PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 50, NUMBER 4, December, WINTER 2004
The Botanical Society of America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
Table of Contents
What Works for Me: Undergraduate Perspecties on Professional Development..102
The Widespread Misconception that the Tambalacoque or Calvaria Tree Absolutely Required the Dodo Bird for its Seeds to Germinate..105
News from the Society
Planning for Our Centennial Celebration..109
Call for Pictures and other BSA Historical Items..109
2004 Pelton Award Committee Report..110
Thanks for your Dedication, Karl!..110
90th Anniversary Issue of the American Journal of Botany..110
Manuscripts Submissions Moving Totally Online..111
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Names Dan Shepherd as New Director of Botanic Garden Conservation International (U.S.)..111
Botanists Elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science..111
In Memoriam: Neil Campbell, Biology Educator 1946-2004..112
Hunt Institute Publication Sale..113
NY Plant Genomics "Dream Team" Wins $5 Million NSF Grant..113
American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) Issues Statement on the Importance of Herbaria..114
Gilded Age Gardens at the Flagler Museum..115
Plant Systematist and Evolutionary Biologist..115
Collection Manager, Paleobotany and Micropaleontology..115
Biodiversity of Tropical Plants..116
Introductory Biology Course for University Professors..117
Interdisciplinary Training Opportunities in Plant Developmental Evolution for Undergraduates..118
Applied Plant Conservation Training Program..118
Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award/ Premio de investigacion Latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman..119
Lawrence Memorial Award - 2004 Recipient and 2005 Nominations..119
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
XV International Plant Nutrition Colloquium..120
New Frontiers in Grain Quality Technology and Infomatics: A National Roundtable..120
Third International Conference on Plants & Environmental Pollution..120
Books Reviewed in this Issue..121
BSA Contact Information..143
BSA Logo Items..144
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN ISSN 0032-0919
The electronic version of the PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN is transmitted using recycled electrons
Published quarterly by Botanical Society of America, Inc., 4475 Castleman Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299. The yearly subscription rate of $15 is included in the membership dues of the Botanical Society of America, Inc. Periodical postage paid at St. Louisd, MO and additional mailing office.
Editor: Marshall D. Sundberg
Department of Biological Sciences
Emporia State University
1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, KS 66801-5707
Telephone: 620-341-5605 Fax: 620-341-5607
Plant Science Bulletin 50(4) 2004
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
Botanical Society of America
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
Editorial Committee for Volume 50
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
Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, IN 47150
Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
Department of EEOB
1735 Neil Ave., OSU
Columbus, OH 43210-1293
Samuel Hammer (2008)
College of General Studies
Boston, MA 02215
"What Works for Me" is an appropriate introduction to this issue of Plant Science Bulletin. Like much of the membership of the Society, I am a botanist and an educator and I seek to make these two roles complement each other. Not only is this a "survival strategy" to help me meet my faculty obligations, but it is a philosophy to which I am firmly committed. The synergy that develops between scientific discovery and dissemination strengthens both.
The lead article in this issue is particularly important because it provides the students' perspective on this synergy. For the past two years the Society has brought undergraduates to the annual meeting to participate in the program and network with each other and professionals. The first article, by four of this year's participants, summarizes some of the key points they presented at a noon discussion session. As a participant, and mentor to my own students, I was impressed with their insights, questions, and some of the problems they raised. I am pleased that they "followed through" on my invitation to provide this summary. I think you will find it to be a worthwhile reflection on your own mentorship _ and may want to reproduce it for your undergraduates (or even new graduate students).
The second article illustrates perhaps a less common connection between teaching and research that frequently becomes clear for those of us who use an inquiry mode of teaching. The literature, and particularly textbooks, is rife with generalizations about plants and plant biology. Textbooks, by their nature, must be so, but the danger is that this may reinforce common misconceptions. Occasionally students raise questions about the validity of statements or applications of concepts as presented in class or read in a book and this opens the way to further investigation. Hershey raises questions about a widespread belief concerning the classic case of extinction of the Dodo bird. As frequently happens, every question raises opportunities for research - some of which are appropriate for undergraduates to approach. See what you think. - editor
What Works for Me: Undergraduate Perspectives on Professional Development
Undergraduate research is a positive component in education and professional development. The benefits of undergraduate research include preparation for graduate school, exposure to the scientific community, enhancement of communication skills and opportunities for resume building. It helps establish familiarity with lab environments and provides opportunities for acquiring technical skills.
This article is based on an informal discussion session targeting undergraduates and presented at Botany 2004, supported by the Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Botanical Society of America. The focus of this session was to advise other undergraduates on how to get involved in botanical research and how to use this experience for professional development. The majority of participants were undergraduates, with graduate students and faculty members in attendance as well. This was an informal discussion in which the four of us and the participants openly asked/answered each other's questions and contributed each other's experiences. This article presents our perspective on topics we found particularly influential in our own professional development, to aid undergraduates who are seeking research experience, and to encourage mentor participation.
Seeking out and interacting with a faculty member
The first step in becoming involved in research is finding a faculty mentor. This may be the most difficult step. One approach we find helpful is talking to fellow students who are already engaged in research. This is an excellent way to discover which labs are involved in undergraduate research and which mentors actively engage their students, encourage them to present their research, and support them in attending conferences. Speaking to an academic advisor or approaching a familiar professor are other steps a student can take to find a faculty mentor within the student's particular area of interest. This also informs the potential faculty mentor that the student is interested in their work. It is important to peruse bulletin boards and school websites for position openings, as faculty who are seeking undergraduate research students often post flyers or notices. Seeking internships at research facilities outside of a university setting is also a viable way to get started. The NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program (REU) provides excellent resources for students searching for summer research opportunities. Information about this program can be accessed at http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/reu/ .
What should we expect from our mentors and what should they expect from us?
Once a student has found a faculty member to serve as his or her mentor, s/he should have certain expectations of that person. The most important attribute of a mentor/student relationship is professional respect. A mentor should give scholarly guidance and training, while providing an environment that promotes and encourages the growth of the student's own ideas. A mentor should always give both constructive criticism and positive feedback. He or she should foster the professional growth of the student by encouraging the student to write for funding, attend meetings, network with the scientific community, and give poster or paper
presentations. A student also has a right to expect time from his or her faculty mentor. By agreeing to serve as a mentor, the faculty member has made a commitment to help that student grow as a scientist, a process that takes time and training.
A faculty mentor will also have certain expectations of the student. A good faculty mentor should expect his or her student to possess intellectual curiosity, a strong work ethic, and dedication to the research project. Finally, effective communication between both mentor and student is critical. A student should feel comfortable asking questions of his or her mentor. These expectations will ultimately lead to intellectual and personal growth.
Identifying a research topic
In many cases a faculty mentor will identify a specific project for the student to conduct. This is helpful, especially if the student is not exactly sure what s/he would like to study. Often a research mentor will have several ongoing projects from which a student may choose. A student should be encouraged to integrate his or her interests into the lab's specific area of research and should not be afraid to accept a challenging project. The process of developing and designing a research topic is an excellent opportunity to explore the literature and fine-tune interests.
Teamwork and collaboration are important aspects of professional research because they facilitate the exchange of ideas. Just as collaboration is important in the scientific community, teamwork is an important component of undergraduate research. Teamwork not only means working together, but also supporting and learning from each other. The benefits of this are far-reaching. As members of cohesive and interactive research communities, undergraduates develop a strong work ethic and learn by observing peer and professional role models. The research environment should provide a comfortable setting for students to ask questions and express ideas. Both the research mentor and student colleagues can provide input and constructive criticism, which encourage a student to become a stronger and more confident researcher. It is important for a lab community to meet on a regular basis in order learn new techniques, discuss results and monitor progress made on projects.
A strong sense of teamwork also makes working on a project more enjoyable. A lab community learns and discovers together. Those within this community can share moments of frustration, as well as moments of triumph, which reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed with a research project. Working closely with others in a lab community also makes participating in undergraduate research a more fulfilling experience. It is extremely rewarding to learn a technique or concept from another student and to pass that knowledge on to others. This sharing of knowledge helps to build the lab community.
A sense of community is not something that happens automatically. It takes time and effort on the part of all those involved. Members of the lab must be willing to assist each other, celebrate each other's successes, and have fun together. Above all, members of a lab community must respect each other. We have found that occasionally sharing a meal or watching a movie together provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen connections. Attending conferences together and working together to prepare for presentations are valuable opportunities for building community.
Time and organizational skills
Completing an undergraduate research project is an excellent way to learn time management and organizational skills. Working within a lab community and completing a complex project requires a student to develop and hone these skills. Undergraduate research projects often provide the first opportunity a student has to work on an individual basis within a research environment. Perhaps the most difficult step for an undergraduate is creating an organizational system that works for a particular project. As work on the project progresses, it is often necessary to adapt this system to allow for increasing amounts or new types of data. In our experience, dividing major goals into smaller, manageable tasks and determining reasonable short term goals is essential for success. It is important for a student to seek feedback about his or her organizational system and goals. A research mentor should provide plenty of guidance, particularly when a student first begins a project.
Setting aside time to work on specific tasks is one way to manage a research schedule. For example, a student might choose to spend one hour reading relevant journal articles for each hour on a microscope. Adhering to a timeline helps a research project to progress smoothly, though a student should always be flexible. Unforeseen problems, such as broken instruments, may force a student to reconsider a deadline.
Attending professional conferences and seminars
Attending scientific meetings, seminars, and research presentations is the best introduction to the scientific community. They are settings in which a student can learn about current research and discuss his or her own project. Sources of funding from within universities and from professional societies are available for students who wish to travel to conferences. Joining professional organizations, such as the Botanical Society of America, is also an important step in professional development. Among the many benefits of joining such organizations, is the fact that a student will receive direct information about available opportunities.
Not all opportunities involve extensive travel. Most universities host visiting speakers. These speakers often deliver a seminar presentation and participate in smaller discussion sessions, lunch meetings, or receptions. Students should attend the speaker's presentations whenever possible and inquire about related activities. At the very least, students should feel comfortable to ask the speaker questions about the research presentation.
Presenting your research
Once a project is completed it is important to share the results with the rest of the scientific community. Outlets for this include presenting papers and posters at conferences, and publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. It often takes longer than expected to produce a polished presentation or poster. It is important to start preparing a poster or presentation at least one month before a meeting. We recommend that slides be completed one week before departure date to ensure sufficient time to practice. We go by the `seven-times' rule: if you are making a presentation, practice it seven times in its entirety. So far, this rule has worked well for us. It is important for the student to remember that s/he is an expert on the research and that disseminating results is an important step in gaining recognition within the scientific community.
Networking is an important aspect in any profession. In essence, networking is a form of connecting people to people and people to resources. The best places to network are at seminars and conferences and through e-mail. A student can use these opportunities to ask questions about particular projects and introduce him or herself to professionals. It is helpful to ask for reprints from scientists who are conducting interesting research. Fear or shyness will only hold a student back. Scientists are generally very amicable people and easy to approach. It is important to have a good sense of humor, while remaining respectful and responsive. Networking is the most direct way to get to know people.
A student should always plan to publish the results of their undergraduate research project. If publishing is a goal from the very beginning, it is much more likely that a student will be successful in this endeavor. One way to begin is to follow an established route, such as developing an undergraduate honors thesis. Many schools have programs that allow a student to develop publishable work within the structure of their major. These routes usually involve a great deal of feedback by the faculty within the department and should provide a student with ample assistance and internal peer-review. Taking advantage of this type of process can make preparing your publication a much less arduous task. A student must work closely with his or her faculty mentor to create a publishable manuscript.
Selecting an appropriate journal is also essential. There are often several journals which may be suitable for your work. Publishing in journals which specialize in undergraduate research is a possibility but publishing in a discipline specific journal will give more professional exposure. A student should become familiar with these publications as s/he explores potential journals in consultation with the faculty mentor. A student should also be familiar with the format that each of these journals requires. No undergraduate research student should feel that publishing is not an attainable goal.
Conducting undergraduate research is an extremely fulfilling endeavor. Through undergraduate research a student will grow as a scientist, as a professional, and as a person. He or she will develop a broad range of skills, a familiarity with scientific research, and relationships with student and faculty colleagues. A successful undergraduate research experience, however, depends upon the student and the faculty mentor, as well as the research community.
We would like to thank Jeffrey Osborn, Karen Renzaglia, and Stanley Rice for serving as our mentors and for leading us to develop professionally and intellectually. We would also like to thank the UMEB program (NSF DEB-0227696) and the Green Tree of Life Project (NSF DEB-0228679) for supporting both the Discussion Session at Botany 2004 and this article.
Eric E. Johnson, Southern Illinois University
Mackenzie Taylor, Truman State University
Renee Lopez-Smith, Southern Illinois University
Dawn Morningstar, Haskell Indian Nations University
The Widespread Misconception that the Tambalacoque or Calvaria Tree Absolutely Required the Dodo Bird for its Seeds to Germinate
University of Wisconsin ornithologist Stanley Temple (1977) hypothesized that the extinction of the dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus) by 1681 was responsible for the near extinction of the tambalacoque or calvaria tree (Sideroxylon grandiflorum, formerly Calvaria major). Dodo and tambalacoque were endemic to the small island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Temple proposed that dodo and tambalacoque represented an obligation animal-plant mutualism in which the tambalacoque seeds had to pass through the dodo digestive system before they could germinate.
Tambalacoque fruits have a thick, hard endocarp, or inner fruit wall. Temple assumed the endocarp would mechanically prevent germination unless worn down by the dodo digestive system. The only germination experiment Temple performed was to force-feed seventeen tambalacoque pits to turkeys, his dodo-substitute. He found the turkey gizzard crushed seven seeds. Of the ten seeds that survived, three germinated. Temple also claimed that no tambalacoque trees were less than 300 years old, but had no data to support that other than second-hand estimates. Tambalacoques have no annual rings so their age is not easy to determine.
Temple published in a very prestigious journal that gave his appealing hypothesis added credibility and widespread attention. The hypothesis has been widely adopted as fact by many biology books and webpages as an example of an obligate animal-plant mutualism. However, several scientists have rebutted Temple's hypothesis (Hershey 2000, Horn 1978, Owadally 1979, Witmer and Cheke 1991).
Evidence Against and obligate Dodo Tambalacoque Relationship
The evidence against Temple's hypothesis includes the following:
1. Temple did not cite Hill (1941) which described how tambalacoque seeds germinate without any abrasion of the endocarp. During germination, the hard endocarp simply splits along a distinct fracture line as in walnut, peach, and cherry (Witmer and Cheke 1991). There is no need for the thick endocarp to be worn down by passing through an animal's digestive system. Temple also did not cite King (1946) who reported successful tambalacoque seed germination without abrading the endocarp.
2. Tambalacoque tree less than 300 years old exist in the wild (Owadally 1979, Witmer and Cheke 1991, Vaughn and Wiehe 1941). Temple's personal communication that there were only thirteen tambalacoques left in 1973 was incorrect. Ore recent surveys have revealed that several hundred trees remain (Witmer and Cheke 1991).
3. The decline in the tambalacouque population has been caused by other factors such as large-scare deforestation and introduced plants and animals. Beginning about 1810, forests were cleared for sugarcane production (Horn 1978). Introduced plants inhibit establishment of tambalacoque seedlings (Hill 1941, Owadally 1979, Vaughn and Wiehe 1941, Witmer and Cheke 1991). Introduced deer, pigs and monkeys destroy tambalacoque seeds and seedling ( Hill 1941, Owadally 1979, Vaughn and Wiehe 1941, Witmer an Cheke 1991, http://www.iucn.org/bookstore/bulletin/1999/wc3/content/threatenedtrees.pdf
4. Another possible cause for tambalacouque decline is destruction of seeds by fungal diseases (Witmer and Cheke 1991). Thus an introduced fungus that attacks the seed or seedling may be at least partly responsible for the decline in the tambalacoque population. Introduced fungal diseases have nearly wiped out other tree species, such as American elm (Ulmus americana) and American chestnut (Castanea dentate).
5. Temple's turkey feeding experiment had no control treatment of pits that were not fed to turkeys. Therefore, Temple's tambalacoque seeds might have germinated without being fed to turkeys. It is known that tambalacoque seeds do germinate naturally without the dodo and without artificially abrading the endocarp (Hill 1941, Witmer and Cheke 1991).
6. While dodos may have eaten tambalacoque fruits, there is no solid evidence they did. Nor is there solid evidence that the dodo was absolutely required for seed germination. Many animals typically eat the fleshy fruit of a particular plant species. Native tortoises, parrots and a giant skink are thought to have also eaten tambalacoque fruits (Witmer and Cheke 1991). Iverson (1987) argued that tortoises were more likely to have dispersed tambalacoque seeds than dodo. Seeds of many tropical fleshy-fruited plants seem to benefit or require removal of fleshy layers by animals for germination (Witmer and Cheke 1991). However, it is not a one plant, one animal relationship.
Obvious Flaws in Temple's Paper
Temple (1977) is an excellent paper for college botany students to critically evaluate because it contained numerous obvious errors that reviewers or editors of the manuscript should have recognized, Either the manuscript should not have been published, or Temple should have been required to do the key measurements and experiments needed to actually test his hypothesis.
1. The basis of Temple's hypothesis was that the tambalacoque's thick, hard endocarp prevented seed germination until the dodo wore down the endocarp with its digestive system. Temple used turkeys as a dodo-substitute and found that a few pits fed to turkeys did germinate. However, he did not establish a cause and effect relationship by measuring how much the turkey gizzard wore down the endocarp, even though it was the key part of the hypothesis. It would have been easy for Temple to have used calipers to measure the diameter of each pit before and after it passed through a turkey.
It may be that the endocarp was not significantly worn down or was worn down less in Temple's three seeds that geminated than in his seven seeds that did not. A scientist cannot simply assume that the turkey gizzard wore down the endocarp not assume a cause and effect relationship between endocarp thickness and germination. Experimental data not required.
2. Temple wore down thick endocarp mechanically in a gem tumbler and demonstrated the obvious, that reducing the thickness of the tambalacoque's hard endocarp reduced its mechanical strength. However, temple failed to try germinating the tumbled seeds that had thinner endocarps. Geminating tumbled and untumbled seeds was the logical and easy method to determine if the thick endocarp was preventing seed germination.
3. In his single germination experiment, Temple made a fundamental error by not having a control treatment of uneaten pits. Thus, Temple could not properly conclude that seeds eaten by a turkey had increased germination compared to uneaten seeds.
4. Temple reasoned that if a turkey gizzard could "barely" crush hickory nuts (Carya ovata) with a crushing point of 152 kg or less, then a dodo gizzard three times stronger could not crush tambalacoque pits. It also made no sense to bring in irrelevant data on hickory nuts because Temple had his own data on tambalacoque pits. Given that turkey gizzards crushed 41% of the tambalacoque pits, the logical conclusion was that the dodo gizzard three times stronger might have easily crushed 100% of the tamblacoque pits.
5. Temple used an equation that related gizzard force and bird weight that was developed using birds that weighed 0.8 to 3.2 kg. However, this was an unwarranted extrapolation because dodo, at 12 kg, was way beyond the weight range for which the data was available. In general, it is not safe to use an equation to predict values way beyond the actual data range on which the equation is based.
6. Even in his abstract, Temple (1977) confused seed dormancy caused by hard seed coats with the situation of a hard endocarp in tambalacoque. Many tree seeds have seed coat that prevents germination (Schopmeyer 1974). Examples of trees with hard seeds are black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), redbud (Cercis spp.), honey locust Gleditsia triacanthos) and Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioicus). The hard seed coat can be weakened by passing through an animal's digestive system or by a sufficient time of exposure to natural conditions. Commercially, such hard seed coats are scarified with acid, mechanically abraded or nicked with a knife to achieve prompt germination (Hartmann and Kester 1975, Schopmeyer 1974).
Hard endocarps are a different matter. Seeds surrounded by hard endocarps, such as walnut (Juglans spp.), cherry (Prunus spp.) and hickory (Carya spp.) generally do not require scarification before they will germinate (Hartmann and Kester 1975, Schopmeyer 1974).
Lessons From The Dodo- Tambalacoque Myth
1. Peer review in even the most prestigious journals, such as Science, sometimes fails and results in flawed articles being published. Therefore, readers should retain a healthy scientific skepticism even for published articles. Rigorously, but objectively, evaluate the experiment sand arguments that the author(s) makes.
2. Once a flawed, but appealing, hypothesis is published in a prestigious scientific journal, it may have tremendous staying power even when rebutted in print.
3. Scientific articles sometimes lack the required scientific objectivity and try to provide only support for an hypothesis and ignore contrary evidence or alternative hypothesis. Temple (1977) is a good example of ignoring alternative explanations in order to support a single hypothesis. For example, Temple did not consider other possible causes of tambalacoque decline such as deforestation and competition from introduced plant and animal species (Hill 1994, Vaughn and Wiehe 1941). Temple ignored major flaws and omissions in his experiments and his reasoning. In his rebuttal to a letter criticizing hi 1977 paper, Temple (1979) criticized Hill (1941) for not describing details of how Hill germinated tambalacoque seeds. However, temple (1977) himself had not described in any detail how he germinated his tabalacoque seeds.
4. Nonbotanists, such as ornithologist Temple, should be very careful when dealing with plant topics. Temple missed a key citation by hill (1941) that undermined his hypothesis. He also missed, or ignored, Vaughn and Wiehe (1941) who observed three tambalacoques that had a diameter-breast-height of 10-14 cm. It seems very unlikely that trees of that diameter would be 260 years old which Temple's hypothesis required. Interestingly, Temple citied the first part of the series of articles by Vaughn and Wiehe (1937). However, he did not cite part three (Vaughn and Wiehe 1941) even though it suggested that dodo dispersed tambalacoque seeds. Nor did temple (1977) cite the standard plant propagation textbook (Hartmann and Kester 1975) or tree seed germination. Too, Temple confused hard seed coat with hard endocarp, although they are quite distinct.
5. Temple was unable to test his hypothesis directly because dodo is extinct, however, he failed to conduct other crucial germination experiments on available tambalacoque seeds. Such experiments would have disproved his hypothesis.
6. Appealing stories such as the dodo-tambalacoque myth often grow more fantastic over time. The story was featured as fact on PBS television's 1999 episode "The Seedy Side of Plants" <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/plants/planet.html. The story has also been used to promote creationism ... http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-081.htm. Other websites have exaggerated the story by claiming that Temple's use of turkeys to treat the seeds has been used to save the tree from extinction... http://www.dodo.com/think/sotd.htm. Even if the hard endocarp had to be worn down to get the seeds to germinate, it is much more easily accomplished in other ways. Seeds with hard seed coats are routinely treated with acid or mechanically scarified using sandpaper, a gem tumbler or cracking the endocarp with a vise (Hartmann and Kester 1975). There is no need to force-feed them to turkeys.
There is no solid evidence supporting the widespread belief that the tambalacoque or calvaria tree absolutely required the now extinct dodo to eat its fruit before its seeds would germinate. The thick endocarp or inner fruit wall that surrounds the tambalacoque seed does not prevent it from germinating. Therefore, it was not necessary for the dodo's digestive system to wear down the endocarp before the seed could germinate. The dodo became extinct about 1681 yet there are wild trees much younger than 320 years old. Tambalacoques also have been observed germinating in the wild. People can germinate them without abrading the hard endocarp.
There are several reasons why tambalacoques are endangered including widespread deforestation, competition from introduced plants and destruction of seeds and seedlings by introduced animals such as monkeys and pigs. Temple's 1977 Science article promoting the idea that the tambalacoque required the dodo was an example of poor science that has been repeatedly debunked. However, appealing stories die hard. The dodo may have coevolved with the tambalacoque and helped disperse its seeds, but other animals probably did too including tortoises.
While dodo-tambalacoque is not an example of an obligate animal-plant mutualism, Pseudomyrmex ants and Acacia trees are (Janzen 1966). The ant-acacia mutualism appears obligate for both partners. Plants and humans are involved in many mutualisms. Many cultivated plants are absolutely dependent on humans for their continued existence, and some endangered plant species still survive in the wild only because of plant conservation efforts. The Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha) and Wood's cycad (Encephalartos woodii) are extinct in the wild and survive only in cultivation (Krochmal and Krochmal 1979). E. woodii exists as a single male clone, so can no longer reproduce via seed (Hepper 1982).
David R. Herhey
Hartmann, H.T. and Kester, D.E. (1975). Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hepper, F.N. (1982). Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: Gardens for Science and Pleasure. Owings Mills, MD: Stemmer House.
Hershey, D.R. (2000). The truth behind some great plant stories. American Biology Teacher, 62, 408-413.
Hill, A.W. (1941). The genus Calvaria, with an account of the stony endocarp and germination of the seed, and description of the new species. Annals of Botany, 587-606.
Horn, B.K.P. (1978). Dodo apocrypha. Science News , 113, 19.
Iverson, J.B. (1987). Tortoises, not dodos, and the tambalacoque tree. Journal of Herpetology, 21, 229-230.
Janzen, D.H. (1966). Coevolution of mutualism between ants and acacias in Central America. Evolution, 20, 249-275.
King, H.C. (1946). Interim Report on Indigenous Species in Mauritius. Port Luis, Mauritius: Government Printer. [citied by Witmer and Cheke (1991)]
Krochmal, C. and Krochmal, A. (1979). The Franklin tree, discovered just in time. Garden, 3(4), 15-17.
Owadally, A.W. (1979). The dodo and the tambalacoque tree. Science, 203, 1363-1364.
Schopmeyer, C.S. (1974). Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States. Washington, DC: Forest Service, United States Dept. Agriculture.
Temple, S.A. (1977). Plant-animal mutualism: Coevolution with dodo leads to near extinction of plant. Science, 197, 885-886.
Temple, S.A. (1979). The dodo and the tambalacoque tree. Science, 203, 1364.
Vaughn, R.E. and Wiehe, P.O. (1937). Studies on the vegetation of Mauritius I. A preliminary survey of the plant communities. Journal of Ecology, 25, 289-243.
Vaughn, R.E. and Wiehe, P.O. (1941). Studies on the vegetation of Mauritius III. The structure and development of the upland forest. Journal of Ecology, 29, 127-160.
Witmer, M.C. and Cheke, A.S. (1991). The dodo and the tambalacoque tree: An obligate mutualism reconsidered. Oikos, 61, 133-137.
News from the Society
PLANNING FOR OUR CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
BSA will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2006, and plans are being made to ensure that this is a very special occasion. Our meeting will be held at Chico State University, California, in 2006. The Centennial Planning Committee has identified a number of things that BSA will be doing to observe this important year in its history, and the Committee thought you would like to see the current list.
1) The history of BSA with emphasis on the last 50 years will be written by Betty Smocovitis, and hopefully she will give a talk at the banquet as well.
2) The BSA archives have been moved from the University of Texas to the Missouri Botanical Garden, where they will be organized and used by Betty and others in preparing for the centennial celebration.
3) A CD and video of the history and highlights of BSA is being planned.
4) Special displays will be created for the 2006 meeting to feature our history.
5) A special theme will be chosen for the 2006 meeting.
6) Several symposia and perhaps monologues and dialogues related to BSA history and botanical events are being planned.
7) A centennial medallion and tack pin will be designed.
8) Special recognitions for other societies, groups, and prominent botanists associated with or influential in the life of BSA are being planned for the banquet in 2006.
9) Representatives of other plant societies will be invited to attend the banquet.
10) A Centennial Fund Drive to enhance the Endowment will be organized.
11) Each Section of BSA is being asked to write a perspective on their particular subdiscipline of botany emphasizing the changing paradigms in the subdiscipline.
12) The format of the centennial meeting will be modified from other years to accommodate special symposia, invited speakers and contributed papers.
After reading this list, if you have other ideas of ways in which BSA might celebrate its 100th birthday, please contact Jack Horner, chair of the Centennial Planning Committee, at: email@example.com immediately.
Call for Pictures and other BSA Historical Items
This is a unique request for your help in preparing for the BSA Centennial Celebration in 2006. There are 104 boxes of reports, abstract books, directories in the BSA archives, but you guessed it _ not very many pictures or much information about people.
Thus, a long-time member or a recent member, would you please send a picture of yourself to Bill Dahl. If possible please scan the picture, and send a file to Bill at: firstname.lastname@example.org. However, if picture scanning is not your thing, just mail the picture to Bill. He will scan the picture and return it to you. Please be sure to inform Bill who is in the picture, and give him the date (even approximate) when it was taken.
Bill's address: William M. Dahl, Executive Director, Botanical Society of America Business Office, Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299 St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
Pictures are not the only items we need. Brief write-ups about people for example, your major professor, yourself, your students), interesting things that occurred at past annual meetings, or your all-time favorite field trip would be wonderful. Fifty years from now, we want people to be able to go to the archives and learn something about the people who have made (and continue to make) BSA so special.
Also, if you have saved some special BSA mementos and would consider having them on display during the centennial meeting, please contact Bill Dahl at: email@example.com.
Q. Why are students sad when they study Phragmites spikelets?
A. Because they are so glume-y.
2004 Pelton Award Committee Report
The Pelton Award, honoring exceptional scientists who have made imaginative and creative contributions in the field of plant morphology, was awarded to Dr. William E. (Ned) Friedman, University of Colorado. The award was established to commemorate Jeanette Siron Pelton, Butler University, who as botanist, morphologist, poet, and philosopher made imaginative and creative contributions to science, particularly plant morphology. The award includes a $1,000 prize and certificate given in recognition of outstanding contributions in the study of plant morphogenesis.
Dr. Friedman's research contributions on double fertilization and the endosperm have had a strong impact on current thinking about the evolutionary origin of flowering plants. His contributions added greatly to knowledge of the Gnetales, a group important for understanding the morphology and evolution of seed plants. In pursuing his work, Ned frames fundamental questions, selects the plant material, and designs observations that will answer these questions. The quality of research is superb, with replicates and methods that convince readers of his results. He places his findings in broad contexts and makes them accessible to readers beyond the confines of developmental plant morphology. He has an outstanding record of publications.
Dr. Friedman has shown leadership in developing the disciplines of developmental morphology and evolutionary plant biology. He has received an NSF Research Coordination Network grant for "Molecular and Organismic Research in Plant History" (http://www.colorado.edu/eeb/MORPH/) . This program sponsors symposia and publications on current topics that integrate molecular and morphological approaches to plant development and fosters laboratory exchanges.
Previous Pelton award winners are R.H. Wetmore (1969), C.W. Wardlaw (1970), P.B. Green (1972), P.K. Hepler (1975), B.E.S. Gunning (1978), L.J. Feldman (1980), T.J. Cooke (1983), T. Sachs (1985 ), S.D. Russell (1988), E.M. Lord (1989), R.S. Poethig (1993), E.M. Meyerowitz (1994), S. Hake (1996), D. Kaplan (1998), B. Scheres (2000) and K. Niklas (2002). Dr. Friedman will present the Pelton Award lecture at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of America.
Darlene Southworth, Southern Oregon University
Thanks for your dedication, Karl!
The Botanical Society of America extends a special note of thanks to Dr. Karl Niklas for 10 years of exemplary service to the Society, and to the plant sciences, as Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Botany. Karl will step down in December after guiding the Journal's development over the last decade. He has led developments ensuring improved quality in the print version, assisted in moving the journal online, and taken us into the age of online manuscript submissions. During his tenure the journal has risen in all rankings of botanical literature. Karl, we thank you for the time and dedication you have you have given to the journal. Your work is most appreciated.
We also thank Karl's editorial team consisting of: Elizabeth Lawson, Helene Maddux, Karen Anderson, Ellen Cotter, Beth Hazen and Caroline Spellman for their support in ensuring the journals high standards were maintained. We certainly appreciate all your hard work over the years and we wish you all the best in the future.
90th Anniversary Issue of the American Journal of Botany.
As a parting note, Karl and his team have put together a special "Invited Papers 90th Anniversary Issue" of the American Journal of Botany. The anniversary issue was printed as the October 2004 issue and can be seen online at: http://www.amjbot.org/content/vol91/issue10/. The BSA office has printed a limited number of extra copies for those who do not receive the print version of the AJB that may be interested in owning a copy. If you would like to purchase a copy please see: http://www.botany.org/ajb/SpecialIssue.html and/or send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order. Cost is $17.50 for members and $35 for non-members.
Image: AJB staff member Beth Hazen inspects the 90th Anniversary issue as it rolls of the press
Manuscripts Submissions Moving Totally Online.
Incoming Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Botany, Dr. Judy Jernstedt, incoming Production Editor, Dr. Beth Hazen and BSA Executive Director Bill Dahl spent two days visiting our printer, Allen Press in Lawrence Kansas in October. Over the coming months Judy and Beth will further evolve the online manuscript submission system (Allen Track) adopted by Karl Niklas and move manuscript submissions to a totally online process. They were presented with an overview of the steps involved with printing the journal, as well as a detailed description of further applications available in the use of the Allen Track system. By enhancing the AJB's use of Allen Track they hope to realize the concept of a paper-free process. It is envisioned that one result of doing so will be a reduction in the time-to-print for each manuscript. We look forward to these developments as the journal moves forward in the online age.
Image: John Nichols, Associate Director of Operations, Beth Hazen Incoming AJB Production Editor and Judy Jernstedt Incoming AJB Editor in Chief discussing AJB workflow processes.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Names Dan Shepherd as New Director of Botanic Garden Conservation International (U.S.)
Brooklyn, New York_August 24, 2004_Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) announced the appointment of Dan Shepherd to Director of the Botanic Garden Conservation International - US office. BBG is a partner with BGCI in housing and overseeing the BGCI-US office.
Shepherd brings a commitment to plant conservation and a remarkable set of abilities that will support BGCI-US in developing and implementing conservation initiatives around the country. In his most recent position as Resource Conservation Coordinator at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Shepherd managed resource and plant conservation programs.
"We are delighted to welcome Dan Shepherd to the Garden as Director of BGCI-US," said Dr. Steven Clemants, Vice President of Science at BBG. Clemants had assumed the additional responsibilities as the Acting Director of BGCI-US while BBG sought to fill the position. "Dan contributes an outstanding wealth of experience, talent, and devotion that will lead BGCI-US in its mission to serve botanical gardens across the nation."
In addition to his strong background in conservation efforts, Shepherd possesses a diverse blend of talent and leadership experience. From running an edible flower business to co-founding Allrecipes, the leading online meal-planning website, Shepherd has developed a broad business background that will support his leadership role with BGCI-US. He is particularly proud of his volunteer work in community and youth gardening as a Master Gardener in the Seattle area. Shepherd holds an International Diploma in Plant Conservation from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and a B.A. in Japanese from the University of Oregon.
Botanists Elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Erin Irish - Yale University
Elizabeth A. Kellogg - University of Missouri, St. Louis
Christorpher Somerville, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford University.
Neil Campbell, Biology Educator 1946-2004
It is with great sadness that I convey the news that my friend and collaborator of 26 years, Neil Campbell, passed away last night in Redlands, California. Neil died as a result of a massive coronary event that occurred at his home early Wednesday morning. Over the next 36 hours the complications proved too severe to allow any possibility of recovery. His wife of 37 years, Rochelle, and his daughter, Allison, were at his bedside when he died.
There was absolutely no warning. Neil was in good spirits and appeared to be in good health. In fact, he had passed two stress tests in the last year and had actually begun to achieve a more favorable work/life balance, his Herculean work ethic notwithstanding. He and Rochelle had recently moved into a new home in Redlands and were busy with all the work of settling in. He had just completed work on Biology, 7e.
Neil was just 58 years old and had so much more to live for and so much more he wanted to accomplish. Ever the visionary, he had numerous plans for new projects in the works. While the world will not benefit from his unfinished works, it's staggering to consider his past accomplishments. If one's life can be measured by its impact on other people, the positive impact of Neil's life and work is almost immeasurable. Millions of students and thousands of educators have benefited from his books. Two-thirds of all the medical doctors under the age of 35 around the world began their study of biology with Neil's textbook, including some
of the doctors who attended him this week.
A couple of years ago, Neil asked me to write a letter of recommendation for him for the National Medal of Science within the University of California system. The last thing on my mind at the time was that my letter could be useful in crafting an obituary. I've attached a copy of that letter for those of you who might wish to learn more about the professional side of this extraordinary man.
But there were other sides as well. Husband. Father. Brother. Friend. Those of us who have had the honor of working closely with Neil are
feeling a particularly strong sense of loss today. Neil was a source of inspiration for all of us, and we are all better for having worked, lived, and laughed with him. We were his most fortunate, if not his best, students.
Neil's family plans to hold a memorial service at UC Riverside next month and also intends to establish a scholarship fund in Neil's name. I'll share information on the memorial service and the scholarship fund as soon as the details are worked out. In the meantime, if you'd like to express your condolences to Rochelle and Allison (no flowers please), you can write to:
Ms. Rochelle Campbell
602 Wooden Bridge Lane
Redlands, CA 92373
The sun rose on a different world this morning, but it's a far better world for all the works and deeds of Neil Campbell.
22 October 2004
editors note: As many of you know, Neil received his PhD in Plant Science and attended BSA meetings early in his career. He was last with us as the Forum Speaker during our first Botanical Society Education Forum at BOTANY 2002 in Madison, WI.
Hunt Institute Publication Sale
The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation is offering a number of publications for the price of shipping and handling in the U.S. A complete list with descriptions, images and prices is available on our Web site (http://huntbot.andrew.cmu.edu/HIBD/Publications/HI-Pubs/Pub-SalePubs.shtml) . For orders outside the U.S., contact the Institute via email (email@example.com) for new shipping estimates. Associates and quantity discounts do not apply to this offer. Contact the Institute at 412-268-2434 to place an order. MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
NY Plant Genomics "Dream Team" Wins $5 Million NSF Grant
Genomics Consortium Brings Together Expertise from NYU, The New York Botanical Garden, American Museum of Natural History, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
A consortium of four of New York's top science institutions?New York University, The New York Botanical Garden, The American Museum of Natural History, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory?has been awarded a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a "Virtual Center for Plant Evolutionary Genomics." The grant will support the creation of cutting-edge genomic DNA analyses and bioinformatics tools to understand the evolution of seeds and other traits of ecologically and economically important plants in an effort to ultimately improve seed quality.
The four institutions comprise the New York Plant Genomics Consortium, which combines the strengths of each partner: NYU in plant genomics and bioinformatics (the development of computer databases and algorithms for biological research), The New York Botanical Garden in plant diversity expertise and access to living and preserved plant collections, The American Museum of Natural History in DNA-based methods for species classification, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in genomics and plant molecular genetics.
"This grant is certainly a welcome recognition of our collaborative efforts in comparative functional genomics in plants, as well as a significant investment in the future potential of this unique genomics consortium," said Gloria Coruzzi, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor and chair of the biology department at NYU and the principal investigator on the grant. "I believe it's just the first step in realizing NYU's and New York City's potential in this increasingly important area of comparative genomic research."
The co-principal investigators and lead researchers of the project include: Dr. Dennis Stevenson, Vice President for Botanical Science at The New York Botanical Garden; American Museum of Natural History Curator Robert DeSalle, who is also a distinguished professor in residence at NYU's biology department; W. Richard McCombie, director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Genome Research Center; Professor Rob Martienssen of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; and Dennis Shasha, a professor at NYU's Courant Institute for Mathematical Science.
"As scientists, we came together to learn about the diversity of approaches to evolutionary biology and from that came a multi-faceted approach to biodiversity, which has been recognized as unique by the community through this funding," added Stevenson.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the American Museum of Natural History to collaborate with NYU, The New York Botanical Garden, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, especially as it will offer an enhanced interchange of ideas among faculty and students at the these four institutions," said DeSalle, curator in the Museum's Division of Invertebrate Zoology and a co-principal investigator on the grant. "The project also is a perfect fit for our existing programs and laboratories in molecular systematics, including our Institute for Comparative Genomics, Ambrose Monell Collection for Molecular and Microbial Research, and Lewis and Dorothy Cullman Program in Molecular Systematics."
"This collaboration will give us the chance to take state-of-the art technology, which was developed to study the human genome, and apply it to understanding the evolution and biodiversity of seed plants," said Martienssen of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "It is a rare opportunity for some of New York's best-known institutions to come together in a common program of research and education."
"The enormous diversity of biological data in our New York institutions offers a rainforest of opportunities for data analysis, experimental design, and computational infrastructure," added Shasha of NYU Courant. "Our research should lead to new insights into the evolution and extinction of plants, the primary food source of our planet."
The NSF grant will fund the consortium's Gymnosperm Genome project, where researchers examine the genetic make-up of plants over time. By doing this, the research seeks to gain insight into the genetic properties of seed evolution, which may be applied to "crop" genomes for agricultural and environmental purposes. The findings will have implications for improving seed quality, as much of today's agriculture, from food to textiles, depends on seed products. In addition, the coupling of bioinformatics and the genomic methods for this project can be used for comparative genome and evolutionary analysis across any species.
The NY Plant Genomics Consortium was formed in 2000 in an effort to pool the abilities and resources of the various New York-based institutions. Scientists at NYU's Department of Biology establish the framework and methodology for specific plant genomics research; The New York Botanical Garden provides access to expertise in plant diversity and an unparalleled number of species of plants; scientists at the American Museum of Natural History are experts in developing new DNA based methods for species classification; Long Island's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is a leading center for genomics and plant molecular genetics; and, the NYU Courant Institute for Mathematical Science conducts cutting-edge research in developing algorithms for bioinformatics research.
The grant is part of NSF's Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP), now in its seventh year. The program's goal is to expand knowledge about the biology of the plant kingdom, especially plants that people around the world rely on for food, clothing and other needs.
American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) Issues Statement on the Importance of Herbaria.
On 24 August 2004, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists adopted the following statement expressing the continued importance of natural history collection facilities to modern biological research.
The American Society of Plant Taxonomists affirms the crucial role of natural history collections, and of plant collections in particular, in research, teaching, and public outreach. Collections of plant specimens (herbaria) are the foundation for all studies of plant diversity and evolution. Specimens provide enormous economic and scientific returns to society and are irreplaceable resources that must be preserved for future generations.
Specimens provide the foundation of nomenclature, the basis for identification, the common reference for communication, and the vouchers for floras, as well as for evolutionary and genomic studies. Molecular and morphological characters that allow us to reconstruct the history of life can be obtained from herbarium specimens. All fields of biological science from the level of molecular biology to ecosystem science are dependent on collections, not just for application of names, but as the basis for referencing al aspects of biodiversity.
Beyond their scientific importance, herbarium collections offer many benefits to society by providing data or reference materials for critical endeavors such as agriculture, human health, biosecurity, forensics, control of invasive species, conservation biology, natural resources, and land management. Herbarium collections provide a wealth of information on our natural heritage and extend back hundreds of years: thus they provide the only reliable, verifiable record of the changes to our flora during the expansion of human population.
Because natural history collections play such an important role in societal endeavors continued physical and financial support is absolutely critical. Collections are most valuable in their original institutional and geographical context. Because they are historical records linked to a time and place, lost collections cannot be replaced. Moreover, many populations documented in herbaria no longer exist and others are now protected. Furthermore, some specimens cannot be replaced due to the imposition of constraints on collecting. Therefore, ASPT strongly advises institutions to maintain their collections in perpetuity. Once an institution divests itself of a collection the institution can never regain the benefits associated with the collection.
It is imperative that minimum standards regarding environmental conditions and pest control be met so that specimens can be maintained indefinitely into the future. As a body of considerable expertise with regard to all aspects of herbarium curation, research, education, and outreach, the membership of the American Society of Plan Taxonomists hereby offers its expertise to help institutions develop management plans for maintaining collections and to integrate herbarium collections more effectively into research, education, and outreach activities.
Gilded Age Gardens at the Flagler Museum
Palm Beach, FL (through December 12, 2004). For centuries gardens have served as a metaphor for paradise. This fall, the Flagler Museum explores Florida's Gilded Age gardens in Gardens of Paradise, an exhibition of photographs, artifacts, historic promotional literature and fine art of the period. The exhibition will also serve as a conceptual framework for the restoration of the Courtyard garden at Whitehall, Henry Flagler's estate in Palm Beach.
Plant Systematist and Evolutionary Biologist.
The Department of Plant Biology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (http://www.science.siu.edu/plant-biology/) invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the areas of plant systematics and evolutionary biology. We are seeking qualified applicants whose research focuses upon cryptogams (algae, bryophytes, lycophytes, ferns) or fungi and who utilize morphological, developmental, and/or molecular methodologies. The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. and a strong record of research accomplishments. Evidence of external grantsmanship and postdoctoral experience is expected. The successful candidate must be able to develop an externally funded research program. Teaching responsibilities include introductory courses and graduate courses(s) in his/her expertise. Application materials include a curriculum vitae, 3 representative reprints, statements of current and future research and teaching philosophy, and 3 letters of recommendation. Send these to Dr. Daniel Nickrent, Search Committee Chair, Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901-6509. Electronic submissions will not be accepted. Review of applications begins Jan. 15, 2005 and will continue until the position is filled. SIUC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer that strives to enhance its ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff, and to increase its potential to serve a diverse student population. All applicants are welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.
Collection Manager, Paleobotany and Micropaleontology
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History University of Oklahoma
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History has a position open for a Curator/Archivist I to serve as the Collection Manager for the museum's paleobotany and micropaleontology collection. The successful applicant will catalogue material, administer grants for collection improvement, facilitate loans, assist visitors, supervise interns and volunteers, and assist curator with research, exhibits and outreach as appropriate. In addition to collection care, the successful applicant also will serve part-time as a technician for SNOMNH's scanning electron microscope. Moderate lifting and chemical preparation/remediation of fossil specimens will be required. Some evenings and weekends required.
Minimum requirements include a bachelor's degree with 48 months experience, or a master's degree (preferred) with 24 months experience, in Botany, Geology, or other appropriate museum discipline. Requirements may be met by equivalent combination of education and related experience. Preferred requirements include: experience in paleobotany/palynology and/or Oklahoma geology, collection management and care, computer databases, experience using SEM and in specimen preparation for SEM. Salary is $28,000 plus full fringe benefits.
Applicants must have an OU job application on file and submit a resume, cover letter, and three (3) letters of references to The University of Oklahoma, Office of Human Resources, 905 Asp Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma 73019. Position open until filled; review of applications will begin December 16, 2004. Hiring contingent on a background check. To obtain an application on the web go to http://www.ou.edu/persvcs/pages/opsjobs.html. Please refer to job #09-023N Curator/Archivist I. Materials submitted in application for position(s) become the property of OU. Deadlines are subject to change without notice. OU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages diversity in the workplace.
Q. Why aren't wetland grass jokes funny?
A. Because they are a `poa' excuse for humor
Biodiversity of Tropical Plants
Harvard University Summer School, in collaboration with the National Tropical Botanical Garden at The Kampong, Coconut Grove Miami, Florida and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. Will offer again, after a lapse of a few years, the following course:- Biology S-105 "Biodiversity of Tropical Plants".
Instructor: P. Barry Tomlinson, Professor of Biology Emeritus, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA 01366 and Eleanor Crum Professor of Tropical Botany, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Rd., Kalaheo, Hawaii 96741.
Time: June 13 to July 8, 2005.Location: The Kampong Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 4013 Douglas Road, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133 and Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd. Miami FL 33156
Accomodation: Provided in an air-conditioned dormitory-type facility at The Kampong.
Prerequisites: Preferred Introductory Botany at the undergraduate college level.
Selection: To be based on the prior experience of the student and the suitability of the course for further graduate advancement.
Finances: Students are regularly enrolled in the Harvard Summer School Program and will be expected to provide tuition, travel to and living expenses in Miami. Partial tuition and travel scholarships may be available for eligible students.
Course description: The course is directed toward students already enrolled or about to be enrolled in a graduate program and will introduce the diversity of tropical plant types within a biological and systematic framework. Study will be based on the living collections of The Kampong, supplemented by those at other South Florida institutions (e.g., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Montgomery Botanical Center, Coral Gables) together with plants in natural environments (e.g., Biscayne Bay and the Everglades National Park). This is a teaching resource of some 10,000 species representing all tropical groups.
The work involves classroom and laboratory demonstration and dissections in a systematic framework, but with emphasis on morphology and anatomy, together with outdoor presentations and excursions. The course requires each student to present an individual written research report, as an extension of some of the material studied, to be completed in the final week after the return to a home institution .This report becomes the basis for a final letter grade. The course is designed to develop an approach to the study of living plants that will broaden general understanding of plant biodiversity with emphasis on tropical ecosystems such as wetlands (e.g. mangroves, seagrass meadows), pine and hardwood forests, and life forms like epiphytes, lianes, and distinctive tropical groups like palms and cycads.
Enrollment: Limited to 12.
Application should be made either to the Harvard Summer School (http://www.summer.harvard.edu/) or directly to P.B.Tomlinson at The Kampong, 4013 Douglas Rd., Coconut Grove, Miami FL 33133, with an application dead-line of May 20th, i.e., earlier than that of the regular Summer School. A supplementary application form (available from P.B.T.) is required with the normal application.
For further information contact Professor Tomlinsion at the Kampong address or Harvard Summer School, Division of Continuing Education, Harvard University, 51 Brattle St. Cambridge MA 02138
Introductory Biology Course for University Professors
The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) will offer its summer Kenan Fellowship Program for University Professors of Introductory Biology at The Kampong, Coconut Grove Miami, Florida from July 25 to August 5, 2005.
Instructors: P. Barry Tomlinson, Ph.D., Professor of Biology Emeritus, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA 01366 and Eleanor Crum Professor of Tropical Botany
Paul Alan Cox, Ph.D., Professor of Ethnobotany, CEO/Director, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Rd., Kalaheo, Hawaii 96741.
Dates of the Course July 25 to August 5, 2005.
Applications due: April 30, 2005
Notification of acceptance: May 21, 2005
Location: The Kampong Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 4013 Douglas Road, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133 and Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd. Miami FL 33156.
Accommodation: Participants will stay in a dormitory-type facility at The Kampong, Florida.
Selection: This course will bring some of the very best biology faculty, those who can fire the imagination of major and non-major biology students. Although botanists will be considered, we also welcome applications from faculty who lack previous botanical experiences as well as those who have not previously worked in the tropics. The. Although botanists will be considered, we also welcome applications from faculty who lack previous botanical experiences as well as those who have not previously worked in the tropics. The fellowship will be limited to 10 participants.
Finances: The NTBG will reimburse all course participants' expenses including airfare, ground transportation, accommodation, meals, and supplies.
Course description: Rejuvenate your introductory biology course with some of the exciting topics of the tropics! Tropical examples can be used to illustrate biological principles and effectively address issues of form and function, evolution, biodiversity, ethnobotany, conservation, and human impacts on the biosphere. The course will teach how to integrate tropical biology into classroom teaching, and provides an outdoor laboratory to discover examples that are not normally found in textbooks. The work involves classroom and laboratory demonstrations, together with outdoor presentations and excursions. It will be based on the extraordinary living collections of The Kampong, supplemented by those at other South Florida institutions (e.g., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Montgomery Botanical Center, Coral Gables) together with plants in natural environments (e.g., Biscayne Bay and the Everglades National Park).
A very unique aspect of the course is the connection between exploring as scientists and transforming into facilitators of learning, teaching not only the intricacies and fascinating features of tropical plants but demonstrates superb teaching techniques that bring general biology to life. The NTBG Fellowship offers this potent mixture which serves as a highly effective approach in getting the excitement of tropical botany into the classroom. The course requires each participant to construct a teaching module to be presented and shared at the end of the course and implemented in their respective classrooms upon return.
Application: Applicants are required to submit a complete application form, two letters of recommendation, the most recent student evaluation and a complete Curriculum Vita. A non-refundable application fee of $30 in a form of check or money order must be made payable to the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
All inquiries about the course must be directed to:
Dr. Gaugau Tavana
Director of Education
National Tropical Botanical Garden
3530 Papalina Road
Kalaheo, HI 96741
Tel: (808) 332-7324 ext 225
Fax: (808) 332-9765
INTERDISCIPLINARY TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES IN PLANT DEVELOPMENTAL EVOLUTION FOR UNDERGRADUATES
About the program
The MORPH Research Coordination Network provides support for visits of undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctorals, and early career faculty (assistant professors) between organismic and molecular labs for periods ranging from a few weeks (to learn specific techniques) to a semester (to complete the equivalent of a lab rotation and take coursework not available at the home institution). This element of planned networking activities comprises the largest component of the MORPH funds and is open to any individual with an interest in bridging the gap between organismic and molecular aspects of the evolutionary developmental biology of plants.
Ten-week summer internship.
Each year, the MORPH RCN is able to fund five ten-week research internships for undergraduates. A set amount of $2,250 is available per grant to cover travel plus stipend.
March 1, 2005.
1. a letter from a biology professor,
2. a letter from the director of the host lab (indicating a willingness to host, consensus about the proposed activities of the visitor, and an explicit statement acknowledging that the host lab understands that MORPH RCN funds may not be used to underwrite costs associated with the proposed research activities), and
3. a letter from the applicant detailing research plans and interactions.
Each letter must be no more than two pages. The applicant letter must specifically document the fact that the training opportunity is cross-disciplinary between an organismic and a molecular laboratory studying plant developmental evolution. By NSF rules, these funds may not be used to cover costs associated with the proposed research activities (e.g., supplies).
How to apply
All application materials must be emailed as attached pdf or Word documents to William (Ned) Friedman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two members of the steering committee (one organismic and one molecular) and a third individual from outside of the core participants (chosen by the steering committee) will be charged with evaluating applications.
For further questions contact William (Ned) Friedman, email@example.com.
Applied Plant Conservation Training Program
Denver Botanic Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden announce a new Applied Plant Conservation Training Program coming in the summer of 2005. The program will feature seminars and workshops taught in part by the Center for Plant Conservation, who join national leaders in the fields of plant conservation, ecology and botanic garden management for a hands-on program that explores the principles and techniques used in the research, documentation, study, conservation and reintroduction of threatened plants. A paid research internship will follow for selected participants. Admission is limited and competitive with an application deadline of March 1, 2005. Visit the program's website at: http://www.usbg.gov/education/Certificate_Plant_Conservation.cfm for more information.
Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award
The Botany Department at The Field Museum invites applications for the year 2005 Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award. The award of $3,000.00 is designed to assist students and young professionals to visit the Field Museum and use our extensive economic botany and systematic collections. Individuals from Latin America and projects in the field of ethnobotany or systematics of economically important plant groups will be given priority consideration.
Applicants interested in the award should submit their curriculum vitae and a detailed letter describing the project for which the award is sought. The information should be forwarded to the Timothy C. Plowman Award Committee, Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA and received no later than 15 December 2004. Announcement of the recipient will be made no later than 31 December 2004.
Anyone wishing to contribute to The Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Fund, which supports this award, may send their checks, payable to The Field Museum, c/o Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA. Make certain to indicate the intended fund.
Premio de investigación Latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman
El departamento de Botánica en "The Field Museum" invita aplicaciones para el premio de investigación Latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman 2005. Este premio de $3,000.00 fue diseñado para apoyar a estudiantes y profesionales jóvenes en visitas al museo de Field y utilizar sus extensas colecciones de botánica económica y sistemática. Se les dará consideración especial a individuos de Latinoamérica y a proyectos en los campos de etnobotánica ó sistemática de plantas económicamente importantes.
Las personas interesadas en aplicar a este premio deberán proveer su curriculum vitae y una carta detallando el proyecto para el cual el premio se utilizará. Esta información debe ser enviada al Timothy C. Plowman Award Committee, Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA y ser recibida antes del 15 de Diciembre de 2004. El ganador del premio será anunciado antes del 31 de Diciembre de 2004.
Cualquier persona que desee contribuir al Fondo de investigación latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman, el cual apoya este premio, puede enviar su cheque, pagadero a "The Field Museum, c/o Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA". Asegúrese de indicar el fondo al cual se destina su contribución.
Lawrence Memorial Award - 2004 Recipient and 2005 Nominations
Ms. Danica T. Harbaugh, a student of Professor Bruce G. Baldwin at the University of California, Berkeley, is the recipient of the 2004 Lawrence Memorial Award. For her dissertation research, Ms. Harbaugh has undertaken a study of Santalum (Santalaceae), which includes the sandalwoods, and is constructing a phylogeny of the entire genus. The proceeds of the Award will help support her travel to islands of the South Pacific and to India for field research.
The Award Committee of the Lawrence Memorial Fund invites nominations for the 2005 Lawrence Memorial Award. Honoring the memory of Dr. George H. M. Lawrence, founding Director of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, the annual Award of ($2,000) is given to support travel for doctoral dissertation research in systematic botany or horticulture, or the history of the plant sciences, including literature and exploration.
Major professors are urged to nominate outstanding doctoral students who have achieved official candidacy for their degrees and will be conducting pertinent dissertation research that would benefit significantly from travel enabled by the Award. The Committee will not entertain direct applications. A student who wishes to be considered should arrange for nomination by his/her major professor; this may take the form of a letter which covers supporting materials prepared by the nominee.
Supporting materials should describe briefly but clearly the candidate's program of research and how it would be significantly enhanced by travel that the Award would support. Letters of nomination and supporting materials, including seconding letters, should be received by the Committee no later than 1 May 2005 and should be directed to: Dr. R. W. Kiger, Hunt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 USA. Tel. (1412) 268-2434
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
XV International Plant Nutrition Colloquium
Plant Nutrition for Food Security, Human Health and Environmental Protection
September 14-19, 2005,
Beijing, The People's Republic of China
International Council on Plant Nutrition
International Association for the Optimization of Plant Nutrition
China Agricultural University
The 15th International Plant Nutrition Colloquium will provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge, information and ideas amongst researchers in the field of plant nutrition with a focus on food security, human health and protection of the environment. The colloquium will include research topics on physiological, genetic, molecular, and ecological aspects of plant nutrition, plant-soil and plant-symbiotic microbe interactions, plant quality, soil nutrient dynamics, and nutrient management, for the sustainable development of agriculture and the environment.
For further details please go to http://www.ipnc15.com
The final circular with the Registration Form and detailed instructions for the 2-page manuscripts to be included into the colloquium Proceedings will be available before December 31, 2004and will be sent to all participants who return the Abstract and Preliminary Registration Forms.
Via email preferably to the address:
firstname.lastname@example.org (for Registration Form and Financial Support Form)
email@example.com (for Abstract)
Alternatively send a hard copy to:
Dr Guohua MI
Department of Plant Nutrition
College of Resources and Environmental Science
China Agricultural University,
Beijing, 100094, P. R. China
Summary of deadlines
Registration and Abstracts September 30, 2004
Final circular December 31, 2004
Registration fee February 30, 2005
Manuscripts February 30, 2005
New Frontiers in Grain Quality Technology and Informatics: A National Roundtable
April 13-15, 2005
Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Please visit the conference website at:
Hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Third International Conference on Plants & Environmental Pollution (ICPEP-3)
29 November to 2 December 2005,
Dr. R. D. Tripathi & Dr. Kamla Kulshreshtha
Free Pre-Registration is Open Now
There is no pre-registration fee. Only those individuals/organizations who pre-register themselves will receive Conference Circular, Registration form and other details by mail/email. For free pre-registration following details may please be furnished by post/e-mail to the Organizing Secretaries, ICPEP-3:
Title: (Dr./Prof./Mr./Ms./Mrs./Miss/etc.) ; First Name; Middle Name; Last Name; Designation;
Organization; Address; City, State, Postal Code; Country; Phone with full dialing code;
FAX with full dialing code; E-mail; Area of interest/Field of specialization
Books Reviewed In this issue:
Enriching the Earth. Smil, Vaclav - - John Beckner..122
Ex situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild. Guerrant, Edward O., Kayri Havens and Mike Maudner (eds) - - Dorothea Bedigian..124
Historical Biogeography - An Introduction. Cirsci, Jorge V., L. Katinas, and Paula Posadas - Suzanne Koptur..127
American Medical Botany (1917-1820). Bigelow, Jacob - Douglas Darnowski..127
Blueberries, Cranberries, and Other Vacciniums. Trehane, Jennifer - Douglas Darnowski..128
Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants. Speichert, G. and S. Speichert. - Don Les..129
The Lowland Maya Area - Three Millennia at the Human-Wildland Interface. Gomez-Pompa, A, M.F. Allen, S.L. Fedick & J.J. Jimenez-Osorino (eds) - Marcel Rejmanek..130
Medicinal Plants of the World. van Wyk, B.E. and M. Wink.- Michelle A. Briggs..131
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden. Reich, Lee. - Steven B. Carroll..132
Botanical Watercolors from the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland. White, James J. and Lugene B. Bruno - Douglas Darnowski..133
The Biology of Seeds: Recent Research Advances. Nicolas, G., K.J. Bradford, D. Come, and H.W. Pritchard (eds) - Jeffrey L. Walck..133
Flora of North America. Volume 4. Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1. Flora of North America ommittee (eds). - Jim Reveal..135
Flowering Plants of the Neotropics. Smith, Nathan, Scott A. Mori, Andrew Henderson, Dennis Wm. Stevenson, and Scott V. Heald (eds) - Gerhard Prenner..138
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution, 2nd Ed. Avise, John. - Tyler Smith..139
Native Trees for North American Landscapes. Sternberg, Guy and Jim Wilson. - Aaron M. Ellison..140
Botanical Latin, 4th ed. Stearn, William T. - Dorothea Bedigian..141
Enriching the Earth, Smil, Vaclav; 2001. ISBN 0262693135 (Paper, US$34.95) 339 pp. MIT Press Cambridge, MA . Readers of this journal can be assumed to have learned certain facts in high school and college science classes. The entire Earth has an atmospheric covering that is almost 80% diatomic nitrogen molecules. This compound is highly stable and while very abundant it is not easy for organisms to use. Yet they must have nitrogen atoms to build cells. Lightning converts a little of the air into more useable molecules. About 100 genera of little prokaryotes can fix nitrogen for organic use. Many of these organisms are cyanobacteria, and are the basis of most of the planet's ecosystems. We are increasingly realizing how significant many lichens are in this respect. There are some other symbionts, but some of the array of prokaryotes occur as symbionts in multi-cellular eukaryotes, including legumes. These nitrogen fixers are not all closely related, so perhaps the trick was evolved several times and fairly early in the geological record. And why don't all organisms fix nitrogen, since it seems to have a strong selective value?
Humans need a lot of nitrogen, and so we exploit legumes heavily. We mine fossil sources, such as the guano islands. In the last 90 years we have been using an industrial technique, the Haber-Bosch process, to manufacture ammonia and other compounds. Our inorganic fertilizer nitrogen is 99% from this source. These factories are huge, very costly, use a great deal of electricity, and operate at high temperatures and pressures inside containers that are triumphs of metallurgy. Many people are squeamish about "pond scums," but if one celled cyanobacteria, operating at ambient temperature and pressure, floating casually in water, were sentient and could laugh, who would blame them? Many students have wondered how such microbes can be so much smarter that ourselves.
Around 1900 there were about 1.6 billion humans. Today there are over 6 billion and the number is rising. Hopefully it will level off at 8 or 10 billion. The huge increase is mostly due to the Haber-Bosch process, which went into production in Germany just before the First World War. Haber reported his laboratory success in 1909. By 1913, Bosch had it in commercial production. By 1914 production was rising. The new invention did much more than increase agricultural fertilizer supplies.
Vaclav Smil's book, Enriching the Earth, is a very detailed and scholarly, well-documented yet readable account of this story. We go from the natural processes and traditional agricultures, to the rise of chemical science. Germany became the world's leader in chemistry. Haber, an extraordinary chemist, secures funds and sets out to resolve the nitrogen needs of Germany and the world. Bosch is a brilliant young industrial scientist who puts Haber's results to work. This achievement rivals the pyramids, Great Wall of China, Panama Canal, automotive assembly lines, and the A-Bomb Project. Everyone is familiar with these engineering spectacles and many people can name the men who led them. Hardly anyone today has heard of Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch. Hardly anyone is interested in the nitrogen fixation industry. Yet, how does nitrogen fixation compare, in usefulness to our daily lives and to the world economy, relative to each of the five achievements just named? I will leave that question for readers to ponder. We should also wonder why this process, so essential to our very existence, is ignored.
This is a book that can be read at many levels. We can learn all kinds of facts about natural cycles, agriculture, environmental disturbances, but also about human hubris that led to enormous retributions. We can consider how major problems that confront us today are going to become worse. We can read it as background to why the 20th century was an unparalleled mix of good and evil. The lives of Haber and Bosch, like the fate of western civilization, so powerfully affected by them, fits the pattern of Greek tragedy. Haber's hubris and the resulting retribution could well be made into a Broadway drama. At another level, the book will be a very useful reference. It contains some striking illustrations and graphs. It could be a major classroom assignment in courses such as Botany, Agriculture, History, Economics, Industrial Chemistry, even Ethics.
More could have been written by Smil about the political and economic aspects of the Haber-Bosch process. The New Deal, TVA, the Cold War, Egypt's international relations, China's growth, are just a few of the angles I would have been interested in reading more about.
A few percent of the fixed nitrogen tonnages went to manufacture explosives. We can wonder why this part of the picture does so strongly attract people. In 1900, 48% of the US imports of sodium nitrate were used for explosives. Soon after Haber and Bosch succeeded in establishing production, fixed nitrogen began to be diverted to military use.
From August to December 1914, the armies dug in and increased their use of artillery. Germany and the other Central Powers would have run out of both explosives and fertilizer by early 1915, if Haber and Bosch had not been successful. A negotiated peace, not to the Central Power's liking, would have inevitably soon resulted. Instead the Western Front lasted until November 1918. That was bad enough, but on April 22, 1915 Haber produced gas warfare. The Allies quickly developed their own and retaliated. On May 2, 1915, Haber's wife Clara shot herself with his army revolver. Their thirteen year-old son discovered the body. Haber went off to the Eastern Front to bestow his deadly gases upon the Russian Empire.
Only 15 years after the Armistice one of the German soldiers who had fought in the trenches and had ended the war suffering from poison gas, was the total master of Germany. Before that the Russian Empire had collapsed and Communism had taken over in 1917. The Austria-Hungarian Empire had fragmented in 1918-1919. The Turkish Empire had lost most of Southwestern Asia in 1917-1919, creating the perpetual blood bath of the Middle East. Fertilizer and explosives, plus the rise of petroleum usage, has been a deadly mix. Many parents do not want their kids to have chemistry sets. They might blow things up. Grown men of great intelligence have managed to do just that over the last 90 years.
Haber's sideline, as head of the chemical warfare service for the Kaiser, had resulted in 1.3 million casualties during 1915-1918. The worldwide horror this caused is still with us. Haber and Bosch had worked with a firm called BASF. After 1919, Bosch became its chairman. In 1925 it joined with five other companies, to form I.G. Farben. By 1944-1946, this had become perhaps the most hated corporation on the planet. Slave labor, from Auschwitz, was one of their major war crimes.
The story shifted direction only in part and went on accelerating after 1945. As the amount of artificial fixed nitrogen rose (total use of nitrogen fertilizer went up 125 times, from 1900 to 2000) collateral damages arose as well. The amount of artificial nitrogen being added to our environment roughly equals the natural supply. That is on the average. In places it is ten times as much. Many serious effects are the result. Smil estimates that from pre-industrial levels till now, atmospheric carbon dioxide has gone up by 30%. Global warming is usually attributed to this. Sulphur has actually declined since the 1970's. We hear a lot about these two. Yet nitrogen, rarely ever mentioned, has tripled. We cannot have most fertilizers without all three factors, N-P-K. Rising demand for phosphate has turned large areas of Central Florida into moonscapes.
We need to reduce the waste of nitrogen, which is enormous. About half the nitrogen fertilizer produced does not actually result in any crop yields. Our throw-away, frivolous personalities and entertainment centered society doesn't seem to care. We need to improve farming, breed better crop plants, and so forth. Obviously, there is room for positive change. But will it matter? Population is rising, people want better lives and many will kill if denied them, so the problem may not ultimately have any major solution.
This is a book that people should read. Realistically, far too few will do so. The various levels of this account connect to many aspects of our daily lives. The 21st century is not exactly starting off as well as we might like. Read Enriching the Earth, think about it, and discuss it with others. Consider this as a kind of self-defense. Read it. John Beckner, Curator, Orchid Identification Center, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726
If you have a flower question, ask a botanist.
They have the right anthers.
In trying to identify grasses, I frequently encounter dilemmas.
If I can't resolve them, I feel Glumey.
Along with the above two submissions Charles Blair, a retired USAF surgeon, who is currently pursuing botany seriously at Cal Poly in San Luis with Dr. David Keil, et al. wrote:
I actually had the temerity to submit part of this as an answer (anther) on a beginning botany quiz, of course after I had written it in the more customary fashion. I understand that there are more variations. If this "story" is published, it could include requests for further "chapters."
If you'd like to share your botanical humor with other botanists, like Don Les and Charles have been doing the past several issues, please pass your notes or sketches along to the Bulletin.
Ex situ Plant Conservation: Supporting Species Survival in the Wild. Edward O. Guerrant, Kayri Havens and Mike Maunder, eds. 2004. ISBN 1-55963-874-5 (paper US$40) 504 pp. Island Press, 1718 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009. We live in critical times for the world's diversity of plants and animals. It is universally agreed that a catastrophic loss of biological diversity is occurring at the moment, with species, and equally importantly, genes being lost forever. "If present trends continue . . . two out of every three species of plants, animals, and microorganisms on Earth could be gone by the end of this century." Peter Raven voiced this alarm in his Foreword to the volume, compiled by the Center for Plant Conservation [CPC] community, in an attempt to clarify and improve the practice and theory of ex situ [off-site] conservation as an integral part of plant conservation.
This is volume 2 of a trilogy intended to provide scientifically based, practical guidelines and recommendations to those engaged in ex situ plant conservation, where the biological diversity is moved from its original location for safe storage. It provides a valuable sourcebook for professional plant conservationists and can be helpful to all plant geneticists.
The Preface points out that although the CPC is based and operates in the United States, this volume explicitly takes a more global view. "Indeed, many of the problems of biodiversity loss are greater elsewhere than they are in theUS, in places that generally have fewer economic resources available to address them." Moreover, "A major challenge for us all is to take an expansive enough view so that humankind can successfully bridge the disparity between where ther greatest needs are found and where the most resources are held. We must all think and act in ways that benefit the planet as a whole."
The CPC realized, early after its foundation, that even the first step in the process, collecting a genetically representative sample, was not well understood. This led to the first volume of the trilogy, Falk and Holsinger's Genetics and Conservation of Rare Plants (CPC 1991). This second volume focuses on the diverse components of maintaining samples, i.e. management of taxa between collection and reintroduction. It addresses the capacity to store, germinate, propagate, and cultivate specimens.
Most of the chapters are organized into two main sections. The first focuses on the technical aspects of storing collections for long periods of time and associated issues such as seed germination. The second concerns some larger ecological, genetic and evolutionary issues that must be considered between collection and use, and possible outcomes to plants when they are used. It is an overlooked area of plant conservation.
The book starts with a general introduction to what ex situ conservation is and could be. The final section looks to the future of what ex situ conservation may become and what is necessary to accomplish those goals. In the book's Preface, the Editors allow that they are a "catalyst of their own obsolescence," representing what we know today, with hopes they will encourage new research directions and lead to the incorporation of new knowledge as the field of ex situ conservation grows.
The book concludes with four appendixes. The first contains revised sampling guidelines, emphasizing specific purposes for which a collection is made. The second explains how best to prepare and store seeds for the long term. There is a complex relationship between temperature and humidity at which seed is dried, and the relative humidity they will experience when stored frozen at various temperatures. The third tackles challenges associated with maintaining a living, growing conservation collection. The final appendix reviews some major organizations engaged in ex situ conservation worldwide.
Concern that modern varieties and agricultural practices were wiping out much biodiversity in the field led, in the 1970s, to a rush to create genebanks to preserve germplasm ex situ. Experts believed, with good reason, that they had very little time in which to collect and safeguard these resources from extinction in the field. In the early 1970s there were fewer than 10 genebanks with perhaps no more than half a million accessions (samples). A total of 1,308 genebanks are now recorded in the World Information and Early Warning System database, and it is believed there are now 6.1 million accessions stored worldwide in ex situ germplasm collections, although many may be duplicates.
Forty percent of all accessions in genebanks are cereals, and 15 percent are food legumes. Vegetables, roots and tubers, fruits and forages each account for less than 10 percent of global collections. Medicinal, spice, aromatic and ornamental species are rarely found in long-term public collections. Aquatic plants of relevance for food and agriculture are likewise not found in such collections.
The key problems with existing ex situ storage are:
- deteriorating facilities, often built in developing countries by donor countries which did not make long-term commitments to their upkeep;
- lack of surveys, inventories and taxonomic studies, as well as lack of evaluation of the material in the genebanks. Such knowledge is necessary to identify gaps in
collections and so that breeders know where to find certain genetic qualities they are seeking for plant breeding purposes.
Even under optimal ex situ storage conditions, seed viability will decline, necessitating regeneration in order to replenish seed stocks. FAO estimates that as many
as one million accessions may now be in need of replanting in order to generate new seeds for storage.
The book addresses the matter of tactics as well as goals. However, this reviewer is concerned that despite all this scientific attention to strategies, some taxa remain outside the circle of taxa included. This may end in tactical victories at the price of strategic disaster. The problem is that particular groups of plants are excluded from preservation, for various reasons.
Among this reviewer's concerns is the enormous reservoir of wealth in the genetic resources of wild leafy vegetables, used for food, medicine and other purposes (Attere 1999). Their seeds and leaves are extremely important for nutrition and poverty alleviation by indigenous worldwide. Chweya and Eyzaguirre (1999) confirm that "traditional vegetables . . .are crucial to food security, particularly during famines or natural disasters, because they grow as weeds in wild and/or cultivated areas. If domesticated, they require little input. They are gathered when in season, are grown in home gardens or intercropped with staples." Chweya and Eyzaguirre (1999) further assert that indigenous vegetables contribute to household food security and are easily marketed. These vegetables offer variety in diet and in production systems, broadening the food base (Okigbo 1977).
However, that reservoir is under threat and it has already started to erode because of neglect by the scientific and development communities. Several reasons can explain the indifference. First, many of the species are poorly known and are used only locally. Second, the species are difficult subjects for conventional agronomic study, often being cultivated in small patches in home gardens or found growing as weeds in marginal areas within farms or growing wild in forest areas. Third, the vegetables are increasingly regarded as low-status foods, and are being displaced in many areas. The decline can have a significant impact on the nutritional status of households and incomes of women farmers who are the primary producers, transformers and sellers of these plants. This suggests that gender bias might explain their neglect, in part. Women are the main experts in the diversity, uses, processing and marketing of these vegetables. For women, they are an essential resource to sustain the family and ensure the health of the household. They assist rural communities to survive long periods of drought and help nursing mothers build up their milk supply (Gibbon 2001).
This same concern applies to sesame, the oilseed crop. While it is vital to local economies in much of Africa and Asia, having culinary as well as medicinal applications (Bedigian 1988; 2000; 2003b; 2004a), no international agency studies it (Bedigian 2003a; 2003b). This trend may be detrimental to local people's health and income. It raises issues about funding priorities. Studies about sesame itself, hailed a `poor man's crop' are so often excluded from attention and support, that it led to its description as an `orphan crop' (Mahmoud et al 1995).
Formal-sector agricultural research and development organizations have tended to disregard these plant genetic resources, for several reasons. The wild, semi-wild or weedy traditional species don't compete well with more costly introduced vegetables, largely because of the greater research attention the latter have received. Kokwaro (1979) provided one example, listing Sesamum angolense among a category branded `Discarded Cultivated Crops,' "dropped depending on economic and social interest, or on personal interest and national policies."
But several vegetable production projects have shown that traditional leafy vegetables as a small-scale enterprise can be a significant money earner for poor people, especially women with little capital, limited access to land and working under labor constraints (Lewis 1997). The cash they provide contributes significantly to domestic income and enables women to attain a degree of financial independence within the family budget. Utilization of leafy vegetables is part of Africa's cultural heritage, playing an important role in the traditions and food customs of Africa's households (Bedigian 2004b; Johns and Kokwaro 1991).
Despite their many benefits, the diversity and uses of traditional leafy vegetables are under threat in Africa. While they are greatly appreciated for their taste and nutritional qualities, cultural change and urbanization have led to neglect of these plants. Governments tend not to include these species in agricultural or food security shelters. They are seldom counted in agricultural statistics.
IPGRI initiated a collaborative research project with researchers across Africa. Five countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal and Zimbabwe participated and multidisciplinary teams carried out field studies on traditional leafy vegetables. This strategy for conservation of traditional vegetables is to prevent their falling into disuse because of economic, demographic and cultural factors. Their concern was to conserve the genetic resources of traditional African leafy vegetables by using a new approach called "conservation through use." Collecting and storing genetic resources of these species ex situ in genebanks was not an option. There were too many of them, and although they were widely used there was not very much known about the genetic diversity within the species. Hence the "conservation through use" approach was to work with the producers, to maintain local knowledge about their diversity and uses. It would document the genetic diversity of key priority species, and demonstrate their potential for improvement and their value vis à vis introduced commercial vegetable species.
Upon inquiring at the conclusion of their survey (Maundu, Johns and Kiambi 2003), Maundu told this reviewer (personal communication July 2003) that no Sesamum species nor Ceratotheca sesamoides were included among the list of Priority Species in the IPGRI Leafy Vegetable study because they were not considered to be important. Hence Sesamum and Ceratotheca were excluded from this protection. She views this with dismay: a potential loss of botanical diversity as well as absence of information about the customs and practices that she has been hunting, for decades.
Triumphant in realizing its goal, Ex situ Plant Conservation offers a detailed road map. We endorse its successful utilization. Dorothea Bedigian, Washington University and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.
Attere, A. F. 1999. Preface. Pages vi-vii in J. A. Chweya and P. B. Eyzaguirre, eds., The Biodiversity of Traditional Leafy Vegetables. IPGRI, Rome.
Bedigian, D. 1988. Sesamum indicum L. (Pedaliaceae): Ethnobotany in Sudan, crop diversity, lignans, origin, and related taxa. Pages 25: 315-321 in P. Goldblatt and P. P. Lowry, eds. Modern Systematic Studies in African Botany. AETFAT Monographs in Systematic Botany, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO.
Bedigian, D. 2000. Sesame. Pages 411-421 in K. F. Kiple and C. K. Ornelas-Kiple, eds. The Cambridge World History of Food. Vol I. Cambridge University Press, NY.
Bedigian, D. 2003a. Evolution of Sesame Revisited: Domestication, Diversity and Prospects. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 50: 779-787.
Bedigian, D. 2003b. Sesame in Africa: Origin and Dispersals. Pages 17-36 in K. Neumann, A. Butler and S. Kahlheber, eds. Food, Fuel and Fields - Progress in African Archaeobotany. Africa Praehistorica. Heinrich-Barth-Institute, Cologne.
Bedigian, D. 2004a. History and Lore of Sesame in Southwest Asia. Economic Botany 58(3): xxx-xxx.
Bedigian, D. 2004b. Slimy Leaves and Oily Seeds: Distribution and Use of Wild Relatives of Sesame in Africa. Economic Botany 58 (Supplement issue): xxx-xxx.
Chweya, J. A. and P. B. Eyzaguirre. 1999. Introduction. Pages 1-6 in J. A. Chweya, and P. B. Eyzaguirre, eds., The Biodiversity of Traditional Leafy Vegetables. IPGRI, Rome.
Gibbon, E. 2001. With Time Running Out, Scientists Attempt Rescue of African Vegetable Crops. Future Harvest (http://www.futureharvest.org/) [http://pub63.ezboard.com/fcongocookbookfrm16.showMessage?topicID=47.topic/]
Johns, T. and J. O. Kokwaro. 1991. Food plants of the Luo of Siaya District, Kenya. Economic Botany 45: 103-113.
Kokwaro, J. O. 1979. Classification of East African Crops. Kenya Literature Bureau, Nairobi.
Lewis, I. 1997. Network Vegetable Production Africa: its contribution to conservation and use of traditional vegetables. Pages 159-160 in L. Guarino, ed., Traditional African Vegetables: Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 16. Proceedings of the IPGRI International Workshop on Genetic Resources of Traditional Vegetables in Africa: Conservation and Use, 29-31 August 1995, Nairobi, Kenya. IPGRI, Rome.
Mahmoud, M. A., M. O. Khidir, M. A. Khalifa, A. M. B. El Ahmadi, H. A. R. Musnad and El T. I. Mohamed. 1995. Sudan: Country Report to the FAO International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources (Leipzig 1996). Khartoum, Sudan.
Maundu, P., E. I. Njiro, J. A. Chweya, J. K. Imungi and E. N. Seme. 1999. Kenya. Pages 51-84 in J. A. Chweya, and P. B. Eyzaguirre, eds., The Biodiversity of Traditional Leafy Vegetables. IPGRI, Rome.
Okigbo, B. N. 1977. Neglected plants of horticultural and nutritional importance in traditional farming systems of tropical Africa. Acta Hort 53: 131-150.
Historical Biogeography _ An Introduction, Jorge V. Crisci, L. Katinas, and Paula Posadas. 2003. ISBN 0-674-01059-0 (hardback US$45.00), 250 pp. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.? An explosion of recent studies has supported oceanic dispersal in a wide variety of taxa, ranging from frogs to lemurs to Rapateaceae (e.g., Lavin et al., 2004; papers in Renner and Givnish, 2004; and the reviews by Renner, 2004 and A. de Queiroz, in press). Taken together, these biogeographic studies suggest that a fundamental assumption of most biogeographic studies of the 1960's and into the 1980's, namely, that vicariance is the more likely and hence preferable explanation (compared to dispersal) needs to be re-evaluated. Most computer methods that use area cladograms, however, still make that assumption, although some can be modified to make dispersal more likely. The book reviewed here still very much reflects the vicariance approach to biogeography, with its emphasis on computer algorithms, parsimony, and pattern analysis. More than a quarter of the book is taken up by an appendix listing available biogeography software, a glossary and a very complete literature list (but not of work in the areas of molecular biogeography or phylogeography). That molecular phylogenetic results have not been integrated sufficiently is a great pity: there are two plant phylogenetic trees in this book of which one is uncredited and still shows the Gnetales as sister to the angiosperms, marked by the supposed synapomorphy `flowers' (p.187). The book's 14 chapters are an easy read, but sometimes remain too much at the surface. However, this may be intended because the concluding chapter ("Conclusion: A Conceptual Framework for the Future") explicitly states "The preceding sections have developed a schematic description of the present state of historical biogeography as far as it can go in this book." The final conceptual framework (3 pages) consists of appeals to biogeographers to consider ecology, conservation, paleontology, and molecular biology.
Lavin, M., B. Schrire, G. Lewis, R. T. Pennington, A. Delgado-Salinas, M. Thulin, H. Hughes, M. F. Wojciechowski. 2004. Metacommunity process rather than continental tectonic history better explains geographically structured phylogenies in legumes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B xx: 00-00.
Queiroz, A. de. 2004. The resurrection of oceanic dispersal in historical biogeography. Trends in Ecology an Evolution xx: 00-00.
Renner, S. S. 2004. Plant dispersal across the tropical Atlantic by wind and sea currents. International Journal of Plant Science 165(4 Suppl.): S00-S00 (published online July 2004).
Renner, S. S., and T. J. Givnish, eds., 2004. Tropical intercontinental disjunctions. International Journal of Plant Science 165(4 Suppl.): S00-S00.
American Medical Botany (1817-1820). Octavo Edition. Bigelow, Jacob. 2004. ISBN 1-891788-23-x. (CD US$30.00) Octavo, 134 Linden Street, Oakland, CA 94607-2538, http://www.octavo.com/. American Medical Botany by Joseph Bigelow was an important work when it first appeared in the second decade of the nineteenth century, not only for its medical and botanical information, but also for the early use of color printing. Most pages were colored not by the older method of hand coloring after black-and-white printing but rather using the aquatint process. Octavo Press, which specializes in producing digital versions of famous old books, now offers a digital version in PDF format. Philip Weimerskirch notes in his introduction that Bigelow was a Harvard professor who concentrated on applied science, to the point of his often being credited with the invention of the word "technology." This reproduction brings together the three volumes, published in six parts over three years, which compose American Medical Botany in one convenient CD-ROM.
The copy which this reviewer examined was on a CD-ROM, and it was viewed on an Apple iBook. Being in PDF format, it also runs on Windows computers, and probably will work well on Unix and Linux machines, too, though those were not tested. Adobe Reader is included on the CD-ROM for those lacking this program for opening PDF files. It arrived in an attractive black folder with a custom-designed CD holder designed with an artistic flair.
Not only are all of the pages of the original work included, but the cover and information on the binding of the particular volume, as well as its provenance, used in making the CD-ROM are also described. That information is valuable for anyone particularly interested in the techniques used to print the book, since the present condition of the books and coloration could vary, or in some other more historical, as opposed to more botanical, perspective.
That the PDF file was made from an original volume is clear from the appearance of shadows on some pages, perhaps due to wrinkles or dimples in the book. In general, the images are delightful, full of bright color and botanical detail. Fans of botanical art will enjoy a copy of this work.
Some of the text, especially early pages, of American Medical Botany is unfortunately blurry in this reproduction. This blur could be observed in the least magnified view of those pages in the PDF file and was continually visible as progressively higher magnification were used. The reviewer examined several original printed manuscripts of a similar age, such as "Some Account of the Red Snow of the Arctic Regions, (Protococcus nivalis AG.)" by Robert Kaye Grenville. This was published in 1826 and so if very similar in age to the copy of American Medical Botany described here, yet the text in Some Account of the Red Snow of the Arctic Regions is quite crisp. The same was true for several other works of a similar age.
Whether the blurriness is in the original manuscript or is due to the scanning process used is not entirely clear, but given the shadows noted above, at least some of it may be due to the condition of the book itself being clearly not completely flat. In any case, the text remains legible throughout, leaving this a very useful reproduction.
American Medical Botany presents a fascinating snapshot in both the history of botany and medicine in the US as well as an important step in the history of printing in the New World. Botanists, both professional and amateur, as well as enthusiasts of botanical art will enjoy this work. College and university libraries should also buy a copy for their reference collections, and this book just might help make the premeds in your Intro to Plant Biology course pay a bit more attention to plants. Douglas Darnowski, Department of Biology, Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN, 47150.
Blueberries, Cranberries, and Other Vacciniums. Trehane, Jennifer 2004. ISBN 0-88192-615-9 (Cloth US$29.95) 272 pp Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527. This is part of the Royal Horticultural Societies' Plant Collector Guide Series. Given the association of that society and of Timber Press with this book, the reader expects clarity, lots of helpful images, and a combination of botanical information and horticultural instructions. The reader gets exactly this and more.
Trehane invokes childhood memories of the various tasty foods that come from the genus Vaccinium?"Blueberry pie, blueberry yoghurt, cranberry juice, cranberry sauce..." (p. 9) in her preface, and she even later gives us the first recorded reference to the eating of turkey with cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving from the late seventeenth century, by a resident of what is now Trenton New Jersey writing to his brother back in Yorkshire (pp. 29-30). This establishes the reader's interest very effectively, though the reviewer may be biased by Thanksgiving being only three weeks away.
Blueberries, Cranberries, and Other Vacciniums consists of four main parts and a few appendices. The first part deals with the genus in general, historical names, general biochemical properties and botanical features, etc. Then, part II deals with cranberries and lingonberries, both the tall species Vaccinium macrocarpon which gives us the bulk of the cranberries which we eat and the shorter species V. vitis-idaea, which is known in Europe as the lingonberry. For both, Trehane provides abundant, clearly written information on their biogeography and botany, as well as consideration of the practical aspects of their cultivation. Among other topics, she explains that the flooding which people often think of when they consider cranberries is used for frost protection and harvesting but not year-round. Interestingly, cranberries are flooded and then drained after a solid crust of ice forms, providing a form of insulation with air below to allow the roots to respire beneath. Cultivars are listed for the various types of cranberries, with brief descriptions as well as means of propagation along with major pests and means of their control.
The author then turns to blueberries, both lowbush and highbush, which include a number of species, giving these groups approximately the same treatment as cranberries. Both northern forms, more common in cultivation across the US, and southern forms, such as rabbiteye blueberries, are considered. In the last part (IV), various ornamental species and hybrids from this large genus are presented, and it is in these last two parts that Blueberries, Cranberries, and Other Vacciniums departs from considering only Vaccinium, giving descriptions of relevant members of Empretrum and Gaylussacia.
Trehane closes with a few appendices, fewer than in most similar volumes from Timber Press, including an index of genera and species along with a metric conversion chart and Bibliography. The figures, kept together about three-fourths of the way into this work, are bright and clear, illustrating both details of flowers and fruit from horticulture as well as more ornamental features. These images are bright and clean, making the reader eager to try some less commonly used species, such as V. sikkimense (Fig. 58).
All-in-all, Blueberries, Cranberries, and Other Vacciniums is a pleasing book, appropriate for botanists, horticulturists, and amateur gardeners. It contains useful and accessible information for each of those groups, and college and university libraries will do well to include Trehane's work in their collection. Douglas Darnowski
Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants, G. Speichert and S. Speichert. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-625-6 (hardcover, US $49.95; UK £35.00). 386 pp. Timber Press, Portland. As the title implies, a quick perusal of this book reveals that it is directed at the audience of amateur and professional gardeners, not academic botanists. Being in the latter category (and a pretty lousy gardener as well), I anticipated that this text might provide me with some useful tips on how to improve my less-than-green thumb. My expectations were great, given that the authors are highly acclaimed water gardeners and also the founders of the American Water Garden Society as well as the magazine Water Gardening.
My initial transition was a bit rough. I eagerly began to read through the section on "Classifying Water Plants" in anticipation of the latest taxonomic summary embellished amidst a sea of cladograms. I admit that my enthusiasm was a bit dampened (to use an appropriate term) when I found instead a description of life-form categories pertaining to various types of water plants (waterlilies, submerged plants, etc.). "Okay" I reminded myself _ "this is gardening, not systematics." I skipped to the next section on "Pots and Soil" where no self-respecting cladogram would dare venture.
Although "Pots and Soil" was a bit brief (only five pages), I began to see the expertise "emerge". This section succinctly reviews the attributes and liabilities (also summarized in a table) of different pots, soil types, pebbles and gravel, cocoa fiber, rockwool and even cat litter! I'm not being facetious here; there was some excellent advice given in this section, including the use of a particular type of cat litter (comprising "calcified clay") as a potting medium having properties similar to natural clay. The following chapter on fertilizers was at least equally as informative.
The remainder of the book was more along the lines of an "encyclopedia" as one might suspect from the title. There followed eight sections (each a chapter) that treated specific categories of plants (i.e., hardy waterlilies, tropical waterlilies, lotus, marginals, Irises, waterlily-like plants, floating water plants, submerged plants). What differed from many other books of this type, is that here I found a substantial amount of very useful information provided for each group in a general overview of topics ranging from different planting methods, aspects of water chemistry, seasonal considerations, propagation methods, pests, etc. These sections contained some of the best summaries of practical water gardening methods that I have seen. Following each introductory section was an alphabetical list of species and/or cultivars, each with a brief summary of its optimal growing conditions, maximum size and even the originator (for cultivars).
A bonus is the inclusion of more commercial cultivar names than one normally finds in most other treatments. Did you know that there are five cultivars of Carex muskingumensis? I didn't - nor did I know that anybody would even want to grow one of those things. I also learned that there were 15 cultivars and varieties of Caltha palustris. I knew that there were about eight but never realized that there were that many. You have to love some of these names. There is a yellowish "corkscrew" variant of Juncus filiformis that is called `Blonde Ambition,' a cultivar of Carex pendula known as `Cool Jazz,' and one of Hibiscus moscheutos called `Old Yella'. I did find some odd names (even by these standards) such as "Lemna major" which nobody should use anymore (it is a synonym of Spirodela polyrhiza).
Of course there was the usual array of beautiful color photographs of various spectacular specimens that readers have come to expect in this type of book. The quality of the photographs generally was pretty good. Also there were some nice, detailed photos that were used to demonstrate various techniques, e.g., the scarification of a lotus seed which is necessary to initiate germination. Sure, sure _ all of us botanist types already know how to scarify seeds like this. We'd probably grab them in a pair of vice-grips and swipe them across a running belt-sander a few times. However, we learn that for lotus to germinate properly, it is necessary to abrade the surface of the fruit just until the flesh of the seed becomes visible. The technique (best carried out using a file _ not a belt-sander) is nicely shown in a photo that illustrates the proper depth and extent of the abrasion. So that's it! Maybe mine will germinate next time.
I was elated to find that the authors had included some excellent advice pertaining to noxious, invasive species. Most water gardening books that I have read tend to promote invasive species along with the others as if they posed no problem. On the contrary, this text offers advice such as "Never grow hydrilla in your pond." I couldn't agree more. It also suggests alternatives such as using the native Elodea rather than the notorious, nonindigenous look-alike Egeria. Again, good advice! However, I was a bit disappointed to find that other sections of the book tell you precisely how to plant Egeria anyway. Similarly, a designation of Lagarosiphon as a "pernicious weed" is followed by the comment "I cannot grow it in ponds with Koi." That's probably a good thing. Let's try to leave that invasive species in the Old World where it originated.
The final chapter is a general review of pests and diseases that threaten water gardens, a very useful section for those who wish to maintain the good looks of their pond pretties. Added bonuses include an appendix that lists "Plants for Special Places and Purposes," another that sorts plants by their flower color and one that summarizes some native, rare and endangered species. Altogether, this book offers a fairly complete package. If you want to learn how to grow water plants then this is a good place to start.
I have a shelf-load of water gardening books in my office. Most of them are utterly useless except for the nice color photos that seem to typify the genre. I use them to hold up my other books. However, this book is different. I found the advice presented in the book to be accurate and extremely helpful for a change. The authors have done a remarkable job in conveying their years of experience as professional growers in an attractive and well-organized book that anybody should find a pleasure to read. Don't buy this book if you want to see cladograms, look up incomprehensible botanical terms (hah! - there isn't even a glossary), or insist on terrorizing seeds with your power tools. However, if you someday strive to become a master water gardener, then you should find many of the secrets in here. Me? I'm off to find some cat litter (now I am being facetious).- Don Les, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3043.
The Lowland Maya Area _ Three Millennia at the Human-Wildland Interface. A. Goméz-Pompa, M. F. Allen, S. L. Fedick & J. J. Jiménez-Osorino (Ed.) 2003. ISBN 1-56022-971-3 (Paper US$79.95) 659pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580. _ This volume includes studies on environment, paleoenvironment, biota, human history, and agriculture in the lowland Mesoamerica, and, particularly, in the Yucatán Peninsula. Based on presentations delivered at the 21st symposium of Plant Biology, University of California, Riverside, 36 chapters in this volume were written by 74 authors from México, the USA, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland. This is a valuable successor of the previous "Riverside volume" on ancient Maya agriculture and resource use (Fedick 1996). Many perennial questions, like the support for the long-term maintenance of a high Maya population density (up to 200 people per km2 in rural areas), the Maya conservation of biodiversity, and the collapse of the Classic Maya civilization during the first half of the ninth century, are addressed in this volume. Topics of many chapters are relatively broad, but a recurrent focus among the contributions is the El Edén Ecological Reserve.
Surprisingly, even if El Edén is mentioned many times, including Gómez-Pompa's introductory chapter, we find the maps indicating the location of this Reserve only on pages 263 and 342 (Chapters 13 and 19). What is El Edén? It is a nongovernmental protected area, approximately 1,500 ha, in northern part of the Mexican state Quintana Roo. This reserve was created as an experimental area, dedicated not only to research and education on biodiversity and conservation, but also with the goal to reconstruct human and environmental history of this site. The El Edén location was chosen because it represented all major ecosystems of the region: different successional stages of tropical evergreen dry forest, swamp forest, savannas, and herbaceous wetlands. Maya populations were present at this site already ca. 100 B.C. (S.L. Fedick, Chapter 19). A hypothesis that shifting mosaic land management, forest gardens, and managed forests were the key to sustainability and maintenance of biodiversity is experimentally tested in this reserve.
We may never know what flora existed in Yucatán Peninsula in pre-Maya times. If the Maya used most of the available land for agriculture, how many endemic species were lost? The consensus of the contributors to this volume seems to be that the biodiversity was not depleted. The explanation is provided by M. F. Allen et al. in Chapter 36: Species, even endemic, are widely spaced across the region. Under shifting mosaic agriculture, if they decline at one location, they can persist in another. We may add that this seems to be especially true for tree species of lowlands and valley bottoms; tree species on upper slopes and ridges are more restricted (Brewer et al. 1993). However, as mountain ridges were likely less affected by humans, most of the endemics there probably also survived.
The volume covers an amazing number of topics: paleolimnology, hydrology, impact of hurricanes, depression soils, the role of periphyton and its use in agriculture, anthropogenic vegetation, domestication of Theobroma cacao, forest restoration, moss flora of the Yucatán Peninsula, butterfly fauna, etc. In spite of the intentions to make this volume not exclusively El Edén centered, many important regional contributions are missing in references (e.g., Barber et al. 2001, Estrada-Loera 1991, Leyden et al. 1998, Meerman & Boomsa 1993, Primack et al. 1998, Rejmánková et al. 1996, Rejmánková & Komárková 2000). However, this is just a minor weakness. Editors should be congratulated for putting this exciting interdisciplinary volume together. Whoever works on biology or human-nature interactions in this part of the world, he/she has to have this book in his/her library! - Marcel Rejmánek, Section of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
Barber, A., Tun, J. & M. B. Crespo. 2001. A new approach on the bioclimatology and potential vegetation of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico). Phytocoenologia 31: 1-31.
Brewer, S.W., Rejmánek, M., Webb, M.A.H. & P.V.A. Fine. 2003. Relationships of phytogeography and diversity of tropical tree species with limestone topography in southern Belize. J. Biogeogr. 30: 1669-1688.
Estrada-Loera, E. 1991. Phytogeographic relationships of the Yucatán peninsula. J. Biogeogr. 18: 687-697.
Fedick, S.L. (ed.) 1996. The managed mosaic: Ancient Maya agriculture and resource use. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Leyden, B.W., Brenner, M. & B.H. Dahlin. 1998. Cultural and climatic history of Coba, a lowland Maya city in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Quaternary Research 49: 111-122.
Meerman J. C. and Boomsma T. 1993. Biodiversity of the Shipstern Nature Reserve. Occasional Papers of the Belize Natural history Society. 2/1: 1-85.
Primack, R.B., Bray, D., galleti, H. A. & I. Ponciano (eds.) 1998. Timber, Turists, and Temples. Island Press, Washington. D. C.
Rejmánková, E. and J. Komárková. 2000. A function of cyanobacterial mats in phosphorus-limited tropical wetlands. Hydrobiologia 431: 135-153.
Rejmánková, E., Pope, K. O., Post, R. & E. Malby. 1996. Herbaceous wetlands of the Yucatan peninsula: communities at extreme ends of environmental gradients. International Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie 81: 223-252.
Medicinal Plants of the World. B. E. van Wyk and M. Wink. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-602-7 Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. (cloth) 480 pp. As one exam question for students in my Medicinal and Poisonous Plants course, I tell them they have been stranded on an island with a plant identification guide, and give the students a list of about 20 different plant names they have identified. For each plant, students need to research the main biologically active compounds known, and their medicinal and/or poisonous principles. As I opened van Wky and Wink's Medicinal Plants of the World, I instantly knew three things. First, I knew this would be a great resource for me to quickly find medicinal plant species for the test with chemicals and actions I could use for my answer key. Second, I knew the students would find this an excellent reference text even when they weren't answering this question. Third, I knew if I was stranded on that island, this is one book I'd want to have.
The main area covered by the text includes 322 different plants used medicinally world-wide. Each plant's information occupies exactly one page, and begins with one to several photographs of the plant. One student eventually wrestled this from my grasp, and mentioned how these features, in addition to alphabetical entry by genus and species, made the book very easy to use. The remaining portion of each plant's allotted page includes a brief description of the plant's origin, parts used, uses and properties, and the preparation and dosage. So far, the information is much like that included in many medicinal plant identification guides. But the authors go further in their description. Discussion of each medicinal plant also includes their active ingredients. In addition to mentioning that the plant may contain a compound like a sesquiterpene lactone as an active ingredient, van Wyk and Wink also mention each plant's specific active chemical(s). The authors also include a section on the pharmacological effects of the active ingredients, instead of the typical list of folk uses. For example, the Madagascar periwinkle has a meaty paragraph describing how vincristine and vinblastine bind tubulin and thus block cell division. Write-ups may also include notes (e.g. this plant is ten times more active than plant X) and/or warnings (e.g. internal use of Y may cause death, don't take Z with sedatives). The description of each plant closes with its status. This includes its use as a modern medicine, traditional medicine, possible treatment in pharmacopoeias, or inclusion in Commission E monographs, European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy monographs, or the World Health Organization monographs.
Are the facts contained in these pages referenced? No, so one can't view this as a refereed overview. Indeed, as the authors state, if they had attempted to make this a comprehensive review, the final product would be thousands of pages long and not useful by their target audience. They do include a listing of about 150 works for further reading.
Another factor that makes this different from the typical guide is a 20+ page overview of secondary metabolites. "Alkaloids and the modes of action" describes how these chemicals may interact with animal tissue. For example, they may act as agonists, antagonists, interrupt voltage-gated channels, interfere with deactivation enzymes like acetylcholine esterase, disrupt neurotransmitter transport, or modulate signal pathways. This section then divides the alkaloids into structural groups, like the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and gives specific examples of plants containing those types of alkaloids. Including the alkaloids, the authors discuss nine major chemical groups and their influence on animals consuming them.
Van Wyk and Wink also include another great resource in their text. While they cover more than 320 different plants in their text, they also have a "Quick guide" table that includes almost 600 additional (plus listing the original 320) medicinal plants. This is also listed alphabetically by genus and species, and includes the active principles and main indications in traditional medicine.
The authors also include a twenty page section on health disorders and medicinal plants. In general, these sections describe the problems, treatment strategies, and the main treatment plants. Broad coverage is given for disorder of the various body systems. In addition to the above, Medicinal Plants of the World includes a variety of short but informative sections. These include Medicinal systems of the world, where different approaches to medicine from ancient times to the modern day are described. As an example, these include European, Traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic and Homeopathic approaches to healing. Representatives of the many other sections include "Dosage Forms" which define teas, tinctures, etc., "Efficacy" and "Regulation".
The authors cover many different topics which are not covered in the typical medicinal plant guide, and they cover them in just enough depth to allow basic understanding of the plant's uses and actions. With that, and its highly organized structure, I think this book would make a great textbook and an important addition to any physician's shelf. - Michelle A. Briggs, Department of Biology, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA 17701
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden. Reich, Lee. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-623-X. Illustrations by Vicki Herzfeld Arlein. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Ask a friend to list the first three fruits that come to mind, and you are likely to hear apple, orange, and banana. Ask a few botanists, and if they've had their morning coffee, they might think to list tomatoes, pea pods, or those stick-tights clinging to your socks. Ask the next 100 people you see, and unless they've read Uncommon Fruits for every Garden, not one is likely to mention maypops, medlars, or kaki, just three of the intriguing fruits covered in this update of Reich's earlier book, Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention.
Not all of the fruits that Reich includes are as uncommon as the last three mentioned. As one who grew up on the East Coast, I've long appreciated the flavor of beach plums, and as my siblings and I grew older, our sparring over grandma's homemade beach plum jelly intensified. Those who live farther north routinely eat lingonberries, and as a student who escaped to the mountains, I did too, although I called them mountain cranberries. I found the mulberry a particularly curious selection, for it is today so widely distributed that it is often considered a weed. I have one growing at the edge of one of my gardens, and although I did not plant it, I look forward each year to harvesting its sweet fruits. I wouldn't think of removing it even though it steals sun and water from my garden plants.
So, as it turns out, not all of the fruits included in this book are uncommon, but neither is that Reich's point. What he wishes us to know is that we need not go to specialty grocers, to farmers' markets, or to the woods or mountains in order to sample these fruits. Instead, we can grow them in our own gardens, and he provides the information we need in order to accomplish this.
Reich uses a standard format for each fruit or fruit group he describes. He begins with common and botanical names and a brief introduction. Then follows a more detailed "Description of the Plant" that includes characteristics of flowers, fruits, foliage, and other features. Next are notes on cultivation that address soil, pollination, water and nutrient needs, pruning, susceptibility to disease, and more. Under "Propagation" he discusses topics such as seed germination, growth media, cuttings, grafting, micropropagation, and other techniques, as appropriate. The raison d'être for including these plants is the fruit, and he discusses these in greatest detail under "Harvest and Use," where characters such as timing, ripening, storage, and uses are covered. The final section for each entry is a list of cultivars. I admit I but skimmed these pages, but I suppose if I were to buy an actinidia?kiwi to most of us?I'd now know to purchase a variety such as the "lusciously sweet" super-hardy `Orozainaya'.
There is a wealth of gardening and botanical information packed into this compact book. There are also many high-quality line drawings rendered by Vicki Herzfeld Arlein and 51 color plates, in many cases showing both the plant's aspect and a close-up of its fruit.
Reich has also gone out of his way to make his book readable. I particularly enjoyed the bits of history scattered throughout. For example, we learn that the lingonberry was valued so highly in 13th-century Iceland "that law books limited berry picking on other people's lands to what could be eaten on the spot." Occasional references to literature and poetry also liven up entries, as in Ovid's account of the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe:
The whiteness of the mulberry soon fled
And ripening, sadden'd in a dusky red.
I did take exception to some entries. In particular, I'm sorry Reich included Eleagnus, which includes both Russian olive (E. angustifolia) and autumn olive (E. umbellata). Although he makes passing reference to the aggressiveness of these species, readers should know they are highly invasive, and that they are on many lists of species that should not be planted. I also believe the book would be strengthened by the addition of a general introduction, in which topics such as pollination, fruit structure and development, the naming of plants, and the general outline of the book could be addressed. Some of these topics are addressed in appendices, but this is a less satisfying treatment, and readers are less likely to find their way to an appendix before launching into the individual entries.
These concerns aside, I very much enjoyed Reich's book. I learned a great deal about fruits new to me, and I learned much about fruits growing in my own back yard. And just this week I started four maypop vines in the greenhouse, with plans to move them outside come spring. I look forward to seeing their spectacular corona-hooded flowers and to harvesting their air-filled fruits. I only hope that the particular vines I planted don't produce fruits that are "unpleasant to taste or even smell" but instead are those "with a deliciously semisweet, melting taste similar to that of apricot." Check back next spring, or better yet, plant your own, and if you need advice, Lee Reich's Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden is a good place to start. Steven B. Carroll, Division of Science, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO. 63501.
Botanical Watercolors from the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland. White, James J. and Lugene B. Bruno with essays by Pieter Baas and Erik A. de Jong. 2004. ISBN 0-913196-77-0 (Paper US$13.00) 64pp. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213. Botanical Watercolors from the National Herbarium Nederland presents a selection of the works archived in the National Herbarium of the Netherlands in Leiden. The author of the brief text which introduces this work and describes the various botanical artists whose works are depicted is Professor Eric de Jong, and a description of the Botanical Garden at the University of Leiden, at which the pictures shown are kept, is provided by its Director, Pieter Baas. The publisher is the Hunt Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, probably the most significant single institution dealing with botanical art.
In short, the garden was created by King Willem the First of the Netherlands and greatly helped in its development, among others, by the famous botanists Clusius and von Siebold. The collections of the herbarium, including the paintings shown in this book, and the garden were greatly enhanced by the conttributions of the United Dutch East India Company.
A number of artists, from the famous to the less well-known to the anonymous, have their work represented in this short book. These range from perhaps the best known of all botanical artists, Joseph Redouté, author of Les Roses and contributor to this book of several depictions of fungi, to others such as Karel Voet. Most were natives of the Netherlands, and the pictures vary from sublime (Redouté, Arckenhausen) to less-than-professional (Meerburgh). Some of the paintings by unidentified painters are among the best in the book, including the image of Disa sp. on p. 46.
Botanical art buffs would be interested in buying a copy of this work, especially if they would like to see some work by Redouté other than his stereotypical roses and lillies. Large university libraries and any library with a botanical art collection should also obtain a copy. - Douglas Darnowski, Indiana University Southeast.
The Biology of Seeds: Recent Research Advances. Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Seeds, Salamanca, Spain, 2002. Nicolás, G., K.J. Bradford, D. Côme, and H.W. Pritchard (eds.). 2003. ISBN 0-85199-653-1 (cloth US$175.00) xx + 472 pp. CABI Publishing, 44 Brattle Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.?The first two meetings that started a series of workshops, known today as the "International Workshop on Seeds", were held in 1980 (Jerusalem, Israel) and 1985 (Wageningen, The Netherlands). The first meeting was entitled "The Bathsheva de Rothschild Seminar on Control Mechanisms in Seed Germination" and the second "International Workshop on `Control Processes in Seeds.'" It was at the second meeting that the idea for the series of workshops was formulated. As such, these workshops have been held at three- or four-year intervals (1989 _ Williamsburg, Virginia, USA; 1992 _ Angers, France; 1995 _ Reading, UK; 1999 _ Mérida, Mexico; 2002 _ Salamanca, Spain). Proceedings of the first workshop were published in the Israel Journal of Botany (vol. 29, nos. 1-4, pp. 1-322, 1980/81), and those from the second in Physiologia Plantarum (vol. 67, no. 2, pp. 274-327, 1986). Starting with the third meeting, the proceedings have been published in book format (Taylorson 1989, Côme and Corbineau 1993, Ellis 1997, Black et al. 2000). It also was in Mérida where The International Society for Seed Science (ISSS) was inaugurated with its goal being to advance education and research for public benefit in the scientific study of seeds.
The Biology of Seeds is the proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Seeds, held in Salamanca, Spain between 12 and 16 May 2002. This workshop was the first organized ISSS meeting. It was attended by 270 participants from 33 countries. A total of 290 papers and posters were presented, and 49 of these are included in this book. The 169 contributors represent 18 countries, with most of them being from France (23%), United States (15%), or Spain (14%). Moreover, a broad range of species is covered in the book, particularly among the ecology papers. Of those papers (39) that primarily included 1-2 study species, Zea mays was the focus in 15% of them. Even though Arabidopsis thaliana is an important model plant for the study of seed biology, it was the primary study species in only one paper.
The book is divided into five parts: seed development (10 papers), germination and dormancy (17), desiccation and other stress tolerances and conservation (11), seed ecology (6), and seed biotechnology (3). There also is a Preface and an introductory chapter by Bewley entitled "Seeds of hope; seeds of change," which gives an overview of the influence of seeds in civilization, history of seed research, and future impact of seeds on human society with the advent of biotechnology. The Closing Lecture by Obendorf and Odorcic, entitled "Recent accomplishments and new opportunities in seed research," presents a synopsis of papers in the book along with prospects of future research. The index includes both topics and species, and pages with illustrations or tables are bold. About half of the papers in the book are written as reviews of topics or summaries of research programs, while the other half are presented in a journal-type style, i.e., containing an introduction, methods, results, and discussion. Papers average about nine pages in length with each one having its own bibliography.
The utilization of molecular biology tools to understand seed biology is clearly evident throughout most parts of the book. Expression of genes are discussed in relation to development of endosperm (Díaz et al.), stress tolerance (Groot et al.), and germination (Toorop et al., Chateigner-Boutin et al.). Long cell and E2748 are mutants used to explore cell death and nutrient uptake during embryogenesis in maize and pea (Graziano et al., Borisjuk et al.). Proteomic analyses are done for maternal dominance of cold germination (Saab et al.) and for germination and priming (Gallardo et al.). Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with germination of maize are mapped by Limami et al. and with dormancy of rice by Foley et al. Activities of ß-mannosidase (Mo and Bewley), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-associated proteins (Vázquez-Ramos and Sánchez), and catabolic activator protein (Dinkova et al.) during seed germination are reported. Hilhorst and Spoelstra inform that metabolic activity in germinating tomato seeds is unrelated to the internal distribution of free water. The visualization of ATP was based upon the reaction of firefly luciferase and luciferin with ATP, O2, and Mg2+ and was facilitated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging. Lastly, telomere loss appears to follow the temporal loss of viability, although the pattern of cell death can be influenced by the level of hydration an embryo experiences (Osborne et al.).
Molecular aspects associated with physiological or hormonal events during dormancy and germination are discussed by Benech-Arnold et al. and by Leubner-Metzger. Odorcic and Obendorf propose a biosynthetic pathway for the raffinose family of oligosaccharides. Various aspects of proteins are investigated for developing seeds of barley, sunflower, and maize: peptide transport (Waterworth et al.), antioxidant enzyme activities (Bailly et al.), and kinases (Llompart et al.). Several papers cover the role of hormones in dormancy and germination: abscisic acid (Corbineau and Côme, Yoshioka et al., Bogatek et al.), ethylene (Siriwitayawan et al., Calvo et al.), and gibberellic acid (Domínguez et al.). Two other factors influencing germination are reported: mitochondrial integrity and oxidative properties (Benamar et al.) and mucilage and ovary cap tenacity (Taylor et al.).
Hoekstra et al. cover mechanisms conferring desiccation tolerance in seeds, and Pammenter et al. offer insights into the quantification of desiccation sensitivity. Genetic fidelity is shown to be maintained during cryopreservation of seeds from the endangered African Warburgia salutaris by Kioko et al. Moreover, drying causes cell membrane fluidization in desiccation-tolerant embryos (Golovina and Hoekstra) and Ca2+ supplied during imbibition increases desiccation tolerance of soybean (Song et al.). The role of sugars in conferring desiccation tolerance is explored by Leprince et al., Fu et al., and Lyall et al.
The phylogenetic tree of angiosperms and the fossil record enabled Baskin and Baskin to show that physical dormancy had a polyphyletic origin and that it probably evolved by the late Cretaceous. Jurado and Moles found that germination deferment strategies increase from constant to heterogenous environments and risk-spreading strategies are common in habitats with unpredictable rainfall. The subject of phenotypic plasticity of seed germination among desert ephemerals is taken up by Gutterman. Other ecological aspects in the book include the response of Hemerocallis seeds to cold temperatures and relevance for species' distribution (Suzuki et al.), smoke stimulation of seeds from native vs. introduced species (Adkins et al.), and control of the weedy species Lolium rigidum in Australia (Ellery et al.). An aspect that stood out was the lack of molecular approaches in the ecology section. Applying molecular biology tools to aspects of seed ecology would greatly broaden our understanding for the diversity of dormancy and germination mechanisms that exist in nature.
Two papers are geared towards the description of research tools. A paper by Rolletschek et al. discuss the direct measurement of O2 levels at high spatial resolution by microsensors to make O2 profiles across seeds. Nonogaki and Bradford give the protocol of tissue printing for seeds: visually localizing gene expression in considerable anatomical detail. Two other papers focus on models. Dürr et al. designed a model, called SIMPLE (SIMulation of PLant Emergence), to predict crop emergence according to seed characteristics, soil and climatic conditions, and soil tillage and sowing factors. Mead and Gray explain a `control viability' modification to the Ellis and Roberts' model for predicting seed longevity by introducing a parameter to estimate the original viability of a seed lot.
I found very few typographical errors while reading the book. With the exception of Figure 10.2 (too light), the print, graphics, and figures, particularly photographs, have been reproduced very well so that they are easily read. The book's binding remained in good shape throughout my reading and review.
The Biology of Seeds represents an up-to-date reference for any person studying seeds. Obendorf and Odorcic offer very good advice for young seed biologists, as well as for scientists of any age, at the end of their paper: "Take a chance. Dare to be different. Try a risky experiment. And do something you love every day. Your happiness depends on it." The Eighth International Workshop on Seeds (entitled "Germinating New Ideas") will be held during 8-13 May 2005 in Brisbane, Australia. The community of seed biologists will wait anxiously until then to once again witness the advancement of the field.? Jeffrey L. Walck, Department of Biology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Acknowledgements Information provided by M. Black, K. Bradford, C. Karssen, and R. Obendorf is very much appreciated.
Black, M., K.J. Bradford, and J. Vázquez-Ramos (eds.) 2000. Seed biology: advances and applications. Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Seeds, held January 1999 in Mérida, Mexico. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK.
Côme, D. and F. Corbineau (eds.) 1993. Quatrième rencontre internationale sur les semences: aspects fondamentaux et appliqués de la biologie des semences. Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Seeds, held 20-24 July 1992 in Angers, France. ASFIS, Paris.
Ellis, R.H. (ed.) 1997. Basic and applied aspects of seed biology. Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Seeds, held 10-15 September 1995 in Reading, UK. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
Taylorson, R.B. (ed.) 1989. Recent advances in the development and germination of seeds. Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Seeds, held 6-12 August 1989 in Williamsburg, Virginia. Plenum Press, New York.
Flora of North America. Volume 4. Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1, Flora of North America Committee (eds.). 2004("2003"). ISBN 0-19-517389-9 (v. 4) (Cloth, US$120.00) 559pp. Oxford University Press, New York, 10016. This volume treats most of the North American (north of Mexico) families of the subclass Caryophyllidae as defined by Cronquist (1981): Phytolaccaceae, Achatocarpaceae, Nyctaginaceae, Aizoaceae, Cactaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Amaranthaceae, Portulacaceae, Basellaceae, and Molluginaceae. Left for volume 5 (to be published in 2005) are Caryophyllaceae, Plumbaginaceae, and Polygonaceae. Most of these families are well represented in the American West.
The present volume is dominated by a detailed treatment of Cactaceae, edited by Bruce D. Parfitt and Arthur C. Gibson, and while sufficient for Flora of North America (FNA), it lacks the fullness of detail found in Benson (1982). Donald J. Pinkava's summary of Opuntia and allied segregates (Cylindropuntia, Grusonia, Nopalea and Consolea) is comprehensive in the sense that the keys and descriptions are fairly detailed, and he accounts for hybrids as well as species. Allan D. Zimmerman and Parfitt contributed Echinocerus and Echinocactus. Gibson worked mainly on the western columnar cacti (Bergerocactus, Pachycereus, Carnegiea, and Stenocereus) while Michael W. Hawkes concentrated on the more tropical members of the family, notably Pereskia, Hylocereus, Selenicereus, and Epiphyllum. Kenneth D. Heil and J. Mark Porter tackled the difficult genus Sclerocactus, accepting Ancistrocactus, Echinomastus, and Glandulicactus (written up by Zimmerman and Parfitt) as distinct but assigned Toumeya to Sclerocactus. Heil and Porter also wrote the treatment of Pediocactus, recognizing nine species with all of the infraspecific entities proposed mainly by Hochstätter assigned to synonymy. Welsh (2003a) treats many of the sclerocacti differently, keeping S. despainii and S. winkleri in Pediocactus, and merging several of the species accepted by Heil and Porter.
Under Pediocactus, Heil and Porter include in synonymy Navajoa, Utahia, Pilocanthus and Puebloa citing recent molecular studies by Nyffeler (2002) and by Butterworth et al. (2002). Strangely, they cited a non-existing generic name "Pediocactella" in some of the species synonymy while ignoring the published epithets in Puebloa. For the record, two other recently proposed generic names are missing: Meyerocactus (=Echinocereus) and Emerycactus (=Echinocactus).
Also of interest to me as a western botanist is what Zimmerman and Parfitt did with Coryphantha. By circumscribing the genus broadly, they depart from other recent authors by including Cochiseia, Escobaria, Lepidocorphyantha and Neobesseya in synonymy. Most of the FNA species, until now, have been recently considered members of the genus Escobaria (Taylor 1983). Zimmerman and Parfitt worked their way through the maze of mammillarioid genera and species skillfully. Although the FNA area has only 14 of the some 160 species of Mammillaria, the diversity is considerable. Cobbled together still are the usual array of species traditionally assigned to Ferocactus; this will surely not last given the finding of Butterworth et al. (2002). Left in limbo is the disposition of F. acanthodes (Lem.) Britton & Rose, a nomenclatural problem (Taylor 1979) that now could be solved by neotypification or rejection inasmuch as the name threatens a latter name, F. cylindraceus.
The second largest family included in this volume of FNA is Chenopodiaceae. The editors of the family (Stanley L. Welsh, Clifford W. Crompton, and Steven E. Clemants) acknowledge (p. 259) that recent "studies provide evidence supporting the inclusion of the Chenopodiaceae with Amaranthaceae" and cite several papers to which can be added the latest Angiosperm Study Group (2003) revision, but curiously state the "disposition of family groups remain problematic" because of Sarcobatus. It is as if the editors failed to read Behnke (1997), whom they cited, who established Sarcobataceae that was accepted in APG II. Of course, FNA editorial policy prohibits introduction of altered family circumscriptions from that given by Cronquist (1981) so expanding Amaranthaceae to include Chenopodiaceae, and recognizing Sarcobataceae would have been impossible (see Reveal and Pires 2003).
Most of the treatments in Chenopodiaceae are well done. Clemants and Sergei L. Mosyakin's accounts of Dysphania and Chenopodium are noteworthy. The detail presented by them on the C. album aggregate is most informative as well as out of character for FNA. Mosyakin recognized both Bassia and Kochia (contrary to Scott 1978), and recognizes ten narrowly defined species of Corispermum arguing convincingly that many are native to North America. When considering Salsola, Mosyakin maintains a broad generic definition, acknowledging the genus is polyphyletic. Thus, the federally designated noxious weed species, Salsola vermiculata, will likely be assigned to Caroxylon. Noel H. Holmgren contributed several small genera in the typical FNA format meaning that one has to read both the generic and the species descriptions to compare entities in closely related genera. Welsh did the treatments of Zuckia and Atriplex. He gives a vigorous defense of assigning Atriplex (or Grayia) brandegeei to Zuckia.
Welsh's treatment of the 62 species of Atriplex is conservative, with many of the recently proposed species suggested by Howard Stutz reduced in rank or assigned to synonymy. The generic synonymy, unfortunately, is scattered under infrageneric names: Endolepis Torr., Ovione Gaertn., Proatriplex (W. A. Weber) Stutz & G. L. Chu, Pterochiton Torr. & Frém., and Sclerocalymma Asch. The recently proposed A. tridentata var. robusta Stutz, M. R. Stutz & S. C. Sand., not included in the FNA treatment, is considered a synonym of A. gardneri var. falcata (M. E. Jones) S. L. Welsh (fide Welsh, per. comm.).
The exact date of publication of this volume of Flora of North America is unclear. The publisher suggested the release date was May of 2004 (although "2003" on the copyright page). Nonetheless, copies apparently were available as early as mid January. A new combination, Atriplex argentea var. mohavensis (M. E. Jones) S. L. Welsh was proposed (p. 351), and while valid (it was not when published in Madrono; Welsh 2004), the name is both incorrect and a later isonym. Frustrated by FNA editorial policies and delays in publication, Welsh (2003b) privately published his Atriplex treatment, illustrating and mapping (in detail) all of the species. The above combination was made initially by Welsh in his book (2003: Adendum [p. 159]) where it is still incorrect. The correct name is A. argentea var. expansa (Jeps.) S. L. Welsh & Reveal.
Richard W. Spellenberg, who also wrote the majority of the text, edited the third most specious family, Nyctaginaceae. The descriptions are excellent, the maps detailed, and the synonymy about as complete as permitted by FNA editorial policy. Boerhavia is properly subdivided into a small number of genera (Anulocaulis, Cyphomeris, and Commicarpus). Acleisanthes (defined here to include Selinocarpus following Levin 2000, 2002) was done by Jackie M. Poole, and like the sections by Spellenberg, the descriptions are robust and the maps excellent. The same may be said of Leo A. Galloway's presentation of Abronia, a particularly difficult genus. Spellenberg's own treatment of Mirabilis is almost monographic, being far more detailed than usually permitted by FNA volume editors.
Amaranthaceae is edited by Kenneth R. Robertson and Steve Clemants. Similar in detail to that found in Chenopodiaceae, a total of 12 genera and 80 species are treated, nearly half of the species belonging to a broadly defined Amarathus (including Acanthochiton, Acnida, Mengea and Scleropus). All of the species of Amaranthus are mapped except two (no explanation given) although there is a list of states where the species are found. Inasmuch as the maps for Amarathus show only a single dot per state, having maps along with the same information stated in the text means one or the other is redundant. Clemants's contributions in this family are excellent even though the descriptions are brief (conforming to FNA editorial policy) requiring one consult both generic and species descriptions when attempting to comprehend difficult taxa.
The treatment of Portulacaceae differs significantly from those mentioned to this point in that all of the genera and species are arranged alphabetically. No one in their right mind would use a volume of FNA to key anything out if a local flora is available. The
value of FNA is that it provides up-to-date nomenclature with a current understanding of generic and specific (but not family) relationships. Arranging taxa alphabetically eliminates this. The descriptions are more robust than those found in most Amaranthaceae taxa, and the maps detailed except, frustratingly, for Phemeranthus, Talinopsis, and Talinum.
The remaining families are a mixed lot, some well done, and others rather dubious. Unlike the excellent maps found throughout most of the above treatments, the new FNA policy of a single-dot-per-state is employed in (for example) Phytolaccaceae thereby rendering useless any kind of useful information about taxon distribution. The maps given in the treatment of Aizoaceae are a mixed bag of detailed and dots with some showing whole states shaded. Some odd maps are explained in the text (e.g., Sesuvium maritimum), but others defy understanding. For example, is S. trianthemoides found in south-central Texas where there is a dot, or from a single location along the coast as implied by the discussion. The map of Trianthema portulacastrum is a mixture of shaded states and dots obscured under the shading. I have no idea what is implied by the map of Carpobrotus edulis; surely this coastal species is not found in the Great Basin and deserts portions of California (e.g., compare this map to that of C. chilensis, the only other FNA species).
Future editions of FNA will have only one-dot-per-state maps which might be useful to someone but certainly not anyone trying to understand plant distribution. I trust that alphabetical listings of taxa will be discontinued. By and large, previously published volumes of FNA have been well edited; not so for volume 4 where one finds a fair number of errors that otherwise (from my own experience) have been caught by editors of other volumes.
The Flora of North America Committee and Oxford University Press are to be commended for allowing each volume to be online (http://www.fna.org/FNA/). Given the high cost of each volume, and the limited value of the books to the individual taxonomist, having access to the information is useful. However, this is merely the first step. The FNA Committee should promote the development of expanded online treatments where contributors to the volumes can (if so desired) expand their treatments, augmenting them with detailed maps, descriptions, cited specimens, images, and, most importantly, new information. A web-base eFNA is the future of large, national floras, and FNA is ideally situated to be led the way. - Jim Reveal, Montrose, CO 81401-7906.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 141: 399-436.
Behnke, H.-D. 1997. Sarcobataceae-a new family of Caryophyllales. Taxon 46: 495-507.
Benson, L. D. 1982. Cacti of the United States and Canada. Stanford.
Butterworth, C. A., J. H. Cota Sanchez, & R. S. Wallace. 2002. Molecular systematics of tribe Cacteae (Cactaceae: Cactoideae): A phylogeny based on rpl16 intron sequence variation. Syst. Bot. 27: 257-270.
Cronquist, A. 1981. An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. New York.
Levin, R. A. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships within Nyctaginaceae tribe Nyctagineae: Evidence from nuclear and chloroplast genomes. Syst. Bot. 25: 738-750.
Levin, R. A. 2002. Taxonomic status of Acleisanthes, Selinocarpus, and Ammocodon (Nyctaginaceae). Novon 12: 58-63.
Nyffeler, R. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships in the cactus family (Cactaceae) based on evidence from trnK/matK and trnL-trnF sequences. Amer. J. Bot. 89: 312-326.
Reveal, J. L. & J. C. Pires. 2002. "Phylogeny and classification of the monocotyledons: An update," pp. 3-36. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (ed.), Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 26. New York.
Scott, A. J. 1978. A revision of Camphorosmioideae (Chenopodiaceae). Feddes Repert. 89: 101-119.
Taylor, N. P. 1979. Notes on Ferocactus Britton & Rose. Cact. Succ. J. Gr. Brit. 41: 88-94.
Taylor, N. P. 1983. Die Arten der Gattung Escobaria Britton et Rose 1-5. Kakteen And. Sukk. 34: 76-79, 120-123, 136-140, 154-158, 184-188.
Welsh, S. L. 2003a. "Cactaceae A. L. Jussieu," pp. 69-79. In: S. L. Welsh, N. D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, & L. C. Higgins (eds.). A Utah flora. Third edition, revised. Provo, Utah.
Welsh, S. L. 2003b. North American species of Atriplex Linnaeus (Chenopodiaceae). Provo, Utah.
Welsh, S.L. 2004 ("2003"). A new combination in Atriplex argentea (Chenopodiaceae). Madroño 50: 310.
Flowering Plants of the Neotropics. Smith, Nathan, Scott A. Mori, Andrew Henderson, Dennis Wm. Stevenson, and Scott V. Heald (eds.) 2004. ISBN 0-691-11694-6 (Cloth US$ 75.00) 616pp. Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540. This is the first comprehensive treatment of all flowering plant families which occur in the Neotropics. 150 specialists have contributed to this landmark work, which is a must have for everyone, who is involved with, or who simply likes neotropical flowering plants. FPN will be a very useful companion for researchers and students of different fields of plant sciences. Unfortunately the title is somewhat imprecise, and `Flowering Plant Families of the Neotropics' would have been more appropriate.
The book starts with a short introduction, in which tabular overviews of the angiosperm families, genera and species diversity for the world and the Neotropics are given.
The main part of FPN deals with the description of the 285 plant families, which occur exclusively or in parts of the Neotropics. Each family treatment is divided into a Bullet list; Numbers of genera and species; Distribution and habitat; Family classification; Features of the family; Natural history; Economic uses; and References. The selection of these sections and the accurate definition of what should be included, results in homogenous picture throughout the families.
The decision to use an alphabetical rather than a phylogenetic arrangement of the families is deserving, since plant systematics is in a permanent state of change, and it is easy to find a plant family without having knowledge of its hypothetical relationships.
The bullet list provides characters useful for identification of the families. As an aid to the initial identification of plant families, dichotomous keys are provided at the end of the book.
The section `Numbers of Genera and Species' contains both worldwide and Neotropical counts of genera and species. Of course they are only approximations. Nonetheless these data are very useful to get an idea of the possible `importance' of the family.
`Distribution and Habitat' gives a short summary on the worldwide distribution, and the ranges of the family in tropical America. Small maps would have been desirable and would probably facilitate the reading.
In times of a steady flux in plant systematics, the section `Family Classification' is of great interest and importance. FPN generally follows the systems of Cronquist (1981) and Dahlgren et al. (1985). This conservative treatment is appropriate, especially since every contributor opposes it with most recent systematic results. This gives valuable information for the understanding of the systematic placement of each family. The treatment of the Bean family (Papilionoideae, Caesalpinioideae and Mimosoideae) as `Fabaceae' is not very fortunate. `Fabaceae' is ambiguous since it is also used for the subfamily Papilionoideae. In fact, it is the cause of one of the seldom found mistakes in the book. In figure 258 a flag blossom is subtitled as `Fabaceae flower'. Following the terminology of FPN it is rather a flower of the subfamily Papilionoideae than of Fabaceae (which also includes Caesalpinioideae and Mimosoideae). In the future, an international standardization will be highly desirable. It would be possibly best to follow Lewis and Schrire (2003), who strongly suggest the use of Leguminosae at family level, and Papilionoideae, Mimosoideae and Caesalpinioideae at subfamily level.
`Features of the Family': This section provides a technical description of the important morphological characters of the plant families. Because of the large number of contributors, there are some inconsistencies in terminology in this section. This is a hint at the lack of a broadly accepted morphological terminology. The editors point out this flaw, and all terms are properly defined in the glossary at the end of the book. Most of the technical descriptions are accompanied by line drawings, which are throughout of good quality. Floral diagrams, in which the typical floral groundplan can be shown in a clear and simple manner, are unfortunately scarce. Besides the line drawings, more than 300 color photographs of excellent quality are provided, giving a magnificent overview of the overwhelming diversity of neotropical flowering plants.
Under `Natural History' information about the pollinators and dispersers of species of the family is given. This is an important section, since it leads to a better understanding of the morphological characters. Statements like `the pollinators are unknown' are preferable to some oversimplified assumptions, which are based solely on floral morphology (e.g., `yellow flowers suggest bee pollination'). Simplifications like `...the presence of a nectary suggests insect pollination' should have been deleted.
Finally, the section `Economic uses' rounds off the picture. Of course, this section, as all others, must be seen as a shortened overview. Otherwise, FPN would have been a series of books instead of a compact guide of 616 pages. But in section 8 (`References') the reader finds selected and in most cases current citations to each family. This makes the switch from the general description to detailed scientific information quite easy.
Summing up, FPN certainly is a big and important step towards an easier `getting familiar' with neotropical flowering plants. Furthermore, it will facilitate teaching of, and working with the huge diversity of neotropical flowering plants. This will enlarge the group of those who get interested in this exciting field of plant sciences. Finally, the broadened knowledge of neotropical flowering plants will certainly be a basic contribution to an extended environmental protection in the Neotropics, because we can only protect what we know! - Gerhard Prenner, Institute of Plant Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria (Europe).
Cronquist, A. 1981. An integral system of classification of flowering plants. New York: Columbia University Press.
Dahlgren, R.M.T., Clifford H.T., Yeo P.F. 1985. The families of the Monocotyledons. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Lewis, G.P., Schrire B.D. 2003. Leguminosae or Fabaceae? In B.B. Klitgaard and A. Bruneau, eds., Advances in legume systematics, part 10, pp. 1-3. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens.
Molecular markers, natural history, and evolution. Second Edition. John C. Avise. 2004. Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, Massachusetts. 684pp. US$59.95 The explosive development of molecular genetic techniques over the past few decades has revolutionized the study of natural history and evolution. Biologists can now choose from a truly bewildering array of laboratory protocols and analytical techniques for assessing genetic variation in a wide variety of contexts. These methods can be intimidating in their complexity, and most textbooks devoted to molecular tools are heavy going for the beginner. John Avise's "Molecular markers, natural history, and evolution" is different, focusing on the fascinating results of molecular ecological studies, rather than the fine details of their methods. He conveys the fundamental concepts underpinning molecular techniques using language that is accessible to those of us who wouldn't know a pipette tip from a PCR. At the same time he presents an encyclopedic review of the biologically important questions that have been addressed with molecular markers. The breadth of his review makes this book a valuable resource for novice and expert alike.
The book is divided into two sections. The four chapters of the first section address the philosophical and technical issues associated with molecular markers. Avise presents a powerful argument for the incorporation of molecular tools as part of a comprehensive approach to studying ecology and evolution. At the same time he recognizes their limitations. This is a theme revisited throughout the book: Avise emphasizes the role of molecular markers as a technique that should complement traditional approaches, not replace them.
The chapter devoted to techniques is the only weak point in this book. The coverage is biased towards older methods. Protein immunology, allozymes and DNA-DNA hybridization are well covered, as they were in the first edition. In contrast, a suite of PCR-based techniques (microsatellites, AFLPs, SNPs etc.) are given a rather cursory treatment, more like a last-minute addition than a thoughtful evaluation. To be fair, part of the problem is the rate at which new techniques are developed, and some of these methods may not pass the test of time. However, AFLP assays are now much more common than immunoassays. While this book is not intended to serve as a laboratory manual, a more even coverage of lab methods would increase its value as an introductory text.
Analytical techniques are generally well treated in the final chapter of the first section. The coverage is not exhaustive _ readers are given enough to understand the principles behind phylogenetic analysis, without delving into the computational complexities involved. Avise presents a very clear discussion of molecular clocks and lineage sorting, key concepts for understanding phylogenies. I have two minor criticisms of this chapter. First, in contrasting Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analysis, he claims that the latter method uses a better tree-searching algorithm. This may apply to the particular software packages he refers to, but it is not generally true. Second, there is no mention here, or elsewhere in the book, of the AMOVA approach to assessing population genetics. AMOVA appears frequently enough in the literature to warrant at least a summary.
The second section of the book consists of five chapters. The first four are devoted to the different phylogenetic levels where molecular markers are used: individuality and parentage, population structure, species level issues, and macroevolution. The final chapter serves as a summary, re-examining each of these areas in the context of conservation biology. As a whole this section is a masterful demonstration of the power of molecular markers in addressing biological issues. The taxonomic coverage is comprehensive, with examples drawn generously from the full spectrum of life.
Avise excels at drawing out the key points from the papers he cites, using them to relate fascinating natural history stories. He starts with the gruesome development of molecular markers in human forensics, and doesn't stop until he has touched on the deep phylogenetic roots of life on earth. There is so much material that I found myself wondering if he needed a firmer editor. However, I could find very little that I would want to part with! On the whole there is a good balance between empirical examples and discussion of conceptual issues.
Readers familiar with the first edition will find that the second section of the book has been thoroughly updated. In most cases, examples included in the original are revised with newly published work, and many new research programs have been added. Where the additions made to the first section felt
awkward, here the new information is seamlessly incorporated into the text. I particularly enjoyed the expanded discussion of speciation and hybridization, as well as new issues in the conservation biology section.
For biologists unfamiliar with molecular markers, this book serves as a valuable introduction, both to the techniques and the sort of questions that they can address. It won't give them the background they'll need to actually use the methods covered, but it should provide enough inspiration to keep their spirits up during long hours in the lab. Researchers already using molecular techniques won't find anything here that will help them in the lab, but they will find some interesting perspectives on the ecological and evolutionary context they are working in. Tyler Smith, PhD Candidate, Plant Science, McGill University, Raymond Building, 21,111, Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9, email@example.com
Native Trees for North American Landscapes.Sternberg, Guy and Jim Wilson. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-607-8 (Cloth, US$59.95) 552 pp. Timber Press, 133 SW 2nd Ave., Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204 USA. http://www.timberpress.com/. _ In this encyclopedic book lavishly illustrated with stunning photographs, Sternberg and Wilson present a diverse palette of options for landowners and homesteaders interested in planting, cultivating, or reforesting their land with native trees. "Native" herein is taken to mean a species that grew prior to European settlement of eastern North America: the region extending from Atlantic Ocean west to the Continental Divide, and from the Canadian tundra south to subtropical Florida and southernmost Texas. This geographic coverage is immense, and the authors discuss, in at least some detail, over 650 species and varieties of trees.
The book begins with four short chapters introducing the context of "going native", how to read the local landscape when deciding which trees to plant, how to plant, grow, and maintain trees, and how to manage construction and landscape design in such a way that existing trees suffer as little harm as possible. The authors have few kind words for building contractors - one of the most telling photos is captioned "bulldozer blight is the most common tree disease in North America" and they emphasize the importance of vigilant oversight whenever landscapes must be altered.
The bulk of the book - nearly 500 pages - is the "Menu of native trees". The authors define "tree" expansively as any woody plant under which one can stand when it is mature (shrubs, in contrast, are woody plants one can stand beside). The menu includes detailed profiles of 96 species, arranged alphabetically by scientific name, from Abies balsamea to Viburnum prunifolium. Each profile contains the same set of information: a thumbnail silhouette of an open-grown specimen and a single leaf; a general description of the tree, including potential size and unique characteristics; the size and location of the U.S. "champion" tree; leaf characteristics including arrangement, texture, and fall color; flower and fruit characteristics, with special attention to ornamental traits or use by wildlife; a subjective ordering of the seasons that show off the tree to best advantage; its native and potential range along with its range limits defined by USDA hardiness zones (a map of these zones is thoughtfully provided as well); cultivation and propagation information; important pests and pathogens; and a list of cultivars. Each profile concludes with a description of from 1-6 similar or related species, usually congeners but sometimes trees that are similar in structure, habitat, or growth requirements (for example, Pseudotsuga menziesii is discussed as a similar species in the profile of Abies balsamea). Each profile encompasses 4-6 oversize pages and includes one or more photographs of the tree under discussion as well as photographs of at least one of the similar or related species. Leaves, fruits, seeds, or entire trees are shown in the photographs, which always draw attention to the most favorable or interesting aspects of each species.
Some genera get more attention than others. Befitting Sternberg's history as founding President of the International Oak Society, and reflecting the diversity of the genus, 14 species of Quercus are fully profiled. On the other hand, only two species of Magnolia receive full treatments. Even the most dedicated gardener or arborist is likely to learn about new trees: my own favorite is our native Euonymus - the wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus) _ that can be cultivated into zone 3 and which would be a nice substitute for the exotic Euonymus species spread far and wide by the horticultural industry. For those living south of zone 6, Pinckneya bracteata is my favorite novelty that merits serious attention for its magnificent display of rose-pink sepals.
The book closes with a tree selection guide in which species are listed in groups based on design or horticultural characteristics. These groups include trees that tolerate seasonally wet or dry soils, hot or cold climates, or shade; trees that have evergreen foliage, good fall color, or unique flowers or fruits; and notably small or large trees. The comprehensive state-by-state list of Natural Heritage programs, native plant societies, and specialty tree growers will be particularly useful for those looking for advice on growing trees or trying to purchase hard-to-find species. There is also a few pages of web sites that the authors found useful, but given the ephemeral nature of web sites, these few pages may not have as much lasting value as the detailed glossary and bibliography of recommended reading.
Overall, this is a magnificent book that would be welcome on any coffee table. But don't just look at the pictures! The next time you want to plant a tree, read the text and find an interesting one to plant and cultivate. Like long-lived trees, this book will not go out of date any time soon. ? Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA 01366.
Botanical Latin, 4th ed. Stearn, William T. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-627-2 (Paper US$29.95) 560 pp. Timber Press, Inc. 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527. Having used the 2nd edition of this work since 1978, grateful for such a compilation each time I sought answers in its pages, I was curious to compare Stearn's new 4th edition with the work I have come to rely upon. Stearn wrote in his Preface to the Forth Edition, that he is gratified that it "has proved successful enough to necessitate printing two new editions and seven impressions between 1966 and 1990. The fourth edition improves upon these predecessors by a larger format for easier consultation, by minor emendations to the bibliographies and text, and by the addition of some 400 entries to the vocabulary."
I have found some minute changes, e.g. to the prefix aden- Stearn added a second example of its use, adenocarpus, with glandular fruits. Amygdalinus, almond-like, of almonds, is a new entry, as is Peg, nail.
It certainly is advantageous to have a larger typescript with this new 4th edition, and the paperback cover makes the lighter weight tome slightly easier to handle. Its reasonable price permits this iconic reference work to be accessible to every serious botany student and academic library. Dorothea Bedigian, Washington University and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.
If you would like to review a book or books for PSB, contact the Editor, stating the book of interest and the date by which it would be reviewed (1 February, 1 May, 1 August or 1 November). Send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, call or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list because they go quickly! Editor
Adaptations and Responses of Woody Plants to Environmental Stresses. Arora, Rajeev (ed). 2004. ISBN 1-56022-111-9 (Paper US$39.95) 311 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, New York 13904-1580.
Annual Review of Phytopathology, Volume 42. Van Alfen, Neal K., George Bruening, and William O. Dawson, (eds). 2004. ISBN 0-8243-1342-9 (Cloth) 498 pp. Annual Reviews, 4139 El Camino Way, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
BPH-2[Botanico-Periodicum-Huntianum,: Periodicals with Botanical Content, 2nd ed] Bridson, Gavin D. R., Compiler; Scarlett T. Townsend, Elizabeth A. Polen, and Elizabeth R. Smith, (eds). 2004. ISBN 0-913196-78-9 (Cloth US$130.00) 2 volumes, 1470 pp. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Biodiversity of Fungi: Inventory and Monitoring Methods. Mueller, Gregory M, Gerald F. Bills, and Mercedes S. Foster. 2004. ISBN 0-12-509551-1 (Cloth ) 777 pp. Elsevier Academic Press, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495.
The Book of Edible Nuts. Rosengarten, Frederic, Jr. 2004. ISBN 0-486-43499-0 (Paper US$19.95) 384 pp. Dover Publications, 31 East 2nd Street., Mineola, New York 11501.
Deserts: The Living Dry Lands. Oldfield, Sara. 2004. ISBN 0-262-15112-X (Cloth US$29.95) 160 pp. The MIT Press, 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA, 02142-1493.
Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences Thomas, Brian, Denis J. Murphy, and Brian G. Murray (eds). ISBN 0-12-227050-9 (set) (Cloth ) 1616pp. Elsevier Academic Press, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495.
The Evolution of Plant Physiology: From Whole Plants to Ecosystems. Hemsley, Alan R. and Imogen Poole, eds. 2004. ISBN 0-12-339552-6 (Cloth) 492 pp. Elsevier Academic Press, 525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495.
Flower Chronicles: The Legend and Lore of Fifteen Garden Favorites. Hollingsworth, E. Buckner. 2004. ISBN 0-226-34980-2 (Paper US$16.00) 302 pp. The University of Chicago Press. 1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637-2954.
Fungal Disease Resistance in Plants: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Genetic Engineering. Punja, Zamir K. 2004. ISBN 1-56022-961-6. (Paper US$39.95) 266 pp. . Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America. Dunmire, William W. 2004. ISBN 0-292-70564-6 (Paper US$24.95) 392pp. University of Texas Press, P.O. Box 7819, Austin, TX 78713-7819.
Genetically Modified Crops: Their Development, Uses, and Risks. Liang, G.H. and Skinner, Daniel Z. (eds) 2004 ISBN 1-56022-281-6 (Paper US$49.95) 394 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Handbook of Seed Physiology. Benech-Arnold, Roberto L. and Rodolfo A. Sánchez (eds) 2004. ISBN 1-56022-929-2 (Paper US$49.95) 480 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden. Lawton, Barbara Perry. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-654-X (Cloth US$27.95) 160 pp. Timber Press, The Haseltine Building, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-9743.
Interactive Encyclopedia of North American Weeds. Version 3. 2004. (DVD US$59.95) Southern Weed Science Society, 1508 West University Ave., Champaign, IL 61821-3133.
11th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration. White, James J. and Lugene B. Bruno. 2004. ISBN 0-913196-79-7 (Paper US$25.00) 172 pp. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Mineral Nutrition of Plants: Principles and Perspectives, 2nd ed. Epstein, Emanuel and Arnold J. Bloom. 2005. ISBN 0-87893-172-4. (Cloth US$79.95) 400pp. Sinauer Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 407, Sunderland MA 01375-0407.
A Natural History of Ferns. Moran, Robbin C. 2004. ISBN 0-88192-667-1 (Cloth US$29.95) 302 pp Timber Press, The Haseltine Building, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-9743.
The Origins of Symbiosis. Shernoff, Leon. 2004. Fundamentally Fungi, #1, Mushroom: The Journal of Wild Mushrooming. 47 pp. 1511 E. 54th St., Chicago, IL 60615. (see also http://www.mushroomthejournal.com/symbiosis/)
Plant Microbiology. Gillings, M. & A. Holmes (eds) 2004 ISBN 1-85996-224-6 (Cloth US$145.00) 390 pp. Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group, 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
Plant Toxicology, 4th ed. Hock, Bertold and Erich F. Elstner. 2005 ISBN 0-8247-5323-2 (Cloth US$) 648 pp. Marcel Dekker, Inc. 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016-0602.
Polarity in Plants: Annual Plant Reviews, Volume 12. Lindsey, Keith (ed). 2004. ISBN 1-4051-1432-0 (Cloth US$99.50) 346 pp. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, United Kingdom.
Proceedings of the Ninth North American Blueberry Research and Extension Workers Conference. Forney, Charles F., and Leonard J. Eaton (eds). 2004. ISBN 1-56022-115-1 (Paper US$49.95) 452pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Sierra Nevada Natural History, Revised Edition. Storer, Tracy I., Robert L. Usinger, and David Lukas. 2004. ISBN 0-520-24096-0 (Paper US$ 24.95) 592 pp University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.
Tropical Forest Diversity and Dynamism. Losos, Elizabeth C. and Egbert G. Leigh, Jr., (eds). 2004. ISBN 0-226-49346-6 (Paper US$38.00) 688 pp. The University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637.
What Good are Bugs? Insects in the Web of Life. Waldbauer, Gilbert. 2004. ISBN 0-674-01632-7 (Paper US$16.95) 366 pp Harvard University Press, 79 Garden Streen, Cambridge, MA 02138.
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