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BEN # 99

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Thu Apr 13 03:31:57 EST 1995


BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             ISSN 1188-603X
BB   B   EE       NNN  N
BBBBB    EEEEE    NN N N             BOTANICAL
BB   B   EE       NN  NN             ELECTRONIC
BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             NEWS

No. 99                               April 13, 1995

aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca        Victoria, B.C.
-----------------------------------------------------------
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
-----------------------------------------------------------

POISON VINE FOOLS GIANT BUTTERFLY
From: New Scientist, 25 March 1995, p.11 (by Ian Anderson)

Australia's largest butterfly, the Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera
priamus), could be driven to extinction because it is laying its
eggs on the wrong vine. The butterfly, which can have a wingspan
of more than 18 cm, is being fooled into believing that  a  vine
imported from Brazil for the nursery trade is the native vine on
which  it has always laid its eggs. When the caterpillars emerge
and begin to eat the leaves, they are  poisoned  by  a  powerful
toxin.  The  Cairns  Birdwing  is  found  in northern Queensland
between Mackay and Cape York. In some areas near Townsville  the
butterfly's  population  has  plummeted  to  20  per cent of its
former level. A second species, the Richmond Birdwing  (Ornitho-
ptera richmondii) is also falling victim to the vine.

The  various  species  of Birdwing, which are found in Southeast
Asia, Papua New Guinea,  northeast  Australia  and  the  Solomon
Islands, all feed on local species of the vine Aristolochia. But
in Australia, instead of sticking to the native A. tagala and A.
praevenosa they are also lured onto an introduced species called
Dutchman's  Pipe  (Aristolochia  elegans), imported from Brazil.
But the Dutchman's Pipe contains an unidentified compound  which
is highly toxic. The sheep have died after eating the plant, and
the  toxin  is  taking its toll on at least two other species of
butterfly -- the Big Greasy (Cressida  cressida)  and  the  Red-
bodied Swallowtail (Pachliopta polydorus).

A  number  of  measures  are  being  taken to save Birdwings. In
Townsville, local people are being urged to rip out the imported
vine from their gardens  and  replace  it  with  native  plants.
Native  plants  are  also  being  planted in reserves and nature
parks. Nurseries are being asked to  stop  selling  the  import.
Dutchman's  Pipe  is  a  very  aggressive  plant, and the native
species cannot compete with it in wild.


CARNIVOROUS PLANT DATABASE - CALL FOR PAPERS
From: Jan Schlauer <zxmsl01 at student.uni-tuebingen.de>, and
      Rick Walker <walker at cutter.hpl.hp.com>

Although carnivorous  plants  represent  a  comparatively  small
segment  within  the  vast  field of botany, they still generate
intense interest from professional botanists and  amateur  plant
enthusiasts  alike.  This  is  partly due to the great beauty of
these plants and also to their startling mode  of  heterotrophic
nutrition.

The  novelty  of  these  plants  makes them an ideal vehicle for
introducing botany to young children. Because  many  carnivorous
plants  are  endangered,  they  can  also  help in informing the
public about environmental and ecological concerns. However,  in
the  past, a lack of reliable information about these plants has
hampered their educational potential.

CARNIVOROUS PLANT DATABASE - History and present status

As a result of  ongoing,  lively  discussions  in  the  internet
carnivorous  plant  mailing list [1], it became clear that there
was both a demand, and sufficient  expertise,  to  establish  an
electronic   database   representing  as  much  of  the  present
knowledge about carnivorous plants as possible.

A comprehensive synonym checklist and bibliographic database  of
scientific  names  already  existed  [2],  so  it was decided to
install a world wide web page to allow searches in  this  check-
list  by  a  hypertext  browser [3]. Through the kind support of
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, the necessary hardware and storage
capacity were supplied free of charge.

The database has been running since November  15,  1994,  having
received  (and  hopefully  answered  satisfactorily) nearly 4000
queries from over 850 sites, worldwide.

With the database framework in place, we are working  to  incor-
porate  various  supplementary  data.  This  new  information is
cross-referenced to both the taxonomic list entries and to other
relevant information.  Already  included  in  the  database  are
pictures,  identification keys, and supplementary textual infor-
mation for selected taxa.

The data formats will be held in conformity with TDWG and  other
biodiversity  data  standards  so that information exchange with
related databasing projects will be as convenient as possible.

In a monographing project initiated by  the  German  carnivorous
plant  society  (GFP),  a  topical outline was developed to help
organize the presentation and  collection  of  information  from
different sources.

CALL FOR PAPERS - Which kind of input is needed?

We invite contributions to any/all of the following:
 1. Species monograph texts or relevant data.
    These  should  be  held  in conformity with the standard GFP
    monograph framework, trying to cover as many of  the  topics
    mentioned  therein  (see  below). All interested parties are
    cordially invited to become monographers  in  this  project.
    Monographers  will  be  cited  not  only  as  authors in the
    database (also intended to be issued on CD-ROM periodically)
    but also as  authors  in  a  printed  version  thereof.  The
    printed  version  of  the  database  is planned to be a con-
    tinuously updated (by new editions or separate  supplements)
    manual on carnivorous plants.
    Some experience in Botany -especially in carnivorous plants-
    would be beneficial, but principally all persons with suffi-
    cient  interest  are  welcome.  The  following  species  are
    covered by forthcoming monographs already:

    Sarracenia  purpurea,  Drosophyllum   lusitanicum,   Dionaea
    muscipula,   Drosera   anglica,   D.capensis,  D.intermedia,
    D.regia,    D.rotundifolia,     Nepenthes     distillatoria,
    N.khasiana,  N.madagascariensis, N.masoalensis, N.pervillei,
    Pinguicula  agnata,  P.alpina,   P.esseriana,   P.gypsicola,
    P.rotundiflora,  P.vulgaris,  Genlisea  glabra,  Utricularia
    australis,   U.bremii,   U.gibba,   U.intermedia,   U.minor,
    U.ochroleuca, U.vulgaris.

    Monograph topical outline (extracted from GFP framework. For
    a full listing please contact Jan Schlauer:

         o  Taxonomy & Nomenclature (covered by checklist already)
         o  Systematics & Evolution
         o  Description & Variability
         o  Habitats & Distribution
         o  Physiology & Ecology
         o  Uses & Cultivation
         o  Literature References

 2. High quality reference pictures

    These  should  be  scanned  photographs  or  line  drawings,
    preferably of the less known,  and  not  yet  satisfactorily
    covered  species.  For image formats and further information
    please contact Rick Walker.

 3. Identification keys.

 4. All further kinds of tips, hints, FAQs, slide presentations,
    etc., to be linked into the database.

A great many experts who could share their knowledge are already
connected to the internet (the number increasing daily), and  we
would  be very happy if some of this expertise could be utilized
for the carnivorous plant database.

Thank you for your consideration and (hopefully) contributions!

For further information, please contact:

    Jan Schlauer <zxmsl01 at studserv.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de> or
    Rick Walker <walker at cutter.hpl.hp.com>

References:

[1] List address:  "cp at opus.hpl.hp.com".  Subscribe  by  sending
      email,  the  body  consisting  of the single line: "SUB CP
      Your_first_name Your_last_name"  (no  apostrophs)  to  the
      address: "listserv at opus.hpl.hp.com".

[2] SCHLAUER,  Nomenclatural  Synopsis  of  Carnivorous Phanero-
      gamous Plants,  Carnivorous  Plant  Newsletter  15  (3&4),
      1987.
[3] WALKER, Carnivorous Plant Home Page, 1994,
      http://www.hpl.hp.com/bot/cp_home.


PRESERVING THE RECORD OF NATURE THROUGH COUNTLESS AGES
From: Ann Pinzl <pinzl at scs.unr.edu>

The  10th  annual meeting of the Society for the Preservation of
Natural History Collections (SPNHC) will be hosted by the  Royal
Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 2-6 June 1995. Everyone
is  encouraged  to  submit papers and posters on natural history
collection management  issues  for  consideration.  Meeting  ac-
tivities include oral and poster presentations, vendor displays,
etc.

WORKSHOP - Managing the Modern Herbarium The SPNHC Education and
Training  Committee  in  conjunction  with the ROM Department of
Botany is offering its first discipline- specific workshop, June
5-6.  This  program  is  intended  for  herbarium  managers  and
curators,  researchers, and all others interested in the preser-
vation, care, maintenance and use of collections of  plants  and
fungi.  Many  topics  to be presented here are applicable to all
systematic collections.

Monday: Preventive Conservation in the Herbarium  Case  studies,
panel  presentations  and  discussion  will be among the formats
used to explore preventive conservation in the modern herbarium.
Among the topics to be covered: conservation standards; building
design and  environment;  viable  options  for  integrated  pest
management  control;  choices  of  papers,  adhesives,  inks and
plastic products; and a review of available resources on preven-
tive conservation and collections care.

Monday evening: Herbarium Information Bazaar - will  provide  an
opportunity  for  interaction  among  workshop  participants and
speakers. The conservators and  consultants  who  will  be  par-
ticipating  in  the day's session on Herbarium Conservation will
be on hand with demonstration materials, and to answer questions
about papers, adhesives, plastic products, pest  control,  inks,
humidity  control, or renovation and design. Suppliers will also
be there to discuss and display  archival  and  other  herbarium
products.

Tuesday:  Contemporary Issues Facing Herbaria Bar Coding: Stand-
ards for Systematic Collections. The results of  a  survey  con-
ducted  for  the Taxonomic Databases Working Group on the use of
bar codes in systematic collections will be presented. Recommen-
dations for bar-coding specifications, interpretation and stand-
ardization will be made.

Destructive Sampling and Molecular Systematics:  Are  we  moving
toward  a consensus? Discussion will focus on the issues related
to the expanding  role  of  destructive  sampling  of  herbarium
specimens:  what  is  the  current state of technologies; estab-
lishing guidelines for sampling, for documentation, and  optimal
retention  of  data;  how can molecular systematics and herbaria
mutually benefit from new roles for preserved specimens; how can
we best address issues of DNA storage and availability?

For an information packet about the meeting  and  workshop,  in-
cluding registration forms, contact:

   SPNHC '95 Conference
   Royal Ontario Museum
   100 Queens Park
   Toronto, Ontario
   CANADA M5S 2C6

Inquiries:
Janet Waddington, SPNHC'95 Committee Chair
(tel: 416-586-5593; FAX: 416-586-5863; email: janetw at rom.on.ca)



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