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No. 283 March 9, 2002
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
ALASKA RARE PLANT FORUM 2002 MEETING
From: Mary Stensvold [mstensvold at fs.fed.us]
The Alaska Rare Plant Forum will hold its 2002 annual meeting
April 11th and 12th in Fairbanks at the Bureau of Land Manage-
ment, Northern District Office, 1150 University Avenue.
Anyone interested in rare plants of northern regions is invited
to attend or to give a presentation. We are soliciting speakers
and agenda items. Topics could include the results of recent
botanical work, descriptions of field trips, proposals for 2002
field work and presentations describing ongoing botanical work
If you wish to give a presentation, please send your name, a
brief description of your presentation and the presentation's
approximate length to Mary Stensvold, Alaska Region, USDA Forest
Service, 204 Siginaka Way, Sitka, Alaska 99835. E-mail address
is: mstensvold at fs.fed.us. Telephone: 907-747-6671.
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
From: Stan Rowe [stanrowe at netidea.com]
Two objects of interest to ecologists are organisms and ecosys-
tems, the second the houses or homes (Gr. _oikos_) that give
eco/logy its name. The most complete ecosystem is Earth or
Ecosphere, the evolutionary source and support of all animated
things, and therefore an apt metaphor for "life."
Most of us with deep interests in wild creatures and their
survival begin as biologists -- as botanists or zoologists
hooked on the marvelously fascinating plants and animals that
abound on Earth. The thought of them under attack, either
directly or by habitat destruction, is repellent. We want to see
them preserved, and our reasons are not the crass ones of
utility. The so-called "Environmental Movement" too is prompted
in large part by Nature's beauty perceived as under threat. An
innate aesthetic sense encourages both care for organisms other
than our own species and a willingness to take action on their
behalf. The outcome of this wonder and appreciation is something
relatively new: moral concern expressed as ethical actions that
extend beyond the human race.
The first thought is the need for endangered-species legisla-
tion, expressing a "bio-ethic" focused on plants and animals.
But common sense and ecology show that organisms are not self-
sufficient. Without the vital support of Earth's
inorganic/organic matrix they simply would not be. In itself the
slogan "Save Biodiversity" is unrealistic; something more is
needed. Aldo Leopold took the next step by proposing a "land
ethic," to protect organisms by making moral objects of the
landscapes that support and shelter them. A still more inclusive
step is to an "ecosystem ethic" that places highest value on
three-dimensional sectors of Earth, on geographic places with
all their contents: the matrix elements of land, water, and
atmosphere, as well as their contained communities of organisms.
These are the fundamental "living units" on the face of the
Earth. Paraphrasing Tansley, the British ecologist who intro-
duced the ecosystem concept in 1935, when we think fundamentally
we cannot separate organisms from their Earth-ecosystem con-
Improperly trained, we have been taught to perceive ourselves
and other organisms as "alive" within a "dead" matrix of air,
water, soil, and sediments. Today, aided by satellite photog-
raphy, we can more truly view the whole Earth and its sectoral
geographic ecosystems as the locus of "life." This god's-eye-
view, seeing the wholes of which organisms are parts, is to my
mind ecology's chief contribution to modern thought. It il-
luminates the most effective direction for conservation and
Further, it gives perspective within regional ecosystems to our
own living and dying. Of the latter, as happy a thought as is
perhaps possible: _Media morte in vita sumus_ -- "In the midst
of death we are surrounded by life!"
BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE, _LYTHRUM SALICARIA_ L.
From: Madlen Denoth [denoth at zoology.ubc.ca]
Purple loosestrife is an invasive plant from Europe threatening
plants and wildlife in native wetlands of North America. Tradi-
tional methods of managing the plant do not work and thus, a
biological control project has been initiated in 1992. In
biological control a specific natural enemy is imported from the
pest's country of origin and reunited with the pest in the hopes
to control it. While the natural enemies cannot eradicate the
pest, they can potentially control it to the extent that the
invader is not a threat any more. In British Columbia, a little
brown leaf-beetle with the name _Galerucella calmariensis_ L.
(Chrysomelidae), which is highly specific to purple loosestrife,
had been released at several infested sites. These beetles have
been tested extensively before their introduction into Canada to
make sure they are safe. The same beetles have also been
released in many US states and several Canadian provinces.
Because the beetles are highly specific to purple loosestrife,
this biological control program has proven to be safe and en-
vironmentally friendly. Considering the sensitivity of the
invaded habitats, biological control is the most suitable method
for managing purple loosestrife.
Testing biological control at Iona Beach Park
Iona Beach Park (next to the Vancouver international airport)
consists of two neighboring artificial ponds that have been
created some 10 years ago. The disturbances associated with the
creation of the ponds have allowed purple loosestrife to invade
the area. Now both ponds are surrounded by dense rings of mature
loosestrife plants. In 1997, 300 natural enemies of purple
loosestrife have been released. The beetles at Iona Beach Park
have been monitored closely over the next years by Madlen Denoth
and Judy Myers from UBC. A beetle "outbreak" has been observed
at the North pond resulting in a small patch of purple
loosestrife being completely defoliated. The size of this "out-
break area" has increased and purple loosestrife has been
defoliated in one half of the pond. However, because of purple
loosestrife's underground storage, it will take several years of
severe attack before the plants eventually die.
Interested in participating?
Up to now, fewer than 50 releases have been made in British
Columbia, and these beetle populations are isolated from each
other. Thus, the success of this biological control program is
dependent on establishing a network of "beetle bases" in an area
so that the beetles are self-sustainable and can find and attack
loosestrife infestations themselves. The rearing and releasing
of the beetles is easy and does not require a lot of equipment.
Two Naturalist groups have shown interest, the most active being
the Langley Field Naturalists Society who have been rearing
loosestrife beetles for two years now. Hopefully, other groups
will show interest in the project so that beetle networks can be
established in different regions. If you have any questions or
if you are member of a group interested in participating in the
project e-mail Madlen Denoth: denoth at zoology.ubc.ca.
BOOK REVIEW AND BOOK NOTICES BY RUDOLF SCHMID FROM THE
FEBRUARY 2002 ISSUE OF TAXON
From: Rudi Schmid <schmid at socrates.Berkeley.EDU>
Van Pelt, Robert. _Forest giants of the Pacific Coast._ Dec.
2001. Global Forest Society, Vancouver, in assoc. w/ Univer-
sity of Washington Press, Seattle. xxiv, 200 pp., ill. (B&W,
col.), 280x218 mm, ISBN 0-295-98140-7 (PB), $35.00.
[_Contents:_ intro; descr. pt.; appendices (Eng., metric
measures of trees; predicting vol. from diameter; nomination
data form); glossary; biblio.; index.]
Americans, in particular, are obsessed with "the best," "the
biggest," "the smallest," "the oldest," and other superlatives.
A Briton I was traveling with in spring 1973 pointed this out to
me as he marveled how even a single town could have two or more
cases of "the best burgers in the world." Since then the regret-
table McDonald's-ization of the world has spread the disease of
superlatives. There are, however, some genuinely worthwhile
accounts of superlatives, and Van Pelt's _Forest giants of the
Pacific Coast_ is one of them. California has a number of ar-
borescent superlatives, including: the Adventure Tree, _Sequoia
sempervirens,_ at 101.8 m being the tallest; the Boole Tree,
_Sequoiadendron giganteum,_ at 8.98 m and 28.2 m having, respec-
tively, the largest DBH and circumference; the General Sherman
Tree of the same species at 1489 m3 having the greatest volume.
These two species plus _Thuja plicata, Pseudotsuga menziesii,_
and _Picea sitchensis_ "are the five largest species of trees in
the world" other than the antipodal _Agathis australis,_ "the
only proven exception" (p. xxiv). "For most of the species the
largest trees are as yet undiscovered. The chance of finding a
new record for giant sequoia is nearly zip, likewise for coast
redwood" (p. x).
Van Pelt, a forester who also did _Champion trees of Washington
state,_ 4th ed. (see _Taxon_ 46: 417), is "equipped with a
camera, a sketchpad, and a survey laser" and has amassed "a
database of over 5,000 individual trees" (back-cover blurb).
_Forest giants_ discusses the 20 largest conifer species of
western North America, describing each species in two pages,
including color photos and a newly produced distribution map in
color. Following each species account are detailed descriptions
(one or two pages) of tree giants, that is, "those with the
greatest wood volume" (back-cover blurb), 117 giants in all, 46
from California, 38 from Washington, 15 from British Columbia,
14 from Oregon, and 2 each from Idaho and Montana, all il-
lustrated with B&W "'architecturally correct'" (p. xix) profile
diagrams and superb color photos taken with a perspective-
control lens. A 12-page introduction is essential reading for
methodology and an overview of forest types. In all, this is an
interesting book with lots of fascinating information about
Burian, Rick (Richard M.). _Native orchids of Oregon._ [2000.]
Oregon Orchid Society, Box 14182, Portland, OR 97293, USA. 40
pp., ill., no ISBN (PB), price unknown.
[_Contents:_ intro; def. orchid; glossary; ill. glossary;
descr. pt.; biblio.; biobibs.; no index (or contents). On
25 taxa, none endemic; no keys.]
Derig, Betty B. & Fuller, Margaret C. _Wild berries of the
West._ 2001. Mountain Press Publishing Co., Box 2399, Mis-
soula, MT 59806, USA (http://www.mtnpress.com). ix, [i], 235,
 pp., ill. (most col.), ISBN 0-87842- 433-4 (PB), $16.00.
[_Contents:_ intro; descr. pt.; recipes; bot. gards.; pl.
source guide; geogr. glossary Indian tr.; ill. glossary;
biblio.; indices. On over 150 taxa w/ berries et al. fleshy
Hall, Judy Kathryn. _Native plants of southeast Alaska._ 1995.
Windy Ridge Publishing, Box 1158, Haines, AK 99827, USA.
[ix], xv, 283,  pp., ill., ep. scales, no ISBN (spiral-
bd.), price unknown.
[_Contents:_ intro; key to fam.; tax. pt.; glossary; biblio.;
Lyons, C. P. (Chester Peter). _Wildflowers of Washington._ 1997.
Lone Pine Publishing, 1901 Raymond Ave. S.W., Suite C, Ren-
ton, WA 98055, USA (http://www.lonepinepublishing.com). 192
pp., ill. (most col.), ISBN 1-55105-092-7 (PB), $15.95.
[_Contents:_ intro; explorer botanists; ecosystems; ecosys.
map; fl. areas; how to ID pls.; nomen.; key; tax. pt.;
biblio.; index; biobib. On over 500 taxa (incl. ferns!) arr.
by col. - Chess Lyons' obituary see BEN # 212]
Maser, Chris. _Forest primeval: The natural history of an an-
cient forest._ 1989 (2001 reissue). Oregon State University
Press, 101 Waldo Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-6407, USA
(http://osu.orst.edu/dept/press). xxi, 282 pp., ill., ISBN 0-
87071-529-1 (PB), $19.95.
[Originally publ. 1989 by Sierra Club Books, San Francisco.
_Contents:_ intro; in the beginning; birth; young forest (F);
mature F; ancient F; epilog; glossary; Lat., common names;
biblio.; index. Narrative of a forest in Cascades of Oregon
O'Clair, Rita M. & Lindstrom, Sandra C. _North Pacific
seaweeds._ 2000. Plant Press, Auke Bay. xii, 162 pp., 16 pp.
pls. (col.), text ill. (B&W), ISBN 0-9664245-1-4 (spiral-
bd.), $24.95 (from Plant Press, General Delivery, Friday
Harbor, WA 98250, USA).
[_Contents:_ def. algae; tax. pt.; recipes; checklist;
biblio.; glossary; index; biobibs. On 154 spp. green, brown,
red algae, and seagrasses found along ne. Pac. coasts betwixt
Aleutian Is., Alaska, and s. Oregon; no keys, but extensively
ill. w/ 66 col. photos, 147 drawings ably done by K. M.
Hocker & P. S. Holley. Lindstrom & I. M. Brodo also did
_Southeast Alaska's rocky shores: Seaweeds and lichens_
(Ibid., 1996, xii, 151 pp., o.p.--not seen, cf. BEN # 144).]
TERRY BALL'S PHYTOLITH PAGE
From: Terry Ball <Terry_Ball at byu.edu>
Due to a change in servers I have a new address for the page.
The address is http://home.byu.net/~tbb/tball/index2.html Sorry
for the confusion. Hope this is helpful. Terry
ULTIMATE PALINDROME: NEVER SAY NEVER !
Both BEN and Scott Russell received a number of messages (one
even from Greece) that the Ultimate Palindromic Moment will
occur at least once more, on December 21, at 21:12 in the year
2112 (21:12 21/12 2112). It also looks to me (if I am not wrong
again) that there could also be two palindromic moments in one
year, at 7:02 p.m., one in January and the other in October of
the year 2091 (19:02 01/10 2091).
I don't get similar comments to any botanical articles and notes
posted in BEN, and we interpret this wrong posting as a modified
Capture-Recapture Experiment with the following results:
1. There are some people who really read BEN.
2. BEN is NEVER wrong when dealing with botanical subjects.
Apologies to all our readers, especially to that irate mathe-
matician who advised BEN to stay away from mathematics. Special
apologies to Andy MacKinnon, who once proclaimed: "I believe
everything what is posted in BEN." Yours truly, BEN
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