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No. 276 November 15, 2001
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
MANAGEMENT OF _PHALARIS ARUNDINACEA_ IN CENTRAL EUROPE
From: Karel Prach <prach at bf.jcu.cz>
In Central Europe, _Phalaris arundinacea_ L. is a highly com-
petitive, dominant grass in sites with a high groundwater table,
high amounts of nutrients, especially nitrogen, and a permeable
(sandy or gravelly) substratum. Vertical and/or horizontal water
movement in the rhizosphere favours the species.
In the past three decades _P. arundinacea_ has expanded into
alluvial grasslands alongside eutrophicated water courses,
especially where hay cutting or grazing no longer occurs. In
those conditions, its expansion into alluvial meadows was rapid
(Conchou & Patou, 1987; Klimesova & Cizkova, 1996; Prach et al.,
1996; Straskrabova et al., 1996). The species became a strong
dominant in the 5 years following meadow abandonment, increasing
its cover from less than 1% to approximately 40%. Intensive
lateral vegetative spread by rhizomes ensured the expansion.
Studies show, however, that _P. arundinacea_ is sensitive to
regular cutting and Regular frequent cutting is the most effec-
tive way to control the species. In a compact sward that was
experimentally cut three times a year, it was nearly eliminated
after only 4 years (Straskrabova & Prach, 1998; Prach et al.,
1999). In the Central-European climate, three cuts a year (early
June, late July and late September) showed the best results, two
cuts a year (June and August) were less effective, whereas one
cut a year had no desirable effect.
Mechanical disturbance techniques such as scraping are not
effective because the species readily regenerates from small
rhizome fragments. _P. arundinacea_ is also able to survive
long-lasting flooding, therefore artificial impoundment is not
an effective management strategy.
In conclusion, eutrophication and low or non-management are the
main reasons that _P. arundinacea_ has expanded into alluvial
grasslands, however, regular and frequent cutting is an effec-
tive measure to prevent expansion and will control the species
even under eutrophicated conditions.
Conchou O. & G. Patou. 1987. Modes of colonization of an
heterogeneous alluvial area on the edge of the Garone river
by Phalaris arundinacea L. - Regulated Rivers 1: 37-48.
Klimesova, J. & H. Cizkova. 1996. Limitations of establishment
and growth of _Phalaris arundinacea_ in the floodplain. Pp.
131-145 in: Prach K., J. Jenik, & A.R.G. Large. (eds.) 1996.
Floodplain Ecology and Management. The Luznice River in the
Trebon Biosphere Reserve, Central Europe. SPB Academic Publ.,
Prach, K., C.B. Joyce, & J. Straskrabova. 1999. Case study 13 -
The Luznice River Floodplain, Czech Republic. Pp. 124-128 in:
Benstead, P., P.V. Jose, C.B. Joyce, & P.M. Wade. (eds.)
European wet grasslands: guidelines for management and res-
toration. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy.
Prach, K. & J. Straskrabova. 1996. Restoration of degraded
meadows: an experimental approach. Pp. 87-93 in: Prach, K.,
J. Jenik, & A.R.G. Large. (eds.) Floodplain ecology and
management. The Luznice River in the Trebon Biosphere
Reserve, Central Europe, pp. 87-93, Amsterdam.
Straskrabova, J., K. Prach, C.B. Joyce, & M. Wade. (eds.) 1996.
Aluvialni louky - jejich soucasny stav a moznosti obnovy.
[Alluvial meadows - their recent state and possibilities of
their restoration.] Agentura ochrany prirody a krajiny,
Praha. 176 p. [Czech]
_AMMOPHILA BREVILIGULATA_ (POACEAE) NEW TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
From: Nick Page [napage at interchange.ubc.ca]
Extensive populations of _Ammophila breviligulata_ Fern.
(American beachgrass) were discovered during surveys of beach
plant communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British
Columbia between June and September 2001. This is the first
report of _A. breviligulata_ in British Columbia. (Voucher
collections are deposited in the University of British Columbia
herbarium [UBC] in Vancouver, B.C.) _Ammophila breviligulata_ is
a large, rhizomatous beach grass that functions as a sand-
stabilizer in its native habitat. Together with _Ammophila
arenaria_ (L.) Link. (European beachgrass or marram grass) it
has caused substantial changes to sand movement, beach morphol-
ogy, and vegetation along sand beaches and adjacent dunes on
western Vancouver Island.
In Clayoquot Sound, _Ammophila breviligulata_ occurs in beaches
of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Long Beach Unit (Wickanin-
nish Beach, Schooner Cove, Radar Beach) and south west Clayoquot
Sound (Stubbs Island and Vargas Island). In its native range it
occurs on beaches along the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to
North Carolina, as well as the Great Lakes (Kartesz, 1999).
Introduced populations have been reported from California (Hick-
man, 1993; Kartesz, 1999), and Oregon and Washington (Seabloom
and Wiedemann, 1994). In British Columbia, _Ammophila
breviligulata_ is found in two habitats:
1. It occurs as isolated clumps or patches in the sparsely
vegetated lower beach where it appears to be more tolerant
of harsh environmental conditions than _Ammophila arenaria_.
2. It is also sporadically dominant in the first beach ridge
where it forms pure stands or is intermixed with _A.
arenaria_ and the native beachgrass _Leymus mollis_ Trin.
(Pilger) (dune wildrye grass).
Like _A. arenaria_, vigour of _A. breviligulata_ declines and
flowering ceases inland from the first beach ridge where sand
movement is reduced. Seabloom and Wiedemann (1994) documented
this pattern in beaches of Washington State.
_Ammophila breviligulata_ is distinguished from _A. arenaria_ by
smaller ligules (1-3 mm versus 10-30 mm long in _A. arenaria_),
wider and less inrolled leaves, longer flower spike (25-35 cm
versus 15-25 cm long in _A. arenaria_), and scaly rather than
puberulent leaf veins on the upper leaf surface (Hitchcock,
1950). Vegetative material may also be confused with _Leymus
mollis_. However, leaves of _Leymus mollis_ are typically wider
(15-20 mm versus 5-15 mm long in _A. breviligulata_ and are
distinctly glaucous compared to yellowish green in _A.
breviligulata_. As well, _L. mollis_ generally has auricles and
has puberulent rather than scaly leaf veins.
Based on the presence of _Ammophila breviligulata_ in older
beach vegetation on the west coast of Vancouver Island, it is
unlikely that it was introduced recently. It may have been
present since the first introduction of _A. arenaria_ in 1940's
on Stubbs Island in south Clayoquot Sound. Alternately, it may
have dispersed from populations introduced in Oregon and
Washington for shore stabilization. Seabloom and Wiedemann
(1994) used the distinct transition between older _A. arenaria_
communities and more recent _A. breviligulata_ communities to
establish the approximate date of invasion along the southern
Washington coast. _Ammophila breviligulata_ was first introduced
on the Clatsop Peninsula in northern Oregon in 1935 and has
invaded northward through the dispersal of rhizome fragments.
However, although _A. breviligulata_ is present from the Colum-
bia River to the Olympic Peninsula, it is the dominant beach
grass only within 75 km of the original introduction site. The
dominance of _A. breviligulata_ at several Vancouver Island
beaches may indicate a second point of introduction in proximity
to Clayoquot Sound.
_Ammophila breviligulata_ appears to have been overlooked during
previous botanical surveys in coastal British Columbia because
of its superficial resemblance to either _Leymus mollis_ or
_Ammophila arenaria_, depending on vigour and whether flowering
panicles were present. In particular, it was not noted in a
comprehensive assessment of beach plant communities in Wickanin-
nish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve by Kuramoto
(1965). How its presence might change management activities to
control _Ammophila_ species along beaches on the west coast of
Vancouver Island is unknown. Seabloom and Wiedemann (1994)
concluded that _A. breviligulata_ and _A. arenaria_ were
ecologically similar and both depress native plant diversity in
Hickman, J.C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of
California. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Hitchcock, A.S. 1950. Manual of Grasses of the United States.
U.S. Government Printing Press, Washington, DC.
Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A Synonymized Checklist and Atlas with
Biological Attributes for the Vascular Flora of the United
States, Canada, and Greenland. First Edition. In: Kartesz,
J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American
Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel
Kuramoto, R.T. 1965. Plant Associations and Succession in the
Vegetation of the Sand Dunes of Long Beach, Vancouver Island.
University of British Columbia, Department of Botany, Un-
published M.Sc. thesis.
Seabloom, E.W. and A.M. Wiedemann. 1994. Distribution and ef-
fects of _Ammophila breviligulata_ Fern. (American
beachgrass) on the foredunes of the Washington coast. Journal
of Coastal Research 10 (1): 178-188.
Wiedemann, A.M. and A. Pickart. l996. The _Ammophila_ problem on
the Northwest Coast of North America. Landscape and Urban
Planning 34: 287-299.
Any questions or comments should be directed to Nick Page,
Institute for Resources and Environment, University of British
Columbia at [napage at interchange.ubc.ca]. Information or opinions
on the potential ecological effects and control methods for
_Ammophila breviligulata_ are welcomed.
NEW VARIETY OF CORALLORHIZA MACULATA (ORCHIDACEAE) IN WASHINGTON
From: Tisch, E.L. 2001. _Corallorhiza maculata_ var. _ozetten-
sis_ (Orchidaceae), a new coral-root from coastal Washington.
_Madrono_ 48: 40-42.
_Corallorhiza maculata_ var. _ozettensis_ Tisch is a newly
described orchid from western Washington. It occurs in foggy
rainforests bordering the Pacific coast of the north Olympic
Peninsula. Unlike typical _C. maculata_, its flowers are consis-
tently non-spotted, with a narrow, white labellum bearing two
apical undulations and low, non-rugose basal lamellae.
Key to three varieties of _Corallorhiza maculata_ (Raf.) Raf. in
1. Labellum white at early anthesis (darkening with age), its
lateral nerves usually simple; the margins of its central
............................ _C. maculata_ var. _ozettensis_
1. Labellum usually white, spotted with purple, its lateral
nerves often prominently branched; the central lobe distally
2. Central lobe of labellum distinctly expanded, its broadest
distal portion > 1.5 times wider than its base; labial
apex broadly rounded to retuse
......... _C. maculata_ var. _occidentalis_ (Lindl.) Ames
2. Central lobe of labellum slightly if at all expanded, its
broadest distal portion < 1.5 times wider than its base;
labial apex narrowly rounded to acute
........................... _C. maculata_ var. _maculata_
_Corallorhiza maculata_ var. _ozettensis_ grows in moist, foggy,
very shady to moderately illuminated forests bordering the
northwest coastline of the Olympic Peninsula. The collection
sites, all within 300 m of the Pacific Ocean, are overstoried by
mixture of _Picea sitchensis_, _Thuja plicata_, _Tsuga
heterophylla_ in the tree layer; _Vaccinium alaskense_, _V.
ovatum_, _V. parvifolium_ and _Menziesia ferruginea_ in the
shrub layer. The common herb associates are _Blechnum spicant_,
_Polystichum munitum_, _Maianthemum dilatatum_, _Tiarella
trifoliata_, _Listera caurina_, and _L. cordata_.
YELLOW CEDAR PLANT PRESSES
From: Nick Golinski [plantpress at hotmail.com]
Plant presses constructed of yellow-cedar (_Chamaecyparis
nootkatensis_) are for sale for $35 CDN + postage. Presses are
standard size (12" x 18" = ca. 30 cm x 46 cm ), with 4 lateral
and 6 horizontal slats that are nailed and glued for increased
sturdiness. Included for your convenience are two 1" x 5ft. (ca.
2.5 cm x 1.5 m) nylon straps with plastic buckles. Cardboard is
not provided. Yellow-cedar is noted for its durability, light-
ness and strength. The wood used for making the presses comes
from top-quality off-cuts (e.g., from mouldings, boat-building
For orders or more information, please contact Nick Golinski at
plantpress at hotmail.com
BOOK REVIEW: SPANISH BOTANISTS TREAT NORTH AMERICAN VEGETATION
From: Toby Spribille [toby.spribille at gmx.de] and
Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]
Rivas-Martinez, S., D. Sanchez-Mata, D. & M. Costa. 1999. North
American boreal and western temperate forest vegetation.
(Syntaxonomical synopsis of the potential natural plant
communities of North America, II). _Itinera geobotanica_ 12:
5-316. Colour map in map pocket. Madrid. ISSN 0213-8530
Available from the authors at dsmata at eucmax.sim.ucm.es in
This book presents a forest vegetation classification for the
coniferous forests of temperate and boreal North America based
on field data obtained during the travels of a group of Spanish
vegetation scientists from Madrid, led by Salvador Rivas-
Martinez. It is the second in a series of monographs by the
Madrid working group on North American vegetation formations,
the first being a work on the arid regions of the American
Southwest and Mexican Sonora (_Itinera geobotanica_ 10, 1997).
Like the first monograph, the present volume is concerned
primarily with obtaining a large-scale overview of climate and
One is introduced into the work by a comprehensive review of
bioclimatology, the study of the relationship between climate
and living things, and the premises of the worldwide bioclimatic
classification. We are then led through an overview of terms and
concepts in climatology, geobotany and biogeographic typology.
This is followed by a complete biogeographic typology of North
America, divided into sectors and subsectors.
The next part of the book delves into the vegetation of these
sectors and subsectors. The methods discussion is brief and
consists primarily of references used for identification and
nomenclature and explanation of what is contained in the tables;
it gives little insight into how associations and higher units
were derived and how synonymies were decided. However, it can be
concluded that the authors visited zonal vegetation types in the
various bioclimatic sectors and subsectors and made vegetation
releves, and put these together into tables largely on the basis
of occurrence in the same region. There is little evidence of
actual tablework with these releves and certainly no evidence of
any replicable numerical work.
The authors proceed to describe the hierarchy of the new class
_Linnaeo americanae-Piceetea marianae_ (supplemented by five new
forest classes in _Itinera geobotanica_ 13: 349-352, 1999), and
numerous new orders, alliances and associations. Most of these
are described for the first time. Vegetation tables are
presented for every unit (although Table 16 is missing).
Although the individual releves are likely quite representative
of the various bioclimatic regions from which they were taken,
the vegetation units which have been made out of them are often-
times rather dubious. Phytosociological tables are often com-
prised of only few releves from widely scattered areas, with
little in common except physiognomy. One example is Table 63,
made up of 6 releves from 5 states and provinces, an area the
size of western Europe. Some new associations are based on only
two releves, and often from very restricted areas. The associa-
tion _Oplopanaco-Alnetum rubrae_, for instance, is based on two
releves (Table 34) gathered a few kilometers from each other in
northern British Columbia. Table 31 is also an example of a
table where all releves are gathered from within a few
kilometers of each other. This is not necessarily illegitimate
in itself, but it does give cause to reflect on the scope of the
book. For the purposes of comparison, it is useful to point out
that the number of published releves presented in this book
(about 450) divided by the size of the study area (an estimated
12,000,000 sq. km) would translate to a density of one releve
every 25,000 sq. km, or about 20 for the area of Spain.
Some of the tables are so unconvincing they actually serve to
undermine the units which they are meant to demonstrate. Table
39, for instance, is a brief synoptic table of two alliances,
_Piceo-Abietion bifoliae_ and _Pino-Pseudotsugion glaucae_. Our
attention is drawn to the rather empty box of alliance character
taxa for the former. This group of ecologically unrelated
species has no diagnostic value and obviously does not represent
a group of character species by any definition.
Another unfortunate distraction for the floristically inclined
are the disturbingly numerous taxonomic misidentifications and
simply impossible species. Examples include, but are by no means
limited to, _Brachypodium sylvaticum_, given in many tables,
which is not found in northwestern North American forests,
_Vancouveria hexandra_, a conspicuous plant reported from the
botanically well-known Goldstream Provincial Park on Vancouver
Island (Table 19), which would be new for Canada, and _Aquilegia
coerulea_, a plant of talus in the central Rocky Mountains,
reported from forests of Klickitat County Washington (Table 20).
Furthermore, species lists for well-known communities which
typically have 45-50 vascular plant species per releve have only
15-20 listed. The listing of _Bryophyta gen. et sp. pl._ in
numerous tables (esp. Tables 10-12 and 67-69) is inexcusable.
Some clarification on the methods for synonymization of syntaxa
would have been useful. Without this, lists of plant community
synonyms appear rather arbitrary. For instance, an order of
western montane forests first described by V.J. Krajina is
listed as a synonym of the quite different order of eastern
boreal forests _Gaultherio-Piceetalia_. The order _Betuletalia
pumilae-glanduliferae_, described by S. Kojima (_Phytocoeno-
logia_ 14: 1-17, 1986) for mire communities in Banff National
Park, is subsumed under the new and completely unrelated sub-
arctic order _Ledo decumbentis-Betuletalia glandulosae_.
A number of inconsistencies in the tables and text could also
cause confusion. As one example, in Table 36 (_Alno tenuifoliae-
Populetum trichocarpae_), releve 1 is designated as the type
releve, but in the list of releves provided at the end, releve 3
is given as the type. To further confuse things, the floristic
composition of the type releve listed in the text does not
correspond to the same releve in the table. Furthermore, con-
stancies are also commonly miscalculated in the tables.
One of the most disheartening aspects of not only the present
book, but also the authors' previous work on North American
deserts, is the virtual disregard for the vast amount of vegeta-
tion research which has taken place in the region under con-
sideration, including basic descriptive community class-
ification. Literally thousands of pages of literature, basic
descriptions and ecological and floristic characterizations in
the form of published articles, theses and technical reports are
completely disregarded or afforded only passing mention - or
subsumed as synonyms under the various "newly" described as-
sociations, alliances and orders. It is not that Rivas-Martínez
and his colleagues were entirely unaware of this research
either, as they cite some of it and synonymize names liberally.
It is untenable to ignore previous works (phytosociological
groupings and synecological observations) only because the names
their authors used did not comply with the International Code of
The Braun-Blanquet method applied in this work has been highly
successful in the study of European vegetation and its applica-
tion is spreading. In North America it is an obvious way to
standardize the study of vegetation and unify the results of
many diverse, endemic classification systems. Unfortunately, the
publication by Rivas-Martinez et al. does not help this effort.
[Note: This book was also reviewed by Dieter Mueller Dombois
(_Phytocoenologia_ 30: 269-271, 2000) and by Michael Barbour
(_Journal for Vegetation Science_ 12: 593-594, 2001).]
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