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No. 183 February 12, 1998
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
FIFTH ANNUAL NATIVE PLANTS SYMPOSIUM, VICTORIA, MARCH 7, 1998
Where: University of Victoria, Elliot Lecture Wing
When: Saturday March 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Merv Wilkinson: Theory and Practice of Sustainable Forestry
Andy MacKinnon: Biodiversity in B.C. Ecosystems
Hilary Stewart: Cedar - The Tree of Life
Anna Roberts: Flora of the Chilcotin
Nancy Turner: Cultural Perspectives on Native Plants
Art Kruckeberg: Use of Native Plants in Landscaping and
Displays, workshops, plant sale, etc.
Tickets are $15.00 at the door/ $8.00 Students and un-waged, or
$12.00 in advance at The Field Naturalist, Swan Lake Nature
House, and Dig This.
For more information contact
Luke Chandler <lchandle at uvic.ca>
Jennifer Eakins <jeakins at uvic.ca> or
Jennifer Price <jprice at uvic.ca>
AMMOPHILA ARENARIA (L.) LINK (EUROPEAN BEACH GRASS,
MARRAM GRASS) ON THE NORTHWEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA
From: Alfred Wiedemann <wiedemaa at elwha.evergreen.edu>
Ammophila arenaria was introduced to the west coast of North
America in l868 to stabilize dunes in the San Francisco area.
The introduction came from Australia where it had been earlier
introduced from Europe. Because of its ability to thrive under
conditions of high wind and sand burial, the grass spread
rapidly, both by natural means and through its steadily increas-
ing use in sand stabilization projects.
One result of the establishment and spread of Ammophila was the
development, by about l950, of a massive foredune system along
most of the dune areas of the Pacific Northwest coast. The
vegetation of existing foredunes was overwhelmed and the
foredunes built to a much larger size, while on the central
Oregon coast, where previously there had been no foredune, one
of massive proportions came into existence.
Large areas of active dunes were also stabilized through exten-
sive planting programs. Examples include the Clatsop Plains at
the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon where decades of
grazing and cultivation of the dune field resulted in extensive
dune rejuvenation (l940's), and the active dune fields south of
Siuslaw River at Florence, Oregon (l950's). A congener, Am-
mophila breviligulata Fern., native to the east coast and the
Great Lakes Region, had been used on the Clatsop Plains and for
stabilization plantings on a few areas of the Washington coast.
It is virtually indistinguishable from A. arenaria in its
general morphology and growth habits.
A long-term result of this domination by a single, vigorous
species with 100% ground cover has been the suppression of many
of the numerous native, dune-building species: Elymus (Leymus)
mollis, Abronia latifolia, Covolvulus (Calystegia) soldanella,
Carex macrocephala, Glehnia leiocarpa, Lathyrus littoralis, Poa
macrantha, and others. None are immediately threatened with
extinction (except, perhaps, Abronia umbellata, at least in the
northwest) but they are much less seen than in former times.
Ammophila is also seen by some to be a long-term threat to the
scenic and recreational values of the extensive Oregon coastal
dune fields. This is debatable.
The species is uniquely well-adapted to areas where large
amounts of sand are moved by strong, unidirectional winds. It
thrives on burial, which is necessary for vigorous growth and
flowering. Where burial ceases, plant cover is reduced and the
plant eventually dies. Studies in Holland suggest that this
senescence and eventual death may be due to plant-parasitic
nematodes that reduce root length and root hair formation.
Continuous sand burial stimulates new root production, enabling
vigorous growth to continue.
Ammophila achieves dominance by the production of great numbers
of vertical tillers and culms, resulting in heavy foliage cover.
Elymus mollis, the principle native dune-building grass, puts
primary growth energy into horizontal rhizome production with
vertical shoots more spaced, creating a more open cover in which
other species can colonize. On the coastal dunes of western
Europe, where it is native, Ammophila does not achieve the same
overwhelming dominance. This may be due to wind regime, plant
competitors, soils, or other factors.
The species is widespread along the coast of western Europe and
around the Mediterranean Sea, between approximately Latitude 30N
to 60N. It has been introduced into virtually every British
colonial settlement within its latitudinal tolerance range,
including southeast and southwest Australia, New Zealand, South
Africa, the Falkland Islands, and Norfolk Island. It has been
planted widely in Japan and has been reported from Argentina and
Chile. In the southern hemisphere its northern limits lie at
Latitude 30S to 32S. Observations at these latitudes (Sydney,
Perth, Port Elizabeth, Capetown) indicate generally poor growth
and sparse flowering.
In response to concerns about scenic landscape destruction and
native plant extinction, there has been experimentation with
various methods to control or eradicate Ammophila. None (burn-
ing, covering, mowing, salting, poisoning) has proved effective
and/or practical. Digging is effective, but very expensive. At
the Lanphere-Christensen Dunes Preserve on the northern Califor-
nia coast (Arcata) a program was initiated in l992 to remove
Ammophila, by digging, from 4 ha of foredune. The cost in l994
Recent studies by the author, based on a 30-year transect,
indicate that on the "back crests" and lee slopes of the
foredune it is likely that Ammophila will eventually be replaced
by native shrub and tree species. The native sand pioneer
species will find refuge in blowouts occurring away from the
beach areas, while Ammophila will continue to dominate the
windward foredune slopes and foredune crest blowouts.
Cooper, W.S. l958. Coastal sand dunes of Washington and Oregon.
Geological Society of America. Memoir 72.
Huiskes, A.H.L. 1979. Biological flora of the British Isles.
Ammophila arenaria (L.) Link. Journal of Ecology 67: 363-382.
Pavlik, B.M. l983. Nutrient and productivity relations of the
dunegrasses, Ammophila arenaria and Elymus mollis. III.
Spatial aspects of clonal expansion with reference to rhizome
growth and the dispersal of buds. Bulletin of the Torrey
Botanical Club 110(3): 271-279
Wiedemann, Alfred M. & Andrea Pickart. l996. The Ammophila
problem on the Northwest Coast of North America. Landscape
and Urban Planning 34(l966): 287-299.
HOW TO CONTROL NOXIOUS WEEDS - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
From: Murray Thomas Arthur <murrayta at ucsu.Colorado.edu>
This is the list of species that I am trying to collect informa-
tion on. I am collecting information on control methods (i.e.
biological, chemical, cutting, pulling, burning, etc.) and
management programs that have worked or failed. My goal is to
find the most environmentally sensitive management program that
provides effective control of the following weeds:
Russian knapweed (Centaurea repens)
Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)
Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)
If you have any information that seems relevant please contact
936 13th St.
Boulder CO. 80302
phone: (303) 449-4939
e-mail: murrayta at ucsu.colorado.edu
NEW BOOK: VEGETABLES OF CANADA
Munro, D.B. & E. Small. 1997. Vegetables of Canada. NRC Research
Press, Ottawa. xvii + 417 p. ISBN 0-660-16708-5 [hard cover]
Cost: CDN $69.95 (Canada), US$69.95 (other countries)
Order from: Monograph Orders,
NRC Research Press, M-55,
National Research Council Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0R6
Phone: 613-993-0151, Fax: 613-952-7656
e-mail: research.journals at nrc.ca
Authorized distributor (USA):
Aubrey Books International Ltd.
e-mail: aubrey at access.digex.com
Note: Also issued in French under title: "Les legumes du
This book is a comprehensive reference guide to Canadian
vegetables. It covers both commercial and home garden crops and
includes all of the major, minor, and potentially new vegetables
of Canada. The book provides information on about 100
vegetables. For each vegetable the authors discuss the names,
description and taxonomy, uses, importance, cultivation notes,
etc. The bibliography contains over 600 references. A long list
of vegetable-oriented web sites is given for the Internet brow-
The "Vegetables of Canada" is a sibling publication to the
"Culinary herbs" (see BEN # 180). The format is similar, al-
though the typography of the "Culinary herbs" is more pleasing.
The illustrations of the vegetables are taken over from older,
copyright-free publications (like many illustrations in the
"Culinary herbs"), but they are used more as a clip-art rather
than really functional full illustrations. There are only
several original drawings (e.g., Oriental cabbages, difference
between rutabaga & turnip, insect-resistant potato) that gives
more information and detail and I wish there were more of those
in this book.
The book is a good reference to the vegetables cultivated in a
temperate climate and it is an important addition to the litera-
ture on economic plants.
A short chapter of "Vegetables of Canada" is available for
viewing at the NRC Research Press Web site:
NEW BOOK: SITKA SPRUCE MANAGEMENT
Peterson, E.B., N.M. Peterson, G.F. Weetman, & P.J. Martin.
1997. Ecology and management of Sitka spruce, emphasizing its
natural range in British Columbia. University of British
Columbia Press, Vancouver. xiii + 336 p. ISBN 0-7748-0561-7
[hard cover] Cost: CDN$75.00
UBC Press, University of British Columbia
6344 Memorial Road, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2
Phone: 604-822-5959 Fax: 800-668-0821
E-mail: orders at ubcpress.ubc.cahttp://www.ubcpress.ubc.ca
Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is an important commercial tree
of the Pacific Northwest coastal forests. This publication deals
with the biology, ecology and silvicultural aspects of this
species. The authors deal in depth with the ecology of Sitka
spruce, with the response of the tree to certain ecological
factors, and with its reproductive biology. In the main chapter
the authors discuss silvicultural questions such as original
plantation spacing, juvenile spacing, and fertilization to
shorten the rotation period of second-growth coastal spruce
stands. The book is based on a thorough literature survey and
gives over 830 references, with a high proportion of publication
published after 1990. This is an important book for anyone
interested in the ecology, biology and silviculture of Sitka
KNOBLOCH: HYBRIDS IN PTERIDOPHYTES - NEW EDITION
Knobloch, I. 1995. Hybrids and hybrid derivatives in the
pteridophytes. Michigan State University, East Lansing. 102
p. spiral bound.
Ordering information: Send your orders to MSU Museum Store,
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1045 along
with a check for US$10.00 plus U.S. postage $2.00 or $3.50
This is a new edition of the classical reference on pteridophyte
hybrids. This edition lists about 1,100 names related to
pteridophyte hybridity backed by almost 700 references.
Submissions, subscriptions, etc.: aceska at victoria.tc.ca
BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/