Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1999 v45 No 2 Summer
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
1999 BSA Annual Meeting
The 1999 Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of American will be held in conjunction with the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis, Missouri from I to 7August. Information about XVI IBC can be obtained at their website: http://www.ibc99.org/.
The BSA Council Meeting will be held prior to the opening of XVI IBC on Sunday, 1 August. The BSA Business Meeting will be held on Tuesday morning, 3 August prior to the start of the general sessions. BSA Section business meetings should be scheduled so as not to conflict with IBC events and sessions.
BSA Social Events
The BSA will be sponsoring a social and reception at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Thursday evening 5 August. All members of the BSA as well as those of the Canadian Botanical Association (CBA/ABC) and the Sociedad Bótanica de México are invited to participate.
International Botanical Congress XVI Approaches
International Botanical Congress XVI begins with the 2:00 PM Opening Ceremony at Saint Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, August 1, 1999. The Congress continues through the Closing Session August 7. Registration is still available at the IBC website, http://www.IBC99.org/registration.html.
The Congress Program with daily listings for the Plenary Lectures, Keynote Symposia and General Symposia is available on-line at http://www.ibc99.org/progsched.html
BSA Seeks Editor for PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN needs a new editor to begin with Volume 46 (January 2000).
Are you interested in desktop publishing? Would you like to correspond with botanical colleagues in many disciplines about books, articles, and matters of interest to the BSA? Are you looking for a meaningful way to serve the Botanical Society of America? Need more information?
If your answer to ANY of these questions is yes, please communicate your interest to Dr. Allison Snow (Chair, PSB Editor Search Committee), Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, 1735 Columbus, OH 43210-1293; telephone 614-292-3445, Email email@example.com). Nominations are welcome any time and no later than October 1, 1999. The Search Committee will begin reviewing interested candidates during the summer of 1999. For a more complete description of this job, see our posting at http://www.botany.org/.
Conant Travel Awards
The Botanical Society of America, through the Conant Fund, has funds available for travel to the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. Awards will be $400 or less. To be eligible for funds one must be: a member of BSA; attending IBC and presenting a paper or poster; and an undergraduate or graduate student, postdoctoral, or pre-tenure professional.
To apply, send the abstract of paper or poster and a one-page letter explaining the need for funds, and, if a student or postdoctoral, a short letter (one page) of support from your advisor to: Dan Crawford, Conant Award Committee, Department of EEOB, Ohio State University, 1735 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1293. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 614-292-2030
Deadline is June 25, 1999
Editorial Committee for Volume 45
BSA Organizes Education Symposium for IBC
The only education symposium at the International Botanical Congress has been organized by the Botanical Society! The AIBS and Benjamin/Cummings Publishers are co-sponsors. David Kramer, Chair of the BSA Education Committee, and a group of BSA members developed the theme and tapped the presenters. Please plan to attend this symposium at IBC.
"Botanical Literacy for the Next Millennium: What to Know and How to Know It"
Session 7, 1:00-3:30 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 1999
ABSTRACT: The Botanical Society of America's plan for the future, "Botany for the Next Millennium," is a "framework for identifying research and educational goals, priorities, and opportunities in the botanical sciences." Botanists are challenged to examine the place of plant biology in undergraduate education, especially to reassert the importance of plants as evolved and evolving living organisms fundamentally important in all of the world's ecosystems. We are challenged not just to examine course content but also to utilize new pedagogical technologies that prove to be effective for the learner. Botanists are also challenged to become involved in K- 12 curriculum design so that young students will gain an appreciation of plants and knowledge of plant biology that will adequately prepare them for their university studies. This symposium focuses on both aspects of botanical literacy: What should students learn about plants? and What are some of the most effective ways to learn about plants? Special emphasis is given to the promise of new instructional technologies including the World Wide Web. An international panel of presenters will share their views and experiences and lead us in a discussion of these issues.
Speakers (in order of presentation):
Progress at the BSA and AJB Web Sites
The Botanical Society of America's site was inaugurated by Rick Falk in late 1995 on his server at the University of California Davis with a small collection of pages. During the last two years, Wadsworth Publishing has provided us with a free server with their parent company International Thomson Publishing <http://www.botany.org/> and in that time, it has flourished. From March 1997 to the end of April, over 331,000 hits have been recorded at the BSA site. From 1997 through 1998, the number of visitors tripled, and this year over 1/4 million "hits" are expected. The highest month so far was March 1999, with 23,551 hits (logons from 6030 unique hosts), representing 918.8 requests per day (38.3 requests/hour) from 64 foreign countries. The highest daily usage was July 28, 1997 when the site was featured as a site-of-the-day by Yahoo!!, receiving 3,966 hits on that day. The second highest was March 18, 1999 with 1,553.
Last year there were visits from 98 countries outside the U.S. Here is an alphabetical list of the countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Former USSR, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldavia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Polynesia (French), Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (USA), and Yugoslavia.
Among the different areas of the web site, the most popular sites are the American Journal of Botany abstracts from 1997 (10.8% of hits) and 1998 (30% of hits). The Plant Science Bulletin receives about 15% of the hits, with Botany in the Next Millennium, WWW Botany Links and Careers in Botany each receiving under 5% of the hits. The Home Page has received between 16 and 17% of the hits in 1999, indicating that over 80% of the users go beyond the first page to explore the site.
Another popular feature on the site is the online membership directory, which has replaced the print version for a large number of our members. The BSA is an excellent source for information about the Society and, for many people, closer than their bookshelf for finding a copy of the bylaws, a list of officers, members' e-mail addresses (mailing addresses, phone and FAX numbers and sectional affiliations!), membership forms and online brochures.
The American Journal of Botany Online site at <http://www.amjbot.org/> opened on January 15, 1999 with full text issues from September through the current in both reprint (PDF) and hyper linked (HTML) formats.
Since that time, there have been an average of nearly 14,000 hits and from 200 million to a half a billion bytes transferred EACH WEEK! Logins from over 70 foreign countries have been recorded at the site since its inauguration with the site literally being visited around the clock.
The high degree of international interest in the site was recently driven home to me when the number of daily "hits" on the two sites dropped below half of the usual amount on Easter weekend. 'ne site received less than a usual Sunday from Easter Friday through the end of Easter Monday, which are celebrated internationally as holidays, but less frequently in the U.S. Feel free to visit anytime ... we are open 7/24!
- Scott Russell, Webmaster and Chair, Web Page Committee Electronic Publication Editor, American Journal of Botany Online
Young Botanist Awards for 1999
Twenty exceptional students were selected to receive Young Botanist Awards from the Botanical Society of America this year.
The following individuals received a Certificate of Special Achievement as Young Botanists:
The following individuals received a Certificate of Recognition from the Young Botanists Program:
Dept. of Biology, James Madison University
For the past four years Plant-ed has served the international community of plant biology educators as an electronic forum for exchanging information related to teaching courses on plants. Plant-ed is a BIOSCI Newsgroup currently housed at both the Stanford University Library and the Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, UK. It was initiated in the fall of 1994 as a prototype Newsgroup available only by e-mail, and in June of 1995, after a favorable vote, it became an full fledged newsgroup distributed by USENET News. Users can subscribe to the e-mail version (see below) or read and post messages through USENET newsreader software, or through the web. The Newsgroup's charter is reproduced below.
The types of questions posted to the Newsgroup have been so diverse that a few examples here would not do them justice. On numerous occasions, reading someone else's question has made me realize that I have had the same question but never the need to find the answer. My classes have been improved by simply watching the messages on Plant-ed! Readers of the newsgroup may reply publicly or privately, but public conversations are preferred and can become quite interesting. Every week I am reminded of the thoughtfulness and helpfulness of Plant-ed users both from the public replies and from the compilations of replies sent back to the group. There are truly a lot of kind-hearted soles out there willing to take the time to answer questions. The importance of this feedback cannot be underestimated, especially at smaller institutions where expertise is not often down the hall. Thanks!
The number of Plant-ed users is hard to determine since anyone can read and post messages without subscribing. The number of e-mail subscribers has stabilized at about 300 and they reside in at least 16 different countries. The number of messages per month has been about 100 for the last 3 years. At about 3 messages per day it isn't an overwhelming burden to keep up with, yet one is reminded of its presence often enough to know one is connected to a large group of generous colleagues.
Unlike private listservers, unmoderated BIOSCI Newsgroups are open to junk mail postings (spams) and at times this can be annoying. Replying to a spam rarely has its desired effect and causes subscribers to have to delete not only the spam but also the reply, so replying isn't encouraged. Deleting spams quickly is currently the best option. BIOSCI has experimented with electronic filtering systems but they all, have drawbacks. Another option is to pass every message through a moderator but this requires some effort on the part of the moderator and the spontaneity of conversation is lost. In June of 1997 Plant-ed voted to have a moderator, but the BIOSCI administrators decided to delay the change. The rate of spams subsequently declined so Plant-ed is currently not being moderated.
All past messages (over 4000) sent to Plant-ed since its inception are archived in a searchable database at the URL: http://www.bio.net/hypermail/PLANT-EDUCATION/. It may be worthwhile checking there to see if a topic has been discussed in the past but it certainly isn't required. If you are currently a reader or subscriber, thanks for helping to make plant-ed a successful newsgroup for the past four years! If you are not currently a user and would like to find out more about it and the other 103 BIOSCI Newsgroups, connect to http://www.bio.net/ where you can find links to sponsors, answers to FAQS, archives of all of the BIOSCI Newsgroups, and information about subscribing and unsubscribing.
To subscribe to Plant-ed (if you are in the Americas or the Pacific Rim) send the message "subscribe plant-ed" to the address: email@example.com. A subject is not necessary. If you are in Europe, Africa or Central Asia, please read the instructions on how to subscribe at http://www.bio.net/BIOSCI/docs.html. Some may find it more convenient to use USENET newsreaders to access Plant-ed messages. Messages are distributed under the name: bionet.plants.education. Contact your local computing support office for more information on newsreaders.
To use Plant-ed send your message to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a short but descriptive subject since many potential readers will choose whether or not to read a message based only on its subject. At the end of each message please include your name and ways you can be contacted. Subscribers automatically receive all messages sent to plant-ed. When replying to a message please keep the subject the same so browsers can easily follow threads. Unlike some listservers, replies to BIOSCI messages go only to the original sender. Therefore, please carbon copy or forward your reply to Plant-ed for everyone to read. For specific questions feel free to contact me, Jon Monroe, at email@example.com or Susan Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for making the past four years a plant-educational experience!
The purpose of the Plant-ed newsgroup is to provide a means for communication among instructors, lab preparators, and graduate assistants who teach courses in any aspect of plant biology at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
This newsgroup provides:
Subscribers are welcome. Contributions within the functions outlined above are encouraged.
David W. Kramer
Chair, Education Committee
Yes, there is a literature of plant science education! All of us are well aware of the literature of our research area in plant science starting with the American Journal of Botany but we may be unaware of the existence of the pedagogical literature or have too little time to maintain bibliographic lists of it.
David Hershey recently compiled an excellent list of this literature which he shared through the Plant-ed listserv in the Bionet group (see article elsewhere in this issue by Jon Monroe). Hershey's compilation was preceded by a paragraph urging teachers to watch for scientific errors in this kind of literature and also challenging professional botanists to write articles for these journals. The Education Committee "seconds" that suggestion! We thank David Hershey for giving us permission to reprint his communication in an abridged version:
Most of the plant education literature is found in a handful of journals, none devoted exclusively to plant science teaching. To give a quick overview, I will list some 1998-99 plant articles in several of these journals. Other journals not in the list that also publish plant articles are "School Science Review" (from England), "Science Scope" (National Science Teacher's Association [NSTA] journal for middle school teachers), "Carolina Tips" (newsletter from Carolina Biological Supply Co. promoting their products), and "Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education" (for college teachers and extension workers in agronomy and soil science from American Society of Agronomy, the only journal mentioned here with page charges).
Recent plant science education articles:
Again, the Education Committee thanks Hershey for compiling this list and giving us permission to reprint it.
Land Plants Online
To the Editor:
We would like to announce the posting of a new web site entitled "Land Plants Online" that showcases diversity, structure, and phylogeny among all green plants. This web site focuses on the phylogenetic relationships among embryophytes and provides a wealth of information on the biology of these organisms including: phylum descriptions, life cycle accounts with hyperlinked text, and comparisons among existing molecular and morphological phylogenetic hypotheses. Hundreds of photographs are presented that illustrate plant habit, gross morphology, anatomical features and ultrastructural details. These photographs include numerous unpublished SEM and TEM micrographs of rarely seen structures. Names, e-mail addresses, and links to personal web sites of botanical experts (arranged according to organism groups) are provided. Additional features include links to a variety of other web sites that relate to land plant evolution, phylogeny and taxonomy and a preliminary list of pertinent bibliographic references. Data matrices (NEXUS format), both molecular and morphological, are available for downloading and further analysis.
Our goal for LPO is to bring together, from a variety of disciplines, the available information on life history phenomena and evolutionary relationships among land plants. We are quite interested in posting images donated by users of this web site, especially if they represent unusual and poorly-represented taxonomic groups. To help maximize the usefulness of this site, we welcome suggestions and input about plant evolution from the botanical community. Land Plants Online can be found at.
- Dan Nickrent (email@example.com)
Botany in Laos
To the Editor:
I, along with a Thai botanist, am leading a botanical tour/expedition into the interior of Laos next December. This tour will go to one of the more remote portions of Southeast Asia.
"A Botanical Transect of Laos" - December 14-29, 1999. From Vientiane inot one of the most remote parts of Laos. Led by an American and a Thai professor to an area seen by few outsiders. Dry season. $2,150 from West Coast. 7135 Fawcett Creek Road, Tillamook, OR 97141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Robert Phillips, Ph.D.
Shih-wei Loo Remembered
To the Editor:
Joseph Arditti's eloquent obituary of Shih-wei Loo (PSB 45 (1): 11-12, Spring 1999) brought back many vivid memories of a dear old friend. I would like to share some of these memories, since they shed some light on certain tragic events in recent history, as well as on Shihwei's life.
Shih-Wei was a graduate student in Frits Went's group when I, a newly-hatched Ph.D., arrived at Caltech in the summer of 1943 to become a postdoctoral fellow with James Bonner, working on guayule as part of the wartime Emergency Rubber Project. Shih-Wei and I were almost immediately drawn to each other, sharing many long talks, walks, meals at Chinese restaurants, and botanical trips to Joshua Tree National Monument. I was excited by his surprising finding that aseptic cultures of excised asparagus stem tips seemed to grew indefinitely as stems without the formation of roots, even after many transfers. Years later, after discharge from military service, my first scientific publication was on the auxin-induced rooting of such stem tips in the dark (Amer. J. Bot. 35: 281-287, 1948). Shih-Wei and I maintained contact on this and other subjects when he was at Columbia University, but by the time my paper appeared, Shih-Wei had returned to China, and correspondence about this mutual interest became impossible.
In 1971, after a mission to Vietnam to obtain information about Agent Orange-mediated defoliation, Ethan Signer of MIT and I were the first American scientists to be invited to the People's Republic of China. In this connection, I had to fill out a visa application which asked if I knew anyone in China. Since contact between individual Chinese and Westerners was discouraged at that time, I wondered whether to list Shih-Wei's name? but after some consultation, finally did so. When, late in March 1971 1 arrived at the Shanghai airport, Shih-wei was on the tarmac, waiting for me along with other members of the welcoming committee. I waved to him, and after being greeted by the head of the welcoming party, immediately rushed up to him and embraced him. To my consternation, he stood stolidly without expression on his face and did not return my embrace or handshake. Later on, during a visit to his spacious apartment, he loosened up somewhat, but still seemed curiously emotionless and distant. In the summer of 1972, when my family and I returned to China to live and work on an agricultural commune, I saw quite a bit of Shih-wei, especially during a trip to the resort city of Hangchow. He was somewhat more relaxed and forthcoming, but was still not the close friend and relaxed conversationalist I had known in California.
Several years later, after the influence of "the gang of four" had waned considerably, I was instrumental in arranging an exchange of botanists between the PRC and the USA. To my great joy, Shih-wei was one of the Chinese botanists to visit our country. One evening, we sat together in the living room of my house while he recounted his story, punctuated by tears and sobs. As a scientist trained in the West, he was officially criticized for working on theoretical problems not directly connected to the needs of the Chinese people.
He was removed from his position in Shanghai, and forced to march through the streets wearing a dunce cap amidst the taunts and jeers of onlookers. His apartment was confiscated, and he was sent to Anhui province to "learn from the peasants" by performing "laodung" (manual labor). His wife, a trained physician, was also sent to a rural area to "serve the people". My visit resulted in his sudden recall to Shanghai, but the apartment I visited was no longer really his. It was a Potemkin village, temporarily reconstituted to hide its conversion to a dwelling for four families.
As the effects of the Cultural Revolution subsided and reform elements ascended to power, Shih-wei regained his position at the Institute of Plant Physiology in Shanghai, and as Arditti recounts, lived a productive life until his death at the age of 91. A happy picture of Shih-wei Loo can be found in the frontispiece of my book, "Daily Life in People's China", published in New York by Thomas Y. Crewel Company in 1973.
- Arthur W. Galston
- Dr. Galston served as President of the Botanical Society of America in 1968.
Specialists Discuss the Future of Botanical Information at IBC XVI
During the final symposium session of the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis on Saturday, 7 August 1999, a group of botanists, librarians and archivists will speak about the critical need to preserve the record of botanical science, both past and present. 'De symposium is sponsored by the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL), and co-sponsored by the Historical Section of the Botanical Society of America.
Speakers will address such issues as the changing documentary record in botany; the increasing use of electronic information; the need for botanical documentation; the physical limitations of books, artwork, manuscripts, maps, computer files and other material found in botanical libraries and archives. They will also discuss large-scale preservation strategies that have been recently pursued in several other scientific disciplines, so that botanists can assess the suitability of such strategies for the plant sciences. Following the symposium, the papers will be published, and a future meeting may be convened so that the matters raised can be given a fuller analysis in all botanical disciplines.
Delegates to the IBC are urged to consider attending these talks. Further information is available at < http://huntbot.andrew.cmu.edu/CBHL/symposium.html>, or by contacting Malcolm Beasley <M.Beasley@nhm.ac.uk>, telephone +44 (0) 171 938 8928 (England), or Charlotte Tancin <ctOu@andrew.cmu.edu>, telephone 412-268-7301 (U.S.).
Call for Applications, Educational Opportunities, Positions Available
Calls for Applications
American Philosophical Society
Updated Positions Available:
Current position announcements are maintained on the Botanical Society's website Announcement page at URL http://www.botany.org/bsa/announce/index.html. Please check that location for announcement which have appeared since this issue of Plant Science Bulletin went to press. To post an announcement, contact the webmaster: <email@example.com>.
John Percival (1863-1949) was a driving force behind the creation of agricultural botany as a scientific discipline and Professor of Agricultural Botany at the University of Reading from 1907 to 1932. His monumental treatment of wheat "The Wheat Plant: a Monograph" (1921) still serves as a standard reference, having been reprinted as recently as 1974. Percival was the consummate agricultural scientist - botanist, taxonomist, geneticist, germplasm collector, curator, breeder, agronomist, historian and teacher.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Percival's death, the University's School of Plant Sciences is hosting a meeting to celebrate his life and work. Reflecting the scope of Percival's scientific view, invited speakers will survey research progress during the last half-century in the archaeobotany, systematics, genetics and breeding of the wheat plant. The two-day event offers a unique opportunity for a multi-disciplinary gathering of experts who share a common interest in wheat studies.
Participants are invited to offer poster presentations on relevant aspects of wheat research. The symposium will feature displays of Percival's work and his wheat collection. There will also be a tour of the University's Rural History Centre, and an exhibition of current work at the School of Plant Sciences. A Proceedings volume of invited speaker papers will also include Percival's unpublished treatment of the genus Aegilops.
Since John Percival's time, activity in agricultural botany has flourished at Reading. The Department's tradition of research at both a fundamental and applied level over a wide range of aspects of crop plants continues, with Professor Peter Caligari being the current Professor of Agricultural Botany. The Department is now one of the three constituent members of The University of Reading's School of Plant Sciences B ranked as one of the UK's major centres of plant science, and the only one given the highest possible rating (5*) in the latest Research Assessment Exercise.
Participants will be lodged on the campus of The University of Reading. Located in the Thames Valley, west of London, Reading has excellent rail (25 minutes) and bus (1 hour) links with London. There are also direct bus and rail links to the major international airports of Heathrow and Gatwick.
Contact Address: Dr Geoff Hewitt, School of Plant Sciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 221, Reading RG6 6AS, UK, Tel:+44 (0) 118 931 8294, Fax: +44 (0) 118 975 0630, e-mail:<firstname.lastname@example.org>
XVI International Botanical Congress will meet 1-7 August 1999 at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri. A nomenclature meeting will be held the week before, 26-30 July 1999, at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The International Botanical Congress (IBC) is a convention of scientists from around the world which meets once every six years to discuss new research in all the plant sciences. The early registration fee, not including hotel, will be $300 ($200 for registrants from developing countries) and students pay a reduced fee of $ 100. There are some fellowships for travel to IBC available, with applications particularly encouraged from registrants from developing countries and from graduate students and recent graduates. The conference will also have space for commercial and scientific exhibits. For more information or a registration form, please consult the website at: http://www.ibc99.org/ or contact: Secretary General, XVI IBC c/o Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 Tel: 314/577-5175, fax: 314/577-9589, e-mail: email@example.com. Receptions, field trips, excursions, and other social events are planned prior to, during, and after IBC.
We intend to organize a Workshop for the International Union for Quaternary Research during the INQUA XV International Congress in Durban (3-11 August, 1999) with the following topic: "Migration of Asiatic (Turanian) and ecosystems to East and South Africa during the Miocene-Pliocene and the environmental conditions contributing to evolution of Hominidae (Kovalev's hypothesis)". This problem might include the following issues. 1. The Messinian climatic crisis (6.7-5.3 Myr) and the formation of ecosystems involving C4 plants of the aspartate type in Southern Turan. Migration of riparian ecosystems (with Tamarix, Phragmites, Caroxylon and Populus as dominant elements) from Southern Turan to East and South Africa, where they replaced the climate-affected tropical rain forest. Comparison of such communities with their modem analogs (the South African relic communities and the North American saltcedars of the Asiatic origin). 2. Traces of the faunal migration accompanying the spreading of the Turanian plant assemblages and the possible Asiatic origin of the early hominoids (e.g., migration of Sivapithecus). 3. Developing of such communities in Africa during the Pliocene. The influence of these exotic (adventive) plant assemblages upon the African mammalian fauna, causing its essential pauperization and providing relatively safe conditions for the early hominid inhabiting (in contrast with the intensive predators' pressure in the savannahs). Contacts: Dr. Oleg V.Kovalev, Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, and Dr. Sergey G.Zhilin, Dept. of Palaeobotany, Komarov Botanical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, 197376 St. Petersburg, Russia; e-mail: email@example.com; fax: (812)234-4512
An international conference of cycad enthusiasts, growers and scientists will convene at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, Florida, USA, August 7-10, 1999. Sponsors: Fairchild Tropical Garden, Palm Beach Palm and Cycad Society, and the Montgomery Botanical Center. Participants: all persons interested in the horticulture, conservation and science of cycads, which are a group of beautiful, rare and endangered plants that have existed since the age of dinosaurs.
Cycad 99 will have submitted talks and posters on scientific topics, invited presentations on horticultural topics, tours of the extensive collections at Fairchild Tropical Garden and Montgomery Botanical Center, and ample opportunity to meet and socialize with cycad enthusiasts from around the world. Florida is the home of the coontie (Zamia pumila = Z floridana = etc., etc.), the only native cycad in the USA. However, almost all of the world's cycads are cultivated in Miami's subtropical climate. Everglades National Park, Miami Beach (South Beach), the Florida Keys, and nearby Dadeland Shopping Mall, are some local visitor attractions.
Call for Papers: Details on submitting a contributed abstract for a paper or poster will be given in the second circular, therefore send information requested below. Submitted abstracts will be reviewed and selected for either an oral paper or poster presentation by the Research Committee (Drs. Fisher, Stevenson & Walters). Full presentations of talks and posters will be processed after the meeting as manuscripts for peer review and publication by the New York Botanical Garden Press, most likely as a volume of Mem. N. Y. Bot. Gard.
Meeting Activities: The tentative schedule for this four-day conference includes: Days 1 & 2 - horticultural topics; Days 2-4 - scientific topics; Days 1 & 4 formal tours of the collections; Day 3 - business meetings of the Cycad Society and IUCN cycad specialist group; also receptions and a banquet.
Housing: A block of rooms will be reserved at a nearby hotel and bus service provided between this hotel and the meeting site. Detailed information will be provided in the registration packet.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is not determined at this time.
Information: For the latest conference information see: www.ftg.org/research/cycad99.html. To receive registration forms and abstract submission forms, please send: Name(please print); Mailing address; Phone; FAX; E-mail. By one of the following methods: a) Electronic-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; b) by FAX (1-305-661-8953) addressed to: "Attention: Cycad 99"; c) or by post: Cycad 99, Fairchild Tropical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Miami, FL 33156, USA.
The VIII International Aroid Conference, sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden and the International Aroid Society, will meet 9-11 August 1999 at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri. This is a three-day conference directly following the XVI International Botanical Congress and will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of all aspects of aroid biology, ecology, taxonomy and horticulture. Over 50 presentations are scheduled and will include discussions of Araceae in large and small floristic regions, revisionary works of a variety of genera, glimpses of the best public and private Araceae collections, and descriptions of successful horticultural and breeding techniques currently in use. An unlimited number of poster sessions will also be made available to those who prefer to have their presentations on display for the duration of the conference.
Congress highlights include a barbecue at Tom Croat's house, a banquet held at the gardens, evening lectures and a welcoming address given by Peter Raven, Director of Missouri Botanical Garden. We would also like to organize an aroid seed and seedling swap to make a variety of aroids available for all attendees.
For more information please consult the web page at: http://hoya.mobot.org/ias/iac99/ or contact: Secretary General, VIII International Aroid Conference, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 631660299 USA, e-mail: <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
This conference in Newcastle, Australia (ICATP'99) deals with the integrated roles of structure, physiology/biochemistry and molecular biology in the transport and partitioning of assimilated carbon and nitrogen in plants. Single sessions of keynote addresses, offered papers and posters are planned covering topics from macromolecular trafficking, membrane carriers and source/sink regulation to whole plant partitioning. Two satellite workshops have been organized to accompany the conference.
Pre-Conference (11-13 August): Carbon-11 and BAMS: Highly Sensitive Isotope Techniques: Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Organizers Drs Michael Thorpe and Peter Minchin.
Post-Conference (22 -24 August): Ecophysiology of Australian Native Plants: Perth, Western Australia. Organizer Prof. John Pate.
An interesting and varied programme of activities has been put together for accompanying persons, and pre- and post-conference tours are available.
Registration: A$800, or A$500 for students and retirees; Abstracts by 30th April 1999
More information can be found at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/icatp/, or from: Assoc. Prof. Tina Offler, Co-Convener & Conference Secretariat ICATP '99, Department of Biological Sciences The University of Newcastle, CALLAGHAN NSW 2308, AUSTRALIA, Phone +61 2 4921 5704 Fax +61 2 4921 6923 email: email@example.com
The 4th International conference follows the tradition of the Royal Horticultural Society in organizing conferences addressing the major developments in conifers. The conference will be held 22-25 August 1999, Wye College, Kent, England. This conference is designed to promote maximum interchange of information between all users of conifers. Keynote sessions will address major subject areas of current interest. The conference will have a worldwide geographical coverage from the arctic to the tropics.
Main scientific sponsors: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Royal Horticultural Society, Forestry Commissions and The International Dendrology Society. For more information contact: Miss Lisa von Schlippe, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE. Tel.: 0181 332 5198, Fax.: 0181 332 5197, E-mail: L.firstname.lastname@example.org
From 14 to 18 September 1999, the 1st International Symposium on the History and Folk tradition of Medicinal Plants will be organised in Costa Rica, the largest biodiversity center of the World. The main topics will be the history of medicinal plants from antiquity to present times, folk traditions (past and present), scientific knowledge, integration of folk tradition into medicine, ethnobotany and pharmacology, with a special emphasis in temperate and neo-tropical floras. Comparative, transperiod and interdisciplinary studies are welcome, as well as works and projects dealing with the use of multimedia means in the field.
The scientific programme of the unique event of this kind, which will include plenary lectures, papers, posters, round tables and free discussions, aims to encourage the study of a patrimony of Humanity exposed to disappearance, and to contribute to the preservation of flora worldwide, among others by the recuperation of historical tradition and plant lore. Its proceedings are expected to constitute and indispensable tool and a work of reference on this subject.
The Symposium is a non profit event devoted to promote study, scientific research and divulgation in the field. Held in the heart of the Tropical Forest, it is designed to be an international forum open to physicians, pharmacists, chemists, botanists, historians, philologists, ethnolinguists, ethnobotanists, anthropologists and everybody wishing to hear communications of major world specialists in the field, to contribute personally with the presentation of original works, and to participate in focused discussions on the current state of research in medicinal plants, their meaning for man, culture and science through World«s History.
For participation and further information please contact the organisers: Simposio, P.O. Box 6131, 1000 San Jose, Costa Rica. Prof. Ronald Chaves, Fax : + (506) 283 02 63, Costa Rica, Prof. Alain Touwaide, Fax : + (506) 283 02 63 Spain, e-mail <email@example.com> Visit us at: http://www.costarica.com/wg/simposio/ [Note: I could not find this file! -SR]
The Strategies for Survival: Ex Situ Plant Conservation Symposium will be held September 29, 30 and October 1, 1999 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the nearby Sheraton North Shore, in Glencoe, Illinois. The conference, to be immediately followed by the annual meeting of the Center for Plant Conservation, will offer the most Up-to-date statement of what ex situ conservation is; how it is currently being practiced; and where research and policy developments should be directed.
The first day of the conference will feature a keynote address by Dr. Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a contributed poster session, and papers that address such questions as: What purposes are served by ex situ plant collections? Which species are best supported by ex situ methods? What is the place of ex situ conservation in the overall context of plant conservation? How is ex situ conservation being practiced around the world?
Day two will consist of papers focusing on ethical issues, ex situ collection standards, genetic issues, and techniques for collection maintenance.
The last day will be dedicated to small group discussions open to all participants and will also serve as the opening day of the Center for Plant Conservation annual meeting. Topics that will be explored include: How can ex situ organizations best serve the conservation community? What are horticultural and genetic research needs for ex situ conservation? How do we market ex situ conservation to those with funds to support it? How can we use ex situ collections for supporting the conservation of wild populations and habitats?
The Ex Situ Plant Conservation symposium is sponsored by Chicago Botanic Garden, Berry Botanic Garden, the Center for Plant Conservation, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in association with the IUCN World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission.
For further information contact Dr. Kayri Havens, Chicago Botanic Garden, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone: 847-835-8378.
Invasions of plant species have for a long time drawn the attention of botanists, agronomist and ecologists. Although this resulted in an ever-increasing body of scientific literature on "invasion biology" we still do not completely understand all aspects of this process and its impact on ecosystems. This Conference will be the continuation of a series of meetings that started in 1992 in Loughborough, GB, and was continued in Kostelec, Czech Republic, in 1993, in Tempe, AZ, USA in 1995 and in Berlin, Germany, in October 1997. It will offer the chance to continue discussions of its predecessors and concentrate on issues identified as important during preceding meetings.
Address for Registration and Information: Dr. Giuseppe Brundu c/o Dipartimento di Botanica ed Ecologia Vegetale Universita di Sassari Via F. Muroni, 2507100 Sassari - Italy e-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ph + 39 0335 237315 fax +39 079 233600
The XVI International Congress on Sexual Plant Reproduction will be held at the resort town of Banff in Alberta, Canada, from April 1-5,2000. The conference is co-sponsored by the Universities of Saskatchewan and Alberta and is held under the auspices of International Association of Sexual Plant Reproduction Research. The scientific program will include all topics on sexual plant reproduction, from flowering to seed development. Sessions will be held in the mornings and evenings with the afternoons available for skiing, field trips, nature walks and discussions with colleagues. For further details, please check the web site: http://www.usask.ca/biology/spr/. Co-organizers are: Drs. D.D. Cass, University of Alberta and V.K. Sawhney, University of Saskatchewan. E-mail addresses: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to write!
Last year the Business Office spent over $200 sending returned AJB's to members who had moved without sending notification. To save the Society money and assure uninterrupted mailing of your publications and other important BSA information, please send address changes to:
Botanical Society of America Business Office
You can also update your information directly at our website: http://www.botany.org/bsa/addr-chg.html You are an important part of the BSA and we do not want to lose track of you! Be sure to include your phone, fax and e-mail if available.
Inherent Variation in Plant Growth: Physiological Mechanisms and Ecological Consequences. Lambers, Hans, Hendrik Poorter, and Margret M.I. Van Vuuren, eds., 1998. ISBN 9073348-96-X (cloth US$152.00) 592 pp. Backhuys Publishers, PO Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, The Netherlands. - Why some species grow slowly and others grow quickly has been a question that plant biologists have been asking for centuries. Earlier this century, Blackman (1919) started to develop quantitative plant growth analysis. Since then, many plant biologists (e.g., Kvet, et al., 1971; Evans, 1972; Causton and Venus, 1981; Hunt, 1982) have striven to understand the ecological and physiological implications of differences in relative growth rates among species. How is the relative growth rate of a species related to its physical environment, successional status, and place in a community? What are the driving factors that determine relative growth rates? How does growth rate affect other attributes of a plant?
The volume is the result of the workshop on Inherent Variation in Plant Growth Rate held at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, in June 1997. It is the second excellent volume from such a meeting, the first being Causes and Consequences of Variation in Growth Rate and Productivity of Higher Plants (ed. by Lambers, Cambridge, Konings, and Pons, 1990) based on the workshop held in 1988. This volume brings together contributions of scientists from many fields ranging from cell biologists, molecular biologists, biochemists, anatomists, physiologists, whole plant biologists, to community ecologists, each with their own perspective on the causes and consequences of variation of relative growth rate. This allows the reader, who probably is familiar with a few of these fields, to become acquainted with what others are studying at the different levels of plant organization and to integrate these levels and information.
This fine book is comprised of 28 chapters by various authors plus an introduction and epilogue by the editors. It is divided into four main sections:
I. Growth and anatomy of roots and leaves
Starting at the level of the cell, there are three chapters on cell cycling and cell expansion (focusing on cell wall components and turgor pressure), and their regulatory controls in roots and leaves. At the anatomical level, three chapters discuss the anatomy and morphology of roots of fast- and slow-growing grasses, leaf anatomy among different functional types of plants, and the leaf anatomy of seagrasses and how these leaf characteristics relate to specific leaf area (SLA), a key component of relative growth rate.
II. Carbon metabolism and nutrient acquisition
Five chapters deal with differences of growth rates at the physiological level. Variation in photosynthesis is explored with respect to leaf anatomy, as well as shade acclimation and hormonal effects on leaf longevity. Focusing on roots, respiration, nutrient uptake, and exudation, along with carbon budgets are contrasted in fast- and slow-growing species. One chapter discusses allocation patterns in relation to fast- and slow-growing spec How relative growth rate, physiology, and allocate patterns relate to strategies for acquiring nutrients n patchy environments are discussed in a chapter on plants in the wild. Another chapter suggests the use of transgenic plants to manipulate levels of certain enzymes to elucidate mechanisms for differences in growth rates at the genetic level.
III. Growth analysis of individual plants
Most of this section, six chapters, is devoted to the classical growth analysis approach to understanding the importance of relative growth rate components in contrasting environments. In other words, understanding how success in dealing with different environmental conditions results in trade-offs with a high relative growth rate. Relative growth rate is most often compartmentalized into two parts: net assimilation rate (NAR) and leaf area ratio (LAR), as well as the factors which influence each of these, including leaf mass ratio (LMR), specific leaf area (SLA), among other growth parameters. Differences in water use efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency, respiration, and leaf longevity are also related to differences in relative growth rates. Comparisons are made with alpine and lowland species, many Aegilops species and wheat cultivars, herbaceous plants grown at high and low irradiance, temperate woody species of different functional types and life-history strategies, and shade tolerant and pioneer tropical tree seedlings in high and low irradiance. Path analysis is also employed for determining the relative importance of each component of relative growth rate to the overall growth of the plant. One chapter addresses the use of resistance mutants to understand the tradeoffs between disease resistance and relative growth rate. The last chapter describes the potential use of quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis to develop faster-growing and more water- and nutrient-efficient crops.
IV. Consequences for ecosystem functioning
The final section of this volume scales the effects of relative growth rates from that of the plant level to stand and ecosystem levels. The allocation to roots and leaves, as well as their morphology and architecture, is discussed in two chapters in relation to organ longevity, turnover rates, and nutrient uptake. These two chapters and a later one explore differences among functional types of plants, as well as the interactions between organ longevity, litter quality, nutrient availability in the ecosystem on a long-term basis, and succession. Another chapter describes the changes in relative growth rate and its components in communities during old-field succession over a thirty-five year period with different nutrient levels. A common definition of nitrogen use efficiency from the leaf level, to the plant level, to the stand level is called for in another chapter. Here possible trade-offs between its two components: nitrogen flux (mean residence time of nitrogen in the system) and mean annual nitrogen productivity (biomass increment per unit time and nitrogen) and how this may relate to variation in relative growth rate. Last in this section is a chapter on the proper phylogenetic analysis of variation among species within taxa.
In summary, this is an excellent volume, filled with many fruitful ideas. The editors address roots almost as thoroughly as leaves, something often lacking. Although it does not answer the question of why plants have different inherent growth rates, it compiles the knowledge to date from a variety of perspectives and it serves as a springboard for new and exciting research. The only complaint is a few typographical errors in several chapters (e.g., symbols in legend of Fig. 6, p. 109 are shifted or missing). We wholeheartedly recommend this book.
- Eva Grotkopp and Marcel Rejminek, Section of Evolution and Ecology,
University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
A Dictionary of Natural Products Hocking, George Macdonald, 1998. ISBN 0-937548-31-6 (cloth US $139.50). 994 pp., Plexus Publishing, Inc., 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055.
And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew.
- Oliver Goldsmith
The author of this awesome compendium, now well over ninety and Professor Emeritus of Pharmacognosy at Auburn University, posited seven quotations on his dedicatory page ("To my parents"), most of these relating to the plight of a compiler. Upon reading these, having thumbed through the entire text (comprising some 994 pages, these containing an estimated 18,000 entries covering everything from Aalbium to Zypresse, and fully documented with 2,798 numbered references), I felt compelled to introduce this review with a quotation from my own store of reading, this from Oliver Goldsmith's, 'The Deserted Village"; at least that particular quotational flick came to the fore after searching through Hocking's seemingly flawless text.
This dictionary is exceedingly terse; indeed, I calculate that the text would have been twice its size had not the author used I 000 or more abbreviations in his tellings, all of these conveniently listed at the beginning of his tome. And there are no formal figures or illustrations! Our author is not out to entertain or bedazzle, rather he aims to instruct. Clearly the man viewed this compilation as part of his bones.
The book is said to be "...a second edition of a reference work formerly titled "Dictionary of Terms in Pharmacognosy and Other Divisions of Economic Botany", this first published in 1955. But think you not that the 43 year gap is devoid of additional compilations. Entry after entry after entry attests to Hocking's dedication and devotion to his endeavor. Thus one finds under Larrea tridentata, cross referenced as creosote, numerous references to its use by gringos, Hispanics and native Indians, the last line reading, "; much branched shrub, sometimes of great age (17,000 yrs.; Mojave Desert)." The author clearly has the kind of head referred to in my quotation.
And the text is timely, what with the layman's current preoccupation with alternative medicine, herbal remedies (vs. synthetic medicines) and the like, this instructively discussed by Relman (1998) in a recent issue of THE NEW REPUBLIC. Relman reviewed eight of the texts on such subjects by the guru of the field, Andrew Weil, M.D. (I cant help but add as an aside that Weil's caricature, which adorns the cover of the said journal could easily be taken as that of Prof. James Henrickson, California State University, Los Angeles; indeed, the sketch of Weil on its inner pages by Vint Lawrence might just as well be my friend Jim, especially as portrayed in a fit of taxonomic pique).
Hocking's text should prove useful in attempting to digest the various herbal offerings of this day and age, as well as those from the zoological field; he covers all pharmacological topics, including everything from abalones (gastropods) to zymozan (a protein-carbohydrate complex found in yeast cells). Even the mineral world is included, for example, bentonite, said to be a "native colloidal hydrated aluminum silicate" and used in "mud baths, beauty clays, to clarify wines, etc."
I have never met the author, Prof. Hocking, but I feel that he is a comrade in arms, endowed with what counts in the best of us: love for his field of interest, and a desire to leave mankind better off for his endeavours. (One of his seven quotes alluded to in the above reads, He only deserves to be remembered by posterity who treasures up and preserves the history of his ancestors.) In my opinion this man, as an informed writer, rises higher than most, as attested to by his appreciation of taxonomic botany and its utility in providing scientific names. And what a perfectionist proof reader he must be; after nearly two weeks of hopeful browsing I was unable to detect a spelling error, even in the abbreviations.
My awe of the author is not only textual, it is buoyed up by something more than the finished product: how he came to sculpt his terseness. A few years ago Prof. Hocking opted to leave his extensive research notes, etc-, accumulated over a lifetime, those that formed the basis of his Dictionary, to the Plant Resources Center (PRC) at the University of Texas, Austin. Most every entry in his remarkable compendium has a manila folder, the tabs yellowed with age and tattered with use. Within each of the folders is a plethora of data and, what else, a nest of notes and miscellany having to do with anything that added interest to the taxon or thing concerned. For example, within the folder labeled Cornus I noted 39 items, these ranging from Geiger's 1836 account of how to extract coming from Dogwood bark, to an USDA directive (dated 1942) outlining the need of Dogwood for Mill Shuttles, including personal photographs from the 1950s showing stacks of Dogwood in the sawmills for that purpose, not to mention the sundry newspaper articles having to do with the genus, nor the postcards and magazine clippings relating to the group concerned. Yet other folders yielded a similar array, and one can only guess at the extraordinary amount of time consumed in this accumulation.
Individuals interested in economic or systematic botany ought to have this book on their shelves within easy reach. It is first of all a reference book, perhaps the best in its field, to judge from my perusal of likely competitors. I cannot praise the book enough, nor express to its author the profound respect I have for his lifelong efforts in this endeavour. But I suspect the author knows his worth and that of his text. Love of ones work and sustained dedication produce such phenomena.
- Billie L. Turner, Dept. Integrative Biol., The University Of Texas, Austin, TX 78713.
Relman, A. S. 1998, A trip to Stonesville. The New Republic (issue 4,378), 14 Dec.
Plants and Society Levetin, Estelle McMahon, Karen, 1998 ISBN 0-697-34552-1 477 pp, Second Edition. WCB McGraw-Hill, 2460 Kerper Boulevard, Dubuque, Iowa 52001.
Plants and Society is a remarkable compilation of botanical disciplines. The textbook's audience is the university freshman or sophomore enrolled in an introductory class in botany or seeking to satisfy a science requirement. The authors have written this book hoping to offset the decline in enrollment to botanical courses. Is the book multidisciplinary approach successful in this inspiration?
Plants and Society offers a great flexibility in course design. The textbook is organized into 25 chapters grouped in 7 units. The first two units outline the basic tenants of plant science such as reproduction, taxonomy, physiology and genetics. The next three units stress the relationships between humans and plants in terms of medicinal, alimentary and economic uses. 'Men a distinctive unit is consecrated to the fungi describing their distinctive biology, their beneficial and negative impacts upon the human and biological environments. The last unit emphasizes ecological principles such as the concepts of ecosystem, niche, succession and biogeochemical cycles. World biomes, the strategy of extractive reserves are also reviewed in the last unit.
Each chapter starts with an outline. Key terms are in bold face throughout the text. The chapter ends with a concept quiz, a section's summary, review questions and suggests further readings. Interspersed in the chapters are "Closer Look" essays expanding the major themes presented in the main text. The book ends with a comprehensive glossary two appendices and an index. Educators might be interested to purchase the accompanying instructor's manual which has been revised as well. For those interested by color illustrations they might be slightly deceived, photographs are in black and white and graphics toned between different shades of green and grays. I wish scales would be included in the photomicrographs of the ultrastructural components of a plant cell for example. In other cases graphics would be enhanced if boldface was used. The graphic illustrating the various phases of mitosis could have benefited from bold facing. Dr. Levetin and McMahon might want to include an analysis of the differences between meiosis and mitosis in future editions. In some instance graphics do not link very well with the text. How do we get a protein from the linkages of amino acids? More attention could have been brought upon some of the graphics. The relationship between the electromagnetic and the visible light spectra is not clear. Rare spelling errors were noticed throughout the text. The multidisciplinary approach could sometimes dangerously oversimplify. Algae and fungi were included in the diversity of plant life chapter, both of those organisms belong to a different kingdom than Planta. In other cases the chapter had a different title in the outline compared to the printed topic in the succeeding pages (Chapter 10: Human Nutrition/ Starchy Staples, publishing error probable). I wish that the unit and chapter numbers would be printed at the top of the pages. l was also surprised by the treatment of some topics in the "Closer Look" sections compared to the chapter's theme. Forensic Botany was presented in an area of the book dealing with world agriculture! Some chapter titles would surely benefit from a revision.
The authors have successfully addressed some concerns facing the earth's biotic community at the end of this millennium. Imbalance in the nitrogen cycle, shaded coffee plantations, the Kyoto protocol are among some of the issues brushed upon by the authors. The concept of sustainable agriculture could have gained of an in depth treatment. Controversial topics such the use of marihuana medicinal purpose or the legal culpability of the tobacco industry for the medical expenses of afflicted smokers were presented in the main text in an objective manner. Chapter 20 is solely devoted to psychoactive plants. I am not sure why absinthe is treated in a subsequent chapter dealing with beverages and foods from fungi (Chapter 23).
Plants and Society is a bold attempt to encompass the botanical science in a multidisciplinary, up to date approach. It will be a valuable reference for educators interested to draw freshman and sophomore to the plant science field. 'Me organization and presentation of the materials could be enhanced. A multidisciplinary approach to plant science is a complex endeavor. Motivating young scientists to this field is important.. Plants will surely continue to profoundly affect the earth and its inhabitants, the authors have shown a dedication to this educational journey.
- Laurent M. Meillier, U.C. Davis Clear Lake Environmental Research Center, Lakeport, CA.
Tropical Fruits Nakasone, H., and Paull, R.E., 1998. ISBN 0-85199-254-4 (cloth US $55.00) 445pp. Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016.
- Tropical Fruits by H. Y. Nakasone and R. E. Paul comes as volume 7 in the Crop Production Science in Horticulture series from CAB International. The text was begun and extensively developed by Nakasone, with Paul playing a greater role upon Nakasone's illness and death. The series "examines economically important horticultural crops selected from the major production systems in temperate, subtropical and tropical climatic areas" (frontpiece), and this volume fits this scheme well.
One might expect that a book in an academic series with a title such as Crop Production Science in Horticulture might simply be another collection of loosely connected papers, not peer reviewed. Instead this volume comes as a very pleasant surprise: it thoroughly covers topics in the area of tropical fruits concisely and lucidly. Information is covered from basic issues of defining the tropics to specifics about cultivars of particular species of tropical fruits. All of this is written in a lucid style which should be accessible for seasoned professionals and newly interested amateurs alike.
Besides the usual introductory materials and reference chapter, Tropical Fruit includes with several pages of excellent color plates illustrating fruits, methods of their production and handling, and some diseases affecting the fruits. It is only unfortunate that more such images are not included. After the color plates come chapters on the Tropics, soils in the Tropics, and cultivation and postharvest handling.
After that, various fruits are considered, with line drawings of many species. Fruits are considered singly or in logically arranged groups, based usually on geography or taxonomy. For example, the mango (Mangifera indica L.; Anacardiaceae) receives its own chapter while the various fruits from the genera Annona and Rollinia (both Annonaceae) are grouped in one chapter.
Each chapter includes a brief introduction to the fruit or fruits and then considers a full range of information from taxonomy, origins, and distribution to ecological requirements, horticultural characteristics and ultimate utilization. The species coverage is excellent for a basic textbook on the subject of tropical fruit. A more advanced book might include other species such as the Ice Cream beans of South America (Inga; Fabaceae). For such information, there are many books which deal with more species but which do not present as much information for cultivation. Alternatively, one could turn to the publications of the California Rare Fruit Growers or the Florida Rare Fruit Council.
Tropical Fruits presents an excellent range of information with outstanding clarity and completeness. These properties make it a valuable resource for beginners and amateur growers as well as for academics and professionals. There are not as many color pictures illustrating the various fruit as are to be found in books such as Cooking with Exotic Fruits and Vegetables by Grigson and Knox (Henry Holt), so that beginning students might need supplementation to help them visualize this material. Nevertheless, this book would be wholly appropriate for the reading list of an introductory class in horticulture, ad would be useful even on the supplemental reading list for an introductory botany class. It is highly recommended.
- Douglas Darnowski, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana IL 61801
Evolution and Speciation of Island Plants Stuessy, Tod F., and Mikio Ono, eds. 1998. ISBN 0521-4963-5 (cloth US$80.00), 358 pp. Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th St., New York NY 10011-4211.
Although islands in the sea account for only 3% of Earth's land area, and individual islands have impoverished communities, the pooled number of species on islands is great. For example, around 15% of all known species of birds and plants occur on islands (Hanski, Nature, I Apr 1999, p. 387), and islands are considered evolutionary laboratories where adaptive radiations are taking place over smaller time and space scales than elsewhere. The immense and diverse primary literature has spurred several recent books that have tried to synthesize general insights from island studies (e.g., Wagner and Funk, 1995). If one is looking for a recent comprehensive single-author treatment of island ecology, Robert Whittaker's (1998) "Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation" (an Oxford University Press paperback sells for $29.95) would be an excellent choice. However, as pointed out by llkka Hanski (loc. cit.) in his review of "Island Biogeography," a book that covers the full range of topics from geography and geology of islands, to speciation on islands, population assembly, to the application of island theory to conservation, may be comprehensive, but offer no surprises. It may describe' complexity, but not explain any of it.
The book under review here brings together work on the plant biology of oceanic island systems, including the Hawaiian Islands, Canary Islands, Bonin Islands (Japan), and the Juan Fernandez Islands (Chile), and it contains several surprises. It is the result of a symposium held during the XV International Botanical Congress in Yokohama, Japan. In addition to the papers from the symposium itself, which focused on Pacific archipelagos, several additional manuscripts were solicited to provide a "more comprehensive review of the status of studies of plant evolution on oceanic islands." There are 13 chapters by 18 contributors, of whom six are from Japan, one from Korea, seven from the US or Canada, and three from Chile, and the chapters are grouped by island system. A final part, entitled "General evolutionary patterns and processes on oceanic islands," contains a review of secondary compounds in island plants (Bruce Bohm), a chapter on chromosomal stasis during speciation in island angiosperms, and a chapter in which the editors summarize the current status of knowledge on plants of island archipelagoes and suggest what are termed research protocols. (The latter unsurprisingly involve continued basic floristic inventories using consistent species concepts, explicit evolutionary and phylogenetic hypotheses, the gathering of more geological data, and rigorous biogeographic analyses.)
Tod Stuessy and his collaborators' long-standing interest in chromosome evolution is evident in this volume, which starts out with a review by Gerald Carr of chromosome evolution in Hawaiian angiosperms and the main part of which ends with Stuessy and Crawford's attempt at explaining the marked discrepancy between morphological divergence and near absence of chromosomal change seen in many island groups. Chapter 2 is a summary of work on the Hawaiian silverswords (Bruce Baldwin), chapter 3 (Stuessy, Crawford, Marticorena and Silva) deals with isolating mechanism in the endemic angiosperms of the Juan Fernandez archipelago (spatial isolation between islands accounts for 70% of closely related species pairs), and chapter 4 (Crawford, Sang, Stuessy, Kim, and Silva) contrasts two genera of Asteraceae in terms of their biology, speciation, and estimated time of residence on Juan Fernandez. While Whittaker in his above mentioned "Island Biogeography" takes the view that MacArthur and Wilson-type island biogeographic theory (MacArthur and Wilson, 1967) is essentially dead - a view not shared by reviewer Hanski - "Evolution and Speciation of Island Plants" contains a chapter (5; Stuessy, Crawford, Marticorena, and Rodriguez) in which an equilibrium model is developed that predicts numbers of species on Masafuera (one of the Juan Fernandez Islands). The model estimates 70.5 species on Masafuera whereas there really are 64. The next four chapters deal with the genetic diversity of endemics on Bonin (Ito, Soekima, and Ono), the evolution of cryptic dioecy in Callicarpa on Bonin (Kawakubo), conservation of endemic vascular plants on Bonin (Ono), and chromosomal evolution of endemic species on Ullung Island compared to their presumed ancestors from Korea and Japan (Sun and Stuessy). The section on Asian oceanic islands ends with a beautifully illustrated summary of their work on the South Pacific mangrove genus Crossostylis by Setoguchi, Ohba, and Tobe.
"Evolution and Speciation of Island Plants" is beautifully produced and very carefully edited, and while it covers a limited set of plant biological questions and oceanic islands, the editors and authors are serious about trying to explain, rather than describe, plant speciation and evolution on "their" islands.
- Susanne Renner, Biology, University of Missouri, St. Louis
MacArthur, R. H., and E. O. Wilson. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton Univ. Press.
Wagner, W. L., and V. A. Funk (eds.). 1995. Hawaiian Biogeography: Evolution on a Hot Spot Archipelago. Smithsonian Institution Press.
Whittaker, R. J. 1998. Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. Oxford Univ.
Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives. Arditti, J. and A. M. Pridgeon, eds. 1997. ISBN 07923-4516-9 (cloth US$183.00) 394 pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers. P. 0. Box 17,3300. AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
The series, Orchid Biology, edited by Joseph Arditti, was begun in 1977. The first four volumes were published by Cornell University Press, the fifth by Timber Press, and the sixth by Wiley Interscience. The current volume, VII, was produced by Kluwer Academic Publishers. The first six volumes were edited alone by Arditti, but volume VII was edited jointly by Arditti and Alec M. Pridgeon. In volume I Arditti stipulates an increasing need for a series of reviews on orchids to provide perspective and to cover different points of view in areas of interest. Each volume commences with a biographical sketch or reminiscence of a historical nature often involving a special person in the field of orchid study. Volume VII is no exception and begins with a lengthy, very personal autobiography of editor Arditti.
Every volume consists of a series of detailed summary articles on some phase of orchidology climaxed by a thorough reference section citing those publications mentioned in the text. In each volume the terminal article, or appendix, is one of more or less practical interest. Beginning with volume IV, each article, but not consistently, is accompanied by a glossary of technical terms used in the article.
The current volume, number VII, consists of six technical chapters, each authored by an expert (s) in the subject matter under consideration. Article one by Edward C. Yeung and Sandra K. Law discusses ovule and megagametophyte development in orchids. A reason for this treatment is that little new information has been added to the literature in recent years and they have thus attempted to summarize and synthesize the published data to date. The studies they review have categorized the pattern of ovule and embryo sac development, but fall short of providing insight into the processes themselves. They attribute this failing to the limitations of past histological methods that have, in some cases, given rise to spurious results. New methods of approach, involving studies in molecular biology, promise to unravel the mechanisms of ovule initiation and development. Illustrations are largely culled from Yeung's studies of Epidendrum ibaguense and Calypso bulbosa. The photographs are wonderfully clear and the descriptive legends illuminating and expertly presented.
Adelheid R. Kuehnle writes about the molecular biology of orchids, a fairly young area of investigation. She analyzes orchid nuclear macromolecules, i. e., nucleic acids and proteins, and proceeds, after quantifying macromolecular organization, into a discussion of phylogeny and systematics, physiology, and lastly plant breeding. Unfortunately, her literature survey ends in 1994/1995 and several recent papers by Mark Chase and others concerning orchid systematics and phylogeny from the molecular point of view are not included.
Fungi from orchid mycorrhizas by A. S. Currah, C. D. Zelmer, S. Hambleton, and K. A. Richardson extends the earlier study of Geoffrey Hadley that appeared in a previous volume of this series. The authors attempt to provide a concise summary of the methods and taxonomic information required to identify the fungal symbionts in orchid roots. They provide a list of orchid species accompanied by the names of the fungal symbionts associated with them. They outline techniques used to isolate fungi from orchid roots and rhizomes, provide a key for the identification of peloton-forming taxa of the Basidiomycotina, and a key to and descriptions of commonly occurring genera of Ascomycotina and Fungi Imperfecti. 'Me accompanying photographs of hyphae, sepatal features in some groups, peoltons, and conidia are very well executed.
Syoichi Ichihashi writes on orchid production and research in Japan. Only the first few paragraphs deal with the quantitative specifics of orchid production in Japan. Most of the chapter concerns physiological research as related to the production of the few orchid genera commonly grown for commercial purposes in Japan, namely, Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, and Dendrobium. The research, Ichihashi records, increases in direct proportion to the pot plant production, obviously, a market generated endeavor. Research topics include growth habits, effects of minimum temperatures in winter (specifically with Cymbidium), changes in carbohydrate content during stem elongation, growth control of flowering shoots, potting mixtures and fertilization, photomorphogenesis, and photosynthesis. Most of the data are published in Japanese and for this reason Dr. Ichihashi's English discussion and summary of this information is especially valuable.
Bletilla striata, Dendrobium species, and Gastrodia elata (a mycotrophoic plant) have been and are used in Chinese herbal medicine as described by C. S. Hew, J. Arditti, and W. S. Lin in a chapter devoted to the reconciliation of Chinese and Western pharmacology. There is a brief historical introduction to Chinese herbal medicine followed by treatments concerning the uses of these plants against certain diseases and pathological conditions. The chemical constituents of the several parts used in medicine are presented. There is an extensive tabular section outlining the secondary metabolites in these three taxa, including the chemical names, activities, molecular structures, and applicable reference citations. The chapter concludes with sections on the practice of Chinese medicine, especially as it concerns alkaloids and phytoalexins. There are a few minor inconsistencies, including the statement that Bletilla has corms (which it does) followed in the next paragraph by the statement that "rhizomes are collected."
Following his chapter on orchid production and research in Japan, Syoichi Ichihashi continues with a report on micropropagation of the three genera discussed previously: Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, and Dendrobium. Among these genera, only Cymbidium production commences with plantlets multiplied from shoot tips cultured in vitro. These shoot tips produce protocorm-like bodies that can be grown up and utilized for market production. On the contrary, in nobile-type dendrobiums, multiplication by traditional stem cuttings is the common practice. Research on micropropagation, however, is limited owing to the lack of demand. Phalaenopsis is frequently propagated using one-bud segments of the flowering stalk, but culture of flower-stalk nodes is not sufficient to meet commercial requirements for vegetative propagation. Sections cultured from leaves produced from nodal bud cultures have been grown in vitro; these develop protocorm-like bodies. Root tip culture has also been attempted with segments extracted from the tips of aerial roots from mature plants
The appendix to volume VII contains a historical review of orchid growing media by Thomas J. Sheehan. Beginning in the early 18'h century growers have grappled with different culture media in an attempt to locate the ideal substance (s). Early orchidists had no idea of the natural habitats of orchids in the tropics; their blundering with different media and growing conditions led to the deaths of many thousands of imported orchids in the early days of orchid culture. Sheehan's treatment is divided into different eras during which various media were used leading to trials of inorganic materials that are in place today. Orchids will grow in any medium mixture providing the grower customizes his/her watering and fertilizing regimes, but the "ideal" culture medium is still a distant goal today. Dr. Sheehan makes a special point of instructing readers that the plural of "medium" is "media," but he erroneously states that "mediums" is inaccurate, which it definitely is not.
A word is in order about the pictures of persons to whom this book is dedicated, i. e., Calaway H. Dodson, Bertil Kullenberg, and Gunnar Seidenfaden. These photographs are so poor as to make the personalities virtually unrecognizable. On a positive note, the reference citations are very good (in contrast to those in volume V), accurate and consistent. I detect the deft hand here of coeditor Alec Pridgeon.
William Louis Stern, Department of Botany, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-8526.
9th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration White, James J. and Lugene B. Bruno, 1998. ISBN 0-913196-64-9 (paper US$25.00) 191 pp. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
If you have tried to draw plants from life you may agree with me. Plants are a damnable nuisance! Forget about plants being sessile, much less simple. When you try to illustrate them you find that they move, they droop, they sway. They suddenly become more dimensional that you ever suspected. What looked like a simple leaf attachment becomes a complex suite of visual characters; colors, angles, widths, shading, and textures. Details such as glands, lenticels, and trichomes tempt your eye from the grandeur of form and phyllotaxy. How to balance it all? How to show the plant (or fungus for that matter) in a light that illustrates the organism as a living object?
How does one reflect the profoundly expressive elements of plant design without resorting to visual tricks? How does one simplify yet avoid stylizing the image? How, above all, to create a scientific document? The challenges of botanical illustration are daunting. Botanical art and illustration require a skilled eye not grown jaded by beauty as well as a steady hand accustomed to subtleties of form, pigment and line. Add the requirement of huge heaps of patience and it seems no wonder that the illustrators featured in this exhibition are in their fourth decade of life or older. Some kinds of training, indeed some sorts of virtuosity, come with age. If virtuosity (and there's plenty of it in these exquisite illustrations) is to blame for exaggerated expression, then so be it. My personal taste leans toward understated line drawings such as those of Cathy Pasquale. To me, they epitomize scientific botanical drawing. But scientifically informative details can emerge from more impressionistically rendered works, such as the spadices of Arisaema painted by Joanna Langhorne. The watercolor radishes on the page facing hers are more a lovely image for a well appointed kitchen, and the lushly rendered binomials of Cyranthus and Cotyledon on the following pages ... well ... gild the lily.
But I don't mean to criticize when I am in awe of each of the artists featured in this volume. As to its being the 9th international exhibition, long may it live! To bring botanical images to a hungry public is a high service indeed. To document said images as the Hunt Institute has so lovingly done, is truly praiseworthy.
- Samuel Hammer, College of General Studies, Boston University.
Edwin Lincoln Mosely (1865-1948): Naturalist, Scientist, Educator Niederhofer, R.E., and R.L. Stuckey, 1998. ISBN 0-9668034-2-6 (cloth US$42 ppd) 320 pp. RLS Creation, Inc. Orders to Relda E. Niederhofer, P.O. Box 184, Sandusky OH 44870.
Edwin Lincoln Moseley (I 865-1948) was one of the pioneering naturalists of Ohio. His interests in natural history were exceptionally diverse and included botany, zoology, geology, and meteorology. Among his many accomplishments was the discovery of the cause of "milk sickness," in humans, or the "trembles" in livestock, a frequently lethal illness prevalent in the American midwest and the western frontier in the nineteenth century. A meticulous researcher, Moseley was the first to determine that milk sickness resulted from the consumption of the dairy products of cattle that had fed on the common woodland plant, white snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum formerly called E. urticaefolium). His work on the flora of Ohio led to at least two botanical classics: "Sandusky Flora," and "Flora of the Oak Openings West of Toledo." Less well known interests include questions about the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, published as his book in 1933. Moseley's scientific influence was extended by his efforts as an educator. Not only was he a charismatic teacher who helped pioneer outdoor education, but he was also the first to introduce natural history collections in a high school museum at Sandusky High School. In 1914 he became the first professor of science at Bowling Green State Normal College, which eventually became Bowling Green University. Completely devoted to his students, had Moseley even made the 1929 issue of the infamous Ripley's Believe It or Not! for his excellent attendance record--he had not missed one day of class through illness in 50 years.
The book under review by Relda E. Niederhofer and Ronald L. Stuckey allows us to appreciate Moseley and the full diversity of his interests. Although the book is biographical in that it focuses on the life and work of Moseley, it is organized by topics, rather than follow the conventional chronological development of Moseley's life. There are three primary sections to the book: the first focuses on Moseley's personality and career, the second on his contributions and achievements and the final section concentrates on his writings and legacy. Each section is divided further into independent chapters. Most of these are original contributions by Niederhofer and Stuckey, but there are also historical reminiscences and reflections by key individuals who knew and appreciated Moseley. The book is rich in original photographic memorabilia and historical reproductions; many of these are from family collections that Niederhofer and Stuckey have made public. There are numerous tables, special illustrations, bibliographies, and chronologies that help us follow Moseley's life and work.
In addition to covering his scientific contributions, the book explores the personal side of Moseley. In the process Moseley emerges as an eccentric, but somewhat lovable character in the typical "absent-minded professor" mold. A complete stranger to creature comforts, Moseley wore old beaten up clothing and made his own tomato soup out of ketchup and boiling water. His considerable estate was donated to Bowling Green University to help the education of needy but worthy students. Reading this book I was struck by how closely Moseley's career followed the history and institutionalization of science in the state of Ohio. I suspect that in addition to introducing younger botanists to the lively character of Moseley, this may well prove to be the most valuable contribution of the book.
- Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis, Dept. History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
Herbs in Bloom: A Guide to Growing Herbs as Ornamental Plants Gardner, Jo Ann, 1998 ISBN 0- 88192-454-7 (cloth U.S. $34.95) 394pp Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527
Herbs in Bloom by Jo Ann Gardner carries the subtitle A Guide to Growing Herbs as Ornamental Plants. The author states in her Preface that she stumbled on the ornamental value of herbs, plants more commonly used for medicinal purposes, accidentally while starting a garden at her home on Cape Breton lsland in Canada. Many of the plants which she had hoped to cultivate did not prove hardy, but some herbs which been added casually proved to be both tough and attractive.
Herbs in Bloom presents information in a clear and logically organized fashion. Chapter One deals with growing herbs from seed, including information on pests and diseases. Chapter Two deals with the use of herbs ornamentals in various settings throughout the landscape, from beds and borders to containers. Then comes the third chapter which describes eighty herbs, listed alphabetically. For each herb, a synopsis of the growth characteristics and requirements are given in a list along with the family name and a few common names. If there are multiple species associated with the name of a particular herb, they may be discussed together in one entry or in separate entries. For example, there is a general entry for sage (Salvia; Lamiaceae), but Gardner also includes separate entries for S. officinalis, S. sclarea, and S. viridis.
Interestingly, some of the species listed might not jump to mind first as being herbs, such as roses. However, the author emphasizes species and selections with herbal uses, as she does by largely limiting her discussion of roses to a discussion of Rosa gailica 'Officinalis,' the Apothecary's rose. More emphasis should have been placed on the non-floral characteristics of some herbs useful for ornamentation. For example, the attractive leaves and glandular inflorescence stems of Salvia glutinosa can be an item of interest and might have found a place in Herbs in Bloom.
Excellent color photographs illustrate the entries throughout, as would be expected for a volume from Timber Press, and there are some black and white drawings illustrating landscape features. These drawings are good but not of the same quality as the photographs or of the same quality as drawings found in other books published by Timber Press. The style of herbs in Bloom flows easily, a pleasant surprise given the heavy and highly romanticized style of many books devoted to subjects from the garden.
Herbs in Bloom belongs in the personal library of anyone interested in herbs or in flower gardening. It is highly appropriate for university libraries and for the reading lists of horticulture classes. Listing this work as a supplemental item for an introductory plant biology class might help some students to bridge the gap between botany and their everyday experiences, increasing their interest in both subjects. Because the author's garden is situated on Cape Breton Island, and because she is using her own experience in choosing the herbs discussed, the book will be most useful for those gardening in USDA zones 5 and 6, as the author herself states. In spite of this, this book should be useful over a wider geographic range where many of these plants will grow, particularly when combined with information on the cultivation requirements of these plants when they are grown outside these zones.
- Douglas Darnowski, Department of Crop Science, University of Illinois, Urbana IL 61801.
The Plantfinder's Guide to Ornamental Grasses Grounds, Roger 1998 ISBN 0-88192451-2 (cloth U.S. $34.95) 192 pp Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
The grasses are the most farmed, yet one of the least gardened of the major families of flowering plants. This book will go a long way toward balancing that equation. It is an excellent manual for gardeners in the United Kingdom and has reasonably good application in other temperate areas as well. This regionality is probably necessary in any gardening book but it does imply a bit of myopia to those of us who think globally about grasses.
Although the book is clearly aimed at, and applies best to the UK, there are attempts to make it more broad such as the hardiness zone map of the US in appendix VII. The taxonomy is surprisingly current in comparison with what is normally seen in the trade and there are excellent discussions of grass taxonomy and biology that should play well to the lay audience. The nicely written text of the book is greatly aided by more than I 00 excellent photographs. It is essentially a treatise on a wide array of garden design philosophies and types, illustrated using an exhaustive compendium of the cultivars available to the UK gardener.
There are problems in some of the descriptions of biology, for example: "an ovary at the tip of which are three stamens and two stigmas", Elymus is included with the 'warm season species', the author seems to have missed some of the point on dispersal mechanisms, and I would have liked to have seen 'caryopsis' used in the fruit description. Cyperaceae, Juncaceae and Typhaceae are included as well and the descriptions of those families are somewhat more lacking in breadth (e.g. both the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae are said to be restricted to temperate and sub-arctic regions). However, on the whole, the author provides a good introduction to general themes in the grasses and similar looking families in cultivation.
A slightly more insidious problem, common to many gardening books, lurks beneath the surface here as well. This is advocacy for exotic diversity in cultivation with little regard for the consequences. Although the author does a good job of explaining the difference between the running bamboos and their potential to be pests, as opposed to the sympodial bamboos whose structure and biology make them fundamentally safe to grow in general, he does little to dissuade the reader from planting species of grasses that are known pests in the UK and other areas of the world. There are many common sense remarks with regard to spread within a garden but the issue of non-native germplasm and introduction of pest plants is not really addressed, One of the most high profile species in the book (Imperata cylindrical is known widely as one of the world's worst weeds. The planting of less vigorous cultivars is sometimes encouraged in the book but its regionality makes the arguments weak.
The book is really an impressive work and it will expand the horizons of most gardeners. It is clearly a book for lay readers and it will serve that audience well.
- Gerald "Stinger" Guala, Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, FL 33156
Introduction to Plant Physiology Hopkins, William G. 1999 ISBN 0-471-19281-3 (cloth US $97.95) 2nd Edition, 512 pp Wiley Publishers, 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158.
With the increase in use of the powerful tools of molecular biology, plant physiology has been a very active field in recent years. It is more important than ever that students who are interested in botany have a good grasp of this discipline. To this end, William Hopkins presents a text with a focus on the fundamental concepts of plant physiology.
The book consists of 23 chapters and is divided into four parts: Plants, Water, and Minerals; Plants, Energy and Carbon; Regulation of Plant Development; and Stress Physiology and Biotechnology. The text is well-written and is at the appropriate level for second year undergraduates and above. Many of the topics are presented within a historical perspective, which I find quite useful in upper level undergraduate courses.
The diagrams in this book are very effective and should provide a good learning aid to students. Many of the figures are directly from the scientific literature, but the author has redrawn some of them. For instance in the section on phototropism, the author replots a potentially confusing photon fluence-response curve into a figure easily understandable to the reader.
Each chapter concludes with a list of references cited. and additional suggestions for further reading (review articles and/or books). The author seems to make a point of including some current (to 1997) references in his list.
Since my area of research is plant gravitational biology, I took a closer look at this section (excuse my bias). The author did a good job in presenting the status of the field and in examining the controversies of the starch-statolith hypothesis. Quite nicely, the use of spaceflight research to answer fundamental questions in this area also is discussed. He included statements such as: "These provocative ideas will no doubt stimulate further interest and research into the mechanics of gravisensing and the initial stages in signal transduction." What a wonderful concept to give to students: that research in these areas is ongoing and that plant physiology is not a static collection of knowledge! In fact, the author does this throughout the book, and at many times indicates areas of active research and possible future directions.
Some brief comparisons to the other leading textbooks in plant physiology may be warranted. The longtime classic Plant Physiology by Salisbury and Ross is good but may be a bit dated (fourth edition, 1991) for many instructors' needs. The second edition (1998) of Plant Physiology by Taisei and Geiger also is very nice but is different from the book by Hopkins. Taisei and Geiger is about 800 pages and Hopkins is about 500 pages long. Thus, the former book is more detailed and has a much longer list of references while the latter takes more of a fundamentals-of-plant-physiology approach. Since the topics in both are fairly comparable, Hopkins might be better for a sophomore-level course while Taisei and Seigneur may be more suitable for an advanced undergraduate/graduate class. As always, the question comes down to approach of the instructor and the nature of the course.
In summary, Introduction to Plant Physiology by Hopkins is a good-quality, well-illustrated, up-to-date treatment of the field. I enjoyed reading it and am sure students will find it to be a useful textbook.
- John Z. Kiss, Botany Dept., Miami Univ., Oxford OH 45056
Phytomedicines of Europe: Chemistry and Biological Activity. ACS Symposium Series 691. Larry D. Lawson and Rudolf Bauer, editors. 1998. ISBN 0-8412-3559-7 (cloth US$115.00) 324 pages. Proceedings of the 212th ACS National Meeting. Published by the American Chemical Society, distributed by Oxford University Press, 198 Madison). Ave., New York NY 10016.
Recently, a colleague questioned the validity of Phytomedicines, since much research shows ambiguous results. I argued for continued Phytomedicinal research, pointing out that experimental differences are often due to different plant cultivars, confused nomenclature, varying concentrations, or preparation methodology. Despite my arguments, he remained unconvinced, and his attitude has continued to bother me. How can a person and his society consume aspirin in hopes that it will decrease the risk of heart attacks, yet refuse to consider that plant chemicals may cure or diminish medical problems plaguing humans? I wish I had the information presented in this book to strengthen my arguments. One of the most compelling statements (Wagner, p. 46) is that of the "2000 registered human diseases and disorders, only about 40% can be cured." Further, most of our current drugs treat the disease symptoms, not, the causes, and may be toxic to the users. Clearly, more conscientious research and consumer education are desperately needed in this area.
Despite the title, Phytomedicines of Europe has a global audience. Although the first four chapters offer a perspective on Phytomedicinal regulatory and market status in the U.S. and Europe, 85% of the book is devoted to research on specific diseases or effects of specific plants. The book does not focus on pure compounds industrially extracted (e.g. digoxin, vinblastine), but centers on other herbal medicines.
The specific effects section contains five chapters devoted to Phytomedicinal research and treatment of allergic asthma, hypertension, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cancer and AIDS. There is also a chapter on plant laxatives. These chapters offer short, easily understandable sections on the biological problems and causes of the diseases, and the pharmacological effects of the Phytomedicinals. For example, in the benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) chapter, Schilcher describes the BPH symptoms and both pathological and histological changes. The author also compares synthetic drugs and herbal prostate drugs, and discusses the active principles and proposed mechanisms of several herbal drugs used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, including pumpkin seeds, nettle, saw palmetto, and rye pollen.
The last twelve chapters cover effects of specific plants. These plants include Arnica, turmeric, Echinacea, feverfew, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, hawthorn, milk thistle, mistletoe, St. John's Wort and Vitex agnus-castus. While the chapters may include different types of material (e.g. some chapters have historical information), almost all chapters include the plant's active principles (although some are still unidentified), and the known pharmacological effects. Most chapters include some chemical structures, and some include TLC or HPLC information. The entire text is well-referenced with recent research. Even chemists who blanch at biology and biologists that cower at chemistry should easily comprehend the various principles advanced. The book also contains an excellent subject index.
This text is a wake-up call to American researchers, pharmaceutical companies, physicians and consumers. Tyler mentions (p. 4) that of the 14 top-selling U.S. phytomedicinals, 2/3 are popular mostly because of European research. Even more astonishing, goldenseal is the third best-seller although there is basically no good research on its actions. Despite our American love of a purified drug in a nice, easy-to-swallow pill, phytomedicinal sales are booming in this country. Because of its importance to human health, the field of phytomedicinals in the U.S. should no longer carry the astigmatism of mysticism or quack medicine, but be included as a rational part of our research and health care.
- Michelle A. Briggs, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA 17701
World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers Farjon, Aijos, 1998. ISBN 1-900347-54-7 (softback, E 30.00) 298 pages, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK.
Aijos Farjon is Curator of Gymnosperms at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the author of several books and papers on the taxonomy of conifers, in particular Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. The scope of this "World Checklist" is limited to the extant conifers, and thus excludes the ginkgo, cycads, the three gnetalean genera, and all taxa known only from fossils. The checklist includes 8 families, 68 genera, 629 species, 176 infraspecific taxa, 3225 (!) synonyms, and 73 names of uncertain application. Accepted families, genera, and species are arranged alphabetically. Each family is given a page or two Of introductory text, briefly covering generic diversity, geographic distribution, ecology, fossil history, and selected references. Likewise, each genus is accompanied by a summary paragraph. Every accepted name includes a complete citation of the authority and place of publication, growth form (decumbent shrub, shrub, tree), and the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) status. Geographic distribution is summarized in two ways: in narrative form and in coded form using a scheme published by the International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases (DWG). It is unfortunate that the IUCN "criteria codes" and the TDWG numerical coding for geographic areas are not included in the text. It would not have taken more than a page or two to add these to the introduction. I refer the reader to <http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/iucnredlists/criteria.htm> and <http://www.brit.org/ft/eir.htm> for assistance in deciphering these codes.
It is instructive to compare Farjon's treatment of Pinus with a concurrently published classification (Price, Liston, and Strauss, 1998). Farjon recognizes 108 species, while Price et al. recognize 111. These similar numbers hide a larger number of disagreements. There are respectively seven and ten species that are accepted in one list but not the other. With one exception, the "missing" species can be found as synonyms or infraspecific taxa, and thus can be considered examples of taxonomic differences of opinion. The exception is Farjon's acceptance of Pinus hakkodensis as a species. It has long been recognized (cf. Ohwi, 1965) as a hybrid between P. pumila and P. parviflora, and consequently is not included in Price et al. On the other hand, I find that Farjon's treatment of the Mexican pinyon pines (following Farjon and Styles, 1997) is more satisfactory than that of Price et al.
A unique and valuable feature of this checklist is the exhaustive synonymy. Each synonym is listed twice, first under the accepted name, and again in an alphabetical list (with designation of the appropriate accepted name) at the end of each genus. Compiling the synonymy was no small task. For example, Pinus mugo, with 3 recognized subspecies, has ca. 175 synonyms. Remarkably, this massive nomenclatural synthesis resulted in only one new combination, Larix griffithii var. speciosa.
An unadvertised bonus is the line drawings representing 26 conifer genera. These include reproductions from a variety of sources in addition to several excellent original drawings by the author and others. A particular effort has been made to include illustrations of rare and monotypic genera of conifers. Finding a particular illustration can be a challenge, as they are often far-removed from the corresponding text of the genus, and are not included in the table of contents or index.
Farjon writes that "few other major plant groups enjoy so much attention in the literature." Thus, by necessity, the "Bibliography of Conifers" is extremely selective, and only ca. 270 references are cited. Persons interested in a more comprehensive bibliography are referred to Farjon (1990) which includes 2130 references. However, the author notes that he already has on file an additional 800 titles, and he estimates that there could be over 4500 references relevant to the taxonomy of conifers! Considering that there are only 629 species, this is a remarkable figure.
Two major trends in contemporary plant systematics appear to be heading in opposite directions. One is the production of regional and global checklists of plant names. These initiatives share a common goal: to provide an authoritative and accessible index to plant diversity. The Kew-based World Checklist and Bibliography series (the present volume is the third to appear) is one of five international checklist Programs described in the preface. In addition, a large number of regional efforts are underway. These efforts share an interest in nomenclatural stability, although the large number of concurrent efforts guarantees some divergence of taxonomic opinion.
At the same time, an increasing number of plant systematists are conducting DNA sequence-based studies employing cladistic methodology. One consequence of these phylogenetic studies is the taxonomic re-evaluation of hundreds of plant groups. Until recently, many (but not all) systematists were reluctant to make nomenclatural changes based on their molecular results. However, as phylogenetic hypotheses based on multiple molecular (as well as morphological) data sources become available for more and more taxa, systematists appear to be losing their reticence about making the pertinent nomenclatural changes. I fear that the efforts toward nomenclatural stability, as exemplified by this book, may be inundated by a tsunami of name changes propelled by current phylogenetic studies. Despite this concern, well executed checklists - as exemplified here - remain an essential enterprise in the ongoing efforts to document global biological diversity.
- Aaron Liston, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis
I thank Nir Gil-ad for his helpful comments.
Farjon, A. 1990. A bibliography of conifers. Regnum Vegetabile Vol. 122. Koeltz Scientific Books, Koenigstein, Germany'
Fadon, A. and B. T. Styles. 1997. Pinus (Pinaceae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 75. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.
Ohwi, J. 1965. Flora of Japan (in English). F. G. Meyer and E. H. Walker (eds.). Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Price, R. A., A. Liston, and S. H. Strauss. 1998. Phylogeny and systematics of Pinus. In D. M. Richardson (ed.), Ecology and biogeography of Pinus, pp. 49-68. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Sierra Nevada Wildflowers Horn, Elizabeth L., 1998. ISBN 0-87842-388-5 (Paperback U.S. $16.00) 225 pp Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1301 S. Third Street W., P.O. Box 2399, Missoula, Montana 59806.
This is a lovely little guide to the wonderful flora of the Sierra Nevada range. The author displays an intimate familiarity with the Sieffas and the wildflowers that grow there. The book begins with a capsule overview of Sierra Nevada geography, geology and ecological zones. The plant community descriptions are concise and accurate and are accompanied by several nice habitat photos. There is also a brief treatise on the problems associated with common names and the importance of using scientific names. Included in the back of the book is a rudimentary glossary along with some illustrated botanical terms. Unexpected in a wildflower guide but nonetheless welcome is an easy key and illustrated guide to identifying Sierran conifers.
7be bulk of the book is, of course, the descriptions and photos of the wildflowers. Wildflower here is interpreted to include some shrubs and even a few trees (mountain dogwood; Joshua tree). The descriptions are on evennumbered pages with associated photos placed on facing pages. This convenient layout seems to be a consistent feature of Mountain Press books, as it was also noted in a review by Una Smith of another of their wildflower guides in the Winter 1998 PSB. Plants are arranged alphabetically by scientific name within common family name. Nomenclature follows the Jepson Manual (Hickman 1993). Each new family section begins with a brief description of the family, including its distribution, approximate number of species and general characteristics. In a nice touch for the layman, Hom includes the names of familiar species within the family having ornamental, medicinal or agricultural importance. The species descriptions generally include distinctive plant characters and often habitat information. Bloom periods are frequently (but not consistently) listed. Hom often includes bonus information about a plant: how humans use it, who first collected it, or perhaps the derivation of its name.
Any popular guide can illustrate only a fraction of the plants present in a particular area. For the most part, Hom has chosen a fine variety of Sierran wildflowers; most Of my favorites (and I have many) are there. She has included representatives of a few more difficult and speciose genera such as Ceanothus, Eriogonum, Lupinus and Potentilla (all with 4 species pictured) which will be difficult to identify by the descriptions and photos alone. She has also included one species each of Ericameria and Chrysothamnus, although Jepson lists 7 and 6 species respectively of these genera in the Sierra. These last two taxa are notoriously difficult even for trained botanists and are considered by some authors to be congeneric (Nesom and Baird 1993; Anderson 1995). A word of caution about hasty identifications within these difficult groups might be in order for the casual user.
The photographs themselves are virtually all by the author and range from good to excellent in terms of their usefulness for plant identification. Quite a few are accompanied by insets showing some additional aspect of the plant (e.g. fruit, flower) or a related species. There are a few photos that provide close-up details. I noted only two cases where the photos were of almost no value for identification(Yucca brevifolia and Artemisia tridentata); not bad for nearly 300 photographs. One tiny lapse after her careful warning about common names is the identification of sky pilot, rather than Polemonium eximium, as a Sierran endemic. The common name is also applied to a different species (P. viscosissimum) in the Rocky Mountains. This is a perfect example of why many botanists abhor common names! But this is nitpicking in a popular guide, especially one so well done. A list of selected references is thoughtfully provided; I wish more popular guides would do so. Last but not least, Hom has avoided the cumbersome and annoying practice of separating common and scientific names into separate indices; a single index saves time and paper. I asked to review this book because I thought it might be a good way to vicariously revisit the mountains I love and miss so much. I was not disappointed. If you are looking for a good popular guide to the wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada for yourself or as a gift, Hom's book is a beauty.
- Jan Barber, Department of Botany, The University of Texas, Austin 78713
Anderson, L.C. 1995. The Chrysothamnus-Ericameria connection (Asteraceae). Great Basin Nat. 55: 84-88.
Hickman, J.C., ed. 1993. The Jepson Manual: higher plants of California. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley.
Nesom, G.L. and G.I. Baird. 1993. Completion of Ericameria Asteraceae Astereae diminution of Chrysothamnus. Phytologia 75: 74-93.
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 (15 February, 15 May, 15 August or 15 November of the appropriate year). Send e-mail to <email@example.com>, call or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list, because they go quickly! - Ed.
* = book in review or declined for review
** = book reviewed in this issue
The Anatomy of the Dicotyledons Cutler, D.F., and Gregory, Mary, eds. 1998. ISBN 0-12-854792-7 (cloth US$175.00) 324 pp. Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016.
Ecology of Sonoran Desert Plants and Plant Communities Robichaux, Robert H., ed. 1999. ISBN 0-8165-1869-6 (cloth US$45) 312 pp. The University of Arizona Press, 1230 N. Park Ave., Suite 102, Tucson AZ 85719.
Edwin Lincoln Mosely (1865-1948): Naturalist, Scientist, Educator Niederhofer, R.E., and R.L. Stuckey 1998. ISBN 0-9668034-2-6 (cloth US$42 ppd) 320 pp. RLS Creation, Inc. Orders to Relda E. Niederhofer. P.O. Box 184, Sandusky OH 44870.
Genetic and Environmental Manipulation of Horticultural Crops Cockshull, K.E., Gray, D., Seymour, G.B., and Thomas, B., 1998. ISBN 085199-281-1 (cloth US $85.00) 225 pp. Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10016.
John Lindley 1799-1865: Gardener, Botanist, and Pioneer Orchidologist Stearn, William T., ed. 1999. ISBN 1-85149-296-8 (cloth US$59.50) 231 pp. Antique Collector's Club Ltd., Market Street Industrial Park, Wappingers Falls, New York 12590.
Paramos : A Checklist of Plant Diversity, Geographical Distribution, and Botanical Literature Luteyn, James L., 1999. ISBN 0-89327-427-5 (cloth, no price given) 278 pp. (Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, V. 84) New York Botanical Garden Press, Bronx, New York 104585126.
Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach Judd, Walter S., Christopher S. Campbell, Elizabeth A. Kellogg, and Peter F. Stevens, 1999. ISBN 0-87893-404-9 (US$67.95) 464 pp. Sinauer Associates, P.O. Box 407, Sunderland MA 01375-0407.
Principles and Practices in Plant Ecology: Allelochemical Interactions Dakshini, K.M.M., and Foy, Chester, L. eds., 1999. ISBN 0-8493-2116-6 (cloth US $129.95) 589 pp. CRC Press, 2000 Corporate Blvd. NW, Boca Raton, FL 33431-9868
*Shriners & Mahler's Flora of North Central Texas Diggs, George M., Lipscomb, Barney L., and O'Kennon, Robert, J. 1999. ISBN 1-889878-01-4 (cloth US$89.95) 1626 pp. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Inc., 509 Pecan Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102-4060.
*Steyermark's Flora of Missouri Yatskievych, George. 1999 ISBN 1-887247-19-X (cloth US $38.00) 991 pp. Missouri Department of Conservation, 2901 West Truman Boulevard, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180.
The Terrestrial Biosphere and Global Change: Implications for Natural and Managed Ecosystems Walker, B., W. Steffan, J. Canadell, and J. Ingram, eds. 1999. ISBN 0-521-62429-0 (cloth US$ 110) 0-521-62480-0 (paper US$49.95) 439 pp. Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York NY 10011-4211.
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