Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 2015 v61 No 1 SpringActions

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SPRING 2015 Volume 61 Number 1


In This Issue..............

New Editor-in-Chief  

Mackenzie Taylor discusses  

plans for the PSB......p. 5

Show your true love for plants - 

Join in the Celebration .....p. 13

Can your research qualify you for a BSA Award.....?

Thank-you to BSA members who 

help build a robust endowment 

fund!.....p. 2

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From the Editor

                                                                                Spring 2015 Volume 61 Number 1



Editorial Committee  

Volume 61

Kathryn LeCroy  


Biological Sciences, Ecology and 


University of Pittsburgh 

4249 Fifth Avenue 

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Lindsey K. Tuominen 


Warnell School of Forestry & 

Natural Resources 

The University of Georgia 

Athens, GA  30605

Daniel K. Gladish 


Department of Botany &  

The Conservatory 

Miami University  

Hamilton, OH  45011

Carolyn M. Wetzel 

Biology Department 

Division of Health and  

Natural Sciences 

Holyoke Community College 

303 Homestead Ave 

Holyoke, MA 01040

Greetings! I am delighted to write to you for the first 

time as Editor-in-Chief of the Plant Science Bulletin. 

This year, 2015, marks the 60th anniversary of the PSB. 

For more than half a century, the articles and editorials 

in the PSB have documented the history of the Botani-

cal Society of America and chronicled the contempo-

rary concerns of practicing botanists. It is with great 

pleasure that I step in as curator of this legacy. 

It is my goal that, during my tenure, the PSB will be a 

platform for lively discussions on the issues currently 

facing us, as botanists. I hope that you will look to the 

pages of this publication as a source for news, perspec-

tives, and inspiration, as well as for resources for teach-

ing and outreach. However, none of this will be possible 

without your contributions. I encourage you to reflect 

on the ideas and perspectives that you can bring to the 

PSB and to let your voice be heard.  You can read more 

about my vision for the Plant Science Bulletin on page 5. 

This is also a time of transition for the American Jour-

nal of Botany. Hear from Editor-in-Chief Pam Diggle on 

page 8 and find a summary of new features rolling out 

in 2015.  I also want to draw your attention to a new 

section of the PSB devoted to student news and per-

spectives. In its debut, this section features an interview 

with 2014 Karling Award winner, Catherine Rushworth 

(page 15). 

Thank you to everyone on the BSA staff who has worked 

to make my transition into this position as smooth as 

possible, particularly Richard Hund, Amy McPher-

son, Beth Parada, and Johanne Stogran. These dedi-

cated people work tirelessly and skillfully behind the 

scenes to produce a quality publication and have been 

nothing but positive and patient while I have learned 

the process of putting this publication together. I es-

pecially want to thank Marsh Sundberg for his ex-

ceptional work as PSB  Editor-in-Chief over the last 

15 years and for his help in showing me the ropes.  

I look forward to guiding the Plant Science Bulletin 

through the next five years and to reading your compel-

ling and insightful contributions.  

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Table of Contents

Society News

BSA Endowment Fund: The Fund that Keeps on Giving ..................................................2
BSA Endowment Fund Donors 2014 .................................................................................2

New Editor Mackenzie Taylor on the Future of the Plant Science Bulletin .......................5

Pamela Diggle, New Editor-in-Chief, Discusses the Future of the  

 American Journal of Botany ...............................................................................................8

BSA Science Education News and Notes

Raising the Next Generation of Botanists ........................................................................12

Fascination of Plants Day .................................................................................................12

Congratulations to Fall PlantingScience Star Project Winners! .......................................13

BSA Committees in Action

Public Policy News ...........................................................................................................14

Student Section

A Moment with Catherine Rushworth, Winner of the 2014 J. S. Karling Award ............15

Award Season Underway ..................................................................................................17


New England Botanical Club 120th Anniversary Research Conference .........................18

Eagle Hill Institute Natural History Science Field Seminars  ..........................................18

“Climate Change and the Future of Plant Life” Symposium Hosted by the  

New England Wild Flower Society ..................................................................................18

The Oxford Plants 400 Project .........................................................................................19

Book Reviews

Bryological and Lichenological  ......................................................................................20

Physiological ....................................................................................................................21

Systematics .......................................................................................................................23


Shaw Convention Centre - Edmonton

July 25 - 29, 2015

Abstracts and Registration Sites now open

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Society News

BSA Endowment Fund:  

The Fund that Keeps on Giving

The BSA’s Future is Secure Because 

of Members Like You




By Joseph Armstrong, At-large 

Director Development

A robust endowment is an essential component 

of every nonprofit organization, and the case for a 

strong endowment to ensure long-term financial 

sustainability is vitally important to the BSA. As we 

move forward in our mission, 

Endowment Fund 

contributions are critical to achieving the financial 

flexibility necessary to continue supporting our 

members with our many programs, publications,


awards, and education programs. 

Only nine years ago, a small group of our long-

time members came together to establish this very 

important fund by creating a Legacy Society. Their 

foresight, generous donations, shared purpose, 

and deep commitment to our mission set a very 

powerful example—now, every year, the BSA 

Legacy Society continues to grow in membership. 

While members of our Legacy Society have 

provided an important foundation for our 

endowment, each year we encourage all of our 

members to consider contributing to the fund so 

that it may grow and sustain in perpetuity all that 

we as a Society have built. Our Endowment Fund 

is what allows us to plan for the future and secure 
our mission.

If the BSA has assisted you during your botanical 

career and/or the advancement of your science, 

please consider contributing to our endowment. 

Whether it is through publishing, sharing/

gathering research at meetings, receiving an award, 

supporting your students, or importantly, having 

fellowship with other botanists, we trust the BSA 

has made more possible for you. Visit https:// to make a gift. 

We are grateful to each of our members who 

now continue to provide yearly gifts toward the 

endowment, and we would like to acknowledge 

them and applaud the numerous first-time 

contributors to the fund during 2014. It is through 

your dedication to the vision and mission of the 

BSA that we may thrive today and continue to 

thrive in the future.

Thank you on behalf of every BSA member, and 

our future members. For more information about 

the Legacy Society, visit

To donate, please visit https://donations.botany.


BSA Endowment Fund  

Donors 2014

James Ackerman

Gregory Anderson

Annie Archambault

Joseph Armstrong

Tina Ayers

Nina Baghai-Riding

Amy Berkov

Lynn Bohs

Kyle Bolenbaugh

David Boose

Andrew Bowling

Winslow Briggs

Linda Broadhurst

M. Brooke Byerley

Diane Byers

Brenda Casper

Barbara Castro
Ronald Chaves

Gregory Cheplick

Lynn Clark

Wendy Clement

Edward Coe Jr.

Jim Cohen

Margaret Collinson

Joseph Colosi

Margaret Conover

Martha Cook

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

Michele Correa

Suzanne Costanza

Nancy Cowden

Barbara Crandall-Stotler

William Crepet

Emily Crone

Wilson Crone

Quentin Cronk

Peter Curtis

Douglas Daly

John Danforth

Stephen Davis
Carol Dawson

Rebecca Dellinger-Johnston

Darleen Demason
Jennifer Dewoody

Stephen Dickey

Pamela Diggle

Alexa Dinicola
Andrew Doust

James Doyle

Jane Doyle

Michele Dudash

Bohdan Dziadyk

Shona Ellis

Norman Ellstrand

W Eshbaugh

Belen Estebanez Perez

Karen Fawley

Charles Fenster

Johannah Fine

Jack Fisher

Maura Flannery

Stephan Flint

Irwin Forseth

Ned Friedman

Alan Franck

Mark Gabel

Patrick Gallagher

Nancy Garwood

Ibrahim Gashua

Monica Geber

Patricia Gensel

David Gernandt

Lawrence Giles

Thomas Givnish

Doris Goldman

Carol Goodwillie

Morgan Gostel

Candice Groat

Yaffa Grossman

Benjamin Hall

Carolyn Hall

Gary Hannan

Sue Harley

Clare Hasenkampf

Christopher Haufler

Donna Hazelwood

Francoise Hennion

Ann Hirsch

Noel Holmgren

Patricia Holmgren

Kent Holsinger

Jodie Holt

Sara Hoot

James Horn

Harry (Jack) Horner

Shing-Fan Huang

David Inouye

Sarah Jacobs

Lawrence Janeway

Eugene Jercinovic

Judy Jernstedt

Kirsten Johnson

Cynthia Jones

Nisa Karimi

Elizabeth Kellogg

Colleen Kelly

Sharon Klavins

John Knox

Vanessa Koelling

Suzanne Koptur

Jamie Kostyun

Jean Kreizinger

Svetla Kukleva

Siro Kurita

Kitty Labounty

Rebecca Lamb

Roger Laushman

Julio Lazcano Lara

Elton Leme

Blanca Leon

Amy Litt

Stefan Little

Tatyana Livshultz
David Longstreth

Marilyn Loveless

Anne Lubbers

James Mahaffy

William Malcolm

Uromi Manage Goodale

Maria Mandujano

Greayer Mansfield-Jones

Karol Marhold

Amelia Mateo Jimenez

Mark Mayfield

Gloria McClure

Richard McCourt

Lucinda McDade

David McLaughlin

Nicholas McLetchie

Helen Michaels

Luke Moe

Brenda Molano-Flores

Arlee Montalvo

Jin Murata

Sandra Newell

Karl Niklas

Robert Noyd

Richard Nuss

Paulo Oliveira

Richard Olmstead

Barnabas Oyeyinka

V. Thomas Parker

Judith Parrish

Nuri Pierce

William Platt

Pamela Polloni

Elisa Porter

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

R. Brandon Pratt

Relf Price

Robert Price

Leonard Pysh

Tom Ranker

Jennifer Read

Jennifer Richards

Victor Riemenschneider

Diane Robertson

Paulo Ruas

Francis Russell

William Saucier
Carl Schlichting

Andrew Schnabel

Al Schneider

Edward Schneider

Tanja Schuster

James Seago

Cynthia Sechrest

Joanne Sharpe

Leila Shultz
Judith Skog

Laurence Skog

Erik Smets

Allison Snow

Pamela Soltis
Victoria Sork

David Spooner

Alice Stanford

Peter Stevens

Dennis Stevenson

Johanne Stogran

Sharon Strauss
Andrew Stuart

Susan Studlar

Frank Suarez

Marshall Sundberg

Mackenzie Taylor

Thomas Taylor

William C. Taylor

Irene Terry

Nicholas Tippery

Leslie Towill

Tommy Ultan-Thomas

Caroline Umebese

Garland Upchurch

Imena Valdes

Luis Valenzuela-Estrada

P. Leszek Vincent

Naomi Volain

Don Waller

Tom Waters

James Watkins

Linda Watson

Anton Weber

Catherine Weiner

Jacob Weiner

Elisabeth Wheeler

Richard Whitkus

Norman Wickett

Alex Widmer

Charles Williams

Joseph Williams

Robert Wise

George Wittler

Martin Wojciechowski

Paul Wolf

Andrea Wolfe

Anne Worley

Atsushi Yabe

Jingbo Zhang

Wendy Zomlefer

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

New Editor Mackenzie Taylor 

on the future of the Plant 

Science Bulletin

Mackenzie Taylor, assistant professor at Creighton 

University, has been a long-time reader of the Plant 

Science Bulletin, so when she accepted the position 

as its new editor, she saw an opportunity to honor the 

past 60 years of publication while moving the PSB 

into a new era. Marian Chau of Lyon Arboretum/

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa---and fellow former 

BSA student representative along with Taylor---

spoke with Taylor about her vision for the next 5 

years of the PSB.

Chau: What made you decide to pursue the 

Editor-in-Chief position for PSB

Taylor: I have loved reading the Plant Science 

Bulletin  since I first became a member of the 

Botanical Society of America. When I first started 

considering the possibility of becoming editor of 

the PSB, I got very excited because I firmly believe 

that the PSB  is an invaluable resource for BSA 

members and the entire botanical community. I 

knew that Editor-in-Chief Marsh Sundberg had 

been working very hard, in cooperation with the 

BSA staff, to continually refresh the PSB and keep 

it relevant, even as the way we obtain information 

changes. The idea of being able to contribute 

directly to the legacy of the Plant Science Bulletin 

and to shape the future direction of this publication 

is extremely attractive to me. 

As a long-time reader of the PSB, what have 

you always liked about the issues? What features 

have you always wanted to see more of?

There are many things that I like about the Plant 

Science Bulletin. The PSB is, for me, a way to stay 

connected to the botanical community year-round. 

I appreciate that this publication is truly centered 

around BSA members, highlighting the successes, 

concerns, and activities of the membership. I enjoy 

reading about the contributions that members are 

making in the realms of education, outreach, and 

advocacy. These activities often don’t receive the 

recognition that they deserve, even though they 

are, in my opinion, as important as contributions to 

scientific research. I think it is essential that the PSB 

showcase and promote these endeavors. 

I also enjoy the variety of topics that each issue 

covers. A particular issue might include an article 

with a historical focus, followed by an article 

discussing strategies for teaching, accompanied by a 

profile of an award-winning member. Ideally, there 

is something for everyone in each issue. Further, in 

many cases, the articles and notes published in the 

PSB focus on successes, either for the society or for 

individual members. I find these positive features 

refreshing and inspiring.

Over the next five years, I would like to see 

input from an increasing proportion of the BSA 

membership. Members of the BSA come from a 

variety of professional settings and from all possible 

career stages. They have diverse interests, face a 

variety of professional challenges, and bring unique 

and valuable perspectives to the society and to the 

field of botany. I want to make sure that those voices 

are heard in the pages of the PSB. With that goal 

in mind, we are asking the student membership 

to contribute to a dedicated section in each issue 

and the student representatives have taken on the 

challenge of organizing this section. I also want 

to encourage post-docs and other early-career 

scientists, as well as botanists who work outside 

of the traditional academic setting, to consider 

submitting articles and essays.

In the coming issues, I hope to facilitate even 

more discussion regarding issues of public policy 

and science advocacy. In today’s academic and 

political climate, it seems especially important 

that BSA members be equipped with information 

and strategies for promoting botany, and indeed 

science, at local, national, and international levels. 

Mackenzie Taylor  - The new PSB editor.

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

I know being a Student Representative on the 

BSA Board was a career-changing experience for 

me. What did you gain from your experience as 

the first BSA Student Representative that you can 

apply to your position as PSB Editor-in-Chief?

I think that my experiences as the student 

representative will be extremely beneficial as I 

take on the responsibility of the PSB.  I learned a 

great deal about the governance of the Botanical 

Society of America and gained a much deeper 

understanding of, and appreciation for, the BSA 

mission. As the student representative, I had many 

conversations about the challenges facing students, 

in particular, but also other early-career scientists, 

and I was exposed to a variety of perspectives that 

I might not have come to understand otherwise. I 

think that these experiences will help me move the 

PSB forward, while honoring its history. 

The  PSB has been around for 60 years now. 

How do you maintain the legacy of a publication 

like this while also staying current, looking to the 

future, and engaging younger readers?

I believe that the key to maintaining the legacy 

of the Plant Science Bulletin is staying true to its 

original mission. When the PSB  was established, 

the goal of the publication was to unify the 

botanical community. The original editor Harry 

J. Fuller envisioned the PSB  as a forum for 

discussions about important issues facing botanists 

and as a place where people could share an array 

of information, including strategies for coping with 

the academic environment, resources for teaching 

and scholarship, information about conservation 

activities, and discussions about issues of academic 

freedom. The need for these types of discussions 

hasn’t changed. 

Staying current first requires that the issues 

presented and discussed in the PSB be relevant to 

the membership. It is my hope that we can engage 

younger readers and others who aren’t currently 

reading the PSB  by including articles and notes 

that are of interest to those demographics. We 

will also employ strategies for reaching and 

engaging readers who access information 

in new and different ways. For example, we 

plan to make short items, including news and 

announcements, available electronically in a 

more timely manner than is possible with the 

quarterly publication cycle and, ultimately, 

upgrade the PSB website so that content from 

the print publication is more directly accessible 

in a digital format. 

Do you think the way we talk (and write) 

about the discipline of botany has changed in 

recent times? Does this affect the type of PSB 

submissions you would like to see? 

I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the 

back issues of the PSB and the significant issues 

that concern botanists are strikingly similar 

throughout the last 60 years. In my opinion, 

the majority of editorials and articles published 

in the first five volumes of the PSB easily could 

have been written in the last five years, although 

there are several references to playing Bridge 

that are less culturally relevant. 

For example, the first issue of the PSB 

includes an essay entitled The Challenge to 

Botanists  by Sydney S. Greenfield, chair of 

the Education Committee. In this article, he 

sets out the challenges facing botanists in 

1955, including a decline and elimination 

of botany from undergraduate curricula, an 

underrepresentation of botanists in biology 

departments and among general biology 

educators, and a lack of appreciation for botany 

by the general public. If you read the issues from 

the 1970s and 1980s, the same general themes 

continually pop up and we continue to struggle 

with these issues today. 

I want to see PSB submissions that are useful 

to the BSA membership. I firmly believe that 

the  Plant Science Bulletin should reflect the 

“Members of the BSA . . .  bring 

unique and valuable perspectives 

to the society and to the field of 

botany. I want to make sure that 

those voices are heard in the pages 

of the PSB.”

I  firmly  believe  that  the  Plant 

Science Bulletin  should  reflect 

the  concerns  of  the  current 




resources that will help its readers 

be  more  successful  teachers, 

scholars, and citizens.” 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

concerns of the current membership and provide 

resources that will help its readers be more 

successful teachers, scholars, and citizens.

How does someone, especially an early-career 

botanist, benefit from submitting an article to 


The Plant Science Bulletin is an excellent venue 

for anyone who wants to communicate information 

that doesn’t fall into the traditional scientific 

research article format. We are especially interested 

in publishing articles and essays that focus on 

education, public policy, outreach, professional 

resources, and history. Any botanist, including 

those early in his or her career, may have an interest 

in these areas, be particularly involved in outreach 

or advocacy activities, or have developed course 

materials or resources that might not be quite 

appropriate for publication in an education journal. 

The  Plant Science Bulletin provides an outlet for 

those types of scholarly outputs that might not be 

published otherwise. Moreover, articles published 

in the PSB  as “Feature Articles” undergo peer 

review. This elevates the quality of articles published 

in the PSB and benefits the author, as these articles 

should be considered peer-reviewed publications in 

CVs and dossiers. 

Publishing in the Plant Science Bulletin is also 

a great way for early-career botanists to network 

with colleagues who have similar interests and to 

get their names out into the botanical community. 

Articles and essays in the PSB have the potential to 

reach the entire BSA membership, as well as those 

with a passing interest in the botanical sciences. 

The  PSB  also publishes book reviews and this 

section is one of our members’ favorite features. 

I would encourage everyone, particularly early-

career scientists, to consider contributing to this 

section. If you are interested in reading a particular 

book, why not go the extra step and prepare a review 

of that title? You will receive a complimentary 

review copy of the book, have the opportunity to 

contribute to the scientific community, and have a 

published book review for your records. 

What if someone has an idea for an article but 

isn’t sure about the next step?

If you have an idea for an article or essay, the 

easiest first step you can take is to email me at psb@ I will be more than happy to discuss 

your idea and we can strategize about preparing the 

article for publication in the Plant Science Bulletin. 

You can also find information about the types of 

articles we publish and instructions for authors 

at If you 

already have an article prepared, you can submit it 

directly for review using the submit button found at

What can readers look forward to in 2015? 

What is your ultimate vision for the PSB?

Readers can look forward to regular 

contributions from BSA committees, particularly 

the public policy and education committees, as well 

as the student membership. This increased focus on 

the activities of BSA committees and other groups 

is intended to keep the membership aware of what 

is happening within the society. 

As I mentioned earlier, we are experimenting 

with new ways to deliver PSB  content to the 

membership that will supplement, not replace, 

the print version of the Plant Science Bulletin. In 

particular, we are working toward having URLs 

for individual articles so that they can be accessed 

directly and publicized on social media platforms. 

Readers should also expect to see a fresh look to the 

print PSB starting in 2016. 

My vision for the Plant Science Bulletin is for it 

to be the voice of the Botanical Society of America. 

The  PSB  should feature content that reflects the 

varied interests of BSA members, be a dependable 

source for resources and perspectives, and provide 

a forum for lively discussion and constructive 

debate. However, the composition of the PSB  is 

ultimately in the hands of the BSA membership. 

The  PSB depends on member submissions and it 

is those contributions that our readers are eager 

to read every quarter. I am looking forward to 

receiving those submissions and guiding the Plant 

Science Bulletin forward through the next five years. 



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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

Pamela Diggle, New Editor-

in-Chief, Discusses the Future 

of the American Journal of 


Pamela Diggle recently stepped into the role of 

Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany, 

and she has started to implement some changes for 

AJB in 2015 while maintaining the journal’s legacy. 

Nic Tippery, 

from the University of Wisconsin–

Whitewater, recently spoke with Diggle about her 

vision for the journal.

Tippery: What inspired you to pursue the 

Editor-in-Chief position for the AJB? 

Diggle: Did you see my tweet? #Iamabotanist! I 

am committed to research, teaching, learning, and 

outreach about all things botany. The Botanical 

Society of America and its flagship journal, the 

American Journal of Botany, are central to all of 

these activities, and the Editor-in-Chief position 

provides an opportunity for me to support botany 

and botanists.

What strengths do you think you can bring to 

the position?  

The Editor-in-Chief will need to understand 

what areas of plant science research are growing, 

what graduate students are interested in, what 

people are teaching, and what societal issues are 

relevant to research in plant science. My recent 

experiences as a Program Officer at the National 

Science Foundation and continuing service on 

various NSF panels, and my leadership in two very 

broad-based biology departments (Chair of one, 

Associate Head of the other), provide me with a 

profound appreciation of the depth and breadth of 

science that should be encompassed within AJB. I 

am also committed to exploring new opportunities 

to remain abreast of developments in botanical 

science. Attending scientific meetings of diverse 

disciplines, and interacting with scientists who 

attend them, will be an important activity that will 

supply new ideas and focus.

The  AJB just celebrated 100 years of 

publication. How do you perceive the legacy of 

the AJB

AJB has a special role in the botanical sciences. 

From its inception,  AJB has been a forum for 

scholarship from diverse areas of botanical research. 

In this era of hyper-specialization, and organization 

of academic departments and journals around 

particular areas of research, AJB provides a venue 

for publications that span levels of organization 

ranging from molecules to ecosystems. Papers in 

the American Journal of Botany are read by people 

in the same field, but are also seen by readers from 

diverse fields, with the potential to be incorporated 

into new research programs, graduate discussion 

groups, and graduate and undergraduate 


The spectacular series of Centennial Review 

papers that began in 2014 perfectly embodies the 

legacy of AJB (see

section/AJB+Centennial+Review). To celebrate the 

tremendous achievement of 101 years of influential 

publication of the American Journal of Botany

then Editor-in-Chief Judy Jernstedt invited leading 

scientists to address long-standing questions in 

botanical research. Each topic has a long history of 

coverage in AJB, and the range of topics covered in 

these reviews demonstrates perfectly the breadth 

and impact of articles published in the journal. 

They range from the very origins of multicellularity, 

through phloem development and function, to 

diverse aspects of evolutionary dynamics including 

gene flow, hybridization, polyploidy, and many 

others; these papers epitomize the high standards 

that are the legacy of AJB: breadth of topics covered, 

rigorous scholarship, innovative and insightful 

analyses, and a view to emerging areas of interest.

The legacy of AJB also derives from the 

dedication of the many people who work very hard 

to ensure the quality of the journal, each and every 

month. They include the professional editorial 

staff, the Board of Associate Editors, the BSA 

Director-at-Large for Publications, the Publications 

Committee, the many, many reviewers, our authors, 

and BSA members. The legacy of AJB is a legacy of 

the commitment of the community that supports it.

Pam Diggle takes the reins of the AJB.

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

What do you see as the main challenges to 

publishing in 2015, and what strategies do 

you think will benefit the AJB in the current 

publishing environment? What challenges do you 

anticipate the journal will face over the next ten 

years? How are you addressing those challenges? 

The primary challenge faced by AJB is the same 

challenge faced by the publications of all scientific 

societies: How will the Journal maintain relevance 

in this rapidly evolving world of diverse outlets 

for dissemination of science? As mechanisms for 

distributing and accessing data and other types of 

information become more diverse and immediate, 

why will scientists need journals? Why should 

authors and readers choose AJB?

As Editor-in-Chief, my job is to understand what 

authors, subscribers, and society members want 

from the journal. My most important first priority 

has been to listen to and learn from that community. 

I held a series of conference calls with small groups 

of scientists––in collaboration with Sean Graham, 

BSA Director-At-Large for Publications, and Amy 

McPherson, Managing Editor of AJB––who have 

very diverse research interests and are at different 

career stages, for wide-ranging conversations about 

publication in general and how we might enhance 

the value and impact of the journal. The people we 

spoke to valued rigorous, constructive, fair, and 

timely review most highly out of all of the topics 

discussed, and these will remain critical goals for 

AJB as we move forward.  

“Audience” is also widely considered to be an 

important factor that scientists consider when 

choosing a journal. Our participants valued the 

broad range of readers that AJB brings, and it 

is clear that enhancing our readership will be 

a valuable asset in attracting new authors. AJB 

currently serves authors and readers by publicizing 

papers in multiple outlets: new papers are featured 

on the society and journal websites, and promoted 

via social media and press releases. Special Issues 

and Special Papers also bring new authors and 

readers to AJB. It will be important to continue to 

develop exciting new ways to push our articles out 

into the broader community of scholars.

As a result of our initial discussions with members 

of the botanical community, I have already brought 

some significant changes to the journal. Beginning 

with the January issue, AJB now has a prominent 

new “News and Views” section. In this section will 

be a novel type of essay, “On the Nature of Things.” 

These are short essays that concisely summarize 

a new and exciting issue or research area, take 

a new look at an established area, or explore 

an idea or concept. I envision a single journal 

page with a bit of background, a summary of 

the current state of thought or data, and then a 

brief explanation and thoughtful summary of the 

unanswered questions or where the field might 

be going. The most important element of these 

essays is the forward-looking part. I hope readers 

anticipate these essays every month to see what 

their colleagues are thinking about--and that 

they’ll want to share their own ideas. The first 

article of this kind is from Ken Feeley (of Florida 

International University) whose essay on the 

pitfalls of predicting future species distribution 

and the promise of new approaches just appeared 

in the February issue of AJB (



“From  its  inception,  AJB  has 

been  a  forum  for  scholarship 

from  diverse  areas  of  botanical 

research.  In  this  era  of  hyper-

specialization, and organization 

of  academic  departments  and 

journals around particular areas 

of  research,  AJB  provides  a 

venue for publications that span 

levels  of  organization  ranging 

from molecules to ecosystems.”

AJB now also features a “Highlights” section 

that summarizes selected articles in each issue.  

These are intended to entice readers to want to 

know more about the journal’s contents.

A second challenge to the future of society 

publications like AJB is financial; AJB does not 

have the deep pockets of a large publishing 

company. Our operating budget comes largely 

from library subscriptions, but library budgets 

are shrinking and, as open access (for which 

authors pay to publish via grants or their 

personal funds) grows, librarians are loath to buy 

what is available for free. The consequence is the 

cost of publishing is shifting more and more to 

authors. AJB has adopted multiple strategies to 

shield our authors from this burden. Bill Dahl, 

the Executive Director of the BSA, the BSA 

Board of Directors, and the professional staff of 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

the BSA and AJB monitor financial developments 

within the publishing industry closely, and we are 

in constant discussion about the financial security 

of the journal. Meanwhile, make sure that your 

libraries know how much you value AJB!

Do you have any suggestions for people who 

might be thinking about submitting an article to 

the AJB?

AJB aims to publish papers that make a significant 

contribution to botanical sciences. Authors should 

frame their papers so that the significance is 

evident to the general (but well informed!) reader. 

If in doubt, I encourage potential authors to contact 

me for feedback.

How can BSA members contribute to 

maintaining the AJB as a strong journal in our 


Send your best work and cite papers in AJB

Volunteer to review manuscripts or to serve on the 

publications committee of the BSA. Make sure that 

your library subscribes to AJB. Participate in my 

ongoing discussion about how we can enhance the 

value and impact of the journal.

What is your ultimate vision for the AJB?
The AJB has changed dramatically over the past 

century of publication and I will collaborate with 

all of you to ensure that it continues to evolve in 

exciting new ways. At the same time, the foundation 

of the journal should remain unchanged. The 

American Journal of Botany is one of the premier 

outlets for all aspects of botanical discovery and 

knowledge, with papers that stand the test of time, 

and continue to shape the intellectual horizons of 

our discipline. I look forward to leading AJB over 

the coming five years, and I especially look forward 

to reading your very best research papers there.

The American Journal of Botany Welcomes a New  

Editor-in-Chief and Launches New Features 

The January issue of the American Journal of Botany begins the tenure of new Editor-in-Chief Dr. 

Pamela Diggle and outlines new features rolling out in 2015 as well as other upcoming developments.


Beginning in January, AJB features a new front section titled “News and Views,” which will 

include editorials, commentaries, letters to the editor, and a new article type called “On the Nature 

of Things” (OTNOT for short). These brief, open access essays—a hybrid of a blog-post and a mini-

review—are meant to provide succinct and timely insights into multiple aspects of plant science. 

They will summarize the current state of thought, technology, or understanding, with the bulk 

of the essay devoted to looking forward to what might be on the horizon for this issue, question, 

or area of research. The feature debuted in the February issue with “Moving forward with species 

distributions,” by Kenneth Feeley at, and has 

continued with “Parasitism disruption a likely consequence of belowground war waged by exotic 

plant invader” by Chris Martine and Alison Hale in the March issue at


In addition to this new article type, AJB now includes a “Highlights” page at the beginning of each 

issue. The Highlights point readers quickly to selected articles of interest. Visit http://www.amjbot.

org/content/102/1/1.full for a sample of this feature that debuted in January.

For more information on these features and more, see Dr. Diggle’s Editorial from January at http://

In addition, AJB will focus on two special issues to be published later in 2015 and early 2016: 

“Evolutionary insights from studies of geographic variation: Establishing a baseline and looking 

to the future” and “The Ecology and Evolution of Pollen Performance.” More information will be 

forthcoming—stay tuned! 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

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BSA Science Education 

News and Notes


What first sparked your interest in science, and 

in plants? Were you always science-minded, or 

did you ever have to choose to pursue science over 

competing fields of interest? Did you know from an 

early age that botany would be a lifelong interest? 

Or did you fall into studying plants later in your 

science career, perhaps after meeting a botanist or 

botany teacher who inspired you, joining an exciting 

research project or coming across a particularly 

intriguing plant? What fascinated you enough to 

shift your research interests toward botany? 

The mission of the BSA is to promote botany, 

and inspiring interest in plants is a key part of 

that mission. As Education Director, I’m keenly 

interested in understanding when and how that 

decision comes about, when children or adults 

become fascinated with the plant world enough to 

choose to make botany their life’s work. 

The challenges of the 21st century  ––climate 

change, population increases, energy needs, 

shrinking biodiversity––require a thriving 

community of botanists who understand and 

advocate for the plant world. Who knows what 

contributions future colleagues will bring to the 


Inspiring the great thinkers of the next 

generation and turning the interest of the science-

minded toward plant biology can be a challenge 

when science, and especially plant science, is too 

often such a small part of primary and secondary 

education. The chance to experience science as a 

process of discovery, and not just a set of formulas 

and facts to memorize, can be instrumental. 

Learning about plants from enthusiastic 

professionals who are excited to share their life-

work can be much more impactful than learning 

about plants from zoologists who see plants as a 

backdrop for animal interactions, or from out-of-

field science teachers with no botany training and 

who themselves have never had the opportunity to 

learn how exciting plants can be.  

So it is up to us, who find plants utterly 

fascinating, to share that interest and excitement 

with the next generation. And, because so many 

young scientists make decisions about whether 

they will be scientists at a young age, we need to be 

sharing this interest and excitement not just with 

our graduate students, or undergraduates, but with 

secondary students and even primary students. 

As Wandersee and Clary (2006) noted, “The 

presence of a plant mentor earlier in one’s life 

(someone who helped the mentee observe, plant, 

grow, and tend living plants) is a key predictor 

of that person’s awareness, appreciation, and 

understanding of plants throughout the lifespan.”

Please consider reaching out, even in a small way, 

to make a lasting impact.

Fascination of Plants Day

One perfect opportunity to share your fascination 

with plants is through the upcoming Fascination of 

Plants Day (FoPD) on May 18, 2015. 

“FoPD is an internationally coordinated activity 

designed to sow constantly germinating seeds 

in the collective mind of the World Public to 

appreciate and understand that plant science is 

ofcritical significance to the social, environmental 

and economic landscape now and into the future.” 

Join other BSA members from around the world 

in hosting a plant walk in your community on 

May 18 and share your group’s discoveries with a 

worldwide audience. University classes may be out, 

but it is a perfect time to make a connection with 

a local primary or secondary school, park, garden, 

nature center, or museum. 

Learn more about open events, get ideas for 

By Catrina Adams,  

Education Director

Raising the next generation 

of botanists

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

planning and sharing your own local events, and see 

what initiatives are planned nationally (blog.aspb.

org/fascination-of-plants-day) or internationally 


Congratulations To Fall 

PlantingScience Star Project 



Through, the BSA promotes 

plant biology and authentic science research for 

students in middle and high schools around the 

United States and world. 

Each fall and spring, the most exemplary projects 

are recognized in our Star Project Gallery. The fall 

sessions’ winners included “The Bio Bunch” from 

High Technology High School, who developed a 

sophisticated proposal to determine the optimal 

natural conditions for iris seed germination. The 

team worked closely with their scientist mentor 

Andrew Schnabel to generate ideas for a testable 

question, craft a research prediction and research 

design from their question, and prepare a full 

proposal. In the process they learned a lot about 

what it means to propose authentic research, and are 

excited about conducting their planned research. 

The Bio Bunch will carry out their ambitious 

research proposal this spring session with their 

mentor’s guidance.  You can follow along with the 

team’s progress at:

All Spring projects are available to view at, using the “Research” tab. 

If you would like to be a PlantingScience mentor 

and help student teams discover the joy of scientific 

discovery and become fascinated with plants, we 

are now recruiting mentors for the fall session (mid 

September – mid October). Register any time at

Anne and Arvind of PlantingScience star 

project winning team “The Bio Bunch” collect 

iris seeds for their experiment on optimal 

conditions for seed germination.

PlantingScience star project winning team “The Bio Bunch” tackle iris seed 

germination research project.

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The start of 2015 has ushered in a major 

change in the composition of Congress. Results 

of the 2014 midterm elections mean that majority 

turnover has taken place in the U.S. Senate and the 

retirement and/or defeat of several Congressional 

Representatives has meant that important 

Congressional committees in the house are also 

welcoming new faces. One change of particular 

interest to scientists is that Senator John Thune (R-

SD) will be the new chair of the Commerce, Science, 

and Transportation Committee (visit this link to 

read more about specific committee changes:  http://

html#034840). Federal funding for basic research 

will be sure to face strong rhetoric in the 114th 

Congress. The Public Policy Committee works to 

provide you with the information you need to be 

aware of including important votes, impending 

policy changes, and communication networks 

necessary to let your voice be heard. We need your 

help to engage with politicians and other societies, 

and advocate on behalf of botany!

How you can help:

Become involved with the American Institute for 

Biological Sciences (AIBS) through their Legislative 

Action Center ( and sign 


up for public policy alerts every 2 weeks at http:// Look out for 

a survey from the Public Policy Committee with 

questions regarding your specific policy interests. 

We want to make sure we disseminate the policy 

news that is relevant to our membership and the 

only way we can do this is if we hear from you.

What we would like to do in the 


•   Encourage proactive, rather than reactive, 

policy involvement

•   Help BSA members influence policy at 

multiple levels (from local to national)

•   Expand our interactions with other societies,  

including a new collaboration with the ASPT 

Environmental Policy Committee

•   Offer AIBS Public Policy Workshops at future 

meetings, including Botany 2015

Most importantly, we would like to develop a 

charge to grow toward and in that regard, we’re 

interested in what it is that you’d like to see from 

the Public Policy Committee.

Upcoming policy events: 

•  May 13–14, 2015: Congressional Visits Day 

hosted by the Biological and Ecological 

Science Coalition. The BSA will sponsor two 

awards in support of travel and lodging for 

this event. The BSA has participated since 

2012. The AIBS also sponsors an annual 

award in support of travel and participation in 

the CVD, which you can learn more about at

•  Quarterly policy reports in the Plant Science 


•  Upcoming BSA Member survey for Public 

Policy Engagement. Please watch for this 

survey in your email inbox! You can help guide 

the future of the BSA Public Policy Committee 

so that we can serve you better.


Public Policy News

by Marian Chau, and Morgan Gostel   

Public Policy Committee Co-Chairs

BSA Public Policy Committee Overview

Since the formation of the Public Policy Committee in 2011, we have: 
• Awarded six Public Policy Awards (2013 - 2015). We have already funded travel for six BSA student 

and early career members to Washington, D.C. 

• Partner with other societies, including the AIBS, ASPB, BESC, and ESA, in support of policy initiatives 

for botany and federal funding of research.

• Author sign-on letters to Congress in support of sustained funding, in response to sequestration, and 

in support of science policy efforts.  


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Beginning with this issue of the Plant Science 

Bulletin, the student representatives to the 

Botanical Society of America Executive Committee 

will organize and contribute content for a 

dedicated student section. It is our hope that these 

articles will allow for more connectivity within the 

student community of BSA, but it will also keep all 

members informed on issues important to students 

and the general news within the society. 

In the future, we’d like to include short articles 

about new methods and techniques, new 

and interesting student-written publications, 

iniormation about the annual meeting, and 


interviews with noteworthy students. 

If you have any ideas or suggestions on content 

for future issues, we’d love to hear about them! Feel 

free to contact Jon Giddens (gidd8708@gmail.

com) and Angela McDonnell (angela.mcdonnell@, the current student representatives, 

any time with your ideas. Alternatively, you can 

connect with us on our Facebook group page by 

searching for Students of the Botanical Society of 


A Moment with Catherine 

Rushworth, winner of the 2014 

J. S. Karling Award

Jon and Angela catch up with the fantastic Ms. 

Catherine Rushworth of Duke University, who was 

awarded the 2014 J. S. Karling Award for her top-

rated proposal titled “Insights into the origin and 

persistence of apomixis in the Boechera holboellii 

species complex.” Below, Catherine discusses her 

thoughts on the BSA, her research, and how she stays 


Jon & Angela: When and why did you join 


Catherine Rushworth: I joined BSA at the 

beginning of my grad school career. In my area of 

research, most researchers are more stimulated by 

the questions they’re asking than the organisms 

they work with. I’m really a bit more organismal 

in focus—my questions are motivated by the 

peculiarities of a focal plant group. I love plants, 

and I wanted to be part of an organization in which 

the members love plants as much as I do!

What is your favorite thing about BSA?
My favorite thing about BSA is the enthusiasm its 

members have for plants. At the conference in Boise 

last year, it was so nice to meet other researchers 

and enjoy an instant connection with them. Even if 

their research was very distant from mine, we could 

share excitement about the plants.

What is your research about?
I study the evolutionary factors maintaining 

apomixis and sexual reproduction in populations 

of the mustard Boechera. Apomicts are nearly 

always polyploid and the result of hybridization, 

but Boechera apomicts can be polyploid or diploid. 

I focus on the diploid apomicts in order to eliminate 

one confounding variable. I’m especially interested 

in how sexual and asexual Boechera coexist in 

populations. We know very little about how sexual 

Catherine Rushworth

by Angela McDonnell and Jon Giddens,  

Student Representatives

A Word from the Student 


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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

and asexual reproduction are maintained at the 

population level in nature, and I’m lucky enough to 

have a great study system to address these questions 

in the field.

What has been the most challenging part of 

your research?

I love doing fieldwork, but it can be really difficult. 

Our lab spends 2-3 months every year living in 

an RV park in rural Idaho. Working outdoors is 

fantastic, but it’s hard to maintain forward progress 

on your dissertation when you’re isolated for that 

long with only a couple other scientists and a bad 

internet connection! And, statistics is hard.

What has been the most rewarding part of 

your research?

The most rewarding part is putting it all together. 

I’m nearing the end of my dissertation and all my 

experiments are nearly done. I’m learning how to 

analyze my data properly and writing it up, and 

amazingly enough, there are some answers to my 


How has winning the J.S. Karling award 

affected you and your research?

The J.S. Karling award has affected me in a couple 

of different ways. First, monetarily, of course! It 

enabled me to do an extra experiment this year that 

I otherwise couldn’t have paid for, and I’m really 

excited about the results. Second, I’m thinking 

about postdoc projects, and having my face on a 

giant screen definitely helped facilitate networking 

with potential collaborators at the Boise meeting!

What advice do you wish someone would have 

given you about graduate school?

There are too many things to list! But I wish 

someone had sat me down on my first day of 

grad school and said: “You are now a scientist. 

Everything you do from here on out is your career, 

so take it seriously and don’t discount yourself or 

your abilities. You will meet a lot of smart people. 

Don’t be intimidated by them, don’t be shy, and 

don’t compare yourself to them; those things won’t 

help you but will add stress to your life. This is 

school, and you’re here to learn, so be prepared to 

feel stupid a lot. Ask as many questions as it takes 

until you figure a new concept out. And never 

forget that you’re doing something you love!”

What do you do to de-stress? 
I try to take tiny breaks, even 30 seconds, 

throughout the day whenever I need to mentally 

shift gears. They’re kind of like little palate cleansers 

between courses of a fancy dinner; it helps me 

switch to a new topic and keep going. If I’m really 

stressed, and I can afford to take a big break, closing 

the computer for a bit and spending time with my 

husband and our cat always helps. And going for 

walks! Getting outside is important.

What are you reading right now that’s 


Right now I’m not really reading anything 

but papers, but recently I started listening to this 

podcast called Meet the Composer. (www.wqxr.

org/#!/programs/meet-composer/) I’ve been struck 

by the similarities of the creative process that both 

composers and scientists go through. I love hearing 

how composers conceive of new pieces and mesh 

styles of music, and the own unique ways in which 

they put them down on paper, and how they create 

pieces for certain musical groups (quartets or 

whatever) based on those musicians’ specific skills. 

There is no right or wrong way to think and create, 

and I find that very inspiring. Maybe we could start 

encouraging a bit more diversity in this area in 


What are your future aspirations?
I have an “unconventional” background (i.e., I 

didn’t major in Biology in undergrad) so I never 

thought I’d be faculty member material. But I’ve 

come to find that I love research, I love teaching, 

Cathy’s research focuses on hybrid apomicts in the 

genus Boechera. An example of one is shown here, 

likely involving parental species B. sparsiflora and B. 


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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

I love taking on leadership roles and mentoring, 

and I kind of like writing. So it seems like academia 

would be a good fit for me, after all. After my 

upcoming postdoc at UC Berkeley, I’m going for it!  

Anything else you’d like to include?
Thanks for this opportunity! And thank you, 


Award Season Underway

Although the year is just beginning, it is 

important to keep in mind that the award season 

is open! 

The J. S. Karling Award is one of many 

awards made by the society to graduate student 

members in support of their research. This award 

is named for Dr. John Karling (1897-1995) who 

was an internationally renowned authority in 

mycology (fungi) from Austin, Texas. In 1924 

he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. 

Following graduation, Dr. Karling had a long and 

distinguished career at Purdue University where 

he served as the Director of the Department of 

Biological Sciences and was also Purdue’s first 

John Wright Distinguished Professor of Biological 

Sciences. After retirement, he was named Fellow of 

the Indiana Academy of Sciences and co-founder 

of both the Mycological Society of America and the 

American Institute of Biological Sciences.  

The J. S. Karling Award is awarded to the top-

ranked proposal that is submitted for consideration 

for a Graduate Student Research Award. The 

purpose of the Graduate Student Research Awards 

is to support and promote graduate research in the 

botanical sciences. In response to student feedback 

in recent years, the number of these Awards given 

by the society has greatly increased from just ten 

awards in 2004 to twenty awards in 2014.

The BSA also awards up to seven Undergraduate 

Student Research Awards to fund quality research 

performed by undergraduate students. 

The solicitation for the 2015 Graduate and 

Undergraduate Student Research Awards can 

be found on the BSA website under the “awards” 

subheading (


grants/detail/bsaUNDERgsra.php). The deadline 

for these awards is March 15. Be sure to start 

writing your proposal early and have it reviewed 

by your peers and your PI well before you intend 

on submitting it. And, if you’re not a student and 

you’re reading this, please remind the students you 

know to apply! Good luck!

The Mitchell-Olds lab conducts field work in the Rocky Mountains of central Idaho. Shown here is the view 

from one of their experimental gardens.

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New England Botanical Club 

120th Anniversary Research 


The New England Botanical Club is preparing to 

celebrate its 120th anniversary by hosting a major 

botanical research conference June 5-7, 2015, at 

Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. 

This conference will bring together members of 

the many botanical clubs and organizations that are 

active in northeastern North America, as well as 

students, academic researchers, naturalists, citizen 

scientists and professional botanists. The keynote 

speaker is Dr. Pamela Diggle, Editor-in-Chief of the 

American Journal of Botany and Past President, the 

Botanical Society of America.

We invite you to contribute to the conference by 

presenting a talk or poster on your activities. There 

will also be display space in which you can highlight 

your organization, your latest botanical discoveries, 

and new initiatives you are pursuing. On Sunday, 

June 7, we will host a “working breakfast” in which 

officers of clubs and societies can gather and 

strategize about ways to make botany relevant to 

an expanded audience. A botanical foray of Smith 

College’s MacLeish Field Station will follow. 

We encourage you to submit your full conference 

paper for publication in our peer-reviewed journal, 

Rhodora.  All accepted abstracts will be published 

as well.

This conference, including all meals and a 

reception, is free. A full conference program 

and online registration are available at NEBC 


Space is limited; register and submit an 

abstract now! The final deadline for registration is 

April 1, 2015. Please visi


 for more information or direct 

questions and comments to conference@rhodora.


Eagle Hill Institute Natural 

History Science Field Seminars 

Eagle Hill Institute, located on the eastern 

coast of Maine, will host seminars and workshops 

focusing on natural history during Summer 2015.  

These workshops are in support of field biologists, 

researchers, field naturalists, faculty members, 

students, and artists with interests in the natural 

history sciences.

Courses include Trees and Shrubs of Northeastern 

North America: Identification and Ecology; Plant 

Identification and Herbarium Techniques; Mosses: 

Structure, Ecology, and Identification; Introduction 

to Maine Seaweeds: Identification, Ecology, 

and Ethnobotany; Lichens and Lichen Ecology; 

Grasses of Northeastern North America: Practical 

Identification for Field Biologists; and Taxonomy 

and Biology of Ferns and Lycophytes, among many 


A full list of 2015 seminars and workshops, as 

well as registration information, can be found 



“Climate Change and the 

Future of Plant Life” Symposium 

hosted by the New England 

Wild Flower Society

Plants are the foundation of global ecosystems, 

creating the habitats that nurture all other living 

beings. How will plants respond to the predicted 

changes in temperature and precipitation from a 

warming climate? 

At this symposium, hosted by New England 

Wild Flower Society, five noted botanists and 

ecologists will discuss new findings and current 

research on the state of New England’s plants; 

the historical patterns and current evidence of 

climate-induced adaptation, migration, and loss; 

and strategies for conserving and managing plant 

species and natural communities in the face of 

climate change. Speakers include Dr. Paul Smith, 

newly appointed Secretary General, Botanic 

Gardens Conservation International; Dr. Elizabeth 

Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist, New 

England Wild Flower Society; Dr. David R. Foster, 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

Director of the Harvard Forest, Harvard University; 

and Dr. Dov F. Sax, Associate Professor of Ecology 

and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University 

and Deputy Director (Teaching) of the Institute at 

Brown for Environment and Society.


The “Climate Change and the Future of Plant Life” 

symposium will be held Thursday, March 26 from 

9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Microsoft New England 

R&D Center, 1 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA. 

For more information about the symposium and to 

register, go t 

or contact Lana Reed, New England Wild Flower 

Society Public Programs Coordinator, at lreed@, 508-877-7630, ext. 330.

The Oxford Plants 400 Project

The University of Oxford will mark 400 years of 

botanical research and teaching on July 25, 2021. 

In celebration of this upcoming anniversary, the 

University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt 

Arboretum, together with the Oxford University 

Herbaria and the Department of Plant Sciences, 

has launched the Oxford Plants 400 project. This 

project will highlight 400 plants of scientific and 

cultural significance, with one plant profiled each 

week. Each profile includes images from Oxford 

University’s living and preserved collections. Check 

out these plants at

bol/plants400 and at @plants400 on Twitter. 

From the

 PSB Archives

60 years ago: 

The first issue of the Plant Science Bulletin is published under editor    



Harry J. Fuller. The editorial board consists of George S. Avery, Harlan P.  



Banks, Harriet Creighton, Sydney S. Greenfield, and Paul B. Sears. 



The Darbaker Prize in Phycology, presented for meritorious work in the  



study of  microscopic algae, is established.

50 years ago:   The bylaws for the new Historical Section, created at the 1964 Council   



Business Meeting, are published.



Stanwyn G. Shetler of the Smithsonian describes a visit to the Komarov  



Botanical Institute in Leningrad prior to the opening of the Tenth  




International Botanical Congress in Edinburgh.

25 years ago:   New PSB editor Meredith Lane asks for “assistance in making the   



PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN an active and interactive means of    



communication within the Society” (a sentiment the current new editor  




In Memoriam notices are published for Ethel C. Belk and Louis Otho    



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Book Reviews

Bryological and Lichenological 

Flore des Bryophytes du Quebec-Labrador.  Volume 1: Anthocerotes et Hepatiques. ..... 20


Photosynthesis in Bryophytes and Early Land Plants ......................................................21


Trees of Eastern North America .......................................................................................23

The Olmsted Parks of Louisville: a Botanical Field Guide ..............................................24

HAWS: A Guide to Hawthorns of the Southeastern United States ..................................25 

The Genus Erythronium ...................................................................................................26

Plant Systematics: The Origin, Interpretation, and Ordering of Plant Biodiversity 

 (Regnum  Vegetabile  156) .................................................................................................27

Bryological and Lichenological

Flore des Bryophytes du Québec-

Labrador. Volume 1: Anthocerotes 

et Hepatiques

Jean Faubert

2012. ISBN-13: 978-2-9813260-0-3 (vol. 1)

Hardcover, C$80.00. 356 pp.

Société Québécoise de Bryologie, Saint-
Valérien, Québec, Canada

This is the first volume of a three-volume set 

covering the non-vascular plants of Québec 

and Labrador. The other two volumes, also by 

Jean Faubert, deal exclusively with mosses (the 

series was just completed in 2014). This volume 

covers the remaining two lineages of bryophytes: 

the liverworts and hornworts. It provides keys, 

descriptions, habitat information, distribution 

maps, and helpful hints to aid in identification for 

all taxa present in Québec and Labrador; it also 

includes several species that are not yet reported 

from but are likely to occur in the area. In addition, 

each genus is depicted by at least one illustration.
As pointed out in the preface, this work represents 

the first since 1935 dealing exclusively with the 

region, and the first-ever bryophyte flora exclusively 

for Québec. Though in no way surpassing Rudolph 

Schuster’s Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North 

America in its thoroughness and usefulness to 

professional and ardent amateur bryologists, this 

work represents a much more affordable, accessible, 

and practical work for amateur bryologists. In 

addition, the literature on liverworts and hornworts 

is generally scattered and inaccessible. Therefore, 

this book potentially represents an important 

resource for anyone in eastern or boreal North 

An introductory section by the author describes 

the layout of the rest of the work including how 

to interpret generic descriptions and maps. 

Information is provided on how to appropriately 

collect and dissect bryological specimens as 

well as on the biology of bryophytes, including 

the obligatory description of the alternation 

of generations life cycle. One section of this 

introduction includes a list of ways in which 

bryophytes differ from vascular plants and includes 

a factually tenuous statement that bryophytes are 

“resistant to the pressures of natural selection” (p. 6).
The keys in this work are nothing special and use 

qualitative characters typically used in works on 

hepatics (thallose vs. leafy, incubous vs. succubous 

leaves, etc.). Hornworts are covered first, followed 

by thallose liverworts, and finally leafy liverworts. 

For each genus, an effort is made to allow the user to 

key a specimen down to the lowest taxonomic level 

possible. For example, in most floras Marchantia 

polymorpha would be keyable only to species with 

perhaps a note on its morphological variability. 

Here, the user is able to key M. polymorpha to 

one of the three subspecies found in Québec. An 

additional nice aspect of the treatment is that 

Faubert takes into consideration recent evidence 

from molecular phylogenetic studies. For example, 

eastern North American Conocephalum was once 

all placed in the circumboreal C. conicum. However, 

Faubert correctly ascribes material in Québec to 

the recently described C. salebrosum. An effort is 

also made to tackle difficult taxa such as Riccia

Lophoziaceae, and Scapania, while at the same time 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

cautioning the user that fertile material is usually 

needed to confirm the identification.
As mentioned above, each species or subspecific 

taxon is illustrated and a description and 

distribution map are provided. Aside from the keys, 

which are all typical ones that would be found in 

a liverwort and hornwort flora, individual species 

accounts are the most important aspect of a flora. 

Unfortunately, this is the area where this book most 

falls short. Three types of illustrations are used in 

this work. First are typical line drawings. These 

images are fine and make an effort to illustrate 

diagnostic features such as the number of cells 

per gemmae and trigones, although some species 

might benefit from an additional illustration or two 

for each species, especially for the hornworts where 

spore characters are needed for identification but 

no spores are depicted in this work. The second 

type of illustration is an in situ depiction of the 

plant. This is certainly useful in the field, but often 

not as useful in the laboratory when plants, even 

when rehydrated, may not look very similar to 

these photographs. The large size (8.5 × 11 inches) 

and dense glossy paper used in this book preclude 

it from being taken in the field, and the immediate 

utility of these illustrations is somewhat lost unless 

the collector also takes photographs in the field. 

The third type of illustration is a three-dimensional 

rendering of plants solely for “aesthetic reasons to 

show the beauty of bryophytes.” These illustrations 

often look more comical than anything else (shoots 

are often depicted on wood or granitic pedestals) 

and do not serve any practical purpose. The 

depictions of the plants in situ do so much more 

to show the beauty of bryophytes. These three-

dimensional renderings would be much better 

if they had been replaced by images taken of the 

plants under a microscope as these images would 

then have the potential to be both beautiful and 

useful. One final issue with the treatment is that the 

place of publication is listed for each species. This 

is much better reserved for a monograph and just 

wastes space here. One beneficial aspect of these 

descriptions is that a bibliography of additional 

resources is provided should one want to learn 

more about a particular genus or confirm their 

identification using another key.
The book concludes with an appendix of common 

names in both French and English, although in some 

cases the common names seem more complex and 

harder to learn than the scientific names. Finally, 

a glossary to bryological terms is provided. While 

generally a good thing, this glossary falls short in 

that it contains terms useful to the identification of 

liverworts and hornworts but also contains moss-

specific terminology, which adds space and only 

makes it more difficult for the user to find a specific 

Overall, this work represents a successful attempt 

to provide a flora of Québec and is one of a handful 

of accessible works on liverworts and hornworts of 

eastern North America, especially as many of the 

works are now out of print and expensive. However, 

solely because the book is written in French, its 

wider utility to those outside of Québec is limited 

despite the fact that nearly all species may be found 

in neighboring parts of Canada as well as the 

northeastern United States. This book is therefore 

recommended for those who can understand 

French; those looking for illustrations would be 

better served searching on used book websites or 

should refer to Mary Lincoln’s 

Liverworts of New 

England: A Guide for the Amateur Naturalist (New 

York Botanical Garden Press).

–Jeff Rose, Department of Botany, University of 

Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA


Photosynthesis in Bryophytes and 

Early Land Plants

Advances in Photosynthesis and Respira-

tion, Volume 37 

David T. Hanson and Steven K. Rice (eds.)

2014. ISBN-13: 978-94-007-6987-8

eBook, US$219.00; Hardcover, US$279.00. 

342 pp.

Springer Science+Business Media, Dor-

drecht, The Netherlands

The Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration 

series continues to grow with the addition of 

Photosynthesis in Bryophytes and Early Land 

Plants, the 37th volume in the series. Bryophytes 

are fascinating organisms, in and of themselves, 

that are also uniquely well suited for the study of 

evolution and photosynthesis. Bryophytes contain 

chloroplasts and a photosynthetic machinery 

quite similar to their tracheophyte kin. However, 

as they lack vasculature, a cuticle, stomata, and 

aerenchyma tissues, photosynthesis in bryophytes 

is very different indeed. In some respects, bryophyte 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

photosynthetic mechanisms are similar to those 

in tracheophytes. In others, there are significant 

differences. Those similarities and differences, 

along with recent advances in the field, underlie the 

need for this timely, full-volume treatment of the 

The volume is logically arranged. An introductory 

chapter by the co-editors titled, appropriately, “What 

Can We Learn from Bryophyte Photosynthesis?” 

lays out the basic questions to be addressed in the 

body of the book. The first set of chapters (Chapters 

2–4) takes a three-phase evolutionary approach 

by addressing the algal to bryophyte evolutionary 

transition (Chapter 2), adaptations of early 

bryophytes to the terrestrial environment (Chapter 

3), and the subsequent diversification of early land 

plants (Chapter 4). These were among the most 

intriguing chapters in the volume, with Chapter 4 

being especially thoughtful and thought provoking. 

Indeed, reading these three chapters provides a 

clear and in-depth background for the uniqueness 

of bryophytes and the value to be gained by their 

further study. 

The next group of chapters (Chapters 5–12) 

encompasses a large territory around the 

basic theme of carbon acquisition. Leaf-based 

measurements of photosynthesis work well for 

most tracheophytes, which has, among other 

things, driven the design of infrared gas analyzer 

(IRGA) cuvettes. However, bryophytes lack a 

clearly defined photosynthetic organ. Therefore, 

Chapter 5 establishes the methods for measuring 

photosynthesis at multiple scales. Chapter 6 covers 



 concentrating mechanisms, a substantial 

predicament for plants whose photosynthetic 

surface is more often than not coated with water, not 

air. The water layer has substantial consequences 

for gas diffusion. Bryophytes can be found in light 

environments ranging from deep shade or full sun; 

therefore, responses to irradiance level are discussed 

in Chapters 7 (photoprotective mechanisms) and 8 

(chloroplast movement). The latter chapter is rather 

heavy on higher plant examples, but that is where 

the more relevant literature may be found and the 

comparison to what is known in bryophytes is 

revealing. The next two chapters are closely related 

in that they deal with the scaling of light harvesting 

in the moss canopy (Chapter 9) and a structural and 

functional analysis of the canopy itself (Chapter 

10). These chapters relate directly to Chapter 5, 

which dealt with the practical aspects of measuring 

photosynthesis at the different canopy scales and 

structures discussed in Chapters 9 and 10. Chapter 

11, “Genetics and Genomics of Moss Models,” is 

well done, but somewhat limited in scope. It, or 

an accompanying chapter, could have perhaps 

expanded on how recent advances in genomics 

have impacted studies of bryophyte photosynthesis, 

limited though they are (as noted by the co-editors 

in the introductory chapter, section IIIE, and the 

final chapter, section IIB). While a minor criticism, 

that absence does leave a gap. 

The six chapters of the final section cover the 

ecology and physiological ecology of bryophytes 

across a wide range of ecosystems—aquatic, 

peatland, tropical, and Antarctic. Collectively, they 

cover various aspects of water relations, desiccation 

tolerance, temperature and light responses, and 

mineral nutrition. Chapter 12, the longest chapter 

in the volume, is a very comprehensive treatment 

of photosynthesis in aquatic bryophytes and covers 

everything from light capture to carbon storage, 

before and beyond. Chapters 13 and 14 concentrate 

on peatland bryophytes. Chapter 13 has a particular 

focus on Sphagnum photosynthesis, respiration, 

and growth and production under stress conditions, 

while Chapter 14 broadens the treatment to include 

other bryophyte species and various controls 

on photosynthesis, respiration, and succession 

in contrasting peatland ecosystems in northern 

latitudes. Chapter 15 studies the ecophysiology of 

tropical bryophytes and explores the intriguing 

phenomenon of the disparity in bryophyte biomass 

between lowland (low biomass) and montane (high 

biomass) rainforest ecosystems. Chapter 16 deals 

with bryophytes at the other end of the hydration 

spectrum, the dryland biocrust mosses. In addition 

to heat and desiccation, fluctuating wet-dry cycles 

that accompany sporadic rainfall patterns are an 

environmental stress that is unique to dryland 

bryophytes. Finally, Chapter 17 takes the volume 

to another habitat extreme, the Antarctic, where 

bryophytes are the dominant flora. In addition to 

the obvious challenges with water availability and 

temperature, polar regions are undergoing some 

of the most prominent and precipitous climatic 

change on the planet. High-latitude bryophytes are 

under particular environmental stress and are likely 

to see their environment change substantially in the 

time to come.
An important aspect of Chapters 12–17 is that all 

six highlight concerns of the future impact global 

climate change will have on these ecologically 

distinct bryophyte communities. It takes little to 

upset the delicate balance of life when living on the 

edge and, indeed, bryophytes occupy some of the 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

harshest environments on Earth. They will suffer 

some of the first consequences as weather patterns 

change and climate shifts become more extreme. 
Although each of the 17 chapters proposes 

specific suggestions for future research, the 

volume culminates, correctly so, with Chapter 

18, “Opportunities in Bryophyte Photosynthesis 

Research,” by co-editors Rice and Hanson. 

Forward thinking, it highlights eight prospects 

for future research directions: (a) linkage between 

photosynthesis and production, (b) application 

of genomics, (c) mechanism and ecological 

significance of mixotrophy, (d) understanding 

symbioses, (e) scaling across levels of organization, 

(f) carbon and water dynamics of canopies, (g) 

complexity of respiratory processes, and (h) 

characterizing functional diversity. The co-editors 

have constructed a valuable road map for future 

studies involving bryophytes. 
Similar to the other volumes in the Advances 

in Photosynthesis and Respiration series, 

Photosynthesis in Bryophytes and Early Land Plants 

is aimed at researchers, graduate students, and 

advanced undergraduates. I recommend this well-

designed volume for those scientists, or indeed for 

anyone interested in the current status of bryophyte 

–Robert R. Wise, PhD, Department of Biology, Uni-

versity of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 



Trees of Eastern North America

Gil Nelson, Christopher J. Earle, and Richard 


2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-691-14591-4 

Flexibound, US$29.95. 720 pp. 

Princeton University Press, Princeton, New 

Jersey, USA

This book is composed of several short introductory 

sections giving concise information about the 

book, the plants it describes, and some common 

species, followed by an impressive collection of 

descriptions with consistent and informative 

illustrations, followed by a glossary and index. The 

text itself is well put together for the medium- to 

advanced-level woody perennial identifier, but 

would be unsuitable for those just beginning tree 

identification. It is not a key.
The introductory sections are concise and 

thorough. They are useful to those of modest to 

expert levels of plant identification skill, especially 

the illustrations and definitions of botanical and 

biological terms. The descriptions of taxonomy, 

gymnosperms, angiosperms, and forest structure 

in the introduction are also well done (I would 

describe them as skillfully abbreviated). The 

only sections of the introduction that I am not 

impressed by are the winter twig section and the 

leaf key section. Neither is useful as a key in the 

field (regardless of the titles of these sections in 

the table of contents), and both generally include 

illustrations that already exist on the pages of the 

species they refer to (if the illustrations are not 

included on any of the species pages, they should 

be). This section would greater serve the reader if 

it were instead devoted to a dichotomous key to 

the families, so that users of the book could narrow 

their search when confronted with an unfamiliar 

I want to stress that this book does not claim to 

be a key, and that’s fine, but the fact that no true 

dichotomous key exists means these two sections 

(leaf key and winter twig key) are misleading in 

the table of contents. This could be particularly 

harmful to the buyer who decides whether to buy 

based on the table of contents. If the authors wish to 

include a key, let it be a true dichotomous key that 

serves the reader who is interested in having access 

to the entirety of the book, regardless of familiarity 

with all the families included. 
I am greatly impressed with the thoroughness of 

the collection of species cataloged. There are few 

trees that I encounter in my state (New Jersey) that 

are not included in the text. As far as the species 

collection goes as a whole, I have very little to say 

to the negative. I would only suggest that future 

volumes pay particular attention to groups of 

species found in the eastern United States that are 

very similar. If several members of a group are 

present in the eastern United States (and are not 

extremely rare), each member should be included 

with distinguishing characters so that all species 

found here may be told apart. For instance, Cedrus 

deodara (deodar cedar) and C.  libani (cedar of 

Lebanon) are included, but C. atlantica (atlas cedar) 

is not. Cedrus atlantica is a popular ornamental in 

many parts of the eastern United States due to its 

“glauca” variety, so it is unusual that it would be 

excluded when C. deodara and C. libani are present. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

year. Additionally, it includes enough information 

and illustration to give the user some confidence 

in his or her knowledge of the tree described. I am 

extremely satisfied by this guide, and it has become 

my go-to book for attempting to identify trees I am 

unfamiliar with in the field, or when I need to brush 

up on my knowledge of distinguishing characters 

between similar species in the field. It has been my 

great pleasure to review this book, and I am very 

happy to have it in my collection. 
–Kieran Hunt, Department of Ecology, Evolution, 

and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, Rutgers, 

New Jersey, USA.

The Olmsted Parks of Louisville: A 

Botanical Field Guide

Patricia Dalton Haragan

2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-8131-4454-2

Paperback, US$50.00. 456 pp.

University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, 

Kentucky, USA

Late in his career, Frederick Law Olmsted, popularly 

known as the designer of New York’s Central Park, 

was commissioned to design a network of parks in 

Louisville, Kentucky, and the result is considered 

by many to be one of his greatest accomplishments. 

Patricia Dalton Haragan now brings the botanical 

world of these parks to light in her beautiful book, 

The Olmsted Parks of Louisville: A Botanical Field 

The purpose of the book seems narrow at first 

glance: to aid in the identification of and spark an 

interest in some of the key plants found in five of 

the largest of Louisville’s Olmsted-designed parks. 

Haragan has succeeded at this task masterfully, but 

the book has value beyond these parks and the city 

they grace. The plants included are found broadly 

across the surrounding region, and this field guide 

can be a valuable tool to those interested in plant 

identification in the region even if they don’t spend 

a lot of time in Louisville parks. 
The book begins with a beautifully written preface by 

Daniel H. Jones that speaks inspiringly to the value 

of field guides in helping us decipher the natural 

places around us and the stories held within them. 

This is followed by a very informative introduction 

by Susan M. Rademacher that provides historical 

context about Olmsted and the landscapes he 

shaped in Louisville. Haragan then introduces the 

book herself by explaining its structure and the 

As far as descriptions of the plants themselves are 

concerned, the book is well-worded, thorough, 

and generally useful in its worded and illustrated 

descriptions. Some things to consider for future 

editions are: 
Where there is a character described for one of 

several similar species within a genus, it should be 

described for all so we know whether it is a shared 

character. For instance, Aesculus flava and A. glabra 

are very similar species. Aesculus flava is described 

as having 10 or more overlapping scales on the 

buds, but the number of scales is not mentioned 

for A. glabra. Similarly, A. glabra is noted as having 

an unpleasant smell when the twig is bruised, but 

no mention of twig smell exists in the entry for A. 

flava. These would be especially useful characters 

in the “Similar Species” sections where they are 

different, but I feel it is important to stress that 

shared characters described for one species within 

a genus should be described for all included species 

sharing that character within the genus, regardless 

of whether they are true synapomorphies (and 

perhaps especially if they are).
Where there is a visible character that helps 

distinguish between two or several species within 

a genus, illustrations of that character (or its lack 

thereof) for all relevant species within the genus, 

included side by side and to scale, would be 

extremely useful. This would allow readers to easily 

see the difference(s) noted and make the text a 

more useful field guide for quickly distinguishing 

between similar species (a job that the book’s level 

of detail and vastness of species coverage make it 

generally capable of). Indeed, the “Similar Species” 

section is exactly this sort of useful quick field 

distinguisher, and it is incredibly useful where 

characters are noteworthy enough and do not share 

too much overlap, but it is wanting within certain 

My final suggestion is to avoid using overlapping 

characters to distinguish between species. For 

instance, where two species within a genus are 

described, if one has leaves that are 3–6″ long and 

the other has similar leaves that are 4–8″ long, 

another character would be helpful (if possible) in 

distinguishing between the two. This is not always 

possible. I do not have a specific example earmarked 

from the text at this time, but I remember being 

confounded by this in the field.  
In general, this text has proved remarkably useful 

in the field. It usually includes necessary characters 

to get down to the species level, often at any time of 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

information contained in the individual species 

entries, and by providing good clear illustrations 

of the botanical terminology used within. She also 

describes each of the five main parks, their natural 

distinctions, and historical contexts. 
The bulk of the book consists of one-page entries 

covering 384 plants selected to represent the 

botanical world of the Louisville parks. These 

entries include good botanical breadth of vascular 

plants: ferns and fern allies, and herbaceous and 

woody angiosperms including grasses, sedges, 

and rushes. The author has chosen to give a lot of 

information about a limited number of species, but 

a good number of common species as well as some 

that are rare or of particular interest are included. 

The entries are arranged in a way that should make 

the book easy to use—based upon plant type, 

flowering time, and flower color—but the lack of 

any kind of identification key is an unfortunate 

Each entry is well organized and informative. 

Common and scientific names for species and 

family are listed as well as origin. Descriptions 

include information about plant form, leaves, 

flowers, fruits, and distribution. Haragan also 

indicates within which of the Olmsted parks and 

which of the three major Kentucky physiographic 

provinces species are found. Lastly, she includes 

various notes of interest that may include 

ethnobotanical uses, ecological information, life 

histories, medicinal uses, or name origins. Some 

entries also include specific comparisons/contrasts 

to similar species for assistance in distinguishing 

them. The species descriptions are written for the 

nonprofessional botanist and are accessible to non-

scientists, but the author doesn’t shy away from 

botanical terminology; instead, she sets out to 

guide her reader into learning and being able to use 

this distinct language.
All entries include at least one color photograph 

to illustrate the species. These photographs 

are beautiful, and they clearly illustrate the 

distinguishing characteristics of the flowers of each 

plant. However, many of the photographs do not 

show leaves and vegetative characteristics well, and 

these characters can be invaluable in identification 

among similar species.
I would encourage any botanist or natural 

historian—professional or amateur—who lives in 

or frequents Louisville to acquire this beautiful and 

informative work. It is a quality tribute to America’s 

greatest landscape architect, these parks he created, 

and especially the plants that thrive there. More 

broadly, those looking for good field guides for the 

larger region of eastern deciduous forests may also 

find it useful for its depth of species information 

and clear illustrations. 
–Amy E. Boyd, Department of Biology, Warren 

Wilson College, Ashville, North Carolina, USA

HAWS: A Guide to Hawthorns of the 

Southeastern United States 

Ron Lance

2014. ISBN-13: 978-0-9903689-0-8

Paperback, US$29.95. 518 pp. 

Published by the author, Mill River, North 

Carolina, USA.

The genus Crataegus, predominantly represented 

by shrubs and small trees and belonging to the 

family Rosaceae, is native to the northern temperate 

areas of the continents of North America, Europe, 

and Asia. The plants belonging to this genus are 

commonly known by several vernacular names 

such as haw, hawthorn, hawberry, thornapple, 

hawapple, whitethorn, and May-tree. The taxonomy 

and identification of the genus Crataegus  has 

been extremely challenging and complex; a large 

number of plants have been placed loosely under 

this genus, which has been a major source of error 

and confusion for proper identification. Hence, 

there has been a historic need for the detailed 

investigative analysis of several hawthorn species. 
The current volume is an excellent monograph 

on the hawthorns (Crataegus) of the southeastern 

United States by noted biologist and forester 

Ron Lance. This comprehensive volume is the 

painstaking effort of an outstanding botanist and 

serious researcher who, over two decades, has spent 

countless hours in the field, gardens, herbaria, and 

libraries observing and documenting the amazingly 

complex world of hawthorns. The volume is truly 

a passionate outcome of the serious hard effort 

of an individual to fill a vacuum by providing, 

for the first time, comprehensive information 

about different species under this genus and their 

variations, hybrids, and putative hybrids reported 

from the distinct ecoregion of the southeastern 

United States. 
The volume is ornamented with over 700 high-

quality color photographs and approximately 

120 line drawings of hawthorns with color-coded 

distribution/range maps, summary tables, excellent 

identification keys, detailed natural histories, 

biogeography, botanical anecdotes on different 

species, taxonomic descriptions, and a bibliography. 

The volume is divided into a helpful introduction 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

followed by seven chapters on: the distribution of 

hawthorns, an introduction to the ecoregion of 

southeastern United States, anatomy, taxonomy, 

natural history, horticulture, and identification of 

hawthorns. There are four separate sections with 

detailed keys for the series (section 1) and the taxa 

(section 2); summaries and species accounts (section 

3); and hybrids and putative hybrids (section 4). In 

addition, there are three superb indices dealing 

with southeastern Crataegus taxonomy (index A), 

names (index B), and colloquial names (index C); 

a useful glossary of important botanical terms; and 

a comprehensive reference section for serious and 

advanced researchers. 
The author has achieved a balance in making this 

a helpful handbook that includes the necessary 

technical details, but at the same time, has 

created an engaging volume with an elegant yet 

straightforward style. This delicate balance of a 

serious taxonomic treatment of different species, 

interspersed with information about the related 

botanists, biogeography, ecology, economic 

importance, and horticultural information, makes 

this volume of interest to both serious researchers 

and nature enthusiasts. Numerous photographs, 

line drawings, and images of herbarium sheets are 

greatly appreciated; the color plates are a valuable 

addition for the purpose of correct identification. 

The keys and tables are well organized and extremely 

helpful as references in the field, and a section 

dedicated to hybrids also serves as an important 

resource. One possible improvement to the volume 

would be the inclusion of color plates of anatomical 

slides showing transverse and longitudinal sections 

of important diagnostic characters, as well as some 

additional scanning electron micrographs of key 

characters. Because such resources are not easily 

available on hawthorns, it would greatly benefit 

researchers working on this taxonomic group. 
Overall, this is an excellent and comprehensive 

volume presenting valuable information on the 

hawthorns of the southeastern United States. The 

volume will be useful for researchers and students in 

the disciplines of botany, taxonomy and systematics, 

phytogeography, biogeography, economic botany, 

horticulture, and forestry. The volume will cater to 

the interests of both serious academic researchers 

on hawthorns as well as amateur naturalists who 

are passionate about plant life. 


–Saikat Kumar Basu, University of Lethbridge, 

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

The Genus Erythronium 

Chris Clennett  

2014. ISBN-13: 978-1-84246-492-2 

Hardcover, US$85.00. 158 pp.  

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Distributed by 

The University of Chicago Press.

This volume is another in a series of Botanical 

Magazine Monographs being produced 

by Kew. This series has covered Lavandula 

(Lamiaceae), Betula (Betulaceae), and Epimedium 

(Berberidaceae), among others. It appears that 

this work is part of (and contains) the author’s 

PhD work on the phylogenetics of Erythronium 

(Liliaceae), recently published in the Botanical 

Journal of the Linnean Society (Clennett et al., 

2012). The book is authoritative and exhaustively 

researched throughout. It is apparent that the 

author has a passion for the biology and cultivation 

of these plants and covers them in great detail.
Erythronium is a small genus of geophytes found 

in North America and Eurasia. It is most diverse 

in the western United States where many narrow 

endemics occur. It should be well known to 

botanists and hikers alike as early-blooming 

wildflowers that brighten otherwise drab spring 

woodlands. The species have many common names 

including trout-lily, fawn-lily, and dogtooth violet. 

The often mottled, somewhat leathery leaves have 

inspired some of the evocative common names. 

Topics covered include history of the genus, 

phytogeography, morphology, phylogenetics, 

ecology, cultivation, hybrids and cultivars, and 

a full taxonomic treatment. The text is nicely 

illustrated with photographs of every species, many 

from cultivated plants but others in their natural 

habitats. There are also 14 watercolor paintings (one 

of which adorns the cover) spread throughout the 

text. These are of the same style as those presented 

in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. They were produced 

by five artists and are of varying degrees of quality. 

Some appear blurry, which could be an artifact of 

The taxonomic treatment is well done for the most 

part. There is a key to the genus, which worked well 

with the two species we have here in Wisconsin. My 

biggest complaint with this chapter, and the book in 

general, is the distribution maps. The maps appear 

to show vegetation types in a style seen on satellite 

maps; i.e., the eastern United States is green, the 

western United States is primarily brown or red. 

Why this is done is not explained. There are no state 

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

or provincial borders in the respective U.S. and 

Canadian parts of the maps. I find this particularly 

awkward because it is hard to tell which states a 

species actually occupies from the map alone. As 

all but four of the species in the genus occur in 

North America, it would be beneficial to have this 

Species distributions within the maps are displayed 

with large white dots, but what the dots represent 

is not explained either. Clennett lists specimens 

he examined, but they do not necessarily match 

the locations of the dots. In many cases, the dots 

are piled atop one another, making their meaning 

completely obscured; e.g., the state of Michigan is 

completely covered with 20+ dots for E. albidum

Worst of all, the distributions are wrong. Looking 

at the two species that occur in Wisconsin (E. 

americanum  and E. albidum), one would be led 

to believe that both are rare in the state, with E. 

americanum known from only one locality. A quick 

search of our state herbarium’s webpage shows that 

it is recorded from 50 of our 72 counties with well 

over 200 specimens. It probably occupies many of 

the unmapped counties but perhaps has not been 

collected due to its ubiquity in most places across 

the state. The maps also lack dots for entire states 

where species are known to occur, e.g., no dots for E. 

americanum in Maine, despite it occurring in every 

county. Both the treatment of Erythronium in Flora 

of North America and the maps compiled by the 

Biota of North America Program (BONAP) should 

have been consulted for this work. If the maps in this 

work had the aforementioned borders with even 

simple shading to show distributions, they would 

be much better. The author does give sometimes-

verbose explanations of the distributions; i.e., 

describing the range of E. mesochoreum and 

inexplicably listing the 32 counties that it occupies 

in Missouri. However, these do not make up for the 

poor quality of the maps themselves.
If one is extremely interested in this genus from a 

horticultural or evolutionary standpoint, this is a 

good book. But, you will need to look elsewhere to 

understand its phytogeography.
–John G. Zaborsky, Botany Department, University 

of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA;


Clennett, J. C. B., M. W. Chase, F. Forest, O. Maurin, 

and P. Wilkin. 2012. Phylogenetic systematics 

of Erythronium (Liliaceae): Morphological and 

molecular analyses. Botanical Journal of the 

Linnean Society 170: 504–528.

Plant Systematics: The Origin, In-

terpretation, and Ordering of Plant 

Biodiversity (Regnum Vegetabile 


Tod F. Stuessy, Daniel J. Crawford, Douglas 

E. Soltis, and Pamela S. Soltis


ISBN-13: 978-3-87429-452-2

Hardcover, US$147.50. 425 pp.

Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, Germany

This book is focused on process, and its viewpoint is 

very modern. Its core is dedicated to methodology 

of phylogenetic reconstruction, analysis of support, 

character evolution, and calibration of evolutionary 

rates. There is also substantial coverage of major 

themes in plant population and reproductive 

biology, including speciation, hybridization, and 

related topics essential to an understanding of 

evolution in plants. While the authors are careful 

to be inclusive, their emphasis, as is current in the 

field they are summarizing, is very much on the 

genetic and genomic. 
Neither the title nor the short preface sufficiently 

apprises the prospective reader of what to expect 

or, more to the point, what not to expect of this 

authoritative work. The authors make clear that they 

wish to provide an advanced-level textbook that 

covers the multiple dimensions of the evolutionary 

process and the systematization of its products. 

Many readers, however, will not anticipate that 

this treatise, focused on the theory and practice 

of plant systematics, gives no attention at all to the 

results of that theory and practice. It presents no 

current classification scheme, no overview of broad 

evolutionary trends or discussion of relationships 

among the major groups of angiosperms or 

embryophytes, and certainly no outline of the 

major plant families. Presumably the reader will 

obtain this information from other sources. One 

would therefore much more easily imagine this 

work used a reference source for those engaged 

in plant systematics research than as a primary 

textbook for classroom-based teaching.

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Plant Science Bulletin 61(1) 2015

Indeed, the limited attention to pedagogy in the 

organization and presentation of this book suggests 

that students are not really the target audience. 

After two very brief introductions outlining the 

importance of biodiversity and classification, the 

authors proceed to several chapters on “systematic 

data.” These describe in turn the structural, genetic, 

molecular, phytochemical, and reproductive-

system characters that have been utilized in 

plant biosystematic studies. A plant systematist 

beginning a new project may find that perusal of 

these chapters provides a useful overview of the 

range of traits that might be considered for analysis. 

Ample references are supplied, with numerous 

figures from contemporary works. But the text 

here is often devoid of conceptual background, 

and a less specialized reader not searching for 

characters to analyze may find this catalog of traits 

to be an unenlightening and off-putting entry into 

the subject matter of plant systematics. The most 

persistent readers will eventually discover that this 

book does, in fact, provide a very good introduction 

to the field, in its chapter entitled “Approaches 

to Systematics.” Astonishingly, the authors have 

chosen to place it near the end of the volume 

(Chapter 18). There one finds a thoughtful history of 

classification approaches, which, otherwise placed, 

might provide a rationale for reading the rest of 

the book. This chapter helpfully clarifies important 

concepts potentially confusing to non-systematists, 

such as the difference between a phenogram and a 

cladogram. Included are definitions of such basic 

terms as plesiomorphicapomorphicsynapomorphy

homoplasyconvergence, and cladogram (!), which 

were abundantly used without clarification in many 

of the preceding chapters. One can only surmise 

that the authors—distinguished professors as well 

as researchers—simply did not conceive of this 

work pedagogically. Their targeted reader would 

appear to have abundant genetics but little botany 

under the belt. Thus, the informative chapter on 

genetic diversity in plant populations includes 

a schematic flower with sepals, petals, anthers, 

ovary, stigma, style, etc., all dutifully labeled for 

the unenlightened, while elsewhere terms such as 

homoploidbivalentmultivalent, and homoeologous 

are used without any accompanying clarification. 
No glossary is provided. The literature list, on 

the other hand, is almost ninety pages long and 

includes over 4000 cited works, an impressive show 

of scholarship by any measure. This volume seems 

destined to become a significant reference for those 

actively involved in plant systematics research, 

but may be less likely to figure prominently on the 

shopping list of other botanists.
–William B. Sanders, Department of Biological 

Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, 

Florida, USA


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Plant Science Bulletin

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Plant Science 


                                                                              Spring 2015 Volume 61 Number 1

Cover image courtesy of Catherine Rushworth.  

Cathy's research focuses on apomictic hybrids in the genus 

Boechera. Hybrids in her study area can represent up to 14 

different species, including the mat-forming B. microphylla 

(shown here). Learn more about Catherine and her research on 

page 15.

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July 25 - 29, 2015  

Shaw Conference Centre

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 

The Premier Scientific Conference  

of the Summer!

18 Symposia and Colloquia 

Field Trips and Workshops

Posters and Exhibits

Networking and Awards

Abstract Submissions  

& Conference Registration at

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