PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
SPRING 2006 VOLUME 52 NUMBER 1
The Botanical Society of America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
Table of Contents
It's Finally Here - - Our 100th Anniversary Year! Botanical Society of America, 1906-2006........................................................2
C.J.A. - The Last Mycologist Who Was BSA President...........................................................2
Truman State University's Solar Clock Garden.....................................................................11
News from the Society
Looking to the Future- Conserving the Past..........................................................15
100 Years of Service to the Plant Sciences - What is the BSA Doing in "Looking to the Future?"...........17
BSA Plant Science Mentors Making a Difference..................................................20
The Financial Well Being of the Botanical Society of America............................21
Grady L. Webster, 1927-2005...................................................................22
Guanghua Zhu, 1964-2005.......................................................................23
Tom O'Neil, 1923-2005..............................................................................24
Mark Bierner is New Director at Boyce Thompson Arboretum..........25
Russell Chapman Named New Executive Director for Scripps Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Center.........26
Letters to the Editor.....................................................................................................27
Botanical Society of America's "Statement on Evolution."...................................27
Graduate Fellowships in Ecological Genomics at Kansas State University...29
Botany References Available....................................................................................30
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
The Fifth International Symbiosis Society Congress...........................................30
BSA Contact Information...........................................................................................................38
Published quarterly by Botanical Society of America, Inc., 4475 Castleman Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299. The yearly subscription rate of $15 is included in the membership dues of the Botanical Society of America, Inc. Periodical postage paid at St. Louis,MO and additional mailing office.
Address Editorial Matters (only) to:
Marsh Sundberg, Editor
Dept. Biol. Sci., Emporia State Univ.
1200 Commercial St.
Emporia, KS 66801-5057
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
Botanical Society of America
P.O. Box 299
St. Louis, MO 63166-0299
Editorial Committee for Volume 52
Douglas W. Darnowski (2006)
Department of Biology
Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, IN 47150
Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
Department of EEOB
1735 Neil Ave., OSU
Columbus, OH 43210-1293
Samuel Hammer (2008)
College of General Studies
Boston, MA 02215
Joanne M. Sharpe (2009)
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
P.O. Box 234
Boothbay ME 04537
Nina L. Baghai-Riding (2010)
Division of Biological and Physical Sciences
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS 38677
It's Finally Here - - Our 100th Anniversary Year!
Botanical Society of America 1906-2006
- - and we almost have our timing right. Our featured Past-President in this issue is Constantine Alexopoulos and to my surprise he was born almost exactly100 years ago this month (March, 1906)! Meredith Blackwell and many of her fellow "Dr. Alex" students have collected a series of anecdotes and stories that put a real personality behind the author of my old Mycology textbook! That textbook is a classic, and it sounds like Dr. Alex was too! I hope you enjoy reading about him as much as I did.
And then, to help all of us keep better track of time so we're not late getting to the BSA Centennial Meeting in Chico this JULY, Steve Carroll, has provided directions for constructing a solar clock that you and your students can install on your campus. It may not be portable or have an alarm, but the Swiss would be jealous of the (plant) movements this clock employs!
Have a GREAT 2006 - - the Editor.
C.J.A. The Last Mycologist Who Was BSA President
At the American Institute of Biological Sciences meeting in San Diego in 1995 I learned that earlier strong ties that had existed between botanists and mycologists were severed. BSA members wondered who was the John S. Karling, who had made a generous bequest to the BSA (and also MSA)? That incident has been rectified by a short Karling biography and the notice of the Karling Award that was established with the gift on the BSA web site. I recalled this incident after I discovered that C. J. Alexopoulos was the last person to have served as president both of the BSA (1963) and of the MSA (1958-1959), marking a lost connection. Also gone is the Department of Botany at the University of Texas and the diverse group of botanists who had written all the textbooks I used there as a student in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Plant Biology/Botany graduate program link on the Texas web site leads to "The page cannot be found." Mycology, however, is still present at Texas in Paul Szaniszlo's lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. As I recall that is where it was (as the Department of Microbiology) before Jim Maniotis, and then Dr. Alex, inhabited the Department of Botany. Dr. Alex was happy at Texas, commenting on the luxury of walking out on a December day without a top coat, having lunch with Harold Bold, having lunch and coffee with his students, and with Mrs. Alex, taking advantage of the musical programs available on the campus certainly not the music of the Austin scene that was becoming so popular nationally around him.
One item on the Texas web site was a happy discovery:
Dr. Alexopoulos was a lucid, enthusiastic and inspiring teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students. During his career he supervised nine M. A. students and twenty-eight Ph. D. students, eighteen of the latter at The University of Texas. He was greatly respected and beloved by his graduate students who demonstrated their loyalty clearly and to an unusual degree.
— Harold Bold, Jerry J. Brand, and R. Malcolm Brown
The quote is from the memorial resolution, prepared by a committee made up of Dr. Alex's good friend and former BSA president [see below], as well as two younger faculty members, one a graduate student in Dr. Alex's time (who involved him in an air-borne spore project that was the beginning of my own association with Dr. Alex), and the committee designed a cogent resolution <http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/pages/memorials.html>! Today his students are mostly mycologists; one, a lawyer; many retired or nearing retirement; several untimely dead; none resides in a botany department, although one mycological grandchild comes close as the member of a Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Most of the students followed him as academics, six followed him as MSA president, and one, as IMA president —but not one has been a BSA president. All of the students remain loyal "to an unusual degree," but it is only the later Texas students that could be contacted easily, making this piece very Texacentric. The Texas students, however, were linked to earlier students from the University of Illinois, Kent State University, Michigan State University, and University of Iowa, because we saw their photographs on Dr. Alex's office wall daily a rogue's gallery he referred to with great affection (Fig. 1).
Figure 1. Dr. Alex was the mycological great, great grandson of A. H. de Bary, a notable lineage.
In addition to the memorial resolution that appears on the University of Texas web site, two biographies were published soon after Dr.Alex's death (Brodie, 1987; Blackwell, 1988). The Brodie biography was published in Mycologia at a time when society notables oftenmade a last appearance on the first page of an issue of that journal. The other biography in the journal of the British Mycological Society memorialized the society's Honorary Member. His last, slightly updated CV is posted at <http://lsb380.plbio.lsu.edu/LabPersonnel/cja.html>. He name was given to the MSA Alexopoulos Prize "awarded annually to an outstanding mycologist early in their [sic] career. The nominees will be evaluated primarily on the basis of quality, originality, and quantity of their published work." His students established the prize at the time of his retirement from teaching at Texas, and over the years some students continue to contribute to the gift. In fact one year the fund mysteriously swelled, and I learned later that Henry Aldrich (Ph.D. Texas (1966) contributed the excess profits he had had to accept as a principal of the "non-profit corporation" of organizers of the Second International Mycological Congress at Tampa. There also is an MSA student travel award named for Dr. Alex, again mostly with contributions from former students.
Almost 20 years after his death (15 May 1986) in the month of the ninety-ninth anniversary of his birth (17 March 1906), the assignment is to bring Dr. Alex to life for a new generation of botanists. His students remember him vividly with true affection. Below you will find a collection of anecdotes, excerpts from Christmas letters and notes "from the desk of C.J. Alexopoulos notes," being his usual form of written daily communication with the students in his lab some kept more than 35 years.
John E. Peterson (Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1957) was Dr. Alex's first Ph.D. student, although he did not finish first; that honor was won by Sung Huang Sun, who was the first illustrator of his textbook, Introductory Mycology. Former Dean and Professor, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, wrote a tribute to Dr. Alex that appeared with a photograph in "Life of the Mind, the Newsletter of the Emporia State University Honors Program," No. 54, December, 1985 "The original of the picture you see on the reverse side of this page hangs on the wall directly above my desk. I see it whenever I raise my eyes. It has hung above whatever desk I have worked at for a good many years. It is a picture of one of my teachers my main teacher, I would say."
Anecdotes recalled November—December 2005:
Dr. Alex seemed formidable on first meeting, but once one got past that he was warm and generous. Several of us remember our first meetings with him. I met him when I was desperate for a job; he needed someone to look for slime molds in air samples in the project with Malcolm Brown. He had one applicant for the job, a reject from the zoology department, and I was reluctantly hired. I was addressed formally as "Mrs. Blackwell," and I remember the happy day about a month later when he finally called me by my given name. I had joined the club.
Steve Bratteng* recalls, "When I first became interested in grad school to study slime molds, I stopped by Dr. Alex's office just to touch base. After a short discussion in which I revealed that my knowledge about slime molds was based entirely on lectures and reading, Alex dropped everything and took me on an impromptu field trip. It was summer in Austin so, of course, the pickings were rather slim, but in 3 stops around town we did find some at a golf course." S.B.
[*Dr. Alex was conservative in many ways, but extremely tolerant of personal freedom; this was evidenced by the fact that he never complained about the tarantulas that Steve kept in the research lab!]
Joanne (Judi) Tontz Ellzey remembers her first meeting with Dr. Alex. "My first year in Austin I was walking down the hall of the building near Dr. Alex's office. I stopped to look at a specimen that was displayed on newspaper. He walked by and asked me to identify the fungus. I did not hesitate —I believe that it was a Daldinia. Dr. Alex became very blustery and asked me if I had read the identification written on the newspaper. I said "No, this fungus grows in my parents' backyard in North Carolina. My mother-in-law has elaborated on this often told story and told friends and relatives that this was a test for acceptance in the Botany Department!" —JTE
Also, the first year that I worked with Dr. Alex, I was standing in a narrow walkway outside of his office door talking with him about my research when one of my contact lenses popped out of my eye and landed on the floor between us. I had to bend down and retrieve it before someone stepped on it. His reaction was "Vanity, vanity!" —JTE
Dr. Alex was a wonderful teacher, lecturing with only an occasional glance at a 3 X 5" note card, urging us on to greater accomplishments with the use of sardonic humor, and holding to the highest standards. We all remember his classes, especially the fact that he was always in the laboratory the entire four hours. Learning was so much fun.
"In a lab in the clas on ascomycetes some students were tittering about the scientific names of some organisms that had been described by Karl Fuckel. The species names were followed by the reference to the author minus the last two letters of his surname. Alex was, or pretended to be, totally oblivious to the reason for the students' amusement." S.B.
"On his exams in general mycology* he occasionally asked for drawings of various things. On one my drawing was perhaps a little less than accurate, prompting a written comment: `What is this? some psychedelic art!!'" S.B.
[* CJA taught an introductory and three advanced (myxomycetes, zygomycetes, and ascomycetes mycology courses) there was no course on basidiomycetes, because he said often confused them with paint splotches.]
"While taking introductory mycology from Dr. Alex, the class had a field trip to collect slime molds near Bastrop, Texas. We were to meet outside the botany building at a certain time and ride over in a van. All of us were milling around the van when Dr. Alex appeared. He had on tan riding pants with knee high brown leather boots, a black beret*, a pair of thick magnifying glasses that flipped down from under the beret, and a huge knife with a 10 inch blade in a scabbard on his belt. Needless to say, the class was in shock about going out in rural Central Texas with him dressed like that. However, we loaded in the van hoping that no one would see us. Things went well until we started home and he announced that he wanted to stop at a little eating place to get some buttermilk pie. The parking lot was filled with pickup trucks the biggest "redneck place" you've ever seen! We bit our tongues and went inside the best pie I've ever had in spite of all the looks we attracted!" C.W.M.
[*His black wool beret was standard cool weather grab.]
Wayne Rosing remembers, "As a Myxomycete class project, Dr. Alex had us check the identifications of myxos in the Creager collection by bringing the specimen, our slide, and our ID to him for his perusal before specimens were placed in the UT Herbarium. I brought him a beat up specimen that both Creager and I had identified as Comatricha typhoides. When Dr. Alex looked at the boxed specimen, he said, `NEVER!' When I said, `It has the spores.' He replied, `If this is C. typhoides, I'll take everyone to coffee.' He looked at my slide and I presume he felt that I'd somehow mixed up slides from different specimens. He made his own slide from the boxed specimen, examined it microscopically and said, `Tell everyone to get their coats, we're going for coffee.' As a young know-it-all, I oft times disagreed with Dr. Alex. But, in the five years I knew him, he was right perhaps 1000 times to the 3 times that I can vividly recall, I was right. I think that he actually liked the fact that I'd disagree with him on occasion (in an agreeable way of course)." —W.C.R.
Wayne also remembers the only impersonation he ever heard Dr. Alex do —Ernst Athern Bessey. "According to Dr. Alex, Bessey's reputation at Michigan State University was legend. He knew everything botanical there was to know. A young colleague was going to test Bessey and had planted some grapefruit seeds in a flat. These had germinated and the junior faculty member was taking them to campus intending to tell Bessey they were weeds that had come up in his Michigan back yard. The flat of seedlings was on the floor of the car behind the driver's seat as the young Ph.D. drove to campus. As luck would have it, Dr. Bessey was walking to campus. His young colleague pulled up to the curb and asked Bessey if he'd like a ride. Bessey then got into the car. Suddenly, his nose began to twitch. It was at this point that Dr. Alex told us that Bessey lisped. When Bessey's young colleague asked him, `What's wrong Dr. Bessey?' Bessey replied, `I thmell grapefruit theedlings.'" —W.C.R.
Ralph Gustafson was one of several students impressed by the buzzer. "Dr. Alex's office was some distance from the two labs where the graduate students had their desks and research space. He installed a buzzer* in each of two the labs and posted list above the buzzer button that all of our names on it and the number of times he would press the button for each of us. We all lived in fear of that system as getting buzzed meant that we were to immediately go to his office to `get the word' about something, usually bad news for the student buzzed. It was not a quiet buzz and all would jump when it went off." R.G.
[*The buzzer code was dependent on the total number of graduate students, and some students were signaled by no fewer that seven buzzes. We always had to remain alert to count the number of buzzes accurately.]
"I got buzzed into Dr. Alex's office one day and found him conversing with a long-haired, bearded fellow. The guy had brought bits and pieces of dried mushroom to Dr. Alex. These were being sold on the street as Psilocybe mexicana. The guy was from a drug-counseling center in Austin. He wanted to know if they were the genuine article. Dr. Alex looked at the debris under his dissecting scope and made a slide or two. He told the fellow that he thought that the mushroom remains were indeed those of P. mexicana but that he wasn't going to tell anyone to eat them. When the fellow left, I heard Dr. Alex swear for the first and last time. He said, `Damn hippies*, I wish they'd leave the fungi alone.' And so it goes…." —W.C.R.
[*Dr. Alex was conservative about certain things! He did, however, coauthor a paper on a species of the genus of hallucinogenic mushrooms that certainly helped to insure correct identification (Jackson, R. E. and C. J. Alexopoulos. 1976. Psilocybe cubensis (Agaricales): A comparison of Mexican and Texas types. Southwestern Naturalist 21:227-233)]
Don Reynolds wrote, "Dr. Alex's European manner was part of his demeanor. One of the "imperial" attributes was to have a call buzzer for the graduate students. The room buzzer* was just under my foot space. It seemed to buzz all day with a signal of from one to several blasts depending who was being summoned. Once I just got tired of it and kicked it off the wall. Within what seemed like a very short while, he was down the hall finding out what was wrong for a quick fix. The Grand Old Man was soon again being served by those he deemed could do his bidding." D.R.R.
[*Again, there goes that buzzer!]
In his second year at Stephen F. Austin State University Charles Mims invited Dr. Alex to come over to give a seminar. "There was no way to fly in to Nacogdoches, so he and Mrs. Alex drove over —about a 5 hour drive. They were very late in arriving, and we were getting worried. When they finally pulled up to my home after dark, he explained that they had had two flat tires on the way over and that various kind people had helped them with the flats —the last man had suggested that they needed to get new tires right away but Alex wanted my advice on the matter. The next morning I looked at the tires and none of the four had any tread left —the worse looking tires I'd ever seen! When I pointed this out to him his response was that he was too busy with his work to worry about getting new tires! The next day I went with him to the tire store to have four new tires installed before they started home." C.W.M.
It was not only tires, but also Dr. Alex's car engine that was often not in good condition. I once recognized it parked on the side of a road that I also used each morning. I headed for the nearest service station and there he was with his guest, G. W. Martin*, who was visiting as outside committee member for Mary Henney's (Ph.D. Texas, 1966) dissertation defense. Dr. Alex stayed to deal with the car and I had the great privilege of driving Dr. Martin in to the university.
[*George Willard Martin was long retired from the University of Iowa at the time, but was still active and was at the time collaborating with Dr. Alex on the Myxomycetes.]
Whether we were his research assistants or teaching assistants, we worked hard. I remember that I was required to work 20 hours a week on his NSF grant-related research not my own slime mold research. At that time the IRS apparently did not require R.A.s to pay taxes as long as they were paid to pursue their own research. We envied Dr. Bold's R.A.s who not only got more of their thesis work done during the day, but also escaped paying taxes on the meager wages. Ralph and Wayne remember how hard they worked as T.A.s.
Dr. Alex taught graduate introductory mycology every fall term at UT-Austin. He wanted living cultures ready for the labs and he wanted them to be axenic and ready to show whatever they were to show at the lab that day. Timing was essential!
That meant having:
Allomyces male gametangia ready to open and spew forth the male gametes when the students added water to the culture
Mucor and Phycomyces + and strains in the same dish with zygospores where they met in the center of the dish.
Myxomycete swarm cells swimming in the dish at the start of the lab.
Sordaria perithecia ready at the moment that they had mature ascospores.
Pilobolus ready to shoot off their sporangia as soon as the students put the culture under the lights of their dissecting microscopes.
And the list went on and on. He wanted the cultures in his office one hour before the class session so that he could examine them before he used them in the lab. Was there pressure? He was very disappointed when I came in and said so-and-so is not ready or I could not recover it from the culture collection. The T.A. was also responsible for maintaining the culture collection that contained well over 200 cultures of myxomycete mating types and molds.
Don Reynolds, the T.A. before me had developed a calendar with the days indicated as to when one needed to start the cultures so that they would be ready a week or so later for lab. I followed his calendar and modified it to meet the next term's class schedule. Yes, I was probably the one that Dr. Alex alluded to in his memo to the graduate students about using too much agar (see below) because I started at least a dozen plates of each culture to make sure that I had at least one dish with the organism ready to go." R.G.
[Wayne to Ralph as they were discussing Alexopoulos anecdotes "Remember, I followed you as Dr. Alex's T.A. He would always tell me, "Ralph had cultures of Pythium with sporangia releasing a vesicle." When I consulted you, you'd say something like: "Like hell I did." I was the T.A. the semester Dr. Alex went into the hospital with his first brain tumor*. I not only did the labs ALL semester (he wouldn't come downstairs), I had to teach the last 1/3 of the lectures as well since some of Bold's and Delevoryas' grad students were taking the course. The grad school looked the other way while someone with only a B.S. taught a significant part of a graduate-only class. For all my efforts, the department gave me the Bold Teaching Award and a check for $50 - talk about slave labor. I had two botany labs to teach as well. Ralph, thanks for the memories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]" W.C.R.
[*Dr. Alex had medical tests in fall 1963. The diagnosis of myasthenia gravis, a neuro-muscular disease, was discovered to be incorrect more than ten years later when he suddenly could not find his way home after a day's work actually a benign brain tumor, the "first" brain tumor. There was at least one more to be removed and several spinal tumors as well. A terrible infection caused him to be very slow to recover from the second brain tumor surgery, and a square portion of bone was removed from the front of his skull. After that he had a square depression in the front of his head. Because he had spinal arthritis in the last few years of his life he and was bent over, and the depression could not be missed.]
Soon after a second brain tumor surgery, Dr. Alex wrote to a student, "I am recovering slowly, but I am sure I will be unable to come to Indiana [MSA Fiftieth Anniversary meeting, Bloomington, Indiana, August 1981] for the meetings. I had counted on it but the gods willed otherwise. I guess I should be glad to be alive…."
["From the desk of C. J. Alexopoulos" memo pads were a staple on his desk. He used these memos in the way we use Post-it notes today. These are from the collection of Ralph Gustafson]
October 10, 1969
All mycology graduate students:
I have reason to believe that very few of you make an effort to keep up with current literature in mycology.
I suggest that you set a definite time once a week to visit the Biology Library and read articles related to research or to mycology in general and scan the new issues of all periodicals received. It is imperative that those of you working on physiology or biochemistry of fungi or myxomycetes consult Chemical Abstracts in the Chemistry Library.
Perhaps we should meet weekly to discuss current literature.
October 21, 1969
We have been using agar at an extraordinary rapid rate and I am sure that we could drastically reduce our consumption if we followed the following rules:
1. Do not pour large quantities of petri plates at one time to store for use at some future date. The agar dries before you know it and is wasted.
2. Use small petri dishes whenever feasible (most of the time). If a shortage develops let me know and I shall buy more.
3. Reduce the amount of agar used in each dish. We all use much more than is needed. Even if you save 1 or 2ml per dish it will make a big difference in consumption.
I have recently read somewhere that the algal beds of California from which most of our agar comes from are being rapidly depleted and that a considerable jump in price is inevitable in the near future. Our resources are not inexhaustible; neither are our grant funds. PLEASE TAKE THE ABOVE SERIOUSLY, OTHERWISE I SHALL HAVE TO RATION THE AGAR AND THAT WILL SLOW DOWN YOUR RESEARCH.
November 10, 1969
Please come to my office weekly on the designated hour to discuss progress in your research.
Don -Friday 10:00 a.m.
Ralph -Tuesday 10:00 a.m.
Tim [Tim T. Ellis (Ph.D. Texas, 1975)] -Monday 10:00 a.m.
Wally [Wallace M. LeStourgeon (Ph.D. Texas, 1970)] -Wednesday 10:00 a.m.
If these times conflict with classes please let me know immediately."
July 17, 1970 (A note from Dr. Alex from the University of Washington where he was teaching for a summer to R.G.)
Nothing seems to be going right here. I have a very dumb class of 35 undergraduates who sleep through my lectures and who after 4 weeks of mycology can't tell a sporangium from a perithecium and don't particularly care.*
Good luck on your German.**
[*Dr. Alex could never understand why, when given the opportunity to learn, few students took advantage.]
**[Texas required a reading knowledge language exam for the Ph.D.; Dr. Alex sometimes remembered to administer an exam he required in a second language.]
May 10, 1971
I am reporting a grade of A for all of you in research although none of you has made significant progress in your research for this semester. I would be ashamed to do anything less for my majors.
I will expect those of you that are here this summer to devote all of your time to research and make much progress. Those who will be away will be expected to work twice as hard next fall.
Please take this note seriously. I could have talked to you individually about this but I wanted you to have it in writing. C.J.A.
From a letter to Meredith Blackwell from Dr. Alex
10 December 1974
One of the boxes in the UTMC [University of Texas Myxomycete Collection] bears the inscriptions:
Do you, by any chance, have that box or do you know anything about it? I do not have it filed under either L. alexopouli or L. scintillans. Have a nice holiday.
[Dr. Alex worked very hard, and continued to do microscope work late into his career. During the time of "myasthenia gravis" he had constant double vision and worked by covering one eye with a hand. We all had ready access to the slime mold collection and his library. All of the sign-out systems he devised failed, and he was never certain if things were borrowed or mislaid on his very messy desk and work benches.]
Meredith's last "from the desk of C. J. Alexopoulos" note mailed in an envelope long after leaving Texas
24 March 1976
Happy birthday and thanks for your card*. I usually do not support the greeting card racket except at Christmas, so this will have to do for now.
[*Our birthdays were ten days apart, so he always was reminded of mine when he got a card. His birthday was always easy to remember because it was on St. Patrick's Day.]
Ralph recalls the Christmas letters and writes: "After we graduated and moved to our new positions Dr. Alex would send a Christmas Season's Greeting letter with updates of how he was doing and where he and wife Juliet had traveled that year and how they were doing health wise. These continued up to a couple of years before he died. Some quips from some of these letters show he did have a sense of humor and was more political than he showed when we were there in graduate school." Ralph's files produced the quotes from the Christmas letters that are interspersed below:
February 9, 1977 (Ready for retirement and his standard reply to student's questions).
I retire officially on May 31, 1977 but actually when I give my final exam in this course I am teaching this semester, i.e., on May 16, 9-12 a.m. That, if my mathematics are correct, is exactly 96 days from now, it being noon at the time I am writing this. I can hardly wait! I shall still have my office and the small private lab space next to it so that I may come at will and work on my myxos, but the key words here are `at will.' No more: `How much of all this do we have to know" (Standard reply: `You don't have to know anything, so far as I am concerned. You can remain ignorant all your life'!)*
I hope to see all of you in Tampa next August  at IMC2 ** C.J.A
*[Dr Alex had added the following hand written statement
"This is why no one has ever called me a "nice " person!"]
[**Many Alexopoulos students went to Tampa and saw Dr. Alex there to open the congress as the first President of the International Mycological Association. The evening of the opening, however, he had a mild heart attack and missed the rest of the meeting.]
But Dr. Alex did go to many meetings where he was always surrounded by his students. He made certain we were introduced to prominent mycologists whose papers we had read in his courses. Judi recalls, "In the last meetings he attended with us we had dinner parties where he would refer to us as the `stars in his crown' —and assure us that the glory days were over for mycologists." —JTE
From a short letter to Meredith —17th May 1977
I have given my last exam*, and am about to turn in my grades. After that I am a free man.
*[Late in his career Dr. Alex offered a new course that he had always wanted to teach economic botany. He worked hard to prepare for the course and had a huge number of files on all aspects of economically important plants. He was helpful to me and copied all of the materials for me when I did a similar course.]
December 1980 Christmas letter (three years after retiring)
"Speaking of our new [US] president, one of you (was it you, Don [Reynolds]) asked me how I thought science research would fare under the new regime. Since I supported Ron Reagan, I think I'll write him a letter and tell him I support his policy of cutting down government expenses and that he should start with NSF and NIH. After all, who wants taxpayer's money to help investigate the sex life of the myxomycetes or the ultrastructure of sooty molds or the Myxomycetes of Hawaii? (Hawaii went to Carter in November, anyway). As for the desert myxomycetes, they don't belong there at all, so let them be.*
Enough chatter —Happy New Year"
P.S. Another sad piece of news —We lost our cat** to some horrible disease. Had to have him put away.
*The conservative streak showed as well as acerbic wit.
**At Texas we all knew Melanie, adopted in Ames, Iowa, she lived to be about 18. She was buried under the big fig tree on Calithea Drive. There were cats that preceded Melanie, and this one followed because Melanie was not a "him."
R.G.'s last Christmas letter from Dr. Alex.—November 29, 1983
My body is getting weaker all the time, and I hardly get up from my Lazy Boy chair until bedtime. I pass my time reading whatever I can lay my hands on. Please send me your reprints as your papers get into print. I am always happy to see your work, and so many of you have done so well I am proud to have been your teacher.
Juliet and I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas. May 1984 be a happy Non-Orwelian Year for all of us, but watch out for Big Brother (the I.R.S.)!
From a letter Dr. Alex wrote to Henry Aldrich*.12 December 1983.
Dear Henry, All the student letters [see immediately above] have been signed and mailed. Just in case we do a 1984 letter or for your own information when the time comes to notify my students of my demise, I want to make a few corrections in your list as follows…. [He noted the death of a first T.A., updated an address for one and a name for another, and noted loosing track of a student.]
*Henry Aldrich, who defended his thesis at age 24 and spent the rest of his life at the University of Florida, continued to do many small favors for Dr. Alex after he left Texas. In addition to helping with the Christmas letters noted above, Henry kept Dr. Alex
supplied with tangerine marmalade from Stucky's, a gift shoprestaurant chain with a store on a highway near Gainesville.
From a letter to M.B.—10 July 1983 (Sunday noon).—The card with all the signatures and news from the MSA meeting* arrived yesterday afternoon.… This has been a great meeting for our mycological family and I am so happy to still be alive to see so many of you being honored. I have always felt I was primarily a teacher and it gives me the greatest pleasure to see so many of my students doing so well. Keep it up all of you!
[*Ames, Iowa, June 1983]
Soon after Christmas 1985 I met Henry Aldrich in Lake Charles where he had spent Christmas vacation with family, and we drove to Austin; we packed up Dr. Alex's office and sent all his correspondence to the university archives to be sealed for fifty years. The books and journals were taken to Calithea Drive; the journals were packed away in a storage building on the property. On the first day of packing Mrs. Alex was sent to lunch with friends so we could get the packing done. Early the next morning Billie Turner [UT plant systematist extraordinaire] found Mrs. Alex in the dumpster behind the botany building checking to see what had been thrown away. At his home we added bars around the bath and raised the bed so that Dr. Alex might be able to manage a little longer with only Mrs. Alex's help.
Even at that time she was concerned about finding a simple pine casket required for a Greek Orthodox funeral. Because neither of them had seemed especially religious when I knew them, I was surprised by her insistence about the requirement. The day after Dr. Alex died, a young orthodox priest with an oddly Scots surname came to discuss the funeral. Mrs. Alex was still worried about the casket. He finally set her worry to rest by saying one must be practical and went on to discuss material for the eulogy.
Dr. Alex was committed to us for life. We relied on him for more recommendation letters, general advice, and information on all things mycological. Here George C. Carroll relates an exchange about a negative.
"Although at times a hard taskmaster and a rather formal person, Dr. Alex took great pride in his students' accomplishments and went to considerable lengths to help with publications and give useful advice. As a young assistant professor Dr. Alex provided both to me in generous measure.
I particularly remember an incident in 1972 dealing with an EM negative I needed for a publication. As a graduate student in the cell research institute at the University of Texas I had worked on the fine structure of ascospore development for my Ph.D thesis. Not all of my thesis work was published when I took a job at the University of Oregon, and several years later I found that I needed a good print from a particularly difficult negative to submit for publication. All negatives from the Cell Research Institute EM lab at the University of Texas were considered property of the institution and stayed on site. What to do? I certainly had neither time nor money to travel to Austin from Oregon to get the needed print. So I wrote to Dr. Alex with an improper suggestion could he snitch the negative I needed, send it to me, and then surreptitiously replace it after a short lapse?
Alex replied that he did not think he could visit the negative archive unnoticed and that he, understandably, did not want to damage cordial relations he had established with colleagues in the EM lab over a 10 year period. Instead he asked the powers that were to make a print. The print materialized and Alex kindly sent it on to me. Unfortunately, as expected, it was completely unsatisfactory for publication. I wrote again, explaining my dilemma.
I received a letter on November 3rd expressing his dismay as follows:
You are certainly pushing your luck or rather mine. I did not tell Joyce the prints were for you. I let her understand they were for me, something I was publishing. When she brought them I told her they were fine! Now, how do I go back and tell her to redo them? I'll have to think of something but right now my mind is a blank and my pessimism at its zenith. Anyway, this is Friday afternoon and nothing can be done until Monday at the earliest.
I suppose I should not be so chicken and should invade the sanctum sanctorum and snitch the negative for you, but at my age I have lost all desire for adventure and have become ultra-conservative and law-abiding to a disgusting degree. Don't give up; I may think of something.'
I must have replied in even more plaintive vein. On December 1 came the following:
Your letter stirred me into action. First I asked myself the obvious question: Are you a man or a mouse? The reply came loud and clear: I am a mouse! But not so much of a mouse as not to be a skunk at the same time. So I did what any skunk would do, i.e. ask one of my students to get the negative for me. He did. Here it is. He is now responsible to CRI, I to him, and you to me. Let's break the chain as soon as possible by returning the negative to its folder or whatever they keep it in.
Remember, the mouse will worry until the negative has been replaced.
One more thing. In your acknowledge-ments, don't thank me for stealing the negative from CRI. My student should get the credit, but I shall not give you his (her) name!
All of this is to say that Alex could be generous and very funny when the occasion demanded. This must have contributed greatly to his success as a teacher. Needless to say the negative got printed and returned in a matter of a week." —GCC
In addition to his students, another person in Dr. Alex's life at Texas was phycologist and department chairperson [chairman in those days], Harold Bold, mentioned earlier as a member of the committee that wrote the memorial resolution. Dr. Bold was instrumental in luring Dr. Alex to Texas, but he always said he took the job because of several offers for Fall 1962, Texas was the only one in which he was not be required to be chairperson. They maintained a close friendship. Dr. Alex once compared himself with Dr. Bold by saying that Harold wanted to be loved by everyone, implying that he himself was not —likely because he was too scrupulously honest.
On August 1, 1966 the two friends went to lunch as they did several days a week; this was the day of the Texas tower sniper, and we assumed a phone call from Mrs. Alex inquiring about Dr. Alex indicated that she knew about the shots fired from a high-powered rifle on the campus. Unfortunately, we inadvertently broke the news to her, and worse yet, we did not know if they had had avoided the shots that hit several people just outside the building. As we looked out windows toward the Union, we saw several injured people, and hoped that Drs. Alex and Bold had not walked to the Union at the wrong time. They later returned from an unusually long off-campus lunch, never even knowing what was happening until they tried to get into the campus.
Along with Dr. Alex came Juliet Catherine Dowdy Alexopoulos. Born in Lincoln, Illinois, on September 1, 1904, Mrs. Alex died at their home in Austin, Texas, on July 20, 2000 at the age of 95. She was an accomplished pianist with a B.S. degree from the University of Kansas and an M.S. from the Eastman School of Music. In fact she and Mrs. Harold Bold, her good friend, had similar musical backgrounds, a basis for their close friendship apart from the association of their husbands. She had joined the music faculty at Kent State in 1936, the year after Dr. Alex had become a faculty member there. They met soon after and were married August 26, 1939. She supported and promoted him fiercely throughout the rest of his life. Periodically, she entertained the graduate students with great hospitality and wonderful food, and we aspired to a beautiful home such as the one she had designed. Their home was filled with thick Turkish (literally) carpets and tasteful artwork, including a Greek icon over five hundred years old. I once was told by a visiting professor that I would be welcome as a postdoc in his lab, but probably would not like it, because I would never be invited to his home that just was not done in his country.
After Dr. Alex died Mrs. Alex bought her first computer to revise for publication a manuscript they had worked on intermittently "Collector's Items, " including a "On the Trail of the Slime Mold," chapters describing various trips the work with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in Greece (1946-1947), another year (1954-1955) on a Fullbright Fellowship to Greece, various collecting trips, including one made unforgettable by a robbery under the pseudonym Alex Kosta! One chapter I enjoyed most described his work with the Rubber Development Corporation during World War II, when he traveled far up the Amazon from Manaus to the vicinity of Benjamin Constant in a largely failed attempt to improve harvesting of the native Hevea latex badly needed for tires on military vehicles; importation of rubber from the plantations of southeastern Asia had been cut off by war perhaps reason for certain of his conservative views with parallels in today's world.
Although he was born in Chicago, the Alexopoulos family returned to Greece when Dr. Alex was a young boy, so that his father could do mandatory service in the Greek army. They all returned to Chicago when Dr. Alex was began high school, but his parents and sister returned to Greece some time later. Dr. Alex's parents lived into their 90s and died in Athens not so many years before he did. His only sibling, Theodora ("Dora") Pantos and her husband, a businessman, also lived in Athens where she worked for an international charitable organization. Dora died in Athens September 29, 1993. Her husband had died somewhat earlier. Neither Dora, younger than her brother, nor Dr. Alex had lineal heirs.
Juliet's nephew, Ellis Smith, his daughter Leslie, and Leslie's two daughters are the last of Juliet's close relatives.
Meredith Blackwell (Ph.D. Texas, 1973), Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Ralph Gustafson (Ph.D. Texas, 1973), Department of Biology, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733
Wayne C. Rosing (Ph.D. Texas, 1975), Biology Department, Middle Tennessee University, Murfreesboro TN37132
Charles W. Mims (Ph.D. Texas, 1969), Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602
Joanne Tontz Ellzey (Ph.D. Texas, 1969), Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas 79968
Steve Bratteng (M.A. Texas, 1968), Teacher, Westwood High School, Austin, Texas 78750
Don R. Reynolds (Ph.D. Texas, 1970), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90007
George C. Carroll, (Ph.D. Texas, 1966), Department of Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403
C. J. A. 1906-1986. <http://lsb380.plbio.lsu.edu/LabPersonnel/cja.html>.
Blackwell, M. 1988. C. J. Alexopoulos. A brief history. Transactions of the British Mycological Society 90:153-158.
Brodie, H. J. 1987. Constantine John Alexopoulos, 1907-1986. Mycologia 79: 163-165, frontispiece.
Truman State University's Solar Clock Garden
Students at Truman State University now have less reason to be late for class. In spring 2005, a sundial and floral clock were installed on campus. Now students always know what time it is especially if the sun is shining.
This large project, which occupies approximately 3500 square feet south of Magruder Hall, Truman's newly renovated and expanded science building, includes two main elements, a horizontal sundial constructed of low concrete walls and a floral clock garden planted within the sundial. Together they comprise the Gaber Solar Clock Garden, named for Drs. Ron and Elsie Gaber, local residents who generously provided funding to get this project off and into the ground.
Construction of the sundial was completed last spring. The design emerged from an interdisciplinary class taught by Associate Professor of Physics, Dr. Matt Beaky. He took ideas proposed by student groups and modified these to fit the available site. The sundial's concrete walls were built by Truman's physical plant staff. A 12-foot tall post the gnomon was milled from a red cedar tree that formerly grew on the site but that had to be cut to accommodate construction of the building. The gnomon indicates time by casting its shadow across "hour lines" that radiate across the site. An interesting addition is the presence of three cross walls (see photo). These walls intersect the hour lines and are positioned such that the tip of the gnomon's shadow follows the far arc on the winter solstice (shortest day, longest shadow!); the close arc on the summer solstice (longest day, shortest shadow); and the single straight path on the two equinoxes. These three cross walls, as well as the "local noon" hour marker, were made wider than the others to allow visitors to walk out into the garden.
Looking down on Truman's solar clock garden from across the street; the time is approximately 4 p.m. in late summer. Some plants have gone by and have been removed, making the sundial walls clearly visible, including the winter solstice arc, the summer solstice arc, and the straight equinox path. Image by Courtney Robbins.
Design of the sundial presented numerous challenges, not least of which is the fact that the ground is not level, but slopes slightly from northeast to southwest. This made the calculations of angles and arcs more challenging which is why I'm a botanist and not a physicist!
The Floral Clock
Carl Linnaeus is best remembered for his development of the binomial system of nomenclature, but he also wrote and lectured on many other topics. One of his observations, mentioned in Philisophia Botanica, was the idea that carefully selected plants could be arranged such that the plants' flowers would open and close sequentially through the day. He referred to this type of planting as a horologium florae, or floral clock. Although Linnaeus did not actually plant such a garden, he did recommend a number of plants that could be used.
When I learned of plans for our sundial, I immediately realized that the "cells" formed by its intersecting walls would make wonderful garden beds. I was familiar with Linnaeus's idea for a floral clock, and given the theme of time inherent in a sundial, this seemed a perfect opportunity to attempt a floral clock. And of course, operating under the tenet true at most universities "s/he who suggests, does" responsibility for the gardening project fell to me.
The solar clock garden viewed from the west, taken early in the season. The flowers of Gazania are open in the foreground, and the gardens "cells," or planting beds, are evident. Inclusion of the equinox wall divided each hour into two smaller planting areas. Image by Tim Barcus.
The solar clock garden viewed from the east, taken before planting was complete. The garden slopes slightly from northeast (far right, in photo) to southwest. Image by Tim Barcus.
I quickly recruited then-undergraduate Abbie Smith to work on the project, and we began a search for candidate plants. We started with Linnaeus's list, but realized some of his selections would do poorly in the climate and clay soils of northeast Missouri. Other plants on his list were invasive species that we did not wish to include, while still others were difficult to obtain. We also had a large area to plant, and for any given section, we wished to have at least one species in flower at all times, meaning we needed several species for each time slot. We also quickly learned that although it's easy to find out when during the growing season a plant is in flower a piece of information important to gardeners and farmers it's another thing altogether to find out what time of day a plant's flowers are open.
The author (far left) with his ecology class. The view is across the garden from west to east. The prominent, straight sidewalk is the path followed by the tip of the gnomon's shadow on the two equinoxes. Plants in the foreground include flower-of-an-hour (Hibiscus trionum) `Luyona' and Calendula officinalis `Radio'. Image by Tim Barcus.
And so the search began. We scoured the botanical and gardening literature; we looked in seed and nursery catalogs; and we searched the web. We consulted local gardeners, fellow Master Gardeners, and horticulturists across the country. I even developed a lab for my botany class in order to get them involved. In the end, we uncovered many dozens of candidate species with sometimes contradictory information. Then we moved into the greenhouse…
Fortunately, part of the expansion of Magruder Hall included the addition of a large, new greenhouse, and the solar clock garden project usurped as much bench space as we could in order to start plants from seed. Most of this greenhouse work was done by undergraduates. We began and nurtured many of our candidate plants under glass, in the process rejecting some species that didn't behave as anticipated.
Abbie and I actually started work in the fall of 2003, expecting to plant the following spring. Unfortunately, construction of the sundial was delayed and the project was postponed a year. Finally, last spring, the sundial was completed and the site was turned over to us, though at that point it was nowhere near ready for planting. Although the walls of the sundial were in place, the soil within the cells was hard-packed and difficult to work, reflecting its recent history as a construction site. Pitchforks and shovels especially those wielded by aging Associate Professors of Biology barely penetrated this hardpan. Nonetheless, virtually all dirt work was done by hand. Fortunately, many volunteers stepped forward, including Truman administrators, faculty, staff, and family; community members; and many students. These ranged from Truman students taking classes or doing summer research, to Junior High students on campus for a special program, to some very strong members of Truman's football team.
Piles of rubble and excess soil were removed, and two truckloads of aged horse manure were brought in from Truman's farm and worked into the soil. Then, on Saturday, June 4, 2005, the first specimens were planted. Abbie, having already graduated, drove back to Kirksville for a long weekend of hard labor in order to be on hand for the inaugural planting. Other students who had worked with me during the school year also came back from their summer homes to help with this final push and initial planting. Then, over the next several weeks, we added plants while we completed work on the last few cells. By the time we were done, we had planted more than 30 species in the garden, fewer than planned but not bad for the first (hot, dry!) year, especially given our late start.
Time Will Tell
Of course, the first question people usually ask is, Does the clock garden work? The sundial works extremely well, especially for those willing to adjust for the "precession of time." (Sundial enthusiasts know what this means!)
Overall, the floral clock also "worked," though with some qualifications. Our placement was nearly perfect for some species but a bit off for others; in addition, some species were more consistent in their time of opening than were others.
Among the more reliable plants were the Gazania hybrid cultivars, which were planted in front of the "equinox wall," in the 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. cell. These were among the stars of the garden; not only did they contribute color during nearly the entire growing season, but they consistently opened during their "appointed" time. It wasn't until late summer, perhaps due to cooler temperatures, that these plants began sleeping later in the morning!
Gazania hybrid cultivars. These multi-colored composites opened reliably between 9 and 10 a.m. through most of the summer. Image by Tim Barcus.
We planted two cultivars of blue pimpernel (Anagallis monellii), and we hedged our bets. We planted `Blue Lights' in the 9-10 a.m. section, and that's when it opened; a smaller-flowered cultivar was planted in the 10-11 a.m. section, but it also tended to open before 10:00. We planted the Missouri native rock pink (Talinum calycinum) in the 2-3 p.m. section, and its buds would begin unwrapping "like clockwork" each afternoon, right on cue.
One of the garden favorites was the native passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), which we grew on two trellises in the back of the 11-noon and noon-1 p.m. sections. (Remember, during Daylight Savings Time, the shadow falls along the "local noon" line at 1 p.m., not at noon.) The spectacular flowers of these climbers would usually begin opening around 11:30 or so, and depending on conditions (temperature? humidity?), the length of time required for these flowers to open tended to vary. One day I watched a flower go from closed bud to fully open in less than five minutes. Not only did I watch the petals and corona uncurl and flatten, I watched the stamens flip over and I could hear the parts moving against each other! I got in the habit of going out to the garden to observe and photograph this spectacle and I think students got in the habit of walking on the other side of the street so I wouldn't drag them over to watch this show yet again! Each flower on this plant lasts but a single day, after which it partially closes and fades. We got our plants into the ground late, but they still had sufficient time to set fruit, although not quite enough to fully sweeten.
The late afternoon section of the garden was also popular, for it was here that we planted species whose flowers either opened or secreted nectar late in the day or during the evening. The combined aroma of flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata `Lime Green' and `Grandiflora'), night phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis `Midnight Candy'), and night-scented stock (Matthiola longipetala) would sometimes stop passersby in their tracks. We also planted the Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa), whose flowers are macro very large indeed. This spring we will add moonflower (Ipomoea alba), evening catchfly (Silene noctiflora), and others.
The solar clock garden at about 9 a.m. The tall plants in front of the vent pipes are okra; those on the far right are passionflowers (Passiflora incarnata). The portulacas in the foreground are just beginning to open. Image by Courtney Robbins.
Two edible species, okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) and a dwarf summer squash (Cucurbita pepo `Zephyr') added another somewhat unusual element to the garden. These each have large flowers that open in the morning and close later the same day, and they provide a nice link between horticulture and economic botany. I got in the habit of placing the day's harvest in a basket next to the sidewalk along with recipes.
Undergraduate biology major Nicole Asal and the author spreading mulch. Mulch was added to suppress weeds, conserve soil moisture, and add organic matter. Image by Tim Barcus.
We had successes, but we also had disappointments. The moss roses, or eleven o'clocks, (Portulaca grandiflora) were nice to look at but were unpredictable in their opening; on sunny days they almost always opened earlier than 11:00. The four o'clocks (Mirabilis nyctaginea and M. jalapa) were similarly unpredictable, sometimes opening early, sometime late but they did add nice color and texture to the afternoon section of the garden. By spending as much time as possible in the garden and taking note of what each species was doing, we can make adjustments this year, especially since many of the plants are annuals and will need to be replanted.
Are We There Yet?
As all gardeners know, a garden is never finished. Because we got a late start last year, we didn't plant the entire bed, which increased the need for weeding. As mentioned above, we also placed some plants in the "wrong" cells, and they must either be moved or planted in different sections this spring. And there are new species to include, new cultivars to try, compost and mulch to add, weeds to pull, and the list goes on…
We have also been busy this winter. Four undergraduates in Dr. Steve Chappell's Design & Layout class developed a descriptive brochure and web site for the clock garden. The brochure will be printed and placed in a box within the garden, much like one sees at state and national parks. And by the time this issue of the Plant Science Bulletin is available, the garden's web site should be active at //solarclockgarden.truman.edu. We have a permanent sign to install, and benches and a table to place behind the garden to encourage visitors to linger and eat lunch. Undergraduate Katrina Brink and I are currently developing garden-based curriculum materials for elementary school teachers and their students to use, and we are seeking additional funding for this outreach effort. In the meantime, biology, art, and other Truman classes as well as Kirksville city residents out for a walk are already taking advantage of this new campus garden as are the bees, dragonflies, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other wildlife.
And how else will this sundial and clock garden be used by students, faculty, and city residents? Only time will tell…
Steven B. Carroll, Division of Science, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO 63501. 660.785.4610. firstname.lastname@example.org
News from the Society
Looking to the Future
Conserving the Past
July 28 - August 3, 2006, Chico, California
The annual Botany Conference brings together a broad spectrum of researchers, professors, educators and motivated students, all focused on what's new and vibrant in plant biology. Botany 2006 promises to be the most stimulating to date as we celebrate one hundred years of promoting and advancing the rich and diverse fields of plant sciences. This Centennial Celebration brings together our four leading professional societies, namely the Botanical Society of America, the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and the American Fern Society. The meeting will focus on the important achievements of our members and will highlight prominent botanists whose contributions have shaped and advanced the varied fields of plant biology.
An anticipated 1000 participants will present over 700 scientific contributions including papers, posters, special lectures and 15 symposia. A full slate of field trips and scientific workshops and social events will round out the program.
Botany 2006 is being held on the campus of Chico State University, Chico, California Saturday, July 29, will feature the 5th Educational and Outreach Forum. This successful component of the Botany conference is designed to draw educators and researchers involved in the teaching of biology and plant science from kindergarten through college. The day will include a range of engaging interactive sessions, a keynote lecture and a concluding reception that will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss and network in a social setting. For the first time, teachers will be able to apply for California Continuing Professional Education Credits to participate in Forum activities.
Sunday, July 30th, will be an active day of scientific workshops, and fieldtrips. Sunday evening will open the scientific meeting with the conference-wide Plenary Lecture, followed by an All Society Mixer.
Monday morning, July 31st, kicks off the scientific sessions and symposia. Tuesday afternoon, August 1st, will feature a conference-wide Poster Session, with an expected 400 posters featuring current research and recent topics. Scientific Sessions will conclude on Wednesday, August 2nd. Participating Societies will also hold social events and meetings throughout the week.
American Fern Society (AFS)
American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT)
Botanical Society of America (BSA)
New at Botany 2006
Advertise at the Fair - A new feature that will be incorporated into this year's meeting is a Graduate School-Post-Doc-Job Fair. This event will occur on Sunday, July 29, 2006 prior to the Plenary Talk. As professional members of the BSA, you are invited to represent your department or research program to interact with and recruit quality students and professionals. Stay tuned to the Botany 2006 website for details and information on how you and your institution can become part of this new event.
Increasing Undergraduate Diversity in Botany
The Botanical Society of America (BSA) is pleased to announce the fourth year of a program entitled "Increasing diversity at the annual Botanical Society of America meeting," This program is supported by the National Science Foundation (Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) Program) and will provide financial and professional assistance for 10 minority (African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives and persons with disabilities) undergraduate research students to attend the Botany 2006 conference. Through a supportive mentoring network and orientation activities, the students will be integrated into professional and social activities of the Botany 2006 conference (www.botanyconference.org/). If you know of an eligible and deserving undergraduate who would benefit from this experience, or if you would like to serve as a mentor, please contact Karen Renzaglia (email@example.com) or Jeffrey Osborn (firstname.lastname@example.org). A call for applications and application guidelines are available on the BSA (www.botany.org) and Botany 2006 (www.botanyconference.org) web sites. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2006. This program is an important step towards strengthening the science workforce by utilizing the full range of intellectual talent from diverse ethnic and minority populations. We encourage and welcome your participation.
100 Years of Service to the Plant Sciences - What is the BSA Doing in "Looking to the Future?"
In the late 1990s the Society went through a planning process to ensure a focused approach to the future. The outcome was the report Botany in the Next Millennium (www.botany.org/bsa/millen/). From there the Society began to take up the challenges the document posed. One of its major recommendations was the establishment of a permanent staff to give us the ability to meet our future needs and respond to the remaining recommendations. In late 2002 the BSA set up its home at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Many positive changes have occurred over the past several years with the establishment of the BSA Business Office. You now have a multi-talented staff team of seven dedicated people, who do everything from processing memberships to running professional Botany Conferences, managing (and improving) journal publication processes to acting as a membership support team, and to creating and implementing educational materials and activities with members through website development. We feel we have improved the way the Society operates and how it serves you, the members. In saying this, we also want you to know we are looking for ways to do even more. Please consider it important to let us know how we might better serve you and your colleagues. Take a few moments and send us your comments and ideas when you see something that might be improved.
We'd like you to know that your dues, donations, energy and support are having a direct impact on the BSA and enhancing our ability to deliver on our mission and objectives. Wise decisions by BSA leaders and the generosity of members have put us in a good position to focus on the future. At the same time, the environment for science and scientific societies continues to change. Careful planning and prudent fiscal development will be needed to keep us strong. In essence, we are building on, and adding to, the foundation established over 100 years ago.
Yes, YOUR Society is on the move, and it is due to the many committed members, like yourself, who volunteer their time, talents, and financial support to the many facets of the Society. Your ideas, assistance and continued support are essential.
So what has changed in the last few years? Acting on input from members, here are a few of the things staff have enacted:
· Reducing or eliminating AJB page charges for BSA members;
· Reducing or eliminating AJB color images charges for BSA members;
· Online manuscript submissions;
· Improving "time to print" for the AJB by two months in 2005;
· Improving delivery time of the AJB by over 15 days (online & print);
· Funding of $25,000+ per year to support conference activities and awards;
· Providing 60+ awards per year to support student development;
· Keeping membership costs (dues, subscriptions and meeting registration) at reasonable levels;
· Adding online member services, www.botany.org/newsite/membership/;
· Instituting almost instantaneous response times for member support from the BSA Business Office;
· Developing educational activities (we are just getting started!);
- Scientific Inquiry through Plants (Sip3), www.plantbiology.org;
- Carnivorous Plants, www.botany.org/Carnivorous_Plants/;
· Developing the BSA website, www.botany.org;
- Adding AJB archive abstracts and full article access online, www.botany.org/ajb/
- Adding PSB archive online, www.botany.org/PlantScienceBulletin/;
- Developing the BSA online image collection, www.botany.org/PlantImages/;
· Developing the Botany Conference website, www.2006.botanyconference.org;
- Online conference abstract submission & registration.
And who, you might ask, are the people making things happen and what their roles? This is your staff team.
Johanne Stogran Conference & Meeting Manager
Johanne is the longest-serving BSA staff member. She joined the BSA in 2001 and soon found herself running the show as the only member of staff, working from an office at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Since the addition of her professional colleagues at the World Headquarters, Johanne has moved to serving the BSA in her area of expertise, conference management. She works to offer you best possible conferences, ones that are vibrant and focused on what's new in botany. This entails selecting sites, managing the conference website, producing the meeting documents, recruiting exhibitors and tending to a myriad of other details.
The meeting annex of the World Headquarters of botany is in Johanne's home in Columbus, Ohio. It is also important to mention her family, the unofficial staff at the meetings, who help ensure that everything happens as it should. As we move forward in the future of botany, plans are in place to meet with a variety of societies and associations that share the same focus. Visit the meeting website often to catch the latest news. Also, any ideas you have to make the meetings more meaningful to you as professionals, please let Johanne know - email@example.com.
Wanda Lovan, Administrations Officer
Wanda joined the team in 2003. She leads the BSA's membership and institutional support services. During the past three years, she has revolutionized BSA business operational and accounting procedures. She represents the "engine room" of Society activities. Timely and efficient membership services and subscription fulfillment to institutions remain her top priority. Her management of the web-based financial and registration processes for the Botany Conference is extremely important.
It is also important to note her leadership role in supporting other plant groups (Solanaceae 2006 conferences as well as providing American Fern Society with membership support). This offers us the opportunity to share our "best administrative practices" and well-developed "administrative tools" with other botanical organizations. Membership or subscription questions, interest in learning more about BSA support, Wanda is the person to contact - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire Hemingway Education Director
Claire joined the team in November of 2004 as Managing Editor for the American Journal of Botany. A large part of her early role, in conjunction with Editor-in-Chief Judy Jernstedt and Production Manager Beth Hazen, was to transition the AJB from Ithaca to St. Louis. She did so on the proviso that, when the BSA was ready, she could move to a role more suited to her passion, education outreach. She is currently leading the Scientific Inquiry through Plants program, which connects BSA scientists as online mentors to students investigating plant biology in classrooms across the nation.
To promote the education objectives of the BSA, Claire will work on many fronts. Over the coming year, look for new and revised materials on the BSA website. Updating the Careers in Botany brochure and developing the Carnivorous Plants webpages (www.botany.org/Carnivorous_Plants/) are priorities. Additional education initiatives are in the planning stages, including a collaborative project with the Northwest Indian College on traditional food plants. If you would like to know more about the BSA's new education efforts (or know how to contribute to them), Claire would love to hear from you - email@example.com.
Beth Hazen, Production Editor, American Journal of Botany
AJB production time cut in half!!Beth has served the Journal and the BSA since August 2002. Initially, she served as lead copy editor, and in 2004 she also took on the role of Production Editor. She played a big part in the transition of the editorial office from Ithaca to St. Louis and in putting manuscript and image services online. Along with shortening the production schedule and ensuring earlier mailing of the journal, her efforts in the past year have been directed toward training copy editors and helping authors solve problems with figure preparation and online submissions. What is her main advice to authors to facilitate publication of their papers? Read and follow instructions, and respond within the time frames set by AJB.
Beth lives in central New York and manages the production functions from home. In addition to her quest for perfection in print, Beth also has a passion for education. She teaches workshops on writing and editing and encourages members to send in questions on writing, English, and preparing tables and figures. Your questions may be included in a workshop at the BSA annual meeting, on the BSA website, or in an article for the Plant Science Bulletin. What help would you like to receive? Please let her know - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy McPherson, Managing Editor, American Journal of Botany
Amy is the most recent addition to the BSA team, having joined in August 2005 after 16 years as Managing Editor of the Missouri Botanical Garden Press. She has truly hit the ground running. Joining in the efforts of Beth, Claire, and Editor-in-Chief Judy Jernstedt, she has helped to reduce the time from manuscript submission to print in AJB by two months. From her office at the BSA World Headquarters in St. Louis, she is eager to work with reviewers, authors, and editors to reduce the time even further and to encourage authors from all areas of botany to submit their best papers to AJB - email@example.com.
Rob Brandt, Manager, Technology Development
Rob joined the Botanical Society staff in 2005 after working on various BSA projects as a consultant since 2003. We were pleased to offer him a permanent position and even happier when he accepted! Projects he is actively working on are the web sites for past, present and future Botany Conferences, the main www.botany.org web site, the Scientific Inquiry through Plants www.plantbiology.org web site, and a membership data application for the BSA. Pending funding availability, future projects include an image management application and redevelopment of all existing projects as products that societies similar to the BSA can use.
Rob works out of the BSA's Western Regional Office in Santa Barbara, CA. Ideas we can use for future web-based development or the improvement of existing items - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Dahl, Executive Director
I came to the BSA (and St. Louis) from Christchurch, New Zealand, in late 2002 to open the World Headquarters for the Society. Starting from an office in the "Possum Trading Building" of the Missouri Botanical Garden, with a desk and a phone, it has been a pleasure working to build a dedicated staff team focused on the needs of the BSA and its members. We are a team of seven with varying, yet complementary skills. We continue to operate under the BSA's "3M" concept of improving our delivery to Mission, providing excellent Member service and ensuring Member recognition. My main role is weaving our various efforts together in a manner that best accomplishes our commitment to the 3Ms.
With a century of BSA history as a foundation and an admirable mission to guide us, our roles are clear. We are here to assist you in taking the BSA forward, keeping it relevant and taking the plant sciences to a much broader audience. If I can be of any assistance please contact me - email@example.com.
We look forward meeting you all at Botany 2006 and the BSA Centennial Celebrations in Chico!
Bill Dahl, BSA Executive Director
BSA Plant Science Mentors Making a Difference
Does fertilizer have an effect on seed germination rate? Is the whole seed needed for germination? Those are some of the questions students around the country are investigating with input from plant science mentors in the Botanical Society of America's education outreach program, Scientific Inquiry through Plants (Sip3). This innovative online scientific learning community provides opportunities for students to communicate with scientists and peers in real time as they experience the adventure of doing science.
"Having scientists comment on our project was cool," said Sean, a Pershing County High School student in Lovelock, Nevada. Sean is one of the many students discovering the excitement and challenges of plant research for the first time. The pilot projects, based on the Wonder of Seeds Inquiry, rolled out in 2005 with student teams in middle school through college designing investigations on seed germination and seedling growth. Some 500 students, 8 teachers, and 40 science mentors have participated thus far.
The BSA's online mentorship program is well on its way to improving education about plants and encouraging basic plant research, both of which have long been central objectives of the Society. "Programs like this have the real potential for improving science literacy. As a long-time BSA member, I see this as one of our best educational outreach initiatives in some time," said Peter Raven, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden, Engelmann Professor of Botany, Washington University in St. Louis, and BSA Past President.
"I really enjoyed seeing the students' comments, and thinking about how to respond in a way that would guide them in conducting a scientific experiment and thinking about what is happening. The amount of time invested was small. Their enthusiasm was neat to see," said Pat Gensel, Professor of Biology, University of North Carolina, BSA Past President, and Scientific Inquiry through Plants mentor.
Online mentoring offers the added convenience of interacting with students without having to leave the office or lab. Several BSA members are reaping benefits twice over by volunteering as plant science mentors and running the inquiry projects with their classes. Beverly Brown, BSA Teaching Section Chair and author of the Wonder of Seeds Inquiry said: "I hear some students say they think plants are boring. If you question students further, you find that most have had very little exposure to plants. This project is an exciting way to introduce students to the fascinating lives of plants. They can't love what they don't know!"
Connecting students, teachers, and experts in the field is the feature that sets Scientific Inquiry through Plants apart from most other web-based education efforts. Mentorship has the potential to make classroom learning more meaningful and to inspire lifelong learning. Encouraging curiosity, motivating, deepening understanding—the positive outcomes are numerous. Online conversations with science mentors and peers help students observe closely, ask testable questions, gather information carefully, evaluate evidence critically, and present data effectively. Teachers across all education levels see building these skills as critical for student success.
Science literacy is a growing concern in the current atmosphere of test-driven K-12 education. Past issues of the Plant Science Bulletin remind us that botanical literacy in particular has a long history of neglect. In a recent survey, around one-third of biology teachers reported they did not feel qualified in plant biology. With leaders committed to improving science education, BSA has forged strong partnerships among K-12 teachers, science education researchers, and other societies to address these significant needs.
Scientific Inquiry through Plants provides teachers and students with the resources and support to improve their understanding of plant biology and to enhance the quality of their experiences with scientific inquiry. This participatory science program incorporates the latest learning theory in curriculum design and professional development activities. Current research shows that student-centered, inquiry-based learning leads to improved student thinking skills and conceptual understanding. As plant biologists, we work with ideal organisms for inquiry-based science education. This program gets plants back into the classroom in fresh new ways.
How does the online scientific learning community work? Classrooms across the nation are connected online where students share their research and communicate with peers and plant science mentors. Students work in small cooperative learning groups to design and run experiments centered on a common theme. They post their thoughts, observations, and findings online. Scientists facilitate student thinking and provide insights about what scientists know and how they think. Visit the Scientific Inquiry through Plants website at www.plantbiology.org to see the potential of this approach for learning and teaching.
"I feel strongly the project is worthwhile and needed; it provides teachers with a good inquiry-based botanical investigation that students of different ages can conduct; the questions have real-world applications and students can relate readily to them," said Pat Gensel.
Carol Packard, of Sisters Middle School in Sisters, Oregon, relayed at the Botany 2005 Educational Forum that the inquiry project makes it easy to teach because her students are motivated. Posting work online can also prompt students to take greater ownership and responsibility for their work. As part of a network of professionals, teachers have support for implementing inquiry-based, technology-rich experiences and sharing teaching tips and knowledge. There are benefits to all participants in this scientific learning community. The program offers mentors multiple opportunities to share their knowledge and passion for plant science while meeting outreach requirements of granting agencies.
Following two successful pilots, further developments for the Scientific Inquiry through Plants program include developing new inquiry units, securing external funds, preparing for a spring 2006 project, and beyond. The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) will be a key partner as this program grows.
Judy Jernstedt, Professor, University of California-Davis, Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Botany, and BSA Past President, summarizes her experience as an online mentor: "It has been both enjoyable and challenging to be a scientist mentor for Sip3—enjoyable because the students are enthusiastic and appreciative, and challenging because one has to resist overwhelming the students with information and suggestions as they develop their ideas and projects. It seemed like I could have saved them a lot of time, but a big part of the student benefits comes from thinking things through, sometimes in response to judicious questioning from the scientist. I recommend this experience to everyone who is concerned about the state of science education in the U.S."
If you have some time to donate (about 1 hr per week when experiments are running), please volunteer. Being an online mentor is a great way to inspire a budding plant scientist.
For more information, contact Claire Hemingway , BSA Education Director - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Financial Well Being of the Botanical Society of America
There are at least three things that an organization needs to ensure its success: A Mission (a goal), A Committed Membership (followers), and Financial Support to succeed (money). These three things are helping the BSA to grow and succeed in its mission "…to promote Botany…," to increase its membership, and to provide financial stability and support to the Society initiatives that promote the field of Botany through education, research, and outreach.
As a Society we have a great mission: "The Botanical Society of America exists to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, development, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere." Coupled with our stated objectives to: "sustain and provide improved formal and informal education about plants; encourage basic plant research; provide expertise, direction, and position statements concerning plants and ecosystems; and foster communication within the professional botanical community, and between botanists and the rest of humankind through publications, meetings, and committees," we have a clear goal.
We also have a committed membership.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, the Society began an investment program that was directed to increase reserves, through investments, for its financial stability. In the 1980s, there was a concerted effort by the BSA officers to create a formal plan by which a professional investment firm would help the Society better manage these funds. About ten years ago, the funds the Society had accumulated (about $800,000) were moved into what we now call the BSA Endowment Fund, and placed under an oversight committee, the BSA Financial Advisory Committee, and an outside financial investment firm. In this short time of 10 years, the Endowment Fund has grown to more than $3.1 million dollars. Its growth has occurred through continued financial support from you the membership, wise investments, and prudent decisions from our member leaders. The most important part, however, is that the Endowment Fund has reached a point where some of its growth is serving as a resource to fund Society initiatives such as in education, awards, and infrastructure development. As the Endowment Fund continues to grow, the payback to the Society and its many activities will grow even more.
This year, 2006, is the Centennial Year of the Society. Its history is illustrious in obvious ways: there are many renowned botanist members worldwide; there are excellent sister plant societies whose beginnings came from the BSA; there are highly recognized Society publications; and there are renewed enthusiasm and spirit that are permeating Society activities and programs. The membership can be proud of its Society, the stature it holds in the world scientific community, and the fact that it continues to effectively serve the mission of the Society.
During this Centennial Year the Financial Advisory Committee, who manages your Endowment Fund,would like to encourage you as a member to respond by meeting the challenge of helping to increase the Endowment from its present $3.1million to >$5 million by the end of this Centennial Year; a major but doable goal. At this new level, the Endowment Fund will be eligible to be structured for even more rapid and protected growth through a new investment program. As such, we will be in an excellent position to continue providing funds to the Society in support of activities and initiatives that fit with our mission, well into the future. A strong endowement also provides protection and strength for our important assets such as the AJB, PSB, conferences, educational programs, and the BSA website.
The Financial Advisory Committee encourages YOU to consider contributingto the Endowment Fund this year through a monetary gift or through other ways that can be discussed with any member of the committee. YOUR contribution is completely tax deductible and, even more importantly, it will support the mission of the BSA _ to promote Botany.
Harry T. (Jack) Horner, Chair - for the BSA Financial Advisory Committee
Grady L. Webster, 1927-2005
Grady L. Webster, professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, died Oct. 27 from the effects of a stroke suffered a week earlier. He was 78 years old. He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Barbara Donahue Webster, by daughter Susan Verdi Webster, and by generations of students who became colleagues.
"Grady inspired young people with his passion and energy for seeing plants in their natural habitat and his global knowledge of vegetation," said Michael Barbour, a UC Davis professor of plant sciences and a colleague of Webster's for 38 years. "We will remember him for the importance of his contributions to our knowledge of tropical and subtropical plants; his infectious, wry sense of humor; and his warm and constant support of his friends and family."
Webster's awards and achievements included National Science Foundation (NSF), Guggenheim, Smithsonian and Rackham fellowships; the Engler Medal from the International Association for Plant Taxonomy; the Merit Award from the Botanical Society of America (BSA); and the Asa Gray Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT). He served as president of the Botanical Society of America, California Botanical Society, and American Society of Plant Taxonomists, and was director of NSF's Program for Systematic Biology.
He was elected as a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and of the Linnaean Society of London, and appointed as a research associate at the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium and the Plant Resources Center of the University of Texas. His extensive publications include major contributions to the knowledge of and relationships among plants in floras of North America, California, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Panama, as well as four books, more than 100 journal articles and more than 70 book reviews.
Webster was born on April 14, 1927, in Ada, Okla., to Irena Lois Heard and Grady Webster Sr. While he was still a child, his family built a home on 100 acres of cedar-oak woodland near Austin, Texas. His father was a newspaper publisher, and Webster's first boyhood jobs were in the newspaper's office — experience that no doubt contributed to his lifelong loves of reading and keeping informed about world affairs. He first became interested in plants in high school, largely due to one teacher, Fred Barkley. He enrolled at Stanford University, where he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1947. He completed a bachelor's degree in botany at the University of Texas two years later and went on to finish a Ph.D. in botany at the University of Michigan, under the supervision of Professor Rogers McVaugh.
Following his doctoral work, Webster received one of the first post-doctoral fellowships offered by the National Science Foundation. It allowed him to spend four years at Harvard University, working with Professor I.W. Bailey. There he met Barbara Anne Donahue, who was then a Ph.D. student in plant morphology. They were married in 1956.
In 1958, Webster accepted an assistant professorship at Purdue University, a position that allowed him to accelerate the pattern of extensive travel already begun while a student at the University of Texas. Global field research to areas of difficult access was to characterize his entire career as a plant systematist. This travel was fueled by his research focus on spurges (Euphorbiaceae), a large and complex family of flowering plants widely distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics, containing nearly 9,000 species.
Grady, Barbara and their 7-year-old daughter Susan moved to Davis in 1966, where he accepted an appointment as professor in the Department of Botany and director of the University Arboretum. Later, he also became director of the university's Tucker Herbarium. His major teaching activities were in systematics, biogeography and pollination ecology, and in the supervision of approximately 20 doctoral students, many of whom went on to academic positions of their own on several continents. He conducted major research expeditions to Mexico (including Baja California), the Caribbean islands, Central America, South America, Hawaii, Australasia, Pakistan, Africa and Europe, collecting more than 34,000 plant specimens that today are deposited in major herbaria throughout the world. Although he technically retired in 1993, his mentorship of students, research activities, pace of publication, and miles of travel continued undiminished. Several research papers were in-press at the time of his unexpected death.
Colleague Bruce Baldwin, a professor at UC Berkeley, recently wrote that "Grady's contributions have been truly monumental and constitute a massive body of work that rivals anything produced through the initiative and influence of a single individual in the recent history of plant systematics." Piero Delprete, a past graduate student, fondly recalls several trips he shared with Webster to Ecuador's remote and pristine tropical preserve, Maquipucuna. "Grady was a walking botanical encyclopedia. It was just incredible to me how he could have accumulated so much information. I have learned from him an exemplary professional life, human integrity, and appreciation for the beauty and diversity of nature."
A fund has been established in Grady Webster's memory to support graduate students in plant systematics and plant geography in their travels to visit collections and attend research conferences. Contributions may be sent to the UCD Foundation, care of the Davis Botanical Society, Section of Plant Biology, UC Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616 (Attn: G.L. Webster Memorial Fund).
(Source: M. G. Barbour, UC Davis News & Information Service)
Guanghua Zhu, 1964-2005
Guanghua Zhu was a botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, where he worked on the Flora of China project. He was central to the liaison between Chinese and Western partners in the project, and was editor of the Flora of China Illustrations series. His research interests included the family Araceae, especially the genus Dracontium, as well as the Orchidaceae, Poaceae, and Ranunculaceae.
Guanghua was born on 17 January 1964 in Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia, China, son of Zhenxi Zhu and Shifen Guo. He gained a Bachelor's degree in botany at Inner Mongolia Normal University in 1985 and a Master's degree at the same University in 1988. In September 1990, Guanghua came to St. Louis in order to join the Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Tom Croat, curator of Araceae at the Garden, supervised Guanghua's thesis on the systematics Dracontium, which was successfully defended in September 1995. Immediately afterward, Guanghua joined the staff at the Missouri Botanical Garden working on the Flora of China project, of which he became Co-director in 2001.
On 8 October 1999, at St. Louis City Hall, Guanghua married Dr. Yuxing Feng, whom he had met at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing. On 5 December 2000 their son, Yifu, was born.
Very bad luck intervened in the fall of 2002, when Guanghua was diagnosed with lung cancer. After treatment, he gained over two years of remission, but he became ill again in the summer of 2005. Guanghua died on 2 November 2005 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He is survived by his wife and son, and also by his father, Zhenxi Zhu, his mother, Shifen Guo, an elder brother, Jianhua Zhu, and three elder sisters, Guihua Zhu, Lihua Zhu, and Yuehua Zhu.
Volume 22 of the Flora of China will be dedicated to Guanghua, with the agreement of the Joint Editorial Committee of the flora. This will be the largest of the 25 flora volumes, consisting entirely of the family Poaceae, with some 1850 species. Guanghua is a co-author of the genus Poa and the tribe Triticeae and this work will contain some his last nomenclatural novelties.
The Missouri Botanical Garden has established a scholarship fund for Guanghua's son, Yifu Zhu, who turned five years old on 5 December. If you would like to give to this fund, please send your contribution to Michael Olson, Controller's Office, Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, Saint Louis, MO 63166-0299, U.S.A. The Garden will hold the money for a time and then turn it over to Yuxing. Your contribution would not be tax deductible, but would be very much appreciated. Checks should be made payable to the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Tom O'Neil, 1923-2005
Tom began his tenure at Ventura College in l955, the year the college moved to its current campus, and retired in 2000 after a service of 45 years, the longest serving faculty member in college and District history. Tom came to the college with a Ph.D. in Botany from UC Davis where he was a student of Dr. Katherine Esau. At that time he was one of the few faculty members at a junior college to have earned a Doctorate degree. He taught a demanding and ever-changing microbiology course throughout his career and was a vital adjunct to the College nursing program, where micro was the most difficult and important prerequisite course required for program entry.
While Tom was working at Ventura College, he was actively affiliated with the Navy Department as a part-time research microbiologist at Port Hueneme. His research focused on finding means to prevent woodborers from invading and destroying wooden sea pilings and other submerged wood materials and on preventing other small ocean animals from affixing themselves to pilings and ship hulls. In the process of his work with creosote, he incidentally discovered an important bacteria, which could consume oil and be used in the clean-up process in fighting oil spills. The Navy owns the rights to Tom's contributions to pure and applied science.
For many of us coming into Community College teaching directly from graduate studies and not, yet, established in the standards and expectations of our profession, Tom was a role model whose deportment, and example, conveyed what we owed to the classroom and our students academically and professionally, what we owed to one another as colleagues in terms of intellectual integrity and credibility and a willingness to stand up for principles and beliefs, and what we owed the college in terms of participation and earnest involvement in all relevant areas of governance and operation.
Tom's dedication to education and to the students of Ventura College was remarkable. He has left a challenging legacy for current and future faculty members to measure themselves against. Tom was a "teacher's teacher" and profoundly proud of his chosen profession in education.
Angela Marquez, Executive Assistant
Office of the President
Mark Bierner is New Director at Boyce Thompson Arboretum
As 2005 drew to a close staff and volunteers welcomed a new director who took the helm at Boyce Thompson Arboretum: Dr. Mark Bierner. An Austin resident, he earned his Ph.D. in botany at the University of Texas and has been involved with cutting-edge plant genetic research during recent years. He's also a proponent of something you're unlikely to hear discussed around a gene-sequencing machine: "the Oooh and Aaah Effect."
"My immediate goals? I want our visitors to have an instant positive reaction to BTA from the moment they turn into the parking area. When they walk through the entrance area into the grounds, I want everything to be so wonderful and so beautiful that they are wide-eyed, saying "Oooooooh, Aaaaaaah!" "I want them to have an outstanding time during their visit and to leave BTA feeling as if they have had a truly exceptional experience. Management expert Peter Drucker says that the true product of the not-for-profit organization is a changed human being. I agree."
Bierner was chosen to lead Boyce Thompson Arboretum after a nationwide search. He leaves the University of Texas at Austin where he has been a lecturer since 1999; for five years prior to that he was Executive Director of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. Among the many accomplishments he's credited with at Selby Gardens are preparation of a master site plan and earning accreditation from the American Association of Museums. His most prominent University of Texas work includes the publication of several taxonomic revisions, creation of a new botany course (Plants, Environment, and Human Affairs), and helping with initial organization of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.
Bierner was raised in Dallas and gravitated towards botany as a teen. "Like so many people, I was influenced by a high school teacher. I thought that Jerry Thompson, who studied botany at The University of Texas, was a very cool guy, and I got interested in plant taxonomy when I went on several field trips to Mexico with him and other students from St. Mark's."
"My dissertation work was a taxonomic study of Helenium section Tetrodus, which is in the sunflower family, Asteraceae. Several of these species occur in Arizona. In more recent years I've worked on other genera in the Asteraceae, including Hymenoxys. In 1993, I described a new species from the Mogollon Plateau of Arizona and named it Hymenoxys jamesii for my wife, Cassandra James."
Bierner has also lived in Knoxville and Memphis, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; and Oracle, Arizona. Each of the past two summers he spent a month in Sevilla (Spain) teaching a study abroad course for the University of Texas. During his travels Bierner has visited the Arboretum several times, meeting some of the people responsible for building BTA into a world-class institution that is toured by about 85,000 visitors each year.
"The first time I visited Boyce Thompson Arboretum was the spring of 1969 during my first collecting trip as a graduate student. I remember thinking at the time that BTA was a terrific place. Another memorable visit was much later, 1990, when I visited with my wife Cassandra and our children, Gann Bierner and Jameson James. We were treated to a wonderful tour by [former Curator of Botany] Frank Crosswhite."
Mark and Cassandra Bierner
"The twists and turns of life being what they are, I ended up in Austin as Executive Director of Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve and went on to several other wonderful positions from there. When I saw that BTA was looking for a new Director, I simply couldn't resist."
In fact, years before accepting this invitation to helm the Arboretum, Bierner showed his dedication through estate planning. "We revised our wills in 1995 and included bequests for our favorite organizations. I included three organizations for unrestricted gifts, including Boyce Thompson Arboretum. I now have five organizations in my will. Planned giving ranks toward the very top amongst the many important things we can do to protect the future of not-for-profit organizations such as BTA."
Bierner's wife, Cassandra James (seen with him in the photo above at right), is a painter who does large oil-on-canvas landscapes and is represented in galleries in Santa Fe, Tampa, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin. IBM, Motorola and other corporate collections include her work; private collectors who have her paintings include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and also Luci Baines Johnson (daughter of President Lyndon Johnson). She is also an accomplished pianist and cellist.
Bierner and James are enthused for life in the Southwest, they are renovating a home in nearby Globe and are enthused to get acquainted with Arizona artists.
Copper Baron and Roaring 20s philanthopist Col. William Boyce Thompson founded this collection of plants from deserts across the world "to instill in people an appreciation for plants," and that remains the Boyce Thompson Arboretum mission to this day. The Arboretum is located at Highway 60 milepost 223, one hour's drive due east of Phoenix via Highway 60. It is cooperatively managed by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in partnership with Arizona State Parks. Take a virtual tour or read more about the Arboretum at the website http://ag.arizona.edu/bta
Russell Chapman Named New Executive Director for Scripps Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Center
Scripps Institution of Oceanography enhances its academic and research efforts
Russell Chapman, founding dean of the School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University (LSU), has been named the new executive director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.
In his new role, Chapman coordinates research and education efforts within CMBC, and in collaboration with other UCSD programs. He plays a key role in scientific and institutional policy and fund-raising, and guides CMBC in program planning and development. His focus also involves establishing new, innovative and interdisciplinary biodiversity and conservation programs at Scripps.
Chapman brings a wealth of experience to this position, having been responsible for general management and long-range planning of the academic business and research activities of the School of the Coast and Environment at LSU. He created a Corporate Partners Program to generate private-sector funding for the school and established special endowments. He also served as associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at LSU and was responsible for the development of interdisciplinary programs within the campus and between LSU and other institutions and the private sector.
"Russ' creativity and perseverance will certainly help elevate Scripps' scientific biodiversity and conservation programs to a higher level of academic excellence and achievement," said Nancy Knowlton, director of CMBC. "His accomplishments in both scientific research and academic administration will truly serve us well."
Chapman earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Dartmouth College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Davis. He has published widely on the ultrastructure and molecular evolution of algae and has advised scores of graduate students during his distinguished scientific career.
Established in 2001, the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation has played a major role in addressing the challenges facing marine conservation on a global scale. The center's scientific goals include assessing the state of marine ecosystems now and in the past and developing predictive models for the future; devising novel approaches that effectively link scientific fields, and designing technically sophisticated, regionally appropriate strategies to prevent and reverse biodiversity collapse. Through its educational programs, CMBC scientists are training new marine biodiversity and conservation researchers in the U.S. and around the world. As part of its public service goals, CMBC is strengthening public understanding of scientific issues and providing sound scientific analyses to policy makers.
Letters to the Editor
From: Carl Leopold
Subject: evolution statement
Hello Prof. Sundberg
I have just finished reading the Plant Science Bulletin winter issue, and I felt compelled to comment on the elusive statement of the BSA position on evolution.
The bulletin simply says that the BSA approved a statement.
Look, this religious challenge of evolution is the most pivotal component of the structure of our science, is certainly one of the most challenging issues facing biological sciences today. I am truly disappointed that the bulletin does not even give the reader a clue about what the statement might say. Or, my computer was unable to respond to the address given at the end of the non-statement.
By the way, the article on Harriet Creighton by Lee Kass is excellent.
In response to Dr. Leopolds letter, the complete Botanical Society of America Statement on Evolution follows for those not able to access it on the BSA web page (http://www.botany.org/newsite/announcements/evolution.php).
Botanical Society of America's "Statement on Evolution"
The Botanical Society of America has as its members professional scientists, scholars, and educators from across the United States and Canada, and from over 50 other countries. Most of us call ouselves botanists, plant biologists, or plant scientists, and members of our profession teach and learn about botanical organisms using well established principles and practices of science. Evolution represents one of the broadest, mostinclusive theories used in pursuit of and in teaching this knowledge, but it is by no means the only theory involved. Scientific theories are used in two ways: to explain what we know, and to pursue new knowledge. Evolution explains observations of hared characteristics (the result of common ncestry and descent with modification) and adaptations (the result of natural selection acting to maximize reproductive success), as well as explaining pollen:ovule ratios, weeds, deceptive pollination strategies, differences in sexual expression, dioecy, and a myriad of other biological phenomena. Far from being merely a speculative notion, as implied when someone says, "evolution is just a theory," the core concepts of evolution are well documented and well confirmed. Natural selection has been repeatedly demonstrated in both field and laboratory, and descent with modification is so well documented that scientists are justified in saying that evolution is true.
Some people contend that creationism and its surrogate, "intelligent design," offers an alternative explanation: that organisms are well adapted and have common characteristics because they were created just so, and they exhibit the hallmarks of intelligent design. As such, creationism is an all inclusive explanation for every biological phenomenon. So why do we support and teach evolution and not creationism/"intelligent design" if both explain the same phenomena? Are botanists just dogmatic, atheistic materialists, as some critics of science imply? Hardly, although scientists are routinely portrayed by creationists as dogmatic. We are asked, "Why, in all fairness, don't we teach both explanations and let students decide?"
The fairness argument implies that creationism is a scientifically valid alternative to evolution, and that is not true. Science is not about fairness, and all explanations are not equal. Some scientific explanations are highly speculative with little in the way of supporting evidence, and they will stand or fall based upon rigorous testing. The history of science is littered with discarded explanations, e.g., inheritance of acquired characters, but these weren't discarded because of public opinion or general popularity; each one earned that distinction by being scientifically falsified. Scientists may jump on a "band wagon" for some new explanation, particularly if it has tremendous explanatory power, something that makes sense out of previously unexplained phenomena. But for an explanation to become a mainstream component of a theory, it must be tested and found useful in doing science.
To make progress, to learn more about botanical organisms, hypotheses, the subcomponents of theories, are tested by attempting to falsify logically derived predictions. This is why scientists use and teach evolution; evolution offers testable explanations of observed biological phenomena. Evolution continues to be of paramount usefulness, and so, based on simple pragmatism, scientists use this theory to improve our understanding of the biology of organisms. Over and over again, evolutionary theory has generated predictions that have proven to be true. Any hypothesis that doesn't prove true is discarded in favor of a new one, and so the component hypotheses of evolutionary theory change as knowledge and understanding grow. Phylogenetic hypotheses, patterns of ancestral relatedness, based on one set of data, for example, base sequences in DNA, are generated, and when the results make logical sense out of formerly disparate observations, confidence in the truth of the hypothesis increases. The theory of evolution so permeates botany that frequently it is not mentioned explicitly, but the overwhelming majority of published studies are based upon evolutionary hypotheses, each of which constitutes a test of an hypothesis. Evolution has been very successful as a scientific explanation because it has been useful in advancing our understanding of organisms and applying that knowledge to the solution of many human problems, e.g., host-pathogen interactions, origin of crop plants, herbicide resistance, disease susceptibility of crops, and invasive plants.
For example, plant biologists have long been interested in the origins of crop plants. Wheat is an ancient crop of the Middle East. Three species exist both as wild and domesticated wheats, einkorn, emmer, and breadwheat. Archeological studies have demonstrated that einkorn is the most ancient and breadwheat appeared most recently. To plant biologists this suggested that somehow einkorn gave rise to emmer, and emmer gave rise to breadwheat (an hypothesis). Further evidence was obtained from chromosome numbers that showed einkorn with 14, emmer with 28, and breadwheat with 42. Further, the chromosomes in einkorn consisted of two sets of 7 chromosomes, designated AA. Emmer had 14 chromosomes similar in shape and size, but 14 more, so they were designated AABB. Breadwheat had chromosomes similar to emmer, but 14 more, so they were designated AABBCC. To plant biologists familiar with mechanisms of speciation, these data, the chromosome numbers and sets, suggested that the emmer and breadwheat species arose via hybridization and polyploidy (an hypothesis). The Middle Eastern flora was studied to find native grasses with a chromosome number of 14, and several goatgrasses were discovered that could be the predicted parents, the sources of the BB and CC chromosomes. To test these hypotheses, plant biologists crossed einkorn and emmer wheats with goatgrasses, which produced sterile hybrids. These were treated to produce a spontaneous doubling of the chromosome number, and as predicted, the correct crosses artificially produced both the emmer and breadwheat species. No one saw the evolution of these wheat species, but logical predictions about what happened were tested by recreating likely circumstances. Grasses are wind-pollinated, so cross-pollination between wild and cultivated grasses happens all the time. Frosts and other natural events are known to cause a doubling of chromosomes. And the hypothesized sequence of speciation matches their observed appearance in the archeological record. Farmers would notice and keep new wheats, and the chromosome doubling and hybrid vigor made both emmer and breadwheat larger, more vigorous wheats. Lastly, a genetic change in breadwheat from the wild goatgrass chromosomes allowed for the chaff to be removed from the grain without heating, so glutin was not denatured, and a sourdough (yeast infected) culture of the sticky breadwheat flour would inflate (rise) from the trapped carbon dioxide.
The actual work was done by many plant biologists over many years, little by little, gathering data and testing ideas, until these evolutionary events were understood as generally described above. The hypothesized speciation events were actually recreated, an accomplishment that allows plant biologists to breed new varieties of emmer and bread wheats. Using this speciation mechanism, plant biologists hybridized wheat and rye, producing a new, vigorous, high protein cereal grain, Triticale.
What would the creationist paradigm have done? No telling. Perhaps nothing, because observing three wheat species specially created to feed humans would not have generated any questions that needed answering. No predictions are made, so there is no reason or direction for seeking further knowledge. This demonstrates the scientific uselessness of creationism. While creationism explains everything, it offers no understanding beyond, "that's the way it was created." No testable predictions can be derived from the creationist explanation. Creationism has not made a single contribution to agriculture, medicine, conservation, forestry, pathology, or any other applied area of biology. Creationism has yielded no classifications, no biogeographies, no underlying mechanisms, no unifying concepts with which to study organisms or life. In those few instances where predictions can be inferred from Biblical passages (e.g., groups of related organisms, migration of all animals from the resting place of the ark on Mt. Ararat to their present locations, genetic diversity derived from small founder populations, dispersal ability of organisms in direct proportion to their distance from eastern Turkey), creationism has been scientifically falsified.
Is it fair or good science education to teach about an unsuccessful, scientifically useless explanation just because it pleases people with a particular religious belief? Is it unfair to ignore scientifically useless explanations, particularly if they have played no role in the development of modern scientific concepts? Science education is about teaching valid concepts and those that led to the development of new explanations.
Creationism is the modern manifestation of a long-standing conflict between science and religion in Western Civilization. Prior to science, and in all non-scientific cultures, myths were the only viable explanations for a myriad of natural phenomena, and these myths became incorporated into diverse religious beliefs. Following the rise and spread of science, where ideas are tested against nature rather than being decided by religious authority and sacred texts, many phenomena previously attributed to the supernatural (disease, genetic defects, lightning, blights and plagues, epilepsy, eclipses, comets, mental illness, etc.) became known to have natural causes and explanations. Recognizing this, the Catholic Church finally admitted, after 451 years, that Galileo was correct; the Earth was not the unmoving center of the Universe. Mental illness, birth defects, and disease are no longer considered the mark of evil or of God's displeasure or punishment. Epileptics and people intoxicated by ergot-infected rye are no longer burned at the stake as witches. As natural causes were discovered and understood, religious authorities were forced to alter long-held positions in the face of growing scientific knowledge. This does not mean science has disproved the existence of the supernatural. The methodology of science only deals with the material world.
Science as a way of knowing has been extremely successful, although people may not like all the changes science and its handmaiden, technology, have wrought. But people who oppose evolution, and seek to have creationism or intelligent design included in science curricula, seek to dismiss and change the most successful way of knowing ever discovered. They wish to substitute opinion and belief for evidence and testing. The proponents of creationism/intelligent design promote scientific ignorance in the guise of learning. As professional scientists and educators, we strongly assert that such efforts are both misguided and flawed, presenting an incorrect view of science, its understandings, and its processes.
Authored by: J. E. Armstrong and J. Jernstedt, officers of the BSA.
Approved by the BSA Council: July 27, 2003
Graduate Fellowships in Ecological Genomics at Kansas State University
Ecological Genomics: Genes in Ecology and Ecology in Genes
Graduate Fellowships AVAILABLE for admission in Fall 2006 to participate in this newly emerging field at the interface of ecology and genomics. This research initiative will link responses of living systems to environmental change at the genetic level. The overarching goal of this research initiative is to identify the genes that are involved in organismal responses to the environment.
This Ecological Genomics initiative takes advantage of existing strengths at Kansas State University in genetics and genomics, ecology and evolutionary biology to answer cross-cutting questions that lie at the interface of genomics and ecology. This collaborative research effort will cross disciplines (genetics and ecology) and departments. In addition, this initiative will also take advantage of experimental manipulations at the Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site.
Research and education opportunities exist for Graduate Students to work towards a Master's or PhD degree in this large collaborative and interdisciplinary effort. More information about the Kansas Ecological Genomics collaborative research groups at Kansas State University can be found at www.ksu.edu/ecogen. Twenty faculty with interests spanning from genetics and genomics of model organisms (Arabidopsis, C. elegans, Drosophila) to microbial, plant and animal organismic biology, and ecosystem ecology are involved in this new research initiative.
Applicants should have the interest and willingness to cross disciplines.
Completed applications must be received by January 15, 2006. For more information on how to apply, please visit our website, www.ksu.edu/ecogen/recruit-GradStudentsApplication.html. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com. Supported by Targeted Excellence at Kansas State University.
Wollemi Pine Facts
Age: The Wollemi Pine belongs to the 200 million year old Araucariaceae family
Relatives: Kauri, Norfolk Island, Hoop, Bunya and Monkey Puzzle pines.
Discovered: In 1994 by David Noble, a New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Officer and avid bushwalker.
Where: In a secret location 150 km north-west of Sydney (Australia) within the Wollemi National Park, part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Herritage area.
Characteristics: Conifer with attractive, unusual dark green foliage and bubbly bark. In the wild, the oldest trees are 40 metres in height and may be more than 1000 years old.
To grow your own visit: www.wollemipine.com
-from Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney brochure.
Botany References Available
I would like to donate the following journals to a university, research institute, public library, or interested individual: Natural Areas Journal — complete series of unbound issues from July 1990 through Oct. 2005: Vol. 10(3) to Vol. 25(4).
Early volumes of American Journal of Botany discarded from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture library — bound, in good condition, complete unless otherwise indicated, starting with Vol. 1 (1914): Vol. 1-4, 5 (issues 1-9), 6-12, 14, 15 (issues1-3), 19-23, 24 (Dec.), 25.
Larry Klotz, Ph.D.
Dept. of Biology, Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299
tel. 717-477-1402; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CO-SPONSORED BY THE BOTANICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA & PLANT EXPLORATION, APRIL 8 - JULY 15, 2006
Crime relates to the rule of law, but justice _ an even older concept _ requires placing responsibility for wrongdoing. Savvy criminals can avoid video cameras or leaving fingerprints, but rarely do they think of plants giving them away. In this exhibit you'll learn how plant scientists from various disciplines have provided information that solved some tricky cases.
Shirley Graham, Scientist at Missouri Botanic Garden
Spend an hour with Dr. Graham as she shares stories about how plants are used to help solve crimes. How can specific plants pinpoint a location? How can pollen provide clues for forensic scientists? After the talk there will be time to explore the exhibit, Forensic Botany.
Date: Wednesday, May 17
Location: Conservatory Classroom, Missouri Botanical Garden
Time: 6:30 _ 8:00 p.m.
SONG Members: Free, Non-Members: $5
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
The Fifth International Symbiosis Society Congress
The Fifth International Symbiosis Society Congress s set for the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria from August 4 - 10, 2006. The Society Congress is unique in that it brings together a collection of researchers representing a broad array of symbiotic systems, including mycorrhizal associations, coral-dinoflagellates, hydrothermal vent organisms, lichens, Wolbachia and other insect-microflora, cyano-based n-fixers, and so on. Featured keynote speakers include Margaret McFall-Ngai, Lynn Margulis, Colleen Cavanaugh, Todd Lajeunesse, Luis Villareal, et al. For more information, including registration and the process for submitting contributing papers or posters, please access http://people.bu.edu/iss and http://www.isscongress2006.com, or e-mail ISS president Douglas Zook at email@example.com or chief organizer/host Monika Bright at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interactive Encyclopedia of North American Weeds. Version 3.0. DeFelice, M. S., Byrson, C.T., Evans, A. W. and K. L. DeFelice _ Marcel Rejmánek.....31
Garden History, Philosophy and Design 2000 B.C. - 2000 A.D. Tom Turner- Beverly J. Brown.....31
Handbook of Photosynthesis, Second Edition. Edited by Mohammad Pessarakli-Beronda L. Montgomery.....32
Guide to Tendrillate Climbers of Costa Rican Mountains. Alexander Krings and Richard R. Braham-Marcel Rejmánek.....33
Intermountain Flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A, Volume Two, Part B, Subclass Dilleniidae. N.H. Holmgren, P.K. Holmgren and A. Cronquist. - Randall Small.....34
Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms. Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Peter K. Endress and Mark W. Chase-Gerhard Prenner.....35
Pines: Drawings and Descriptions of the Genus Pinus, 2nd ed. Farjon, Aljos-James P. Riser II,.....37
Interactive Encyclopedia of North American Weeds. Version 3.0. DeFelice,M. S., Byrson, C.T., Evans, A. W. and K. L. DeFelice 2004. (DVD US$59.95) ThunderSnow Interactive. Southern Weed Science Society, 1508 West University Ave., Champaign, IL 61821-3133.
This resource is usable with Windows 98 or later. The program was written using SumTotalTM Toolbox. It includes descriptions of 447 weedy species and their US and Canada distributions. Also, 2,400 color photos of whole plants, flowers, seeds, seedlings, etc. are provided. Illustrated glossary includes 565 terms. Interactive, random access, identification key seems to be working quite well. It includes over 20 characters for dicotyledons and 16 for grasses. As long as the species is in the program, there is a very good chance that it will be correctly identified. I tried about 20 species.
This tool is strong in illustrations of plant morphology (grasses' collar illustrations are very helpful) and may be useful in teaching. However, the title "Interactive Encyclopedia of North American Weeds" promises much more than what is actually offered. In spite of the fact that this is already "Version 3.0," my conclusion is that this is still a half-done product. Here is just a small selection of problems that I encountered. First, 447 weedy species is a rather small number for North America. A few important families are not included at all (Orobanchaceae, Urticaceae, Viscaceae). Some important genera are completely missing (e.g., Ailanthus, Anagalis, Atriplex, Cortaderia, Cytisus, Echium, Foeniculum, Lygodium, Myriophyllum, Salvinia, Tamarix), other important genera are represented by a very few species (Aegilops _ 1, Brassica _ 2, Centaurea _ 3, Cuscuta _ 1, Erodium _ 1, Lepidium _ 3, Lonicera _ 1, Oxalis _ 1, Pennisetum _ 1, Rubus _ 1). At least some notes about characters of species closely related to those that are included would be very helpful. A few synonyms are listed, but they are not included in the index. All photos of Viola arvensis Murr. are in fact photos of a very different species - Viola sororia Willd. Most of the photos of Conringia orientalis (L.)Dumort. correspond to Sinapis arvensis L. Polygonum aviculare and Eichhornia crassipes are treated as native in North America. On the other hand, Flaveria trinervia, species native from Arizona to Florida is treated as `introduced' (it is introduced in California). Blades of Silene dioica are definitely not `deeply bilobed.'
In summary, a lot of space is left for improvements of this product. Comparison with similar tools (California Weeds 2005, Sharp & Simon 2002, WSSA 2005) makes it even more obvious.
-Marcel Rejmánek, Section of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
California Weeds 2005. Grass and Grass-like Weeds of California. Expert computer-based guide to 206 weedy grasses in California. California Weeds, P.O. Box 73536, Davis, CA 95617.
Sharp, D. & B. K. Simon 2002. AusGrass. Grasses of Australia. CSIRO Publishing. Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia.
WSSA 2005. 1,000 Weeds of North America: An Identification Guide. Weed Science Society of America and XID Services.
Garden History, Philosophy and Design 2000 B.C. - 2000 A.D. Tom Turner. 2004. ISBN 0-41531-748-7. US $89.95 (hardcover 10.2 x 10.2 "). ix + 294 pp. Spon Press, New York.
Turner undertook a formidable task when he proposed to explore 4000 years of garden design and philosophy. Information on ancient garden design had to be culled from literature, surviving letters and manuscripts, and excavations of garden sites. Turner has done an superior job of amassing detailed information on the evolution of garden design and philosophy. The information is well-documented, making it easy for those who wish to delve deeper into a specific time period to do so.
The text begins with an overview of design philosophy that defines terms and creates a conceptual framework within which to consider the diverse reasons and motivations one might have to create an enclosed green space. This first chapter would be a useful springboard for discussion in a non-majors botany course since, by its very nature, the approach must be interdisciplinary, incorporating art, science, history, literature and, of course, philosophy. Turner discusses garden theory including design objectives, the importance of location, garden types, and aesthetics.
The balance of the book is divided into specific time periods which include ancient gardens (2000 B.C.- 1000 B.C.), classical gardens (1400 B.C.-500 A.D.), West Asian and Islamic gardens (500 B.C.-1700 A.D.), medieval gardens (600 A.D.-1500 A.D.), renaissance gardens (1350-1650), baroq ue gardens 1600-1750, neoclassical and romantic gardens (1700-1810), eclectic gardens (1800-2900), and abstract and post-abstract gardens (1900-2000). Each chapter begins with an overview of the history and philosophy of the period which is followed by specific examples of the various gardens and types of gardens. The chapters are richly illustrated with excellent drawings of garden layouts and photos of various aspects of the gardens that are discussed in the text.
While the book contains a wealth of information, it is eurocentric as the author clearly states. The gardens of the orient and the Americas are totally omitted. However, the most difficult problem is the extremely dry presentation of the material. The text can be a bit disorganized and the images are not mentioned specifically in the text. In some instances it is hard to know why a particular illustration is included. There seems to me to be little synthesis of the information, except in the first chapter. While the facts are stunning in their detail, they can be numbing when one after another is launched at the reader with little in the way of colorful description or segways. If you want a compendium of information on eurocentric garden history and philosophy, this text will serve well. If you are looking for a relaxing and entertaining read, you might want to consider another option.
-Beverly J. Brown, Biology Department, Nazareth College of Rochester, New York.
Handbook of Photosynthesis, Second Edition. Edited by Mohammad Pessarakli. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Baca Raton, FL. 2005.
In compiling the second edition of the Handbook of Photosynthesis, author Mohammad Pessarakli set out to provide an updated, comprehensive reference guide on photosynthesis for students and educators. The hefty 928 page text includes an expansive range of information related to photosynthesis that should be of interest primarily to researchers working in the area of photosynthesis or closely related topics. The text is well edited with balanced coverage of a wide array of photosynthesis-related phenomena. The book consists of 46 chapters divided into fourteen sections which address topics including the basic principles of photosynthesis as well as biochemical, molecular, genetic and environmental aspects of photosynthesis. Notably, the sections are entitled exactly as the fourteen parts of the first edition of the Handbook of Photosynthesis published in 1996, though the range of topics covered in each of these fourteen sections are markedly different in the second edition as compared to the first.
In support of its suitability for researchers specializing in photosynthesis, the Handbook of Photosynthesis opens with a detailed chapter on the mechanisms of photosynthetic oxygen evolution that contains an advanced discussion of the photosynthetic unit concept. This is in contrast to the first edition which opened with a more general discussion of the relationship between ecophysiology and diverse variations of photosynthesis in specific plant types. For educators, the lack of a more accessible inroad to discussing photosynthesis in the second edition makes the book likely to be used as an instructional reference exclusively by those teaching specialty photosynthesis courses rather than as a general textbook for students. In general, the current volume is best used as a reference book to obtain a general overview of the current state of research on photosynthesis, or alternatively as a source for examining specific photosynthesis-related topics of interest. Parenthetically, included in the text is a practical 30-page index that provides shortcuts to topics of interest for the reader using this volume as a reference tool.
In depth discussions of plastid morphogenesis and structure, electron transport, stress adaptations, alternative photosynthetic pathways such as C4 and CAM and photosynthetic productivity are included in the text. Markedly, the depth of coverage of these topics varies widely among the independently authored chapters, with some topics receiving a widely focused overview and other more narrowly focused topics being dissected in great detail. A variety of different photosynthetic species are covered including cyanobacteria, lower plants and crop plants. The primary focus, however, is clearly on higher plant photosynthesis as Section VI entitled Photosynthesis in Lower and Monocellular Plants consists of a single chapter exploring the photosynthetic apparatus of cyanobacteria. Considering the many recent advances that have been made in understanding photosynthesis and its regulation in photosynthetic prokaryotes, inclusion of a summary chapter on this topic would have been pertinent. In fact, this is one of the noticeable omissions from the first edition that was a disappointment for this reviewer. Other areas such as the impact of environmental stresses on photosynthesis were given greater priority as evident by the inclusion of nine chapters.
The text covers in sufficient detail the synthesis and regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes such as the phycobilisomes of cyanobacteria and red algae (Chapter 23) and the synthesis of chlorophyll (Chapter 3). It explores the regulation of photosynthesis, including the impact of plant growth regulators such as hormones, and the effects of various environmental stresses on photosynthesis. The stresses examined in Section XIII include drought and salt stress, water stress, heat and chilling stress, heavy metal toxicity and pollution. Furthermore, descriptions of how plants deal with excess light and with damaging UV-B light also are addressed in detail. The text also incorporates practical information on measuring photosynthesis, analyzing and quantifying photosynthetic pigment content and determining plant productivity.
This edition includes fractional information on classic photosynthetic phenomena, while including a wealth of information from recent experiments that provide vital new information on photosynthesis since the publication of the first edition of the Handbook of Photosynthesis. However, notably missing from this edition are extensive discussions of fundamental topics generally associated with photosynthesis such as an in depth discussion of Rubisco which received more than 100 references in the first edition but only approximately 20 in this current edition. Such a departure from fully incorporating historical findings with more recent discoveries results in the second edition being less comprehensive than the first and more a statement on current issues in photosynthesis than a comprehensive handbook on the topic.
Though presented as a text for educators and students, this volume is too extensive a treatment for use as an undergraduate textbook and is likely only to be used in a highly specialized course on photosynthesis at the graduate level if used for students at all. Nonetheless, the broad inclusion of a collection of recent findings undoubtedly renders this text a valuable teaching tool for the instructor of photosynthesis. Furthermore, the wide-ranging information on recent advances in photosynthesis makes this a significant resource for the photosynthetic researcher.
-Beronda L. Montgomery, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824
Guide to Tendrillate Climbers of Costa Rican Mountains. Alexander Krings and Richard R. Braham 2005. ISBN 0-8138-0758-1 (Cloth US$99.90) 182 pp. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK.
Recent studies have recognized the role of woody vines as important biodiversity components and driving forces in the dynamics of tropical forests (e.g., Mascaro et al. 2004, Phillips et al. 2005). However, vines, and particularly woody vines (lianas), are notoriously known as being difficult to identify, especially sinse reproductive structures are often not accessible. Vegetative keys to lianas are very rare (Rejmánek and Brewer 2001). This is one of the reasons why lianas are so often comfortably neglected in censuses of permanent plots (Condit 1998). Therefore, identification manuals to tropical climbing plants are highly desirable. The book under review represents one of the rather rare attempts to provide such a manual, at least for a limited group of climbers (tendrillate) and a limited area (mountains in Costa Rica).
This manual covers 11 families (Bignoniaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Loganiaceae, Passifloraceae, Polemoniaceae, Polygonaceae, Rhamnaceae, Sapindaceae, Smilacaceae, Vitaceae), 50 genera, and 176 species. The limitation to just tendrillate climbers means that several important families with nontendrillate vines are not covered (e.g., Apocynaceae, Combretaceae, Connaraceae, Convolvulaceae, nontendrilate Fabaceae, Malpighiaceae). Keys to species of Bignoniaceae and Passifloraceae are almost completely vegetative. The key to 12 Serjania species (Sapindaceae) is completely vegetative. Keys to species in other families and genera depend heavily on reproductive structures. Tables contrasting groups of species on the basis of vegetative characters (e.g., the numbers of arms in the primary phloem) are helpful. Morphological descriptions of families, genera, and species are provided together with notes on phenology and distribution of individual species. Each species is depicted by original hand-drawn illustrations of leaves and, very often, tendrils, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Only very few species growing in the area are missing: e.g., two species of Anemopaegma, two species of Arrabidaea, one species of Mussatia (Burger and Gentry 2000); Paulinia fournieri (Morales 2003), and, possibly, Serjania cardiospermoides (Acevedo-Rodrígues 1993). Omission of Bureger and Gentry's (2000) treatment of Costa Rican Bignoniaceae from the list of references is surprising.
In summary: This manual is useful, but some other climbing plant identification manuals (Acevedo-Rodríguez 2005, Hawthorne and Jongkind 2005) are more useful because they are more complete and they are also cheaper.
-Marcel Rejmánek, Section of Evolution and Ecology, university of California, Davis, CA 95616.
Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. 1993. Systematics of Serjania (Sapindaceae) Part I: A revision of Serjania Sect. Platycoccus. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 67: 1-93.
Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. 2005. Vines and Climbing Plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Smithsonian Institution. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 51: 1-483.
Burger, W. and Gentry, A., 2000. Flora Costaricensis: Family 194. Bignoniaceae. Fieldiana. Botany. New Series, No. 41: 77-162.
Condit, R. 1998. Tropical Forest Census Plots: Methods and Results from Barro Colorado Island, Panama and a Comparison with Other Plots. Springer, Berlin.
Hawthorne, W. D. and Jongkind, C. C. H., 2005. Woody Plants of Western African Forests. A Guide to the Forest Trees, Shrubs and Lianas from Senegal to Ghana. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Morales, J. F., 2003. A new species of Paullinia (Sapindaceae) from Costa Rica. Brittonia 55: 173-175.
Moscaro, J., Schnitzer, S. A. and Carson, W. P., 2004. Liana diversity, abundance, and mortality in a tropical wet forest in Costa Rica. Forest Ecology and Management 190: 3-14.
Philips, O. L., Matrínez, R. V., Mendoza, A. M., Baker, T. R. and Vargas, P. N. 2005. Large lianas as hyperdynamic elements of the tropical forest canopy. Ecology 86: 1250-1258.
Rejmánek, M. and Brewer, S. W. 2001. Vegetative identification of tropical woody plants: state of the art and annotated bibliography. Biotropica 33: 214-228.
Intermountain Flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A, Volume Two, Part B, Subclass Dilleniidae. N.H. Holmgren, P.K. Holmgren and A. Cronquist. 2005. ISBN 89327-469-0 (Cloth US$100.00) 488 pp. The New York Botanical Garden Press, 200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard, Bronx, New York, 10458-5126.
This volume of the Intermountain Flora is the seventh to be published in the series that now spans 33 years, with the first volume having been published in 1972. Volume 2B, Subclass Dilleniidae follows in the excellent tradition of the previous volumes and is clearly a flora that must be on the shelf of anyone who works in, or studies plants found in the intermountain west. The geographical coverage spans the region west of the Rocky Mountains and east of the Sierra Nevada, encompassing all of Utah, the majority of Nevada, and portions of Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming. Maps on the inside front and back covers show both the political and floristic areas covered.
Following a very brief introduction the book provides keys to the orders and families covered, and proceeds to taxonomic treatments for the included families. A total of 464 species (plus numerous intraspecific taxa) in 17 families are treated in this volume. Treatments are grouped by order, and then families within orders, and the taxonomy is based on Cronquist's Integrated System of Classification (Cronquist 1981, 1988). Given that this project was begun in the early 1970s, and that Arthur Cronquist was a principal author of the project, it is not surprising that the Cronquistian taxonomic system was employed. What is somewhat surprising is the authors' strident defense of this system and dismissal of more modern treatments such as those proposed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG II, 2003). The downside of this is that the families treated in this volume do not constitute a natural group given our current understanding of angiosperm phylogeny. In fact, of the nine orders treated in this volume, only two (Malvales and Ericales) are still treated at the ordinal level in APG II (2003), the remaining orders having been dismantled or subsumed into synonymy based on phylogenetic studies. At the family level, the treatment is generally in line with current concepts, with only two of the 17 families no longer recognized at the familial level (Tiliaceae now subsumed within an expanded Malvaceae, and Cleomaceae now subsumed within an expanded Brassicaceae), although circumscriptions have changed considerably for some families. What this means for the users of this book is simply that once a species has been identified, additional research may have to be done to determine the most current familial and ordinal placement of that species. The system, however, is at least familiar to many workers. In the end, the taxonomic scheme employed for orders and families may be largely irrelevant for a floristic work. The important information includes the keys, descriptions and illustrations of the included species, and in those aspects the Intermountain Flora series succeeds admirably.
For each family an extensive description is provided, followed by a brief commentary on the number of genera and species, geographical distribution, taxonomic issues, and ethnobotanical notes. Additionally, a short list of references and/or websites is provided. Keys to genera within families, and species within genera are sufficiently detailed to be very useful, and highly technical or difficult characters are generally avoided making the keys relatively easy to use. Species descriptions are quite detailed and commentaries on distribution, phenology, and taxonomy are always provided. Detailed illustrations for all species are also provided and add considerably to the utility of the volume. All in all, this volume of the Intermountain Flora series continues to meet the high standards set in the earlier volumes and will be a critical reference for the flora of the region.
-Randall Small, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. 37996.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II. 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 141:399-436.
Cronquist, A. 1981. An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants. Columbia University Press, New York.
Cronquist, A. 1988. The Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants, 2nd ed. The New York Botanical Garden.
Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms. Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Peter K. Endress and Mark W. Chase 2005. ISBN 0-87893-817-6 (Paper US$59.95) 370 pp. Sinauer Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 407, Sunderland, MA 01375-0407.
In their preface, Soltis et al. define the following three major goals of Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms (PEA): (1) To provide a comprehensive summary of current concepts of angiosperm phylogeny, (2) to illustrate the profound effect that this phylogenetic framework has on interpretations of character evolution and (3) to point to inadequacies in current understanding of both phylogeny and morphology and to the need for additional study. All three goals (and even more) are achieved in an excellent manner and PEA is highly recommendable for anyone involved in plant systematics.
The book is divided into 13 chapters, which are: Relationships of Angiosperms to other seed plants; Phylogeny of Angiosperms: An Overview; Basal Angiosperms; Monocots; Early-Diverging Eudicots; Core Eudicots: Introduction and Smaller Lineages; Caryophyllales; Rosids; Asterids; Angiosperm Classification; Parallel and Convergent Evolution; Floral Diversification; and Evolution of Genome Size and Base Chromosome Number. Each chapter starts with a brief introduction and ends with `Future Research'. This is of special interest, since the authors point to open questions of high priority. The book is illustrated throughout with line drawings of many of the discussed plant representatives. Furthermore, scattered SEM micrographs and schematic figures are provided. The layout as a whole is simple and clear, whereas some spot tests showed that the subject index is somewhat sparse.
One highlight of the book is that the authors do not only present a comprehensive summary of the state of art in plant systematics (i.e., a summary of APG II), but they go a step further in that many new reconstructions are conducted specially for this book. In this way, PEA provides a wealth of `original' and new results.
The second outstanding feature is the continuous combination and analyses of molecular DNA and non-DNA characters (e.g., morphology, phytochemistry or fossils). In this way the authors created not only a highly informative book but they also demonstrate how exciting modern plant systematics is. However, Soltis et al. also mention on p. 41 that `…it is probably fair to say that attention to the formidable problems of morphological character analysis, as well as to other non-DNA characters, has tended to wane during the past decade in the understandable enthusiasm for molecular systematics. It is time to reverse that trend and encourage integrative training and research in the analysis of both molecular and non-DNA characters.' This issue was addressed by Landrum (2001), and we hopefully will see a renaissance of some of the `classical' fields of systematic botany in the near feature. In fact, PEA certainly gives an excellent basis in particular for integrative training and future research, and therefore it should not be missing in University libraries.
As the authors mention, not all readers will agree with all of the provided nomenclature (e.g., a broadly defined Poales or Caryophyllales), which overall follows APG II (2003). But a generally accepted naming of the different categories in plant systematics is highly desirable and important. Therefore it is very welcome that Soltis et al. discuss their ideas of modern classification of Angiosperms in a separate chapter (Chapter 10, `Angiosperm Classification') which gives an overview of the APG Classification and a brief overview of the discussion of `ranked versus rank-free classification'.
The question of homology and character evolution is stressed throughout the book. Pseudodiplostemony of Caryophyllales vs. diplostemony in the remaining eudicots, non-homology of petals throughout angiosperms, the pseudosuperior ovary in Saxifragaceae, or the question of homology of unitegmic ovules in asterids are some examples. In fact it will be one of the main issues of future work, to elucidate what structures are homologous and what are not. In this context, the chapter `Parallel and Convergent Evolution' focuses on parasitism, carnivory, and C4 photosynhesis.
Most recent achievements in the field of floral morphology are reviewed in the chapter `Floral Diversification' and under `Evolution of Genome Size and Base Chromosome Number' the authors discuss the phenomenon of tremendously varying chromosome numbers and genome sizes within Angiosperms. Finally an Angiosperm Supertree is provided as an appendix.
One of the very rarely found weak points is a schematic drawing of ovary positions in angiosperms (Fig. 6.8., p. 149) which is somewhat poor. In Figure A (hypogynous flower), the stamens insert somewhere between the ovary and the petals, and in Figure B (perigynous ovary) the stamen inserts on the petals, which is not a requirement in the perigynous condition. Smyth (2005) shows a more convenient schema. On page 224 the authors mention that the `association of Hellwingia and Phyllonoma [both now in Aquifoliales of the euasterid II clade] is interesting given that they share the rare character of flowers borne directly on the leaf blades…' However, Weber (2003) showed that the epiphyllous inflorescences of Hellwingia and Phyllonoma are the result of ontogenetic displacement. The meristem of the lateral shoot is produced in axillary position and is displaced onto the subtending leaf in the course of development. Hence the conditions in Hellwingia and Phyllonoma are not that exceptional from the point of morphogenesis, and Weber (2003) highlights that `morphological findings support the molecular results and vice versa'.
To conclude, I once again would like to highlight the outstanding quality and importance of Phylogeny and Evolution of Angiosperms. Concerning the outlined perspectives given by Soltis et al., I am curiously looking forward to see the results of forthcoming works in the field of a comprehensive systematic botany.
- Gerhard Prenner, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.
APG II (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group). 2003. An update f the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 141: 531-553.
Landrum L.R. 2001. What has happened to descriptive systematics? What would make it thrive? Syst. Bot. 26: 438-442.
Smyth D.R. 2005. Morphogenesis of flowers - our evolving view. The Plant Cell 17: 330-341.
Weber A. 2003. What is morphology and why is it time for its renaissance in plant systematics? In Stuessy T.F., Mayer V. and Hörandl E. (eds.), Deep Morphology: Toward a renaissance of morphology in plant systematics. Gantner Verlag, Ruggell, Liechtenstein.
Pines: Drawings and Descriptions of the Genus Pinus, 2nd ed. Farjon, Aljos. ISBN 90-04-139168-8 (hardback US$126.00) 225 pp. Brill Academic Publishers c/o Extenze Turpin Distribution Services Ltd, Biggleswade, UK.
When I first became interested in pines (Pinus, Pinaceace) one of the earliest reference books I found relating to the genus was Farjon's original edition of Pines: Drawings and Descriptions of the Genus Pinus (Farjon 1984). This was the first time I had heard of, let alone seen illustrations of, many of the species and it served to fuel my interest in pines. Therefore, I was excited to learn that Farjon has revised this classic of conifer literature with a second edition. One of the most remarkable things about this book is the vast number of hand-drawn illustrations prepared by Farjon himself (an accomplished scientific artist and taxonomist). It is composed of 4 main parts: Introduction, Drawings and Descriptions of Morphology and Reproduction in Pines, Drawings and Descriptions of Species, and Phylogeny and Classification of the Genus Pinus.
The Introduction presents an overview of the genus Pinus, touching on its placement in the gymnosperms, distinctive features of the genus in relation to other conifers, and a general description of the anatomy and morphology of the genus. Farjon, probably the world expert on conifer taxonomy, has extensively updated the taxonomy of Pinus and he has incorporated the large body of recent systematic research (his own and others) in this new version of the introduction.
In the Drawings and Descriptions of Morphology and Reproduction (although they and the next section are not explicitly treated as chapters in the book), as well as the next section-on species descriptions, Farjon's presents illustrations on the left page and descriptive text on the right. First are three pages with illustrations and text describing the reproductive structures of pines and the resulting seeds and seedlings. There is a discussion of the root structure of pines and illustrations of the bark of several different species, a transverse section of a pine-tree stem, and a branch tip with needles, all with supporting descriptions and explanations. Following that, are six pages of needle cross section illustrations and descriptions in which Farjon explains the anatomical features of Pinus leaves and the differences between leaves of the two subgenera, Pinus and Strobus. In these needle discussions Farjon dedicates a pair of pages (illustrations and description) to the diploxyl (Subgenus Pinus) pines and a pair to the haploxyl pines (Subgenus Strobus). This section is particularly informative with its detailed discussions on needle anatomy and the differences between these two major subdivisions of pines.
The Drawings and Descriptions of Species section comprises the vast majority of this book, 183 pages. Nearly all species of Pinus accepted by Farjon are illustrated, typically one species per pair of pages. There are some species that are not sufficiently different to warrant separate illustrations and Farjon has incorporated these pines' descriptions into those of their closest relatives (i.e., the 4 species and 3 subspecies of piñon recognized by Farjon are all described under the entry and drawing for P. cembroides). In the original 1984 edition Farjon treated 87 species of pine. Reflecting new species discoveries, updated systematic treatments of the genus, and his now broader species definition Farjon has increased the number of species to 109 in this new edition (although he states there are 110 species in the genus). Many of these new additions required new illustrations and descriptions (i.e., P. latteri and P. rzedowskii). Each species description is followed by a small world map showing the species' distribution. The small (~ 5 cm by 10 cm) world maps are useful for identifying the general region of each species' distribution but the reader will need to seek out larger, more detailed maps for detailed distribution information. Species with small and isolated distributions are often given an adjacent blow-up map of their local area of occurrence. These serve to better illustrate the species' limited distributions, but in several cases (i.e., P. elliottii and P. englemannii) the smaller maps cut off a portion of the species' plotted distribution!
Following the species description is the Phylogeny and Classification section. Systematists will find this section the most interesting and Farjon's critical summary of the recent advances in pine systematics is particularly informative. The dendrogram of Pinus species (based on van der Burgh, 1973) presented in the first edition is missing from this new edition; it is replaced by a list of species organized into subgenera, sections, and subsections reflecting the author's interpretation of the many recent phylogenetic studies of Pinus.
There is a glossary of technical terms that beginning botanists will find helpful, followed by a short list of references. There is also a useful index of botanical names of pines that is coded to reflect accepted species verses synonyms: accepted species and the page they are described on are bolded while synonyms are in plain text.
Given the large amount of information Farjon has so accurately summarized, it is not surprising that I found a few errors. There are several minor spelling errors and errors in the text layout on several pages. Farjon indicates that P. mugo occurs in Spain, but it is not illustrated as such on the accompanying map. The list of species in the Phylogeny and classification section does not match the species listed in the index or the species descriptions. There are 109 species descriptions (albeit, some receive only a one or two sentence note), 2 of which are hybrids (P. densata and hakkodensis.) These 109 species are also found in the index (P. patula and its associated description page is not bolded in the index). However, the species list in the phylogeny section, while recognizing 109 species, includes P. luzmariae (which is not accepted in the text or index) and omits P. hakkodensis, which is accepted. It would be useful to know by what criteria Farjon recognizes P. densata and P. hakkodensis, which he claims are of hybrid origin, but not any other hybrids. Farjon's seemingly disparaging comments about other researchers are incorrect and inappropriate in a scholarly work such as this and detract from the overall high quality of the book.
The purpose of this book is obviously to give an introduction and detailed overview of the genus Pinus and instill interest in budding conifer systematists, which it does admirably. However, it is hard to determine the intended audience. The price of the book puts it out of reach of all but the most serious pine bibliophiles and serious conifer researchers will probably find it too basic. Undoubtedly researchers in developing countries, where much of the pine diversity exists, will find it difficult to afford this book. Libraries are probably the most likely customers, and even then this book is overpriced in view of shrinking budgets at many institutions.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to become familiar with the largest genus of conifers in the world. Serious conifer researchers will find this second edition indispensable for its updated species descriptions and illustrations and its synthesis of the systematic literature. In lieu of a key to the genus, the illustrations and descriptions in this book could also be used to identify pine species. Botanists and ecologists interested in learning more about pines will find loads of useful information in Pines: Drawings and Descriptions of the Genus Pinus. Farjon's illustrations are excellent and, in many cases, are the only depictions of many of these species. This second edition represents a significant amount of effort on Farjon's part to bring the book up-to-date and makes it a very useful, if expensive, conifer reference.
-James P. Riser II, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Lab, Missoula, Montana, 59808.
Burgh, J. van der. 1973. Hölzer der niederrheinischen Braunkohlenformation, 2. Hölzer der Braunkohlengruben "Maria Theresia" zu Herzogenrath, "Zukunft West" zu Eschweiler und "Victor" (Zülpich mitte) zu Zülpich. Nebst einer systematisch-anatomischen Bearbeitung der Gattung Pinus L. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 15(2-3): 73-275.
Farjon, Aljos. 1984. Pines: drawings and descriptions of the genus Pinus. E. J. Brill/W. Backhuys, Leiden.
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Plant Science Bulletin 52(1) 2006
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 January, 15 April, 15 July or 15 October). E-mail email@example.com, call, or write as soon as you notice the book of interest in this list because they go quickly! - Editor
Genetic and Production Innovatoins in Field Crop Technology. Kang, Manjit S. (ed.) 2005. ISBN 13-978-1-56022-123-4 / 10-1-56022-123-2 (Paper US$49.95) 383 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
An Introduction to Plant Structure and Development. Beck, Charles, B. 2005 ISBN 0-521-83740-5 (Cloth US$55.00) 431 pp. Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 11011-4211.
Island: Fact and Theory in Nature. Lazell, James. 2005. ISBN 0-520-24352-8 (Cloth US$49.95) 402 pp. The University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, California 94704.
Metacommunities: Spatial Dynamics and Ecological Communities. Holyoak, Marcel, Mathwe A. Leibold, and Robert D. Holt, eds. 2005. ISBN 0-226-35064-9 (Paper US$38.00) 520 pp. The University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space. Oudolf, Piet and Noel Kingsbury. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-740-6 (Cloth US$34.95) 176 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, Oregon 97204-3527.
Sulfur Transport and Assimilation in Plants in the Post Genomic Era. Saito, K., L.J. De Kok, I. Stulen, M.J. Hawkesford, E. Schnug, A. Sirko, and H. Rennenberg (eds.). 2005. ISBN 90-5782-166-4 (Cloth EURO98.00) 270 pp. Backhuys Publishers b.v. P.O. Box 321, 2300 AH Leiden, the Netherlands.
Tempting Tropicals" 175 Irresistible Indoor Plants. Zachos, Ellen. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-732-5 (Cloth US$29.95) 272 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, Oregon 97204-3527.
Tropical Forests of the Guiana Shield: Ancient Forests in a Modern World. Hammond, D.S. (ed). 2005. ISBN 0-85199-536-5 (Cloth US$ ) 528 pp. Oxford University Press, 2001 Evans Road, Cary, NC 27513.
Vascular Organization of Angiosperms: A New Vision. André, Jean-Pierre. 2005. ISBN 1-57808-382-6 (Paper US$ 39.50) 140 pp. Science Publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 699, Enfield, New Hampshire 03748.
Demons in Eden: The Paradox of Plant Diversity. Silvertown, Jonathan. 2005. ISBN 0-226-75771-4 (Cloth US$25.00) 169 pp. The University of Chicago Press, 1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637-2954.
Drosera (Droseraceae). Flora Neotropica Monograph 96. Correa A., Mireya D. and Tânia Regina dos Santos Silva. 2005. ISSN 0071-5794 (Paper US$) 56 pp. The New York Botanical Garden Press, Bronx, NY, 10458 (Spanish)
Durum wheat Breeding: Current Approaches and Future Strategies, Volumes 1 and 2. Royo, Conxita, Miloudia M. Nachit, Natale Di Fonzo, José Luis Araus, Wolfgang H. Pfeiffer, and Gustavo A. Slafer (eds).2005 ISBN 1-56022-333-2 (Cloth US$149.95) 1086 pp. Food Produces Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Embryology of Flowering Plants: Terminology and Concepts, Voume 2: Seed. Batygina, T.B. (ed.) 2006. ISBN 1-57808-263-3 (Cloth US$150.00) 786 pp. Science Publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 699, Enfield, New Hampshire 03748.
Ever Blooming: The Art of Bonnie Hall. Hall, Bonnie, edited by James D. Hall. 2005. ISBN 0-87071-116-4 (Cloth US$25.00) 77 pp. Oregon State University Press, 500 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, OR 97331-2122.
A Field Guide to the Wild Orchids of Thailand, 4th ed. Vaddhanaphuti, Nantiya. 2006. ISBN 974-9575-80-6 (Paper US$45.00) 304 pp Silkworm Books. University of Washington Press, P.O. Box 50096, Seattle, WA, 98145-5096.
Flora Genérica de los Páramos Guía Ilustrada de las Plantas Vasculares. Sklenãr, Petr, James L. Luteyn, Carmen Ulloa Ulloa, Peter M. Jorgensen y Michael O. Dillon. 2005 ISBN 0-89327-468-2 (Cloth US$) 499pp. The New York Botanical Garden Press, Bronx, NY 10458-5126.
Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide. Van Wyk, Ben-Erik. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-743-0 (Cloth US$39.95) 480 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, Oregon 97204-3527.
Plant Science Bulletin 52(1) 2006