IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

BEN # 277

Adolf Ceska aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Thu Nov 29 12:13:29 EST 2001

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. 277                              November 29, 2001

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

From: Thomas Kaye [kayet at peak.org]

False-brome,  _Brachypodium  sylvaticum_  (Huds.)  Beauv.  is an
invasive grass species with a high potential for rapid expansion
in the Pacific Northwest.  The  earliest  record  (OSC)  of  the
species  in  North America is a 1939 collection from near Eugene
in Lane County, Oregon. By 1966, the species grew  in  at  least
two  large  colonies  in  the  Corvallis-Albany  area  of Benton
County, Oregon, where it was apparently  thoroughly  naturalized
(Chambers 1966, _Madrono_ 18: 250-251).

This  exotic  perennial  is  native  to  Europe,  Asia and North
Africa, but is invading habitats in western Oregon, and possibly
elsewhere in our region, at an alarming rate. It is  capable  of
completely dominating understory and open habitats to the exclu-
sion  of most other native species; its palatability to wildlife
is very low. It appears to inhibit tree  seedling  establishment
and  may  displace  endangered species, such as Kincaid's lupine
(_Lupinus  sulphureus_  subsp.  _kincaidii_  [C.P.   Smith]   L.
Phillips), host plant for the endangered Fender's blue butterfly
(_Icaricia icariodes fenderi_ [Lycaenidae]).

_Brachypodium  sylvaticum_ has an exceptionally broad ecological
amplitude, occupying forest floor and  open  environments  at  a
variety  of  aspects  and elevations. Populations are known from
riparian forests as well as upland hardwood and conifer  forests
under  closed  canopy.  Vigorous  populations also occupy forest
edges and upland prairies in full sun. When invading an area, it
may first disperse along roadsides, then move  out  into  undis-
turbed  areas  or  clearcuts.  Currently, it is officially known
only from Oregon, where it occupies habitat in  and  around  the
Willamette  Valley  and  as far south as Josephine County (a few
miles from the California border). The species seems  likely  to
spread  rapidly to California, Washington, and British Columbia.
There are already unconfirmed reports from Colorado and Utah.

Botanists in the Pacific Northwest should be on the lookout  for
this  invasive  plant and be warned of its aggressive potential.
It is described in  Hitchcock  and  Cronquist's  _Flora  of  the
Pacific  Northwest_  on  page  623.  Some  of its distinguishing
features are its broad (4-10 mm) lax leaves,  pubescence  on  at
least  the lower part of the culms and leaf margins, and a long-
lasting bright green color (i.e., it is still quite green  right
now  in  November).  It  differs  from native perennial _Bromus_
species in having sheaths open to the base and spikelets subses-
sile or short-pedicellate. In  contrast,  our  perennial  bromes
have sheaths closed >1/4 of their length and their spikelets are
generally strongly pedicellate.

In  the  Willamette  Valley,  the  species may occur with native
perennial grasses  such  as  _Bromus  vulgaris_  (Hook.)  Shear,
_Festuca   subulata_  Trin.,  and  _Melica  subulata_  (Griseb.)
Scrib.in  forest  understories,  and  _Elymus  glaucus_  Buckl.,
_Bromus   carinatus_   Hook.  &  Arn.,  _Danthonia  californica_
Boland., and _Festuca californica_ Vasey in open areas  such  as
upland  prairies  and  along  forest  edges.  _Brachypodium syl-
vaticum_ does not appear to  be  rhizomatous,  but  forms  large
clumps  that  tend  to  coalesce, and it reproduces rapidly from

We (myself and Greg Fitzpatrick of The Nature  Conservancy)  are
currently developing proposals to conduct research on this plant
to  identify  its  current North American distribution, describe
its seed dynamics  and  mechanisms  of  dispersal,  and  develop
effective control methods (as well as other topics). We would be
grateful for your feed-back on the following questions.

 1. How  many  populations  do you know of in your area, if any?
    Can you provide a list or maps indicating their location(s)?

 2. Are you or your agency or group involved in any  ongoing  or
    planned  control  efforts  for  this  species?  What control
    methods  are  involved  (e.g.,  herbicides  [what   types?],
    mowing, hand-pulling, hot-water, solarization, etc.)?

 3. Are you interested in participating in a false-brome working
    group  to  share information on this invasive plant, develop
    control strategies, and seek funding for research?

I have compiled a bibliography of  _Brachypodium_  research.  If
you  would like a copy by e-mail, please let me know (and please
recommend additional citations).

   Thomas Kaye
   Institute for Applied Ecology
   Corvallis, Oregon
   4550 SW Nash, Corvallis, OR 97333
   email: kayet at peak.org
   phone: 541-753-3099
   web: http://www.appliedeco.org

From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca] and
      Trevor Goward [tgoward at interchange.ubc.ca]

Brodo, Irwin M., Sylvia  Duran  Sharnoff,  &  Stephen  Sharnoff.
   2001.  _Lichens of North America_. Yale University Press, New
   Haven & London. xxiii + 795 p. ISBN 0-300-08249-5 [hardcover,
   cloth] Price: US$69.95

   Ordering information:
   Yale University Press
   P.O. Box 209040
   New Haven, Connecticut 06520-9040
   Phone: 1-800-987-7323
   Fax: 1-800-777-9253
   Web: http://www.yale.edu/yup/

This is a magnificent book,  bringing  to  life  more  than  800
species  of  North  American  lichens, with notes on another 700
species. The dust jackets tells us that the  book  contains  939
colour photographs. "Superb" is how it describes them, and it is
indeed  difficult  to  find  a better descriptor. The quality of
photographs is truly astonishing and, with the  exception  of  a
few  species  printed  too  red, we were unable to find a single
picture that fell below the high standard set by  the  remaining
938.  The  book  includes several full-page photographs that are
really breathtaking.

_Lichens of North America_ is  divided into  two parts.  Part  1
consists  of  14  introductory chapters covering about 100 pages
and providing concise, but  comprehensive  overviews  if  lichen
biology,  structure,  uses,  and ecology. Part 2 is dedicated to
taxonomy. Spanning about 650  pages,  it  contains  keys,  genus
descriptions,  and,  within the genus accounts, detailed species
descriptions that include notes on  ecology,  distribution,  and
points  of  distinction with similar species. Especially welcome
is the inclusion of 769 distribution maps -- all  original  with
this  book.  Readers  accustomed to the phylogenetic emphasis of
most vascular plant guides may be  somewhat  frustrated  by  the
alphabetical  arrangement  adopted  here (in which, for example,
_Omphalina_ follows _Ochrolechia_); but this is  simply  an  ar-
tifact of the as-yet-unsettled state of lichen phylogenetics.

The  index  is a pivotal part of the book, essential for helping
the reader navigate its  795  pages.  Readers  who  miss  author
citations  in  the  species  accounts will  also find them here.
Synonyms are reduced to the minimum, but all the names mentioned
in  Hale's 1979 popular key _How to identify lichens_ are cross-

BEN  readers  may  remember the rocky hurdles this book faced in
its  early  stages.  Sadly,  _Lichens  of  North  America_  also
suffered  the  loss  of one of its authors, Sylvia Sharnoff, who
died just as the manuscript was going to print. This book  is  a
great  monument  to her love and work. Yale University Press did
an excellent job of bringing it to  publication.  The  book  was
printed  in Italy and every aspect of it is masterful, be it the
scientific work, the photography, or the layout and  production.
This  project  was  supported  by  numerous benefactors and as a
result the price of the book has been kept remarkably low.

Is there  anything  we  don't  like  about   _Lichens  of  North
America_?   Well, yes.  At  3.9 kg (8.6 pounds), it's simply too
heavy! Pity the poor reader who, specimen in one hand, hand lens
and spot test reagents in the other, will be  required  to  flip
back  and  forth  between  the keys and the species accounts, in
some cases separated by a hundred  pages.  We  regret  that  Dr.
Brodo  and  Yale  University  Press  hadn't duplicated the iden-
tification keys (plus  the  glossary  and  species  index),  and
issued  them  as a separate soft-cover supplement. Come to think
of it, there may still be time. Please, listen  to  us:  collect
the keys and publish them again separately. Don't be afraid that
this  would  undercut  sales.  On the contrary, it would make an
already esteemed book even more cherished by those who use it.

From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]

_MatchMaker_ is an  elegant  computer  program  for  interactive
identification of gilled mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (BC,
WA,  OR,  and  ID),  combined with full descriptions and a large
database of mushroom photographs. Its authors,  Ian  Gibson  and
his  son  Eli Gibson started to work on the _MatchMaker_ in 1996
and their recent 2001 CD-ROM "beta"  version  contains  descrip-
tions  of  2087  species. In this CD-ROM version, there are 1444
illustrations of 714 gilled mushroom  taxa  and  447  non-gilled
taxa.  65  photographers  have  contributed  to  this non-profit
project with their photographs. The Pacific Northwest Key  Coun-
cil  supported  the  project  with  a small grant (mainly to buy
blank compact disks) and tested interim versions.

Wendy Alexander, Tony Trofymow and  Alan  Thomson  (at  Canadian
Forest  Service,  Pacific  Forestry  Centre  in  Victoria, B.C.,
Canada ) converted the CD-ROM version into a  web  page  program
that can be accessed at


The  web  version  (based on an earlier release on _MatchMaker_)
does not have illustrations of  non-gilled  mushrooms,  and  has
fewer  photographs. The plan for the web version (which is based
on the 2000 CD version) is to  update  the  information  to  the
current  CD version, and increase the number of illustrations of
gilled mushrooms. This should be completed  over  the  next  six

CD-ROM  version of _MatchMaker_ is available from Ian Gibson for
a   nominal   fee   to   cover   materials   and   postage,   at
ig at islandnet.com

From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]

Jonsell,  Bengt.  [Editor-In-Chief] 2001. _Flora Nordica. Volume
   2: Chenopodiaceae to Fumariaceae_.  The  Bergius  Foundation,
   The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. xv + 430 p.
   ISBN 91-7190-037-3 [hardcover] Price: DM 130.00

   Ordering information:
   Koeltz Scientific Books
   P.O. Box 1360
   D-61453 Koenigstein, Germany
   faxnumber: +49-(0)6174937240
   e-mail: Koeltz at t-online.de
   internet: http://www.koeltz.com

   Costumers in Great Britain can buy it from:
   c/o Summerfield books
   Main St. Brough
   Cumbria CA 17 4AX
   faxnumber: +44-(0)17683 41687
   email: sueatkins at beeb.net

_Flora Nordica_ is a research project at the Bergius Foundation.
The  aim  is to produce a scientifically based flora of vascular
plants in Norden, i.e. Denmark (incl. the Faroe  Islands),  Fin-
land,  Iceland,  Norway  (incl.  Svalbard) and Sweden. The flora
should be a synthesis of previous  research  and  will  indicate
problems  which  should  be  considered  in future research. The
flora will treat all  wild-growing  vascular  plants  in  Norden
(native  as  well  as alien); it will comprise about ten volumes
and is written in English.

The second volume contains 18 families that are  represented  by
510  species  belonging  to  14  genera. The book is loaded with
information. For each taxon  the  information  on  the  type  is
given,  followed  with vernacular names in each Nordic language.
The description,  information  distribution,  habitat,  biology,
variation, hybridization and similar species follow. The authors
skipped some paragraphs if they were not applicable and expanded
or  added  other  ones. The reader won't succumb to the dread of
formulaic writing and since floras should be read, a seldom seen
red ribbon for marking pages is sewn into the spine of the book.

The area of _Flora Nordica_ is  divided  into  about  a  hundred
provinces  and  maps  of distribution are given for each species
indicating not  only  occurrence,  but  also  abundance  of  the
species  in  each  province.  _Flora  Nordica_  has 154 figures,
mostly line drawings of important diagnostic  characters,  some-
times with SEM photographs.

Many  taxa  of  the  book  are circumpolar or have vicariants in
other parts of the circumpolar region. The treatment of families
such  as  Ranunculaceae,  Papaveraceae,  or  Caryophyllaceae  is
pertinent to much wider areas than the Nordic area and should be
consulted by North America readers.

The book is a real typographical delight.


Baladin,  Sergey A., Ivan, A. Gubanov, Charles E. Jarvis, Sergey
   R. Majorov, Sergey S. Simonov, Dmitry D. Sokoloff,  &  Sergey
   V.  Sukhov. 2001. _Herbarium Linnaeanum: the Linnaean Collec-
   tion of the Herbarium of  Moscow  State  University.  Digital
   images,  comments,  historical  review_.  The Natural History
   Museum, London. ISBN 5-86476-174-5 [CD-ROM]  Price  (includes
   postage  & handling and VAT - when applicable): 49.99 GBP (EU
   residents) or 42.54 GBP (non-EU residents)

   Ordering information:  This  CD-ROM  is  distributed  by  The
   Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United
   Kingdom.  A  downloadable  order  form  may  be  obtained  at
   http://www.nhm.ac.uk/shop/  or  from  Anna   Hutson,   e-mail
   A.Hutson at nhm.ac.uk

This  CD-ROM  contains  digital images of 63 specimens connected
with Linnaeus that are preserved  in  the  Herbarium  of  Moscow
State  University  (MW). For each specimen the display screen is
divided into three sectors:

 1. Left sector contains textual information  on  the  specimen:
    Specimen  ID,  Linnaean  name  and its typification, [other]
    Names, Labels [attached to  the  specimen],  [nomenclatural]
    Notes, Origin, Status, and Paper and mounting.
 2. Middle sector has a small digital image of the whole sheet.
 3. Right  sector  shows  a part of the sheet magnified 2-times.
    This inset is shown in the middle sector as a rectangle  and
    the  whole  specimen  can  be  viewed piecemeal in the right
    sector by panning with a mouse in either the middle  or  the
    right sector.

Specimens  can  be  examined  one  at  the time, or two or three
specimens can be displayed simultaneously, if you want  to  com-
pare them.

Additional  image files for each specimen show, when applicable,
watermarks, notes on the back of the sheet or on the cover, etc.

I was quite enticed by this piece of  clever  software  and  the
general  layout of the information. The textual part gives about
all the important information that is known about each specimen,
and the 2-times magnification is in  most  cases  sufficient  to
view  the  major details of the specimens. For even closer look,
the CD-ROM contains high  resolution  JPEG  files  that  can  be
viewed with ordinary viewers.

It  would  be  nice  to have similar layouts available for other
herbaria, but I can imagine that to produce similar CD-ROMs  for
larger  collections  would  be almost impossible. For many older
collections, we still will  have  to  rely  on  microfiche  sets
produced by the IDC A.G. company more than thirty years ago.

The  CD-ROM  also  includes  an overview of botany in Moscow and
Russia between 1706 and 1843 in the context of the  MW  Linnaean
collection, a history of the Herbarium of the Moscow University,
its scientific profile and structure of its collections, general
information  on  the  main  herbaria  in  the world that contain
Linnaean specimens, relevant references, etc. The  disk  is  il-
lustrated by portraits of many botanists.

The catalogue of type specimens in MW is available at:

Subscriptions: Send "subscribe BEN-L" or "unsubscribe BEN-L"
   (no apostrophes) to  majordomo at victoria.tc.ca
Send submissions to BEN-L at victoria.tc.ca
BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/


More information about the Plantbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net