us have observed shifts in institutional investment in facultypositions, collections, and building programs that de-emphasize organismalapproaches. In his plenary address at this conference, Professor E.O. Wilsonwas eloquent in defense of organismal biology and vertical studies thatlink organisms with their environmental roles as well as the molecularand cellular features that underpin them. I will argue the particular pointthat organismal biology is an essential link between molecular and systemapproaches, increasing the utility of all of these approaches. I will illustratethis point by a tale of two liverworts (and yes, there is a literary allusion!).
Why liverworts? The value of vertical studies could be illustrated witha variety of organisms, oceanic cyanobacteria and coccolithophorids, orsalt marsh plants, just to name a few. One reason for choosing liverwortsis that while they are quite beautiful (as illustrated on the SouthernIllinois University website "Land Plants Online"), they engender but littlerecognition by the general public. As many of you know, it can be difficultto interest undergraduates in these plants. For one thing their colloquialname is a real turn off�recalling on the one hand a widely disliked foodand on the other, an undesirable skin condition. I'm not sure how muchit helps to explain the medieval Doctrine of Signatures and that the term"wort" is an old term meaning "herb!"
The main reason for choosing liverworts is my research interest i n earlyevents in the history of land plant evolution. Molecular systematic studiesand fossil evidence indicate that liverworts are a very early-divergentgroup of modern plants. Their study is therefore likely to tell us somethingabout the first plants became adapted to land, a topic of great interestto most botanists.
Liverworts have several distinctive land plant (embryophyte) featuresnot found in even their closest green algal relatives, the aquatic charophyceans.These include an embryo & sporophyte, which, though quite small, playsthe same reproductive role as oak trees and rice plants_spore productionand dispersal. And liverworts have tough sporopollenin-walled spores, capableof surviving dispersal in air, an essential adaptation to life on land.Recently, Popper and Fry (2003) reported that liverworts, like all otherland plant groups, have xyloglucans in their primary cell walls, whilesuch materials are sparse or absent from related green algae. And an impressivebody of live rwort sperm cell biology, illustrated by Zane Carothers' pioneeringwork and Karen Renzaglia's more recent anatomical studies, also shows featuresin common with other land plants.
The characters in my tale of two liverworts are Marchantia, theonly liverwort that many biology students ever see, and the much less well-knownBlasia.Marchantia, with relatively complex structure and reproduction,has become a liverwort model genetic system. Complete mitochondrial andchloroplast genomic sequences are known, and a BAC library project, whichwill illuminate the nuclear genome, is underway. Blasia, thoughmuch less well studied at the molecular level, is nevertheless of greatinterest because molecular systematics suggests that it is particularlyearly-divergent, and thus may model structural, reproductive, and physiologicalcharacters of very early plants. By comparing Blasia and Marchantia,we can know much more about the great revolution in Earth's ecosyst emsbegun by early land plants than we can by focusing on just one liverwort.This is analogous to the method used by Dickens, in setting his classicstory in both London and Paris, to more effectively illuminate the socialconditions and human dilemmas relevant to the French Revolution.
Blasia is an excellent colonizer, growing on moist rocks or soilworldwide. But its body is rather delicate, one to a few cells thick, andit lacks the defensive terpenoid-containing oil bodies more typical ofliverwort cells. So Blasia tends to be evanescent. But it is easily"recalled to life," thanks not only to spores, but also two types of asexualpropagules known as gemmae. The short-lived stellate gemmae propagate thespecies during favorable growth conditions. But neither they nor the gametophytesthat grow from them are able to survive harsh conditions. Such tissuesare unlikely to survive long enough to fossilize, under most circumstances.Blasia's ephemeral body may help explain w hy fossils of intact earliestplants have not yet been found, even though the spore record elucidatedby Jane Gray and others suggests that land plants were abundant and widelydistributed as long as 460 million years ago. Their tissues were not generallyresistant to decay and other degradative processes.
A second type of oval-shaped gemmae produced by Blasia, and firststudied in detail by Jeff Duckett and Roberto Ligrone, can survive harshconditions. Our lab studies have found that these oval gemmae are so toughthat they retain their shape and cell wall structure even after havingbeen boiled in concentrated acid for 20 min, a procedure that plant sporewalls, but few other biological materials can survive. These gemmae owetheir resistance to cell wall components that have properties consistentwith phenolic polymers_such as specfic autofluorescence. The gemmae cellwalls glow when exposed to UV and violet light, indicating capacity toabsorb UV, a feature that may protect cell DNA from radiation damage. Suchresistant materials should fossilize well, and indeed there are some similar,though enigmatic remains in the fossil record. These results suggest thatvery early land plants might have used similar materials to aid survivalin their stressful new habitat.
Our studies of close green algal relatives suggest that earliest landplants inherited from them the ability to produce resistant cell wall phenoliccompounds in a highly regulated process, then used these materials in newways on land. For example, liverwort sporangial epidermal cells commonlyproduce similar wall polymers, which likely help protect spores from UV,desiccation, and microbial attack while they develop. Ongoing genomic projectsthat include green algal relatives and bryophytes offer the prospect ofcomprehending the molecular basis of the earliest stages in the evolutionof plant phenolic polymers.
Additional studies in our lab have revealed that resistant (probablyphenolic) cell wall polymers are even more abundant in the later-divergentMarchantia.These compounds are particularly abundant in cells ofMarchantia'slower epidermis, which includes numerous unicellular rhizoids producedby tip growth of certain epidermal cells (in a manner similar to higherplant root hair elongation). The undersurface tissues of Marchantiaplay several important, and sometimes surprising roles in which resistantwall polymers are likely adaptive. For example, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterialive entangled among Marchantia's rhizoids where they likely aidin the liverwort's nitrogen nutrition. Marchantia is one of relativelyfew liverworts known to commonly have cyanobacterial associates. Othersubstrate microbes_such as decay agents_in the absence of resistant cellwall polymers would have more deleterious effects on the liverwort.
We have found that Marchantia's lower epidermis and rhizoidsof several types are extremely resistant to decay (and also a high-temperat ure,acid treatment designed to test extreme resistance to hydrolytic attack),probably because the cell walls are armored with tough, autofluorescentmaterials like those previously described in Blasia and relatedgreen algae. Scanning EM studies by Martha Cook and other analyses of rottenand acid-treated remains have revealed striking similarities with somepuzzling Silurian-Devonian fos sils previously thought to be the remainsof a group of `extinct plants whose bodies were composed of tubes coveredwith a cellular layer.' I've argued that some of those fossils are actuallythe resistant lower epidermal remains and/or clumps of rhizoids of Marchantia-likeliverworts. Evidence for this hypothesis includes the fact that holes inMarchantiaepidermal remains (where rhizoids have broken off) are patterned very similarlyto pores in certain fossil cell scraps described by Pat Gensel and others.
Marchantia's resistant lower epidermis and rhizoids have anothersurprising function; they form the core of the stalks of gametangiophores,those tiny palm tree-shaped structures from whose undersides the sporophytesgrow. The stalks enable those sporophytes to gain better access to windcurrents for spore dispersal. Their development involves an intriguingchange from prostrate to axial growth that likely involves transition inplant tissue-level response to the gravitational field. This is yet anotherexample of a fundamental plant process that should prove amenable to moleculargenetic analysis, thanks to a growing genomic knowledge of Marchantia.
Marchantia and other bryophytes also provide examples of therole of organismal information in ecosystem studies. The decay-resistanttissues of bryophytes that I've emphasized are likely relevant to a fascinatingpaleobiogeochemical phenomenon, namely the dramatic Paleozoic atmosphericcarbon dioxide drawdown described by Berner and others. Knowledge of suchpast events is regarded as key to developing ways to understand and predictmodern carbon cycles. While the rise of vascular plants is typically linkedwith the most dramatic portion of this ancient decline, geochemical datafrom older deposits suggest that substantial decline in the CO2content of Earth's atmosphere had begun to occur well before the rise ofvascular plants, as argued by Jane Gray and Art Boucot in a recent paper.The spore fossil record strongly indicates presence of a widespread floraof bryophyte-like plants during this period. Could pre-vascular, bryophyte-likeearly plants have contributed to the early stages of this drawdown event?
In order to investigate this possibility, we measured the amount ofacid hydrolysis-resistant carbon produced by three early-divergent mossesthat today occupy hydric (Sphagnum), mesic (Polytrichum),& high UV xeric (Andreaea) regions of Earth. The amounts weresurprisingly high_from 25% of dry biomass in the case of peatmosses toan incredible 85% in the c ase of the granite moss Andreaea. We thenused this data_together with published productivity and cover data formodern representatives_to estimate the amount of carbon that could havebeen sequestered by moss-like early land plants, then buried, thereby reducingatmospheric CO2 level. We calculated that even if only a tinyfraction (1%) of this resistant carbon were actually buried, significantdecrease in atmospheric CO2 could have resulted (Graham, etal., in press). Given our discovery that vegetative parts of liverwortssuch as Marchantia also produce resistant carbon, it will be interestingto experimentally determine if ancient liverwort-like plants could haveimpacted Earth's atmosphere even before moss-like plants arose. Such informationis not only valuable in understanding planetary carbon cycle evolution,but may also be helpful when future astroengineers use plants to modifythe atmospheres of other planets for human habitation. Because bryophytesar e particularly resistant to radiation, desiccation, and other stresses_aconsequence of their ancestors' early struggles to survive in a harsh terrestrialenvironment_they have been identified as prime candidates for use in terraformingoperations.
I hope that the tale I've told tonight will help raise the general levelof respect for liverworts. But I also hope that it may stimulate renewedinterest in the contributions of organismal studies as crucial to the mosteffective use of molecular and ecosystem level information. Perhaps weshould foster approaches that not only respect traditional organismal structure,reproduction, and physiological studies but also effectively link themboth up and down the hierarchy of biological organization.
Allison Snow has been selected as the President-Elect (2003-06,in a three-year presidential succession) and David Spooner has beenselecte d as Secretary (2003-06).
Pamela Diggle was selected as Council Representative for a twoyear term (2003-05) at the BSA Council meeting.
Many thanks to our out-going Past President Judy Jernstedt andSecretary Jennifer Richards for their hard work during these pastthree years!!
It has been a pleasure serving as your president for the last year,but all good times come to an end, and mine concluded at the BSA AnnualBanquet . At the appointed hour, after the Address of the President-Elect,Linda Graham succeeded me as President. I will continue to serve the Societyas Past President for the following year, taking on a different slate ofresponsibilities. There have been many challenges and many changes. Inparting, I would like to thank you for placing your trust in me by allowingme to serve. _ Scott Russell, Past President.
Dr. Judy Jernstedt from the University of California Davis hasaccepted a request by the BSA executive committee and will become the nextEditor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany. Congratulations!Dr. Jernstedt will assume the role in January of 2005. She will begin workthis autumn with Dr. Karl Niklas (current Editor-in-Chief) to begin thechange-over process.
A. Botanical Society of AmericaMerit Awards
These awards are made to persons judged to have made outstanding contributionsto botanical science. The first awards were made in 1956 at the 50th anniversaryof the Botanical Society, and one or more have been presented each yearsince that time. This year we will present 4 Merit Awards.
The first goes to Dr. Jack B. Fisher, Fairchild Tropical Garden.The 30 years of contributions made to botany by Dr. Fisher have been broad,deep, original, and patient. He has carefully combined anatomical, developmental,physiological, and ecological considerations, to show how tropical plantsgrow and adapt. He has made critical contributions to our understandingof water transport in lianas and fundamental discoveries on the developmentalbasis of tropical tree geometry. In the same way that he has waited patientlyfor tree seedlings to mature and yield their anatomical secrets, he hasworked for 20 years to forge alliances between Fairchild Botanical Gardenand institutions of higher learning to promote education of the next generationof comparative botanists. Dr. Fisher has benefited botany through his researchand his thoughtful outreach and he richly deserves recognition througha BSA Merit Award for these admirable accomplishments.
The second award goes to Spencer C.H. Barrett, University ofToronto, for his myriad contributions to reproductive biology, plantbreeding systems and aquatic ecology. He established heterostyly as a modelsystem in reproduction, contri buted to understanding of the evolutionarymodification of floral development, genetic structure of populations, therole of incompatibility in the breeding systems of natural populations,the evolution of dioecy and the influence of gender ratio in determiningplant breeding systems. In addition to his service as Associate Editorand Book Review Editor of the American Journal of Botany, he mentoreda generation of plant biologists, including 2 Master's students, 9 Ph.D.students and 6 postdoctoral associates who have occupied faculty positions.
The third Merit Award winner is Leslie G. Hickok, Universityof Tennessee. Dr. Hickok has made a career out of defying the oddsand generating surprises. While others were intimidated by the high chromosomenumbers of ferns, he showed that valuable insights into polyploidy andspeciation could be obtained by studying their cytogenetics. While themainstream focused attention on Arabidopsis as a plant model system,Hickok promo ted the unique properties of the fern Ceratopteris.His pioneering work on selection and mutation using this model demonstratedthe power of a system that separated gametophytic and sporophytic lifestages. More recently, he has succeeded in marrying his deep commitmentto advancing botanical knowledge and his desire to provide meaningful,enriching experiences for biology students. Through his insight and perseverance,he transformed Ceratopteris into C-fern, and now over 60,000students per year are learning about plant genetics using this inexpensivebut effective teaching system. Dr. Hickok is a distinguished scholar whoseresearch and teaching efforts at all levels from K-12 to internationalseminars can be characterized as groundbreaking, inspirational, dedicated,and unselfish. For his outstanding contributions and longstanding generosity,the BSA is pleased to present a Merit Award to Dr. Leslie G. Hickok.
Our final Merit Awardee is Jeffrey D. Palmer, Univers ity of Indiana.Dr.Palmer has excelled in his contributions to botanical science. Hisastonishing research productivity has resulted in over 200 scientific papers,many of them published in the most prestigious scientific journals. Dr.Palmer has fundamentally transformed the scientific landscape we now operatein through his legendary contributions to phylogenetics and gene and genomeevolution. He has arguably been the most influential person in the developmentof the field of molecular systematics of plants and has been directly responsiblefor the paradigm shift in our current views of evolutionary relationshipsamong eukaryotes, including higher plants. Other major contributions fromhis laboratory include the characterization and evolution of introns andplant mitochondrial genomes, the evolution of plastid genes in non-photosyntheticplants, and the origin and evolution of chloroplasts. The list of the graduatestudents and post-docs trained in his laboratory reads like a who's whoof botanical science. His collaborative approach and willingness to sharedata has built a sense of community among plant molecular phylogeneticsworkers unparalleled in other fields of organismal biology. At the sametime, Dr. Palmer has generously served as department chair at Indiana Universityas well as on review panels and editorial boards and has promoted outreachthrough his many public presentations. For his innovative and productivescientific contributions, Dr. Palmer has received many awards, among themthe Wilhelmine Key Award from the American Genetic Association, electionto the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academyof Sciences, and an ISI Highly Cited Award for the top 15 most cited plantand animal scientists. In honor of his extraordinary accomplishments, theBSA is proud to present him with a Merit Award.
B. The Gleason Award
Each year The New York Botanical Garden presents the Henry Allan GleasonAward for an outstanding publication in the field of plant taxonomy, plantecology, or plant geography. The Gleason award for 2003 is presented toDr. Stephen J. Botti and Dr. Walter Sydoriak for their book, An IllustratedFlora of Yosemite National Park published by the Yosemite Association,Yosemite National Park, CA. This publication combines excellence in bothplant taxonomy and plant ecology, successfully bringing these two areastogether in its focus on the conservation and use by the public at large.
C. Darbaker Prize
This prize is given for meritorious work in the study of microscopicalgae. This year's award is given to Dr. John C. "Jack" Meeks, UC-Davis.The award recognizes his excellent work sequencing the genome of the importantcyanobacterium, Nostoc, and his extensive studies on the Nostoc/Anthocerossymbiosis.
D. Lawrence Memorial Award
The Lawrence Memorial Fund was established at the Hunt Institute forBotanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, to commemorate thelife and achievements of its founding director, Dr. George H. M. Lawrence.Proceeds from the Fund are used to make an annual Award in the amount of$2000 to a doctoral candidate to support travel for dissertation researchin systematic botany or horticulture, or the history of the plant sciences.
The Lawrence Memorial Award for 2003 goes to Ms. Sarah Edwards, a studentof Dr. Michael Heinrich at the University of London. For her dissertationresearch, Ms. Edwards has undertaken a study of the medical ethnobotany,from plant systematics to indigenous taxonomy, of the Wic and Kugu peoplesof the Cape York Peninsula. The proceeds of the Award will support hertravel in Australia for field work. Since Ms. Edwards is presently in thefield and not able to be here to accept in person, she will receive theAward materials by mail.
E. Karling Graduate Student ResearchAwards
The Karling Awards support graduate student research and are made onthe basis of research proposals and letters of recommendations. This yearwe gave out 11 awards. Recipients are
F. Section Awards:
A.J. Sharp Award (Bryologicaland Lichenological Section)
The A.J. Sharp Award is presented each year by the American Bryologicaland Lichenological Society and the Bryological and Lichenological Sectionfor the best student presentation. The awar d, named in honor of the lateJack Sharp, encourages student research on bryophytes and lichens.
This year's A.J. Sharp Award goes to Dorothybelle Poli, Universityof Maryland, for her paper "Auxin regulation of axial growth in bryophytesporophytes: Its potential significance for the evolution of early landplants." Her co-authors were Mark Jacobs and Todd Cooke.
Katharine Esau Award (Developmentaland Structural Section)
This award was established in 1985 with a gift from Dr. Esau and isaugmented by ongoing contributions from Section members. It is given tothe graduate student who presents the outstanding paper in developmentaland structural botany at the annual meeting. This year's award goes toWandaKelly from the University of Maryland, College Park, for her paper"Geometrical relationships specifying the phyllotactic pattern of aquaticplants." Her co-author was Todd Cooke.
Ecological Section Awards(Ecology Section)
The Ecological Section Award for the best student presentationin the Ecological Section sessions goes to Jenise Snyder from FloridaInternational University, for her paper "Spikelet phenology and floralcompatibility of sawgrass, Cladium jamaicense (Cyperaceae) in thesouth Florida Everglades". Her co-author was Jennifer Richards.
The Ecological Section Award for the best student poster goesto Christina Coleman, Auburn University for her poster "Herbivore defenseas an explanation for hyperaccumulation: Relative heavy metal toxicityto diamond back moth (Plutella xylostella). Her co-author was RobertBoyd.
Margaret Menzel Award (GeneticsSection)
The Margaret Menzel Award is present by the Genetics Section for theoutstanding paper presented in the contributed papers sessions of the annualmeetings. This year's award goes to Lin da Jennings, University of BritishColumbia, for her paper "Genetic, morphological and ecological variationwithin and between two Southern Utah endemics, Townsendia apricaand T. jonesii var.
The Genetics Section Poster Award is given for the best student posterat the annual meetings.
This year's award is given to Liu Xianan, University of Illinois, forthe poster "Differential expression of genes regulated in response to abiotic-stressin sunflower." Co-authors were Ginger Swire-Clark and Vance Baird.
Moseley Award (Paleobotanicaland Developmental and Structural Sections)
The Maynard F. Moseley Award was established in 1995 to honor a careerof dedicated teaching, scholarship, and service to the furtherance of thebotanical sciences. Dr. Moseley, known to his students as "Dr. Mo", diedthis Jan. 16 in Santa Barbara, CA, where he h ad been a professor since1949. He was widely recognized for his enthusiasm for and dedication toteaching and his students, as well as for his research using floral andwood anatomy to understand the systematics and evolution of angiospermtaxa, especially waterlilies. (PSB, Spring, 2003).
The award is given to the best student paper, presented in either thePaleobotanical or Developmental and Structural sessions, that advancesour understanding of plant structure in an evolutionary context.
This year's award goes to Stefan Little from University of Alberta,Edmonton, for his paper "Permineralized fruits of Lauraceae from the MiddleEocene Princeton chert, British Columbia." Stefan's co-author is Ruth Stockey.
Isabel C. Cookson Award (PaleobotanicalSection)
The 2003 Isabel Cookson Award, recognizing the best student paper presentedin the Paleobotanical Section, is awarded to Michael Dunn of OhioUniversity, Athens, for his paper entitled "The Fayetteville Flora of Arkansas,USA: An Upper Mississippian (middle Chesterian/ lower Namurian A) plantfossil assemblage with permineralized and compression remains."
Edgar T. Wherry Award (PteridologicalSection and the American Fern Society)
The Edgar T. Wherry Award is given for the best paper presented duringthe contributed papers session of the Pteridological Section. This awardis in honor of Dr. Wherry's many contributions to the floristics and patternsof evolution in ferns. This year's award goes to Michael Barkerfrom Miami University, Oxford, for his paper "Microlepidopteran soral mimicsin the Caribbean." The paper was co-authored by Shane Shaw, James Hickey,and John Rawlins.
George R. Cooley Award (SystematicsSection/American Society of Plant Taxonomists)
This award is given annually by the American Society of Plant Taxonomistsfor the best contributed paper in plant systematics presented at the annualmeeting. This year's award goes to Lucia Lohmann, University of Missouri-St.Louis, for her paper "A new generic classification for Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae)."
Bessey Award (Teaching Section)
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to botanical instruction.The award was presented to Joseph Novak, University of West Florida,Pensacola, during the Education and Outreach Forum this past weekend.
News from the Sections
Herbaria, dried pressed plant specimens and their associated collectionsdata and library materials, are remarkable and irreplaceable sources ofinformation about plants and the world they inhabi t. They provide the comparativematerial that is essential for studies in taxonomy, systematics, ecology,anatomy, morphology, conservation biology, biodiversity, ethnobotany, andpaleobiology, as well as being used for teaching and by the public. Theyare a veritable gold mine of information. There are more than 60 millionspecimens in 628 herbaria in the USA, and 7 million specimens in 110 herbariain Canada (Funk & Moran 2000). Nearly 5 million are held at the USNational Herbarium housed at the National Museum of Natural History, SmithsonianInstitution, and, just for the record, about 500,000 are in the Compositae.
Recent articles have highlighted the problems that are being faced bystate and university natural history collections, including herbaria. Twoare sitting on my desk right now from Nature (Dalton, 2003) andBioScience(Gropp, 2003). These and other articles make it clear that natural historycollections are being targeted unfairly in the current budget crisis i nstates and universities. From Los Angeles to Iowa to Virginia, naturalhistory collections are being closed or given away and the staff eitherre-assigned or fired. All of this has a negative impact on our abilityto train systematists (Gropp 2003) and causes much concern over the fateof organismal biology.
In honor of the opening of the new herbarium at LSU in 2002, I prepareda list of uses for herbaria. With the help of many colleagues (especiallyTom Wendt, TEX) I enlarged the list and it was published in the PlantPress, the Botany newsletter at the Smithsonian. Perhaps it is timeto take another look at the list.
Herbaria can be used to:
1. discover or confirm the identity of a plant or determine that itis new to science (taxonomy);
2. document the concepts of the specialists who have studied the specimensin the past (taxonomy);
3. provide locality data for planning field trips (taxonomy, systematics,teaching);
4. provide data for floristic studies (taxonomy);
5. serve as a repository of new collections (taxonomy and systematics);
6. provide data for revisions and monographs (systematics);
7. verify plant Latin names (nomenclature);
8. serve as a secure repository for "type" specimens (taxonomy);
9. provide infrastructure for obtaining loans etc. of research material(taxonomy and systematics);
10. facilitate and promote the exchange of new material among institutions(taxonomy);
11. allow for the documentation of flowering and fruiting times andjuvenile forms of plants (taxonomy, systematics, ecology, phenology);
12. provide the basis for an illustration of a plant (taxonomy and generalpublishing);
13. provide pollen for taxonomic, systematic, and pollination studiesas well as allergy studies (taxonomy, systematics, pollination ecology,insect ecology, and medical studies);
14. provide samples for the identification of plants eaten by animals(animal ecology);
15. document which plants grew where through time (invasive species ,climate change, habitat destruction, etc.)
16. document what plants grew with what other plants (ecology);
17. document the morphology and anatomy of individuals of a particularspecies in different locations (environmental variation);
18. provide material for microscopic observations (anatomy and morphology);
19. serve as a repository for voucher specimens (ecology, environmentalimpact studies, etc.);
20. provide material for DNA analysis (systematics, evolution, genetics);
21. provide material for chemical analysis (pollution documentation;bio-prospecting, for coralline algae - determining past ocean temperaturesand chemical concentration);
22. provide material for teaching (botany, taxonomy, field botany, plantcommunities);
23. provide information for studies of expeditions and explorers (historyof science);
24. provide the label data necessary for accurate data-basing of specimens(biodiversity and conservation biology, biogeography);
25. serve as a reference li brary for the identification of parts ofplants found in archeology digs (paleoethnobotany);
26. provide space and context for accompanying library and other bibliographicresources (library sciences, general research, taxonomy, etc.);
27. serve as an archive for related material (field notebooks, letters,reprints, etc.)
28. provide information on common names and local uses of plants (ethnobotany,economic botany);
29. provide samples for the identification of plants that may be significantto criminal investigations (forensics);
30. serve as a means of locating rare or possibly extinct species viarecollecting areas listed on label data (Conservation Biology, Environmentalimpact statements, endangered species, etc.);
31. serve as an educational tool for the public (garden clubs, schoolgroups, etc.);
32. provide a focal point for botanical interactions of all types (lectures,club meetings, etc.).
At the US National Herbarium, in order to make maximum use of our subst antialresources, we have the following goals: additional compacterization ofcollections to increase storage space, processing of the backlog of unmountedspecimens so all material is available, photographing the type images soour most important specimens will be available on the web, and data-basingthe specimen label information so it also can be made available on line.I am sure other herbaria have similar goals, we must all work togetherto stress the importance of herbaria and preserve our collections for thefuture. If anyone wishes to add to this list please contact me.
Dalton, R. 2003. Natural history collections in crisis as funding isslashed. Nature 423: 575.
Gropp, R. E. 2003. Are university natural science collections going extinct? Bioscience 53: 550.
Funk, V. A. & N. Morin. 2000. A survey of the herbaria of the southeastUnited States. SIDA, Misc. 18: 5-52.
D. Timothy Gerber, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse and David W. Kramer,Ohio State University at Mansfield have collected and assembled usefulinformation and advice for botanists who are dedicated to meeting one ofthe many challenges of Botany for the Next Millennium: "Societies,faculties, and/or individuals should promote effective botanical educationof K-12 by: ...sponsoring retraining workshops for K-12 teachers." Theyoffered a workshop with this title at the Forum of Botany 2003 in Mobile.
What they have learned from personal experience after several yearsof presenting teacher workshops at their universities is organized intothree modules available on the WWW. The o nline modules have links to otherInternet resources. The first module, Premises for Action [ http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~dkramer/BSA_Wkshp_Premises.htm ] lists several factors contributing to poor performanceof US students on science achievement tests and on statewide proficiencytests. This module is designed to motivate professional botanists to becomeinvolved in correcting the situation and lists several facets of the problemthat need to be addressed.
Action Alternatives: What Can We Do? discusses a variety of approachesthat professional botanists can take to address the problems. This includeseverything from "Nothing!" to designing and presenting teacher workshops[ http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~dkramer/BSA_Wkshp_Alternatives.htm ]
Assuming the choice wi ll be to offer a teacher workshop, the largestmodule is a list of procedural steps one should follow to design an effectiveworkshop. Planning the Teacher Workshop [ http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~dkramer/BSA_Wkshp_Planning.htm ] does not advocate a single model but,instead, lists several decision points that will guide the planning process.The result should be a workshop that is maximally beneficial to teachersand ultimately to their students.
The authors encourage all BSA members to visit the web site and to contactthem directly if there are questions.
D. Timothy Gerber
David W. Kramer
A. Orville Dahl received his doctorate in botanical cytology and geneticsfrom the University of Minnesota in 1938. His graduate studies there includedlong-term analyses of atmospheric pollen in relation to pollinosis.
After completing his graduate work, he served as Instructor of Biologyfor six years at Harvard University where, in his stimulating associationwith Irving W. Bailey, he conducted an intensive survey of pollen morphologyof the Icacinaceae. From Harvard, he returned to the University of Minnesotaas Professor where, for a decade, he was Chairman of the Botany Department.Orville held a Professorship of Botany at the University of Pennsylvania,Philadelphia from 1967 until 1978 when he was named Professor emeritusfollowing mandatory retirement.
He was one of the pioneers in atmospheric pollen and spore studies andmaintained collection stations for more than 30 years. His interest inpollen morphology, beginning in a serious way with work on the Icacinaceae,was continued with many species throughout his life. Emphasis, especiallyin his teaching, was on living or well-preserved microspores and theirdevelopment into pollen grains. His interest was in teaching what laterwould be called pollen biology. He and other broadly experienced botanistsand biologists, among them Johs. Iversen, Knut Faegri, Stanley Cain, A.Traverse, E.S.Barghoorn, J. William Schopf, L.R.Wilson, influenced a generationof men and women who contributed greatly to studies of pollen and sporedevelopment, many aspects of archeology, palaeoecology and hydrocarbonexploration. Micrographs of Orville's thin sections of Tradescantia pollenare the first transmission electron illustrations of sectioned pollen.
For many years Orville made histological and cytological observationsas part of a NASA space biology program. He studied the effect of gravitationfields on Arabidopsis and its morphologenesis in controlled G-environments.He also studied the vascularization of the primary flowering stem undercontrolled G-environments.
Orville spent many summers in the Stockholm area living with specialpleasure, when possible, in Vaxholm in the Stockholm Archipelago and commutingto Stockholm by boat. He was an avid horticulturist and filled our seasidegarden with exotic plants. Three of the varieties of grapes that he plantedhave survived ten or more of our winters and now form an extensive arbor.
Orville was welcomed as a visiting scientist at Stockholm Universitywhere we worked together in the Botany Department on many long-term projects.
Orville died this year on January 21st at Lakeshore Lutheran Home, Duluth,Minnesota. He would have been 93 on April 18th. Shortly before his deathhe spent a good Christmas in the company of his niece Karen, her husbandDr. Thomas Holm, their three sons and their families.
Orville much appreciated the good things in life � classical music,art, good food and visiting new places. He was a generous, kindly and loyalfriend, a source of inspiration and information.
- John and Joanne Rowley
Some Published Papers:
Dahl, A. O. and Ellis, R. V. 1942. The pollen concentration of the atmosphere.Public Health Reports 57: 369-377.
Fernández-Morán, H. and Dahl, A. O. 1952. Electron microscopyof ultrathin frozen sections of pollen grains. Science 116: 465-467.
Dahl, A. O. 1965. Pollen physiology and fertilization. Science. 147:602.
Dahl, A. O., Rowley, J. R., Stein, O. L. and Wegstedt, L. 1957. Theintracelular distribution of mass during ontogeny lof pollen in TradescantiaL. Experimental Cell Research 13: 31-46.
Dahl, A. O. 1962. The story of pollination. Science 136: 528.
Dahl, A. O. 1964. The fine structure of pollen. Proc. 10th InternationalBotanical Congress, Edinburgh. p. 221.
Rowley, J. R. , Dahl, A.O. and Skvarla, J. J. 1973. Localization ofATPase activity in pollen grains. Norwegian Journal of Botany 20: 31-50.
Dahl, A.O. 1976. A commentary on the evolutionary significance of theexine. Edited by I.K.Ferguson and J.Muller. Linnean Society Symposium SeriesNo. 1: 561-571.
Brown, A. H., Dahl, A.O. and Chapman, D. K. 1976. Morphology of Arabidopsisgrown under chronic centrifugation and on the clinostat. Plant Physiology57: 358-364.
Brown, A. H., O'Dowd, P.O., Loercher, L. Kuniewicz, R. and Dahl, A.O. 1979. Serendipitous solution to the problem of culturing Arabidopsisplants in seled containers for spaceflights of long duration. (COSPAR)Life Sciences and Space Research 17: 37-43.
Rowley, J. R., Dahl, A. O., Walles, B. and Huynh, K.-L. 1983. Viscinthreads considered as connective structures between pollen grains and tapetalcells. Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium of Fertilizationand Embryotgenesis in Ovulated Plants. High Tatra, Slovak Academy of Scien ces,Veda, Bratislava: 89-92.
Dahl, A. O. 1986. Observation on pollen development in Arabidopsisunder gravitationally controlled environments. Pollen and Spores: Formand Function. Edited by S.Blackmore and I.K.Ferguson. Linnean Society SymposiumSeries No. 12:49-59.
Dahl, A. O. and Rowley, J. R. 1991. Microspore development in Calluna(Ericaceae). Exine formation. Annales Sciences Naturellers, Botanique,Paris, 13 serie 11: 155-176.
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
23-27 August, 2004
1. Plant Cell Biology
Chicago Botanic Garden
Oct. 23, 2003
The School of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Garden's Institutefor Plant Conservation Biology will present the Janet Meakin Poor 2003symposium titled "Sowing the Seeds for Change: Restoration of Plant Communities"on Oct. 23 at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The restoration of plant communitiesis an important contribution in the effort to conserve biodiversity. Programming,which will include several invited presentations, a contributed postersession and a panel discussion, will focus on seed ecology and the useof seeds in restoration projects. The symposium, wh ich has been designedfor both conservation researchers and practitioners, will deal with thesetimely issues:
*How important is provenance and how far away can one go to collectseeds?
*How should seeds be handled between collection and reintroduction?
*How does one obtain enough appropriate seed without harming naturalcommunities?
*Should the restoration of a degraded natural site be treated differentlyfrom a site without native vegetation?
For program updates or to register, visit the Garden's Web site at www.chicagobotanic.org/symposia, or call (847) 835-8261. For information on submitting a poster proposal,contact Kayri Havens, director, Institute for Plant Conservation, at email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>,or at (847) 935-8378.
BULLARD FELLOWSHIPS IN FOREST RESEARCH
Each year Harvard University awards a limited number of Bullard Fellowshipsto individuals in biological, social, physical and political sciences topromote advanced study, research or integration of subjects pertainingto forested ecosystems. The fellowships, which include stipends up to $40,000,are intended to provide individuals in midcareer with an opportunity toutilize the resources and to interact with personnel in any departmentwithin Harvard University in order to develop their own scientific andprofessional growth. In recent years Bullard Fellows have been associatedwith the Harvard Forest, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biologyand the J. F. Kennedy School of Gove rnment and have worked in areas ofecology, forest management, policy and conservation. Fellowships are availablefor periods ranging from six months to one year and can begin at any timein the year. Applications from international scientists, women and minoritiesare encouraged. Fellowships are not intended for graduate students or recentpostdoctoral candidates. Information and application instructions are availableon the Harvard Forest web site (http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu). For additional information contact: Committee on the Charles BullardFund for Forest Research, Harvard University, Harvard Forest, P. O. Box68, Petersham, MA 01366 USA or email (email@example.com).Annual deadline for applications is February 1.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Applications and nominations are invited for the Katherine Esau PostdoctoralFellowship in Plant Biology, which will be awarded to an outstanding youngscientist interested in structural aspects of plants at the level of tissues,organs and whole plants. Included would be studies in which plant structureis integrated with development, evolution and/or function. Modern approachesto important questions in plant anatomy and morphology are encouraged.Preference will be given to candidates who have completed their Ph.D. withinthe past 5 years. The Esau Fellowship will be awarded for a period of twoyears to enable the successful candidate to work under the mentorship ofa University of California, Davis faculty member. The Esau Fellowship stipendis $35,000 per year plus benefits and includes a $5,000 per year researchallocation.
Applications should include the identification of an appropriate facultymentor(s), a complete curriculum vitae, graduate and undergraduate transcripts,reprints of published works, a proposal of the research that would be carriedout under this program (limited to 5 single-spaced pages, 12-point font,1-inch margins) and a statement of the relevance of the proposed researchto the planned career in plant structure and development, evolution and/orfunction. Applicants are required to provide three letters of referenceand a letter of commitment of laboratory space and ancillary support fromthe proposed UC Davis faculty mentor(s). International candidates are welcometo apply. Preference will be given to candidates who received their Ph.D.from an institution other than UC Davis and who have not already spenttime on this campus.
Please send a hard (paper) copy of your completed application to ProfessorJudy Jernstedt, Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee, Esau Fellowship Program,Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis,One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616. (FAX:  752-4361). Inquiries maybe made by e-mail to the chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).Website (http://www.dbs.ucdavis.edu/fellowships/esau).
Fellowships will be awarded on an annual basis. The next deadline forthis program will be November 1, 2003.
The University of California is an equal opportunity employer.
Gathering Moss: The Natural and Cultural Historyof Mosses. Kimmerer, Robin Wall - John Z. Kiss .....................................................100
The Cerrados of Brazil: Ecology and Natural His toryof a Neotripical Savanna. Oliveira, Paulo S. and Robert J. Marquis(eds)
Columnar Cacti and Their Mutualists. Evolution,Ecology and Conservation. Fleming, H. & Valiente-Baunet, A. (eds)
Invasive Exotic Species in the Sonoran Region.Tellman, Barbara (ed) - Webster, Grady..........................................................................103
Bi ology of Vanda Miss Joaquim. Sin, Hew Choy,Yam Tim Wing and Joseph Arditti. - Peggy Dominy........................................................105
Dye Plants and Dyeing. Cannon, John and Margaret.- Elizabeth Harris.......................................................................................................106
Feast Your Eyes: The Unexpected Beauty of VegetableGardens. Pennington, Susan J. - Robynn Shannon...............................................107
Magnolia: The Genus Magnolia. Sarker, StayajitD. and Yuji Maruyama (eds). - Nina Baghai-Riding.........................................................108
The New Daylily Handbook. Gatlin, FrancesL with James R. Brennan (eds). - Joanne Sharpe.....................................................................109
Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths. Ferancko,David A - Scott Ruhren.........................................................................................109
Plant Resins: Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology, andEthnobotany. Langenheim, Jean H. - DorotheaBedigian..............................................110
Thyme, The Genus Thymus. Stahl-Biskup, Elizabethand Francisco Saez. - Douglas Darnowski...................................................................112
Tillage for Sustainable Cropping. Gajri, P.R.,Arora, V.K. and Prithar, S.S. - Nina Baghai-Riding .............................................................113
Genetically Modified Crops: Assessing Safety.Atherton, Keith T. - Johanne Brunet...................................................................................114
Molecular Plant Biology, Vol 1. Gilmartin,Philip M. and Chris Bowler. - Peggy Dominy.............................................................................115
Plant Growth and Development Hormones and Environment.Srivastavam, Lalit M. - Douglas Darnowski..............................................115
Plant Physiology, 3rd Ed. Taiz, Lincolnand Eduardo Zeiger. - Timothy C. Morton......................................................................................116
Plant Tissue Culture, 100 Years Since GottliegHaberland. Laimer, M., W. Rucker (eds) - Joseph Arditti ................................................117
Willows: The Genus Salix. Newsholme, Christopher.- Danilo D. Fernando......................................................... .......................................119
Gathering Moss: The Natural and CulturalHistory of Mosses . Kimmerer, Robin Wall. 2003. ISBN 0-87071-499-6.(Paper US$17.95) 176 pp. Oregon State University Press, 101 WaldoHall, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331-6407. It is nice to know that other plantsstill exist in this era of Arabidopis. One can get this feelingfrom reading Gathering Moss, which written by a professional bryologistwho is a college faculty member. The book is a series of linked essayson the beauty, cultural, and natural history of mosses. The author hasa great way of combining her professional and personal lives in these essays.This is a book for those of us wh o are passionate about the subjects andorganisms that we study.
Mosses are seemingly inconspicuous and can be easily overlooked, butnot once you have read Gathering Moss. The author also does a greatjob in teaching some essential facts of the physiological ecology and otheraspects of the biology of mosses in these essays. For instance, the advantagesof being small and life in the boundary layer are discussed in one of thechapters. We learn about the remarkable ability of mosses to survive desiccationas the author eloquently tells us: "...even after all of these years, Istill delight in the ritual of adding the water, drop by drop, and watchingwith the microscope as the shoots revive."
Kimmerer also stresses ecological aspects of moss biology and the importantrole of mosses in various ecosystems. She tells us that one gram of mossfrom the forest floor can be the host for as many as 150,000 protists,132,000 tartigrades, and 200 insect larvae in the essay entitled "In thefores t of the water bear." The author also outlines the destruction ofmoss communities due to their popularity for horticultural uses by harvesterswho completely decimate luxurious carpets of "old growth" moss in Oregon.
One of my favorite stories is the subject of the last essay entitled"Straw into gold." This is about the moss Schistostega that livesin lake shoreline caves. This moss survives with only a few minutes ofsunshine each day that it obtains near sunset. "Just for a moment, in thepause before the earth rotates us again into night, the cave is floodedwith light. The near nothingness of Schistostega erupts in a showerof sparkles..."
One anecdote (not in the book) that the author would appreciate is therecent story of the moss Ceratodon that was grown on the space shuttleColumbiaduring the ill-fated mission that ended in February 2003. Despite the fierydisintegration of the space shuttle over Texas, the moss experiment ofFred Sack and Volker Kern (O hio State University) somehow survived thefall back to Earth. Partial cultures of the moss that were fixed in spacecould still be seen in the recovered containers, and the two scientistsmay be able to obtain some data from the experiment. As this story andthis book tell us, thought they may be overlooked, mosses are hearty andvigorous plants indeed. - -John Z. Kiss, Botany Department, Miami University,Oxford, OH 45056.
The Cerrados of Brazil: Ecology and NaturalHistory of a Neotropical Savanna. Paulo S. Oliveira and Robert J. Marquis,eds. 2002. ISBN 0-231-12042-7 (Paper $37.50) 398 pp. Columbia UniversityPress, 61 W 62nd St., New York, NY 10023. - Ecologists havebeen interested in the environmental and habitat heterogeneity of savannasand their dynamics for a long time. This excellent book is the first inEnglish to focus entirely on the Brazilian cerrados biome, a 2 millionsquare kilometer area (22% of the country) encompassing campo limpo (g rassland),campo sajo (some shrubs and trees), cerrado (savanna) and cerradao (woodland).Cerrado is a portugese word meaning `half closed' or `dense' probably referringto the difficulty of traversing the more wooded portions of the vegetationgradient on horseback.
Why focus on the cerrados? This region is one of 25 identified worldcenters for biodiversity and is believed to be the most species rich tropicalsavanna system in the world. Beta diversity of the vegetation is quitehigh. In Brazil, the Amazon and Atlantic Forest regions have greater diversity.In the 1970's the rate of cerrados destruction exceeded the rate for Amazonianrainforest. Today, humans have modified 80% of this species rich biome.This alteration is principally due to cattle ranching and the expansionof corn, soybean, and cotton agriculture. Economic policy has fosteredthe growth of agriculture and modern farming technology has converted cerradosland of low fertility and high acidity into the most important agricult uralregion in Brazil.
The editors have created a comprehensive and error free book with well-integratedcontributions by the authors. I only found one error on page 107 where`interstate' is misspelled. There are good black and white photographsto give the reader an idea of the soils, vegetation, ant foraging, andpollinator systems. Most chapters have good tables and well reproducedfigures. Not being familiar with most of the political boundaries of Brazil,I wished that Figure 6.1 had appeared or was referenced earlier in thetext. Unfortunately, the dark fill that highlights the cerrados biome obscuresthe state labels and boundaries within the region: this problem also occursin Figure 6.4.
The book is divided into five sections, excluding the introduction:1) Historical framework and the abiotic environment (soil, palynology,fire,and human impacts), 2) the plant community (physiognomy, understory, populationdynamics, fire effects and ecophystiology), 3) the animal community (lepidopt era,herptofauna, birds and mammals), 4) insect-plant interactions (ants-plants-herbivores,plants and their herbivores, pollinators and pollination biology) and 5)the conservation of the cerrados. Oliveira and Marquis introduce the bookby first presenting an analysis of the scientific literature demonstratingthe exponential increase in cerrado publications. They introduce the structureof the book and the cerrado vegetation nomenclature. Chapter 5 concerningthe vegeation physiognomy ties all the chapters together by charaqcterizingand names vegetation along the cerrado continuum. Most authors discussfurther research needs.
Important factors in the distribution of cerrados include seasonal rainfall,poor soil fertility, drainage, fire regime, and climatic fluctuations ofthe Quarternary. We learn how the creation of hard iron nodules calledironstone or petroplinthite, varying in size from sand to cobble, reduceerosion and gullying at the periphery of plateaus; therefore, it stabilizesthe geomorphic landscape. Many cerrado soils are high in Al and many cerradospecies accumulate considerable concentrations of this element in theirleaves. Some woody species have been shown to grow poorly in the absenceof Al! Palynological studies indicate that the cerrado was present priorto the Quarternary, and experienced fire prior to the influence of man,and waxed and waned with climatic fluctuations. It was interesting to learnthat legumes comprise the largest plant family in the cerrados and thatthe largest genus is Chamaecrista. African grasses are the principleinvasive plants, because they have been widely introduced to improve pasture.The chapters about animals document the underestimation of biodiversityof the groups and that some of this diversity is dependent on the mosaicof gallery and mesophytic forests within the cerrados. Perhaps most interestingand fascinating, for the ecologist, are the three chapters that highlightbiotic interactions between insects and the pla nts. The field is ripe formore cross comparisons between African and Autralian tropical savannas.
Clearly each author's discussion of research needs illustrates thatmuch research still needs to be done in the cerrados. Despite the imperilmentof the cerrrados, I was struck by how much remains compared to regionslike Midwestern savannas. Nevertheless, in the presence of the human economy,time is probably short, which is why this book was written. The readerwonders how successful the Brazilian government has been to achieve thegoal of protecting 10% of this biome by 2002? The editors and authors havesucceeded in their hope to write a book that will aid and foster futurecerrados research. Makes me want to learn Portugese and head south to thecerrados plateaus! Noel B. Pavlovic, U.S. Geological Survey, Lake MichiganEcological Research Station, 1100 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter, IN 46304.
Columnar Cacti and Their Mutualists. Evolution,Ecology and Conservation . Fleming, H. & Valiente-Baunet, A. (eds.)2002. University Arizona Press. Tucson. XIII + 370 pp. with the collaborationof 29 authors. Co-evolution of plants and animals is one of the most thrillingaspects of modern biology, and the different contributions of this volumecover this for the columnar cactus and vertebrates. It is a compilationof original papers, or updated ones from a conference held in late June,1998, at Tehuacan City, Puebla, Mexico. The book is organized in 3 parts:I. Geology and Evolution; II. Anatomy and Physiology; and III. Populationand Community Ecology and Conservation.
Starting the Part I, T.R. van Devender gives a general dynamic viewof the environment and geological history of the Mexican and SW USA deserts,and the consequent floristic changes, as well as the relationships of thosefloras with others regions.
The collaboration of 5 authors produced the next chapter with a cladisticanalysis of the phytogeography of the Mexican cactus tribe Pachycerea e,resulting in two solid conclusions: its origin is southern Mexico and thegenus Stenocereus is the basal group.
Another phylogenetic analysis, based on chloroplast DNA is presentedby R. Wallace. This study considers all the columnar cacti, both Southand North American, and confirms the previous conclusion of Mauseth andothers about the S-American origin of the family and the derivation ofthe Pachycereus and Lepthocereae tribes from one of the two primary cladesof columnar cacti.
Of special interest was the cladistic analysis of T. Terrazas and S.L. Cornejo combining morphological, anatomical, and chemical data. To mentiononly the 2 mayor conclusions, Stenocereus appears as a monophyleticclade defined by "distinctive silica bodies in the dermal tissue"; andPachycereus, as normally defined, is paraphyletic.
The phylogeny of "Cactolphilic" bats is treated by Simmons and Wetterer.On the one hand they conclude a dependence of many columnar cactus on batpollination and seeds dispersal. On the other, bats are basically opportunisticusing nectar, pollen and fruits as part (sometimes a very important part)of their diet. At least 18 bats species are known to have developed mutualisticrelationships with cacti, and "cactophily" evolved a minimum of 13 differenttimes and include morphological adaptations, according to the authors.
In the last chapter of Part I, four authors analyze the "Genetic diversityof Columnar Cacti", based on isoenzyme electrophoresis, a technique poorlyapplied in cacti because of the (more illusory than real) difficulty inextracting enzymes from the mucilage. Authors conclude that the 9 speciesstudied have high levels of genetic diversity and insect-pollinated oneshave more genetic variation than bat pollinated species.
Part II of the volume starts with an interesting study of the EvolutionaryTrends in 40 Columnar Cacti under domestication or from wild populationsin southwestern Mexico. One case, Stenocereus stellatus, is thoroughlyanalyzed. It exists as a wild plant, but also is cultivated and managed,resulting in significant morphological differences and also partial pollenincompatibility. The study it is also useful in providing a better understandingof domestication processes of some cacti and other plants.
The "Growth Form Variations in Columnar Cacti" is analyzed by M. L.Cody,who correlated branching patterns with environmental factors, especiallycanopy and temperature. For instance, subcanopy columnar cacti differ inbranching from emergents of the same species and pollinators may be differentinboth cases.
The chapter of P.S. Nobel on "Physiological Ecology of Columnar Cacti"demonstrates that low temperatures are the main limiting factor for theseplants' distribution, but morphological attributes (apical pubescence,shade of the spines, stem diameter), can help in some degree to survivesevere cold. High temperatures are tolerated very well by these plants(up to 70° C or more, temperatures unprecedented in vascular plantsbecause enzymeatic denaturation !) The chapter is absolutely didactic andseveral other aspects are covered (water relations, crassulacean-acid metabolism,etc.).
The "Pollination Biology of Sonoran Desert Columnar Cactus" by Fleming,analyzes the importance of vertebrates (bats) and insects (moth and bees)in fruit set, in relation to time of anthesis, geographical distribution,gene flow, competition for pollinators, self-compatibility, and hermaphroditismvs. different forms of dioecy, among other interesting items.
The "Biotic Interactions and Population Dynamics" i.e. the interactionsof these columnar cacti with animals such as bats or birds and insects,and with plants (nurse plants, its benefit and competition, extra and infraspecific)are analyzed with mathematical models in Chapter 11, where 7 authors collaborate.The process affecting seeds dispersal, seedling, juvenile and adults areconsidered.
The relationship between columnar cacti and their main pollinators andseed dispersers in Andinian enclaves of Colombia and Venezuela are summarizedin Chapter 12. The authors also describe adaptative strategies of floraland fruit features, and the roles of bats and birds in seed dispersion.
"Columnar cactus and the Diets of Nectar _ Feeding bats" considers thecomposition of diet in several groups of bats with high to low specializationin cactus pollen and nectar, or who feed only sporadically on cacti. Coincidencein seasonal geographic distribution of some bats with cactus floweringtime is noticeable. Coincidental distribution of cacti and agaves resultsin bat mutualism with both vegetal groups.
Fleming and Nassar examine the "Population Biology of a Particular Bat:Leptonycteriscurasaoe" and come to very interesting conclusions, such as the temporalcoincidence of the peaks of flowering and fruiting with the annual birdsmigrations, and also the long distance migrations of male or/and femalebats that daily fly up to 30 km fro m their roosts for foraging.
"Why are columnar Cactus Associated with Nurse Plants?" is the question-titleof a chapter answered by Sosa and Fleming. They conclude that for the studiedspecies, columnar cacti and nurse plant associations differ for slopesor flat lands. Under the canopy of the nurse plant, cactus seeds and seedlingsescape from predators and find protection from drought and temperatureextremes. According to their data, the last factor is the most importantone.
Four authors write about "Cacti in the dry Formations of Colombia,"where they describe the floristic and physiognomic composition of the vegetationof the dry formations, and provide a tentative list of 60 cactus speciesin 20 genera based on the literature and their own research.
The "Conservation of Nectar Feeding Bats" is treated by M. Santos andH. T. Arita, who conclude that this group is more vulnerable than otherchiropterans because of their close mutualistic association with plants,their dietary specializ ation, their restricted geographical range and theirsmall body size. Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru are the countrieswith the greatest species richness of these bats, some of which are endemicsin areas under accelerated human modification.
If there is any general criticism it is the scarcity of photos or line-drawsof the organisms studied that would help the reader who is not familiarwith group. This would be particularly useful in chapter 8 to illustratethe diverse patterns of forms. Simple diagrammatic schemes to shows thevariations in columnar cactus branching would be sufficient. The graphicsand maps are clear, except for Fig. 2-3 where the floristic provinces ofMexico are illustrated by gray tones. Finally, it is unclear if birds andinsects have less importance in pollination, or if the few references tothem indicates the lack of a specialist in these groups.
We must to congratulate the editors for the selection of the subjectstreated, and the quality of the chapters. T he pollination of cacti by bats,and their foraging for cactus nectar and fruits, relating with migrations,and also the relationship between cactus and nurse plants serve as examplesfor the study of other cactus groups. The book is restricted almost exclusivellyto the Tribe Pachycereae and concentrates heavily on North American columnarcacti. It will serve as a model for other groups and other areas. It isa book written at university level, but is readable for the serious cactusenthusiast, with mostly clear charts, maps and graphics. _ Roberto Kiesling,Instituto de Botánica Darwinion, Academia Nacional de CienciasExactas, Físicas y Naturales Consejo Nacional de InvestigacionesCientíficas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina.
Invasive Exotic Species in the Sonoran Region. Barbara Tellman (ed.). 2002. ISBN 0-8165-2178-6 (cloth), US$45.00.424 pp. The University of Arizona Press and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum,Tucson. In a ddition to its revolutionary effects (both good and bad)on human societies, the "globalization" begun in the late 20thcentury has had significant environmental effects�many of them negative. It is now well known that the hegemony of industrial capitalism, despiteits potential benefits for hunger and disease control in underdeveloped countries, has produced unanticipated environmental effects, including not only deforestation and loss of biodiversity, but also a rising tide of exotic species of plants and animals over the face of most of the planet (outside of the polar regions). In the United States, monitoring of the interplay between native plant species and invaders has become more intensive, with botanists in universities and governmental agencies tracking the decline of many rare species and the concomitant upsurge of exotics. In California, many vernal pool plants have become rare or extinct, partly as a resultof clearing for agriculture, but also due to competition from intro duced Eurasian weeds, especially annual grasses. In the California flora, as summarized in the Jepson Manual (1993), more than 1,000 speciesout of 5,862 are identified as aliens�a proportion of greater than 17%, which appears to be steadily increasing. An undesirable consequence ofthe massive interchange of plants and animals among continents is the increasing homegenization of the world's biota, accompanied by disturbing signs of genetic erosion.
Concern about the environmental effects of invasive plants and animals goes back to the early history of the United States. In a review from a recent symposium at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Richard Mack cites evidencethat in New England a number of European plant species were becoming naturalized 15 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth! In 1811 the controversial botanist Rafinesque published a list of 300 weedy species, which was progressively expanded by later botanists. There is a general concensus among studentsof the effects of invasive species that serious research on the problem was initiated in response to the ground-breaking book in 1958 by Charles Elton: The Ecology of Invasions by Plants and Animals.
Books and reports about weeds are becoming more sophisticated, and government agencies (both state and federal) have become very proactive. Practically every state in the United States has at least one manual on weed identification or eradication, and websites on exotics have proliferated strikingly. Thereare also books of a more general scope that consider the impact of non-indigenous species on native plants and animals, of which Invasive Exotic Speciesin the Sonoran Region is a recent example.
In contrast to the situation in the United States, publications about invasive species in Mexico are sparse. The literature on most tropical floras suggests that invasion by exotic species is a relatively minor problem.For example, in the essays in Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests (Bullock, Mooney, and Medina, 1995), it is noted that tropical dry forests have been severely impacted by clearing for agriculture, but scarcely any mentionis made of problems from exotic species. Invasions appear to be most severeon tropical islands, of which the most notorious is Hawaii (Mooney andDrake, Ecological Invasions of North America and Hawaii, 1986).
Sonora is a largely arid Mexican state with a subtropical moist to desertic climate that might be expected to resemble Arizona in its proportion of introduced species. Invasive Exotic Species in the Sonoran Region presents the results of a symposium held in 1998 at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museumin Tucson by a concerned group of naturalists, conservationists, and resource managers. The agenda of the symposium and the book reflects the provocative document State of the Sonoran Biome, by Gary Nabhan and Andrew Holdsworth, that appeared just a few months earlier. That report enumerated a number of factors that were (and are) responsible for the increasing threats to biodiversity in the Sonoran Desert biome: urbanization, exploitation of water resources, livestock grazing, mining, and invasive species. However, it is clear from the focus of Invasive Exotic Species in the Sonoran Region that the ecological impact of introduced (exotic) species is a particular concern.
The chapters of this book are grouped into three sections: exotic speciesin the Sonoran Desert; discussions of different taxa or ecological groups of plants and animals; and problems of controlling exotic species. The essays in the various chapters cover the field of the nature of exotic species in the Sonoran region, and their impacts. Preceding the 19 chapters in the three sections is a preface by Gary Nabhan and a brief introductionby the Editor, Barbara Tellman, that offers some interesting statistics: the proportion of plant species of exotic organisms in the Sonoran Desert (49% vs. 51% for animal groups) is less than in the United States as a whole (62%), and the percentage of exotic species in all major taxonomic groups (except fish) is much lower in the Sonoran Desert, especially inplants. It must be noted, however, that neither Tellman, Stephen McLaughlin, nor most other contributors to the volume often do not distinguish rigorously between the the various terms used: alien, exotic, naturalized, and invasive.
The list of contributors includes a many of the investigators currently active in studies of ecology and biodiversity in the Sonoran Desert, althoughit is rather light on contributions by Mexican researchers. Although both plant and animal exotic species are considered, most contributions are primarily botanical. Steven McLaughlin provides an interesting essay onthe floristic composition of the Sonoran Desert with special regard tothe percentage of exotic plant species in the current flora. It is no surprise that the data show the grass family (Poaceae) to be the dominant group,with nearly 200 exotic species in the wester n U.S. and 73 in the Sonoran Desert province. It is notable that species of Mediterranean origin aredominant in biomass in the Sonoran region (even though fewer in speciesthan European or Eurasian weeds). Wilson, Leigh, and Felger list 62 established non-native plant species according to life form (mostly annuals but some hemicryptophytes). West and Nabhan survey the impact of exotic plant specieson the Midriff Islands in the Gulf of California and the adjoining Sonoran Coast, identifying 17 species of particular concern and 38 others thathave the potential of becoming serious invaders. It is notable that they identify buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) as the greatest threat, as this is the theme of an entire chapter by Búrquez-Montijo, Miller, and Martínez-Yrízar. Their map indicates that buffelgrass has spread over most of the mainland Sonoran Desert and is most dominantin irrigated districts; it is the perfect exemplar of a transforming invader. Jane and Carl Bock in their chapter discuss a considerable number of other invasive grasses� especially species of lovegrass (Eragrostis). Todd Esque and Cedil Schwalbe, in reviewing the physical and biological effects of alien invasions, finger red brome grass (Bromus rubens) as a particular villain in the upland Sonoran Desert grasslands because of its provision of fuel for wildfires.
Juliet Stromberg and Matt Chew review the impacts of exotics on theriparian ecosystems in the Sonoran Desert, they are not quite as negativein their attitude towards saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima and other species) as some other writers. They note that human disturbance of natural flooding (by dam and canal construction) has so modified the habitat tofavor establishment of exotics that extermination campaigns against saltcedar are not sufficient to restore riparian vegetation to its original state. Saltcedar invasion is reviewed by Lawrence Steens and Tina Ayers in their analysis of exotics in the Grand Ca nyon, and they take a live-and-let-live attitude towards the thickets of Tamarix; they do not find it reduces biodiversity, and imply that we should resign ourselves to living with it. There is some evidence that salt cedar thickets are not biological deserts, as some native birds use them for nesting. The question of trying to extirpate exotic species can be complicated, as noted by Shapiro (in Diversity & Distributions vol. 8, 2002), who finds that in the Central Valleyof California a number of native butterflies have adjusted to introduced plants such as fennel (Foeniculum), which is usually regarded asan undesirable weed.
Animal exotics in the Sonora Desert are not as dramatically apparent as buffelgrass and saltcedar, and their number is smaller, so they aretreated in fewer chapters and pages than plants. Barbara Tellman identifies honeybees (Apis mellifera), English sparrows (Passer domesticus), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri), brook Trout (Salmo trutta), and bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) as playing leading roles. Eric Mellink, in a review of invasive vertebrates on the Midriff Islands, pinpoints mammals�especially rodents and cats�as dangerous predators on native vertebrates; surprisingly, goats do not appear to be such a problem as they are on Pacific Ocean islands such as Guadalupe and San Clemente. Phillip Rosen and Cecil Schwalbe indicate that on the mainland feral cats are the most destructive predators in terrestrial ecosystems, and bullfrogs and crayfish in aquatic systems. They suggest that survival prospects of the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana yavapaiensis) would be improved by reducing or limiting stockponds where bullfrogs mainlythrive.
The final section of the book addresses the problems of the exotic speciesmanagement. Joel Floyd describes the activities of the USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine section, and notes that enforcement of quarantine laws is complicated by the complexity of jurisdictions between state, federal,and international agencies. Barbara Tellman reviews the variety of methods used to control invasive species, including chemical applications, physical removal, controlled fires, and biological controls. Juli Gould and Jack Deloach discuss biological control of invasive exotics, of which St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is the classical example. These authors address some of the problems in biological control, such as inadequate monitoring, and the possibility of "collateral damage" when nontarget species are attached. They provide a survey of four sample cases, including puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris), saltcedar (Tamarix ramossisma), giant Salvinia (Salvia molesta), and giant reed (Arundo donax); control of puncturevine by Eurasiastic species of weevils has been largely effective. Intensive research on saltcedar has begun only recently (since1985), and results are said to be promising, but at present physical removalof the plants is the major strategy being used. Biological control of giant reed has scarcely begun. The most startling case is giant Salvinia,which was only discovered in the Lower Colorado River in 1999, but is already a serious problem; apparently, however, weevils that have been used in Australia may prove effective. In his final sumary, Jeff Lovich suggests that a Sonoran Desert Weed Council could be set up along the guidelinesof the California Exotic Pest Plant Council (CalEPPCS).
This book is documented with a glossary and appendices on relevant laws,as well as checklists of the exotic introduced species of plants and animals in the Sonoran Region. It does not include much historical information or theoretical ecology, but does provide detailed descriptions of some of the invasive species, their effects on the arid Sonoran ecosystems,and the so far indecisive methods used to control their spread. It provides an overall view of the problems involving invading species in the Sonoran Desert, and calls attention to the fact that we do not yet have a parallel treatment documenting the effects of invasion by exotics on the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem .�Grady L. Webster, Herbarium, University of California,Davis CA 95616.
Biology of Vanda Miss Joaquim. Sin, Hew Choy, Yam Tim Wing and Joseph Arditti. 2002. ISBN 9971-69-251-1 (paper US$67.50 est), 259 pp., Singapore University Press, Yusof Ishak House, 31 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119078. Vanda Miss Joaquim is an orchid. It also happens to be the national flower of Singapore. The Biologyof Vanda Miss Joaquim is not only a horticultural study, but also a cultural study of this plant. In their preface, the authors declare they "celebrate its beauty, recall its history, explain its biological complexity" in almost reverent tones.
Vanda Miss Joaquim is a hybrid, the oldest and sole natural hybrid between Vanda hookerana and Vanda teres. It was a "foundling", discovered by Miss Agnes Joaquim in her Singapore garden one morning in1893. Believing she had stumbled across a new species, she took it to the Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There, it was confirmed to bea new species and named for her. Thus, starts the story, study and cultural influence of this exotic plant.
The authors begin their book with a chapter on orchid basics, for those not particularly familiar with the family and the many genera. Here the authors discuss habitat, growth, propagation, roots and, of course, the flowers. Many line drawings, black and white photos, and microscopic illustrations accompany this chapter and continue throughout the rest of the book. Though labeled "basic", this chapter is aimed at the research botanist.
Chapter two is devoted to the discovery and subsequent history of this orchid. Truly, the authors dug deep into Singapore archives to recount the personalities and social milieu surrounding this Vanda. Illustrations showing snippets of newspaper reports surrounding the establishment of the Vanda Miss Joachim as the national flower in 1981 and postcards of the era of its discovery add considerable richness to the story, but also suggesting the depth of national pride. The evidence that this flower has become an integral part of the Singaporean identity is found in its pervasive presence on currency and coinage, textile design, as welcome leis to visitors, jewelry design, and a plethora of souvenirs.
The following five chapters deal with the extensive physiology, cytogenesis, breeding, propagation and cultivation of Vanda Miss Joaquim, thereal biology of this plant. There is a middle section of beautiful colorphotos. After several pages of cited references, indicating extensive research, Appendix 1, and the subsequent Appendix 2, appear to be from a lectureor paper on "Miss Agnes Joaquim: A Singaporean with Armenian Roots" by Abraham Der Krikorian, Prof essor Emeritus, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, SUNY at Stony Brook. These sections give attention to Miss Joaquim, variously described as kind, gentle and shy, her family, her Armenian heritage, Christian faith specifically and the Armenians in Singapore in general. These sections, which offer a fascinating insight into the person, place and time, are just tagged on to the end of the book. One might wonder at the suitability of such a section in what otherwise is a research-level book on plant biology. Throughout the book the authors express themselves with almost deferential language in regards to this flower and so it is excusable that their obvious enthusiasm for the plant is extended to Miss Joaquim herself.
It could be argued that chapters 1 and 2 along with the appendices aresuperfluous to the biological study of Vanda Miss Joaquim. The overview of Orchidaceae in the first chapter tends to be redundant of the more specific discussions on Vanda Miss Joaquim in chapters 3-7.Chapter 2 dealing with its cultural history and, the appendices comprising biographical and supplementary information on its discoverer are more accurately enrichment material. It certainly gives an interesting dimension to this remarkable plant. It might have been more cohesive if chapter 2 had been grouped with the appendices. This book is appropriate for the botanist researcher and orchid enthusiast. I would be suitable for library collections supporting botanical research programs, including academic, botanical special collections and public libraries with an active gardening demographic.- Peggy Dominy, Sciences Librarian, Hagerty Library, 33rd & Market Sts., Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Dye plants and Dyeing. John and Margaret Cannon.2003. ISBN 0-88192-572-1; 128 pp. Timber Press Inc., Portland, OR. A guide to the most commonly used dye plants including an introduction covering dyeing basics. The authors of this vol ume are botanists who wish to present more background botanical and historical to the craft of dyeing with plant material. This book is meant for two audiences: either a dyer interested in learning more about dye plants, their history and use or a botanist interested in dyeing. The plants chosen for inclusion are for the most part the traditional old-world (western) dye plants such as Rubia tinctoria (madder), Isatis tinctoria (woad), Lawsonia inermis (henna) and their brethren but some new world plants such as Maclurapomifera (osage orange) and Phytolacca americana (pokeweed) are also included. In all, 47 different plants are described. Each entryis covered in two pages; text is on the left describing the plant, historical aspects of its use as a dye as well as instructions for dyeing. On the facing page is a colored pencil drawing from life or dried specimens. The illustrations by Gretel Dalby-Quenet are fairly accurate depictions ofthe plants under consideration and include useful sample hues of the colors obtained from each dyestuff under different conditions (water vs. alcohol extraction and comparison of the various possible mordants) as produced by the authors (although the samples depicted do not always encompass thefull range of possible colors obtainable). For those craftspeople interestedin dyeing beyond the one-time experimental effort this is not a stand-alone guide but does make a useful addition to the dyer's library. For those botanists interested in the economic uses of plants, this is a volume with excellent coverage of western dye plants. Elizabeth Harris, Ohio StateUniversity.
Feast Your Eyes: The unexpected beauty of vegetable gardens, by Susan J. Pennington. This book is not what I expected (I pictured sort of a glossy, coffee table version of a seed catalog, with voluptuous vegetables spilling from the pages). This author is not what I expected (I expected, well, a gardener at least, maybe even aprofessional horticulturist or landscape designer, a Gertrude Jeckyll of vegetables).
Susan J. Pennington is, by her own admission, no horticulturist or even gardener. She is, first and foremost, a scholar. In Feast Your Eyes she has combined her background and expertise in archaeology with the vast resources of the Smithsonian Institution's museums and libraries to producethis delightful, richly-illustrated book in which the cultural history of vegetable gardens is told for the first time. If you're looking fora guide to designing your vegetable garden, this book is not it (though several books of that sort are listed in the "Selected Bibliography"); Pennington makes it clear in the introductory pages that she has written a "how-come" book rather than a "how-to" book.
Pennington wrote Feast Your Eyes while Enid A. Haupt Fellow in Horticulture at the Smithsonian Institution. In 1992, the Garden Club ofAmerican (GCA) donated its extensive slide library to the Smithsonian,and that acquisition became the inspiration for the American Garden Legacy Series of exhibitions organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. As Haupt Fellow, Pennington took on both the second exhibition in the series (as curator) and the companion book.
In Feast Your Eyes Pennington became the first author to explorethe aesthetics of vegetable gardens, tracing their cultural history across cultures as well as through time. And not only the aesthetics of vegetable gardens, but also the aesthetics of the vegetables themselves. An entire chapter is devoted to "The Vegetable Still Life" (17th century to present), another to brief "biographies" of ornamental vegetables.
The remaining six chapters and the epilogue are about gardens, in theAztec empire of Montezuma, Louis XIV's France, and Ming dynasty China, through English and American landscape gardening of the 18thand 19th centuries, to the war garden movement o f World WarI and victory garden movement of World War II, and finally to the vegetable gardening renaissance that began in the 1970's.
Two things make this book remarkable. First is the convergence of Pennington's interests and the Smithsonian's resources. Most of the figures in the
The other remarkable thing about Feast Your Eyes is how sucha readable and accessible book could at the same time be so scholarly. Pennington's research is carefully documented, with 240 endnotes in justeight chapters and an epilogue. Pennington says she had to insist on beingallowed to include endnotes, and insist she did. Why were the endnotesso important to her? Because Feast Your Eyes is the first placeprimary literature on the aesthetics of vegetable gardens has been synthesized. Although the intended audience is visitors to the traveling exhibit ofthe same name, the book is so readable and so, well, interesting, it will surely have broad appeal. Amateur gardeners, professional and armchair landscape designers, ethnobotanists, and cultural historians alike willbe captivated by Pennington's account of the changing perceptions of vegetable gardens.
As mentioned above, Feast Your Eyes is a companion book to a Smithsonian traveling exhibition of the same name. As such, it suffers from a certain lack of cohesiveness, each chapter having been written as a stand-alone module from which exhibition text could most readily be adapted. For example, one gets the feeling that the chapter on vegetable still lifes has just been plopped into the middle of a fascinating historical account. Nor is it clear why the section on the Aztec "floating" gardens is castas the epilogue rather than as a ninth chapter.
My remaining criticism is trivial: I wish the book had a subject index. The index of plant names and index of proper names might carry many readers as far as they wish to go, but what if one wants to know what the book has to say about drift planting? _ Robynn Shannon,
Magnolia: The Genus Magnolia. Satyajit D. Sarker and Yuji Maruyama (eds.), 2002. ISBN 0-415-28494 (hardcover $120)187 pp. Taylor and Francis Group, 11 New Fetter Lane, London.- Plants represent a large storehouse of pharmaceutical drugs. Medicinal plants, used to treat illnesses and ailments, date back prior to the first century A.D. especiallyin the Far East and among Native American cultures. Herbal and traditional medicines have gained popularity in recent years and the market for medicinal plants has become an ever-growing, big business. Dietary supplements from plants are in health food stores and pharmacies. Commercially important plants such as Ginkgo, Ephedra, the Brazil nut, and St. John'swort have attracted considerable attention. Several species of Magnoliaare used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine and are known to combat headaches, chronic hepatitis, asthma, typhoid, malaria, and cancer.
The book `Magnolia' addresses the value of the genus Magnoliain Chinese-Japanese herbal medicine. It represents a compilation of more than twenty-five years of biological activities obtained from various magnoliaceous plants. Past and new investigations that promote how various compounds are used to treat allergies, nervous tension, and insomnia and the progress of science associated with herbal medicine are included. Most of the attention is given to biphenol compounds in bark such as magnolol and honokiol. Both compounds are important cardiovascular agents and serve as sedatives onthe central nervous system. Isolated compounds from leaves, flower buds,and wood including alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, neolignans, phenylpropanes, terpenoids, and other essential oils also are elucidated.The authors note throughout the text that many of the cited compounds are contained in more than one species or one geographical area, aiding intheir availability and marketability. For example, M. grandiflora (southern Magnolia) produces many classes of compounds. Some species, however, predominately produce alkaloids, whereas some others produce mainly lignans/neolignans.
The book is divided into six chapters. Each chapter is an individual paper with a list of published references. Eighteen authors, mostly from China, Japan and the United Kingdom, contributed to this book. Compounds discussed throughout the text are illustrated, referenced to appropriateplant parts, and evaluated as to their clinical effectiveness. The first chapter introduces basic morphological characteristics, pollination strategies, and important chemical constituents that pertain to the genus Magnolia.Chapter 2 reviews the traditional understanding of Magnolia barkin China and Japan as well as its healing qualities in today's clinical
Chapter 4 is a lengthy overview on how pharmacological compounds from Magnoliaare used to treat health problems associated with cardiovascular system, allergies, kidney disorders, stroke, and asthma. Much of the discussion focuses on laboratory tests conducted on rats and mice cells. Lethal dosage,days of treatment, side effects and Magnolia-prescribed Kampo medicines are reviewed. In addition, improved preparation and quality control of crude drugs from Magnolia are suggested.
Quality control and quality assessment of honokiol and magnolol in Magnolia bark and its preparation are the focus of the fifth chapter. Advantages and disadvantages of using various laboratory practices are addressed such as gas chromatography, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and high performance liquid chromatography. Comparisons are made using extracts from bark versus leaves in the specifications.
The final chapter briefly addresses the paleobotanical record of Magnolia and how some of these modern-day species are being threatened with extinction due to habitat fragmentation. Present geographical distributions and how to commercially cultivate, propagate and plant various species of Magnoliaare well documented. An understanding of culture techniques for these specieswill optimize our success with the numerous bioactive compounds that are important to the pharmaceutical and medical industries.
This book lacks color pictures and plates. It is intended for specialists interested in plant biochemical compounds and herbal medicine. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses that focus on herbal remedies and pharmacology would benefit from this text. Casual readers, however, probably will not delight in a cover-to-cover reading of this book because of difficult biochemicaland medical terminology. - Nina L. Baghai-Riding, Department of Biologyand Environmental Science, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733.
The New Daylily Handbook. Gatlin, Frances L. with Brennan, James R. [Editors]. 2002. ISBN 0-9631072-3-2 320 pages.American Hemerocallis Society, Inc. Daylilies occur in great profusionin gardens throughout the country because they are easy to care for and because of the large variety of flower shapes and colors. The Handbook contains 22 chapters on a wide variety of topics ranging from the early history of their discovery in China, Japan and Korea to a detailed description of the cellular basis for the development of tetraploid cultivars.
This book is described as "an updated anthology, based on the classic1968 Horticultural Society Daylily Handbook". Because the editors regarded the earlier volume to be a classic they made every effort possible to include the material written in 1968 as it was then published. A large number ofthe original handbooks were apparently destroyed in a fire and those which remained were treasured by those who owned them. This respect for the past resulted in an italicized admonition to the reader: "It will be necessary to pay attention to dates". I enjoy the many cultivars of daylilies available from a local breeder (Barth Daylilies, Alna Maine), but am not a memberof the American Hemerocallis Society. Therefore the approach taken in the books former editor's preface, current editor's preface, former author's chapters annotated with "endnotes" by the current editors and new chapters on new topics was a bit confusing, even though I did try very hard to pay attention to dates!
In spite of the odd method of presentation, I found there to be a great deal of solid material in the various chapters to interest the botanist, the horticulturalist and the gardener. Two chapters were particularly complete and scholarly and would be of interest to any botanist. Shing-yu Hu's 1968 chapter on the taxonomy of the 23 original species of daylily includeda key, detailed descriptions and illustrations; the endnotes describedthe two additional species that had been named since the chapter was written.Paul D. Voth, Robert A. Griesbach and John R. Yeager wrote a very detailed chapter on the developmental anatomy and physiology in Daylily in 1968from which I learned some fascinating facts about the contractile roots of the plant and how they influence the ecology of the plant. Since every possible organ of the plant has been manipulated in breeding daylilies,this very in-depth description of all of the plant parts and the variouscharacter states provide a solid basis for observing the resulting cultivars.In 2002 the editors updated the embryo development information and pigmentbiosynthetic pathways with more recent research findings, though the brevityof the endnotes is quite a contrast to the completeness of the 1968 information.
Because of the explosion in the number of cultivars of daylilies from14,000 in 1968 to 52,000 in 2002 it is impossible to show very many ofthem. However the editors have included color photos of several of theoriginal species as well as cultivars of more unusual forms such as miniatures, spiders, and doubles. A number of awards such as the Stout medal are made each year by the American Hemerocallis Society. The Lenington All-American award is given to daylily cultivars which have been bred to survive overa wide geographic area and a series of photos of the winners from 1970 to 2001 give a good sampling of the characteristics of the more popular cultivars. In addition, results of surveys of the favorites of 21 daylily growers from around the country were included in an appendix. Much daylily breeding has been done by amateurs and there is considerable informationin this book about how to breed daylilies, how to register them and howto show them. For the gardener there are chapters of their use in the landscape and how to use daylilies in flower arrangements.
This book would appeal to anyone who has more than a passing interest in daylilies. There are research opportunities mentioned for the serious botanist, particularly in the molecular biology area. Since daylilies area fairly simple flower with a lot of variety in obvious characteristics, they would make a good subject for exposing undergraduates to many botanical concepts. The book chronicles the history of the success of horticultural efforts made by amateurs as well as professionals and there is a glossaryof daylily terminology for those who find some of the chapters more challenging than others. It succeeds very well as a handbook in that it contains answers to a many of the questions one would ask when buying and growing daylilies. It should be in any horticultural and botanical garden library. _JoanneSharpe, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine
Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths. Francko,David A. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-575-6 (cloth US$27.95) 308 pp. Timber Press,Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527. _ Asstated in the title, the author sets out to dispel assumptions about whereplants can gro w. Mixing the science of gardening with climatology, casestudies and personal experience, and an amusing, down-to-earth writingstyle, Francko could convert the skeptics. This is a book that goes againstsome long-held traditions. However, as acknowledged by Francko, the ideasoverall are not new but the treatment of the topic is up to date. The focusof this book is testing and dealing with plant hardiness in general, morethan just cold hardiness. Other factors discussed include the timing andduration of cold weather, exposure (location within the landscape), stemversus root hardiness, acclimation, dormancy and plant life form. In additionmany of the transplanted species may experience heat and drought whichmay be harsher that native climates.
Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-climate Plants for CoolerAreas, as the subtitle suggests is aimed at gardeners, in particularthe adventurous gardeners eager to grow tropical species in cooler climates.This is a gardening book w ith a rationale and strategy _ the first thirdof the book _ that challenges preconceived notions about hardiness anddistribution. The center spread of color photographs and approximatelylast half of the book (Part II) covers the candidate species by groups:Cold-Hardy Palms, Broadleaved Evergreen Trees and Shrubs, Crape Myrtlesand Other Deciduous Trees and Shrubs and Bamboos, Bananas, Yuccas, Cactiand Other Exotic Temperate Plants. Even the most passionate gardener couldbe inspired by many of the species presented. Admittedly, gardeners "donot want their yard to look weird" but a thoughtful incorporation of thesespecies with attention to design offers an alternative to the suburbandogma of a perfectly manicured lawn bordered by yews and hemlocks trimmedinto tight geometric shapes. Plants as "design elements" is not familiarterritory for many botanists. The author is encouraging, almost nurturingthe reader at times� "Choose the right plants, site them properly, plantthem with attention to their needs and care for them until they are wellestablished�" Hey, I could do this!
Could scientific gardens/gardeners be more successful? Are microclimatesa subconscious reality of most gardeners' lives? Probably the answer is"yes" to both of these questions. If you are tired of the palate of speciesor not content to work with native species in your garden this book maybe your guide to tropical gardening in temperate locales. Be warned thatthe author focus on his Ohio environment with an occasional mention ofother temperate regions.
Occasionally I was confused by the rationale for inclusion of certainspecies in this book as well as the original species-specific distributions.Opuntiasp. (prickly pear cactus) is stated to be a species ranging from Coloradothrough Mexico yet it is a relatively common native in the dunes and pinebarrens of the Northeast. Ilex opaca (American holly)Polystichiumacrostichoides (Christmas fern), both identified as a natives of th eeastern United
There is an ongoing debate within the worlds of botany and horticultureregarding the choice, trade and spread of potentially invasive species.Perhaps my assessment will be viewed as too purist by the gardening audience,but with the evidence against Japanese barberry (suggested for plantingin this book too!), purple loosestrife and kudzu, to name a few, thereis more room for caution. The author acknowledges an occasional potentialfor invasiveness. Consider Arundo donax (giant reed), "�can be invasive,but it is very tropical looking and works well with palms, bamboos, andcrape myrtles." For most species suggested for cultivation in this bookno further guidance regarding invasiveness is given. Of course Francko'sbook is not unique in suggesting cultivation of gorgeous introduced species;check your Sunday paper for colorful advertisements for affordable, fastgrowing Hibiscus sp., Liriope sp., Paulownia tomentosaetc.
This book continues Timber Press' reputation as a publisher of broad-interestnature books with usefulness and appeal beyond the intended audience. Infact, I realized that people interested in invasive plants and plant biogeographycould learn a lot from Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths. Ifyou are sentimental for southern species (Southern magnolia, crape myrtle,oleander etc.), Francko's book offers some alternative ideas regardingsurvival and potential distribution of introduced species. Though unintendedare warnings here too? _ Scott Ruhren, Department of Biological Sciences,Ranger Hall, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881. (email@example.com)
Plant Resins: Chemistry, Evolution, Ecology,and Ethnobotany. Langenheim, Jean H. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-574-8 (ClothUS$49.9 5) 586 pp. Timber Press, Inc. The Haseltine Building, 133 S.W. SecondAvenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204. One of the satisfactions of workingin the discipline called Economic Botany is investigating the variety ofsubjects it encompasses. It is a pleasure to explore the plant world containedin Jean Langenheim's masterpiece, Plant Resins. From ancient amber adornmentsto irritating poison ivy, plant resins have been intimately connected withhumans since the Old Stone Age. Their power can be audacious, provocativelypenetrating boudoirs and bedding as `bachour,' vapors of sandalwood and`eagle wood,' `aloe wood' or `gharu,' the resinous product
One special use of resin not discussed in this book is as a major componentof Miwron, a unique anointing oil used in baptisms and wedding ceremoniesin the Armenian Orthodox Church, prepared with a resin base. Miwronis composed of resins including aloe wood, balsam oil, frankincense, sandalwood,storax [Liquidamber orientalis], and leaf, flower or seed oils ofbasil, cardamom, carnation, chamomile, cubeb [Java pepper], galingale [thepungent aromatic rhizome produced by plants in East Asia related to ginger],hyacinth, lavender, lemon balm, narcissus, orange blossom, rose, rosemary,spearmint, sweet flag, spikenard, summer savory, thyme and violet. Themixture of 48 botanicals is blended with wine, water and oils of narcissusand olive oil. That mixture is steam-extracted for the first 3 days, thenallowed to ferment on th e altar for the next 40 days. A final ceremonialstirring is made with an iron sword (nizag) from Geghard and theright hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator, when the oil is consecrated.
Mysterious Silphium's contraceptive and aphrodisiac use, commemoratedon 7th century BC coins from Cyrene in present-day Libya, islegendary, and its use `for carnal pleasures' was so widespread as to drivethe plant to extinction. People have found a wide range of uses for plantresins�sticky plant secretions that harden when exposed to air� as medicines,fuels, varnishes, adhesives, and perfume ingredients among many others.
For a long time, the term resin had been vaguely defined, referringto any sticky plant exudate. Jean Langenheim clarifies the first operationaldefinition of resin, distinguishing true resins from other substances suchas gum and latex. Langenheim suggests an improved definition of resinsbased on their age, chemical properties, the secretory mechanisms thatproduce th em, and their ecological function.
Jean Langenheim, professor emerita and research professor of ecologyand evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC),has been studying amber and resins for more than 40 years. Her investigationshave covered every aspect of the subject, including the chemistry of resins,
Langenheim's 1969 paper on amber in the journal Science becamea classic and established her as the world's leading authority on the botanicalsources of amber. She went on to conduct wide-ranging studies of resin-producingtrees, the chemical and anatomical mechanisms of resin production, andthe role of resins in defending plants from insects and diseases. She identifiedtropical trees in the genus Hymenaea, a legume belonging to thesame plant family as peas and beans, as the source of several large depositsof amber in the New World. The greatest diversity of Hymenaea speciesoccurs in the Amazonian rain forest, where Langenheim did extensive fieldwork.
Comparative and interdisciplinary in scope and approach, Langenheim'swork encompasses botanical, chemical, cultural, geographic and historicaldetails of each plant. Her list of plants used for their resins is exhaustive.A timeline, presented as a simultaneous chronol ogy, is an inventive visualrepresentation of amber and resin use throughout world civilizations andhistory. This includes the amusing bottom line showing Cannabisuse beginning 1700 BC with the Vedic legends of Shiva and Chinese medicinaluse, all the way through the 1960's use by `hippies.'
An investigation into ancient trade and use of sandalwood, agaru, frankincenseand myrrh by this reviewer (Bedigian, unpublished manuscript 1996-1997)established that little information had been consolidated at that timeabout the great diversity of resin-producing plants, and the remarkableroles resins play for plants and people. Langenheim's book now makes acomplete, scientifically meticulous modern treatment of them.
The book has three main sections: the production of resins by plants,the geologic history and ecology of resins, and the remaining half of thetext is devoted to the ethnobotany of resins. That section is arrangedchronologically and then by use. A distinctive quality of this encyclopedicwork is the way specifics are integrated within the headings, fluidly unitinginformation common to each of the taxonomically disparate groups. As ahelpful feature, there are cross-references throughout the book, identifyingother chapters where the subject is discussed (although including pagenumbers would have made these citations easier to find).
The book is bound well and richly illustrated with maps, color and black-and-whitephotographs of the major resin sources and some novel fossils, light andscanning electron micrographs, and delicate line drawings by UCSC alumnusJesse Markman. Chemical structures are presented for all constituents described.Five appendices, a glossary, an extensive 68-pg bibliography with morethan 1000 references, a plant index and a subject index offer further welcomeinformation. This comprehensive and exemplary discussion of resins deservesto be dubbed "Everything you ever wanted to know about plant resins," andshould appeal to a wide audience. It is priced affordably and belongs inall academic, museum and public libraries, and in the personal referencelibraries of serious botanists, chemists, anthropologists, archeologistsand museum curators. - Dorothea Bedigian, Research Associate, WashingtonUniversity, St. Louis and Missouri Botanical Garden.
As found in other members of the series on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants,Thyme The genus Thymus opens with a chapter providing a general reviewof the taxonomy of the genus as well its basic botany. This material includesreview of the use of thyme well before Linnaeus, and given the medicalvalue of the members of Thymus, the review of early medical uses comesas no surprise. Old illustrationspepper this first chapter. A chapter dealingwith genetic polymorphisms, including polymorphisms affecting the qualityof essential oils, follows, along with several chapters dealing with thechemistry of essential oils of various species of Thymus as well as otherchemical constituents of these plants besides the essential oils. Thendetails of culture in the field and in vitro follow along with informationon the processing of raw materials into essential oils and other products.Finally, several chapters examine the medicinal uses of products made fromvarious Thymus spp.
Throughout, Thyme the genus Thymus is well illustrated and includesmany helpful diagrams such as those detailing chemical pathways relevantfor essential oils. As is typical of the series from which it comes, thewriting throughout is clear and concise, though one chapter in this volumefails to maintain the general tone aimed for in most of the series. Whilemost chapters deal with a range of species or techniques from various placeswhere members of Thymus occur naturally, the chapter on culture in thefield and in tissue culture deals in terms of field work almost exclusivelywith Swiss production, surprising given that so much material is producedin other lands, notably Spain.
Thyme the genus Thymus should be purchased by college and universitylibraries as an important book on a very commonly used genus. Parts ofit, especially the introductory chapter, could even be used in introductorycourses, especially those concentrating on economic or humanistic botany.Those interested in herbs may want to purchase a copy, though most of thechapters are more technical than will appeal to a general audience.- DouglasDarnowski, Washington College.
Tillage for Sustainable Cropping. Gajri,P. R., Arora, V. K., and Prihar, S. S., 2002, ISBN 1-56022-903-9 $39.55(soft), $89.95 (hard) 195 pp. Haworth Press Inc., NY . Everyone knows thatto maintain the world's rising population food production needs to increase.The Green Revolution, established in the 1950s, was a joint effort by Westernnations to help India and other countries to feed their millions by developingand planting monocultures of genetically engineered hybrid seeds, increasingthe intensity and frequency of cropping, and using large inputs of fertilizers,pesticides, and water on crops. Agriculture, however, has significant harmfulimpacts on resources such as soil, water, air, and biodiversity. Soil infiltration,the transport of sediment and fertilizers by surface runoff to streamsand lakes, and the depletion of topsoil can occur from intensive agriculture.
Tillage practices have undergone changes in time. Early agriculturepractices used animal-drawn wooden or metallic tools that could only loosenthe upper soil layers a few centimeters. Today, modern tractors and othertillage implements can dig soil more than a meter. The book "Tillage forSustainable Cropping", written by three authors from India, examines varioustillage systems and their impact on soil productivity and environmentalquality. Soil sustainability in terms of air and water pollution, soildegradation, and the way crops respond to energy conservation, mulching,and fertilizers are discussed. This six-chapter book is well referencedand contains a useful index. The first chapter reviews demograph ic trendsand population explosions that occurred from 1975 _ 1998 in different regionsof the world. Increases in irrigated areas, fertilizers, fossil fuels,and agricultural machinery are compared for developing and developed countries.Despite intensive agriculture implications, these authors portray a positiveattitude as to how correct tillage approaches_ the physical manipulationof soil _can be a powerful tool in enhancing crop production without havinga negative impact on the environment.
Chapter two defines and discusses short and long term objectives ofsoil tillage. Pluses and minuses of tillage systems with residue left onand with residue removed are addressed. Common tillage practices, emphasizedin environmental science textbooks, such as conservation tillage, conventionaltillage, reduced till, and no till are given considerable attention. Additionally,special tillage practices are described including puddling for wetlandrice, compaction of coarse-textured soils, modifying pro files of slowlypermeable layered soils, and crust breaking to facilitate seedling emergence.
Two important processes that occur in soils are root growth and seedlingestablishment. Chapter three
The fourth chapter examines crop response to conservation and conventionaltillage in terms of seed germination, root growth, shoot growth, and yieldas well as how tillage controls weeds. All types of soil including siltloam, sandy loam, and clay soils are analyzed in semiarid, arid, and subtropical,and tropical environments. Emphasis is given to important cash crops includingwheat, corn, cotton, rice, and sorghum. Many outstanding studies are presentedin this chapter such as how soil strength can change the thickness andlength of roots.
The long-term effects of tillage on the quality of soil, air, and waterare addressed in chapter five. One important section focuses on the emissionof greenhouse gases, namely carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and methane.The authors note that no-till systems reduce carbon dioxide emissions butincrease nitrogen oxide emissions. High amounts of methane are emittedin flooded rice fields and water-logged soils.
The final chapter discusses the rationalization of tillage for increasingcrop production. The authors conclude that there is no tillage recipe book.Relationships among climate, soil and crop characteristics must be determined.Socioeconomic c onditions, available resources and energy conservation alsoinfluence the type of tillage systems that are employed.
This book is an important reference for teachers, students, managers,horticulturists, and farmers interested in soil management and in maintainingenvironmental quality. Numerous tables and graphs help to emphasize importantconcepts throughout the text. The text could be improved by illustratingthe various types of tillage practices and soil types. A glossary at theend of the book would be beneficial to explain terms such as slaking soil,broadcast application, labile component and abbreviations such as CT, NT,WUE for quick reference. - Dr. Nina L. Baghai-Riding, Associate Professorof Biology and Environmental Science, Delta State University, Cleveland,MS 38733
Genetically Modified Crops: Assessing Safety.Keith T. Atherton.Taylor & Francis, 2002. $ . ISBN 0-784-0913-0 Geneticallymodified crops have raised various environmental conce rns and questionsregarding their safety for human consumption. With respect to the environment,gene flow between modified crops and native plant populations could decreasebiodiversity, modify the patterns of fungal and insect resistance in plantpopulations, and increase weediness in some plants. Some potential problemslinked to the human consumption of genetically modified organisms includetheir allergenicity and the possibility of gene exchange with the humangut microflora. The emphasis of this book is assessing the safety of geneticallymodified crops with regards to human consumption. The environmental impactof genetically modified food crops is only addressed in some of the casestudies. The chapter on virus-resistant squash is the only chapter to presenta view of safety assessment in terms of both environmental impact and humanconsumption. In this respect the title of the book is somewhat misleadingas the reader may expect safety assessment to include more of the environmentalimpac t of genetically modified crops.
Accepting these limitations, this book provides useful information inareas less familiar to plant biologists. One chapter discusses the typesof allergic reactions found in humans while another summarizes data ondifferent types of gene exchange between genetically modified bacteriaand members of the human gut microflora. The concept of substantial equivalenceand its application are well described in this book. The concept of substantialequivalence represents the idea that a modified organism can be comparedto an existing organism used as food in order to assess its safety. Theregulatory aspects of genetically modified food crops are also discussedin some details. Reading this book will increase your general knowledgeof the regulations, problems, and techniques associated with determiningthe safety of genetically modified crops for human consumption, and toa lesser extent for non-target organisms.
The book consists of ten chapters centered on four th emes. The firsttwo chapters introduce the history of the regulation of genetically modifiedfood crops, the different governmental agencies involved and their respectiverole, in the USA and Europe respectively. Regulation of genetically modifiedorganisms is the first theme of this book. The second theme of the bookcenters around methods and techniques used to assess the safety of biologicallymodified organisms. The third chapter introduces the concept of substantialequivalence and examples of its applications. Different molecular and chemicaltechniques currently or potentially available to characterize modifiedcrops with the goal of detecting unintended effects of transgenic foodcrops are described in the fourth chapter. These techniques include cDNAmicroarrays and chemical or toxicological profiling. Results from someof these techniques will need to be interpreted with caution, however,as molecular differences do not always indicate phenotypic differencesor differences in substantial equivalence. The third theme of the bookdeals with some concerns associated with human consumption of geneticallymodified food crops. Allergenicity or the types of allergic reactions shownby humans and the proteins associated with such allergies are discussedin chapter 5 while chapter 6 discusses the biosafety of marker genes. Methodsof gene exchange in prokaryotes, the factors that influence the frequencyof gene exchange, and results of experiments that have examined the potentialfor gene exchange between genetically modified organisms and the humangut microflora are summarized in the sixth chapter. The last theme of thebook is case studies. Each of the last four chapters examines a specificexample of a genetically modified food crop. The seventh chapter describesthe steps and data accumulated in order to determine that canola tolerantto roundup herbicide was substantially equivalent to non-modified canola.The second case study discusses Bt crops, and includes a description ofthe ins ecticidal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis, theirstructure and modes of action, and the methods used and data accumulatedto test the safety of both bacterial insecticides and Bt crops to non-targetorganisms (invertebrates and vertebrates). The next case study, chapter9, discusses recombinant baculoviruses, baculoviruses with inserted insectselective toxin genes, as microbial pesticidal agents. These insect selectivetoxin genes were inserted into the viruses to increase the rate at whichthe viruses can kill their hosts. This chapter summarizes data of experimentstesting the safety of these recombinant viruses for non-target organisms.The last chapter discusses all the steps and data that were required inorder to obtain a non-regulated status for virus-resistant squash fromthe US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service(USDA-APHIS).
The book is well organized around the four themes described above. Ifyou want to learn more about the regulat ions, methods, and data availableto assess the safety of genetically modified organisms consumed by humansand some non-target organisms, this book will definitely educate you. Ifyou are primarily interested in the environmental impact of geneticallymodified crops this book will disappoint you. - Johanne Brunet, OregonState University
Molecular Plant Biology, vol 1. Gilmartin,Philip M., and Chris Bowler. 2002. ISBN 0-19-963876-4 (paper $65), 274pp., Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 U.S.A.Molecular Plant Biology is a 2 volume set, concurrently volumes 258 and259 of the Practical Approach Series. Although not considered a 2nd edition,in the strictest sense, to the first three volumes of this series, PlantMolecular Biology�A Practical Approach, the current two volumes do followup on some of the basic techniques and methods, first published in 1988,and incorporates the many advances since then. This review will only involvevolu me 1; however some statements on volume 2 will be included as gleanedfrom the preface.
A protocol is a set of laboratory directions to a specific laboratorymethod or procedure. These are usually developed in research laboratoriesbut are not usually described in any kind of detail in the papers reportingthe research. Thus, collections of laboratory methodology, written by advancedresearchers, such as these are particularly useful to other researchers,who don't have to reinvent the procedure and therefore carry the researchfurther with their own hypothesis. A good protocol should give a list ofsupplies and equipment requirements, and suppliers for anything that isextraordinary. The instructions should be unambiguous and in proper sequence,with any safety instructions clearly detailed. Protocols that describethe final result of a method or suggest reasons why a method might notturn out right are constructive. The protocols here appear to vary fromminimalist to substantial. The list of suppliers seems to be predominatelyfrom the US and England, with only one or two from the rest of Europe andJapan.
Volume 1 is divided into three sections: Gene Identification, Gene Organization,and Library Screening and cDNA Isolation. Topics covered range from classicalmutagenesis through plant transformation, T-DNA and transposon taggingmethods, genomic subtraction, gene mapping, construction and screeningof YAC, BAC and cosmid libraries chromosome in situ, and isolation of cDNAsequences by western and southwestern library screens, to complementationcloning. Each chapter is a hybrid, in a manner of speaking, of a discussion,reminiscent of an article, and a protocol. The discussion gives the contextof the protocol. In some cases, extensive background and perspective isprovided. The protocols of each chapter are set apart from the discussiontext in grayed boxes. This makes it straightforward to follow the instructionswithout getting distracted by the rest of the chapter. Moreover, the protocolsare listed separately following the table of contents, so one could quicklyidentify the protocol of interest, a real convenience.
The index in volume 1 covers both volumes. The index appears to be extensivewith numerous see-references, tying both volumes together nicely.
Plant molecular biology is quite different from the molecular biologyof animals. At this level the cellular structure and the presence of chloroplastsin plants require different techniques and laboratory procedures. Therefore,similar protocols for one would not work for the other. The high interestand intense research levels currently focused on transgenic food plantsmake this a timely and critical resource for research labs in both industryand academia. - Peggy Dominy, Sciences Librarian, Hagerty Library, 33rd& Market Sts., Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Plant Growth and Development Hormones and Environmentby Lalit M. Srivastavam does an excellent job of presenting both classicaland modern data on the growth and development of plants and of integratingthat data. Overall, it is a serious textbook, with many informative illustrationsthat require the student to think about the science being discussed, buckingthe trend to oversimplify what is presented to students and convert toomuch into cartoons.
This book presents five sections�on Some Special Aspects of Plant Growthand Development, Structure and Metabolism of Plant Hormones, Hormonal Regulationof Developmental and Physiological Processes, Molecular Basis of HormoneAction, and Environmental Regulation of Plant Growth. In this movementfrom introductory details to molecular detail and then back to bigger issuesdriven by nurture rather than nature, Plant Growth and Development Hormonesand Environment follows a common pattern in texts on developmental biology.For an example, see the latest edition of Gilbert's Developmental Biology.
Given the excellent job done by Srivastava of integrating molecularand classical data, and the clarity and logical nature of the text andillustrations, it is unfortunate that the first section on Some SpecialAspects... begins with an almost apologtic tone with regard to plants:"...to highlight the fact that plants, while sharing many building blocksand metabolic pathways with animals, nonetheless are organized along differentlines and have adopted different strategies for survival" (p.1). However,given current emphases in universities and attitudes among students, thismay be necessary to pull students into the topic. All of the expected topicsare covered, from our knowledge of the developmental genetics of Arabidopsisto the famous experiments on Acetabularia demonstrating nuclear controlof the development of its crest. Molecular data, though given concentratedattention in the fourth section of this work, is discussed throughout thetext, as when in the first section of chapters, topics in plant cell divisionsuch as t he preprophase band are discussed along with more modern topicslike the cyclin-dependent kinases which help to control the cell cycle.Also included are data from techniques like tissue culture�e.g. the useof somatic embryos in developmental studies is discussed, as are studiesdetailing the effects of applied pressure on differentiation in culture. Brassinosteroids and Jasmonates/related compounds receive the own chaptersalong with the classical hormones.
Of course there are occasional typographical errors and some pointswhich might be questioned. For example, the traps of all pitcher plantsare said to be derived from distal ends of leaves (p.68), which is certainlytrue for Nepenthes and Cephalotus. However, given some details of the developmentof Sarracenia this might questioned, and it might be even more uncertainif the bromeliad Brocchinia is accepted as having pitchers�see The CarnivorousPlants by Juniper et al. (1989). Also, a glossary should be added to futureeditions of S rivastava's book.
All in all, however, Plant Growth and Development Hormones and Environmentmakes an excellent text for upper level courses in plant development andwould also make an excellent part of the assigned reading for a generalcourse on development. Given the emphasis on hormones, even with both classicaland molecular data included, it would not be sufficient for an introductorycourse in plant physiology�topics such as transpiration would be neglected�butcould be used as supplemental reading in such a course. All college anduniversity libraries should buy a copy. Douglas Darnowski, Washington College
Plant Physiology 3rd ed.Taiz, Lincoln and Eduardo Zeiger. 2002. ISBN 0-87893-823-0 (Cloth US$104.95)690 pp. Sinauer Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 407, Sunderland, MA 01375-0407.This is an outstanding work that I hope will set a new standard for textbooks.The two main authors have done a wonderful job of weaving together thewritings of 23 principle contributors (enlisted to keep each chapter upto date) into a cohesive whole. Scores of others provided essays that areavailable online via a dedicated companion website. The net effect is toshow the dynamic state of plant physiology while retaining strength andfocus on central physiological themes. The addition of a dedicated companionwebsite offers considerable flexibility to choose among various topicsof interest and customize your plant physiology course.
This text is geared toward upper-division and graduate students. Itlays out the basics of plant physiology while providing a sense of currentresearch within each subject area. The book begins with two overview chaptersthat step the reader down from the organismal through cellular and molecularlevels and present the central unifying themes of plant physiology. Thesethemes include 1) plants are the primary producers that store chemicalenergy in carbohydrates by combining CO2 & water, 2) plantsare non-moti le so they grow toward resources, 3) plants are structurallyreinforced, 4) plants lose water continuously but have ways to avoid desiccation,and 5) plants have mechanisms for exchanging minerals and photosynthateamong specialized tissues. I think it would make sense if the authors addedone more theme; 6) each plant produces photosynthetic material to supportits own reproduction and defends these resources using a variety of physicaland chemical mechanisms.
The main body of the text is organized into three units. The first unit(four chapters) starts with a review of the importance of water then coversmechanisms for moving prodigious amounts of water plus minerals towardtissues devoted to harvesting energy. The second unit on biochemistry andmetabolism makes up ¼ of the text (seven chapters). There are threechapters on photosynthesis (light reactions, dark/carbon reactions, andphysiological & ecological considerations) plus chapters on phloemtranslocation, energy use & storage, assimilation of mineral nutrientsand finally secondary metabolites & defense. In the photosynthesissection, I would like to see a stronger link to environmental variabilityin light quality and the use of accessory pigments that come into playparticularly when red wavelengths are absent (aquatic algae for example).This material could easily be added as an online supplement, which is thebeauty of setting up a text in this fashion. The last ½ of the book(12 chapters) addresses growth and development with chapters on cell walls,development, red & blue light responses, each of the main hormones,regulation of flowering, and wraps up with stress physiology.
The text is very well illustrated and written. Line drawings are beautifullyconceived and designed with effective use of color; drawings are oftenpaired with electron micrographs or color photographs. Data charts andgraphs generously support the main concepts, and these are often overlaidwith line drawings for ad ded emphasis and clarity. Chemical structuresare well drawn and used throughout the text. Primary literature is citedextensively and every chapter has a lengthy bibliography based on currentprimary literature.
This text has something for any level of student. The text itself isrigorous but this is just the first layer and the dedicated companion websitehttp://www.plantphys.net/adds additional information that can be used to tailor chapters towardparticular interests. In fact, two chapters are found only online (in theinterest of conserving space). As the authors point out, each edition hasgotten progressively larger and had the trend continued the 3rdedition would have been nearly 1000 pages. The online material is extensive.Each chapter has online sections called `topics', `essays', `study questions',and additional `suggested readings'. Topics and essays delve into greaterdepth on subjects that are mentioned briefly in the text and they provideadded depth desirabl e for more advanced students. Each chapter has from5-20 study questions that seemed appropriate as a study guide for undergraduates.The suggested readings provide access to books and review articles thatwould also be useful to advanced students.
This text is a monumental achievement. It makes for an intense readingexperience but there was nothing in it that I didn't like and the onlinesupplemental information can be readily updated and expanded. The 1stedition was published in 1991 at 565 pages, edition 2 in 1998 (7 yearslater and 792 pages) led to this edition in 2002 (4 years and 690 pagesplus online supplement). I hope that the effective use of a dedicated onlineweb site helps to alleviate the need for new editions every couple years.This text is great and could easily stand as is for several years beforethe 4th edition would be desirable. In the near future I wouldlike to see the authors focus on fine tuning the web-based content andtesting potential additi ons that might be incorporated in the 4thedition rather than turning immediately to text revision. I hope this ideacatches on; Taiz & Zeiger along with Sinauer should be commended formaking this leap into combined text and web-based learning. Sinauer offersadditional support material for instructors in the form of a CD-ROM withall line art illustrations plus selected photographs. I highly recommendthis book for any botanist. - Timothy C. Morton, Biology Department, UrsinusCollege, Collegeville, PA 19426
Plant Tissue Culture, 100 Years Since GottliebHaberland, M. Laimer, W. Rücker (eds.). 2003. ISBN 3-211-83839-2 (paperbackEUR 78.00 or approximately $80.00) 260 pp. Springer-Verlag KG, Sachsenplatz4-6, P. O. Box 89, A-1201, Vienna, Austria. Roger J. Gautheret, who(along with Philip R. White), saw himself for many years as an "arch priest"on the subject of tissue culture (Arditti and Krikorian, 1996) wrote oncethat "plant tissue culture w as made possible by only a few genuine discoveries[which] . . . did not appear suddenly, but after a long and slow journey,unpretentiously covered by pioneers" (Gautheret, 1985). According to himthe earliest of these pioneers in the "prehistory" of plant tissue culturewas the Frenchman Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau (1700-1782) who studiedwound healing in trees while also writing about naval architecture (11volumes) and science and art (18 volumes). In his book La Physique desArbres (1756) Duhamel du Monceau described swelling and the appearanceof buds following the removal of bark and cortex from an elm tree (Gautheret,1985). Gautheret's suggested that this was the first observation of callusformation and "a foreword for the discovery of plant tissue culture." Thissuggestion is little more than Gallic chauvinism because callus formationon mature trees after wounding bears little if any resemblance to tissueculture (another example of Gautheret's Francocentric approach to the h istoryof this subject is his refusal to credit the American orchid grower, Dr.Gavino Rotor and the German nurseryman, Hans Thomale, both now deceased,with the discovery of orchid micropropagation despite being provided withrelevant references; in a letter to JA he simply dismissed Rotor's workas not being relevant and insisted on erroneously crediting his compatriot,Dr. George Morel with the discovery despite clear evidence to the contrary).
In an earlier historical presentation Gautheret was more objective andsuggested convincingly that "the history of plant tissue culture beginsin 1838-1839 when M. J. Schleiden . . . and T. Schwann . . . stated the. . . cellular theory and implicitly postulated that the cell [is] totipotent"(Gautheret, 1983). Schwann even suggested that "plants may consist of cellswhose capacity for independent life can be clearly demonstrated . . ."(translated from German by Gautheret, 1985). That this is so was demonstratedexperimentally and considered theoretic ally by A. Trécul in 1853,H.Vöchting in 1878, F. Goebel in 1902, J. Sachs between 1880 and 1882,J. Wiesner in 1884 and C. Rechinger in 1893 (for a review see Arditti andKrikorian, 1996). However it was Gottlieb Friedrich Johann Haberlandt (1854-1945)who made the first attempt to culture plant cells.
Haberlandt's first attempt was to culture isolated leaf palisade andmesophyll cells of Lanium purpureum, stinging hairs of nettle, Utricadioica, glandular hairs of Pulmonaria, stomatal cells of Fuchsiamagellanica Globosa, pith cells from petioles of Eichhornia crassipes,and three monocotyledonous species, Tradescantia virginiana (stamenfilament hairs), Ornithogallum umbelatum (stomatal cells), and Erythroniumdes-canis (stomatal cells). He used Julius Sachs's version of Knop'ssolution (1 g potassium nitrate, 0.5 g calcium sulphate, 0.5 g magnesiumsulphate, 5 g calcium phosphate and a trace of ferrous sulfate per liter;sti ll useful at present) and added to it sucrose, glucose, glycerin, asparagineand peptone (except for the glycerin these additives are still being used).In addition, he used light (natural daylight and photoperiods during ,April-June and September-November in Germany) and dark culture conditionsas well as appropriate temperatures (18-24E C).
As is well known at present Haberlandt was unsuccessful. In retrospectseveral reasons are responsible for his failure (see excellent discussionby Krikorian and Berquam, on pp. 25-53 of this book). One was his selectionof cells which were mature and highly differentiated. The second is a culturemedium which was not sterile and lacked substances now known to be requiredby explants in vitro (many were yet to be discovered at the time). Third,Haberlandt's selection of plants was unfortunate, but he could not haveknown that at the time. Assertions that Haberlandt's failure was due tothe fact that ". . . he neglected Duhamel's results as well as Vö chting'sand Rechinger's experiments . . . and [his] ignorance of the past" (Gautheret,1985) are unjustified, have no scientific basis, seem unnecessarily harsh,and may be based more on national pride ("Duhamel's results ") than onsolid science. He would have failed with most explants (Duhamel's speciesincluded) since the vast majority of tissues require richer media and donot grow in contaminated solutions. A more fortunate selection of plants,availability of plat hormones (especially IAA as suggested by Gauthereton page 106 of this book and probably also cytokinins) and a bit of luckmay have perhaps led to partial success, but the fact remains that Haberlandtwas a pioneer forging new directions, far ahead of his time and workingwithout some the necessary tools which were discovered much later (forexample the effects of IAA on cell division became known 31 years afterhis experiments).
This book celebrates the 100th anniversary of Haberlandt'spaper. It can be divided in tw o parts. An interesting and illuminatingfirst part (pages 1-113) which consists of a reprint (without citationinformation) of Harberlandt's paper (published in the Sitzungsberichteder Mathematische-Naturwissentschaftliche Klasse der Kaiserliche Akademieder Wissenschaften Wien volume 111, No. 1, pages 69-92) together with:1) an excellent translation and a scholarly essay-appreciation by A. D.Krikorian and D. L. Berquam (taken from the Botanical Review, butwithout citation information), 2) a short biography of Haberlandt, 3) aretrospective on the realization of his vision (which inexplicably anddisappointingly ignores seminal and very important work by Ernest Balland Loo Shih Wei), 4) an historical overview of the culture of isolatedmesophyll cells and protoplasts, and 5) yet another historical accountby Gautheret; this one is fairer and more balanced.
The second half (pp. 115-260) deals with current applications of tissueculture. The chapter on micropropagation of ornam ental plants errs in attributingthe first description mass propagation orchids to Georges Morel in 1960and cites his article on the subject in the American Orchid SocietyBulletin. Actually this article is little more than a self-servingnews release which contains no useful information and may even be misleading.A detailed history of orchid micropropagation is available (Arditti andKrikorian, 1996) and sets the record straight. It was obviously not consulted.Another problem with this article is that it is Eurocentric andignores the enormous number of plants in general and orchids in particular(Hew, 1994; Ichihashi, 1997a, 1997b) which are produced in Asian micropropagationlaboratories.
A chapter on in vitro conservation is telegraphic and covers only threecrops (potatoes, asparagus and chrysanthemum) when many more are beingcryopreserved. Again, the authors seem to have taken a primarily Eurocentricview. The chapters on natural products production is also very short and somewhat limited. It presents a table of plant-derived drugs used in westernmedicine and ignores a large body of work on Chinese medicinal plant resources(for a review of work which preceded publication of this book see Nalawadeet al., 2003). An eight page chapter on genetic engineering and malnutritionis essentially limited to rice. Three chapters on woody plants and colorillustrations conclude the book.
The title of this book is promising and enticing. However only the firstpart (pp. 1-103) comes close to fulfilling some of the promise, but therest (Especially pages 115-174) is disappointing. The editing also leavessome to be desired. On the whole the book is a mixed bag. Haberlandt, tissueculture and micropropagation deserve considerably more and much better,especially at $80 for 260 paperback which carries advertizing. - JosephArditti, Professor Emeritus, Department of Developmental and Cell Biology,University of California, Irvine and Tim Wing Yam, Singapore Botanic Gardens,Clu ny Road Singapore.
Arditti J., and A. D. Krikorian. 1996. Orchid micropropagation: thepath from laboratory to commercialization and an account of several unappreciatedinvestigators. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society (London)122: 183-241.
Gautheret, R. J. 1983. Plant tissue culture: A history. BotanicalMagazine, Tokyo 96: 393-410.
Gautheret, R. J. 1985. History of plant tissue culture
andcell culture: A personal account. Pages 1-59 in I. K.Vasil (ed.),Cell culture and somatic cell genetics of plants, Vol. 2. AcademicPress, New York.
Hew, C. S. 1994. Orchid cut-flower production in ASEAN countries. Pages363-413 in J. Arditti (ed.), Orchid Biology reviews and perspectives,vol. VI. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Ichihashi, S. 1997a. Orchid production and research. Pages 171-212 inJ. Arditti and A. M. Pridgeon (ed.), Orchid Biology reviews and perspectives,vol. VII. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
Ichihashi, S. 1997a. Research on micropropagation of Cymbidium, nobiletype Dendrobium, and Phalaenopsis in Japan. Pages 285-316 in J. Ardittiand A. M. Pridgeon (ed.), Orchid Biology reviews and perspectives,vol. VII. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
Nalawade, S. M., A. P. Sagaea, C.-Y. Lee, C.-L. Kao, and H.-S. Tsay.2003. Studies on tissue culture of Chinese medicinal plant resources inTaiwan and their sustainable utilization. Botanical Bulletin of AcademiaSinica (Taiwan) 44: 79-98.
Willows: The Genus Salix. Newsholme, Christopher.2002. ISBN 0-88192-565-9 (First paperback dition). 224 pages, 65 colorplates, 159 line drawings (US$19.95). Timber Press, Inc. Portland, Oregon.This is a reprint of the 1992 hardcover edition that offers a comprehensivesurvey of the species, varieties and hybrids of willow for their ornamentalvalue. There are seven chapters with line drawings interspersed withinthe text; color photographs make up the middle section o f the book. Theglossary has 157 words and there are 41 references in the bibliography.A general index completes the volume.
Chapters 1, 2 and 3 present a breadth of interesting topics on willowincluding origin, distribution, uses, classification, morphological characteristics,hybridization, field identification, attractive features, adaptability,propagation, spacing, planting, pruning, maintenance, intercropping, andsite selection. These chapters have been written in a very easy to understandway and are not filled with a lot of jargons. Readers who are not familiarwith the literatures on willow will surely find these chapters as eye openerabout the plants' incredible versatility, significance and potential.
Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7 provide alphabetical listings and morphologicaldescriptions of the willow species, varieties and hybrids, which the authorsubdivided based on their suitability for large, small, rock, or sink gardens.This scheme makes sense because the size of the plant u sually dictateswhat garden or where in a garden it is to be placed. However, the authoralso recognizes that some species recommended for large gardens are equallysuitable for use in smaller gardens. It has also been emphasized that theultimate size of the plant is controlled not by one factor but severalincluding the type of species, soil, and local conditions. The presentationused in these four chapters is quite typical of a field guide, i.e., withextensive morphological descriptions, occurrences, and supplemental notes.Landscapers and gardeners will find these four chapters helpful in identificationand guiding them as to what species, varieties or hybrids to plant in aparticular site. Scientists will also benefit from the wealth of taxonomicdescriptions, among others.
The line drawings are well done and show impressive details. The colorphotographs are mostly of high contrast and quality. In most part, theauthor achieved his goal in making this book useful to both gardeners andbot anists. However, I cannot help but point out some of the inadequacies,errors, and inconsistencies in concepts and presentations. It shows thatthe book suffered from insufficient editorial empowerment. The followingare some examples that can be dealt with in the next edition. 1. The authorreferred to the angiosperms as the earliest known flowering plants. Thestatement is not correct since the angiosperms are the only flowering plants.Two willow species were mentioned to be represented in the fossil recorddating back to the Cretaceous. This is a very strong claim that needs tobe substantiated or restated. As far as I am aware of, the earliest fossilscredibly considered representing the genus Salix were from Eocene(see Cronquist, 1993). On the other hand, it is confusing if the authoris referring to the angiosperms or willows as having a Cretaceous origin.2. A table was presented that listed several primitive and advanced featuresof Salix. In spite of the many interesting i nformation in the table,no discussion was made except to mention the subtropical origin of willow.3. The context in which "North America" is used is erroneous. In severalparts, it appears that the author was referring only to the United Statesas North America, whereas in other parts, it refers both to the UnitedStates and Canada. Mexico belongs to North America and this was not atall implied. 4. The diagram presented in Figure 6 was claimed to show across-section, but it appears more like a longitudinal view of the maleand female catkins. 5. Willow is a difficult species to identify and sothere are varied reports on how many species are available. A brief literaturesearch would reveal this (Krüssmann 1986, Rehder 1990, and Judd etal. 1999 mention that there are about 500, 300 and 350 species, respectively).Newsholme claims that there are 400 species, but only describes much lessthan that. What is the basis or source of the 400 species? I tried countingand differentiating the spec ies, varieties and hybrids but gave up in comingup with an accurate number because of the many inconsistencies in writingformat or presentations (e.g., some synonymous taxa are presented as ifthey are different species, some hybrids and varieties are presented asspecies, common names and varieties are written in the same manner, etc.).6. The numbering of figures of line drawings is confusing with some specieslumped together in one figure and then separated by roman numerals (e.g.,8i, 8ii, 54i, 54ii, etc.). Therefore, some of these are not figures butplates. On the other hand, how many figures are there really? Also, thecolor illustrations were referred to as plates, but as far as I am awareof, plates are collage of figures which is not the case in this book. 7.Some of the color photographs are not shown in their correct orientation_ they are either upside down (e.g., Plates 41 and 44) or turned horizontally(e.g., Plate 63). It is difficult to interpret and appreciate them theway they are laid out. 8. The caption for Plate 30 states that the redanthers subsequently turn yellow (or bright-orange anthers becoming golden-yellowin Plate 51). It is amazing to observe that some plant organs can changecolor, but this is not the case in willow anthers. The yellow color isdue to pollen grains which are being released through the opening of thered colored anther walls. 9. The lack of a taxonomic key definitely limitsthe utilization of this book. The comprehensive list of species and extensivemorphological descriptions could have been highlighted with an identificationkey to, at least, the commonly known species. I realize that this is adifficult and an enormous task, but its contribution will be invaluableand immense. Subdividing willow species into groups and sections was agood start. 10. The number of references cited is very limited comparedto what is available out there. There are many claims made in this bookthat should have been substantiated with references.
In spit e of the shortcomings of this book, the beautiful illustrations,extensive plant descriptions, and comprehensive worldwide list of willowspecies, varieties and hybrids make it still the most useful referencematerial in the subject. Danilo D. Fernando, Department of Environmentaland Forest Biology, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210.
Cronquist A. 1993. An Integrated System of Classification of FloweringPlants. Columbia University Press, NY.
Judd WS, Campbell CS, Kellogg EA and Stevens PF. 1999. Plant Systematics:A Phylogenetic Approach. Sinauer Associates, Inc. Sunderland, MA.
Krüssmann G. 1986. Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees andShrubs. Volume III. Timber Press, Inc., Portland, OR.
Rehder A. 1990. Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs. DioscoridesPress, Portland, OR.
The Names of Plants, Third Edition, by DavidGledhill, aims to provide an explanation of naming pl ants, why it is importantand why naming is done in the official fashion, as well as a glossary ofmany common roots and epithets. While this might sound like an uninspiringtopic since many readers of the Bulletin will have heard and or taughtabout many, many times, Gledhill does a very fine job. This third revisionincludes
discussion of issues in naming resulting from recent advances in thenon-traditional, non-Mendelian manipulation of plants.
This book opens with a chapter titled "The nature of the problem" beginsto establish the importance of naming by eloquently describing where theneed for names begins: "Man's highly developed constructive curiosity andhis capacity for communications are two of the attributes distinguishinghim from all other animals." Gledhill maintains this type of simple buthigh-sounding tone throughout�a tone accessible to undergraduates but stirringto those well versed in the names of plants. This same chapter containsa concise but thorough review of import ant figures in the history of botany,starting with Aristotle and Theophrastus and moving to the present, touchingon the value of binomials and elucidating some of the pre-Linnaean useof binomials.
In the next chapter, the author then turns to the rules of botanicalnomenclature for various taxonomic levels, with sections on families, genera,and species. Throughout, copious examples illustrate the various principlesof naming which are described, and the basic principles of botanical Latinare discussed. The author provides helpful tables including the variousendings of botanical Latin nouns as well as carefully explaining the useof various cases in the main text. Gledhill presents examples which helpto put a human face on what sounds initially like a dry field in science."Ifall specific names were constructed in the arbitrary manner used by M.Adanson (1727-1806), there would have been no enquiries of the author andthis book would not have been written. In fact, the etymology of plantna mes is a rich store of historical interest and conceals many aspectsof humanity ranging from the sarcasm of some authors to the humour of others"(p.32).
This is followed by the final chapter of the main text in which theInternational Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants is discussed alongwith various issues arising from new technologies. A short introductionto botanical terminology and the glossary then leads to the glossary, whichforms the majority of the pages in The Names of Plants. The several hundredpages of the glossary, not intended to be exhaustive, nevertheless providemany helpful definitions of words from botanical Latin with explanationsof their origins where useful, including Greek transliterations for some.
Who should purchase The Names of Plants? Certainly most if not all workingbotanists will find it of help, if for no other purpose than for answeringthose questions which are frequently asked by non-botanists about the namesof plants. It would be quite appropr iate reading for students in introductorycourses-even in General Biology, for explaining the history and workingsof scientific names which sadly remains a real mystery to so many currentstudents. Further, all college and university libraries should have a copyin their reference collections as well as in general circulation. - DouglasDarnowski, Washington College.
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(1 February, 1 May, 1 August or 1 November). Send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org,call or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list becausethey go quickly! Editor.
Advances in Pectin and Pectinase Research. Voragen, Fons, HenkSchols and Richard Visser (eds). 2003. ISBN 1-4020-1144-X (Cloth US$142.00 )504 pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V. P.O. Box 989, 3300 AZ Dordrecht,The Netherlands.
Arthropods of Tropical Forests: Spatio-temporal Dynamics and ResourceUse in the Canopy. Basset, Yves, Vojtech Novotny, Scott E. Miller,and Roger L. Kitching (eds). 2003. ISBN 0-521-82000-6 (Cloth US$110.00)474 pp. Cambridge University Press, 40 W. 20th St., New York,NY 10011-4211.
Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas. Turner, B.L., H. Nichols,G. Denny, and O. Doron. 2003. Volume (1) Dicots. ISBN 1-889878-08-1(Paper US$50) 648 pp. Volume (2) Monocots, Ferns, Gymnosperms. ISBN1-889878-09-X (Paper US$40) 240 pp. Botanical Research Institute of Texas,509 Pecan Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102-4060.
A Checklist of the Trees, Shrubs, Herbs, and Climbers of Myanmar.Kress, W. John, Robert A. DeFilipps, Ellen Farr and Daw Yin Yin Kyi. 2003.ISSN 0097-1618 (Paper) 590 pp. Department of Systematic Biology - Botany,MRC 166, P.O. Box 37012. National Museum of Na tural History, Washington,DC, 20013-7012.
Chinese Medicinal Herbs: A Modern Edition of a Classic Sixteenth-CenturyManual. Shih-Chen, Li, Porter Smith and C.a. Stuart (eds). 2003. ISBN0-486-42801-X(Paper US$21.95) 508pp. Dover Publications, 31 East 2nd Street,Mineola, New York 11501.
A Color Handbook of Biological Control in Plant Protection. Helyer,Beil, Kevin Brown, and Nigel D. Cattlin. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-599-3 (ClothUS$39.95) 126 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450. Portland,OR 97204-3527.
Concise Encyclopedia of Temperate Tree Fruit. Baugher, Tara Auxtand Suman Singha (eds). 2003. ISBN 1-56022-941-1 (Paper US$39.95). 388pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Consumer-Resource Dynamics. Murdoch, William W., Cheryl J. Briggs,and Roger M. Nisbet. 2003. ISBN 0-691-00657-1 (Paper US$35.00) 456 pp.Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, NJ, 08540.
Crop Production in Saline Environments: Global and Integrative Perspectives.Goyal, Sham S., Surinder K. Sharma, and D. William Rains. 2003. ISBN 1-56022-097-X(Paper US$69.95) 427 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton,NY 13904-1580.
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Plant Breeding and Related Subjects.Schlegel, Rolf H.J. 2003. ISBN 1-56022-950-0 (Cloth US$89.50) 563 pp. FoodProducts Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Essays on William Chambers Coker, Passionate Botanist. Joslin,Mary Coker. 2003. ISBN 0-9721600-0-0 (Cloth US$) 197 pp. University ofNorth Carolina at Chapel Hill Library and Botanical Garden Foundation,c/o North Carolina Botanical Garden, CB#3375, University of North Carolinaat Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375.
Flora of North America. Volume 25, Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (inpart): Poaceae, part 2. Flora of North America Committee. 2003. ISBN0-19-516748-1 (Cloth US$120.00). 814 pp. Oxford University Press, 198 MadisonAve., New York, NY 10016-4314.
Handbook of Formulas and Software for Plant Geneticists and Breeders.Kang,Manjit S. (ed.) 2003. ISBN 1-56022-949-7 (Paper US$39.95) 348 pp. FoodProducts Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Historical Biogeography: An Introduction. Crisci, Jorge V. LilianaKatinas, and Paula Posadas. 2003. ISBN 0-674-01059-0. (Cloth US$45.00)250 pp. Harvard University Press, 79 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Horticulture as Therapy: Principles and Practice. Simson, SharonP. and Martha C. Straus. 2003. ISBN 1-56022-279-4. (Paper US$49.95) 478pp Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Introduction to California Mountain Wildflowers, Revised Edition.Munz,Philip. Edited by Lake, Dianne and Phyllis M. Faber. 2003. ISBN 0-520-
Introduction to California Plant Life, Revised Edition. Ornduff,Robert, Phylli s M. Faber, and Todd Keeler-Wolf. 2003. ISBN 0-520-23704-8(Paper US$16.95) 341 pp. University of California Press, 2120 BerkeleyWay, Berkeley, CA 94720.
Introduction to the Shore Wildflowers of California, Oregon, andWashington Revised Edition. Munz, Philip A. Edited by Lake,Dianne and Phyllis M. Faber. 2003. ISBN 0-520-23639-4 (Paper US$16.95)256 pp. University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA94720.
Introduction to Trees of the San Francisco Bay Region. Keator,Glenn. 2003. ISBN 0-520-23007-8 (Paper US$14.95) 264 pp. University ofCalifornia Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720.
Keywords & Concepts in Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Hall, Brian K and Wendy M. Olson. 2003. ISBN 0-674-0094-5 (Cloth US$59.95)476 pp. Harvard University Press, 79 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Maya Medicine: Traditional Healing in Yucatán. Kunow,Mairanna Appel. 2003. ISBN 0-8263-2864-4 (Cloth US$29.95) 160 pp. Universi tyof New Mexico Press, 1720 Lomas Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1591.
Methods for Risk Assessment of Transgenic Plants: IV Biodiversityand Biotechnology. Ammann, Klaus, Yolande Jacot and Richard Braun (eds).2003. ISBN 3-7643-6657-5 (Cloth EUR 68.00) 196 pp. Birkhäuser VerlagAG, Viaduktstrasse 42, CH-4051, Basel, Switzerland.
Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data using CANOCO. Lep�,Jan and Petr �milauer. 2003. ISBN 0-521-89108-6 (Paper US$42.00) 269 pp.Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th St., New York, NY 10011-4211.
Native Plants for High-Elevation Western Gardens. Busco, Janiceand Nancy R. Morin. 2003. ISBN 1-55591-475-6 (Paper US$29.95) 368 pp. FulcrumPublishing, 16100 Table Mountain Parkway, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80403.
Natural Growth Inhibitors and Phytohormones in Plants and Environment.Kefeli, Valentine I. and Maria V. Kalevitch. 2003. ISBN 1-4020-1069-9.(Cloth US$118.00) 323 pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V. P. O. Box 989,3300 AZ Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Pests of the Native California Conifers. Wood, Davide L., ThomasW. Koerber, Robert F. Scharpf, and Andrew J. Storer. 2003. ISBN 0-520-23329-8(Paper US$19.98) 232 pp. University of California Press, 2120 BerkeleyWay, Berkeley, CA 94720.
Photobiology of Higher Plants. McDonald, Maurice S. 2003. ISBN0-470-85523-1 (Paper US$ 55.00) 354 pp. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, TheAtrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ, England.
Plant Derived Antimycotics: Current Trends and Future Prospects.Rai, M.K. and Donatella Mares (eds) 2003. ISBN 1-56022-927-6 (Paper US$69.95)588 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region: Mendocino to Monterey.Beidleman, Linda H. and Eugene N. Kozloff. 2003. ISBN 0-520-23172-4 (PaperUS$29.95) 584pp. University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley,CA 94720.
Primary Succession and Ecosystem Rehabil itation. Walker, LawrenceR. and Roger del Moral. 2003. ISBN 0-521-52954-9 (Paper US$50.00) 442 pp.Cambridge University Press, 40 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10011-4211.
Primula. Richards, John. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-580-2 (Cloth US$39.95)386 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450. Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Pteridology in the New Millennium. Chandra, Subhash and MrittunjaiSrivastava (eds.) 2003. ISBN 1-4020-1128-8 (Cloth USD $181.00) 520 pp.Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V. P.O. Box 989, 3300 AZ Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Pulmonaria and the Borage Family. Bennett, Masha. 2003. ISBN0-88192-589-6 (Cloth US$39.95) 240 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue,Suite 450. Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Slipper Orchids of Vietnam: With an Introduction to the Flora ofVietnam. Averyanov, Leonid, Phillip Cribb, Phan Ke Loc, Nguyen TienHiep. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-592-6 (Cloth US$49.95) 327 pp. Timber Press,133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450. P ortland, OR 97204-3527.
So You Want to Start a Nursery. Avent, Tony. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-584-5(Cloth US$24.95) 340 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450.Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Specialty Cut Flowers: The Production of Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs,and Woody Plants for Fresh and Dried Cut Flowers, 2nd ed.Armitage, Allan M. and Judy M. Laushman. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-579-9 (ClothUS$39.95) 636 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450. Portland,OR 97204-3527.
Weed Ecology in Natural and Agricultural Systems. Booth, B.D.,S.D. Murphy and C.J. Swanton. 2003. ISBN 0-85199-528-4 (Paper US$60.00)303 pp. CABI Publishing, 44 Brattle Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge,MA 02138.
All inquiries for the BSA Business Office should be directed to:
Executive Director: William Dahl and / or Administrative Coordinator:Wanda Lovan
Office hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 pm Central Time
President (from August 1): Linda E. Graham <email@example.com>
All inquiries about the Botany 2004 meeting (and any other future meeting)should be directed to:
always available to contributors to the
BSA Endowment Fund
Short sleeved T-shirts (100% cotton) Grey with small green logoon front, large purple and green logo on back.
Long sleeved T-shirts
Botany for the Next Millennium Poster s
All prices (except poster) include $2.00 for postage and handling.
Make checks payable to BSA Endowment Fund.Mail to: