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
_BRACHYPODIUM SYLVATICUM_ (POACEAE) IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
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).
Institute for Applied Ecology
4550 SW Nash, Corvallis, OR 97333
email: kayet at peak.org
GARGANTUAN FEAST: _LICHENS OF NORTH AMERICA_
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
Yale University Press
P.O. Box 209040
New Haven, Connecticut 06520-9040
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
_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.
NEW WEB: _MATCHMAKER_: GILLED MUSHROOMS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
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
MODERN FLORA OF THE EUROPEAN NORTHWEST: _FLORA NORDICA_
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
Koeltz Scientific Books
P.O. Box 1360
D-61453 Koenigstein, Germany
e-mail: Koeltz at t-online.de
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.
CD-ROM: LINNAEAN SPECIMENS IN THE MOSCOW UNIVERSITY HERBARIUM
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
Specimens can be examined one at the time, or two or three
specimens can be displayed simultaneously, if you want to com-
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/