Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1999 v45 No 3 Fall
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
President's Report, 1999
America Journal of Botany is now online at site http://www.amjbot.org/, and we appreciate all the things Scott Russell did (and continues to do) on this project.
Editor-in-Chief of AJB for the next 5-year term is Karl Niklas. We appreciate his hard work on AJB during his first 5-year term as Editor and are grateful he is willing to continue. Many thanks are due to the Committee to Recommend Individuals as Editor-in-Chief of AJB: Beryl Simpson (Chair), Peter Crane, Ned Friedman, Nels Lersten and Diane Marshall.
Collection of a complete set of AJB that could be scanned for the journal storage project (JSTOR) was successful. Many thanks are due the Mann Library of Cornell University and the various individuals who loaned volumes of AJB to JSTOR for scanning.
The Editor of PSB, Joe Leverich, ends his term of service on 31 December. We are grateful to Joe for all his fine work on PSB. Now, we are faced with the challenge of finding a new Editor of PSB. The Committee to Recommend Individuals as Editor of PSB [Allison Snow (Chair), Donald Galitz and Joe Armstrong] is working on a ranked list of applicants; however, there is still time for you to be considered if you are interested in becoming Editor of PSB.
Two complete sets of PSB have been donated to BSA: one by Sydney Greenfield (Jersey City, NJ) and the other by Herbert Hull (Tucson, AZ). The Society deeply appreciates these gifts.
Contributions to the Karling and Conant Funds were made by many BSA members, and this support for the future generation of botanists is gratefully acknowledged.
The Karling Award Committee is now a BSA standing committee; see report by Jeffrey Osborn, committee chair.
The Conant Committee for 1999 consisted of Dan Crawford (Chair), Judy Jernstedt, Ruth Stockey, Pam Soltis and Brian McCarthy. All their hard work in figuring out how to award the $8,700 in the Conant Fund is appreciated.
Many by-law changes were approved by the BSA membership via a ballot in the 1999 Spring Mailing. The Executive Committee spent many hours reading, thinking and emailing with regard to these by-law changes.
An Annual Meeting Coordinating Committee is now a new BSA standing committee; this is one of the by-law changes recently approved by the BSA membership. The Annual Meeting Coordinating Committee is charged with oversight of all logistical arrangements for the annual meeting.
The Annual Meeting Program Committee is charged with arranging the scientific program for the Society; the Program Director will chair this committee.
Membership in BSA without AJB has been discussed by the Executive Committee, AJB Editorial Board and the AJB ad hoc Task Force, and a few individuals wrote letters or emailed expressing their opinions. The decision has been made to delay any action on this matter until the financial impact of having AJB online can be evaluated.
ASPT decided to established a business office at the University of Wyoming.
BSA received a check for $4,527.00 from AIBS. This money is BSA's share of profits from the 1998 AIBS Meetings in Baltimore; 285 of the 2774 registrants at AIBS indicated they were members of BSA.
The Careers in Botany booklet is slated for revision, and a committee is being formed to work on this project.
Planning for future BSA meetings is being guided by our Program Director, Wayne Elisens, and the Society appreciates all his time, devotion, hard work and clever bargaining. See Wayne's report for an update on Botany-2000 in Portland, OR, and for the status of plans to meet in Albuquerque, NM, in 2001 and Madison, WI, in 2002.
The theme for Botany-2000 is New frontiers in botany, and the Plenary Session Committee for Botany-2000 [Carol Baskin (Chair), Barbara Hoshizaki, Chris Haufler, Wayne Elisens, Clyde Calvin and Brent Mischler] has been working hard.
Many things will be discussed during the course of the 1999 Annual meeting of BSA in St. Louis, including:
Thus, you can see that BSA is an active and vigorous society!
Joint social for CBA/ABC, BSA and SBM at IBC will bring together botanists from northern Canada to southern Mexico (quite a range of latitudes, climates and biomes!) for an evening of food, fun, awards and more (e.g., Doug Soltis will give a talk). It has been a real pleasure working with Denis Barabé (President of CBA/ABC) and Ken Oyama (President of SBM) to help Wayne Elisens and Peter Hoch organize this event.
The BSA membership greatly appreciates the opportunity to hold its 1999 Annual Meeting in Conjunction with IBC. Further, we express our deep gratitude to Peter Raven, Peter Hoch, Barbara Kitrel and Barbara Schaal for all their efforts in organizing IBC and facilitating the 1999 Annual Meeting of BSA.
I appreciate the honor of being President of BSA. The members of the Executive Committee, members of the Council, Chairs of the Committees, Editors, Business Manager and Representatives to Other Organizations are dedicated, hard-working people, and it has been a privilege and a joy to serve the Society with them.
- Carol C. Baskin
Past President's Report
The Past President chairs the Corresponding and Election Committees (see separate reports), evaluates nominations for the Young Botanist Awards, and organizes the Past President's Symposium.
1) Young Botanist Awards. Nominations for the 1999Young Botanist Awards were evaluated by a local committee, consisting of Spencer C.H.Barrett and Nancy G. Dengler, University of Toronto. Of a total of 22 nominations, 15 received certificates for Special Achievement as Young Botanists and 4 received Recognition as Young Botanists. Overall, the committee was very impressed by the dedication, enthusiasm and accomplishments of these young people and selected those actively involved in research or other special projects for recognition for Special Achievement. We thank Kim Hiser for looking after sending letters and certificates to all awardees early in May so that this recognition by the Botanical Society of America could be made public at the time of graduation.
2) Past President's Symposium. The 1999 Past President's symposium is organized as a general symposium of the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. The theme of the symposium is "Leaf morphogenesis: from classical morphology to molecular biology" The goal of the symposium is to integrate knowledge gained from different approaches to the study of leaf development, including comparative morphology, mutant characterization, clonal analysis of genetic mosaics, and molecular biology, in order to evaluate the current state of knowledge and to identify future directions. . Speakers include Don Kaplan (UC Berkeley), Rob Martienssen (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories), Michael Marcotrigiano (University of Massachusetts), Michael Freeling (UC Berkeley), Neelima Sinha (UC Davis) and Darleen DeMason (UC Riverside). The symposium will be introduced by Hirokazu Tsukaya, University of Tokyo and funding from the Botanical Society of America will be acknowledged.
Nancy G. Dengler
BSA Program Director Report
Planning visit for 1999 meeting: There was no planning visit for the 1999 meeting with IBC-16.
Coordination and assembly of materials for the annual meeting program: General information for 1999 meeting. Because the 1999 meeting was held in conjunction with the XVI International Botanical Congress and the program was subsumed into the IBC meeting, a "General Information" flyer was included in the fall 1998 BSA mailing. The flyer included information about the nature of the 1999 IBC scientific program, submission of contributed posters, and procedures for scheduling BSA sectional business meetings and social events.
Call for Symposia. There was no "Call for Symposia" distributed for the 1999 meeting. A "Call for Symposia" for the 2000 meeting was posted on the BSA website and distributed in the spring 1999 mailing with a proposal submission deadline of 1 July 1999. Symposium proposals were submitted to sponsoring sections and then forwarded to the BSA Program Director.
Call for Workshops. A "Call for Workshops" for the 2000 meeting was posted on the BSA website and distributed in the spring 1999 mailing with a proposal deadline of 15 October 1999. This is the first call for workshops ever initiated by BSA.
Call for Papers .There was no "Call for Papers" distributed for the 1999 meeting.
AJB Abstract Supplement. There was no abstract supplement for 1999.
The 1999 program: Council and business meetings, and social functions: There was no scientific program for the 1999 meeting. The final BSA program consisted of the pre-meeting Executive Committee meeting (Saturday, 31 July), Council meeting (Sunday 1 August), Business meeting (Tuesday 3 August), AJB editorial board luncheon (Tuesday 3 August), Social for North American botanists at the Missouri Botanical Garden (Thursday 5 August), and the post-meeting Executive Committee meeting (Saturday 7 August).
There was no separate Past-President's symposium for 1999 (see above). The "Social for North American botanists" is cosponsored by the Canadian Botanical Association (CBA/ABC) and the Sociedad Botánica de México (SBM). An address by the president-elect, Doug Soltis, will be presented at the social.
Editor's Report, Plant Science Bulletin
Joe Leverich, Editor
Editor's Report, American Journal of Botany
1 An average of 152 pages per issue; 15 articles per issue; 10 pages per article.
3Does not include 58 "split decision" manuscripts currently out for revision by authors (see footnote 4).
4 Out of the 298 manuscripts received this budget year, 135 (> 45%) received a "split decision"; rejection rate in this category was ~ 40% (rejection rate is otherwise 25%).
Our "receipt to publication" statistic can be improved in only one of two ways: increase rejection rate or increase number of pages (and cost) per issue.
Editorial Committee for Volume 45
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
Reports from the Committees
BSA Annual Meeting Committee
The 1999 Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the International Botanical Congress held at America's Center, St. Louis, MO from 1-7 August 1999.
The scientific program and fieldtrips were subsumed into the IBC program. The BSA meeting program only consisted of the following social events and meetings: Executive Committee meeting (Sat, 31 July; 2:00 to 6:30 PM), Council meeting (Sun, 1 Aug, 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM), Business meeting (Tues, 3 Aug, 7:30 to 9:00 AM), AJB Editorial Board Luncheon (Tues, 3 Aug, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM), Social for North American Botanists (Thurs, 5 Aug, 7:00 to 10:00 PM) at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Executive Committee meeting (Sat, 7 Aug, 4:30 to 6:30 PM). There is no Past-President's symposium. The address of the President-Elect, Dr. Doug Soltis, will take place during the Social for North American Botanists.
Wayne Elisens, Chair
Archives and History Committee
The archival material is still in the possession of Jim Mauseth in Austin, Texas, and no new material has been received over the course of the year. Over the past year, the Committee has dealt with two requests for information, one concerning the history of the Darbaker Award, the other concerning the role of the University of Wisconsin, and particularly Charles Reid Barnes, in the foundation of the Society.
Alan Whittemore, Chair
Conant Travel Award Committee
The Conant Committee (Judy Jernstedt, Brian McCarthy, Pamela Soltis, Ruth Stockey, and Dan Crawford) awarded travel grants to 31 people in support of attendance at the International Botanical Congress. Three awardees are nontenured professionals, two are postdoctorals, 20 are graduate students. Recipients include attendees from three foreign countries. Awards of $325 were made to those traveling from greater distances and $225 were made to those within one travel day of St. Louis. The awardees giving posters were asked to display the BSA logo and acknowledgement of Conant Travel grants in a corner of their posters, and those presenting symposia papers were asked to mention the support.
Dan Crawford, Chair
This year our activities included:
Kayri Havens, Chair
Corresponding Members Committee
The Corresponding Members Committee is forwarding three nominations to BSA Council for approval.
Prof. Friedrich Ehrendorfer -- Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Austria
Friedrich Ehrendorfer has made many significant contributions to plant systematics and evolution, including numerous original research papers and important syntheses in reviews and book chapters. His research has incorporated karyotypic studies, phenetic and cladistic analyses of morphological characters, enzyme electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing. He is widely recognized for his work on the evolution of insular floras, chromosome evolution, and the adaptive significance of major taxonomic characters. Prof. Ehrendorfer has influenced generations of students and colleagues through his enthusiasm and broad knowledge of plants, as well as service of director of the Institute of Botany and of the Botanical Garden, University of Vienna, and as editor of Plant Systematics and Evolution. (Nomination by Tod Stuessy, supporting letters from Mark Chase, Dan Crawford, Jeff Doyle, Doug Soltis, Pam Soltis.)
Prof. Wolfgang Hagemann -- Institute of Systematic Botany and Plant Geography, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Wolfgang Hagemann is widely recognized for his original and insightful contributions to plant morphology. He has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of shoot apical meristems and leaf development. Prof. Hagemann has elucidated the basic morphological principles of meristem behavior in both pteridophytes and seed plants, emphasizing the evolutionary context of developmental patterns. He also has made major contributions in the area of theoretical plant morphology, including the "organismal"nature of land plant construction, a view that has influenced many molecular biologists. He has hosted numerous international colleagues and has been a stimulating mentor to many students.(Nomination by Stefan Gleissberg, supporting letters from Peter Endress, Ryoko Imaichi, Judy Jernstedt, Don Kaplan)
Prof. Jerzy Rzedowski - Centro Regional del Bajio, Instituto de Ecologia, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico
Jerzy Rzedowski's extensive analyses of the ecology and phytogeography of the Mexican flora have culminated in the widely used Vegetacion de Mexico, floristic studies such as the two volume Flora Fanerogamica des Valle de Mexico (prepared jointly with Graciela Calderon de Rzedowski), and the multivolumed Flora del Bajio. He has also contributed significantly to the taxonomy of the Burseraceae and Compositae, and to the history of Mexican botany. Included amongst his major achievements is the development of the herbarium of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional as an outstanding research herbarium with over 200,000 specimens. Dr Rzedowski is widely recognized for his generosity to foreign botanists and for inspiring generations of students. (Nomination by Shirley Graham, Allan Graham, supporting letters from Chris Anderson, John Beaman, Richard Spellenberg)
Nancy G. Dengler, Chair
The committee continued work on several major projects:
Improvement of Pre-College Science Education
GOAL: To support the improvement of science education through participation at conventions of science teachers.
STATUS: Again this year, the Education Committee and the Teaching Section cooperated in representing the BSA at annual meetings of the National Association of Biology Teachers in Reno, NV (November 4-7, 1998) and the National Science Teachers Association in Boston (March 24-28, 1999). Rob Reinsvold has written a full report of these activities which are summarized here.
NABT: Rob Reinsvold and Ethel Stanley presented a workshop for secondary and community college teachers, "Leave It to the Plants." The room had a capacity of 50 persons but an additional 30-40 teachers stood around the edges of the room. Teachers asked for more workshops of this type.
NSTA: Rob, Ethel, and J. Shipman staffed the BSA booth. This was strategically located adjacent to booths sponsored by ASPP, American Phytopathological Society, Wisconsin Fast Plants, and C-Fern. This area was dubbed "The Plant Place" by convention participants and was very popular. Conference attendance totaled 21,154 teachers (of all the sciences) and we had direct contact with approximately 1,500 of them. Visitors to our booth started their own pocket gardens which were attached to their name badges. Each "garden" had an onion set with a label containing the BSA logo and the URL of our web site. In the course of several days the onion sets produced roots and shoots and the teachers learned how they could be used to teach a variety of principles of plant biology. A survey of booth visitors indicated a need for more workshops and hands-on plant lessons. Rob's excellent report contains more details.
This outreach was supported by a $5,000 appropriation to our committee by last year's Council. The success of this outreach effort attests to the need for expansion of these efforts. Rob and Ethel have been accepted as workshop presenters at the 1999 meeting of NABT, October 27-30 in Fort Worth, TX. We will not have a booth at that meeting because we missed the reservation deadline. The appropriation requested below includes funds for a booth at the NABT meeting in 2000 (October 25-28, Orlando, FL) because we must reserve space and pay for it before next summer's meeting of Council. If funds are appropriated (motion below), we will participate again at the NSTA meeting, April 6-9, 2000 in Orlando, FL. Again, we have asked to be located adjacent to the other societies. If we can find BSA members who are willing to attend regional conferences of these organizations, we want to encourage that.
Motion: That the Council approves a sum, not to exceed $10,400 (for travel, lodging, registration fees, and booth rental) for selected BSA members to attend national, regional, or state meetings of organizations like the National Association of Biology Teachers and National Science Teachers Association for the purpose of presenting workshops on plant biology in the K-12 curriculum and distributing educational materials in support of expanding the quantity and quality of plant biology. The proposed budget:
1999-2000 PROPOSED BUDGET
*Expenses at NSTA are higher because it is a much larger conference (more attendees) and, therefore, tends to be in places that charge more for exhibit space.
If the Council approves the expenditure, the Education Committee will select members to represent BSA in these activities and will authorize payments upon proof that the workshops and other outreach activities were performed as proposed.
Digitized Botanical Images
GOAL: To digitize the BSA's collection of 35mm slides, then to make the images available through a web page or CD-ROM or both.
STATUS: Thomas W. Jurik (Dept. of Botany, Iowa State University) chaired a subcommittee in charge of this project. Tom and David T. Webb (Botany Dept., University of Hawaii) have finished digitizing the slides. Scott Russell is nearly finished putting them on the BSA website. Temporary access for beta testing is at http://18.104.22.168/bsa/images.html. We have asked for a permanent address and expect to get approval for http://images.botany.org/bsa/images.html. This collection consists of 799 images in 14 categories. Some work on the web site remains to be done, but the initial databases are finished and a search engine is built. Each of the images is available as a thumbnail, medium resolution (640 x 480 range, i.e., a screen-full) and high resolution (1600 x 1200 range, i.e., more than a screen-full!).
Many of the captions need to be expanded now that the slides are available to teachers and students who may not be as familiar with the subject matter. Scott is programming a limited-access editing function so we can expand and correct the captions. We are enlisting the help of several Education Committee members and volunteers in that phase.
The Education Committee (and all members of BSA) are indebted to Tom and David for digitizing the slides and to Scott Russell for designing and mounting the web site. We think all members will find the images useful in their teaching and will be proud of having made this collection available to teachers throughout the world.
The Education Committee wants to expand this collection of images and is working with Scott Russell to determine the best way of doing that in the coming year.
Participation in Workshops of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)
GOAL: The Botanical Society should cooperate with other professional societies in plant biology to improve undergraduate education in the life sciences.
STATUS: David Kramer and Gordon Uno and other members of BSA will be participating in two round table discussions sponsored here at IBC by Project Kaleidoscope. Organized by Susan Singer, these discussions are scheduled for 7 am to 8:45 am on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings in the East Room of the Holiday Inn Select. The goals are "1) to identify critical issues in plant biology education for college and university faculty and 2) to create an agenda for a 3 day plant biology education workshop to be held in Keystone the week of July 16, 2000."
Additional Goals for 1999-2000:
GOAL: To publish hands-on, discovery-type plant biology exercises for use in schools as well as at colleges and universities. These could be published on our website and/or in hard copy.
GOAL: To offer assistance to publishers who are seeking professional review of manuscripts for plant biology books. We want to make sure the plant biology content is correct before it is published.
In addition to its appointed members, the Education Committee has a number of volunteers who help with various projects. Any member who wants to be actively involved with any of the committee projects should contact the chair.
The chair thanks all members and volunteers of the committee for their support and especially thanks the officers of BSA for supporting the work of this committee and encouraging the BSA to be more active in educational outreach.
David W. Kramer, Chair
There were elections for the offices of President-elect and Program Director, with two nominees for each office. Patricia G. Gensel, University of North Carolina, was elected President-elect and Jeffrey M. Osborn, Truman State University, Missouri, was elected Program Director.
Karling Graduate Student Research Award Committee
Purpose and Funding: The purpose of the Karling Graduate Student Research Award is to support and promote graduate student research in the botanical sciences. To be eligible, a student must be a member of the Botanical Society of America (BSA), a registered full-time graduate student, have a faculty advisor who is also a member of the BSA, and not have won the award previously. Funds for the Awards come from interest on the Karling and the BSA Endowment Funds, and from the sale of BSA logo items.
Committee Organization: During the previous two years, Karling proposals were submitted to the BSA Disciplinary Sections, reviewed and ranked by sectional officers, and then forwarded to the BSA Executive Committee for further review and funding decisions. This year has been the first year that the Karling Graduate Student Research Award Committee has been charged with the entire process. The Committee revised and distributed the "Call for Applications," reviewed all proposal submissions, made funding decisions, and communicated with all applicants.
1998-1999 Committee Membership:
1999 Submissions: Forty three proposals for Karling Graduate Student Research Awards were submitted in 1999. A summary of the submissions by BSA sectional affiliation is as follows:
The Committee was generally impressed with the overall quality of the proposals and found that there were a greater number of excellent proposals submitted than there were Awards available.
1999 Awards: Ten Karling Graduate Student Research Awards will be presented at the 1999 BSA 'Banquet.' Each awardee will receive a certificate and a $500 Award. The 1999 awardees are as follows:
1) Ms. Laura Boykin Affiliation: University of New Mexico
2) Ms. Amy B. Carroll
3) Ms. Ranessa L. Cooper
4) Ms. Tara Forbis
5) Ms. Kristina M. Hufford
6) Ms. Tatyana Livshultz
7) Mr. J. Chris Pires
8) Ms. Valerie Reeb
9) Ms. Jennifer A. Tate
10) Mr. Michael Zanis
Membership and Appraisal Committee
An attempt was made to contact approximately 320 members of the Botanical Society of America who had previously agreed to serve as campus representatives for the Society - the responsibilities of representatives are to distribute recruiting materials and promote membership. On average, 65 percent of those contacted responded, with over 90 percent of them agreeing to continue in their role as campus representative. Materials including posters will be distributed prior to the beginning of the academic year. In order to increase the number of representatives, as well as the campuses represented, all members having e-mail addresses will be contacted in late July or August requesting their participation, as well.
Leo P. Bruederle
Merit Awards Committee
Three people were selected to receive BSA Merit Awards for 1999: Dan Crawford, Ohio State University; Barbara Schaal, Washington University; and Tod Stuessy, University of Vienna. These awards will be presented at the BSA Social on Thursday, August 5.
Greg Anderson, Chair
Maynard F. Moseley Award Committee
The Maynard F. Moseley Award was established in 1995 to honor a career of dedicated teaching, scholarship, and service to the furtherance of the botanical sciences.
Committee Structure and Purpose: The purpose of the Award, as stated in Article X, Section 4 (f), is as follows: "Moseley Award" consisting of a chair appointed by the President and two other members, chosen by the President in consultation with the Developmental and Structural Section and Paleobotanical Section chairs, each serving three-year terms with one new member being appointed each year. The prize is awarded to a student who is the sole or senior author of a paper, orally presented in the Developmental and Structural Section or Paleobotanical Section of the annual meeting, that best advances our understanding of the plant anatomy and/or morphology of vascular plants within an evolutionary context.
1998 Award Recipient: Michelle McMahon (Washington State University), for her paper entitled "Corolla-androecium synorganization in the flowers of the tribe Amorpheae (Fabaceae)"
1999 Committee Membership:
1999 Award: A Moseley Award will not be presented in 1999, as the annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the International Botanical Congress (IBC) and the majority of student presentations will be posters. The decision to not present a 1999 Award was made at the 1998 BSA Annual Meeting and took into consideration the formal guidelines for the Moseley Award, logistical issues planned for the IBC that were discussed at the 1998 BSA Council meeting, and the plans for other 1999 BSA student awards.
Jeffrey M. Osborn, Chair
Web Page Committee
The Web Page Committee was formed by a 1998 amendment to the bylaws. The charge of the committee is to maintain the Society's Webpage and advise the President and the Council on policies and changes necessary for effective Internet communications. During the past year, the BSA site there have been over 239,000 page requests from over 100 countries. The web page includes the following major sections (use in % for the past 6 months in parentheses): Announcements (6.23%), Botany in the News! (0.54%), American Journal of Botany (42.63% of which 36.96% is abstract use), Plant Science Bulletin (13.30%, of which 11.79% is full electronic text access), Careers in Botany (6.09%), Botany for the Next Millennium (3.79%), an Online Directory, Annual Meeting Sites (2.97%), Membership Information Pages (bylaws, awards, officers)(1.83%), Section Home Pages (1.51%), WWW Botany Sites (3.53%), and Web Site Statistics (1.13%). The home page accounted for 15.70% of the visits, so the "average visit" reached a depth of five pages. New features: "Botany in the News" gathers articles about plants from the media (usually ABC News, which in contrast to most sites, has a stable archive). Although the archive is not commonly used, the feature is prominently featured on the home page and receives more attention during the school year. The "Careers in Botany" site moved from OU to the BSA server late in April; "Careers" is a very popular site, receiving about 17% of the hits in May and June. Many of the visitors are K-12 students looking for information on careers as part of a school assignment, and others are interested in careers in general. American Journal of Botany abstracts - posted on the BSA server for 1997 and 1998 - became redundant with the opening of the AJB Online site at http://www.amjbot.org/ on January 15, 1999. Past abstracts have now been removed from the BSA server and a hyperlink has been placed on the error page to the abstract site at AJB Online.
New initiatives: (1) The Teaching Section's Slide Collection has been digitized largely through the efforts of Tom Jurik, Dave Webb and David Kramer, in cooperation with the Teaching Section and the Education Committee and the Webmaster. This has been mounted on a new server at OU located at: http://images.botany.org/bsa/. This server is a Pentium 120 operating under Linux providing a convenient interface to the 799 current images. If anyone has a newer computer that can be devoted to this, let me know! We hope to continue this through purchasing a slide scanner and soliciting future donation of teaching images. (2) The "Ask-a-Botanist" project has grown out of the one or two questions per day that I get on plants during the school term! Botanists are now accessible. I am planning to develop a listserv/website interface that will direct questions to a panel of botanist volunteers. The questions and their answers will be posted through the BSA web site. (3) We hope to develop further teaching resources to be available via the web pages on teaching using plants. (4) If you know anyone who would be particularly appropriate to serve as a member of this committee, please let Doug know, as we are still organizing this committee under our new "permanent committee" status.
Scott Russell, Webmaster and Chair
Ad Hoc Committee for the Endowment
Prior to the 1998 BSA Annual Meeting, then-President Nancy Dengler appointed a special ad hoc committee of six members to explore ways for significantly increasing the BSA endowment, especially the Conant Travel Fund and the Karling Graduate Research Fund. An immediate goal was to solicit contributions to the Conant Fund to support attendance at the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis.
A letter from the Committee requesting donations was included in the 1998 fall mailing to approximately 2,700 BSA members (all categories). Thirty-six members responded to this plea, with contributions ranging from $10 to $500, thereby raising $1,480 for the Conant Fund and $1,470 for the Karling Fund. Another $1,281 for the Conant Fund and $116 for the Karling Fund was included with members' renewals at the end of the year.
The challenges for the "development" committee for the coming year(s) include:
Judy Jernstedt, Chair
BSA Meetings Organization ad hoc committee
I. GENERAL ISSUES
II. BOTANY 2000 MEETING. Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR; 6-10 August 2000.
III. BOTANY 2001 MEETING. Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, NM; 12-16 August 2001.
IV. BOTANY 2002 MEETING. Pyle and Lowell Conference Centers and UW campus buildings, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 3-8 August 2001.
V. BOTANY 2003 MEETING. southeastern USA, particularly near Gulf or Atlantic Coasts under consideration.
VI. BOTANY 2004 meeting venue open for discussion.
Wayne Elisens, Chair
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
Reports from the Committees
Developmental and Structural Section
This year has been a quiet one in the Developmental and Structural Section of BSA, as the new Chair, Jean Gerrath, learned what was expected of the person in the position. The fact that 1999 is not a normal BSA meeting also meant that there was less activity than normal.
We have created a new Listserv, so that all section members for which we have correct e-mail addresses can be quickly contacted.
We will not hold a Section annual meeting this year, nor will the judging for the Esau Award be carried out. It was decided that we would use our allotment to cover the cost of student registrants at the Congress. Six students applied for help, and all were funded.
Only 1 Symposium suggestion for the Portland Meeting from our section that made the July 1 deadline. It was submitted by Bruce Kirchoff, and is a suggestion for a different symposium format, in which informality and discussion play the major role. The title of his submission is "Open Space". Apparently it works like this. A committee plans a theme. It is organized on site by a previously chosen facilitator who is appropriate to the theme. The theme is advertised, and people come on the day with topics that relate to the theme. Those who provide topics become the conveners, and their sessions may be lectures, discussions, or open floor exchange of ideas. The executive committee is interested encouraging Bruce to try something new that would provide a forum for the exchange of ideas much as happens during the coffee breaks. Like all experiments, it will require thought, planning, and good luck.
Next year will be a more normal one for our section, with the more typical complement of activities.
—Jean Gerrath, Chair
The Ecological Section is sponsoring four symposia at the 1999 International Botanical Congress: "Archeopteris, the world’s first forest tree: biology, ecology and systematics of a late Devonian progymnosperm" co-chaired by Steve Scheckler (Virginia Polytechnic) and B. Meyer-Berthaud; "Developmental phenology and its influence on plant ecology" co-chaired by Maxine Watson (Indiana University) and Heidi Huber (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands); "Rooting strategies and belowground competition" co-chaired by Brenda Casper (University of Pennsylvania) and Hans de Kroon (University of Wageningen, The Netherlands); "Ecology and Evolution of specialized seed dispersal, dormancy and germination strategies" co-chaired by Carol Baskin (University of Kentucky) and Nancy Garwood (Natural History Museum, United Kingdom). At the Section meeting held in August 1998, it was decided that support would be provided in the form of a $300 grant to each foreign speaker participating in these four symposia.
Carolyn Keiffer (Miami University) organized the competition for best student poster and best student paper at the 1998 meetings. Jochen Schenk,(University of California, Santa Barbara) was awarded first prize for best Oral Presentation for his paper entitled "Directional and spatial patterns in a desert plant community." Bruce Robart, (Illinois State University) won first prize for his poster, entitled " Double function pollination as a transitional stage in the evolution of the beaked floral form among taxonomic varieties of Pedicularis bractaeosa". Their awards and checks, for $150, will be presented in St. Louis at the BSA Social on Thursday, August 5, 1999.
—Maxine A. Watson, Chair
Economic Botany Section
1) For the 1999 BSA Meeting at the XVI International Botanical Congress in St Louis we have organized a symposium entitled: "Anthropogenic Plant Migrations: Habitat Transformations by Overt and Inadvertent Introductions" scheduled for Friday, August 6th.
Organizers: David Lentz, Chairperson of EBS/BSA, New York Botanical Garden, C. Edelmira Linares, and Robert Bye, Jardin Botanico del Instituto de Biologia UNAM
Invited speakers for the symposium include:
The Symposium is sponsored jointly by the Economic Botany Section of BSA and the Society for Economic Botany.
2) The Economic Botany Section has decided again to present a $100 award for the best student paper/poster presented for excellence in execution of research and presentation and interpretation of results.
As of March 1999 (per Cash and Section Accounts Report) the Economic Botany Section had $620. Of this balance expected expenditures for this year include:
$100 to be awarded to one student (paper or poster) presented at the International Botanical Congress best fitting the objectives of the Economic Botany Section.
—Daniel Harder, Secretary-Treasurer
The Mycological Section of the BSA did not support any activities at the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis.
Attendance levels and abstract submissions for Mycological Section sessions in recent years have been disappointing. This appears to be due to several factors, including indifference on the part of BSA and MSA members toward the activities of the Mycological Section, lack of coordination between the BSA and MSA regarding abstract submissions, and the fact that in 1996 and 1998 the meetings of the BSA and MSA meeting were held separately.
Because of the low level of activity in the Mycological Section of the BSA, we decided that future Mycological Section activities should be limited to symposia cosponsored by the MSA, presented at joint meetings of the BSA and MSA. It is hoped that the Mycological Section will be able to find other ways to serve as a conduit between the BSA and MSA, outside of the annual meeting.
—David S. Hibbett, Chair
The Paleobotanical Section currently has 351 members (278 regular members, 14 emeritus regular members, 38 affiliate members, 4 emeritus affiliate members, and 17 honorary members). This represents an increase of 8 members since last year.
This year the Section provided support for five symposia at the International Botanical Congress, and awarded registration waivers and banquet tickets for 16 students attending the International Botanical Congress. Members of the Paleobotanical Section submitted approximately 115 abstracts for the International Botanical Congress, including symposium and poster presentations. The section has organized a paleobotanical dinner scheduled for Tuesday August 3, for which 118 persons have registered. The annual business meeting is scheduled for 7:45 AM, Thursday August 5th.
In November 1998, the Paleobotanical Section became a member society of the American Geological Institute, an affiliation that reflects the cross-disciplinary interests of many of our members. During the past year the Paleobotanical Section has been raising money for its various endowment funds, with continued emphasis on the Winfried Remy and Renata Remy Fund. This fund was established in 1997 and will endow the Remy and Remy Award, for the best published paper in Paleobotany or Palynology during the foregoing year.
The Bibliography of American Paleobotany for 1998 was mailed to members and to 39 institutional subscribers in May 1999. Copies will be provided for the BSA Archives and for the editor of the Plant Science Bulletin. Others may purchase copies for $18 each.
The Section continues to maintain a Paleobotany News List (PALEOBOT) on the internet and a homepage on the World Wide Web. To subscribe to the list, interested persons should send an e-mail message to < PALEOBOT@dartmouth.edu containing the following message:
subscribe PALEOBOT your name
The WWW homepage can be visited at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~daghlian/paleo/ or via the BSA homepage.
—Steven R. Manchester, Secretary-Treasurer
Phycological Section 1999
The Phycological section of BSA partially supported two symposia at the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis. Annette Coleman and David Kirk, organizers of the symposium "Volvocales, gateway to physiological and evolutionary analysis of development", received sectional funding to supplement the support obtained from the International Botanical Congress.
The symposium included the following papers:
A second symposium, entitled "Convergent evolution and the systematics of coccoid green algae", was also partially supported by the section. This symposium was organized by Eberhard Hegewald and Louise Lewis, and included the following invited papers:
—Louise A. Lewis, Chair
The 1998 meeting was well attended and the section managed a full paper and poster session at the Baltimore meeting. In addition, a symposium was supported on American Beachgrass. The business meeting was attended by about 10 people and plans were put forth to support student attendance at the IBC and to prepare for our next full meeting in Portland in 2000. Since the 1999 meeting is being held under the auspices of the IBC, the section planned to meet again in a luncheon format in Portland.
—Pete Straub, Chair
I. Activities of Section at 1998 AIBS Meeting
A. Symposium: The Pteridological Section, jointly with the American Fern Society, sponsored a symposium entitled "Conservation Biology of Pteridophytes", organized by Tom Ranker, University of Colorado at Boulder. Thirteen invited presentations were scheduled on a broad range of topics.
A good time was had by all.
B. Contributed paper session: Eight papers were presented in the contributed paper session.
II. Support for the Annual Review of Pteridological Research
The Pteridological Section continued its tradition of providing financial support for the publication of the Annual Review of Pteridological Research, published jointly by the BSA Pteridological Section and the International Association of Pteridologists. For the publication of Volume 11, 1997, a contribution of $400 was made and for the upcoming publication of Volume 12, 1998, a contribution of $300 was made.
III. Planned activities for the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis, MO, August 1999.
The Pteridological Section will offer awards for the two best posters presented in pteridology and four awards will be offered to students of pteridology to help defray the cost of the meeting registration fee.
—Tom A. Ranker, Secretary/Treasurer
In partial response to the society’s call to action in Botany for the Next Millennium to "promote effective botanical education of K-12", the Education Committee and the Teaching Section sponsored an educational booth at the national conference of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), sponsored a workshop for teachers at NABT (National Association of Biology Teachers) and joined other plant biology societies in a symposium on botanical literacy organized by CELS (Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences). All these activities had a significant impact and placed BSA in the forefront of the efforts to promote greater awareness of the fundamental importance of plants to society and scientific advancement.
CELS Workshop "Toward Literacy in Plant Biology" July 2, 1998 Madison, WI
The Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences (CELS) organized a one-day workshop that brought together representatives of eleven different professional organizations interested in improving public awareness and literacy of plants and plant biology. The two goals of the workshop were 1) to broaden the discussion of what should be taught about plants and plant biology in a general life science curriculum and 2) to encourage the improvement in teaching and instructional materials using plants. The organizations represented included Botanical Society of America, American Society of Plant Physiologist, American Phytopathological Society, American Society of America, Coalition for Education in the Life Sciences, Association of College and University Biology Educators, Society for Developmental Biology, BioQUEST, American Institute of Biological Sciences, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and Crop Science Society of America.
John Markwell of ASPP presented ASPP’s Twelve Principles of Plant Biology to initiate the discussion. These principles are now available on their website and have been connected to national and state content standards. Representing BSA, Rob Reinsvold and Ethel Stanley shared the perspectives of BSA on formal and informal education in botany. Copies of Botany for the Next Millennium were distributed to all participants. The other societies expressed their willingness to collaborate with BSA, ASPP, and CELS to advance botanical education at all levels (K-college).
NABT Workshop "Leave it to the Plants" presented at annual meeting NABT, Nov 4-7, 1998, Reno, NV.
To promote the educational outreach goals of BSA, Rob Reinsvold and Ethel Stanley conducted a workshop for secondary and community college teachers at the national convention of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT). This conference is one of the largest that brings together biology teachers, especially at the K-12 levels. The workshop presented several innovative approaches that presented plants as ideal organisms for teaching unifying concepts of biology. These activities explored concepts in ecology, development, biochemistry, and adaptation by considering the leaves on a tree as a population.
The workshop had a room capacity of 50 although at least 30-40 people additional people stood around the edges. These participants express the general need for more plant-related workshops and lessons. Teachers want more than the standard review of prepared slides. They also do not want lessons that introduce more new terms than most foreign language courses. They appreciated BSA for taking a proactive role in botanical education.
NSTA Booth, annual meeting of NSTA, Mar 24-28, 1999, Boston, MA.
For the second consecutive year, BSA had a visible presence at the National Science Teachers Association. Last year we shared booth space with American Society of Plant Physiologists. This year, BSA had there own booth in the exhibitor’s hall. Our booth was adjacent to booths sponsored by ASPP, American Phytopathological Society (APS), Wisconsin Fast Plants, and C-Fern. The combined row of booths provided a coordinated effort to promote the use of plants to teach biological principles. We organized all the booths so attendees could flow from one booth to the next.
The total attendance at this convention was 21,154. This included teachers and administrators from Kindergarten through college, representatives from science museums, commercial exhibitors, funding agencies, federal research institutes, and other professional societies. All attendees had access to the booth and BSA received great exposure along with the other plant-related booths. Based on the number of learning activities and BSA bookmarks distributed the BSA display actively engaged at least 1500 teachers. The BSA investment of $3500 (for booth rental, materials, and accomodations of presenters) translates to approximately $2.30 per "engaged teacher". Although the total cost appeared high at first glance, the potential impact was impressive.
To attract teachers to our booth we had several low-cost, hands-on activity at the booth we called "Badge Botany". The participants started their own pocket gardens that we attached directly to their name badge. We used these individual "gardens" to illustrate a wide variety of student activities that could be incorporated into a curriculum to illustrate important biological concepts and scientific investigation. Each pocket garden had the BSA logo and website for future reference. By the end of the conference, the small onion sets had sprouted roots and shoots. Throughout the entire conference center, participants were seen with these pocket gardens hanging from their badges. This attracted more conference attendees to our booth and the other plant-related booths. Soon the our row of booths was referred to as "The Plant Place".
Once we had their attention, we informed the teachers about other botanical resources available for their teaching needs. In addition, we conducted a survey of these teachers to identify the perceived obstacles to using plants more in the classroom and their needs. They expressed an overwhelming need for more workshops and plant-related lessons. Teachers in the K-12 levels often come to the NSTA and NABT conventions to get ideas and lesson plans and BSA can help fill this need.
The BSA booth was the standard 9’ by 10’. This was just adequate to provide work space for the making the "Badge Botany" and to provide display space for handouts on other activitites or resources. We distributed 500 BSA posters, 500 BSA "Careers in Botany", 250 Botany in the Next Millennium, 1500 BSA bookmarks, and 1500 other handouts on other plant lessons such as "Flying seed competition", "Organismal olympics", "Making a low-cost plant press", and lists of recent publications. The BSA banner and table skirt clearly displayed the BSA logo. The booth was staffed by Rob Reinsvold, Ethel Stanley, and J Shipman of the Teaching Section and Education Committee of BSA. The BSA booth and the booths of APS, ASPP, Wisconsin Fast Plants, and C-Ferns were busy that entire time.
Recommendations for next year:
—Rob Reinsvold, Chair
1999 General and Business meetings. The Mid-Continent Section met with the annual meeting of the Southwest Association of Naturalists (SWAN) at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon; Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in April. Because of the sparse attendance by BSA members, there were no sponsored symposia, no business meeting, and no awards for student presentations held at the meeting. Consequently, no funds were spent from the BSA alltoment during FY 1999. Elections and new and old items of business were discussed by e-mail among the officers and members of the section. An active program at the SWAN meeting in April 2000 is anticipated.
Nominations and Elections. The terms of two officers expired during 1999, the chair (Wayne Elisens, Oklahoma University) and the vice-chair (Randy Allen, Texas Tech University). Several nominations for these positions were received. We are happy to announce that, starting in August 1999 for three year terms, Dr. Rob Wallace (Iowa State University) will serve as chair and Dr. Craig Freeman (Kansas University and Natural Heritage Inventory) will serve as vice-chair.
Officers of the MidContinent Section 1999-2000
Vice Chair (2002):
Vice Secretary/Treasurer (2001):
—Wayne J. Elisens, Chair
The annual business meeting of SE-BSA was conducted during the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists, hosted by the University of North Carolina – Wilmington, from April 14-17, 1999. John Herr, a former SE-BSA Activities Committee Chair, presided in the absence of Kathy Hornberger.
Elections were held for Secretary-Treasurer and Chair of the Activities Committee. The individuals elected were Larry J. Davenport from Samford University in Birmingham, AL and Frank D. Watson, from St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, NC, respectively.
A teaching workshop entitled "Transgenic plants: Using green fluorescent protein and insecticidal genes in ecology and population biology" was presented by Dr. C. Neal Stewart and several graduate students from UNC – Greensboro.
An announcement was made that there were several hundred dollars available for graduate students travelling to IBC this summer in St. Louis, MO.
SE-BSA was one of seven professional biological organizations represented at this meeting, with 285 papers and posters listed in the program; over 50% were botanical in scope or closely allied.
—Kathy Hornberger, Chair
The 1999 joint field meeting of the Northeastern Section of the Botanical Society of America, the Torrey Botanical Society, and the Philadelphia Botanical Club was housed at Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, June 20-24, 1999. There were three days of field trips, all of which visited sites in Indiana. The first site was the Tefft Savanna State Nature Preserve, located in the Kankakee sand plain region of northwestern Indiana. Habitats seen here were oak savanna, sand prairie, and wetlands. Atlantic Coastal Plain species represented an unexpected floristic element in this area. Spinn Prairie, a Nature Conservancy project, gave participants a look at a mesic prairie-savanna mosaic. A brief stop was made at Berns-Meyers Woods, also a Nature Conservancy site, a small fragment of old-growth mesic forest.
On the second day of the meeting, the sites visited were Laketon Bog State Nature Preserve, a fen containing the southernmost population of larch in the state; and Ginn Woods, one of the largest stands of old-growth forest in the state, which is owned by Ball State University. The final day of field trips took the group to Pigeon RiverState Fish and Wildlife Area near Mongo, IN. Here, participants canoed into the Tamarack Bog State Nature Preserve, and later visited a fen in the Mongoquinong State Nature Preserve. Field trip leaders were Tom Post (Tefft and Spinn) and Lee Casebere (Pigeon River) of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Paul Rothrock of Taylor University (Laketon), and Kem Badger and Don Ruch of Ball State University (Ginn Woods). Evening presentations covered orchids of Indiana, presented by Mike Homoya of IDNR; nature photography, covered by Lee Casebere, and northern Indiana vegetation, by David Hicks of Manchester College. There were 25 participants, primarily from the eastern states, but also including some Midwesterners and one person from California. The meeting organizer was David Hicks, Becky Oldham was the field trip assistant, and Karl Anderson the treasurer.
News from the Society, the Sections and the Committees
Reports from Representatives to Various Organization
Report of BSA Representative to the CSSP
The Council of Scientific Society Presidents is an organization of presidents or other representatives of about sixty scientific societies and federations and societies whose combined membership numbers well over 1.4 million scientists and science educators. The goals of the CSSP are to "facilitate cooperation across multiple scientific disciplines; deliberate and adopt public policy positions and act upon the science research and education issues of national or international scope; develop ways to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of science; foster scientific research and dissemination of discoveries; and provide a mechanisms for communicating among the various scientific disciplines through he presidents of scientific societies."
The CSSP meets twice a year in Washington D.C.; this year, unfortunately, it was not possible for a BSA representative to attend. Due to the cost of travel to these meetings, the BSA Executive Committee recommends that, in the future, a representative from the Society should attend one of these per year. Additionally, because the CSSP program includes workshops on issues such as providing leadership for scientific societies, public affairs and press relations, science education, and interacting with government agencies, it is recommended that the President-Elect act as BSA representative.
Report of BSA Representative to ASC
As newly appointed BSA representative to ASC, I served in 1999 primarily to forward requests for information from ASC from BSA. The requests were forwarded to Business Manager Kim Hiser.
ASC has developed two databases that are now available via Internet on the website of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). The first is a database of taxonomic experts (TRED) that identifies and is searchable by expert's name, taxonomic expertise, geographic expertise, and habitat expertise. The second is a database of research-quality systematics collections in museums, universities, and other agencies and associated information resources (DRSC), predominantly in the U.S., along with collections on five other continents. Both databases are accessible at the ASC website at www.ascol.org. ASC has requested that BSA inform its members of these databases. Subsequently, BSA President Carol Baskin sent a cover letter to the ASC director to accompany a request from ASC to BSA members for information for the database project.
ASC distributes on-line a bi-monthly newsletter of ASC activities and highlights of recent news about systematic collections, in addition to the printed ASC Newsletter. The electronic newsletter is available to ASC member institutions and societies, and can be sent to interested recipients on request.
The next ASC annual meeting will be held in Baltimore 14-15 May 2000 and will honor the 50th anniversary of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Rita Colwell, NSF director will be a keynote speaker.
Laurence E. Skog
The BSA Slide Collection of botanical images is now available online at http://images.botany.org/bsa/
Through the generosity of the BSA Teaching Section, BSA Education Committee and individual donors, the Botanical Society of America has made a collection of approximately 800 images available for instructional use. The copyright and any intellectual property rights for these images are retained by the individual donors who have permitted BSA to distribute these images subject to the licensing agreement at the bottom of the screen. The current images are also available as 35 mm color slides at cost through the BSA Business Office. By accessing these images, you are agreeing to our licensing agreement.
Topics: Currently, there are 14 collections of images: Plant Geography, Plant Morphology, Phloem Development, Xylem Development, Floral Ontogeny, Lichens, Economic Botany, Carnivorous Plants, Organography, Pollen, Paleobotany, Plant Defense Mechanisms, Plant Anatomy, and Cellular Communication Channels. If you have a topic that you would like to see included, please contact us. See below for access to the site and information for donors.
License Agreement: Use of the site is limited to free use in a nonprofit educational or private non-commercial context. Images remain the property of the copyright holder, who retains all rights implicit in copyright laws and other rights to the images not enumerated here for worldwide use. Images may be stored for personal or classroom use, provided that the image displays the unaltered text watermark. All rights to reproduce these images are retained by the Botanical Society of America and the copyright owner. By accessing these images, you are consenting to our licensing agreement.
Chief sponsor: Botanical Society of America using computer and network facilities provided by the Samuel Roberts Noble Electron Microscopy Laboratory of the University of Oklahoma. These images are all from the slide collection of the BSA Teaching Section.
Image donors include: Isabel Ahlgren, Vernon Ahmadjian, Arnold Bakken, Alan Battan, John Bevington, James Burkhalter, Iris Charvat, Ping-chin Cheng, Turner Collins, Larry Crockett, John Curtis, Darlene DeMason, Donald Despain, Phil Dixon, Katherine Esau, Mark Fay, John Green, John Hall, Dave Hicks, Ann Hirsch, Robert Kaul, David Keil, Nels Lersten, Randy Meyers, Paul Monson, Robert Montgomery, Walter Mozgala, Jack Nelson, Fred Norris, Knut Norstog, Steve Pallardy, Alan Rebertus, Douglas Reynolds, C. Rowell, Rolf Sattler, Clifford Schmidt, Marsh Sundberg, Jennifer Thorsch, Dave Webb, Michael Weil, Steve Weller. Image conversion from slides: Tom Jurik, Dave Webb and Scott Russell for converted the slides to useful web images. Site construction and maintenance: Scott Russell, BSA Webmaster.
Donations: Botanical images suitable for instructional use may be submitted in the form of 35 mm color or black-and-white slides or large-format digital images (ideally in the range of approximately 1600 X 1200 pixels) with minimal or no compression and preferably no watermark label on the image. The owner of the copyright must sign a licensing agreement with BSA for non-exclusive worldwide rights to distribute the image for use in a nonprofit educational or private non-commercial context. (BSA retains the right to charge an incidental, nominal fee for providing the images to the user. Contact the BSA for full details and form.)
The Biology of Dipterocarps
The Sixth Round Table Conference on Dipterocarps was held this past February 8th-12th in Bangalore, India. This is the principal venue for reporting research on this important family of tropical Asian forest trees. It was held five years after the previous round table conference in Thailand; this one was organized by the International Working Group on Dipterocarps (IUFRO), The French Institute of Pondicherry and the Karnataka Forest Department. It included four days of presentations and discussions. Participants came from some 15 countries, and many speakers worked at institutions in the countries where the trees occur naturally. The conference ended with a field trip to deciduous and evergreen dipterocarp forests near Mysore. Topics included basic biology and ecology, with a strong emphasis on sylviculture and management. Particular concern was expressed about the status of those forests damaged or destroyed by fire in Sumatra and Kalimantan. The Proceedings of this conference will soon be published by the French Institute in Pondicherry; those of the fifth round table were published by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia in 1996. One recommendation of the previous round table was that a review of the biology and management of dipterocarps be published: S. Appanah and J. M. Turnbull, eds. 1998. A review of dipterocarps, Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia, ISBN 979-8764-20-X, Website: http://www.cgiar.org/cifor/. The organizing group is planning a session on dipterocarps in the IUFRO World Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2000, and another round table conference (possibly in Sri Lanka) in three years. The working group is updating its mailing list of those working on dipterocarps, as well as adding all recently published research to its database. Please send names, addresses, and citations (or reprints) of recently published research on dipterocarps to David Lee, Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA, tel. 305 348-311, fax 305 348-1986, Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- David Lee
A review published in PSB 45(2), p. 47, listed the incorrect title for the volume reviewed. The correct title is "Dictionary of Natural Products" by George MacDonald Hocking (ISBN 0-937548-31-6). The publisher is Plexus Publishing, 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055.
Due to an editorial error, the Commentary from A. W. Galston published in PSB 45(2), p. 37, contained an incorrect spelling for the name of the publisher of Prof. Galston's "Daily Life in People's China." It was published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company in 1973.
Dr. Thomas G. Lammers has accepted the position of Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium in the Department of Biology and Microbiology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (OSH), Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640, effective 1 September 1999. He replaces Dr. Neil A. Harriman, who founded OSH in 1964 and who will continue as Curator Emeritus. Prior to this position, Lammers spent nine years as an Assistant Curator in the phanerogamic herbarium of the Field Museum of Natural History (F) in Chicago, Illinois. Lammers intends to continue his research program on world Campanulaceae, especially Neotropical and Hawaiian Lobelioideae, and will be pleased to receive specimens of that family in exchange or as gifts for determination. The herbarium telephone number continues to be 920. 424. 1002, and Professor Lammers may also be reached at email@example.com.
Educational Opportunities, Call for Applications & Nominations, Positions Available
Graduate Assistantships for Study of Plant Population and Evolutionary Biology at Georgetown University
Competitive teaching assistantships with a waiver of tuition are available for Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University in Washington, D. C. Current research in plant biology focuses on evolutionary ecology and evolutionary genetics. Dr. Martha Weiss studies plant-insect interactions, plant reproductive biology and insect behavior. Dr. Matthew Hamilton studies plant population genetics, tropical forest genetics and conservation genetics. Individuals with demonstrated interests in these topics and satisfactory academic records are encouraged to apply.
Campus facilities include a greenhouse, recently renovated laboratories, automated DNA sequencers and equipment for molecular biology and molecular genetic research. Opportunities for field research include Atlantic coastal and salt marsh habitats, climax deciduous forest and tropical rainforest in Brazil. Georgetown is also located near the National Agricultural Library and herbaria at the Smithsonian Institution. Specialized coursework in addition to the offerings of the department is available through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Additional information about the Department of Biology is available at http://www.georgetown.edu/departments/biology. Detailed information about the research of Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Weiss can also be found at this web address by selecting the "faculty" link. Interested students should contact Dr. Weiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Hamilton (email@example.com) directly to discuss research opportunities and topics.
Application materials can be requested by writing to Committee on Graduate Students and Studies, Georgetown University, Department of Biology - Reiss 406, Washington, DC 20057-1229 USA or firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 202-687-6247. Complete applications must be received by February 1st to be considered for assistantship and tuition support.
Graduate Research Assistantship
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>.
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
Plants stand still, but their genes don't: Integrating ecological and evolutionary processes in a spatial context, Aug 29 - 31, 2000, Royal Holloway College, University of London, UK* Organisers: Jonathan Silvertown, Janis Antonovics, Anthony J. Davy, and Godfrey Hewitt
The profound consequences of the deceptively obvious statement that "Plants stand still, but their genes don't" are only just becoming clear. A consequence of plants standing still is that interactions are between neighbours. The non-random spatial patterns which emerge from these interactions, when combined with limited dispersal, in turn feed back upon interactions with results that are often very different from those arising from 'mean field' models that ignore the spatial dimension. The fundamental concepts of population genetics have spatially explicit definitions because gene movement is non-random. Now that ecologists are also beginning to think spatially there is a new opportunity for synthesis between ecology and population genetics within a common spatial frame of reference. Many of the questions to be addressed in this meeting are as applicable to animals as to plants, but plants provide ideal study systems because their spatial locations in the adult phase are fixed. One of the central questions that all speakers at this meeting will be asked to address is: "What new understanding can we achieve by bringing together spatial ecological models with the new level of detailed information derived from molecular genetic markers?" The meeting will be divided into processes operating at three spatial scales; that of the population, the metapopulation and geographical range.
Speakers Population scale J. Antonovics (Charlottesville) Why ecologists should care about population genetic structure. R. Law (York) Local interactions, the origins of spatial structure and their reciprocal effects upon one another. R. Ennos (Edinburgh) Genetic and ecological inferences from variation in DNA sequences and other molecular markers. D & B. Charlesworth (Edinburgh) Mating systems and population genetic structure G. Bell (Montreal) Local adaptation and its spatial limits.
Metapopulation scale I. Hanski (Helsinki) Spatially explicit models of metapopulation dynamics and the role of genetic erosion in local extinction. D. McCauley (Nashville) Effects of population extinction and colonisation on genetic structure O.Eriksson (Stockholm) Landscape fragmentation and the viability of populations S.C.H. Barrett (Toronto) Mating system evolution in metapopulations S. Frank (Irvine) Host-parasite evolution in metapopulations I. Olivieri (Montpellier) Evolution of seed banks and dispersal in metapopulations
Geographical scale G. Hewitt (Norwich) Inference about historical migrations and glacial refugia from molecular phylogenies. R.J. Petit (Ardon) Hybridization and the phylogeography of European oaks D.E. Soltis (Pullman) Phylogeography of recent invasions in the flora of N.W. N. America. S.P. Hubbell (Princeton) The role of migration in coupling community structure across spatial scales. N. Barton (Edinburgh) The evolution of geographical range limits in relation to environmental heterogeneity, rates of migration and gene flow.
*For further information visit the meeting's web site at http://www.open.ac.uk/OU/Academic/Biology/BES_2000/BESprog.htm or send an e-mail with "BES 2000" in the subject heading to email@example.com
Feeding the Ten Billion; Plants and Population Growth Evans, L.T., 1998. ISBN 0-521-64685-5 (paper US$19.95) ISBN 0-521-64081-4 (cloth US$54.95) 247 pp. Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th St., New York, NY 10011-4211 - Lloyd Evans is an outstanding Australian crop physiologist who is a 'despairing optimist' about the coming half century in which, if current trends hold, the world population will more than reach 10 billion people.
This book, however, is not so much a look to the future as an account of how we got to 6 billion humans in 1999. The first 5 chapters get us up to the first billion, about 1825, with a history of traditional agriculture in both hemispheres. Domestication, maintaining fertility, irrigation practice, all get notice. Then we have 5 chapters recounting the events leading to the 2nd billion (1925), 3rd billion (1960), 4th billion (1975), 5th billion (1986), and 6th billion (1999). Note the shortening of the doubling time! Important factors in feeding us in this period, are: increases in cultivated land, new varieties, and industrial inputs (fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides, internal combustion engines). Since 1960, increases in farm land have been negligible, and the greatly increased production (of cereals) has been due to greater yields per hectare.
This book is to be recommended principally for its wealth of information on world agricultural production. Although not all statements are referenced, there are 228 items cited, many to agency documents. Each chapter has an introduction, followed by discussion of the subjects in more detail.
A recurring theme is the question of what drives population growth and agricultural innovation. The Malthusian view is that better agriculture permits population growth; the view of Ester Boserup is that population growth drives agricultural development. Evans thinks both are partial truths. In fact, his book seems to be an attempt to justify to Boserup's view in the future. Yet it is hard to imagine population outrunning agriculture.
The future does look bleak. There is not much chance for significant increases in cultivated land (unless one includes sea-water irrigated halophytes, a subject not mentioned here). More fresh-water irrigated land does not seem likely, in view of competing demands on that water. Without such increases, the average cereal yield for the world as a whole would have to be about 5.0 tons per hectare, a value not yet reached (on the average) in either Europe or North America. Climate change (global warming) may intrude further difficulties. Evans suggests that one possible development would be a increase in the efficiency of Rubisco, the enzyme responsible for carbon dioxide fixation. Nearly four billion years of fierce competition have not eliminated the inefficiencies of that enzyme, however. The strategies land plants have had to resort to avoid or repair photorespiration testify to the difficulty of this problem.
Evans mentions, in passing, concerns about environmental degradation, reduction in biodiversity and other negatives, but does not devote much space to them. He spends more time on poverty, but has no particular solution to the problem of providing food to the very poor, except trickle-down development. One factor inhibiting increases in food for people is that the trend now is for more meat in the diet, meaning that more of the cereals will be used for animals in the future, not less. Evans also does not consider the social negatives of crowding. The history of nations and ethnic groups does not make me optimistic that civil conflict or outright war over territory will go away.
Finally, to bring the whole into perspective, he mentions projections of 'How many people can the earth support?' Of 64 such estimates, one fourth are less than the present population and another fourth are between 6 and 10 billion. That leaves another half, ranging upward to 1000 billion! As I used to tell my students, 'figures don't lie, but liars figure.'
What is the chance that we will not have to 'feed the ten billion'? There are places where the birth rate has fallen dramatically, Bangladesh for one. China has had a 1 child policy to try to bring their population to stability. Nevertheless, I have little hope that the demographic transition will occur tomorrow in Africa or India. So maybe it won't be ten billion, but only eight. It is still not a rosy future. —John H. McClendon, Professor of Biology emeritus, University of Nebraska; 105 Bush St., Ashland OR 97520.
Florida Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities Taylor, Walter Kingsley 1998. ISBN 0-8130-1616-9 (paper US$24.95) 370 pp University Press of Florida, 15 Northwest 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611-2079. - An important addition to a southeastern botanist's bookshelf is Walter Kingsley Taylor's new book, Florida Wildflowers in Their Natural Communities. This book provides a concise introduction to Florida and flower identification, and then a brief, readable description of Florida's major terrestrial communities. The major part of the book is made up of extensively illustrated sections on each of these major communities. Each section begins with some habitat pictures, prior to a cavalcade of beautiful close-up photos of individual species, for which Taylor is already well known (his previous book, Florida Wildflowers, has been extensively utilized and enjoyed by many). The photos are clear, beautiful, and extremely helpful in determining common plants with ease.
Taylor has included most of the common species of each habitat, as well as some of the unusual and interesting. It is not yet possible to find a completely useful flora of this state (Richard Wunderlin's (1998) Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida is great for nomenclature, but has neither complete species descriptions nor illustrations), so supplemental books with pictures are extremely valuable. Because some species occur in a variety of habitats, and these species are often repeated in Taylor's new book, the total number of species included are fewer than his previous wildflower book. But, some may argue, they are more usefully arranged in this volume, though I always like to see pictures of species of which I am unsure.
There are a few errors in the text, such as: Hurricane Andrew in March 1994 (it was August 1992); a photo of Morinda royoc (Rubiaceae) being misidentified as Sideroxylon salicifolium (Sapotaceae); the distribution of a species reputedly 'S. Florida throughout, except Monroe. Found in the Keys.' (Monroe County IS the Keys!) And a common misconception promulgated: white stopper (Eugenia axillaris) smells much stronger/worse than Spanish stopper (E. foetida), contrary to what the names suggest! With a little more thought, the author could have included some useful characters for distinguishing among common congeners, such as Ficus citrifolia and Ficus aurea. But these shortcomings are minor, and I only felt I need to include them to show I really did read the book!
A botanical or natural history visitor to the state would do well to use this book as a guide to seeing examples of all these habitats. It will be a nice complement to the somewhat more scholarly Ecosystems of Florida for our course in Florida Plant Communities, and I know the students will appreciate its organization as we visit the different habitats on our field trips. —Suzanne Koptur, Florida International University, Miami
Plant Microtechnique and Microscopy. Ruzin, Steven E. 1999. ISBN 0-19-508956-1 (pbk U.S.$45.00). 322 pp. Oxford University Press.198 Madison Avenue, New York, New York, 10016. - Interest in plant microtechnique and microscopy is seeing a resurgence in recent years. In part this is due to innovations in instrumentation but it is primarily the result of the wedding of microtechnique and microscopy to molecular techniques thus permitting visualization of genes or gene products in situ. This manual is a needed replacement for Berlyn and Miksche's Botanical Microtechnique and Cytochemistry (1976) and O'Brien and McCully's The Study of Plant Structure. Principles and Selected Methods (1981).
The general organization is quite traditional with the exceptions of chapters one and 10. The opening chapter, Quick Start, provides abbreviated protocols for eight frequently used techniques. In addition to traditional paraffin and plastic embedding schedules, it includes modified techniques employing the microwave oven to speed processing. Of course it also contains protocols for immunolocalization and in situ hybridization. The final quick start procedure is adjusting for Kšhler illumination to optimize performance of the light microscope. These abbreviated procedures are meant primarily for knowledgeable practitioners, but each step of the schedule is cross referenced to the appropriate section and chapter of the main text. Chapter 10 collects in one place the problem solving tips and notes mentioned in previous chapters, as well as additional suggestions. For instance he cautions against simply uprooting specimens if you are interested in studying root material, because the vascular cylinder easily can be separated from the cortex. Another example is that Toluidine Blue O stained tissue embedded in methacrylate will be destained if Permount or Plastic UV Mount (Polysciences) is used to mount the cover glass.
Chapter two deals with optical microscopy and along with Appendix VI, Optics, provides a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of microscopy. It begins with a brief history of the compound microscope and proceeds through modern, infinity corrected systems providing the basic theory and application of common, and some uncommon, types of light microscopy. For each example, the optical principles are clearly explained, set-up procedures are presented, step-by-step, and examples are provided to illustrate suitable materials for each technique. I was particularly pleased to see an explanation and set-up procedure for Rheinberg illumination. This is an inexpensive technique no longer used by researchers but one that should be much more widely used in teaching laboratories. Cellophane filters are cut to match the numerical aperture of the lens (the procedure for doing this is explained) and when placed correctly will result in 'optical staining' with the background one color and different shades of reflected light of contrasting color illuminating the specimen. As an added advantage, if phase contrast objectives are used, even without the phase condenser, a multicolored 'phase contrast' will be achieved!
Subsequent chapters cover the typical sequence of specimen preparation: chemical fixation; tissue dehydration; infiltrating and embedding tissue; sectioning and mounting; and staining. Like the rest of the book, the text is clearly and well-written and the coverage is complete and precise. For instance, in formulations there is no question of whether measurements are (v/v) or (w/v); it is specifically stated. Numerous citations to recent primary literature are presented throughout which will be of great benefit to the researcher fine-tuning his or her technique to a particular research organism or problem. These chapters are filled with details and advice from an experienced practitioner. He uses numerous tables to present alternative reagents, stains and dyes and summarize their advantages and uses. A delightful surprise in these chapters is the interjection of the authors personality. For instance, the last recommendation for fixing plant tissues is an emergency fixative for field collections: 'Just about any strong alcoholic beverage: gin, vodka, even wine will preserve field collected material (Carlquist, 1996).' In the chapter on infiltrating and embedding he presents illustrated directions for the 'microtechnique origami method' of constructing paper boats for paraffin embedding. Under trouble-shooting, in the sectioning and mounting section, he gives sage advice developed, no doubt, through long experience - - 'When all else fails, section some other day.' Finally, to end the chapter on staining, Ruzin presents a table containing directions for removing various of the common stains from hands and clothing. He ends with a caveat: '...in some traditional circles, stained hands are thought to be a sign of microtechnique prowess.'
Chapters eight and nine deal with alternative methods of microtomy and some special methods. At one time several of these methods were mainstays of plant microtechnique, but they had fallen out of favor. Today, they are seeing renewed application so it is fortunate to have them 'revived' in this text. The technically simplest, but often most difficult to successfully apply, method of microtomy is free-hand sectioning. Although Ruzin suggests that double-edge teflon-coated blades are best, I still prefer the old Gillette Blue Blades - - if they can be found. The key , as Ruzin notes, is to avoid the industrial single edge blades which are simply not very sharp. This chapter also covers operation of the Vibratome on fresh or agarose-embedded specimens and use of the freezing microtome, or Cryostat, on quick-frozen material. Although both of the latter have had regular use in studies of living materials or in cytohistochemical techniques during the past few decades, the flowering of molecular biology has resulted in renewed interest in their application. The final instrument is the sliding, or sledge, microtome which remains unrivaled for wood studies, either whole mount sections or plastic embedded. The special methods chapter concentrates on clearing and maceration techniques. It includes the best of the traditional techniques, such as clearing with NaOH and chloral hydrate, as well contemporary variations of Herr's (1982) 4-1/2 technique. Similarly, recent modifications of traditional macerating techniques are described for both woody and non-woody tissues. Two interesting methods are saved for last - preserving color in whole mounted specimens and repairing broken microscope slides. Again, these will be of little use to most researchers, but they may be invaluable to botany teachers.
Chapter 11 concentrates on histochemistry and cytochemistry. Again, Ruzin presents both the best of the traditional techniques as well as more recent innovations. A very useful table of 15 vital dyes is presented early in the chapter. This lists not only the working concentrations and specific targets, but lists one or more primary references. All the usual cytochemical reactions are presented: Aniline Blue for callose, Periodic acid-Schiff for carbohydrate, Phloroglucinol for lignin, etc. The section on cytochemical localization of enzymes includes standard protocols for acid phosphatase, alcohol dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, cytochrome oxidase, catalyase, glucuronidase, lipases, pectinase and peroxidases. The second half of the chapter deals specifically with fluorescence techniques. Although not mentioned in the microscopy chapter, the principles of fluorescence microscopy are adequately covered in the Optics appendix. An extensive table of fluorescence dyes and their cellular targets are presented along with a number of specific protocols. Again, the numerous citations of primary literature will be invaluable to researchers fine-tuning a schedule to their material. Indeed, throughout the book Ruzin encourages the reader to take the written procedures as a starting point, but to modify them as necessary for the material.
While the entire book will be an excellent text for new students learning microtechnique from scratch, the last chapter, Localization of Molecular Targets in Tissues, will be the most useful for my generation of researcher. We received a solid foundation in the traditional techniques but established our research programs before molecular techniques took hold. Here is a concise road map to get us back on track and up-to-speed. The chapter begins with several pages of introduction to the principles of immunolocalization followed by nine specific protocols illustrating different applications. As usual, a section of notes and practical tips follow the formal schedules.
Unfortunately there is a major deficiency in the text which will significantly reduce its usefulness. While great care is taken to provide the details necessary to produce quality specimens and obtain optimal microscopic images, there is nothing on image capture. Traditionally this would include only photomicrography on film media, but even this is lacking. With the choices available today, film, analog, and digital cameras, and the software available for enhancement and manipulation, there is an urgent need to compare these tools, note their strengths and weaknesses, and provide succinct descriptions of their optimal use. Perhaps this is the topic of a follow-up volume that is hopefully in preparation. —Marshall Sundberg, Emporia State University
World Economic Plants: A Standard Reference. Wiersema, John H. and Blanca León. 1999. ISBN 0-8493-2119-0 (cloth US$125) 749 pp + 35 introductory pp. CRC Press LLC P.O. Box 31225, Tampa, FL 33631-3225. - There are a number of sources one can consult to find names, and limited information on economic plants. There are the dictionaries like Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants (U. P. Hedrick, ed., 1919), Uphof's Dictionary of Economic Plants ((J.C.T. Uphof, 1968), Howe's A Dictionary of Useful and Everyday Plants and Their Common Names(F. N. Howes, 1974, that includes the information left out of the sixth edition of J.C. Willis' Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns from 1966), and the Willis/Howes successor, D. J. Mabberly's The Plant-Book(1987), A Checklist of Names for 3,000 Vascular Plants of Economic Importance (by E. Terrell, S. R. Hill, J. Wiersema and W. E. Rice, 1986, USDA), Smartt and Simmonds' Evolution of Crop Plants (J. Smartt and N. W. Simmonds, 1995), and the more restricted, but still encyclopaedic, three volumes from Purseglove primarily on tropical crops (Tropical Crops: Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons from 1968 by J. W. Purseglove). For more focused economic botany interests, one can also consult the more encyclopaedic text books like A. F. Hill (Economic Botany, 1952 ), R. W. Schery (Plants for Man, 1972) and most recently B. B. Simpson and M. C. Orgorzaly (Economic Botany, 1995). Now, there is a new book to add to this list, one hopefully, and perhaps appropriately, subtitled, 'A Standard Reference.'
This is a reference book -with some 13,000 scientific names and synonyms and almost 20,000 common names - there is a great deal to refer to. Given the care with which it has been prepared, partly via consultation with nearly 150 taxonomic or agricultural experts, it will likely achieve the 'standard' goal as well. The data derive originally from Dr. Edward E. Terrell's earlier work to produce the '...3,000 Vascular Plans of Economic Importance' checklist cited above. This book goes much beyond that having benefited dramatically from the computer age allowing assemblage of information from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) of the USDA-ARS (GRIN has information on tens of thousands of names and hundreds of thousands of germplasm accessions - with much of the information available also via the web at www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/tax). There are so many more species included because the authors include '...plants or plant products that are traded, regulated, or are otherwise directly or indirectly important to international commerce.' This includes, in addition to the crop plants/edible plants and medicinals one usually expects in such a book, animal foods, fuels, vertebrate and non-vertebrate poisons, plants with 'environmental' uses, gene sources, weeds, and others. Again, making excellent use of the computer lists on which the book was built, are tables listing the number of species in various use categories, and from various geographical regions.
The main body of this tome is organized alphabetically by genus and within the genera by species epithet. In addition to the scientific name and author accepted by the experts consulted, synonyms are listed. Furthermore common name, uses and distribution are given. Following the 536 pages of information organized by scientific name is a 200+ page index to common names. Everything my students and I looked up - including fairly obscure Nicaraguan common names, was there. My only comment is personal; the authors, or authority selected on the Solanaceae, declined to use the most recent treatments of tomatoes and tree tomatoes (as part of the genus Solanum). However, one can still find these options through analysis of the synonyms.
This is a very fine book that I am glad to have on my shelf and I know I will consult it regularly. The only impediment, as it is for some other of the fine CRC reference books, is the price, but one does get a lot of book for the money with this standard reference. The authors are to be congratulated-and thanked-for this monumental effort. —Gregory J. Anderson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut
Gardening with a Wild Heart Larner Lowery, Judith 1998. ISBN 0-520-21516-8 (cloth US$35.00) 280 pp University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720. - Judith Larner Lowry has written a beautiful and inspiring book, in which she traces her personal history of interest in native plants, taking her into her life's calling as proprietor of a native plant seed production nursery and landscape designer. Gardening With a Wild Heart: Restoring California's Native Landscapes at Home. The romantic title of this book lends it appeal to a wide variety of people interested in plants, yet the book is quite practical, and readily enjoyed by those considering themselves serious botanists. After all, there are those who may feel that native plants are more spiritually sustaining to the soul, and those who have heard that native plants are cheaper to maintain in the home landscape. It is the author's business to be more willing to relate on a variety of levels.
California is certainly one of the most enlightened states regarding landscaping with native plants, and has a well-known and active Native Plant Society and Exotic Pest Plant Council, and it is not surprising that a business like Lowry's has thrived in that environment. I hope that such pursuits will take all over the country in the near future! It is encouraging that people who take up gardening with native plants do not usually develop the attitude that once there is a good supply of the desired species in cultivation, the native communities are unimportant. Judith Larner Lowry appreciates the stunning complexity of natural areas compared with anything that people reproduce or design. When one grows native plants, one gains an appreciation for the adaptations of plants, and an understanding that a plant species never really experiences reality, or achieves its true destiny, outside of the habitats where it grows naturally. As natural areas disappear in the face of development, plants can often persist in cultivation much longer than the species with which they have coevolved for pollination and seed dispersal. But they, and we, their tenders, may not entirely happy or fulfilled. I recommend this book for an enjoyable read, and for encouragement in pursuing gardening with native plants and a wild heart! —Susanne Koptur, Florida International University, Miami
Mistletoes of Africa Polhill, Roger, & Wiens, Delbert, 1998. ISBN: 1-900347-56-3 (cloth £70.00) The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK - This book presents the first account in one volume of all the mistletoes (parasitic plants in the families Loranthaceae and Viscaceae) that occur in Africa. This group of plants, according to the treatment adopted in this volume, comprise 280 species in 24 genera (233 species in 21 genera of Loranthaceae and 47 species in three genera of the Viscaceae). Neither family is centred in Africa (with only about 24% of Loranthaceae and 10% of Viscaceae occurring here), but many species are widespread, and some have economic importance, mainly negatively - as pests of plantation crops - but also positively - as importance sources of medicine (especially in West Africa).
Two thirds of the pages in the book are devoted to thorough descriptions of the species, including taxonomic keys for distinguishing between the two families, and identifying genera and species. There are distribution maps for almost all species, clear sketches illustrating plant parts for selected species, and superb close-up color photographs for most species. There is also a 42-page catalogue of the specimens examined in compiling the account, and a concise description of the systematic conventions that were followed.
The book is very largely a systematic treatise, and its main value lies therein. There are, however, also short essays on: the parasitic habitat; origins and evolution of the two families; aspects of comparative morphology, pollination mechanisms; generic classification; biogeography; and the economic importance of mistletoes. The level of coverage in these accounts is very uneven, ranging from extremely comprehensive and detailed (for pollination mechanisms) to superficial (e.g. economic importance). I found the seven pages dealing with biogeography more confusing that enlightening; Table 10 and its interpretation, using White's Vegetation map of Africa as basis, is inadequate. There is now considerable scope for a comprehensive review of the biogeography of African mistletoes. The ecological evidence reviewed here supports the notion that species richness of mistletoes is primarily determined by nutrient status of the biome, and secondarily by the nitrogen status of the preferred hosts.
I enjoyed reading this book and am confident that it will be THE essential reference on the systematics African mistletoes for decades to come. There are countless opportunities for ecologists to draw on this rich information base to improve our understanding of why these plants occur where they do and how they interact with other elements of the biota. —David M. Richardson, Institute for Plant Conservation, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Proceedings of the Symposium 'Taxonomy, Evolution and Classification of Lichens and Related Fungi' Wedin, M., T. Tonsberg, and D. H. Brown, eds., 1998. ISBN 0-9523049-7-X (paper £10) The Lichenologist, c/o Academic Press, Ltd., 24-28 Oval Road, London NW1 7DX, UK - Every decade or so (sometimes at shorter intervals) the lichenological community puts forth a volume that represents the collective ideas of its diverse and far-flung members. 'Me volumes are usually edited by several of the leading lichenologists and they reflect the spectrum of current research in the discipline. Inevitably the volumes become minor classics, read again and again by newcomers to the field, and consulted by experts and teachers as a reference to state-of-the-art lichenology. The volumes represent a sort of treasure trove, summarizing old concepts and introducing new ideas. Of course, they are replete with burgeoning bibliographies. The latest collection, which was published by the British Lichen Society in collaboration with the Linnean Society of London, carries on in the tradition of its predecessors. Over twenty authors contributed to this volume, bringing with them a portfolio full of ideas about the evolution, phylogeny, and taxonomy of lichenized fungi. The fifteen papers are a well balanced mix of review and current research. A balance is struck as well between molecular and morphological approaches indeed lichenology can be considered a pioneer in its reconciliation of these two elements-lichens are such difficult organisms to understand, we need all the characters we can get our hands on! The editors have chosen their contributors with care, although it should be noted that there are no North American authors included in the volume. The topics are varied, and questions of dispersal, nomenclature, photobionts, species concepts, and fungal ontogeny are among the many subjects that were considered during the Symposium. I was particularly drawn to a critique by Leif Tibell, "Practice and Prejudice in Lichen Classification," in which many of the other papers were put into perspective. Tibell's paper discussed lichenology within an historical framework, but his was not the only paper that used an historical approach.
Lichenologists are to be commended for recalling that even the sharpest new tools require a context in which to use them. We are coming to see that lichen taxonomy is in large part the history of lichen taxonomy. By considering history, we are able to critique our own intellectual activities in the light of those of our lichenological predecessors. The Symposium for which this volume was produced embraced history by housing itself in the rooms of the Linnean Society of London. By doing so, the participants put themselves quite literally into the stream of intellectual history. 'Mis volume will continue to provide a useful resource for botanists for years to come. —Samuel Hammer, College of General Studies, Boston University
Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas Diggs, George, Barney Lipscomb, Robert O'Kennon, Linny Heagy (Illustrator) 1999. ISBN 1-889878-01-4 (cloth $US 89.95, shipping $7.50, taxes not included ). Botanical Research Institute of Texas, 509 Pecan St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102-4060. - This voluminous flora has a four inch spine and weighs nearly eight pounds. It is obviously not a field manual, nor designed for bedtime perusal. It is, however, a whale-of-a-purchase, the 320 square inch volume containing 1626 pages of very readable, magnificently orchestrated, well written, wonderfully edited text, including slanted keys to its 2,273 species, each accompanied by line drawings incorporated from 225 or more sources, all of the latter duly acknowledged. Additionally, the tome contains 174 beautiful color photographs from across the Lone Star State. It is truly a remarkable production and is certain to be a perennial best seller across the states of Texas and Oklahoma, among professionally oriented botanists and amateurs alike. Only 3,000 copies were printed of this first edition. I predict that a second printing will be necessary within a year or less, there being over 3,000 plant enthusiasts in the Native Plant Society of Texas alone, nearly all of whom will surely wish a copy since there is nothing comparable for the state at the present time.
The Flora of North Central Texas is said to cover 'about 46 percent of the species known for Texas', based upon a compilation of 5,524 species by Hatch et al. (1990). This is a rather surprising statement, considering that the region covers only about one fourth of the area of the state, but understandable if one recognizes that the area concerned more or less straddles the ecotonal region of the Temperate Deciduous Forest of eastern Texas and the Grasslands of central Texas. In any case, the Flora covers a region about the size of the state of Kentucky, including the environs of Austin, Texas, a very thoroughly collected area containing numerous outlier populations from the more southern and far western regions of Texas, not likely to be found much north of the Austin area.
The text (as part of BRIT'S Bot. Misc. of Sida, no. 16) was formally edited by the indefatigable Barney L. Lipscomb, and presumably orchestrated by BRIT'S Design Consultant, Linny Heagy (so designated on the title page, imagine such!); this duo is surely deserving of some formal honor, if not substantial salary increase.
Of course, any orchestration of this magnitude is certain to depend upon the talents of numerous orchestrants: in this production, major contributions are reportedly rendered by George Diggs, Barney Lipscomb and Robert O'Kennon, pictured as an editorial threesome on the dust jacket. The 75 pages of useful information relating to the past history and ecology of the area concerned, along with other helpful insights, must have been their chorales, albeit singing as a unit. No less important, if taken together, were the systematic performances of the 40 or more experts from across the nation who contributed to this or that taxonomic treatment, all appropriately listed in the book's Acknowledgments.
One of the more praiseworthy portions of this 'local' flora is the list of references contained in its LITERATURE CITED: 66 pages encompassing 1600 or more fully cited references, including everything from alpha taxonomy to omega systematics (meaning DNA analysis), not to mention ethnobotany, pollination biology and articles of a similar ilk. The citations are all included in the text itself under the species or genera to which they relate. While a few pertinent references are missed, the index is remarkable for what it contains, some of these up to the year 1998 (or just before press time).
The Flora is dedicated to the late Lloyd Shinners and his one time student, William Mahler. And appropriately so. The two are very unlike, both as to temperament, background and professional interests. I suspect that the student did more to improve subsequent editions of Shinner's (1958) original or seminal text, Spring Flora of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Texas, than the original author might have liked to admit. The seminal edition was a rather shabby production: 541 mimeographed looseleaf pages replete with typos and bound with a plastic looseleaf spine. Being one of Shinners' earliest graduate students (masters degree 1949), I knew the man well: he was a taxonomic and intellectual dynamo, as discussed in more detail elsewhere (Turner 1998). Lloyd asked that I review his seminal text, and I did (Turner 1958). I thought my review was very positive, but Lloyd did not read it that way. Reading this over today, I can see that I praised the man, rather than his text! And praise he should have, attempting such an enterprise without assistance, in mostly ill health and carrying on a stream of argumentative correspondence with this or that professional peer, not to mention his teaching and curatorial activities, Lloyd was the closest thing to a one-man band that I have ever met.
As already noted in the above, the Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas is more like a symphony, Beethoven's Ninth perhaps (my favorite). From its introduction (first movements), through its various taxonomic orchestrations, to its 15 appendices on matters relating to cladistics and classification, the reader who listens to his perusals of this flora most stand in awe at the performance rendered.
According to information presented in the present text, a companion volume, an Illustrated Flora of Eastern Texas, will soon follow. In short, the great state of Texas, which once held the distinction as having the fewest floristic works of any state in the Union, is now likely to have some of the best, rivaling those of the recently published, and well known, Jepson's flora of California, or the yet more recent, Steyermark's Flora of Missouri (Yatskievych 1999, revised ed.)
After the above extollments, one must ask the question, aren't there any negatives? A few, perhaps; for example, there are no distributional maps such as adorn the most recent similar floras of this or that state. But inclusion of 2,223 maps for the region concerned would have been a major undertaking, not to mention the likelihood that it would have added a pound or two to the already heavy volume.
Finally, I can't help but add that the greatest thing to happen to floristic botany in Texas over the past 20 years has been the development in Fort Worth of BRIT, especially the appointment of Sy Sohmer as its first Director. His imaginative vision and ability to bear fruit from such vision is truly remarkable. No doubt the patrons of that organization, especially its major financial benefactors appropriately listed in the text itself, are also responsible for its success: nothing much comes out of marginal budgets except deficits, hope and frustration. —Billie L. Turner, Dept. of Integrative Biology, Univ. of Texas, Austin,TX 78713
Hatch,S.L., K.N. Gandhi and L.E. Brown. 1990. Checklist of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Agric. Exptl. Sta. Misc. Publ. 1655: 1-158.
Shinners, L. H. 1958 . Spring Flora of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, Texas. Published and sold by the author (spiral plastic binding of 541 looseleaf pp.; priced at $5.75).
Turner, B.L. 1958 (1959). Review of the Spring Flora of the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist 3: 238-239.
Turner, B. L. 1998. Plant systematics: beginnings and endings. Aliso 17: 189-200.
Yatskievych, G. 1999. Steyermark's Flora of Missouri, Vol. 1: l991. Missouri Dept Conservation, in cooperation with Missouri Bot. Gard., St. Louis, Mo.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 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
Instant Notes in Chemistry for Biologists Arnold, J.R.P., and Fisher, J., 1999. ISBN 0-387-91563-X (paper US$24.95) 246 pp. Bios Scientific Publishers, Springer-Verlag New York Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010-7858.
Microsystem Technology: A Powerful Tool for Biomolecular Studies Kšhler, J.M., Mejevaia, T., and Saluz, H.P., eds. 1999. ISBN 3-7643-5774-6 (cloth US$138.00) 581 pp. Birkhauser Verlag, P.O. Box 133, CH-4010 Basel, Switzerland.
Morfología de las Plantas Vasculares Santa, José, 1998. (in Spanish), ISBN 0-958-655-308-6 (paper, no price given) 302 pp. Editorial Universidad de Antioquia, Apartado 1226. Medellin, Colombia.
Photosynthesis, Sixth Ed. Hall, D.O., and Rao, K.K., eds. 1999. Studies in Biology Series. ISBN 0-521-64257-4 (cloth US$54.95) ISBN 0-521-64497-6 (paper US$19.95) 214 pp. Cambridge University Press (in association with the Institute of Biology), 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211.
Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses: From Phytohormones to Genome Reorganization Lerner, H.R., ed. 1999. ISBN 0-8247-0044-9 (cloth, US$195.00) 730 pp. Marcel Dekker, Inc., 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
Plant Structure: The structural basis of plant function Silvester, W., C. Knowles, F. Cubie, D. Hunt, and S. Nicholson, 1999. (CD-ROM US$148 single copy, 5-copy license US$298, 10-copy license, US$398) ©The University of Waikato, distr. Dundee Scientific Ltd., 14 Menzieshill Road, Dundee, DD2 1PW, UK.
Sunlight on the Lawn Nichols, Beverley, 1999. ISBN 0-88192-467-9 (cloth US$24.95) 264 pp. (reissue; first published 1956)Timber Press, Inc., 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
The Torner Collection of Sessé and Mociño Biological Illustrations 1998. ISBN 0-913196-60-6 (CD-ROM US$40.00) ca. 2,000 watercolor drawings and sketches. ©Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon CD Press, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890.
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