PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 49, NUMBER 1, 2003
The Botanical Society of America:
The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
ISSN 0032-0919 - Electronic version ISSN 1537-9752
"Basic Botany" in U.S. Colleges and
News from the Society
Call for Nominations..........................................................................................................5
at the Annual Botanical Society of America Meeting........................6
Maynard Fowle Moseley, 1918-2003..............................................................................7
James C. Parks, 1942-2002..............................................................................................8
David L. Lentz.................................................................................................................8
Biologist receives First Scientific American Award.................................................9
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
Society of Wetland Scientists................................................................................................9
at Florida International University...................................................10
Rea Postdoctoral Fellowship.................................................................................................10
The Buker Travel
Wayne E. Manning
Don Les' Guide to Botanical Nomenclature.................................................................................39
Botanical Society of America Logo
Address Editorial Matters (only) to:
Marsh Sundberg, Editor
Dept. Biol. Sci., Emporia State Univ.
1200 Commercial St.
Emporia, KS 66801-5057
Send address changes to:
Botanical Society of America
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
Plant Science Bulletin
Editorial Committee for Volume 49
Norman C. Ellstrand (2003)
Department of Botany and Plant Science
University of California
Riverside CA 92521-0124
James E. Mickle (2004)
Department of Botany
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7612
Andrew W. Douglas (2005)
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Douglas W. Darnowski (2006)
Department of Biology
Chestertown, MD 21620
Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
Department of EEOB
1735 Neil Ave., OSU
Columbus, OH 43210-1293
Some responses to queries in the last issue - we'll continue
accepting contributions! - editor
We received two responses to our request for additional
information concerning the original plantings of Metasequoia in
this country (in addition to the specimens at Duke University and the College
of William and Mary mentioned in the last issue of PSB.)
" Another one of the original Metasequoia plantings can
be found on the campus of Columbia University. It is on a lawn to the west
of Low Library. There used to be two, but now only one remains. It is sad
to say that this specimen has far outlived the Botany department there.
Having attended both Columbia and Duke, I am familiar with both."
Owen M. Schwartz
Head, Biological Imaging Facility
Bldg 4, Room 424 MSC 0485
Bethesda, MD 20892
"I noted you interest in the dawn redwood in the recent
issue of PSB. I don't have a current list of "Whereabouts of other `original'trees"
but have a nice reference on the biggest trees after 20 years of cultivation:
Hebb, R. 1968. Metasequoia after Twenty Years in Cultivation.
I had a nice exchange with Bob Hebb afteroffering viable
seeds from the tree on the University of Oregon campus, one of the first
to produce viable seeds outside of China. It's possible that the Arnold
Arboretum has kept up with the trees around the world.
The really interesting story, to me, is the one of academic
chacanery perpetrated by Ralph Chaney, the celebrated paleobotanist at
UC Berkeley. Although the trees were, indeed, discovered in 1941 as mentioned
in our note, the first seeds were not sent to this country until 1947.
These were gathered on an autumn expedition funded by Merrill of the Arnold
Arboretum. They are the source of all the "original" trees outside of China.
Merrill sent a big batch of seeds to Chaney in the winter of 1947. Chaney,
however, sat on these seeds until after he himself went to China in the
spring of 1948. Chaney then distributed seeds and, a year or two later,
seedlings to institutions all over the country. Chaney did not ever mention
the source of seeds and quite deviously (deliberately) allowed people to
think he had gathered them during the course of his 1948 spring trip. Merrill
was disgusted but, like a gentleman, never said anything publicly before
he died. Chaney finally mentioned the source in a technical publication
but the public has mostly never heard of it and consider Chaney and Berkeley
as the cource of the "original" seeds and seedlings.
The whole story is wonderfully documented in:
Fulling, Edmund H. 1976. Metasequoia - - Fossil and Living
- - The Botanical Review 42(3): 215-315.
I got interested because some of Fulling's story came
from the archives at the University of Oregon, on whose campus are trees
obtained from Chaney as well as from Merrill, indirectly through a friend
of his who lived in Eugene. The gree from which I got the viable seeds
grew outside the herbarium on the UO campus. The herbarium is no longer
there - - it was closed and the speciments moved to Oregon State University
Herbarium in 1993 - - but the tree is still there, producing seeds. Every
fall. All seeds gone by spring."
David H. Wagner
Univ of Oregon Herbarium Director, 1976-1993
Northwest Botanical Institute
P.O. Box 30064
Eugene, OR 97403-1064
in U.S. Colleges and Universities, 2002-3
Annual student enrollment in botany courses, as reported
by faculty responding to the request for information in the last issue.
If you would like to include data from your institution in a more complete
compilation, please send it to the editor at your earliest convenience.
Bot Ana Morph
Tax Flora Tree/Shru
Aquat Syst Econ
Phys Paleo Ecol
Miami Univ (OH) 420
Mich St Univ
100+* 13(alt) 11
U. Rhode Isl.
Adams St (CO)
Cal St-San Bern 24
3(alt) 5(alt) 5(alt)
Emporia St (KS) 70
Millersville (PA) 160
Cedarville (OH) 35
Warren Wilson C.(NC)
* sum of multiple courses
**based on # labs, estimated enrollment 12/lab
X = course offered but no enrollments available
(alt) = alternate year course
Bot, Intro level Botany; Anat, Plant Anatomy; Morph, Plant
Morphology (incl. "Survey"); Tax, Taxonomy; Tree/Shru, Trees and Shrubs;
Aquat, Aquatic Botany (incl. Marine Botany); Syst, Systematic Botany; Econ,
Economic Botany; Phys, Plant Physiology; Paleo, Paleobotany; Ecol, Plant
Ecology; Phy, Phycology; Myc, Mycology (incl. Plant Pathology)
News from the Society
Botany 2003 represents the annual meeting of four professional
societies, including the American Bryological and Lichenological Society
(ABLS), the American Fern Society (AFS), the American Society of Plant
Taxonomists (ASPT), and the Botanical Society of America (BSA). The conference
will be held in Mobile, Alabama from July 26-31, 2003, and the theme for
Botany 2003 will be "Aquatic and Wetland Plants: Wet & Wild."
In addition to the regular program, which will run from
Sunday through Wednesday (July 27-30), Botany 2003 will include an expanded
format. The second Forum focusing on botanical education and outreach will
be held on Saturday, July 26, and it will be linked to the annual scientific
meeting on Sunday, July 27, via workshops and field trips.
This Call is for the topical sessions to be presented
at the Forum on Saturday. There are separate Calls for Workshops,
as well as for Abstracts and for Discussion Sessions at the annual scientific
"...Teaching students about plant biology is as critical
to the future of the field as is research and must take its proper place
as an equally laudatory endeavor for botanists. Equally vital are activities
that communicate the excitement of plant biology to students and teachers
involved in K-12 education and to the general public..."
This passage from the Botany
for the Next Millennium Report (BSA, 1995) emphasizes the important
role of education and outreach, at all levels. However, there continues
to be a reduction in the number of Botany courses taught at the undergraduate
level, many Botany Departments and programs have been eliminated nationwide,
and the National Research Council no longer recognizes Botany as a valid
graduate education program. Despite this, the global significance of plants
continues to grow. It is therefore vital that botanists and their professional
societies work to ensure that plants are represented in the undergraduate
and graduate curriculum, as well as in science outreach initiatives.
The Forum will begin on Friday evening with early registration
and an informal reception. The main sessions will occur on Saturday. Although
some informational sessions will be included, the program will primarily
include interactive panel and roundtable discussions as well as breakout
groups focusing on a range of topics. Sunday's offerings will include a
hands-on workshops. Two-hour, half-day, and full-day workshops will be
organized so that attendees can participate in more than one workshop,
and/or participate in field trips, also being planned for Sunday. The Call
for Workshops has already been posted on the conference web site (see
The principal focus of the Forum will be undergraduate
education and related outreach; however, K-12 teachers are also encouraged
to participate. In addition to hands-on workshops focusing on undergraduate
topics, several workshops, and perhaps field trips, will be specifically
targeted for K-12 teachers.
All members are invited and encouraged to attend and present
at the Forum.
Topical `Threads' _ Individual sessions
will be grouped within topical themes, or `threads'. The six general threads
being considered are listed below, and each is followed by several example
session titles. Organizers will be able to submit their own session titles
as well as select the most appropriate thread for their session.
1) Emphasizing Botany across the Curriculum _ Sessions
on what is the vital content to cover, and what's at the cutting edge within
disciplinary areas (e.g., systematics, development, etc.), "How to promote
plants if you are the only botany faculty member in a department," "Developing
interdisciplinary courses/curricula," "Educating pre-service teachers about
2) Designing Investigative Laboratories
_ Sessions on `model,' or best-practice, labs (e.g., "Using Wisconsin Fast
Plants to study plant development," "Using instructional technology to
3) Engaging Undergraduates in Research _ "What
are the challenges of mentoring undergraduate research students," "Publishing
with undergraduates in peer-reviewed journals, "Using your courses to feed
your research program"
4) Developing Effective Teaching and Mentoring Skills
_ "How to become a teacher-scholar," "How to review manuscripts and grant
proposals," "Tips on balancing your academic time," "Graduate student training
programs: The do's and don'ts"
5) Supporting Effective Teaching and Learning _
Sessions on funding (e.g., information about grant sources, tips on writing
proposals and grant management); "Managing a university greenhouse or herbarium,"
"Tips for Chairs and Deans," "How to best prep an Introductory Lab," "How
to assess the effectiveness of an advanced course"
6) Reaching Out beyond the Ivory Towers _ "Linking
up with botanical gardens and arboreta," "Linking up with teachers," "Linking
up with the media," "Designing and implementing workshops for teachers,"
Sessions on best-practice initiatives.
Session Types _ Four types of sessions will
be included in the Forum program, and these are listed below. Organizers
will be able to select the most appropriate type of session for their topic.
1) Informational Session _ A presentation by one
to three speakers in which specific information is conveyed. Informational
sessions should leave a minimum of 20 minutes for questions and answers.
2) Breakout Session _ An introduction by one to
three facilitators followed by time for in-depth discussion or an organized
activity that engages the audience. Two thirds of the time period should
be devoted to discussion and interaction. A breakout session often culminates
in a commitment: group recommendations or personal agendas for future implementation.
3) Panel Session _ Two to four panel members including
a moderator, each of which may give a brief introduction, followed by discussion
among them and with the audience. Half of the time period should involve
4) Roundtable Session _ A roundtable is a freewheeling
discussion, usually with multiple viewpoints. The discussion is facilitated
by a moderator, but there are no formal speakers. The moderator sets the
stage for the discussion by providing one or two provocative questions.
Virtually the entire session is interactive.
Submission of Session Topics (Deadline: April 1,
Session proposals should include the following: 1) a title,
2) name(s) and contact information for all organizers and presenters, 3)
brief summary of the Session that includes relevant background
and significance of the topic, and 4) selection of the most appropriate
thread and session type.
Submission of session proposals should be conducted online
at the Botany 2003 web site: www.2003.botanyconference.org/.
(This site is now open) Copies of the proposals will be sent electronically
to the sender and the Forum Planning Committee. The deadline for receiving
session proposals is April 1, 2003. The number of 45 minute sessions
that will be able to be accepted will be contingent upon the size and scope
of the overall program. Because session submissions may overlap and space
will be limited, proposals for Sessions will be evaluated by the Forum
Planning Committee, which includes representatives from all societies participating
in Botany 2003. Session organizers will then be notified in May 2003 about
Questions Questions about the Forum should
be directed to members of the Planning Committee (see web site) and/or
to the BSA Program Director: Jeffrey M. Osborn, Division of Science, Truman
State University, 100 E. Normal Street, Kirksville, MO 63501-4221. Tele:
(660) 785-4017, Fax: (660) 785-4045, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Nominations
In keeping with the by-laws (VI-1) of the society that
specify a five-year term for the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal
of Botany, the Botanical Society of America is soliciting nominations for
the position of Editor-in-Chief for the term beginning January 2005. Please
consider nominating yourself or another colleague for this extremely important
position. Qualities of candidates should include a research career in the
plant sciences, a commitment to improve the journal, a willingness to pursue
innovations, a breadth of knowledge and experience, and good communication
skills. The Editor-in-Chief will be assisted by an office manager and one
or more copy editors. The editor will receive an annual budget and honorarium.
Specifics of the position will be negotiated with the Executive Committee
of the Society. Please send nominations to Prof. Nancy G. Dengler, Department
of Botany, The University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks St., Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3B2, Canada. Nominations should be received by 1 June, 2003 to receive
Diversity at the Annual Botanical Society of America Meeting
The Botanical Society of America (BSA) is pleased to announce
a new program entitled "Increasing diversity at the annual Botanical Society
of America meeting," This program is supported by the National Science
Foundation (Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) Program)
and will provide financial and professional assistance for 10 minority
(African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives
and persons with disabilities) undergraduate research students to attend
the annual BSA meeting each year from 2003 - 2006. The goal is to integrate
the students into the professional and social activities of the conference
by providing a supportive mentoring network and sufficient orientation
activities. If you know of an eligible and deserving undergraduate who
would benefit from this experience or if you would like to serve as a mentor,
please contact Karen Renzaglia (mailto:email@example.com)
or Jeff Osborn (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
by March 1, 2003. A call for formal applications will be distributed early
in 2003 and application guidelines will be made available on-line on the
BSA and Botany 2003 Web sites. The deadline for applications will be May
1, 2003. This program is an important step towards strengthening the science
workforce and utilizing the full range of intellectual talent from diverse
ethnic and minority populations. We encourage and welcome your participation.
The Southeastern Section, Botanical Society of America
is meeting in conjunction with the Association of Southeastern Biologists
for it's 64th Annual Meeting, April 9-12 at the Crystal City
Hyatt Regency, Arlington, VA. The co-hosts are Howard University and Bowie
State University. In addition to papers and poster sessions, field trips
and tours, four symposia will be of interest to botanists. These are: "A
Crisis in Field Botanical Education," "The Genetics and Practice of Rare
Plant Reintroduction," "Forest Fragmentation and Biodiversity in the Southeastern
United States," and "Science Education for New Civic Engagement." A web
site containing detailed information and registration information is at:
The annual joint field meeting of the Botanical Society
of America's Northeast Section, the Torrey Botanical Society, the Philadelphia
Botanical Club, and the Long Island Botanical Society, will be held June
22-26 (Sunday-Thursday) at the New York Institute of Technology Central
Islip Campus in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. There will be 3 1/2 days
of field trips. Areas to be visited include a 300 year-old maritime holly
forest, the globally rare Dwarf Pine Plains, a northeastern mixed hardwood
forest on a terminal moraine, and an unusual pitch pine-scrub oak barrens.
Plant communities to be seen include salt marsh, fresh water bog, kettle
holes, swamp, ponds, and ocean shore as well as forest. Evening programs
will cover topics of local botanic interest. Registration fee of approximately
$350.00 includes housing, meals from Sunday dinner through Thursday breakfast,
evening programs, and some local transportation. Everybody interested in
field botany, or nature in general, is welcome to attend. Pre-registration
is required. To request a registration form, or to get additional information,
contact Joanne Tow, PO Box 7323, Hicksville NY 11802-7323, (516) 931-2073,
Dorothy Essman, 1932-2002
The Botanical Society of America lost a long-time friend
and loyal former staff member with the death of Dorothy Essman on October
17, 2002, in Newark, Ohio. Mrs. Essman, 69, fought a long and courageous
battle with breast cancer, and died peacefully with her family at her side.
Dorothy Essman started working in the BSA Publications
Office at Ohio State University in 1985, shortly after her husband, Bob
Essman, succeeded Richard Popham as Manager of Publications for the BSA.
Dorothy managed the office, kept the books, paid the bills, mailed out
missing issues of AJB, and soothed the occasional irate subscriber or member.
She was conscientious and meticulous, and could find just about anything
in the files at Ohio State, if given a few minutes to think about it. She
and Bob officially retired from their BSA duties in 1992, but Dorothy returned
to help over the next several years as the new Business Manager, Kim (Essman)
Hiser, took over the restructured Ohio State office. Many BSA members will
remember Dorothy, with her smiling face, at the BSA table or booth at the
annual meetings, selling t-shirts, new memberships, abstracts, and other
BSA publications. She was always friendly and helpful, and she appreciated
a good laugh, of which there were many in the Publications cum Business
Office. Dorothy will be missed by many BSA officers and other members,
who worked with her for some 15 years.
Dorothy was born November 18, 1932 in Pittsburg, Kansas.
She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi Professional Sorority and The Dawes
Arboretum. She enjoyed the opera, The Columbus Symphony Orchestra and her
visits to the Arboretum. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Robert
H. Essman; two daughters and their husbands, Kim and David Hiser, and Karee
and Peter Van Runkle; 4 grandchildren, Katie Hiser and Drew, Alan and Brian
Van Runkle; two brothers and two sisters and their spouses, and numerous
nieces and nephews. A celebration of her life was held November 17, 2002,
in Newark, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made to the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Foundation, P. O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309.
MAYNARD FOWLE MOSELEY, 1918 - 2003
Professor Maynard F. Moseley, Ph.D., an internationally
noted research botanist and an expert on the evolution of waterlilies,
died January 16, 2003 in Santa Barbara, his home for the past fifty-four
years. The botanical community and higher education have lost a distinguished
citizen and supporter.
Maynard F.Moseley, Jr. was born in Boston, Massachusetts
on July 15, 1918. He received his elementary training in the Boston Public
Schools. He graduated from Jamaica Plain High School, Boston in 1935. During
the years of 1936-1940 he attended the Massachusetts State College at Amherst
(now the University of Massachusetts) graduating with a B.S. in Botany.
During the years 1940-1942 he attended the University of Illinois, Urbana
completing his M.S. in Botany. His master's thesis ` Contributions to the
Life History, Morphology and Phylogeny of Widdringtonia cupressoides,
was completed under the direction of John T. Buchholz (Moseley, 1943. Lloydia
He served in the US Army as a Clinical Laboratory Technician,
297th General Hospital from 1942 - March 1947 and was stationed both in
the California-Arizona Desert Training Area and in England, European Theater
In 1947 he completed his Ph.D. in Botany at the University
of Illinois under the direction of Oswald Tippo. His doctoral dissertation
was concerned with comparative wood anatomy and phylogeny of the Casuarinaceae
(Moseley, 1948. Botanical Gazette 110: 223-280).
In 1947 Maynard joined the faculty at Cornell University
as an Instructor of Botany until 1949 at which time he moved to Santa Barbara,
California when he began a long academic career at the University of California,
His research interests centered on the systematics of
higher angiosperm taxa utilizing floral and wood anatomy. His most noted
works were those dealing with the floral anatomy and morphology of the
Nymphaeaceae or waterlily family, which led to a series of two dozen papers.
Except for the past year during which time he was afflicted with Alzheimer's,
he was actively engaged in elucidating the floral vasculature of
Affectionately known by his undergraduate and graduates
student as "Dr. Mo", he was greatly admired for his enthusiastic teaching,
his attention to accuracy, and his caring attitude. He challenged all his
students to achieve more than they thought themselves capable of achieving
by sharing his philosophy of life and stories about experiences, which
shaped that philosophy. All of his students knew that he cared deeply about
their success as scientists and as human beings.
Moseley was a long-time member of Sigma Xi and the Botanical
Society of America. In 1997 a Botanical Society of America fund was established
to celebrate his long career of dedicated service and contributions to
science and The Botanical Society. Contributions to this fund in his memory
may be sent to: Bill Dahl, Executive Director, The Botanical Society of
America, 4474 Castleman Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110.
His son, Andrew and daughter, Margery, survive him.
Submitted by his doctoral students,
F.C. Richardson ,1967, Chancellor Emeritus, Indiana University
Edward L. Schneider,1974, President, Santa Barbara Botanic
Philip G. Simpson, 1975, Uruwhenua Botanicals, New Zealand.
Indira Mehta, 1975. Koeberlina (Koeberliniaceae)
Eugenia Flores, 1976, University of Costa Rica (retired)
Lucy St. Omer, 1981, Professor, San Jose State University
Paula S. Williamson,1988, Professor, Southwest Texas
James C. Parks, 1942-2002
James C. Parks, 60yrs old, died of natural causes December
23, 2002. He recieved a bachelor's degree from Shippensburg University
and a PhD in taxonomic botany from Vanderbilt University in 1969. After
a short time teaching High School Biology, Jim taught botany and plant
systematics at Millersville University for 33 years and had planed to retire
May 2003. He conducted research on various topics relating to vascular
plant taxonomy and was author of two chapters of the new and highly aclaimed
Flora of Pennsylvania. His recent work on fern taxonomy both at Millersville
and in Edinboro Scotland has been published in several journals. Students
loved his dry sense of humor and in the end, appreciated his demand for
quality work and perfection. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hiking,
canoeing and discussing Monday night football. Always having an opinion
on any topic, he will be missed by all who knew him. -David Dobbins
David L. Lentz Named Vice President
of Scientific Affairs, Chicago Botanic Garden
GLENCOE, Ill. (Nov. 5, 2002) - David L. Lentz, Ph.D.,
has been appointed vice president of scientific affairs and senior scientist
at the Chicago Botanic Garden, announced Barbara Whitney Carr, president
and chief executive officer. In his new position, Lentz, an Evanston resident,
will oversee the various centers of science at the Garden, including Plant
Conservation Biology, Ornamental Plant Development, and Aquatic Plant and
Urban Lake Studies. He reports to and works closely with the president
Lentz comes to the Garden from the New York Botanical
Garden, where he served as director of the graduate studies program, and
adjunct curator of the Institute of Economic Botany. He served as adjunct
professor at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia
University; the plant sciences program at Lehman College, City University
of New York; and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale
University. Also, he was appointed visiting research professor in the Department
of Biology at New York University. In 1996, he was elected Fellow of the
Linnean Society of London.
Lentz received a Ph.D. in biology from the University
of Alabama and a master's degree in anthropology from Eastern New Mexico
University. Among many other honors and grants, he recently was awarded
a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct botanical research in Honduras. He has
edited books and authored more than 60 articles published by Economic Botany,
Science, Smithsonian Press, University of Texas Press, Columbia University
Press, Ancient Mesoamerica, Latin American Antiquity, The Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Lentz is a paleoethnobotanist specializing in the evolution
of plant use and forest management practices among the peoples of North
America and Mesoamerica. His current research, sponsored by the National
Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation, compares the genetic
make-up of wild and domesticated sunflowers from the midwestern United
States to populations from Mexico. He has worked on projects in Mexico,
India, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and the United States.
"The Chicago Botanic Garden is a leader in the campaign
to safeguard the world's plants, preserve diversity and maintain healthy
ecosystems," Carr said. "Lentz brings strong vision and a wealth of experience
to support the explosive growth of the Garden's science initiatives, and
we are pleased to have him on board."
PLANT BIOLOGIST RECEIVES FIRST
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN AWARD
Allison Snow, a professor of evolution, ecology and organismal
biology at Ohio State, and member of the Botanical Society of America,
Scientific American's first annual Research Leader in Agriculture
She is part of the Scientific American 50, the
noted magazine's first list recognizing contributions from the past year
to science and technology. One leader is chosen from each of 12 categories,
which range from agriculture to computing to transportation.
Snow received the award for her work on genetically modified
crops, especially on how genetic traits in crops could be unintentionally
transferred to related weedy species.
The new award includes individuals, teams, companies and
other organizations whose accomplishments during the previous year demonstrate
that they influence how society puts innovations to good use, said John
Rennie, editor-in-chief of Scientific American. The winners were
selected by the magazine's Board of Editors, and notified by letter.
The list makes its debut in the magazine's December issue, available on
newsstands Nov. 18. The complete list of winners is also online at http://www.sciam.com.
-Text and photo courtesy of Ohio State University
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
SOCIETY OF WETLAND SCIENTISTS
24TH ANNUAL MEETING
HYATT REGENCY HOTEL
NEW ORLEANS, LA USA
JUNE 8-13, 2003
The Society of Wetland Scientists 24th Annual Meeting
Program Committee invites all SWS members, students, members of regional
societies, as well as individuals interested in wetland science, management
and education to submit an ABSTRACT (250 words or less) for the SWS 24th
Annual Meeting to be held June 8-13, 2003 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New
Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
ORAL and POSTER presentations are being solicited to support
the conference theme entitled, "WETLAND STEWARDSHIP: CHANGING LANDSCAPES
AND INTERDISCIPLINARY CHALLENGES."
The conference will focus on understanding the interdisciplinary
scientific needs and innovative approaches for the stewardship of wetland
ecosystems across ever changing landscapes. This meeting will focus on
developing the science and approaches needed to meet the challenges of
stewardship across diverse and changing geographical landscapes, socio-political
boundaries, scientific disciplines, and varying scales of assessment. The
coupling of traditional and applied wetland sciences with ecological, physical,
engineering, economic and social sciences will be highlighted. Awards will
be given for the best student paper and best student poster.
For further information contact the Program Committee
Co-chairs: Doug Meffert (email@example.com)
or Robert Twilley
For significant conference registration savings, register
by the early registration deadline of March 14, 2003.
Registration forms will be on-line soon!
compliments of Prof. Robert Tatina, Dakota Wesleyan Univ., Mitchell, SD
The Third International Conference on the Comparative
biology of the Monocotyledons and the Fourth International Symposium on
Grass Systematics and Evolution. March 31-5 April, 2003, Ontario Converntion
Center. For a full description of conference schedule and field trips,
please visit out website at: www.monocots3.org.
May 9-11, 2003 The Wintergreen Nature Foundation presents
its 20th Annual Spring Wildflower Symposium at Trillium House
at Wintergreen Resort in central Virginia. Instructors will include Dr.
Jim Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy. Participants choose from over 50
offerings of guided hikes, lectures and workshops centered on the unique
flora of the Blue Ridge. Learn the life histories of these plants, propagation
and design with natives, identification and historic uses for plants in
indigenous cultures. A full weekend schedule will be posted on the Foundation's
website at www.twnf.org
, or receive a brochure in the mail by contacting the Foundation at 434-325-7451
Opportunities at Florida International University
Florida International University's Center for Ethnobiology
and Natural Products has funding for 3 Ph.D. students beginning in the
May 2003. The NIH-funded Training in Tropical Botanical Medicines Program
seeks applicants with interests in ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry,
microbiology, immunology or related disciplines. Prospective students should
have strong interests in complementary and alternative medicines. Support
is available for up to 5 years, and includes a stipend, tuition, and research
funds. In addition, participants will receive support for field courses
and attendance at national meetings. We are especially interested in underrepresented
minority applicants who would like to pursue careers in alternative medicine.
For more information please contact Dr. Bradley C. Bennett
or visit the CENaP website (http://www.fiu.edu/~cenap/
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Applications are invited for a one-year renewable Postdoctoral
Research Fellowship for morphological and molecular based research in botany.
Send curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and plan of research
by March 31, 2002 to: Dr. Cynthia Morton, Carnegie Museum of Natural History,
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213 or
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Section of Botany.
The Buker Travel Award provides funds to persons at any
level of training (students, professionals, botanists, conservationists,
and others) to utilize the botanical collections at the Carnegie Museum
of Natural History (CMNH).
Awards are made on a yearly basis and applications are
due by 31 March each year. The number of persons supported and the amount
of the awards may vary. Presently awards up to $300 are available.
The application consists of a short letter (1 page) outlining
the overall project and reasons for visiting CMNH with a budget attached.
The Buker Travel Award will support costs of travel, food, lodging, and
supplies. Stipends and salaries will not be funded.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History Section of Botany
created the Buker Travel Award in 1996 in honor of long-time Research Associate
W.E. Buker. Buker is a name well known to persons involved in studying
the plants of Pennsylvania. For over four decades, Buker volunteered in
the CM herbarium and also conducted extensive fieldwork in Pennsylvania.
Buker's eye for rare species and penchant for making lists lead to many
new discoveries and geographical records for the state.
The CM Herbarium is part of the CMNH Section of Botany
and contains approximately 500,000 specimens of vascular plants. All vascular
plant groups and geographic regions of the world are represented. Outside
of the immediate region for which the CM Herbarium's collection is the
best in the world, the greatest numbers of specimens are from the rest
of North America, followed by Latin America and Asia. Many of the specimens
are unique to Cm with no duplicates in other herbaria.
Send application by 31 March each year to:
Buker Travel Award
Section of Botany
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
For additional information contact the Section of Botany
at 412-622-3253; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fairchild Tropical Garden (FTG) is seeking a full time
Herbarium Collections Technician. Duties of the successful candidate will
be to manage loan and exchange transactions in the Herbarium. This position
requires familiarity with MS Windows, especially MSAccess and Excel as
well as a proven ability to complete jobs in a timely, accurate and efficient
manner. The ability to strictly and accurately manage specimen inventory
is essential. All newly accessioned specimens and those going out on loan
must be imaged and processed as a part of the FTG Virtual Herbarium (www.virtualherbarium.org).
A large backlog of specimens is to be integrated with the main collection,
as well as many legacy loan and exchange specimens, which exist in the
herbarium because of recent major acquisitions and staff additions. The
Herbarium Collections Technician will report directly to the Director of
Research and will work with the Keeper, Curators and Collections Manager
to process this backlog. The characteristic candidate has a Master's degree
in a relevant field and experience in herbarium management and MSAccess
databases. This is a full time position with benefits funded for 1-3 yrs.
Another part-time position without benefits may also be available as funding
permits. Salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience.
This position is open immediately and will be filled when
the appropriate candidate is found. Applicants should email a CV, letter
of introduction, and the names, phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses
of three references to: <email@example.com>
with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
See also: www.fairchildgarden.org
The plant specimen database of the Wayne E. Manning Herbarium
(BUPL) at Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA) is now available online at
http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/biology/facilities/herbarium/. The Manning Herbarium web site enables
online searching of the approximately 22,000 plant specimens in the collection
— a collection that is especially rich in specimens from the eastern US
and world-wide materials of the Juglandaceae.
Two levels of searching are possible — one for general
users that allows access to all specimen label information but restricts
access to specific locality information and a second level for researchers
to whom a log-in code has been supplied enabling them to extract specific
locality information (latitude/longitude). Researchers are able to generate
floristic lists for specific areas by entering latitude/longitude coordinates.
Wayne Manning, the 103 year-old namesake of Bucknell's herbarium, is honored
by the hickory photograph on the web site's home page in recognition of
his life-long research interest in the Juglandaceae.
For additional information contact:
Warren G. Abrahamson, Department of Biology, Bucknell
University, Lewisburg, PA 17837
Voice: (570) 577-1155
Fax: (570) 577-3537
In this issue:
p. 13 In Praise of Plants
p. 14 Plant Roots: The Hidden Half,
3rd ed. Waisel, Yoav (ed).........................................................................John
p. 14 Experimental Design and
Data Analysis for Biologists.
Quinn, G.P. and M.J. Keough......................Cynthia
p. 16 Foundations of Tropical
Forest Biology: Classic Papers with Commentaries. Chazdon,
and T.C. Whitmore (eds).....................................................................................................................Joanne
p. 17 A Naturalist's Guide to
Wetland Plants: An Ecology for Eastern North America Cox,
Donald D.......................Don Les.
p. 18 Sex Ratios - Concepts and Research
Methods. Hardy, Ian C. W. (ed)....................................................Susanne
p. 19 Artemisia.
Wright, Colin W...........................................................................................................E.
p. 20 Cacti: Biology and Uses.
Nobel, Park S..........................................................................................Douglas
p. 21 Eucalyptus. The Genus Eucalyptus.
John. J. W. Coppen (ed) and Geranium and Pelargonium.
The General Geranium and Pelargonium.
p. 22 The Guarijios of the Sierra
P. Riser, II.
p. 24 Lavender: The Genus Lavendula.
Lis-Balchin, Maria (ed).....................................................................Dorothea
p. 24 Narcissus and Daffodil.
The Genus Narcissus. Hanks, Gordon R. (ed.)...............................................Douglas
p. 25 Travels in the Genetically
Modified Zone. Winston, Mark L...................................
p. 26 English-Spanish Dictionary
of Plant Biology: Including Plantae, Monera, Protoctista, Fungi
and Index of
Spanish Equivalents. Morris, David W. and
Marta Z. Morris....................................................Judy
p. 27 The Fever Trail: In Search of
the Cure for Malaria. Honigsbaum, Mark.................................................Grady
p. 29 Early Angiosperms and their
Associated Plants from Western Liaonig, China Sun Ge, Zheng
David L. Dilcher, Wang Youngdong, and
p. 31 The Freshwater Algal Flora
of the British Isles, An Identification Guide to Freshwater
Algae. John, D.M., B.A. Whitton, and A.J.
p. 31 Molecular Techniques in
Crop Improvement. Jain, S. Mohan, D.S. Brar, and B.S. Ahloowalia........................Andrew
p. 33 Carnivorous Plants of
the United States and Canada. Schnell, Donald E.......................................................James
p. 34 Flora of Glacier National Park.
p. 35 Gerenic Tree Flora of Madagascar.
p. 37 Orchid Biology: Review and
Perspectives, VIII. Kull, Tiiu and Joseph Arditti....................................................Scott
In Praise of Plants. Francis
Hallé with translation by David Lee. 2002; ISBN 0-88192-5500 (Hardbound,
$24.05) 334 pp. Timber Press, Inc, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland,
OR 97204-3527. USA In the Epilogue of In Praise of Plants, Francis Hallé
writes, "The plant is mute and refuses to hire a lawyer." Indeed if plants
were to need a lawyer to defend them, then Francis Hallé would be
up to the task. In his book he defends plants against animals from nearly
every conceivable angle. He compares plants not only with animals, but
also with a great many other things from crystals to termite mounds. He
does all this in a sort spirited rivalry to show plants superior nature
as compared to animals. Certainly the book is full of a naturalist's perception
on the usefulness and wonder of plants, but it also has a great many poetic
quotes espousing the beauty of simplicity found in plants. The comparisons
at times, however, are quite odd. One cartoon shows a dog atop a pile of
its own excrement as juxtaposed with a palm tree to depict that the palm
is storing its waste products and therefore can attain a larger stature
than the dog. For the odd cartoons and for a great many fantastic quotes,
I would recommend this book for all sorts of plant enthusiasts. I have
used some of the cartoons in my biology courses with enormous success.
At least my students see that botanists have a sense of humor, even though
it may be somewhat strange!
The book begins with an opening thesis that I have long
since suspected, perhaps subconsciously, yet one about which I forget to
voice my concern. The opening chapter proposes that many undergraduate
and even primary and high school courses often overlook the importance
of plants to spend more time dealing with animals. In fact, the entire
populace seems more drawn to animals than to plants. However, I think the
author goes too far to say that men tend to take more zoology courses while
there are more women in botany. Perhaps this is true in the author's native
country of France, but it is not true in my classroom, nor is it true of
any scientific meeting regarding plants that I've attended. Still, the
passion felt by the author as he decries textbooks pretending to cover
the whole of biology and only donating perhaps 8% of their total coverage
to plants is indeed a persuasive voice for the case of the plants.
Feeling cheered by the opening chapter, I heartily sunk
into the second chapter explaining the form of plants. Clearly, a great
surface area is needed to capture light energy; that much any person of
some studies can comprehend. The book seems to lose its audience here.
Some of the statements seem intuitive, and yet much of the discussion of
the structure of space, the relationship between form and space, polarity,
and finally homeotic genes seemed a bit lofty for the average interested
plant enthusiast. Perhaps, I should limit my opinions only to myself and
say that this part of the book was verbose and occasionally incomprehensible
to me. The cartoons, though, make this chapter worth reading. Some of the
highlights were a cartoon depicting symmetries and polarities of monsters,
the grotesque fictional picture of a clonable man, and a strange account
of reiteration as displayed by human toes. Another interesting part of
this chapter was a discussion on plant hormones and how they are not hormones
Chapter 3 outlines the organelles of the plant cell and
sets them apart from animal cells. This chapter might have been included
because the book had to, in a sense, point out differences between animals
and plants on a cellular basis. Because I have taught these differences
many times, this chapter was of less interest to me than the others. I
suspect this may be true for most botanists, who are only too aware of
the differences between plant and animal cells. One interesting hypothesis
put forth in this chapter has to development. Hallé reasons that
for plants the morphological form is controlling the appearance of the
plant, rather than from the cell upwards. He likens this hypothesis to
a, house that can be subdivided into rooms with no influence on the exterior
architecture. Once again, In Praise of Plants, proves itself to be a quotable
book, based both on the poetry of some statements and the good analogies
Chapter 4 informs the reader that plants must have a greater
arsenal of biochemical weapons for defense due to immobility. Hallé
ís ability to propose questions is uncanny here. I believe there
is something in the French culture that allows for a bit more creativity,
a certain je ne sais quoi, that we Americans lack. For instance, Hallé
asks why there are not half plant, half animal creatures. From a Cartesian
point of view, the answer is obvious: because there are not, natural selection
didn't come up with that recipe. Hallé is answer is better prescribed,
and of course, has fantastic cartoons to suggest what the possibilities
of half animal, half plant creatures may look like. I found this chapter
to be very interesting and somewhat reminiscent of Micheal Pollanis Botany
of Desire in its description.
A lengthy chapter on evolution follows. If there are potential
readers who believe that all questions of botany have been answered and
there is nothing new under the sun, then this is the chapter to change
that opinion. Hallé comes up with a great many hypotheses about
all manner of evolutionary questions from the combination of the soma and
germ lines in plants to asking whether bacteria are Lamarckian. Rather
than spoil the fun of discovery, I will only point out that the translator,
David Lee, adds astute notes particularly in this chapter by disagreeing
with the author in a mode of true scientific collegiality. The notes regarding
an interpretation of genetic diversity within one tree are particularly
well thought out.
Comparing the way plants live to other living organisms
is theme of Chapter 6. Quite a lot of effort is spent on comparing trees
to coral. I definitely see Hallé is point here, but I think that
some of the arguments are far fetched and lack any sort of scientific data
other than coincidence. Still, many great scientific ideas start out as
casual observations. Additionally the figures and quotes lend an enjoyable
quality to this book that is like an Easter basket: keep searching through
the grass and a jellybean appears. One such jellybean was this quote, "Only
sedentary human societies, with their cities and highways, leave an impression
on the landscape comparable to that of the Amazonian rain forest or the
Great Barrier Reef."
Ecology rounds out the final chapter. Though very important,
this chapter seemed the most obvious to me when praising plants. It is
very clear that animals, including ourselves, won't get very far without
the presence of plants. This chapter felt mostly like it was preaching
to the choir and had fewer insightful questions to ponder than the other
chapters. Still, the cartoons were excellent, the last one being a depiction
of two arks traveling after the great Biblical flood, one with all plants
aboard a ship called the Phyton and the other ship, the Zoon, would be
of little interest and left behind. I would not hesitate to recommend this
book to colleagues as an interesting and certainly entertaining book. Aside
from the humor, the poetry, and the eloquent quotes, there is a lot of
fodder for thought here for any botanist. I would, however, not send it
out as a gift to a beginning botanist or to one whose interest in plants
was strictly in the garden as the book occasionally loses focus on exactly
which audience it is trying to reach. — Catherine Kleier, Curator, Adams
State College Herbarium, Department of Biology, Adams State College, Alamosa,
Plant Roots: The Hidden Half (3rd
by Yoav Waisel, Amram Eshel, Uzi Kafkafi
(Editors) Marcel Dekker, New York; ISBN: 0824706315, $250.00.
This massive book attempts to provide an overview of root biology and is
largely successful. The book is over 1000 pages and includes 59 chapters,
each of which is a review-type article. These articles are divided into
10 sections that include topics such as root structure/development, genetics,
physiology, root growth under stress, root-rhizosphere interactions, and
roots of economic value. In this third edition, attempts are made to include
more studies in the molecular biology of roots, but this topic clearly
is not the emphasis of the editors.
The illustrations are good quality with many chapters
that include nice half tone figures. Each chapter includes an extensive
reference list that is current to 2000 or 2001 in most cases. As with any
book of this type, there is variability in the quality of the chapters.
But most of the authors do a good job in reviewing their topic and in indicating
the key recent papers in their sub-field of root biology.
This volume is part of the "Books in Soils, Plants and
the Environment" series. It is meant to be used as a reference text for
botanists, ecologists, and horticulturalists. I recommend it for graduate
students and faculty who are working in root biology and may need ready
access to areas that are related to their research. The book will provide
a good springboard for further reading since each chapter contains a wealth
of references. -John Z. Kiss, Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford,
Experimental Design and
Data Analysis for Biologists. Quinn, G.P. and M.J. Keough. 2002. ISBN
0-521-81128-7 (cloth US $110) ISBN 0-521-00976-6 (paper US $45) 559 pp.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. The modern biologist must have
a good working knowledge of statistics and many biologists acquired their
statistical training with the standard texts of Biostatistical Analysis
by J.H Zar (Prentice Hall 1999) and Biometry by R.R. Sokal and R.J. Rohlf
(W.H. Freeman 1995). In this book, Quinn and Keough, have provided a comprehensive,
advanced reference on experimental design and data analysis to further
develop the statistical knowledge of biologists. As the authors state,
the book is not designed to address introductory statistics. The reader
must be at least familiar with univariate statistics since the book's primary
focus is on bivariate and multivariate statistics. At $45.00 this is an
exceptionally good book for a graduate seminar or as a thorough statistical
reference that would make a welcomed addition to the shelf of any biologist,
ecologist, or zoologist, just to mention a few.
The book is divided into 17 chapters of which the first
4 briefly discuss the scientific method (Chapter 1), estimation techniques
(Chapter 2), hypothesis testing (Chapter 3) and graphical exploration of
data (Chapter 4). The materials covered in chapters 1, 3, and 4 are concisely
presented and serve as a review for the informed reader, and are probably
not adequate for primary instruction on the covered topics.
However, Chapter 2, Estimation, is particularly well written
with detailed, descriptive sections on maximum likelihood and ordinary
least squares estimation, bootstrapping and jackknifing techniques, and
a well-developed section on Bayesian inference. Chapter 5 addresses correlation
and regression with an eloquent treatment of regression diagnostics and
the associated graphics. There is also an informative section on Model
II regression. Chapter 6 examines multiple and complex regression in a
similar format to the linear models with a single continuous predictor
variable discussed in the previous chapter. Chapter 7 is another exceptional
chapter devoted to design and power analysis. A concise discussion and
explanation of replication, controls, randomization, and independence provide
a foundation for the power analysis material. Scientists have recently
begun to understand the importance of statistical power and are increasingly
incorporating power analyses into their results. Power is a critical measure
of precision in hypothesis testing and, unlike this book, few statistical
texts devote an entire chapter to this important and revealing subject.
Chapter 8 includes a classic treatment of the industry standard analysis
of variance (ANOVA) in addition to a valuable section on robust ANOVA.
The latter part includes sections on comparisons of means, planned and
unplanned comparisons, and specific contrasts. Chapters 9, 10, and 11 describe
the analyses of completely randomized designs, unreplicated factorial designs,
and designs that combine factorial (crossed) and nested arrangements, respectively.
Chapter 12 covers basic methods for analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and
due to the increasing use of ANCOVA in the biological and ecological literature
this chapter should be required reading for most scientists. Chapter 13
discusses two common applications of generalized linear modeling (GLM),
logistic regression and Poisson regression while Chapter 14 describes loglinear
models where the variables are often arranged in the form of contingency
tables. Chapter 15 provides a succinct treatment of preliminary multivariate
data analysis that generally applies to the methods of multivariate analysis
of variance and discriminate analysis (Chapter 16), principal components
and correspondence analysis (Chapter 17), and multidimensional scaling
and cluster analysis (Chapter 18). Finally, Chapter 19 provides suggestions
and guidance on presentation of results.
The material in each chapter is explained in a clear,
logical manner with munificent references to the primary literature. A
strong feature of this book is that most of the concepts discussed are
illustrated with examples taken from recent studies published in peer-reviewed
journals. Quinn and Keough take an informative and productive approach
to their presentation of data from the published literature.
They use data and output generated from the statistical
analyses of these studies to explain and support the choice of the statistical
test employed in the article. In other words, they integrate both theoretical
aspects of specific techniques and concomitantly provide solutions and
interpretations using published examples. These detailed examples are presented
in separate boxes in each chapter. Moreover, many of the authors of the
studies presented have made their raw data available so that readers may
download data and run the analyses using their particular software (http://www.zoology.unimelb.edu.au/qkstats/).
Furthermore, each chapter concludes with a helpful and informative summary
section that is essentially a checklist of important assumptions and reminders
relevant to each statistical procedure discussed in the chapter. Another
strength of this book, that reflects one of the author's bias and personal
history, is the generous and comprehensive treatment of ANOVA and various
permutations (4 of 19 chapters). However, the wide-spread use and misuse
of ANOVA in the biological literature merits the attention the authors
The book would not be very effective as a textbook for
an undergraduate class for several reasons. The most important and obvious
is the lack of exercise and practice problems. For most students, the best
way to study and learn statistical material is to work through problem
sets. The authors' approach of teaching by example using the published
literature is best suited to a more mature user of statistics such as a
graduate student or professional. Another weakness is the absence of any
discussion on appropriate software. A large number of statistical software
packages now provide easy access to a range of multivariate techniques,
yet documentation is often poor and user decisions are many, and interpretation
difficult. Furthermore, there is [unfortunately] no single software package
that is adequate for all multivariate procedures that a practicing biologist
is likely to encounter and employ during research. However, suggestions
and guidance by the authors, who are experts in this field, on appropriate
software packages would be beneficial. Finally, the inclusion of a list
of abbreviations and symbols used in the book would help the reader immensely.
In conclusion, I believe that this book is a useful reference
for biologists, ecologists, and zoologists (from graduate to profession)
as well as a welcome addition for other organismal scientists. The authors
concisely and thoroughly present many useful and important instructions
for experimental design and the appropriate data analyses. They provide
many useful examples and illustrations from the published literature which
can be applied to many biological questions. - Cynthia L. Riccardi, Department
of Environmental and Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701.
Foundations of Tropical Forest
Biology: Classic Papers with Commentaries. Robin L. Chazdon and T.
C. Whitmore. The University of Chicago Press 2002. ISBN 0-226-10225-4.
862 pages. Since I have been working on long-term studies of ferns in a
tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico for the past twelve years, I was intrigued
by the concept and organization of this book. Twelve general topics from
"Tropical naturalists of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries" to
"Securing a sustainable future for tropical moist forests" are addressed.
Each section includes an introduction by one or more scientists knowledgeable
and experienced with the topic, and this is followed by three to seven
selections from the literature, some of which are complete articles and
some of which are excerpts. Of the editors, T. C. Whitmore (recently deceased)
was among the earliest and most well respected of tropical biologists,
while Robin Chazdon has been very active in tropical research for over
The editors have limited their selections to terrestrial
tropical topics and have chosen many of the early classical articles from
the literature, some of which are familiar to all tropical researchers,
and some of which provide different perspectives of the same topic. While
not all sections relate directly to plants, even such articles as "Patchy
distributions of ant species in New Guinea rain forests" by Edward O. Wilson
(1958) in the "Arthropod diversity and distribution" section include interesting
descriptions of the flora of the rainforest. Sections on "Plant-animal
interactions and community structure" and "Coevolution" as well as "Floristic
composition and species richness" all include examples of the particularly
fascinating organisms of the rainforest such as the relationship between
euglossine bees and orchids in Ecuador in Dodson et al. (1969).
While many of these literature samples are interesting,
and there are those who would (inevitably) challenge some of the choices,
the introduction to each section is extremely useful. In these introductory
commentaries, the articles chosen are placed in context, and the threads
of research that connect them to present concerns are presented. In the
process, a comprehensive 23-page bibliography of more current works in
tropical biology is generated at the end of the book, in addition to citation
lists included with many of the articles selected.
The book has two strengths: as a textbook for a course
or seminar in tropical biology and as a reference book. One of my colleagues
at the Luquillo rainforest in Puerto Rico has already used this book as
a reference for a graduate seminar and found it an extremely useful source
of basic works in tropical biology, when combined with more current literature
as well as literature on topics which are not included such as tropical
stream dynamics. Students surely can't help being inspired by some of the
original observations by the very early explorers including A. von Humbodlt
and A.Bonpland, H.W. Bates and A. R. Wallace who so totally capture the
spirit that still drives many of today's scientific explorers. One small
touch that honors the importance of the early writers is the placement
of an illustration from their writings at the beginning of each chapter.
In contrast, in the section on "Human impact and species extinction", Rodolfo
Dirzo and Robert W. Sussman vividly describe the current challenges to
both floral and faunal inhabitants that comprised that original vision
of unlimited growth and diversity, illustrating these concerns with papers
from the early 1970's when disturbing trends were first being seriously
documented by researchers.
As a reference, I found this book immediately useful when
confronted with a manuscript to review on biomass in a remote southwestern
Chinese rainforest. Several selections in the "Ecosystem Ecology in the
Tropics" as well as the more current references noted in the introduction
to that section gave me some good insights into what's especially important
to consider in such studies. Any botanist today, no matter what their specialty,
will probably at some point be challenged to think globally and be knowledgeable
about what is happening in rainforests, and this is an excellent reference
to have on hand. - Joanne M. Sharpe, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay,
A Naturalist's Guide to Wetland
Plants: An Ecology for Eastern North America. Cox, Donald D. 2002.
ISBN 0-8156-0740-7 (Paper US$19.95) 194pp. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse,
New York 13244-5160. _ According to the introduction, this publication
represents the fourth installment in the "Naturalist's Guides" series which
evidently provides similar treatments of forest, meadow and seashore plants.
Although these other titles are said to be "available", I was able to locate
only one other forthcoming volume (A Naturalist's Guide to Seashore
Plants) which is scheduled for publication in 2003. As far as I can
tell (from checking various websites), neither of the other two titles
is available or scheduled for publication at this time. So, for anyone
desiring to obtain the entire series, the present title is all that is
The intended audience is an important factor when evaluating
the content of a book, yet is often difficult to determine. In this case,
the author clearly indicates that this series is aimed at the amateur rather
than professional field biologist. The introduction states that the book
is "For naturalists and other lovers of the out-of-doors" and also that
"technical terminology has been kept to a minimum." So, forthright, this
book is not one that should be used as a college level text. In my estimation,
the audience best served by this treatment comprises those who are just
starting to become interested in the natural history of wetland plants,
i.e., those just starting to get their feet wet in this area (sorry!).
As I usually do, I went straight to the glossary which I have found to
be a good reflection of the botanical training of an author. The book passed
this test with flying colors. I was pleased to see that even though some
terminology was simplified, the definitions were uniformly accurate.
Overall, the author does a good job of introducing and
discussing relevant subjects and also includes topics (e.g., edible, poisonous,
medicinal, hallucinogenic plants) that may entice readers into reading
more about wetland plants. Although less than thorough discussion is provided
for most topics, the most important areas are covered at least in part.
The role and value of wetlands is described in a number of succinct, related
sections including implications of invasive weeds and species conservation.
Some information needs to be updated (e.g., the northern extent of Hydrilla
is given as Washington, D.C. although the weed has been reported from Connecticut
since 1996 and now also occurs in Massachusetts and Maine). Brief descriptions
are given for major wetlands in the United States, including prairie potholes
which occur geographically beyond the stated sphere of the book, i.e.,
eastern North America. The major groups of wetland plants (fungi, mosses,
ferns, flowering plants, etc.) are surveyed briefly. A short overview of
adaptations for survival in water is given in a separate chapter. Two of
the other main chapters are devoted to more detailed discussions of swamps,
marshes, and peatlands.
Understandably (being geared toward naturalists), a significant
portion of the text (24 pp.; 12% of the total) is devoted to the collection
and identification of plants. This chapter even includes two paragraphs
on "What is a species?" Plant systematists should take note - this may
be the first time in history that discussion of this topic has been achieved
in only two paragraphs. Actually, it is not a bad overview, either. This
section also describes nomenclature and the use of keys.
The book concludes with a chapter on "Activities and Investigations"
which provide topics of inquiry appropriate mainly for pre-college level
students. The bibliography is not bad, but lacks inclusion of some of the
better identification texts (e.g., Crow & Hellquist, 2000; Cook, 1996)
that should be on every wetland naturalist's bookshelf.
As far as the format of the book is concerned, the line
drawings were generally acceptable, but tended to be on the simple side.
The book is too large to be carried in one's pocket, but it would not serve
very well as a field guide because plants are discussed sequentially by
various topics rather than in a taxonomic format.
I found several errors, although most were relatively
minor. The generic name for water hyacinth (Eichhornia) is misspelled
throughout as "Eichornia". There is a typo on p. 109 (fig. 6.13)
that lists the genus for bugle-weed as "copus" rather than Lycopus.
The specific epithet for scouring rush (hyemale) is misspelled as
"hymale" throughout. A greater oversight is an improper depiction
of heterostylous flowers in Fig. 3.7, p. 55. This illustration correctly
shows the different length styles associated with distylous floral morphs,
but also shows the two morphs as having stamens of equal length, whereas
distylous morphs typically differ by the length of their stamens as well.
Overall, this "nontechnical illustrated guidebook" should
provide a basic background in wetland plant biology to anyone at a pre-college
level. Even though the topics are not covered in great detail, the book
is fairly accurate in the information that it does convey. This would be
an ideal gift for young students showing any interest in wetlands, or also
for uninitiated adults who suddenly find themselves confronted with wetland
issues as members of local wetland committees, etc. However, the reader
must keep in mind that this book provides only an elementary introduction
to wetlands and should not be relied on to provide adequate information
when more momentous decisions (e.g., those involving legal issues) must
be made. - Don Les, University of Connecticut, Storrs.
Cook, C. D. K. 1996. Aquatic plant book. SPB Academic
Publishing bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 228 pp.
Crow, G. E. & C. B. Hellquist. 2000. Aquatic and wetland
plants of northeastern North America. 2 Volumes. The University of Wisconsin
Press, Madison, Wisconsin. 880 pp.
Sex ratios - Concepts and Research
Methods. Ian C. W. Hardy, editor. 2002. ISBN 0-521-66578-7 (paperback,
US$76.10, hardback US$120), 380 pp. Published by Cambridge University Press.—
Like most things having to do with sex, sex ratios are fascinating. Every
sexually reproducing species has a sex ratio or, in hermaphroditic organisms,
must allocate resources to male or female function. But why should males
and females be produced in approximately even numbers and why should bisexual
individuals expend approximately equal efforts on the two reproductive
functions? The first chapter, by J. Seger and J. Stubblefield, of this
beautifully edited book gives an historical overview of research on these
questions from Darwin to the present. (That is, Darwin 1871 in the first
edition of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex,
but not the more widely read 1874 second edition, which omitted the paragraph
with Darwin's speculation on how "the sexes [could] be equalized through
natural selection."). The first formal sex ratio model _and perhaps the
first mathematical model in evolutionary biology_ was developed soon thereafter,
in 1883, by Karl Düsing, and Düsing appears to be one of the
sources, or the source, of Fisher's classic explanation. As first
understood by these workers, sex ratios evolve through negatively frequency-dependent
selection on the relative reproductive success of male and female offspring.
It is important to understand that sex ratios are not about numbers of
offspring but about parental expenditure or, as later generalized by Trivers,
investment in the two sexes or sexual functions. Similarly important is
the realization that the equilibrium sex ratio is not affected by differential
mortality of male and female offspring past the period of parental care.
For plants, most of which have bisexual flowers (non-angiosperms are not
considered in this book), the relative investment in male and female function
has proven difficult to measure. Indeed, Klinkhammer and de Jong in their
chapter on `Sex allocation in hermaphrodite plants' suggest that measuring
exact sex allocation is unlikely to be successful and "perhaps even impossible
given the fact that flowers serve both male and female fitness." Fortunately,
"it is hardly ever interesting to do so" (more on this below). At least
theoretically, sex allocation in hermaphrodites is readily modeled in terms
of unequally diminishing returns on investment in one or both sex functions.
Complicating factors, however, abound, most importantly the effects of
population structure and selfing, and sex distorters, such as mitochondrial
male sterility factors.
Before turning to the chapters addressing these and other
plant-relevant topics, here a summary of what the other chapters of Sex
Ratios offer. The statistical treatment of the proportion of males
over males plus females (mathematically more tractable than ratios) is
covered in chapters 2, 3, and 5. Chapter 3 is especially long and includes
a detailed exposition of generalized linear models, the strongest way to
analyze sex ratio data. All three chapters include worked examples, boxes
with definitions, and assessments of available programs. Chapter 6 discusses
the comparative approach to the study of sex ratio evolution (no studies
from plants so far!), and the following chapters cover sex ratios in vertebrates,
invertebrates in general, social insects, parasitic hymenoptera with unusual
life-histories, mites, aphids, birds, humans, and malaria parasites and
related protozoa. The book concludes with chapters on operational sex ratios
and mating competition, a strikingly critical assessment of the past and
the future of sex ratio research by Hecht Orzack, and a more optimistic
one on `sex ratios: why bother?' by West and Herre. One take home message
is that deviations from 1:1 are extremely difficult to show, requiring
huge samples sizes, and equally difficult to attribute to proximate and
What is there about plants? First, nothing on environmental
sex determination (ESD) in plants although ESD comes up in three chapters.
Mentioning plants probably would have detracted from the chapters' focus.
On the other hand, bringing in environmental sex determination in Catasetinae,
Cucurbitaceae, oil palms, or jack-in-the pulpit might have broadened the
discussion of why ESD has evolved, given that selection will normally favor
a low sex ratio variance among offspring rather than a sex ratio that fluctuates
with environmental conditions. Another undertreated topic is the role of
cytoplasmic, specifically mitochondrial, male sterility factors. Their
coverage in the chapter on sex ratio distorters by R. Stouthamer, G. Hurst,
and J. Breeuwer is superficial and contains errors. The phenotype of these
genes involves disruption of the normal function of the anther tapetum
where mitochondrial density in plants is extremely high, causing misshapen
anthers and partially or completely sterile pollen. Mitochondrial male
sterility factors are known from gynodioecious angiosperms (e.g., Frank,
1989), not dioecious angiosperms as claimed here. Since mitochondria are
exclusively maternally inherited (in angiosperms), this sets up a conflict
between the mitochondrial genome, which now selfishly favors the production
of ovules and the nuclear genome, which continues to favor the allocation
of at least some resources to pollen production (increasingly more as the
mitochondrial factors spread).
What the plant chapters in Sex Ratios (by Klinkhamer
and de Jong, and de Jong and Klinkhamer) treat well is sex allocation in
monomorphic populations and sex ratios in dioecious angiosperms. As alluded
to above, Klinkhamer and de Jong think that it is not necessary to know
the exact allocation to male and female function. Instead it may be more
productive to demonstrate trade-offs by manipulation experiments on individuals
while checking whether other plant characteristics are correlated with
the trade-off being analyzed. Many examples of such studies are provided.
De Jong and Klinkhamer's strength is modeling, and they are less interested
in the evolution of dioecy or its natural history. This explains misunderstandings
such as the claim that in dioecious plants `both male and female organs
develop in each of their flowers, in separate floral whorls, but the development
of one type is halted before maturity.' Clearly, this is not true of the
vast majority of the ca. 14,620 dioecious species of flowering plants (Renner
and Ricklefs, 1995); ab initio unisexual flowers characterize Cucurbitaceae,
Euphorbiaceae, Menispermaceae, Myristicaceae, Moraceae, Siparunaceae, Urticaceae,
and many others. The particular model they develop for sex ratios in dioecious
plants assumes that plants are annuals (not true of most dioecists, as
they admit) and that male and female seeds are of different size and thus
unequally costly to produce (unknown in nature so far). The insight from
the model, as from classic sex-allocation theory, is that, with at least
some sib-mating, female bias in the seeds is expected in dioecious plants.
`[F]or long-lived trees with good pollen and seed dispersal the appropriateness
of the prediction is less clear.' Since there are very few strong data
on seed sex ratios and sib-mating in dioecious species, we do not at present
know whether plants conform to seed sex ratio equality or female bias.
As indicated above, huge sample sizes are needed for inferences about sex
This book is beautifully produced and often fun to read,
but contains unexpectly little on plants, and then only on angiosperms.
For most plant biologists, it may be sufficient to have their library buy
it. - Susanne Renner, Univ of Missouri- St. Louis.
Frank, S. A. 1989. The evolutionary dynamics of cytoplasmic
male sterility. Am. Nat. 133: 345-376.
Renner, S. S., and R. E. Ricklefs. 1995. Dioecy and its
correlates in the flowering plants. Am. J. Bot. 82: 596-606
Artemisia, Colin W. Wright
(ed). 2002. ISBN 0-415-27212-2 (Cloth US$65.00) 344 pp. Taylor & Francis
Books Ltd., Thompson Publishing Services, Cheriton House, North Way, Andover,
Hampshire, SP10 5BE, UK _ I was excited to see this title and then somewhat
letdown to learn it was part of a series, volume 18 in fact, Medicinal
and Aromatic Plants _ Industrial Profiles. I had hoped for a broader
treatment of Artemisia. The series is designed to provide industry
and academia with in-depth coverage of major medicinal or aromatic plants
of industrial importance. The editor's preface states that the book is
primarily devoted to the traditional use, cultivation, genetics, and phytochemistry
of the herb Artemisia annua (Quing Hao, in Chinese) and its antimalarial
agent artemisinin along with an introduction to the genus via (1) a general
introduction and (2) treatments of a few other representative species and
a treatment of the chemical and pharmaceutical analysis and quality control
of commercial Artemisia
species. The book meets those objectives.
The book includes 15 chapters with an impressive international
list of contributing authors and covers three general areas. First is an
introduction to Artemisia and the chemical analysis and quality
control for commercial species (2 chapters). This is followed by a review
of six species (A. absinthium, A. drancunculus, A. herba-alba, A. ludoviciana
A. pallens, and A. vulgaris) with historical
and current commercial uses in herbal medicine, condiments, ethnobotany,
perfumes, etc. (6 chapters). The balance of the book is an in-depth treatment
A. annua with its use in traditional Chinese medicine, the modern
discovery of its antimalarial agent, artemisinin (7 chapters). This section
includes material on cultural care and phytochemistry of A. annua,
the development of additional artemisinin-derived antimalarial agents,
and the variation, heredity, clinical use, mode of action, and regulation
The book has a decided phytochemical and medicinal flavor.
An annoyance for me was that the chemical structures, of which dozens are
illustrated, are not treated in a uniform manner in the various chapters—both
the style of illustration and the manner of labeling vary widely. The importance
and timely discovery of artemisinin (1971) and its derivative agents for
treatment of malaria when its causative agents began developing resistance
to quinine and sulfonamide treatments are carefully documented. Chinese
traditional medicine is clearly explained (Chapter 9) including the use
of various Artemisia species including A. annua for chills
and fevers as early as AD 340.
The introductory chapter covers, in summary form, what
one would expect the whole volume to expand to given its one word title.
It does give the reader a summary of the place of Artemisia in the
world; systematic placement, geological and evolutionary history, pharmaceutical
and economic uses, ethnobotany, chemistry, physiology, and ecology and
management. These areas are what I had hoped to see a whole book devoted
to. These areas are unevenly treated. And, there are some errors, e.g.,
the Clements and Hall (1923) reference is Hall and Clements, the Diettert
(1961) reference is (1938), the Shultz (1984) reference is (1986). The
genetics and ecology and management sections are weak. Artemisia
includes several examples of elegant polyploid complexes (A. tridentata,
A. ludoviciana, A. maritima, A. vulgaris,
and A. drancunculus).
The genus has been subjected to newly described molecular genetic (ITS
and cp DNA) studies. Neither cytogenetic nor molecular genetics were discussed
in any detail. The ecology and management of the landscape dominant complexes,
e.g., A. tridentata in North America and A. herba-alba in
the Mediterranean basin and western Asia were only superficially addressed.
The discussion on the degradation of the big sagebrush (A. tridentata)
complex does not mention the dramatically shortened fire cycles with the
correlated cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion and dominance that
is, perhaps, the major land management problem in semiarid western
The chemical analysis and quality control chapter (Chapter
2) and the six species chapters (Chapters 3-8) emphasize current commercial
uses and ethnobotany of representative Artemisia species with emphases
on phytochemistry and herbal, culinary, addictive (in the case of A.
absinthium), and industrial uses. These chapters will give the reader
a feel for the diversity and utility of plants of the genus Artemisia.
They don't, in general, include discussion on systematics or ecology and
are of uneven quality.
The strength of the book lies in the concluding 7 chapters
Artemisia annua is described and characterized
in a myriad of ways; especially in respect to its antimalarial properties.
These chapters describe the historic Chinese traditional uses of Quing
Hao (= green herb), the isolation and characterization of artemisinin and
its derivatives. These compounds can not be routinely synthesized but must
be extracted from A. annua. These chapters describe the state of
the art in cultivation of A. annua and the variation and heritability,
mode of action, clinical use, and regulation of artemisinin and its derivatives.
This book is useful for those who are interested in the
herbal and medicinal uses of Artemisia especially in learning about
the recent advances in the use of A. annua for the treatment of
malaria. It is not a general treatment of the genus nor was it intended
to be despite the short title, Artemisia. Such a book is yet to
be written although excellent books on portions of the genus with special
emphases have been published, e.g., Harvey Hall and Frederic Clements'
Phylogenetic Method in Taxonomy, The North American Species of Artemisia,
and Atriplex (1923, Carnegie Institution of
Washington, Washington, DC) and Stephen Trimble's The Sagebrush Ocean
University of Nevada Press, Reno, NV). _ E. Durant McArthur, USDA Forest
Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Shrub Sciences Laboratory, Provo,
Cacti: Biology and Uses. Nobel,
Park S. (ed). ISBN 0-520-23157-0 (Cloth US$65.00) 290 pp. University of
California Press, 2000 Center Street #303, Berkeley, CA 94704. With Cacti:
Biology and Uses, Park Nobel presents yet another fine work on succulent
plants. He is the editor of this volume and coauthor of one of the 15 chapters.
This follows his previous works, including the variously titled editions
of his mathematically-based book on plant ecology and Remarkable Agaves
and Cacti, both of which dealt in whole or in part with succulents. This
work is intended to present a complete review of the various aspects of
the botany of cacti, though the cover photograph and design first brings
to mind a horticultural book from Timber Press. This book covers a very
wide range of topics, from the basic botany and ecology of cacti to details
of their production for use by humans and animals.
The various chapters include a treatment on how cacti
evolved and the present state of systematic work on the Cactaceae, a consideration
of the structure and function of their roots, and an examination of some
products derived indirectly or directly from cacti. These latter subjects
include the dye cochineal, extracted from the bodies of parasites living
on cacti, and young cladodes, called nopalitos, eaten as a green vegetable.
In addition, other chapters concern themselves with subjects such as the
biology and agriculture of cactus pears, the fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica,
and important insect pests of various native and introduced cacti around
the world. The various authors also cover the rest of the range of topics
which might be expected from a volume like this, such as the state of conservation
biology for cacti and impacts on their conservation by collectors, microbial
symbionts of cacti, and the anthropology of cacti, including their domestication.
Throughout is chapters, Cacti: Biology and Uses is well,
but not lavishly, illustrated with black and white photographs and figures.
Though these images are generally of very good quality, especially given
that they are not reproduced on glossy stock, the reader might prefer morephotographs. However, given the target audience, many readers may already
have access to images of many of the species discussed. Still, given the
eye-catching photograph of many ripe cactus pears in an orchard, the illustrations
inside are something of a disappointment.
The chapters of Cacti: Biology and Uses have a uniform
style, which is clear and concise as well as exceptionally easy read for
a book of this type. This may well reflect the influence of Nobel, who
has previously described detailed botanical biophysics in a very approachable
way. The text contains enough information to hold the interest of someone
working in the field of cacti and other succulents, but at the same time,
it will be easily accessible for undergraduate students and interested
College and university libraries should buy a copy of
this work, and many gardeners will want to join teachers of botany and
ecology in purchasing Cacti: Biology and Uses. It would make a valuable
addition to reading lists for introductory undergraduate courses and could
be a valuable reading assignment for upper level undergraduates as well
as graduate students. - Douglas Darnowski, Washington College, Chestertown,
Eucalyptus. The Genus Eucalyptus.
John J. W. Coppen (Ed.) 2002. ISBN 0-415-27879-1 (Cloth US$75.00) 450 pp.
and Geranium and Pelargonium. The Genera Geranium and Pelargonium.
Maria Lis-Balchin (Ed.) 2002. ISBN 0-415-28487-2 (Cloth US$90.00) 318 pp.
- These two books were published as volumes 22 and 27 in the series "Medical
and aromatic Plants _ Industrial Profiles" by Taylor & Francis Book
Inc, 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001. The use of eucalyptus
as a commercial source of volatile oils forms the basis for much of the
content of the first volume. Nevertheless, four introductory chapters serve
as an overview of contemporary Eucalyptus taxonomy, ecology, cultivation,
and breeding. Particularly interesting is Calender's chapter on eucalyptus
effects on evaporation, runoff, and erosion. The genus Eucalyptus,
which is native to Australia and some islands to the north of it, consists
of over 800 species of trees. Over 100 species are grown for timber, pulp,
and fuelwood. However, as the Australian aborigines discovered thousands
of years ago, Eucalyptus has numerous medicinal and aromatic properties.
Since the first commercialdistillation of eucalyptus oil 150 years ago,
many eucalyptus-based products have entered the marketplace, mainly for
pharmaceutical, fragrance, and flavor use. Medicinal-type eucalyptus oil
_ or its main constituent, 1,8-cineole _ is an ingredient in hundreds of
pharmaceutical products and used for the treatment of ailments ranging
from colds to joint pain and skin disorders. Two chapters are dedicated
to Eucalyptus chemistry and oil distillation techniques. Five chapters
review cultivation of eucalypts in Australia, China, Africa, South America,
and India. Seven closing chapters deal with bioactivity of eucalyptus oils,
chemical ecology (including allelopathy), and end-use aspects. Seven appendices
summarize information on sources of eucalyptus seeds, estimates of eucalypt
plantations worldwide, composition of commercially distilled oils, and
some other important data. Cultivation of eucalypts outside their natural
range remains controversial, but it is still much less questionable than
cultivation of definitely invasive alien woody plants like acacias and
The second volume covers many aspects of the taxonomy,
phytochemistry, cultivation, pharmacology, and industrial processing of
the genera Geranium and Pelargonium . These two temperate
genera are of about the same size, ca. 300 species. The former one is relatively
widespread in the both hemispheres, the latter is concentrated in the South
African Cape Province. The main usage of Geranium species is in
herbal medicine, while that of the Pelargonium-derived Geranium
oil is in perfumery, cosmetics and aromatherapy products. Twenty six chapters
in this volume were written by 19 authors from Bulgaria, France. Germany,
Poland, and UK. The practical importance of the majority of the chapters
is uncontestable. Anybody interested in propagation, chemotaxonomy, oil
distillation, or medical use of species in the two genera will find something
useful in this volume. From a more general point of view, I found the chapter
"Phylogenetical relationship within the genus Pelargonium based
on the RAPD-PCR method of DNA analysis correlated with the essential oil
composition" most interesting.
Unfortunately, several recent conclusions from the recent
studies in taxonomy and phylogeny of the three genera are not reported
(e.g., Jackson et al. 1999; Udovicic and Ladiges 2000; Price and Palmer
1993; Bakker et al. 2000; Feliner and Aedo 1995; Dryer and Marais
2000). Nevertheless, these two volumes represent useful overviews of the
current knowledge of
Eucalyptus, Geranium, and Pelargonium.
They will serve as an invaluable source to all botanists interested in
these genera, but especially to those interested in their medicinal, cosmetic,
and perfume use. - Marcel Rejmánek, Section of Evolution and Ecology,
university of California, Davis, CA 95616.
Bakker, F.T., Culham, A., Pankhurst, C.E. and Gibby, M.
2000. Mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA-based phylogeny of Pelargonium
Am. J. Bot. 87: 727-734.
Dryes, L.L. and Marais, e.M. 2000. Section Reniformia,
a new section in the genus Pelargonium (Geraniaceae). South Afr.
J. Bot. 66: 44-51.
Feliner, G.N. and Aedo, C. 1995. A cladistic analysis
of Geranium subgenus Erodioidea (Picard) Yeo (Geraniaceae).
Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 119: 195-212.
Jackson, H.D., Steane, D.A., Potts, B.M. and Villancourt,
R.E. 1999. Chloroplast DNA evidence for reticulate evolution in Eucalyptus
(Myrtaceae). Mol. Ecol. 8: 739-751.
Price, R.A. and Palmer, J.D. 1993. Phylogenetic relationships
of Geraniaceae and Gentianales from rbcL sequence comparisons. Ann.
Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 661-671.
Udovicic, F. and Ladiges, P.Y. 2000. Informativeness of
nuclear and chloroplast DNA regions and the phylogeny of the eucalypts
and related genera (Myrtaceae). Kew Bulletin 55: 633-645.
The Guarijios of the Sierra
Madre. Yetman, David. 2002. ISBN 0-8263-2234-4 (cloth US$49.95) 270pp.
University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. The Guarijio
are a little known people of the tropical deciduous forests of northwestern
Mexico. At one time believed extinct by the outside world, the Guarijios
have continued with their often-tenuous existence high in the hills of
the Sierra Madre of southern Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico.They inhabit
one of the most inaccessible areas of North America, a land of deep canyons
surrounded by incredibly steep mountains. This land is also some of the
most botanically diverse in North America; almost 3000 plant species are
known from the Rio Mayo drainage (Martin et al. 1998). Very little flat
ground exists in this landscape and the Guarijio have learned to survive
by farming the steep hillsides and collecting the native plants.
Howard Scott Gentry was one of the first researchers to
spend time among the Guarijios and made the first modern records of them
in the 1930s. Between the last Spanish records and the publication of Gentry's
(1942), nearly one hundred years went by with no record
of the Guarijio. Before that, we have only the records of the Spanish priests
intent on converting them. While collecting botanical specimens and information
Rio Mayo Plants, Gentry also collected extensive ethnobotanical
notes. These were later published in his work on Guarijio ethnobotany (Gentry
1963). In The Guarijios of the Sierra Madre Yetman builds upon Gentry's
earlier works and presents his experiences in an accessible format for
readers. This book also complements Gentry's Rio Mayo Plants (Martin
et al. 1998), expanding on the ethnobotanical uses of the plants of the
Rio Mayo drainage listed there.
The Guarijios of the Sierra Madre comprises 15
chapters addressing various aspects of the Guarijio people and their world,
and the author's travels among them. The chapters tend to jump around some,
with chapters relating the author's travels among the Guarijios interspersed
with the chapters on their history and the geography of the area. (Because
of this, some of the information occasionally seems redundant between chapters.)
The first chapter is a short introduction that explains how Yetman came
to study the Guarijio and their use of plants.
Chapters 3 _ 5 present the history and cultural definition
of the Guarijio. A general history of the Guarijio is presented in Chapter
3, condensing several Spanish sources that have not been available in English
before now. Much of the Guarijios' history is unknown prior to the 1930's.
Unfortunately, during that time, the Guarijio were landless and often living
on the doorstep of starvation and forced to work as sharecroppers for Mexican
ranchers. In the seventies, the Guarijio rebelled, and against overwhelming
odds, where able to prove their claims to the land they lived and worked
on, and establish their own ejidos (communally owed tracts of land). With
the creation of their ejidos and governmental assistance, the Guarijio
were finally able to own the land they farmed. Chapter 4 describes the
tuburada, the communal festival that is the religious focal point for the
Guarijio. This festival with its associated woman's dance, the tuburi,
and their language is what distinguishes the Guarijio as a people. Chapter
5 further discusses the culture and people of the Guarijio.
The physical features, geologic history, and vegetation
of the Guarijio lands are addressed in chapter 7. The topography of the
Rio Mayo drainage is extremely convoluted and incised by deep canyons,
revealing its dramatic geologic history. It is in this convoluted landscape
that tropical deciduous forest reaches its northern distribution. Yetman
gives an excellent overview of this vegetation type and his descriptions
are useful in demonstrating the rich plant diversity found here. The author's
description of the contrast between the lushness of the wet season and
the barrenness of the dry season is particularly interesting.
Chapters 2, 6 and 8 _ 12 are engaging narratives of the
author's travels to various Guarijio villages (many inaccessible by automobile).
These stories are full of anecdotes of the Guarijios' botanical knowledge
and their use of native plants. In addition, there is much information
on their history, culture and customs. Chapter 12 delves deeper into the
conversion of the Guarijio to evangelical Christianity and the attendant
erosion of Guarijio culture. The evangelicals denounce the dancing of the
tuburi and the associated tuburada, and the speaking of Guarijio _ the
things that make the Guarijio who they are. On the positive side, they
discourage drinking, helping prevent the rampant alcoholism prevalent among
Chapter 13 presents some of Yetman's personal opinions
on the status of Guarijios in Mexico and their future place in the world.
This is one the more engaging, although very political chapters in the
book. Here, and elsewhere, Yetman strongly implicates the role of the cattle
culture, especially the introduction of buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare),
in the erosion of the Guarijio culture and destruction of the tropical
deciduous forest. He argues a strong case for the infeasibility of raising
cattle as a sustainable activity in the tropical deciduous forest environs
inhabited by the Guarijio. The "Mexicanization" of the Guarijio through
cattle makes them dependent on Mexican economic and agricultural aid and
decreases their level of independence. Guarijio independence is derived,
in part, from the forest. As the forest is removed to provide more pasture
for cattle, the Guarijio lose their independence and are forced to rely
more and more on the cattle. Ultimately, however, little money is realized
from the sale of cattle and the biggest source of income for the Guarijio
may actually be from the illegal drug trade. Yetman also examines the influence
of the drug trade on Guarijio society. US drug policy ensures a steady
supply of well-paid work for the Guarijio. While drug money provides quick
money for the Guarijios, it also contributes to the destruction of their
forested lands. Additionally, it brings a culture of violence that contributes
to the deterioration of Guarijio society.
The final two chapters emphasize plants the most. Chapter
Fourteen is a brief explanation of why the book focuses on plants and introduces
nine representative plant species that are particularly important to the
Guarijios. Chapter 15, Ethnoflora of the Guarijios, is a catalog of plants
utilized by the Guarijios as documented by Yetman and others (e.g., Martin
et al. 1998; Gentry 1963). Plants are organized alphabetically by their
family, with an entry for each species. The plant's scientific name is
given along with the Guarijio name(s) and any Spanish or English common
names. For each plant, there is a short description of how the Guarijio
utilize it. Additionally, there is a short English-Guarijio-Spanish dictionary
of plant anatomy terms.
Appendix A is comprised of several useful items. The Gazetteer
of the Guarijio Region presents information on village and river locations,
population statistics, derivation of names, and general notes on the Guarijio
world. A map of the area in the front of the book complements this. Following
the gazetteer are the chapter notes. These are expansions on the information
presented in the chapters, in lieu of footnotes or copious bibliographic
citations. These notes are particularly interesting, and the reader will
find a wealth of information in them. Yetman has also included a useful
Spanish and Guarijio glossary. The index includes individual plant names,
both by scientific and Spanish common names, and English plant family names.
The Guarijios of the Sierra Madre is copiously
illustrated with black and white pictures of the Sierra Madres, the Guarijios
and their plants. However, it is unfortunate that a few color photographs
were not included, as only color can convey the vibrant green of the tropical
deciduous forest during the rainy season and the monotonous brown of the
This is a very engaging and entertaining book that I would
recommend to anyone interested in the exploration of tropical deciduous
forests of Mexico, native peoples of Mexico, or ethnobotany. While not
strictly an ethnobotanical account, The Guarijios of the Sierra Madre
provides an information packed account of the author's adventures among
the Guarijios in the mountains of Mexico. Yetman's travels are full of
his observations on plants and their uses, the culture of the Guarijio
people and a healthy interjection of humor, often at his own expense. It
is also a window on a little known culture south of our border that still
relies heavily on native plants available only in intact tropical deciduous
forests. -James P. Riser II, University of Colorado at Denver, Denver,
Gentry, H. S. 1942. Rio Mayo Plants. Washington,
D.C., Carnegie Institution.
Gentry, H. S. 1963. The Wahrihio Indians of Sonora
_ Chihuahua: An Ethnographic Survey. Anthropological Papers No. 65.
Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 186. Washington, D.C., Smithsonian
Martin, P. S., D. Yetman, M. Fishbein, P. Jenkins, T.
R.Van Devender, and R. Wilson. 1998. Gentry's Rio Mayo Plants: The Tropical
Deciduous Forest and Environs of Northwest Mexico. Tucson, University
of Arizona Press.
Lavender: the genus Lavandula.
Maria, ed. 2002. ISBN 0-415 28486-4 (Cloth US$80.00) 268 pp. Taylor &
Francis Books 29 West 35th St., New York, NY 10001. - This
is the most recent addition to the series: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
- Industrial Profiles, having the stated intent "to provide both industry
and academia with in-depth coverage of major medicinal or aromatic plants
of industrial importance." The treatment reports a broad range of topics,
from taxonomy, propagation and retail nursery cultivation, to phytochemistry,
and from historic use of Lavandula species, to antimicrobial properties,
psychological effects, and aromatherapy and perfumery benefits. Thus, in
my view, this is the ultimate monograph of a genus.
The editor's historical review of usage provides a good
introduction to its importance since antiquity. Its use in classical times
presages its rise in popularity in the Middle Ages all through to Victorian
times. Its aromatic qualities are featured prominently in the chapters.
The expertise of Jeffrey Harborne and Christine Williams provides clarity
to the discussion of the phytochemistry of the genus. Folk-medicinal usage
is included in the chapter about pharmacology of Lavandula essential
oils and extracts
in vitro and in vivo. One subject that
is not frequently found in botanical monographs, is the approach found
in the chapter devoted to the psychological effects of lavender, by Michael
Edited works sometimes yield uneven results, because each
contributor puts a different amount of effort into the work submitted.
Here, the overall product is quite uniformly excellent, as regards detail
and significance. While there may be some slight overlap of the contents
of some chapters, each author's specific contribution can stand-alone and
includes references. This consistency might be due to the determination,
and in part perhaps, to the predominance of contributions by the editor,
who is sole or co-author of 13 of the 24 essays.
The volume is well illustrated with some color plates
of inflorescences, and black and white historic photographs of formal gardens,
harvesting, distillation of the oil, and several herbarium specimens illustrating
two lavender hybrids, a puzzling complex. An electron micrograph of the
oil glands and hairs on the calyx of ripe lavender is particularly appreciated.
The book concludes with an alphabetical index. Before
the Preface, the list of contributors with contact information, including
professional postal as well as email addresses adds a contemporary quality.
Lavender is a book that belongs in the library collections of economic
botanists, universities and colleges, and especially of medical schools.
- Dorothea Bedigian,
Narcissus and Daffoldil The
Genus Narcissus, Hanks, Gordon R. (ed). 2002. ISBN 0-415-27344-7 (Cloth
US$70.00) 428 pp. Taylor & Francis Books, Ltd., Cheriton House, North
Way, Andover, Hampshire SP10 5BE. United Kingdom.edited This book fills
the twenty-first place in the series on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants-Industrial
Profiles, from Taylor & Francis. It aims to provide a complete look
at the plants of the genus Narcissus as they are used by humans, concentrating
both on the use of these plants in horticulture and on those alkaloids
provided by this genus. Many chapters deal partially or completely with
one of these alkaloids, galanthamine, the main active ingredient in the
drug Reminyl. This makes sense given that the series is designed so that
"Each volume gives an in-depth look at one plant genus, about which an
area specialist has assembled information ranging from the production of
the plant to market trends and quality control" (p.vii).
This particular work opens with a chapter on the basic
biology of the members of Narcissus, followed by consideration of the folkloric
significance of daffodils and their cousins and on the current state of
systematics for the genus. Then the various authors move quickly to economically-important
topics, from details of commercial production to various pharmaceutical
chapters to the use of the various species of Narcissus in the perfume
industry. Of the 20 chapters, 14 deal mostly or wholly with alkaloids or
some other medically and agriculturally important compounds, such as lectins.
The alkaloids of the members of Narcissus have received interest particularly
in their medicinal use as ACE inhibitors, and obtaining galanthamine from
Narcissus is a particularly attractive option, according to the authors.
This is because this alkaloid was originally found in threatened allied
genera in the Amaryllidaceae, but it also occurs at sufficiently high concentrations
in the widely-grown genus Narcissus to make this a second commercially
viable source, taking pressure off threatened plants. One odd point is
the placement of chapters on lectins and perfumery, which fall in the middle
of a large group of the chapters concentrating on alkaloids without an
obvious reason for this placement. One good point is the amount of easily-followed
practical data included such as 1H-NMR spectra of various important alkaloids
and numerous references which will help readers access the Soviet literature.
Throughout Narcissus and Daffodil The Genus Narcissus,
the quality of the writing is evenly good, and the various black and white
figures and photographs serve their purpose, along with a few color images,
though more black and white photographs with higher quality reproduction
might have improved this volume. The book is written from the perspective
of the United Kingdom, and much of the practical data relates directly
to production there, though not to the exclusion of all other countries.
This volume will be of interest both to horticulturists
and to those involved with medical botany, given its emphases on production
of bulbs and flowers on the one hand and on physiologically active alkaloids
on the other. Medical botanists may find the last chapter, on patents related
to this genus, of particular interest. College and university libraries,
especially those serving populations with interests in horticulture and
medical botany should obtain a copy. Readings from this volume might be
of use in upper level undergraduate courses, and certainly would be of
value to graduate students working in these areas. - Douglas Darnowski,
Washington College, Chestertown, MD.
Travels in the Genetically Modified
Zone. Mark L. Winston. Harvard University Press, 2002, $27.95. ISBN
0-674-00867-7 Genetic engineering technology as applied to food affects
all of us in the United States, but most of us aren't even aware of its
presence. However, sentiment from those involved with it seems to be bimodal,
with corporate farmers and industry adamantly pro-biotechnology and organic
farmers and consumer advocate groups vehemently anti-biotech. Scientific
data are used by both sides, and each side seems to talk past the other.
In this book, Mark Winston describes the issues involved with genetically
modified organisms (GMOs) from each point of view and places the origins
of each position in historical context while also analyzing the studies
cited by each position. Many current books on the subject take an extreme
stance and use partial data to support it; the main strength of Winston's
book is that he begins by questioning the scientists involved in each study
and bases his initial opinions on their evidence. His conclusions therefore
more often indicate qualified risks or benefits than the definite answers
presumed by short media summaries. However, he also attempts to explain
the rationale behind the more extreme viewpoints of others that lead to
those dualistic interpretations.
The first two chapters encapsulate the history of agriculture,
its transformation to agribusiness, and the first wave of biotechnology.
The agricultural history grounds the discussion with the concept that the
entirety of crop management has entailed some form of genetic manipulation,
and indicates how this management was facilitated by the development of
privatized seed production and distribution. The history of recombinant
DNA research is then introduced to link the creation of the industrial
scientist to the current status of crop biotech research, as well as to
provide an example of regulatory success to contrast with the current state
of biotech safeguards.
Expanding on the regulatory angle, two subsequent chapters
examine the involvement of the EPA with genetically modified crops and
the role of patents in gene research. Both provide explanation of how the
regulatory agencies came to be involved in the research and why current
regulations exist. Winston enumerates problems with the regulatory systems
and the tension between scientists, industry, and farmers over the amount
of regulation that has been proscribed. A separate chapter examines the
development of golden rice in detail, mainly to illustrate the legal climate
One chapter is concerned with the potential of genetically
modified crops for environmental damage, and it contains many well-known
examples. Starlink corn, monarch butterflies, and others make their required
appearances, but Winston uses the approach of allowing the scientists who
were involved to state their own analyses of the data and describe follow-up
studies as well. In this way, more complex and moderate conclusions for
each are described than those usually associated with these studies. For
example, he continues the monarch-Bt connection with lesser-cited studies
of the black swallowtail, indicating that the toxic effects vary in different
species and with different crop varieties. In addition, he raises other
examples that have received less press, such as the accidental creation
of triple-herbicide resistant canola in Alberta. The strengths of his treatment
of these stories are that he clearly places them in context of both the
history leading up to the studies, discusses them with the primary participants,
and qualifies the results with possible alternative explanations, interactions,
and levels of significance
Changing from a scientific to an economic slant, two chapters
focus on farmers and their viewpoints on GMOs. One chapter examines their
benefits to conventional farmers, and details the economic, ecological,
and philosophical reasons most conventional farmers are enthusiastic about
them. Another chapter discusses the challenges faced by organic farmers
and others who do not wish to use the genetically modified crops, such
as environmental, regulatory, and processing difficulties.
The most interesting two chapters explore public sentiment
behind the GMO debates. Winston describes his experiences attending both
pro-and anti-biotech conventions, and how each manages to be completely
persuasive and manipulative. His analysis of the public relations errors
(and outright disasters) that biotech companies have made lead him to the
conclusion that public trust in the companies is a much larger contributing
factor to pro- or anti-GMO standpoints than the scientific data. This conclusion
is, for him, pivotal in trying to resolve the debate, and he concludes
the book with suggestions as to what steps each involved party could take
to further the benefits of genetic research while paying appropriate attention
to the potential hazards and public relations issues involved.
The criticisms I have for this book are slight. Although
I have organized my chapter synopses by topic, the chapter organization
in the book is more random and disjointed. There are a few places where
information is lacking; for example, the genetic basis behind hybrid vigor
is poorly explained, and a link between the initial development of recombinant
DNA technology and its adoption by seed companies is stated to exist but
is never described. The writing style does become a bit dry at times, particularly
in the basic background statements of the more familiar topics. The index
is not as complete and intuitive as it could be; in one instance, it took
me three tries to find a particular reference. However, the strengths of
the book far outweigh the negative aspects. Throughout the book Winston
uses a calm tone and even approach that is not often seen in popular biotech
literature. He excels at presenting scientific evidence on both sides of
each issue and also analyzes emotional responses to the debate. He does
state his position on each issue, but provides the background and rationale
of each side to allow readers to draw their own conclusions. GMOs provide
a wonderful addition to classes both for their botanical emphasis and current
event status; I would highly recommend this book as a starting point to
anyone contemplating incorporating GMO topics in a curriculum. For those
new to the subject as well as those who are already familiar with the issues,
this book provides a valuable comprehensive, objective analysis of the
history and current status of GMOs. - Carlie Phipps, Department of Math/Science,
SUNY Institute of Technology, Utica, NY 13504-3050
English-Spanish Dictionary of
Plant Biology: Including Plantae, Monera, Protoctista, Fungi and Index
of Spanish Equivalents. 2002. Morris, David W. and Marta Z. Morris.
ISBN 1-898326-97-5 (Paper US$28.95) 647 pp. Cambridge International Science
Publishing, 7 Meadow Walk, Great Abington, Cambridge CB1 6AZ, United Kingdom.
- The Morrises' English-Spanish Dictionary of Plant Biology is a dictionary
in the full sense of the word, giving not just the Spanish translations
of over 12,000 plant science terms but the English definitions of those
terms as well. Because of the broad coverage of disciplines - with words
from basic botany, cytogenetics, genetic engineering, molecular biology,
plant morphology, and population biology among others — it is a valuable
resource for the English definitions alone. The Spanish translations will
be very welcome to people who have been keeping several specialized reference
books on the shelf to deal with today's multidisciplinary emphasis. The
effort to surmount language barriers in several disciplines with a broad-ranging
compilation has been tried before: in T.J. Bezemer's 1934 Dictionary of
Terms Relating to Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Cattle Breeding,
Dairy Industry and Apiculture in English, French, German and Dutch; in
Louise Schoenhals's 1988 Spanish-English Glossary of Mexican Flora and
Fauna; and Alvin Medina's 1988 English-Spanish Glossary of Terminology
Used in Forestry, Range, Wildlife, Fishery, Soils, and Botany published
by the United States Department of Agriculture. But these works, admirable
as they are, provide only translations, not the extensive definitions offered
by David and Marta Morris. In addition, a more recent work has the advantage
of being able to include terms that have come into being only in the last
The first two-thirds of the book contains the English-to-Spanish
translations of terms and the English definitions. A typical entry, for
"diakinesis," reads: "diacinesis. diaquinesis. The final stage in the prophase
of meiosis when all the chiasmata reach the ends of the tetrads and the
homologues can separate during anaphase; chromosomes are tightly coiled
have formed the compact tetrads which are spread out in the nucleus, and
the nucleolus disappears. The five stages of prophase in meiosis are: leptotene,
zygotene, pachytene, diplotene, and diakinesis." The entry is typical in
several ways, giving more than one Spanish translation if several words
or spellings are in use; providing a plain English definition of the term;
and giving additional information (the names of the other stages of meiosis)
that might be of interest to a reader consulting the entry.
Other entries are similarly wide-ranging: the entry for
"genetic load" lists and defines three types (input load, balanced load,
and substitutional load); the entry for "Fehling's solution" gives the
recipe, the purpose, the indicator color, and the chemical reaction; the
entry for "dioecious" notes that plants of both sexes must grow near each
other for fertilization to occur, and gives an example of a dioecious plant.
The last third of the book is a list of Spanish terms
and their English translations. The entries here are brief. "herencia cualitativa,
qualitative inheritance." A reader translating material from Spanish to
English would use this section first to determine the English word. He
or she might then consult the first section of the book if the English
term is unfamiliar.
One often hears the argument that scientists can understand
papers in any language because all the scientific terms are the same anyway.
For some words that is true. A reader translating in either direction might
easily guess that "tonoplast" and "tonoplasto" are equivalent. But what
about "sticky end" or "feedback loop" or "deciduous forest," all included
in this volume? A good bilingual dictionary gives the user confidence that
the term in question has been properly translated and correctly spelled
whether the required linguistic metamorphosis is major or minor.
This dictionary will be most useful to English speakers
who are delving into the Spanish-language literature and to people with
facility in everyday Spanish or English who want to render scientific terms
correctly. Because the definitions are in English, the book has less utility
for Spanish-only speakers, but it still provides translations between Spanish
and English for a large and diverse group of plant science terms. The dictionary
is modern enough to include genetic engineering and transformation while
retaining non-technical terms, such as "ear" and "silk," relating to traditional
The dictionary is not perfect. There are indications that
some intended editing tasks were not completed before publication. For
example, the entry for "sister cell" reads "one of two cells formed by
the division of a pre-exiting cell. ??????" The underlined word
(which probably should be "pre-existing") and the six question marks suggest
that this entry was marked for review and correction but was not revisited.
But such errors are few and do not negate the contribution that this book
Royalties from the book go toward maintaining the American
Indian Museum of Plants and Healing in Jasper, Texas, where David and Marta
Morris are curators. - Judy Harrington, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences,
Colorado State University.
The Fever Trail: In Search of the
Cure for Malaria.
Mark Honigsbaum. 2002. 0-374-15469-4 (Cloth,
US $25.00). 307 pp. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 19 Union
Square West, New York NY 10003. _ Malaria, a mosquito-dispersed disease
caused by a protozoan (Plasmodium), has over the span of recorded
history killed more humans than any other disease. There was no effective
treatment for it until the 17th century, when Jesuits in Peru
introduced supplies of medicinal bark from a Rubiaceous tree, Cinchona,
that grows in the cloud forests of the South American Andes. This bark,
referred to at first as "Jesuit's bark " (later most often as "Cascarilla
bark"), was said to have effected a miraculous cure in 1638 when Jesuits
treated the wife of the viceroy of Peru, the Condessa de Chinchon. Although
the details of this story proved mythical, trials by physicians in Europe
quickly showed that Cascarilla bark was indeed highly effective in ameliorating
symptoms of malaria in famous patients such as Oliver Cromwell, Charles
II, and the son of Louis XIV. However, the supplies of bark imported from
Ecuador and Peru were highly variable in their therapeutic value. By the
18th century the medical importance of Cascarilla bark was so
evident that European governments became concerned with control of the
quantity and quality of supplies of the drug.
Mark Honigsbaum's book is a detailed chronicle of the
expeditions to South American that were undertaken to secure reliable supplies
of Cascarilla bark. The logistic difficulties were enormous, as the trees
(referred to as Quina
or Cascarilla) were scattered in remote
areas in the Andes (above 1000 meters).
The first scientific breakthrough came with the French
expedition to Ecuador in 1735 which set out to measure a degree of latitude
at the equator. When the expedition leader, La Condamine, learned that
the measurement had already been made by another French expedition in Lapland,
he turned his attention to the Cascarilla plants in Ecuador. In the province
of Loja, he located trees and with the aid of botanist Joseph Jussieu he
finished a description and illustration of the plant he called Quina
quina after the Quechua name. La Condamine's paper was published in
France in 1738, and four years later, in his Genera Plantarum, Linnaeus
created the generic name Cinchona in honor of the first famous patient
cured by the bark, the Condessa de Chinchon.
La Condamine not only described the Cinchona tree
botanically for the first time, but in a daring trip down the Amazon River
(the first since that of Pizarro's lieutenant Orellana in 1542), he initiated
the series of expeditions—which might be called the "Cinchona rush"—that
lasted for two centuries. These expeditions were significant in both scientific
and political terms. Most of the botanical work in South America in the
late 18th century was carried out by two parallel expeditions
(Mutis in Colombia, Ruiz and Pavon in Peru) financed by the Spanish government
primarily to improve its supplies of Cinchona bark. Most significantly,
the studies of these botanists showed that Cinchona included a considerable
number of species besides the original Cinchona officinalis discovered
by La Condamine and named by Linnaeus.
When in 1820 Cinchona bark was successfully analyzed
chemically, the active principle turned out to be a mixture of alkaloids,
among which quinine was the most important. The search for Cinchona
now became a competition for control of quinine supplies by the major imperial
powers, which were concerned about the human and economic losses in their
colonies. The increasing demand for quinine during the 19th
century made it highly desirable to import Cinchona for development
of plantations, primarily in India by the British and in Java by the Dutch.
The invention of a portable glass case (the "Wardian case") in 1830 made
it technologically feasible to ship Cinchona plants and cuttings
on long overseas voyages. However, by this time the independent Andean
countries had become aware of the value of their Cinchona forests
and put in place rigid controls—if not outright interdiction—of export
of Cinchona plants and seeds. The 19th century expeditions
by the European powers (mainly between 1850 and 1875) therefore became
exercises in deception and intrigue, which Honigsbaum recites in fascinating
(if sometimes confusing) detail.
The cast of characters included a British businessman,
Charles Ledger, in Peru and his Bolivian assistant Manuel Mamani; a British
bryologist, Richard Spruce; a British geographer, Clemtents Markham; a
Dutch botanist, J. C. Hasskarl; and a French botanist, H. A. Wedell. Honigsbaum
relates the travels of Spruce in greatest detail because his trip through
the Amazon basin and into the Ecuadorian Andes was a chronicle of insuperable
difficulties. One could argue that his accomplishments earn him the rank
of the most intrepid individual botanical explorer in history. Ironically,
Cinchona material proved to be of lesser value that that
collected by Ledger's highly talented assistant, Mamani. Even more ironically,
through inept management by British colonial authorities, the bulk of Mamani's
seeds from Cinchona trees with the highest quinine content ended
up in the hands of the Dutch. In the final outcome, the British plantations
in India were cut back, and quinine supplies for the entire world were
almost entirely produced in Java.
The final chapter of Cinchona exploration, during
World War II, is treated very sketchily by Honigsbaum; this seems the weakest
part of the book. When the Japanese occupied Java in 1942, it created an
immediate crisis for the Allied powers (a high percentage of U. S. and
Australian soldiers on Guadalcanal were disabled by malaria). Fortunately,
General Douglas MacArthur was able to rescue seeds of Cinchona from
a plantation in the Philippines, and plantations were established in Ecuador.
Honigsbaum has almost nothing to say about the U. S. Cinchona
to South America of several botanists who collected Cascarilla bark in
Andean cloud forests during 1942—44. This was chronicled in 1947 by the
participating Ecuadorian botanist Misael Acosta-Solís in
del Ecuador. As pointed out b y Walter Hodge in the most detailed account
of the Cinchona Mission ( Economic Botany, vol. 2, 1948),
at least 15 U. S. botanists were involved in the exploration in Ecuador,
Peru, and (to a lesser extent) in Bolivia. The shortage of quinine in 1942
was strategically critical, although by 1943, synthetic substitutes for
quinine, especially Atabrine, were becoming available. However, quinine
has remained important (and continues to be useful), especially for treating
malaria caused by the most dangerous plasmodial strain (Plasmodium falciparum).
The final chapters of Honigsbaum's book deal with researches
on the malarial parasite (Plasmodium), the discovery of the role
Anopheles mosquito in transmitting the disease, and the search
for a vaccine. Since the publication of the English edition of the Fever
Trail in 2001, additional information has been added by two other writers.
Although Honigsbaum gives 1630 as the earliest report of the medicinal
use of Cinchona, the prominent Ecuadorian scientist Fernando Ortiz,
in a posthumous work (La Corteza del Árbol sin Nombre, 2002),
provides convincing evidence that the first record of Cinchona bark
was published by the Spanish physician Nicolas Monardes in 1571 in his
de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales.
Also appearing subsequent to The Fever Trail is
an essay by J. E. Madsen in Botánica Austroecuadoriana (2002),
which describes the past and present status of Cinchona officinalis
in its classic location near Loja. Madsen cites publications of the American
botanists who worked for the World War II Cinchona Mission to Ecuador
and notes that their felling of Cascarilla trees in the vicinity of Loja—continuing
a tradition of three centuries— further reduced the populations already
exploited for more than three centuries.
The Fever Trail is a readable and entertaining
volume as well as a valuable addition to ethnobotanical literature. It
includes some helpful maps and 16 plates, portraits of leading cascarillophiles,
and photographs of Cinchona habitats in Ecuador. The literature
quoted on Cinchona, quinine and malaria is covered in detail (although
most heavily in works on botanical exploration), and the detailed index
is helpful. The book is an impressive achievement for the fledgling author,
who has researched his topic thoroughly and at the same time excels as
a story teller. This lively account of dramatic explorations by an extraordinary
multinational cast of characters would provide the basis of an exciting
film for public television. _ Grady L. Webster, Herbarium, University of
California, Davis CA 95616.
Early Angiosperms and their Associated
Plants from Western Liaoning, China. Sun Ge, Zheng Shaoling, David
L. Dilcher, Wang Yongdong, and Wei Shengwu1. ISBN 7-5428-2563-1
(US$65.002) 227 pp, 75 plates, Shanghai Scientific and Technological
Education Publishing House, 393 Guanshengyuan Road, Shanghai 200235, China.
- The origin of angiosperms has been an unsolved mystery for more than
one century. About 30 years ago there were reports of pre-Cretaceous angiosperms,
however none of them has been validated and thus the origin time of angiosperm
has been considered to be not beyond the Early Cretaceous by many paleobotanists.
Therefore, when Sun et al. (1998) reported the earliest known angiosperm
liaoningensis from the Jianshangou Bed of the western Liaoning Province,
China, and proposed the age of the fossil as of the latest Jurassic, it
was considered a big breakthrough in paleobotany. However, seven months
later, Swisher III et al. (1999) announced that the isotopic age of the
fossil-bearing bed should be about 124.6 million years old (i.e., the bed
was still within the Lower Cretaceous). Later, when Sun et al. (2002) reported
a second species of
Archaefructus, they stated that the geological
age of the new family, Archaefructaceae, is at least 124.6 and could be
as old as 145 million years old. They seem to balance or bracket
the age of Archaefructus between Lower Cretaceous and uppermost
Upper Jurassic. However, in their new book, "Early Angiosperms and their
Associated Plants from Western Liaoning, China", published in 2001, this
flora is treated as of Late Jurassic which must reflect a strong influence
from the Chinese stratigraphic position of these fossils as opposed to
that of western science (see different opinions in Gee, 2001). However,
no matter the flora belongs to either the latest Jurassic or Early Cretaceous,
it does have the earliest known angiosperm megafossil up to date. Therefore,
this book is still a very important presentation of the origin and evolution
of early angiosperms, not to mention that it covers many related aspects
of associated Mesozoic floras. These are the plants that are associated
with and were food for the famous feathered dinosaurs and provided places
for the earliest known birds to roost (Gee, 2001).
This book is published in both Chinese and English, including
12 chapters. The first three chapters introduce the study history of the
region and the establishment of the Jianshangou Formation (= the lower
part of the Yixian Formation), and detailed stratigraphy of the formation,
measured at the Jianshangou site where Archaefructus liaoningensis
was found. Chapter 11 gives further stratigraphic comparisons with other
Jurassic-Cretaceous formations. Although the placement of the Jianshangou
Formation in the Upper Jurassic is debatable because of different isotope
data (see below) and some stratigraphic comparison may need more detailed
documentation (e.g., its correlation with the bird-bearing sedimentary
beds in Dawangzhangzhi area), a lot of basic information given in these
chapters is very useful for investigators to study the stratigraphy and
conduct their own field trips in the region.
The determination of the age of the flora is discussed
in Chapter 9, based mainly on the associated animal fossils and isotopic
dating. In the last decade, many animal fossils (e.g., the earliest pollinating
insects, feathered dinosaurs, primitive birds, and placental mammals) have
also been found from the sedimentary beds in the region, and reported in
about a dozen papers published in Nature (Gee, 2001) and Science.
These discoveries are not only very important to the study of the origin
and evolution of the related organism groups, but also provide important
evidence for biostratigraphic comparisons. In Chapter 9, the Jianshangou
Formation is concluded to belong to the Upper Jurassic based on some stratigraphic
index fossils, including dinosaurs, non-dinosaur-reptiles, insects, birds,
conchastraca, ostracods, and bivalves. Experts in the studies of different
fossil groups may like to check out the correlations. Two isotopic data,
142.5 Ma (Wang et al., 1984) and 147.3 Ma (Lo et al., 1999), are utilized
to support to the placement, while the 124.6 Ma dating is suspected to
be from some rock that had undergone alternations due to later volcanic
activities in the region. Therefore, their conclusion of the Jurassic age
is not baseless, and the age of the Jianshangou Formation may need to be
further examined. It should be pointed out that the data of the 147.3 Ma
radiometric data by Lo and colleagues was not mentioned in Swisher III
et al. (1999). It was cited in Sun et al. (2002), but not mentioned in
the paper either. This new result may need to be examined by experts in
study of isotopic chronology.
Chapters 4 and 12 describe the details of the Archaefructus
liaoningensis, A. sp., three possible angiosperm taxa, and other associated
plants (88 species in 56 genera, ranging from bryophytes, lycopods, ferns
and fern-related, seed-ferns, bennetitaleans, czkanowskialeans, ginkgoes,
conifers, to gnetophytes). Interestingly, from the beds a number of fossil
plants were previously reported as angiosperms, including monocots (Potamogeton,
and Erogracites), and dicot Ranunculus, as well as tricarpous
but all of them are treated as gymnosperms (conifers, cycads, and gnetophytes)
in this book. There are also 9 species in 5 genera with uncertain systematics,
and some of them (e.g., two Problematospermum species) could be
also related to the angiosperms. Certainly, this published flora really
has presented a lot of enigmatic plants that should be very interesting
to paleobotanists, paleontologists, and other scientists in the related
areas. The fossil specimens are presented with 622 figures in 75 plates
(including 26 color plates with 171 figures) and 10 color text-figures,
in addition to the descriptions. Some specimens are printed in both color
and monochromatic figures, and some structures (e.g., cuticle) were photographed
with the light microscope or SEM and thus show delicate details. Other
chapters also have well-designed tables and other beautiful text-figures
(e.g., map, outcrops of fossil sites, and photos of researchers). Therefore,
this book can be used as an important reference in study of fossil plants,
and its high quality paper and beautiful hardcover may make the book more
The composition and characteristics of the Jianshangou
Formation flora is analyzed and presented in Chapter 8. The flora is compared
with some Late Jurassic floras, and appears to be the most similar to the
Tsagan-Tsab Formation flora in Mongolia, based on the shared floral elements
(Chapter 10). The Jianshangou Formation flora is also compared with six
early angiosperm floras and presented to be the earliest in the world (Chapters
5), which is followed by a summary of the evolutionary stages of early
angiosperms in northeastern China (Chapter 6). Chapter 7 addresses the
hypothesis that Eastern Asian could be one of the centers of angiosperm
Generally speaking, this book presents an important and
beautifully illustrated early angiosperm flora complete with all the other
associated typical Mesozoic plants. The legibility of the book would have
been enhanced if the chapters were arranged in a way that was easier for
readers to follow, and if minor language errors in the English portion
had been corrected. On the other hand, readers may find some different
conclusions or fossil identifications than you would give or make, but
it is those different treatments/conclusions that make this book challenging
to readers. Hopefully, this book may inspire some readers to conduct some
further significant research projects. - Hongqi Li, Department of Biology,
Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD 21532.
Gee, H., editor. 2001. Rise of the Dragon: Readings from
on the Chinese Fossil Record. University of Chicago Press.
Sun, G., D. L. Dilcher, S.-L. Zheng, and Z.-K.
Zhou. 1998. In search of the first flower: A Jurassic angiosperm, Archaefructus,
from Northeast China. Science 282, 1692-1695.
Sun, G., Q. Ji, D. L. Dilcher, S. Zheng, K. C. Nixon,
and X. Wang.
2002. Archaefructaceae, a New Basal Angiosperm Family.
Swisher III, C. C., Y.-Q. Wang, X.-L. Wang, X. Xu, and
Y. Wang. 1999. Cretaceous age for the feathered dinosaurs of Liaoning,
China. Nature 400, 58-61.
1 Beside David L. Dilcher, all other authors
are Chinese with family names placed before given name, based on both Chinese
tradition and governmental regulation for publication in China.
2 The price is informed by David L. Dilcher.
The Freshwater Algal Flora
of the British Isles, An Identification Guide to Freshwater and Terrestrial
Algae. John, D.M., Whitton, B.A. and Brook, A.J. (Eds). 2002. ISBN
0-521-77051-3 (Cloth/Cd-Rom US $125.00). 702 pp. Cambridge University Press,
40 West 20th street, New York, NY 10011-4211. The study of algae
is called `phycology', from the Greek word phykos meaning `seaweed'. Algae
is a general term for primitive plants, mainly aquatic, using chlorophyll
in their photosynthesis but lacking the features such as a vascular system
for internal transport of water and nutrients. Algae have been found in
almost all environments where humans have been able to explore. Algae range
in size from microscopic unicells less than 1 µm in diameter to kelps
as long as 60 m. In marine and freshwater environments they are the main
photosynthetic organisms. However, they are also found in soils, salt lakes
and hot springs, and some can grow in snow and on rocks and the bark of
The scope of this work encompasses over 1700 species of
freshwater algae of the British Isles, which is defined as England, Scotland,
Wales, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, the Isle of Man and the Channel
Islands. The previous comprehensive work in this area was West and Fritsch's
on the British Freshwater Algae, published in 1927. This work is the
result of the collaboration of 26 international researchers, written and
merged over a period of ten years, which can be detected in the flow and
style of the content. Not, however, to distract from the subject matter
or its utility.
Freshwater algae range from single-celled forms to aggregations
of cells in chains (filaments), to colonies and tissue-like forms. Algae
can be classified into six or more divisions (phyla) based on the chloroplast
structure, pigment complement, carbohydrate storage product, cell covering,
and other aspects of cellular organization. The book is roughly arranged
by phyla, and then within each section a key is provided for further identification.
There are extensive illustrations to accompany the keys.
A CD-Rom supplements the book. Here, all taxa are
listed alphabetically and each is accompanied by one or more thumbnail-sized
images. Habitat photographs are included where algae form conspicuous macroscopic
growths or form plankton blooms. The images include the phylum name followed
beneath by the genus, species and subspecific name along with authority.
Additional information includes the dimension, type of photograph (bright
field, differential interference contrast, etc.), the copyright holder,
and where the sample was collected (if known). book, the editors included
a fascinating chapter on the history of British algal studies. Furthermore,
the book wraps up with a glossary, an extensive list of references, taxonomic
and subject indices. This source is exhaustive in its coverage, illustrations
and aids to identification. Although, one might be dissuaded from
the value of this work beyond the British Isles, it should be pointed out
that the freshwater algae as described in this work are commonly found
throughout the world. Thus, this identification guide would be practical
This resource is directed to researchers and students
learning to identify algae. This would be most appropriate for an
academic collection supporting a somewhat extensive bioscience, environmental,
and/or ecology programs. - Peggy Dominy, Sciences Librarian, Hagerty Library,
33rd & Market Sts., Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Moestrup, Øjvind (October 1999) Algae: Phylogeny
and Evolution. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. London: Nature Publishing
DeWreede, Robert E (February 2000) Algal Ecology. In:
Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. London: Nature Publishing Group. http://www.els.net/
Lewin, Ralph A and Borowitzka, Michael A (March 2001)
Phycology. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. London: Nature Publishing
Sheath, Robert G (November 2000) Biogeography of Freshwater
Algae. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. London: Nature Publishing Group.
Molecular Techniques in Crop
Improvement. Jain, S. Mohan, D.S. Brar and B.S. Ahloowalia. 2002. ISBN
1-402-00528-8 (Cloth US$198.00) 616pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers, P.O.
Box 989, 3300 Dordrecht, The Netherlands. `Molecular Techniques in Crop
Improvement' is a sequel to the editors' earlier volume `Somaclonal Variation
and Induced Mutations in Crop Improvement'. Like the first volume, this
one aims to update those involved in crop breeding with the latest in crop
improvement techniques. It contains twenty three chapters that address
in various ways the impact of molecular genetics on the field of plant
breeding. These chapters cover a wide range of topics, progressing from
the principles and methodology of molecular markers and their use in constructing
genetic maps, to the application of molecular techniques for research on
apomixis, heterosis, and tolerance to abiotic stress. A number of chapters
deal with the improvement of particular crops, while others deal with topics
such as DNA methylation, use of DNA arrays in gene identification, random
insertional mutagenesis, and chloroplast genome engineering. The last four
chapters provide a brief overview and some examples of the use of molecular
markers in quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis; correlating genotypic
variation to variation in quantitative traits such as yield and drought
It is likely that few readers of this review will themselves
be crop breeders, and most will wonder whether this book is of interest
to them. I was interested because, as an evolutionary biologist, the techniques
and findings are relevant to our understanding of the genetic basis of
evolutionary change. It is in the realm of crop breeding where most is
known about how genotype affects phenotype. Both the doctrine of "few genes
of large effect" as well as the opposing one of polygenic inheritance of
important traits have sprung from examination of the genetic structure
of crops and of the genetic basis of crop domestication. An understanding
of the genetic and phenotypic changes that occur during man-made selection
in domestication has been helpful in suggesting how natural selective forces
may induce evolution of morphological diversity. The present volume, despite
its high price (USD 198.00), is a good introduction to the molecular techniques
that can be used to investigate and manipulate genetic variation. With
perseverance, evolutionary biologists will find it a good source of ideas
for making links between phenotypic and evolutionary patterns and the genetic
mechanisms that produce those patterns.
The book, of course, is directed towards crop breeders,
and provides an invaluable synthesis of the state-of-the-art in the field
of crop improvement using molecular techniques. Many of the chapters follow
a standard format; what techniques are available, their strengths and weaknesses,
which ones are appropriate to the crop in question, and how successful
were breeding experiments using these techniques. Each of these chapters
in isolation is invaluable for specialists in particular crops, but, because
it is an edited multi-author volume there are the inevitably some formatting
and type-face inconsistencies, as well as repetition of the same introductory
information by consecutive authors. This is most prevalent in the beginning
chapters, where the basics of molecular genetics and its applications to
plant breeding are discussed using a number of different model plant systems.
Some of the explanations of advantages and disadvantages of different types
of molecular markers are better than others. I especially liked that of
Gupta et al. (ch. 2), who provide a clear overview of the various marker
systems, and an excellent review of the current literature. Genetic mapping
and molecular plant breeding suffers from an excess of acronyms, and table
1 in this chapter spells out forty acronyms for different types of DNA
markers (a similar table is found at the end of chapter 4).
Other chapters I found interesting included the study
by Laurie and Griffiths of flowering time genes in the Triticeae (ch. 8).
This lends support to the idea that there are "domestication regions" in
the cereal genomes, where the same genes may be selected upon during independent
domestication events. They suggest that finding the same genes selected
upon in different genera may mean that relatively few genes in the relevant
pathways are actually susceptible to selection (ch. 8). The chapter by
Asins et al. (ch. 9) is an insightful examination of the molecular basis
of apomixis, where they make it clear that the phenomenon of apomixis is
usually quantitative in nature, and that, in general, different genetic
regions control gametophytic and sporophytic apomixis. Several chapters
survey new technologies to understand changes in gene function and expression,
including changes in expression due to environmental stress (Brosché
et al., ch. 14) and identification of strawberry flavor related genes by
use of DNA microarrays ( Aharoni and O'Connell, ch. 17). Others deal with
transgenic approaches, including random insertional mutagensis in Arabidopsis
(ch. 15) and gene targeting in plants (ch. 18). One of the most fascinating
of these technology directed chapters is that by Daniell, on chloroplast
genome engineering for pharmaceutical proteins (ch. 16). Here, use of the
chloroplast rather than the nucleus for production of foreign proteins
circumvents problems of gene flow that are associated with nuclear transgenic
crops. This approach also can produce much larger quantities of foreign
proteins than equivalent nuclear transgenics.
One subject that gets relatively little coverage in this
book is the use of comparative genomics. Here, the ability to search for
genes in small genomes and transfer knowledge of map location to larger
related genomes, is something that offers great hope for rapidly improving
crop species. It is mentioned in passing by Ranjekar et al. (ch. 6), who
discuss the isolation of genes for heterosis through comparative mapping.
This a pity for the evolutionarily minded reader, whose most immediate
access to genetic information about his or her group of interest may be
through some sort of comparative mapping effort. As more and more genomic
and EST databases are constructed for diverse groups of plants (such as
and those that will come out of the Floral Genome Project) comparative
genomics will take on a larger role in our evolutionary understanding of
genetic change. Another subject related to evolutionary change and diversification
which gets little mention is association mapping, where sequence variation
is compared to variation in the phenotypic trait of interest, with the
aim of identifying sequence level differences which lead to phenotypic
diversification. Both comparative genomics and association mapping are
of interest to the evolutionary biologist as well as the crop breeder,
because they provide methods for leveraging the great wealth of information
that has been accumulated on model plant systems into understanding the
diversity of plant life for which we have little if any genetic information.
So, who is this book for, and who might benefit from it?
It will be a worthy addition to the libraries of crop breeders and others
interested in genome structure, but will be less immediately useful for
the broader mass of plant biologists who have to search for information
relevant to them. However, I do think it is of potential interest to evolutionary
biologists who, like me, are concerned with connecting genetic process
to the evolutionary patterns that we observe. The wealth of knowledge that
resides in crop systems needs users who can bring it to bear on evolutionary
questions; this book is an entrance and primer for much of the knowledge
that we need for that task. - Andrew Doust, University of Missouri, St.
Carnivorous Plants of the
United States and Canada. Second edition. Schnell, Donald E. 2002.
ISBN 0-88192-540-3 (cloth US$39.95.) 468pp. Timber Press, Inc. 133 SW Second
Ave., Suite 450, Portland, Oregon, 97204 USA. Carnivorous plants are among
the most charismatic of all organisms. Almost everyone has heard of the
Venus flytrap and its ability to turn the predatory tables on insects:
and many people know of the pitcher plants that lure their prey to a watery
death. These fascinating plants have captured the imagination of scientists
and laypeople alike. Charles Darwin himself studied them in great depth
(Darwin 1875), followed by his son, Francis Darwin's (1878) experiments
Carnivorous plants have inspired many volumes, however
there are few on the carnivorous plant flora of any particular area, and
only one on the carnivorous plants of North America, north of Mexico. The
Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada (Schnell
1976) has been a sound and useful source of information on distribution,
ecology, and taxonomy of the carnivorous plants of the United States for
many years. This has also been the only book to treat all the species of
carnivorous plants north of Mexico, to my knowledge. The second edition
of Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada represents
a prodigious expansion on the first. The new edition recognizes the same
number of species as the old (45); however, the original work comprised
125 pages and Schnell has expanded this to 468 pages in the second edition!
The first chapter, Carnivorous Plants: An Introduction,
is a somewhat heterogeneous collection of topics that sets the stage for
the rest of the book. It is comprised of sections on whether carnivorous
plants are truly carnivorous or merely insectivorous (pitcher plants are
truly carnivorous, occasionally trapping frogs and slugs), general characteristics
related to habitat, necessity of being carnivorous, prey attraction and
nutritive value, reproduction, carnivorous plant communities, and habitats.
The chapter on carnivorous plant cultivation in the first edition has been
combined with the introduction as a general notes on cultivation section
with detailed cultivation comments following in the species descriptions
in this new edition.
The species descriptions are substantially expanded over
the first edition and account for most of the expansion of this edition.
These accounts are organized by genera into six chapters (Chapters 2-7):
Venus Flytrap, Eastern North American Pitcher Plants, California Pitcher
Plant, Sundews, Butterworts, and Bladderworts. Each chapter presents an
overview of the genus and detailed descriptions of each species. For each
there is a discussion of its taxonomy, common name (particularly
interesting for the Venus flytrap), description of the plant, flowering
season, distribution with maps (updated and refined from the first edition),
habitat description, a section of general comments, and finally cultivation
notes. All species and most, if not all, sub taxa are well illustrated
with color photos. Especially useful are the discussions of the sub-specific
taxa within the pitcher plants (Sarracenia), sundews (Drosera),
and butterworts (Pinguicula), including color illustrations. The
only departure from this format is in the bladderwort (Utricularia)
chapter, where Schnell provides a list of the species with only brief accounts.
He rationalizes this due to the difficulty in telling bladderwort species
apart and the need to contrast several species at a time.
Also useful is the well illustrated section on Sarracenia
hybrids. Many pitcher plants in the genus Sarracenia have overlapping
ranges and are capable of hybridizing and producing fertile offspring.
These hybrids are essentially intermediate in characters compared to the
parental species and they can backcross with the parental species or even
with a third species! This results in hybrid individuals possessing a confusing
combination of characters. The eighth chapter, Other Possible Carnivorous
Seed Plants, examines four species that have been reported as possibility
being carnivorous, but the results are not conclusive at this time.
The final, and perhaps most important chapter focuses
on conservation issues. Carnivorous plants typically inhabit wetlands,
a habitat not conducive to human agricultural goals. This has resulted
in the conversion and destruction of large portions of suitable carnivorous
plant habitat. Schnell provides several examples, here and throughout the
book, of impressive carnivorous plant localities that have disappeared
over the years. Schnell lists the main causes of loss as: habitat destruction,
falling water tables, introduced species, mass collections, and collection
by individuals. He also mentions some of the conservation and preservation
attempts being undertaken. Carnivorous plants are one of the extreme examples
of evolution's innovative ability and are fascinating to many people; therefore,
it is unfortunate they are afforded so little protection. Protection of
suitable wetland habitat is crucial to the long-term survival of many of
Rounding out the book is a metric conversion appendix,
glossary, bibliography, and index of plant names. Non-botanists will appreciate
the excellent glossary of technical terms, and botanists will find the
bibliography useful for tracking down more detailed references. The index
of plant names makes finding current names for out-of-date synonyms easy.
The greatest shortfall of this volume is a lack of species-level
taxonomic keys. Schnell intended to keep the book accessible to laypeople,
but with the wealth of information already presented, it would not have
hurt to add a little more and provide keys to the species and sub-specific
taxa. This is particularly disappointing in light of the fact that Schnell
has published an excellent pitcher key to Sarracenia elsewhere (Schnell
1998) and it would have been a relatively simple matter to reproduce it
here. The one exception is the inclusion of a key to the bladderworts,
a particularly confusing group. For Utricularia, Schnell provides
a simple key based mainly upon flower color and habit that should allow
readers to identify most species encountered. (For more interested plant
enthusiasts, Taylor (1991) provides a detailed key to North American bladderworts
using both floral and vegetative characters. Additionally, keys to Sarracenia
have been provided by McDaniel (1971) and Bell (1949) using a combination
of floral and vegetative characters, although these are somewhat taxonomically
outdated. Godfrey and Stripling (1961) provide a key to southeastern US
On a positive note, the color photos are generally excellent,
and in lieu of keys, are critical to making field identifications. This
is especially important, and handy, for identifying the seven varieties
of Sarracenia flava, the five subspecies of S. rubra,
and the many subspecies, varieties, and formas of S. purpurea
now recognized. However, some of the photographs were not printed as clearly
as one might like; the fault here likely lies with the publisher.
I highly recommend this book to all persons interested
in carnivorous plants. Donald Schnell's passion for carnivorous plants
is evident in his detailed observations and studies of this group. CarnivorousPlantsof
the United States and Canada provides an in-depth, but not overly
technical, review of all the carnivorous plants in the United States and
Canada. This edition has more than enough details to be useful to serious
botanists, but remains accessible to laypeople. Additionally, the price
is not excessive for a book of this scope and quality. A paperback version
would be more portable in the field, but even the hardback edition will
fit in a daypack. It is a pleasure to see this useful work updated and
expanded in this second edition, and it will undoubtedly provide excellent
service to the community of people interested in carnivorous plants -James
Riser II, Denver, Colorado.
Bell, C. R. 1949. A cytotaxonomic study of the Sarraceniaceae
of North Ameirca. Journal of theElisha MitchellSociety
Darwin, C. 1875. Insectivorous Plants. John
Darwin, F. 1878. Experiments on the nutrition of Droserarotundifolia.
of the Linnean Society of Botany 17:17-32.
Godfrey, R. K. and H. L. Stripling. 1961. A synopsis of
(Lentibulariaceae) in the Southeastern United States.
Naturalist 66(2): 395-409.
McDaniel, S. 1971. The genus Sarracenia (Sarraceniaceae).
Tall Timbers Research Station. Number 9.
Schnell, D. E. 1976. Carnivorous Plantsof
the United States and Canada. John F. Blair, Winston-Salem, North
Schnell, D. E. 1998. A pitcher key to the genus Sarracenia
L. (Sarraceniaceae). Castanea 63(4): 489-492.
Taylor, P. 1991. Utricularia in North America north
Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 20: 8-20,
Flora of Glacier National Park.
Peter Lesica with illustrations by Debbie McNeil. 2002; ISBN 0-87071-538-0
(Paperback, $32.95). 512 pp. Oregon State University Press, 101 Waldo Hall,
Corvallis, OR 97331-6407 USA. According to the book's marketing, this is
the first flora of the Glacier National Park area in over 80 years, which
certainly makes the book timely. In the first paragraph, the author explains
the geologic features bordering the park, which helps to establish context.
Although the author makes a great case for the importance of the area,
he overstates his case by calling Flathead Lake the largest freshwater
lake in western North America. It is true that Flathead Lake is a sconce
larger than Lake Tahoe, but by using North America, the author is including
Canada, and the Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes dwarf Flathead Lake in
both size and volume. Nevertheless, Glacier NP does offer a variety of
community types, and failing to border the largest freshwater lake in western
North America does not diminish its importance as a National Park.
The introduction provides good text describing the physical
and climatic features of Glacier NP, but the figures here are weak. A better
map showing the context of Glacier NP as described in the introduction
would have been an improvement. Additionally, a vegetation type map, climate
map, and a geological features map showing the Triple Divide Peak and Northern
Divide would have made the text more clear. Lastly, it is always nice to
see some figures of annual temperatures and precipitation, even though
these would differ across Glacier NP due to changes in elevation.
There is a glossary in the front, which is useful for
determining the author's interpretation of botanical terms, but it lacks
any illustrations. For many botanists this is not a problem, but if one
were to use this flora as a teaching tool, then the lack of an illustrated
glossary will be sadly noted.
As for the actual flora, the illustrations are well done,
and there are some nice color plates in the middle of the book. Dichotomous
keys follow the standard procedure. The author doesn't over use varieties
and subspecies, which simplifies matters greatly. Occasionally, varieties
make it into this flora that may be questionable in their use, such as
compositus Pursh var. glabratus Macoun, which is not recognized
in the Jepson Manual of Higher Plants. There is not an explanation or a
justification of why this might be the case. Perhaps, this is omission
is in the interest of keeping the book a manageable length.
The marketing for the book also states, "For each species,
the book provides information on habitats, geographical range, taxonomy,
and ethnobotanical uses." The former are true for all descriptions, but
the latter is not. There is some ethnobotanical information included, but
certainly not for each plant and not even for some plants for which there
are ethnobotanical uses. For example, Mineris Lettuce, Montia spp.,
are deliciously palatable, but this information is omitted from Lesica's
description. Much of the ethnobotanical information relates to past use
by Native American Indians and not to present day uses.
The breadth of species covered in this book ranges from
alpine to grassland, so it would certainly be the main reference to consult
when traveling in Glacier NP. It is also a good size to fit in a backpack
and includes a handy ruler in millimeters on the back page, something I've
often appreciated in other floras. I would recommend this book to anyone
with an interest in the flora of Glacier NP or of the northern Rocky Mountains
in general as this book would probably encompass most of the species one
would find that region. — Catherine Kleier, Curator, Adams State College
Herbarium, Department of Biology, Adams State College, Alamosa, CO 81102.
Hickman, J.C. 1996. The Jepson Manual of Higher Plants.
University of California Press. Berkeley, CA.
Oregon State University Press Website: http:://osu.orst.edu/dept/press
Generic Tree Flora of Madagascar.
Schatz, George E 477 pp. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Missouri Botanical
Garden, St. Louis. 2001. Paperback US $50.00. ISBN 1 900347 82 2. Madagascar
has long been a sort of Ultima Thule for botanists and other naturalists:
a remote near-continental island that still yields continuing surprises
after more than three centuries of scientific exploration. The appearance
of the Generic Tree Flora of Madagascar is the first important technical
botanical manual in English to deal with the Malagasy flora.
The book is highly international in its production: there
is a foreword in English by the Directors of the two sponsoring institutions
(Peter Crane for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Peter Raven for the Missouri
Botanical Garden) and an Avant-Propos en Français by Directeurs
Albert Randrianjafty (Parc Tzimbizaza) and Philippe Morat (Musém
d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris). The introduction, by George Shatz, is followed
by a set of introductory keys to families and genera that appear to follow
the inspiration of those in the Field Guide to the Families and Genera
of Woody Plants of Northwest South America by Al Gentry (1993) and
Rain Forest Trees by Hyland and Whiffin (1993). The keys lead to unusual
genera as well as to families, and depend more heavily than usual on vegetative
characters. Keys to genera within families, however, tend to be of a more
traditional, more or less synoptic format. A particularly valuable feature
is that nearly all genera (471 of 490) are illustrated with both floral
and vegetative details. The generic descriptions are brief but sufficiently
informative; in monogeneric families they are understandably abbreviated.
In addition to the appropriate references in the Flore de Madagascar,
recent works are cited under each family, although older treatments such
as those in Das Pflanzenreich are not mentioned. The impressive
documentation in the book includes a glossary of terms and index to scientific
names, vernacular names, and sources of the illustrations (the majority
taken from the Flore de Madagascar)..
Madagascar—shielded by isolation, tropical diseases, and
hostile tribes— was poorly explored for centuries after the first Portuguese
visit in 1500. Botanical studies were largely carried on by French scientists,
beginning with Chevalier Etienne de Flacourt. During seven years (1648—1655)
in the French colony at Fort-Dauphin, working under scarcely imaginable
logistic challenges, Flacourt created the first Madagascar herbarium, and
may have been the first botanist to assign collection numbers to his specimens.
His Histoire de la Grande Isle de Madagascar (1658, 1661) includes
a chapter that recorded over 200 species: the first floristic inventory
of the island flora. Unfortunately, his work was not widely cited by later
writers, probably because he discussed the species under their common (Malagasy)
names rather than conventional Latin names. After a hiatus of more than
a century, noted botanists including Commerson, Sonnerat, and du Petit-Thouars
made trips to Madagascar. However, although they were followed in the 19th
century by others, notably Goudot and Boivin, it is striking that when
Alfred Russell Wallace treated the Malagasy region in his classic Island
Life (1880), he relied almost entirely on data from Baker's Flora
of Mauritius and the Seychelles. By this time British botanists were
also active in Madagascar; a British missionary, Richard Baron, collected
extensively in the interior of Madagascar and published the first comprehensive
checklist, Compendium des plantes malgaches (1901-1906). The last
work of the great French plant systematist, Henri Baillon, appeared in
the Histoire physique, naturelle et politique de Madgascar. The
general flora of Madagascar, begun in 1936 by H. Humbert and collaborators,
de Madagascar et des Comores, remains incomplete; although 80% of the
families have been covered, the earlier treatments are now considerably
out-of-date. Humbert also has provided the most detailed review of botanical
exploration in Madagascar (in Comptes Rendus IV Réunion AEFAT
1961). The only modern forestry guide is Palms of Madagascar
by J. Dransfield and H. Benntje (1995). The generic tree flora by Schatz
fills therefore fills a critical vacuum.
The prototype of the Generic Tree Flora of Madagascar
was an unpublished manuscript of the great French forester and botanist
René Capuron, who in 1957 circulated mimeographed copies of Essai
d'Introduction de la Flore Forestière de Madagascar. The high
diversity of the Madagascar flora is indicated by the fact that the Generic
Tree Flora treats 490 genera of treees, 161 of which are endemic—a
remarkable statistic scarcely matched in any comparable region of the woreld.
Even more striking is the large number and high endemicity of the species:
4,220, of which 96% are endemic. The graph of generic diversity by family
is also remarkable: although the Leguminosae have the largest number of
genera (as usual in most tropical areas), the Euphorbiaceae exceed the
Rubiaceae and the Sapindaceae rank fourth, while families such as Sapotaceae
and Asteraceae are insignificantly represented. Most neotropical botanists
will be startled to find that the Solanaceae are represented by only two
genera. These anomalies are no doubt due to the divergence of Madagascar
as a fragment of Gondwana that developed in isolation for much of the Cenozoic.
The Generic Tree Flora of Madagascar is not only
an effective tool for identifying trees in Madagascar, but it also opens
a window on the remarkable diversity of the island continent. It is unlikely
that many of the 161 endemic genera will be familiar to most readers, but
they include such charismatic genera as Takhtajania, the only Afro-Malagasian
genus of Winteraceae outside of Australasia, which was not described until
1978. The cactiform Didieriaceae are represented by four genera, of which
Didieria are well known to succulent fanciers. Some familiar genera
are a bit difficult to locate in the text because of their recent taxonomic
reassignment due to cladistic studies. Examples include Adansonia,
the baobob tree, which has been moved from Bombaceae to Malvaceae; the
eponymous Flacourtia, now with the willows in Salicaceae; and several
genera of Capparidaceae now under Brassicaceae.
Some readers may find the bibliography inadequate: besides
the citations under individual families, there is scarcely a single page
of general references following the introduction. However, for those wishing
to look further, there is an interesting biogeographic essay on the Internet
by George Schatz:
Malagasy/Indo-austrolo-malesian Phytogeographic Connections
The bibliography of the Internet article includes important books such
as Flore et Végétation de Madagascar by J. Koechlin
et al. (1972), which provides a well-illustrated review of the various
Madagascar vegetation types in which many of the remarkable endemic genera
The Genera Tree Flora of Madagascar is outstanding
among recent publications in tropical botany on the basis of its attractive
format, useful keys and descriptions and critical approach to the data.
The book is not only indispensable for professionals working in Madagascar,
but also for armchair botanists who may never get there. It reflects great
credit on the author and furthermore is a splendid example of international
cooperation among botanists and institutions. _ Grady L. Webster, Herbarium,
University of California, Davis CA 95616.
Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives,
VIII. Kull, Tiiu and Joseph Arditti, (eds). 2002. ISBN 1-4020-0580-6
(cloth US$196.00) 584 pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
_ The Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives (OBRP) series has
been produced for more than 25 years. The beauty of this series has been
the breadth of topics examined. The eighth volume in the series is no exception,
covering the history of orchid research, embryology, development and northern
terrestrial orchids. Typically these are topics reserved for separate books
or review articles. Some readers may be dissatisfied by such diversity,
something the editors acknowledge. In fact, Kull and Arditti state in their
forthright preface, "it is not possible to thematically balance every volume
of OBRP." The panoply of topics is what recommends this series to botanists,
orchid collectors and researchers.
Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives begins
with some history of orchid research, a theme revisited in several later
chapters. The science is mixed with history and sociology. The reader is
reminded that most of plant reproduction (orchids included) was clouded
in mystery and misconception prior to the 250 year formal study of pollination
etc. This is relevant to orchid flowers, seeds and seedlings. A statement
in Chapter 1, "Orchids were described as originating from the semen of
animals, birds and humans…" is amusing today yet the reader is reminded
to not feel too smug - how little we know now. Such misconceptions
make for effective background examples when introducing angiosperm reproduction
to students in general biology or companions on field trips. As seen in
the first chapter, the lineage of orchidologists is long and colorful (no
pun intended) and is full of passionate naturalists and world travelers.
Modern researchers may be more focused (i.e. limited by budget in some
cases) but the work continues as seen in OBRP.
The non-historical chapters (re: morphology, ecology,
development, genera and embryology) and an appendix (orchid viruses) are
technical and at times dense. However they are well organized and readable.
There is an attempt by the authors to look for patterns within their specific
area of interest in orchid biology. I imagine researchers will use these
chapters as a reference for specific morphological, cytological and developmental
questions. For example, exhaustive tables summarize organelles in cells
of orchid embryos, suspensor cells and species-specific endosperm traits
to name a few. The ecology chapter, "Population dynamics of north temperate
orchids," will be valuable for readers interested in plant conservation
and the problems that unpredictable life histories pose. Still, after reading
these chapters the case has been made that much still needs to be examined.
I was impressed by the attention by the editors and authors
to make OBRP easy to navigate. For example, each chapter has its own references
and glossary. This is a welcome feature for readers interested in sampling
chapters. The reference lists are thorough and include many European and
Asian citations perhaps overlooked by North American readers even in this
era of high-speed web searches. Finally, three excellent indices (Persons,
Organisms, Subjects) facilitate searches in this information-packed tome.
As can be expected, the writing styles, accessibility,
presentation and depth and breadth vary by chapter. Once again, topic overlap
does occur particularly regarding history; repetition is a good thing.
Illustrations range from line drawings and simple figures to ancient portraits
of botanists, reproductions of beautiful illustrations from early books
(see the drawings of seeds from 1853) black and white photos and scanning
electron microscopy images. The production of OBRP is excellent with few
detectable typographical errors.
Flowing through the book is a perceived and often stated
passion for orchids. Though not mentioned, Charles Darwin came to mind;
he was hooked during his lifetime. Still, I recommend this book to even
those readers not sharing the passion (addiction?). Students of botanical
history and exploration, plant ecology, plant reproductive biology and
development should find chapters to call their own in OBRP. True, a volume
such as this may not be suitable as a stand-alone text on orchid biology
yet Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives is a welcome addition
to the literature on one of the most fascinating but still largely mysterious
groups of plants. We should be thankful for this long-lived series. - Scott
Ruhren, Department of Biological Sciences, Ranger Hall, University of Rhode
Island, Kingston, RI 02881.
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
call or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list because
they go quickly! - Editor.
Bacterial Disease Resistance in Plants: Molecular Biology
and Biotechnological Application. Vidhyasekaran, P. 2002. ISBN 1-56022-925-X,
(Paper US$59.95). 466 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton,
A Botanist's Window on the Twentieth Century. Goodwin,
Richard D. 2002. 336 pp. Harvard Forest, Petersham, Massachusetts, Harvard
Cardamom: The genus Elettaria.
Ravindran, P.N. and K.J. Madhusoodanan. 2002. ISBN 0-415-28493-7 (Cloth
US$) 374 pp. Taylor & Francis Inc., 29 West 35th Street,
New York, NY 10001.
Climate Under Cover, 2nd ed.
Takajura, Tadashi and Wei Fang. 2002. ISBN 1-4020-0845-7 (Cloth US$72.00)
190 pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V., P.O. Box 989, 3300 AZ Dordrecht,
A Color Atlas of Pests of Ornamental Trees, Shrubs
and Flowers. Alford, David V. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-651-6 (Cloth US$59.95)
448 pp. Timber Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland,
The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs. Manning,
John, Peter Goldblatt, and Dee Snijman. 2002. ISBN 0-88192-547-0 (Cloth
US$59.95). 486 pp. Timber Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450,
Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Consider the Leaf: Foliage in Garden Design. Glattstein,
Judy. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-571-3 (Cloth US$24.95) 307 pp. 486 pp. Timber
Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Dye Plants and Dyeing. Cannon, John & Margaret.
2003. ISBN 0-88192-572-1 (Paper US$19.95) 128 pp. Timber Press, Inc., in
association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 133 S.W. Second Avenue,
Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild
Plant Conservation. Nabhan, Gary. 2002. ISBN 0-8165-2259-6 (Paper US$19.95)
250 pp. The University of Arizona Press, 355 S. Euclid, Ste. 103, Tucson,
Feast Your Eyes: The Unexpected Beauty of Vegetable
Gardens. Pennington, Susan J. 2002. ISBN 0-520-23522-3 (Paper US$29.95)
192 pp. University of California Press, 2000 Center St., Suite 303. Berkeley,
Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 26:
Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Flora of North America Editorial
Committee. 2003. ISBN 0-19-515208-5 (Cloth US$120.00) 672 pp. Oxford University
Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4314.
The Genus Arisaema: A Monograph for Botanists and Nature
Gusman, Guy & Liliane. 2003. ISBN 3-904144-91-X (Cloth
US$69.95) 438 pp. Timber Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450,
Portland, OR 97204-3527.
The Genus Epimedium and Other Herbaceous Berberidaceae
Including the Genus Podophyllum. Stearn, William T. 2002. ISBN 0-88192-543-8
(Cloth US$49.95) 354 pp. Timber Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite
450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. Hoffmann,
Frank and Martin Manning. 2002. ISBN 0-7890-1149-2. (Paper US$24.95) 254
pp. The Haworth Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
The Names of Plants, 3rd ed. Gledhill,
David. 2002. ISBN 0-521-52340-0 (Paper US$25.00) 326 pp. Cambridge University
Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211.
The New Daylily Handbook. Gatlin, F.L. and J.R.
Brennan (eds). 2002. ISBN 9-631072-3-2 (Paper, US$ 30.00) 320 pp. American
Hemerocallis Society, available from Jimmy R. Jordan, AHS Publication Sales,
276 Caldwell Rd., Jackson, TN 38301.
Palms Won't Grow Here and other myths.
Francko, David A. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-575-6 (Cloth US$27.95) 308 pp. Timber
Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Plant Growth and Development: Hormones and Environment.
Srivastava, Lalit M. 2002. ISBN 0-12-660570-X (Cloth) 772 pp. Academic
Press An imprint of Elsevier Science, 525 B Street, Suite 1900,
San Diego, CA 92101-4495.
Seed policy, Legislation, and Law: Widening a Narrow
Focus. Louwaars, Niels P. (ed) 2002 Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street,
Binghamton, New York 13904-1580.
Thyme: The Genus Thymus.
Stahl-Biskup, Elizabeth and Francisco Sáez. 2002. ISBN 0415-28488-0
(Cloth US$) 330 pp. Taylor & Francis Inc., 29 West 35th
Street, New York, NY 10001.
Willows: The Genus Salix.
Newsholme, Christopher. 2003. ISBN 0-88192-565-9 (Paper, US$19.95) 224
pp. Timber Press, Inc. 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR
This Modern World of Today is changing even the paleobotanical
past. Old terms like impressions and compressions are too restricted to
describe the newer discoveries in this subdiscipline of Botany. Your correspondent
alerts you to the following:
Repressions: fossils that are immediately returned
to their rock matrix because the world is not ready for them yet.
Depressions: the fossil you find in the back of
a drawer, labeled in 19th century script, but that is otherwise
identical to the find you had finally written up and were about to mail
Delicatessions: the technical name for the stack
of acetate peels, serially sectioning some fossil. The name derives from
the similarity to prepared masses of ham or salami.
Obsessions: any fossil that relates to the origin
Deceptions: a technical name for fossils discovered
by some enterprising farmers in provincial areas of the People's Republic
And two terms of more general usefulness:
Displeasiomorphy: any fact or observation that
interferes with a good theory.
Aught-not-to-amorphy: similar to a displeasiomorphy
(see above), except involving the theories of others.
- Submitted with author-uproarity by Michael Christianson
Don Les' Guide
to Botanical Nomenclature
1) cote-type: any type specimen damaged by doves
2) epee-type: a type specimen in the genus Argyroxiphium
or Echinodorus (chain
3) hole-o-type: the one specimen or illustration
used by the author, or designated by the author as the nomenclatural type,
that is riddled beyond recognition as the result of dermestid feeding damage.
4) ice-o-type: a hole-o-type that has been placed
in the -20 freezer with hopes of reducing the dermestid population.
5) knee-o-type: a type specimen characterized by
a peculiar indentation attributable to the force applied by the botanist's
knee on the plant press.
6) lek-to-type: any type specimen collected from
the breeding grounds of the sage grouse or prairie chicken.
7) pare-a-type: a type specimen of a very rare
taxon that has been whittled away to virtual nothingness by idiots seeking
material for DNA analysis.
8) sin-type: the very first type specimen taken
from the apple tree in the Garden of Eden.
9) Bayes-ionym: a simple nomenclatural approach
whereby a taxon name is selected using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation
techniques to sample from the posterior distribution of all possible botanical
names by transforming the names into a canonical cophenetic matrix and
using a simple Metropolis proposal distribution to select the candidate
names closest to the name currently entered in the chain.
10) ought-o-nym: a far more appropriate species
name that SHOULD have been applied to the taxon rather than the one selected
using the Bayes-ionym approach.
11) proto-log: a fossilized tree trunk used as
a type specimen.
12) taught-o-nym: any scientific name learned in
a Systematic Botany course
13) nomen knewed'em: former taught-o-nyms now long
forgotten by aging, senile botanists
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