PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 24, NUMBER 3, SEPTEMBER, 1978
Richard M. Klein, Editor, Department of Botany, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt. 05401
Jerry D. Davis - University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Anitra Thorhaug - Florida International University, Key Biscayne
Richard P. Wunderlin - University of South Florida, Tampa
Change of Address. Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America, Inc., Dr. Barbara D. Webster, Department of Agronomy & Range Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
Subscriptions for libraries and for persons not members of the Society can be obtained for $10.00 per year. Orders plus checks payable to "Botanical Society of America, Inc." should be sent directly to the Treasurer of the Society.
Manuscripts for the Plant Science Bulletin should be submitted to the editor. The Bulletin welcomes announcements, notes, notices and items of general interest to members of the Botanical Society and to the botanical community at large. No charge for inclusion of notices is made. Material submitted must be typed, double-spaced and in duplicate. Copy should follow the style of recent issues of the Bulletin.
Microfilms of the Plant Science Bulletin are available from University Microfilms, 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
The Plant Science Bulletin is published quarterly at the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05401. Second class' postage paid at Burlington, VT.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Socratic Teaching Method and Multi-Media Instruction
Citations for Awards, June 1978
Editorial and Financial Status, American Journal of Botany
News from the Sections
Meetings, Conferences, Courses
The Socratic Teaching Method and Multi-Media Instruction
Terry L. Hufford, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052
The pedagogy known as the Socratic Method has its roots in ancient Greece, and in its purest form is a method of discourse between participants. Socrates is alleged to have said, "I come not to teach but to learn along with you." Nicola (1976) advocates such a discussion method, and states:
What is the teacher's role? Is he there to teach the truth, to guard it jealously from contamination by error, or is he there to develop the critical and analytical faculty of the students, to train them in seeking the truth? . . . To a student (and to every human being) the most trivial truth that he himself discovers is worth more than the deepest wisdom that someone else imparts to him. A discussion does not teach by providing information, nor by clarifying points to participants, nor by answering their questions . . . It is a necessary presupposition in any genuine discussion that the search for answers is more important than the answers. A discussion teaches by stimulating each participant to think, to seek and create his own personal truth.
Diederich (1972) has said, "Discussion does not mean a mere exchange of questions and answers or the voicing of uninformed opinion. Rather, it means a closely reasoned consideration of several clearly related topics by students and teacher."
When fused with the Deweyan concept of education as inquiry, the discussion model finds strong support among some teachers of science. Advocates of inquiry and discovery learning often cite an ancient Chinese proverb to justify their view:
I hear . . . and I forget.
I see . . . and I remember.
I do . . . and I understand.
Discovery learning is viewed as providing the necessary structure upon which true knowledge is based (Bruner, 1960). Schwab (1960, 1962, 1963) is a strong supporter of the teaching of science as inquiry, and Beck (1952), Fish and Goldmark (1966), Gagne (1963), and Rutherford (1964), among others, discuss the role of inquiry in science teaching. Lampkin (1951) summarizes the ideas he considers to be important in scientific inquiry, a list far too extensive to be recounted here.
My approach to teaching general botany utilizes an observation-discussion method whereby the instructor assumes the role of questioner, feigns ignorance of the topic along with the students, and together, step by step, the students and instructor examine the evidence and arrive at a best inference based on that evidence. Thus, the student is led, by questions and discussion, to make critical evaluations of scientific evidence, and from these observations and evidence to arrive at inferences based upon causal relationships. The student must be given the opportunity to perform simple experiments, with more involved phenomena observed from demonstrations available in the classroom. As each class period involves the active participation of students, and requires the student to be constantly thinking rather than madly writing copious notes, long class periods are discouraged. I have found that five fifty minute periods each week are superior to the standard two or three one-hour lectures and one three-hour laboratory. Two contiguous forty-five minute class periods with a ten minute break in between, three times weekly, has also proven satisfactory. I utilize a textbook only as a supplement to classroom experiences, and ask that the student refer to it after the material has been discussed in the classroom. Thus, students are encouraged to make their own observations and draw their own conclusions, not depend on what is stated in the textbook. The textbook serves to enlarge upon observations made in the classroom, to provide additional details, and, at times, to provide additional, perhaps even conflicting, opinions or inferences. At times I will deliberately elicit faulty inferences or purposely make inferences at variance with the available information simply to help reinforce the students' ability to do their own thinking and arrive at their own conclusions and not simply rely on what others say, including their instructor. At times it is appropriate 10 allow the student to arrive at an incorrect inference, provided the inference appears valid for the information available. At a later time, based upon additional information, the student should realize the invalidity of his or her previous inference, and change it accordingly. Thus, the danger of drawing conclusions based upon limited information is demonstrated.
The observation-discussion approach is designed to help students arrive at concepts which are both reasonable and useable rather than to encourage memorization of definitions and dogma. Students should understand that our knowledge of plants, as it is with all biological knowledge, is really just a compilation of "best inferences" based upon current information. They should be better able to explain and understand, on the basis of cause and effect, botanical phenomena which are part of their everyday life. How much students may learn from the course is limited only by their capacity for critical observation, their knowledge of what can or cannot be done with experimental data, their ability to become accustomed with and use the inductive and deductive reasoning embodied in the scientific approach, and the time available to them for considering alternative points of view.
I do not advocate a pure Socratic approach, nor do I agree with Nicola (1976) that the search is necessarily more important than the answers. I believe that the discussion must be guided to some degree to be fruitful. But, I believe than an observation-discussion approach supplemented by lectures is far superior to teaching general botany totally by lectures, the latter termed by Schwab (1963) a "rhetoric of conclusions." Diederich (1972) states, "Instruction that relies excessively on lectures prevents students from learning the skills of effective criticism and discussion which are important in the work of scientists . . ." Schwab believes the lecture approach leads to several serious deficits. Most botanists seem to agree with Schwab, as few introductory botany courses consist of lectures only, except, perhaps, in non-major courses. Yet, few utilize the observation-discussion approach, preferring to utilize a lecture-laboratory form of instruction. This may be related to the fact that observation-discussion entails something of an inquiry or discovery approach. Lippincott (1972) questions whether the advantages of the discovery approach are outweighed by diminished utilization of the instructor's expertise, scientific perspective, teaching effectiveness, and intellectual maturity.
He is also somewhat skeptical about the kind of knowledge and attitudinal base provided. He states, "can apprentices, permitted to learn in this manner, ever be more than poor apprentices? Is the myth of inherent student sagacity enough an improvement over the myth of primacy of professional percipience to merit serious consideration?" Ausubel (1965) states, "It is . . . somewhat unrealistic to expect that subject-matter content can be acquired incidentally as a by product of problem-solving or discovery experience. . ." He continues, "The goals of the science student and the goals of the scientist are not identical. Hence students cannot learn science effectively by enacting the role of junior scientists." Wilson (1974) stresses the same theme. "One solution places the student in the role of the scientist. However, this neglects the requirement that the 'scientist' possess competence in scientific knowledge, experience in inquiry, ability to interpret data, recall of relevant facts, curiosity and persistence. As a result of his inadequacy, the learner often becomes an unproductive 'scientist' because he lacks these prerequisites."
The discussion approach has also been criticized by many biologists. It has been accused of being simplistic or insulting the intelligence of students, and most seriously, of being impractical and inefficient. It is judged to be impractical in that it is effective only for small class sizes, inefficient in that the period is used up in discussion of what students already know. Thus, little in the way of new information is offered. Of the various criticisms leveled against the discussion method, some obviously have merit. Others certainly can be argued against. The aspect of simplicity, is, I believe, in the eye of the beholder. To the professional mathematician, the notation of every manipulation used in solving a particular equation would seem totally unnecessary. Yet, to the novice it may be absolutely essential for understanding. Likewise, to a professional botanist, the step by step development of a particular inference or concept may seem overly simplistic, yet to many of the students, it may be necessary for a better understanding of that particular inference or concept. It is my experience that students are not insulted by being asked something that appears to be obvious, particularly when they know that the answer to the question is not an end in itself, but merely a means of getting at a more profound question. In addition, students are not always so well informed botanically as we sometimes believe. What should be obvious, in our views as instructors, is not always that obvious to the students.
The latter two criticisms, that the discussion method is impractical and inefficient, form the basis for this paper. I will direct myself to the latter criticism first. If one attempts to utilize a pure discussion approach to teaching general botany, I would agree with the criticism. The number of concepts that could be adequately discussed and developed in a single semester would be quite small. On the other hand, I believe that the attempt by some botanists to cover everything entailed in what we might term "modern botany" is likewise impractical. We should not try to make botanists out of our introductory students, but rather give them some knowledge of and appreciation for plants. Thus, the number of concepts to be developed must be carefully considered. Paramount of those considerations are: 1) what is the basic nature of plants, and; 2) what are their interactions and interrelationships with people? We should not be overly concerned about what a botanist should know. Those of our students that may be interested in becoming botanists will be taking many botany courses in which they will learn additional details and concepts. We do not have to try to give them in one semester. To the non-botanist, these additional concepts and details have little or no value, thus the students are unlikely to understand or retain them. If the general thrust of this argument is clear, one can deduce that I see little need for separate major and non-major introductory courses.
Given certain factual information must be presented, development of critical observation and thinking is a worth-while goal, along with the deficiencies of a pure lecture approach, and the inefficiency of a pure Socratic approach, it follows that a judicious blending of lecture and discussion would be most appropriate. If discussion is to be a part of our teaching methodology, we are still faced with the criticism of impracticality for large class sizes. I suggest that this problem can be alleviated through the use of audio and visual instrumentation. Through redesign of the lecture hall, those activities generally associated with laboratory can also be accomplished, albeit at a less complex or sophisticated level. Students can be seated behind narrow tables, 30 inches high, two feet wide, and eight feet long. Such an arrangement would be about 50% as space efficient as the usual chair with writing stand, but would allow for demonstration or experimental materials to be available to each student. Microscopic materials could be available to the student via closed circuit television. This is easily accomplished through video-microscope pairing. A second camera would be located at the back of the lecture hall and would focus on the instructor and on the front demonstration table. This camera could operate either remotely or utilize an operator. In addition to the microscope/television hookup, the front demonstration table would have a built-in overhead projector, plus a small TV monitor. Overhead monitors would be strategically located throughout the room. Behind the demonstration table would be a large screen for rear screen projection of slides and film. A room behind the screen would be utilized not only for the projectors, but also as a preparation and storage room. Revolving display boards could be located on either side and behind the demonstration table. High frequency microphones on drops, in conjunction with an amplifying system, would enable discussion among students and between student and instructor. The wide variety of audio and visual materials would allow for experimentation, demonstration, lecture and discussion. The ways in which these materials and equipment could be utilized would be limited only by the creativity of the instructor.
Ausubel, David P. 1965. An evaluation of the conceptual schemes approach to science curriculum development. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 3:255-264.
Beck, Lewis W. 1952. Philosophic Inquiry: An Introduction to Philosophy. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Bruner, Jerome. 1960. The Process of Education. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Diederich, Mary E. 1972. Materials to facilitate the use of discussion in science technology. J. Gen. Educ. 24:184-187.
Fish, A. S. and B. Goldmark. 1966. Inquiry method: three interpretations. Sci. Teach. 33:13-15.
Gagne, Robert M. 1963. The learning requirement for inquiry. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 1:144-153.
Lampkin, Richard H. 1951. Scientific inquiry for science teachers. Sci. Ed. 35:17-39.
Lippincott, W. T. 1972. Editorially speaking: Instructional innovation: questions and myths. J. Chem. Ed. 49:721.
Nicola, Michel. 1976. Teaching physical science from original sources by a discussion method. Amer. J. Physics 44:984-988.
Rutherford, F. J. 1964. The role of inquiry in science teaching. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 2:80-84.
Schwab, Joseph J. 1960. Inquiry, the science teacher, and the educator. Sci. Teach. 27:6-11.
--. 1962. The Teaching of Science as Enquiry. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
-- (Supervisor). 1963. Biology Teachers Handbook. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.
Wilson, John T. 1974. Processes of Scientific inquiry: A model for teaching and learning science. Sci. Ed. 58:127-133.
Citations for Awards, June 1978
These awards are made to persons judged to have made outstanding contributions to botanical science. The first awards were made in 1956 at the 50th anniversary of the Botanical Society, and one or more have been presented each year since that time. This year the Award Committee has selected four botanists who are eminently qualified to join the ranks of merit awardees.
To Lyman D. Benson, Pomona College
"for many years of outstanding teaching and close association with students; for his taxonomic research on the flora of North America, especially such groups as the Ranunculaceae and Cactaceae; and for his preparation of taxonomic and botanical textbooks."
To Theodore Delevoryas, University of Texas at Austin
"for distinguished contributions to Mesozoic paleobotany, especially to our knowledge of the cycadeoids, cycads and conifers and the elucidation of the reproductive structures of Glossopteris."
To Warren H. Wagner, Jr., University of Michigan
"for his numerous and outstanding contributions to our knowledge of the morphology, classification and evolution of ferns and for his most distinguished career as a teacher of botany to both undergraduate and graduate students."
To W. Gordon Whaley, University of Texas at Austin "in recognition of his early contributions to genetics and morphogenesis and of his pioneering role in elucidating the cellular biology of plants, with special reference to the Golgi apparatus."
This award is made for meritorius work in the study of microscopial algae. The recipients are selected by a Committee of the Botanical Society which bases its judgment primarily on papers published during the last two full calendar years.
To R. Malcolm Brown, Jr., University of North Carolina
"for his numerous innovative studies on microscopial algae, and especially for his recent investigations on cell wall synthesis as studied in Pleurochrysis and Oocystis. His other fine research contributions have been remarkably diverse, including studies on biochemical systematics, algal viruses, airborne algae, and sexual reproduction."
To Patricia L. Walne, University of Tennessee
"for her investigations on algal ultrastructure, particularly the Euglenophyceae, and for her significant contributions to the understanding of the structure and composition of the euglenoid eyespot."
HENRY ALLAN GLEASON AWARD
The Henry Allan Gleason Award of the New York Botanical Garden is given annually for an outstanding recent publication in the fields of plant taxonomy, plant ecology, or plant geography.
To Lyman B. Smith, Smithsonian Institution, and Robert Jack Downs, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
"for their monographs of the Bromeliaceae: Flora Neotropica Vol. 14 (1), Pitcairnioideae, and Vol. 14 (2), Tillansioideae. This monumental work is a landmark in neotropical taxonomy. The 1492 pages form the largest and most thorough monograph so far published in the Flora Neotropica series. This work will remain the definitive treatment of the Bromeliaceae for many years to come."
JESSIE M. GREENMAN AWARD
The Jessie M. Greenman Award is presented each year by the Alumni Association of the Missouri Botanical Gar- den. It recognizes the best paper in plant systematics based on doctoral dissertation published during the previous year.
The 11th annual award, in 1978, is to E. Hennipman of the Rijksherbarium in Leiden, Netherlands, for his paper entitled "A monograph of the fern genus Bolbitis (Lomariopsidae)" published by the Leiden University Press (Leiden Bot. Ser. 2).
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN AWARD
The New York Botanical Garden presents an award to the author of a recent publication making an outstanding contribution to the fundamental aspects of botany. The recipient is selected by a committee of the Botanical Society.
To Isabella A. Abbott, Hopkins Marine Station, and George J. Hollenberg, University of the Redlands
"for their book entitled Marine Algae of California, Stanford University Press. This book is a major contribution to practitioners and students of marine botany. It was a major task, taking ten years, to expand G. M. Smith's regional flora (448 species) to cover the entire state (669 species). This book places scholarly and botanically accurate information into a context that is very useful for the introductory student. The 891 drawings are exemplary. This book sets a high standard of excellence."
THE JEANETTE SIRON PELTON AWARD
The Jeanette Siron Pelton Award for sustained and imaginative productivity in the field of experimental plant morphology was established in 1969 by the Conservation and Research Foundation to honor the memory of the late Mrs. John F. Pelton. The Award consists of a $1,000 premium, to be given from time to time to a scientist nominated by the Botanical Society of America.
The fifth recipient of this Award is Brian Edgar Scourse Gunning, Professor in the Department of Developmental Biology at the Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. The many contributions of Dr. Gunning and his associates to the morphology of plastids, mitochondria, plasmodesmata, and microtubules have shed new light on the functions of these subcellular constituents in the physiology and development of the cells and tissues within which they are situated. Dr. Gunning's most recent studies on the growth and differentiation of the Azolla root are likely to become classics in the field of experimental plant morphogenesis.
RALPH E. ALSTON AWARD
Each year the Phytochemical Section presents the Ralph E. Alston Award of $100 for the best paper dealing with phytochemistry presented at the annual meetings. The 1978 award was presented to: Lowell Urbatsch, Louisiana State University, for his paper entitled "Flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones, and polyacetylenes from Tetragonotheca (Compositae: Heliantheae)."
ISABEL C. COOKSON PALEOBOTANICAL AWARD
Each year the Isabel C. Cookson Award is given for the best contributed paper in paleobotany or palynology presented at the annual meeting. The 1978 award was presented to: Edith Smoot, Ohio State University, for her paper "Phloem in the Lower Pennsylvanian Fern Etapteris."
GEORGE R. COOLEY AWARD
The George R. Cooley Award is given annually by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists for the best paper in plant systematics presented at the annual meetings. The 1978 award was presented to: Melinda Denton, University of Washington, for her paper entitled "Endemism and evolutionary divergence in the Sedum section Gormania complex (Crassulaceae)."
PHYSIOLOGICAL SECTION AWARD
Each year the Physiological Section of the Botanical Society of America presents an award for the best student paper dealing with physiology presented at the annual meeting. The 1978 award was presented to: Stephen M. Wolniak, University of California, Berkeley, for his paper entitled "Physiological studies on ciliary beat in bracken spermatozoids."
PTERIDOLOGICAL SECTION AWARD
Each year the Pteridological Section presents an award for the best paper dealing with any aspect of pteridology presented at the annual meeting. The 1978 award was presented to: Diane B. Stein, University of Massachusetts, and William F. Thompson, Carnegie Institution of Washington, for their paper entitled "Phylogenetic relationships in the Osmundaceae: Evidence from DNA Sequence Studies."
Editorial & Financial Status, American Journal of Botany
Summary Report from Ernest M. Gifford Jr., Editor-in-Chief
1. The Journal received 261 manuscripts between 1 July 1977-30 June 1978. To date, 53 have been published, 80 are in the editorial process, 10 are in press, 14 were rejected and 4 were withdrawn.
2. The average time between submission of manuscript and publication is 6-8 months compared with 11-12 months for 1975-1976.
3. Thirteen SHORT COMMUNICATIONS have been published and others are in review or in press. Four
SPECIAL PAPERS have been published and one is in press.
4. The American Journal of Botany revised policy on editorial charges is as follows: Editorial charges will be assessed at $50.00 per page for the first sixteen printed pages and at full production cost (ca. $100.00 per page) for those printed pages in excess of sixteen. However, each member of the Botanical Society of America will have a credit of sixteen free pages per volume. Credit is not accumulative. Each author of a multiple-author paper must be a member of the Botanical Society of America. For papers with multiple authorship, the assignment of pages against the sixteen page credit will be divided equally among authors. No single article should exceed sixteen printed pages.
Authors do have the option of paying the editorial charges for all or some of their 16 page limit, per volume, at the rate of $50.00 per printed page.
The expression "editorial charge" replaces the term "page charge".
This new policy will apply to manuscripts received in the Editorial Office on or after July 1, 1978.
Summary Report from Richard A. Popham, Business Manager
1. Pages published . . . . . . . . . . 1,366
Cost per page . . . . . . . . . . . . $104.18
Copies printed . . . . . . . . . . . . 66,000
Cost per copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2.16
2. Total receipts . . . . . . $185,190.70
Total Disbursements . . .$142,303.15
Net increase . . . . . . . . . .$ 42,887.55
Balance from 12/31/76 . . . . . . . . . . . $229,397.46
Excess from 111/77 to 11/31/77 . . . . $ 42,887.55
Total balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $272,285.01
3. Bot. Soc. member distribution . . . . . . . . . 2,623
Subscriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,952
4. The Journal has chosen not to bill the Botanical Society for $20,000 for members subscriptions as authorized by the Council. This means that all member's dues accrue to the benefit of the general treasury of the Society; none of it being paid to the Journal in 1978. The Business manager recommends that the Society appropriate $20,000 for the Journal for 1979.
NEWS FROM THE SECTIONS
Economic Botany Section
The council of the Society has authorized the establishment of an Economic Botany Section and the council of the Society for Economic Botany has endorsed the formation of the new Section. Founders of the Section wish to develop a list of interested members. Those wishing to be included in the Economic Botany Section of the Botanical Society should notify Dr. John H. Beaman, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824. There is no limitation on the number of Sections with which a member of the Society can affiliate.
In May of this year, the Developmental Section distributed a questionnaire asking for the thoughts of section members on the functions of this Section, improvements for the annual meetings, and activities of the Society. Approximately 20% of the membership replied and the results were distributed and discussed at the annual business meeting of the Section in 1978. Copies of the tallied results have been supplied to officers of the Society and
copies may be obtained from Judith Croxdale, Biology Department, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, V A 24061. The membership suggested improved communication throughout the year via a newsletter or the Plant Science Bulletin and expressed a desire for a sectional membership list. General approval of the activities at the annual meeting was expressed with expansion of workshops, better scheduling of poster sessions and a reduction in the frequency of symposia.
The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, P.O. Box 1334, Alpine TX 79830 announces the James Rorick Cravens Scholarship to support studies by a graduate student in some aspect of botany, particularly as it pertains to drought-related problems including erosion control, air-land productivity, development of drought-resistant plants and greater understanding of the native flora of the region. Applications should be sent to the James Rorick Cravens Scholarship Committee at the Institute.
The Kenneth Spencer Research Library of the University of Kansas is showing a major exhibit of book commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of Carl Linnaeus. The exhibit will be open from April to September 1978 and will include some 2,000 books by and about Linnaeus. Dr. Jerry Stannard, Professor of the History of Science has prepared a small publication to accompany the exhibit.
The New York State Museum announces the first in a series, Contributions to a Flora of New York State. The first volume, Polygonaceae of New York State by R. S. Mitchell and J. K. Dean (NYS Museum Bulletin 431). This and subsequent volumes in the series will be available from the Gift & Exchange Section, N.Y. State Library, Albany, NY 12230 for $2.50.
Dr. Peter J. Smith, Reader in Earth Sciences, The Open University, Walton, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, England announces the launching of a new, international, non-profit quarterly magazine called Open Earth, reporting the earth sciences. Contributions of short articles, reviews, basic principles and book reviews will be included. The first issue (a sample) can be obtained at a cost of £ 1.00 (sterling) from the Subscription Department, Open Earth 32 St. James Close, Hanslope, Milton Keynes MK19 7 LP, England.
Dr. Jack B. Fisher, Fairchild Tropical Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL 33156 has collected fresh seeds of Drimys granadensis var Mexicana (DC) Smith on Volcan Poas, Costa Rica at 2300 m. Since this species cannot be grown in Miami, he is offering small quantities to any botanical institution that might wish to have a living member of the Winteraceae in their collection. The trees grow in a cool but mild temperate climate.
Blackwell Scientific Publications, Ltd. announces the publication of volume 1, number 1 of a new journal, Plant, Cell and Environment. The Editor is Prof. Harry Smith, University of Nottingham.
The Kentucky Foundation for Botanical Research is now receiving grant applications for 1978-1979. A sum of $500 will be available to support student research in any area of botany for research conducted within the Commonwealth. Applications or inquiries should be sent to Dr. Joe E. Winstead, Department of Biology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, COURSES
A SYMPOSIUM ON SYSTEMATICS AND ULTRA-STRUCTURE to include both plants and animals will be held 27-30 December 1978 as a part of the meeting of the American Society of Zoologists and the American Microscopical Society in Richmond, VA. Contact Dr. Seth Taylor, Department of Zoology, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04473.
THE 10TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON PLANT GROWTH SUBSTANCES under the auspices of the International Plant Growth Substances Association will be held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison on 23-26 July 1979. Contact Dr. F. Skoog, Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
THE 11TH MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STRATIGRAPHIC PALYNOLOGISTS will be held on 24-28 October 1978 in Phoenix, AZ. Symposia on pollen analyses of Solocene deposits, micro-floral evidence of the Pennsylvania-Permian boundary and field trips will be presented. Contact Dr. James C. Canright, Department of Botany, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281.
THE XIII INTERNATIONAL BOTANICAL CONGRESS will be held on 21-28 August 1981 in Sydney, Australia. The first circular will be mailed in August 1979. Send names and full address on a postcard to the executive secretary, Dr. W. J. Cram, 13th International Botanical Congress, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
THE ORGANIZATION FOR TROPICAL STUDIES is offering its 16th year of graduate courses in tropical Science. Field oriented, intensive courses at the graduate level will be given. Contact Organization for Tropical Studies, P.O. Box DM, Duke Station, Durham, NC 27706.
THE FIFTH AFRICAN SYMPOSIUM OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS will be held 27 November 1978 to 2 December in Khartoum, Sudan. Contact Dr. A. T. Abdul Haffez, Department of Horticulture, University of Khartoum, Shambat, Sudan.
THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON POLLINATION will be held in October 1978. Contact Dr. C. D. M. Caron, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 29742.
A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENTS WORKING CONFERENCE will be held at the University of Wisconsin on 12-14 March 1979. The conference will identify critical aspects of controlled environments for plant research, and is sponsored by the Biotron, UWisc, the North Central Research Committee, the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and a Working Group on Growth Chambers. Contact Dr. T. W. Tibbitts, Horticulture Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.
AN ASSIST ANT PROFESSOR in wood science or structural botany is being sought by the Department of Wood Products Engineering, SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. A Ph.D. is required and the successful applicant will teach properties and identification of domestic and foreign woods, will
supervise activities of the Tropical Timber Information Center and will conduct research in wood anatomy and identification. Closing date for applications is 30 September 1978, position to be filled by 1 January 1979. Resume, three letters of recommendation and curriculum vitae should be sent to Prof. R. W. Davidson, Chairman, Department of Wood Products Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY 13210.
AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR in the areas of molecular, cellular or developmental botany is being sought by the University of Virginia. Post-doctoral experience is highly desirable. By 1 November 1978, candidates should send a curriculum vita and a summary of research plans plus three letters of recommendation to Dr. L. I. Rebhun, Faculty Search Committee, Department of Biology, Gilmer Hall,
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22901.
AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR in plant physiology is being sought by the Department of Botany, North Carolina State University. The successful candidate will teach under-graduate and graduate courses in plant physiology in cooperation with other physiologists, will develop a personal research program preferably in some aspect of photosynthesis, will direct graduate students and serve on graduate student advisory committees. A Ph.D. in plant physiology, demonstrated abilities or promise in instruction and research are required. Preference will be given candidates with post-doctoral experience and familarity with biochemtical experimentation. Resume, brief statement of research interest, official transcripts and three letters of recommendation should be sent to Dr. R. C. Fites, Chairperson of the arch Committee, Department of Botany, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Dr. Lexemuel R. Hesler, Professor Emeritus and formerly head of the Department of Botany and Dean of Liberal Arts at the University of Tennessee, died 20 November 1977 at age 89. A library memorial fund has been established at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in his honor.
Dr. George H. M. Lawrence, founding director of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation of Carnegie-Mellon University died on 11 June 1978 at his home in East Greenwich, RI.
Mrs. Roxana S. Ferris, Curator Emeritus in the Dudley Herbarium of Stanford University died in her home in Palo Alto on 30 June 1978 at the age of 83.
DR. LOUIS G. NICKELL has become vice president for research and development of Velsicol Chemical Corp. of Chicago, IL.
DR. KNUT NORSTOG, recently Professor of Botany at Northern Illinois University, has been appointed Research Associate at Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, FL 33156.
DR. BARRY H. GOOD has joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans, LA. He received the Ph.D. at Louisiana State University with a dissertation in phycology under the direction of Dr. Russell L. Chapman.
DR. WALTER S. FLORY, Babcock Professor of Botany, Wake Forest University, has been named Herbert Medalist of the American Plant Life Society for 1978. Dr. Flory was also the 1978 recipient of the Association of Southeastern Biologists Research Prize.
DR. WILBUR H. DUNCAN has retired as Professor of Botany and Curator of the Herbarium at the University of Georgia.
DR. SAMUEL B. JONES has been appointed as Curator of the University Herbarium at the University of Georgia effective 1 July 1978.
PILET, P. E. (ed.) Plant Growth Regulation. Springer-Verlag, New York. 1977. 305 pp., 128 illust. $28.20.
Every 3-5 years an "International Conference on Plant Growth Substances" has been held. This book gives some of the reports from the most recent one, held in Switzerland in 1976. This book marks a sharp break with past Conference publications, which were massive volumes containing many brief, unreviewed reports based on the staggering number of short talks given at the conferences. A growing recognition of the fact that science needs fewer, rather than more, channels for publication of unreviewed articles, coupled with the difficulty of persuading publishers to print such a hodge-podge led to the improvements seen in "Plant Growth Regulation." Although the articles are still apparently unreviewed, they were reduced in number to 30 by printing only the texts of the main lectures--the content of the previously overwhelming number of short talks being given at the Conference only as Poster Sessions (here referred to only by title, author and institution). This sensible restriction not only reduces the total pages, but allowed the book to appear one year after the Conference instead of two or three years later.
The 30 papers published are typically from laboratories that have worked on their problems for many years and tend to be reviews of each specific laboratory's efforts. This has two major consequences: 1) few laboratory groups are so large and so productive that they will have entirely new things to say in a major address every three years--hence, much of this material has been published before; 2) the emphasis on the publications of one laboratory means that the articles cannot be used as scholarly syntheses of the various topics. However, as summaries of what the leaders of various important laboratories have been thinking and doing, the book has real value.
This publication, therefore, marks a significant step in the right direction. My hope is that the International group will go one step further and either insist upon outside reviewing of the articles or--better yet--encourage the authors to publish in already established journals. The only disadvantage to the latter course is that it deprives the organizer of each Conference of the reward of being editor of the Conference book. But surely there must be some more appropriate way of expressing appreciation for the yeoman service provided by Professor Pilet in organizing the beautifully run Lausanne Conference.
William P. Jacobs, Princeton University
THIMANN, K. V. Hormone Action in the Whole Life of Plants. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst. 1977. 488 pp.
In this highly personal account, Thimann summarizes the current status of our understanding of the roles of plant hormones in the growth and development of plants. Certainly it is very fitting that Thimann, a leader in the field of plant hormone research for nearly fifty years, be the first to bring together in one volume the diverseness and the unity of hormone activity in controlling the growth and development of higher plants. The volume was the result of a lecture course given while Thimann was a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts. Since this volume was an outgrowth of a lecture series, the format allows Thimann to include observations, which provide great insight into the understanding of phenomena dealing with hormone physiology, that otherwise would have been omitted in a straightforward account.
In fourteen chapters, topics treated include: seed germination, cell enlargement and differentiation, polarity and transport of auxin, geotropism, phototropism, organ differentiation and development (roots, leaves, flowers and fruits), apical dominance, abscission, senescence, and hormone chemistry. The approach used by Thimann is that of providing both the historical and the currents concerning a particular phenomenon without dwelling heavily upon documentation in the literature. As a result, ideas flow smoothly and provide the reader with an adequate basis for clear understanding of a given topic. If this volume has any shortcomings, it may be in the author's tendency to emphasize the role of auxin as compared to the treatment given the other hormones. However, this is not a serious criticism, for the volume is a highly successful effort to integrate all areas of plant hormone physiology. It should be of great value not only to the upper level undergraduate student in the field of botany but to the graduate and professionals of the discipline.
Rex E. Kerstetter, Furman University
CHAPMAN, V. J. Coastal Vegetation. 2nd Edition. Pergamon Press, Inc., New York. 1976. 292 pp. Paper cover $9.50; hard cover $17.50.
This book is an excellent treatment of descriptive and fundamental ecological aspects of six types of coastal plant communities: littoral algal vegetation, salt marshes, sand dune vegetation, mangrove swamps, shingle beach and coastal cliff vegetation. Examples cited are primarily those of the English coast. Inclusion of new information regarding the coasts of North America and northern Europe as stated in the preface to the second edition is poorly done. A serious omission is the absence of any treatment of seagrasses or other submerged angiosperms, which inhabit extensive near-shore areas in the North Atlantic. An obvious and major deficiency also occurs in the citation of the more recent literature on salt marshes. Tidal marshes have recently received much concentrated research resulting in an eruptive and vast literature. These apparent shortcomings are perhaps a blessing in disguise. The basic information, as presented in the first edition, has remained essentially unchanged. Original formats are often lost due to extensive expansion or revision.
The value of the book lies in the synthesis of the earlier literature and the concise presentation of the basic compositional, developmental and ecological features of coastal plant communities which are applicable to coasts throughout the world. For this reason the book should be required reading for the serious student of marine and coastal botany and is of considerable value to those in related fields.
Lionel N. Eleuterius, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS 39564
ELLENBERG, HEINZ, K. ESSER, H. M?RXMULLER, E. SCHNEPF, AND H. ZIEGLER (eds.). Progress in Botany, Volume 38. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York. 1976. 377 pp., illust. $49.20.
The first 35 volumes of this series were published under the title Forstschritt der Botanik and all the articles were in German. More recently most, but not all, of the contributions to the volumes have been in English. Another change involves the use of photographic reproduction of typeset instead of letter press and conventional printing.
As in previous volumes, an "Annual Review" type approach in the areas of morphology, physiology, genetics, taxonomy and geobotany is utilized and, to that extent, a wide range of topics is covered. But I have never felt the series provided a useful service that was not achieved in other existing publications, and the current volume has not caused me to change my mind. The reviews are very short and the writing is all too often "telegraphic" in style. Moreover, the literature citations which are dropped into the text in BLOCK CAPITALS had a curiously distracting effect on me. Although complete page numbers are provided in the references, titles are not. Not unexpectedly, the literature citations are not up to date despite the production technique.
In view of the, to me, incredible price, I cannot in good conscience recommend libraries that do not already have a "standing order" subscription to start now.
A. D. Krikorian, State University of New York at Stony Brook
HUTCHINSON, G. EVELYN. A Treatise on Limnology. Vol. 3, Limnological Botany. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
This volume contains chapters 27 through 32 of Hutchinson's monumental work and is devoted to the charophytes, bryophytes, vascular plants, benthic algae, and lichens associated with freshwater lakes. The organization of the book is similar to that of previous vo1umes and is very well indexed. For those who are unfamiliar with a particular organism cited in the text, its taxonomic relationship (family for angiosperms, class for algae and bryophytes) may be found in the index to genera and species.
The first chapter, "Lower Rooted Vegetation," is devoted to charophytes and aquatic bryophytes. It is amusing to find very precise ecological nomenclature used throughout the book and then to encounter an anatomical term applied loosely. There is very detailed account of the taxonomy, physiology and ecology of the charophytes with interesting information on their odor and their antagonistic effects on mosquito larvae. With the exception of Sphagnum, there is comparatively little information on the ecology of aquatic bryophytes and this would seem to be a fruitful area for future research.
Chapter 28 contains a taxonomic survey of important aquatic vascular plants and is accompanied by sketches illustrating most genera. The drawings, while useful in illustrating growth forms, are lacking in critical detail and certainly should not be used as an aid in the identification of aquatic plants. Following the taxonomic presentation, ecological classifications are discussed and a detailed system is presented for categorizing the plants on the basis of their general habit and form; 26 different growth forms are recognized. Although some attempt is made to relate growth forms to the general ecology of the plants in this and subsequent chapters, the utility of such a detailed system for most ecologists would seem questionable.
Chapter 29 is a wide-ranging presentation of topics which might generally be considered under the heading of physiological ecology. Photosynthesis, respiration, water relations, and seed germination are discussed as well as the intriguing phenomenon of heterophylly. A section on the dispersal of water plants and the spread of introduced species is also included.
Hutchinson considers the "chemical ecology" of aquatic plants in Chapter 30. Uptake of materials, including much information on the charophytes, is presented first. Physiological details on the mechanisms of ion uptake seem rather esoteric in a volume on aquatic ecology but the section on water vs. sediments as a source of nutrients is of general interest. A lengthy and detailed section on the chemical composition (inorganic and organic) of aquatic plants follows. Although the potential of aquatic plants selectively to accumulate inorganic ions is of great importance in this age of nuclear technology, the amount of space devoted to elements of questionable biological significance seems unnecessary. Alkaloids and related substances receive special attention in the section on organic compounds. The final topic of the chapter is concerned with the factors which are responsible for hard water and soft water floras.
Chapter 31 opens with a section on vertical zonation and the factors responsible for the differential distribution of plants within a lake. Mechanical action of wind and water, pressure, light, and nature of the substratum are discussed. A descriptive account of the floras of specific lakes is included in the second section, and includes many vegetation maps taken from the original papers. The last section deals with the various attempts to classify aquatic communities and the difficulties encountered in defining associations of aquatic plants.
The last chapter provides a review of the benthic algae, a group which has received little attention in comparison with the phytoplankton. Zonation, vertical migration, colonization of natural and artificial substrates, and the relationships to water chemistry are discussed. A short section on the lichen flora of the littoral zone concludes the chapter.
This volume, like those preceding it, contains a wealth of factual information. It serves as an excellent guide to the literature, much of it published while the manuscript was in preparation. The main weakness, in the reviewer's opinion, is that it suffers from a preoccupation with detail and there is too little attention paid to providing a general perspective. The summary sections at the end of each chapter are often a reiteration of factual information with little integration or summarizing. In an area where so much information is available, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, and I found this volume to be of little help in that respect. Nevertheless, this will undoubtedly stand as one of the major contributions to aquatic botany for some years.
Philip W. Cook,University of Vermont
MORTON, JULIA F. Major Medicinal Plants--Botany, Culture and Uses. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL. 1977. 431 pp. illust. $49.50.
The past five to ten years have witnessed an upsurge of interest in natural products for bioactive substances among many persons, scientific and the lay public. Concomitantly, there has been an attempt by many to fill a void in the available literature for information that was scientifically accurate yet acceptable to a diverse audience. Unfortunately, the majority of these have failed in one or both of these thrusts. This is not the case with Dr. Morton's excellent treatise. She has combined scientific data (635 references) in a format that is highly utilizable to many.
The text is categorized into twenty-eight plant families and in each section she thoroughly discusses the alterations, geographical distribution, chemical constituents, economic uses and often times the toxicity of plants in the family. The book is supplemented with 92 black and white and 16 color illustrations as well as two appendices, one devoted to once official natural products and one devoted to natural products which are pharmaceutical aids or adjuncts. The information in each section is colorfully flavored with the history of primitive and foreign uses of many of the plants and should serve as an invaluable source of information for many readers.
The only limitations of the book are that some of the illustrations could have been more precise but nonetheless they still are sufficient. A few times there are references to current medical usage which may be slightly dated. Neither of these demean this otherwise valuable reference.
Dr. Morton has made a significant contribution to the area of natural products by supplementing currently available texts. This book will be a most valued ally to anyone interested in medicinal plants.
George H. Constantine, Oregon State University
TIPPO, OSWALD AND WILLIAM L. STERN. Humanistic Botany. W. W. Norton and Co., Inc., New York. 1977. $13.95. (A "Teacher's Manual" is available to instructors upon request.)
Humanistic Botany is a textbook designed for an undergraduate, general botany course for non-science majors. In addition to presenting a simplified introduction to general botany, the authors summarize in seven chapters plants that have had a significant impact on man's life. After general comments on the nature of botany, three chapters sketch the fundamentals of the biology of plants, of their naming and classification and of the nature of the cell. Succeeding chapters provide an overview of the importance of wood, poisonous plants, marijuana, medicinal plants, plant hallucinogens, food plants and spices. A survey of the plant kingdom from algae through seed plants follows. Chapters on the fundamentals and history of genetics and evolution are followed by two chapters describing the lives and contributions of the most notable leaders in the respective fields, Mendel and Darwin. Two chapters deal with ecology and man's environment. A chapter on botanical exploration brings the text to a close. A glossary with simple definitions of terms and a general index are located at the end.
Each chapter is organized into sections with important terms and concepts in bold print. A brief list of suggested readings with some annotations follows. This list could have been expanded to give interested students more direct references on specific topics. A very helpful addition to each chapter is a list of plant names so that the student can have access to the scientific names and families of the plants referred to in the text by common names. The book is illustrated with black and white and color photos as well as with clear line drawings. Each chapter includes interesting features that make the subject matter more relevant, such as significance of wood anatomy in the trial of the convicted kidnaper-murderer of the Lindbergh child; and a brief history of the controversy over the teaching of evolution in the American educational system. The reviewer recognizes the difficulty in trying to mesh basic botanical knowledge with interesting and appealing information about the importance of plants to man--the line must be drawn on what is to be covered and in what depth. Nonetheless, some additions would enhance the usefulness of the text.
This book is directed toward the non-specialist, with its overview of the field of botany and its emphasis on the importance of plants to man. This "humanistic" approach to the plant sciences is an attempt to "present a small segment of ethnobotany . . . the utility of plants". This narrower segment should be properly recognized as economic botany. Ethnobotany encompasses all aspects of the interactions between plants and man, not just man's utilization of certain plants. Despite confusing this point, the authors emphasize two important fundamentals of ethnobotany: 1) it is an interdisciplinary study, and 2) it is concerned with the activities of members of primitive societies as well as activities of peoples of advanced societies and nations.
Although the writers must be selective in the topics they present, a few additions would strengthen the book. Coffee, cotton, grapes, and fossil fuel are important vegetal resources which affect us daily. The role of plants in cancer research could help place modern studies of medicinal plants into perspective. Brief discussion of the main concepts of classification of life (e.g., two-kingdom versus five-kingdom systems) would be useful. Placing the specific ecological concepts in the context of the fundamental principles of ecological studies, energy flow and material cycles, could unify the ecology chapter.
Tippo and Stern have given us a book which not only meets the goal of presenting botany to non-science students but also brings about an awareness of the importance of plants to man's past, present and future. Although the amount of classical botanical knowledge presented in Humanistic Botany is limited, significance of the plant kingdom in the daily and special events of man's life and history are demonstrated. Botany students and teachers will find it worthwhile to read as will non-science students.
Robert A. Bye, Jr., University of Colorado
BARZ, W., E. REINHARD, AND M. H. ZENK (eds.). Proceedings in Life Sciences: Plant tissue culture and its bio-technological application. (Proceedings of the First International Congress on Medicinal Plant Research, Section B, held at the University of Munich, Germany, September 6-10, 1976). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg. 1977. 419 pp., 196 figures. $38.80.
The aim of the First International Congress on Medicinal Plant Research and the publication of its proceedings was "to offer a worldwide overview of the present situation in the field of technological application of plant cell cultures." The contents of the proceedings are arranged to include: (1) cell cultures and secondary products, (2) biochemistry, physiology, and regulatory aspects, (3) catabolism, ( 4 ) general and analytical techniques, and (5) regeneration and organogenesis. Coverage under these five categories ranged from broad, general review type presentations to very specific papers on quite restricted topics.
Although the entire text affords worthwhile reading for those interested in this field, several papers are worth special mention. The opening paper by Tabata entitled "Recent advances in the production of medicinal substances by plant cell cultures" is a good, concise summary of the topic and an excellent choice as the introductory paper. The paper by Weiler entitled "Radioimmunoscreening methods for secondary plant products" gives details of the use of radioimmunoassay (RIA) and autoradiographic immunoassays (IRIA) in detecting plant products and paints a bright picture for their potential in rapidly screening and selecting whole plants and plant cultures for increased productivity. The sensitivity of the tests is such that they can be used for measurement at the cellular level. The specificity results in simplification of the test system permitting direct measurements in crude extracts, nutrient solutions, etc., even when structurally related compounds are present in the test. The use of this highly sensitive, specific technique is clearly demonstrated in the article by Zenk and his colleagues entitled "Formation of the indole alkaloids Serpentine and Ajmalicine in cell suspension cultures of Catharanthus roseus." The system used dramatically shows the quantitative advantage which can be attained with tissue culture systems over the use of intact plants.
The methodology, stages through which one must go, the parameters to be evaluated, and the future prospects for clonal propagation of crops through tissue culture techniques are clearly outlined by Murashige, the outstanding
authority on this subject. An excellent practical presentation by Noguchi et al. entitled "Improvement of growth rates of plant cell cultures" allows an optimistic outlook with respect to large-scale culture of plant cells. J. M. Widholm provides an excellent update on biochemical mutants discussed under four general areas: (1) auxotrophic mutants, (2) autotrophic mutants, (3) visually selected mutants, and (4) resistance mutants (by far the largest section).
The biotransformation by plant cell cultures section contains two articles, one on cardiac glyosides by A. W. Alfermann and colleagues and one on steroids by S. J. Stohs. The techniques section contains articles on plating of plant cells, freeze preservation, bioreactors and chemostats, and radioimmunoassay techniques. Excellent technical and geographic coverage of somatic hybridization is made in papers by Gamborg (Canada), Galun and co-workers (Israel), Eriksson (Sweden), Potrykus and colleagues (Switzerland), Straub (Germany), and Repaepe and co-workers (France).
This volume is a valuable asset to the library of all plant tissue and cell culture laboratories, both as a working and as a reference volume.
Louis G. Nickell, W. R. Grace &Co.
AYENSU, E. S. AND R. A. DeFILIPPS. Endangered and Threatened Plants of the United States. Smithsonian Institution and World Wildlife Fund, Inc., Washington, D.C. 1978. xv + 403 pp.
This is a second, updated series of lists of endangered and threatened vascular plants of the U.S. It has been prepared by the Smithsonian Institution in its advisory role to the Department of the Interior, which is responsible for publishing lists of plants and animal species and subspecies to be protected under the terms of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The organization of the book is clear and reference to the information simple. The bulk of the book comprises lists of 90 extinct, 840 endangered, and 1,210 threatened taxa of the continental U.S., arranged by family and by state. The separate Hawaiian list is more detailed than the others; it enumerates the islands from which each species has been reported. Plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are also included, and there is a list of endangered and threatened species which are commercially exploited. The authors stress that the treatment is not a compendium of separate state lists; plants which are rare in one state but abundant in another will generally not be included. Curiously, plants which are rare in the U.S. and are known to occur elsewhere, but in unknown numbers, are not listed. This policy insures the purity of the lists, but may leave many rare species unmentioned. An enumeration of such species would at least begin the evaluation of their vulnerability.
The book also includes brief discussions of the history of the U.S. government's role in protection of endangered and threatened species, how the lists were developed and may be used, biological and cultural aspects of extinction and conservation, and plans and recommendations for achieving the goals of the Endangered Species Act. The text stresses the ongoing nature of the project; habitat destruction and other human activities will necessiate continued review of each plant's status.
Jerrold I. Davis, University of Washington
ARNETT, JR., ROSS H. AND GEORGE F. BAZINET, JR. Plant Biology--A Concise Introduction, 4th edition. C. V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, Missouri. 1977. 553 pp., 450 illust. $10.75.
The authors have completely rewritten several chapters and have attempted to emphasize the relationship of botany to the world's food supply and the "need to preserve in ecological harmony all forms of life". These objectives are reasonably well achieved. The text is organized in rather conventional fashion including a brief introduction to classification and science followed by the usual review of chemistry and a study of the cell. The diversity of plants is treated in about six chapters involving slightly less than 100 pages. The energy section is at about the right level for freshman botany and includes several good pathway diagrams to help the student visualize energy flow through plants. The anatomy section is concise, but covers this information adequately. Flowering plants are used almost exclusively to illustrate reproduction, growth and development, and plant genetics. The genetics chapter is well done as is the sections on evolution and ecology. A chapter on plants and man is very useful to help the student relate botany to his personal life and the emphasis here is very good. Two appendices, one on classification and one on plant life cycles, plus an extensive glossary provide some overall organizers and good reference for students who may have had little previous experience in botany. Overall the text is well written and easy to read. At the end of each chapter there are questions and problems which, in effect, serve as objectives; discussions for learning, useful as thought-provoking activities; and a reasonable size list of additional readings for the student who wishes to investigate any of these subjects further. I think it is a good book.
S. N. Postlethwait, Purdue University
GREGORY, RICHARD P. F. Biochemistry of Photosynthesis, 2nd Edition. John Wiley and Sons Ltd., London. 1977. 221 pp., illust.
This book is easy to read. The explanations of phonomena related to photosynthesis are clear and concise, yet simple. Documentation is excellent. Gregory has a good grasp of both light and dark aspects of photosynthesis and has been able to put together a short text encompassing these two disparate subjects.
There are, as in any book of this type, a few mistakes. Carboxylase, for example, sometimes makes up 50% of soluble stromal protein, but never 50% of whole leaf soluble protein. Some figures have been taken from journal articles with insufficient explanation. But the major problem is that the book is already out of date. In the two years that have passed since the manuscript was sent to the publishers, many advances have been made in the study of photosynthesis. Advanced students (and active researchers) will do better to go straight from their biochemistry or plant physiology text to current reviews. Unfortunately, the price is too high ($19.50) for most biology undergraduate students and there is no cheaper paperback version. This book should be in every college and university library especially for the benefit of these students.
Louise E. Anderson, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle
LITTLE, ELBERT L., JR. Atlas of United States Trees. Minor Eastern Hardwoods. Volume 4. United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1977. 17 pp. text, 230 pp. maps. $8.75.
This volume is the fourth of a five-volume Atlas with maps showing the range of the native tree species of continental United States. Volume I, "Conifers and Important Hardwoods", Volume 2, "Alaska Trees and Common Shrubs", and Volume 3, "Minor Western Hardwoods" have been completed. To be finished at a later date is Volume 5, "Florida Trees".
Volume 4 contains 8 by 11 inch maps of 166 tree species found in the east not treated in previous volumes. All species are represented on a base map of the eastern United States by brown shading at a scale of 1: 10,000,000. A base map of North America is added for those species whose range extends out of the eastern United States. Small populations outside of the main range are shown by small brown circles, and an X indicates where one of these populations has recently become extinct.
The maps of the Atlas show clearly where woody species grow in the wild. A number of practical applications are possible the maps suggest possible sources of wood and other economical products, they show where seeds may be obtained, and they show where the species can be found for study. The Atlas should prove important especially to foresters, but should also be of value to anyone else working with trees.
James Vogelmann, Indiana University
WOODCOCK, C. F. L. (ed.) Progress in Acetabularia Research. Academic Press. 1977. 344 pp. $18.00.
This volume represents a series of 26 papers resulting from the 1976 Acetabularia meetings at Amherst. Like most publications of this type there is the inevitable unevenness in quality and style, but happily there is little overlap of material.
There is a lot of new and interesting material here, but there is also some repetition of previously published data and instances of earlier data padded up for republication. The two papers from the Bonotto Laboratory (pgs. 195, 219) could well have been combined. The paper on phototropism (pg. 241) adds little really new information to this subject. This reviewer in fact believes that preliminary results that will probably appear elsewhere at a later date in complete form, and isolated results should not be placed in a publication of this type. The scientific literature is voluminous enough.
The usefulness of this volume will obviously depend upon the reader's interests and hopes. To those who do not work with Acetabularia, the most interesting chapters could be expected to be those that relate to the whole organism or those that emphasize the elegance of Acetabularia as an experimental organism. The chapters that interested this reviewer the most, were those by Koop, Green et al., Apel, Schmid, Gibor and HoursiangouNeubrun.
Some criticisms: In Niemayers' paper, English legends should have been used in the figures. The culture instructions given on pages 326, 327 are the most complex and confusing that this reviewer has seen for a relatively simple medium. Is that necessary? There are some typographical errors, e.g., thylacoids for thylakoids, cygote for zygote, Arena for Avena, mediteranea for mediterranea (throughout one chapter!). But in this type of rapid manuscript reproduction which has obvious advantages, these are to be expected.
Despite these criticisms and negative aspects, this volume has much to recommend it. Acetabularia workers should and will acquire it. Those interested in Acetabularia as an experimental organism might consider acquiring it. Phycologists and cell biologists should certainly peruse it. There is much to stimulate an active researcher.
David J. Chapman, University of California, Los Angeles
CLARKE, C. B. Edible and Useful Plants of California. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1977. 280 pp., incl. figs., 8 color plates. $5.95. Paper.
This is a valuable addition to the California Natural History Guides series as number 41. Ms. Clarke explains how to prepare as well as find the plants she discusses. Prior to this publication a plant would often just be listed as edible with no attempt to describe preparation techniques. The inclusion of " . . . only the most delicious, abundant, and easily identified plants" is a wise choice. The descriptions, designed for the layman, include botanical information, history of usage, and notes on animals which rely on the plant for food.
The author's attention to botanical accuracy in the text and illustrations is apparent. The arrangement according to plant community is desirable and facilitates the identification of plant material. Clarke properly cautions the reader about being sure about the identification of plants which will be used. She even includes a section "Obtaining Further Assistance" which lists reference materials and gardens where native plants are grown. Poisonous or endangered look-alikes are described.
The coverage, arrangement, and illustrated glossary of this book as well as the well-described recipes make this book a wonderful source for naturalist, cook, outdoors person, and botanical enthusiast.
Gary Wallace, Los Angeles State and County Arboretum