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No. 232 September 17, 1999
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
GARRY OAK/OREGON WHITE OAK (QUERCUS GARRYANA) ACORN STUDY
Scientists in the US Forest Service Olympia, Washington have
initiated a study of Oregon white oak/Garry oak acorn produc-
tion. They are looking for volunteers to survey oak trees for
acorn abundance in September and October this year and in future
years. Survey forms, instructions and additional information on
this species can be found on the following web page:
TAXONOMIC PROBLEMS IN CRANBERRIES - OXYCOCCUS (ERICACEAE)
From: Jan Suda <suda at natur.cuni.cz>
Of the circumpolar species of cranberries, Vander Kloet (1983)
recognized only one broad species, Oxycoccus palustris Pers.
Other authors considered the wide heterogeneity of this complex
and segregated the diploid (2n=24) as a separate species -
Oxycoccus microcarpus Turcz. ex Rupr. Based on the chromosome
numbers, the hexaploid (2n=72) has been sometimes treated as an
additional separate species, Oxycoccus hagerupii Love & Love
(Ahokas 1971a, 1971b, Gugnacka-Fiedor 1983, 1986, Ravanko 1990,
Wenderoth & Wenderoth 1994). These authors follow the narrowest
concept where Oxycoccus palustris s. str. is restricted to the
tetraploid plants with 2n=48.
I have conducted my research of cranberries in mountain regions
of the Czech Republic and I have come to the following conclu-
sions (Suda 1998):
1. The diploid plants (2n=24) should be indeed treated as a
separate species, O. microcarpus.
2. Besides the tetraploid and hexaploid plants I found also
pentaploid populations. Since there is no reproduction
barrier between hexaploid and tetraploid plants and since
they are very similar in their morphology, distribution and
ecology, I suggest that tetraploids, pentaploids and hexa-
ploids be treated as a single species, Oxycoccus palustris.
Key to the identification of Oxycoccus
1. Leaves at least 12 mm long, lanceolate, obtuse, bluish-grey
underneath, with margins slightly rolled under; inflorescence
usually at least four-flowered; bracteoles immediately below
flowers; petals more than 8 mm long; berry at least 13 mm in
diameter with more than 12 seeds
................................ O. macrocarpus (Ait.) Pers.
1. Leaves usually less than 12 mm long, ovate, acute, white-grey
underneath, with margins strongly rolled under; inflorescence
usually with 1-3 flowers; bracteoles about in the middle of
the pedicel; petals at most 7.5 mm long; berry at most 13 mm
in diameter with not more than 10 seeds.
2. Stems mostly one-flowered; pedicels glabrous; petals at
most 5.5 mm long; stamens shorter than 4 mm, anthers
(without horns) at most 1.2 mm long, always shorter than
filaments; styles shorter than 5 mm; fruits less than 9 mm
in diameter; seeds less than 1.8 mm long and 0.9 wide
.......................... O. microcarpus Turcz. ex Rupr.
2. Stems usually with more flowers; pedicels pubescent (at
least when young); petals longer than 5.5 mm; stamens
longer than 4 mm, anthers (without horns) longer than 1.4
mm, as long as or longer than filaments; styles longer
than 5 mm; fruits usually more than 8 mm in diameter;
seeds more than 1.7 mm long and 0.8 mm wide
...................................... O. palustris Pers.
Oxycoccus macrocarpus (Ait.) Pers.
Native in eastern North America, and adventive in Europe and in
western North America where it has escaped from cultivation.
Oxycoccus microcarpus Turcz. ex Rupr.
Circumpolar species with more northerly distribution than O.
Oxycoccus microcarpus can be distinguished from O. palustris by
having shorter corolla, shorter stamens and styles, by filaments
that are longer than the relatively short anthers (measured
without tubular horns), by smaller seeds, and above all by
mostly single flowered, glabrous pedicels. These two species
also differ in the size of their leaves and in their phenology:
where both species occur together, O. microcarpus flowers about
2-3 weeks earlier than O. palustris. Oxycoccus microcarpus grows
most often in cushions of Polytrichum strictum, or in hummocks
of Sphagnum fuscum or S. compactum. It prefers elevated, not
shaded habitats free of any herbaceous vegetation. Wenderoth &
Wenderoth (1994) did not find any instance of O. microcarpus
growing together with O. palustris. During my field work in the
Czech Republic, I found these two species growing together quite
Oxycoccus palustris Pers.
In the Czech Republic this species occurs in three ploidy levels
that can be morphologically separated with great difficulty.
Reliable identification of the ploidy level of single plants is
impossible. One has to measure larger number of plants and use
averages from about 30 individuals. With the use of these
average values one can assign the measured population to a
certain ploidy level.
Key to the identification of ploidy levels of Oxycoccus
palustris based on average values of the population.
1. Pollen tetrads deformed, aborted (usually with only less than
50% of grains developed), filaments at least (1.2)-1.3 mm
long; leaves not larger than 6.3(-7.5) x 3.2(-4.0) mm
........................................ pentaploid cytotype
1. Pollen tetrads well developed, uniform in size and shape;
filaments at most 1.3 mm long, leaves in average larger than
6.2 x 2.9 mm
2. Petals 5.1-6.2 long and 2.3-2.7 mm wide; style at most
6.1 mm long; bracteoles at most 1.7 mm long; bracts at
most 1.7-1.9 mm long; seeds not more than 1 mm wide
..................................... tetraploid cytotype
2. Petals 6.3-7.2 mm long and 2.6-3.3 mm wide; style longer
than 5.9 mm; bracteoles longer than 1.6 mm; bracts more
than (1.5-) 1.8 mm long
...................................... hexaploid cytotype
Tetraploid cytotype (2n=48)
Tetraploid plants occur in southern Bohemia in the Trebon area
and they are common in northern parts of Bohemia. Because of the
occurrence of pentaploid cytotype in the Sumava Mtns., the
tetraploid cytotype is expected to occur there as well.
Pentaploid cytotype (2n=60)
I was the first one to report this pentaploid level from the
Sumava Mtns. and from northern Bohemia (Suda 1998). The plants
of this ploidy level are most probably of hybridogenous origin.
The most reliable character to detect this ploidy is a high
proportion of aborted pollen tetrads. Additional characters are
relatively long filaments and smaller leaves with strongly
involuted margins. The seed production is lower than in other
ploidy levels, but the seed germination is about the same as
that of other ploidy levels.
Hexaploid cytotype (2n=72)
Hexaploid cytotype (occasionally treated as a separate species -
O. hagerupii Love & Love) is the most common cytotype in the
Czech Republic. To distinguish hexaploids from tetraploids is
possible only in the flowering plants. Plants of both ploidies
differ only in quantitative characters (size of the corolla,
length of the style, and length on bracts and bracteoles). The
size of seeds (especially their width) is an important distin-
guishing character in fruit bearing plants.
Ahokas, H. 1971a. Cytology of hexaploid cranberry with special
reference to chromosome fibers. Hereditas 68: 123-136.
Ahokas, H. 1971b. Notes on ploidy and hybridity in Vaccinium
species. Ann. Bot. Fennici 8: 254-256.
Gugnacka-Fiedor, W. 1983. The variability of phenol compounds
based on karyological studies of taxa of the genus Vaccinium
L., subgenus Oxycoccus (Hill) A. Gray. Acta Bot. Soc. Polon.
Gugnacka-Fiedor, W. 1986. Zmiennosc morfologiczna taksonov
rodzaju Oxycoccus Hill. [Morphological variability of taxa of
the genus Oxycoccus Hill.] Stud. Soc. Sci. Torunensis 11/4:
Ravanko, O. 1990. The taxonomic value of morphological and
cytological characteristics in Oxycoccus (subgenus of Vac-
cinium, Ericaceae) species in Finland. Ann. Bot. Fennici 27:
Suda, J. 1998. Taxonomicka problematika rodu Oxyxcoccus v Ceske
Republice se zvlastnim zretelem k uzemi Sumavy. [A taxonomic
study of the genus Oxycoccus in the Czech Republic, espe-
cially in the Sumava Mountains.] Zpr. Ces. Bot. Spolecnosti,
Praha 32(1997): 189-195.
Vander Kloet, S.P. 1983. The taxonomy of Vaccinium Oxycoccus.
Rhodora 85: 1-43.
Wenderoth, C. & K. Wenderoth. 1994. Zur Verbreitung karyologisch
untersuchter Moosbeeren (Vaccinium oxycoccus s.l.) in Teilen
Mitteleuropas (Mittel- und Sueddeutschland sowie
Oesterreich). Ber. Bayer. Bot. Ges. 64: 147-155.
USEFUL GENERAL WEB SITES FOR PUBLISHERS
From: Rudi Schmid <schmid at socrates.berkeley.edu> - originally
published in Taxon 48: 631 (August 1999)
I asked Randy Wilson, reference librarian in the Biosciences
Library at UC Berkeley, and also the person responsible for book
acquisitions there, for the general URLs that he finds most
useful to access publishers. His answer is below: Another
worthwhile URL is that of of the Association of American Univer-
This allows one to search all the catalogs of the individual
publishers. Two other helpful bookseller URLs are
of Patricia Ledlie Bookseller (U.S.) [Comment added 9/99: The
Ledlie WWW site will end by 1 Jan. 2000] and
of Natural History Bookstore (U.K.). - Rudi Schmid
These are the five (actually seven) sites that I use most often,
when I'm not using Books in Print (BIP), which is available
online at MELVYL, the digital library catalog for the University
of California and other academic libraries (it is unavailable to
single users directly online). I've listed them by my frequency
1. AcqNet contains the most complete list of publishers
worldwide and takes you directly to the publishers search
AcqNet also includes vendors and antiquarian and out-of-
2. Amazon.com is almost as complete as BIP. It also includes
links to U.K. and German versions of Amazon:
3. Whitakers is the British version of BIP:
4. The Co-op Bookshop is an Australian online source for
general and academic titles:
It includes titles published by CSIRO, which has its own
5. For out-of-print and used books there is Bookfinder, which
uses a search engine to search other Web catalogs:
When I checked this site recently it was down, which is
probably appropriate for an out-of-print source.
There are many more sources out on the Web, but these are the
ones I use most often. I will add one more URL, for Osiander, a
bookseller in Germany. I've hardly used it, but it has been
helpful those few times:
Randy Wilson <rwilson at library.berkeley.edu>,
BIOS, University of California, Berkeley, CA
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