ISSN 1188-603X

No. 144 September 17, 1996 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


This new society was instigated to bring together a diversity of people who enjoy, study and work with indigenous plants. The mission of the NPSBC Native Plant Society of British Columbia is:

to encourage knowledge, responsible use and conservation of British Columbia's native plants and habitats.

This will be achieved through the following objectives:

  1. Advance knowledge and awareness of the value of native plants.
  2. Develop and maintain an inventory of BC's native species, communities and habitats.
  3. Promote the conservation of BC's native plant species, communities and habitats.
  4. Initiate the development of guidelines concerning the ethical uses of native plants.
  5. Support the use of native plants in accordance with the ethical use guidelines.
  6. Encourage the restoration of disturbed habitats of native plant species and communities.
  7. Facilitate communications and interaction among individuals, groups and governments regarding native plant issues.
  8. Support research on native plants and plant communities.

Membership fees: Individual - $20.00, Associate - $15.00, Corporate - $75.00.

First membership meeting of the NPSBC - Native Plant Society of British Columbia: Saturday, November 23, 1996, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Grand Hall, University College of the Cariboo, Kamloops. Registration fee for the conference (includes buffet lunch and 2 coffee breaks) is $25.00 (deadline: November 8).

For more information contact:

Diane Gertzen
14275 96th Avenue
Surrey, BC, V3V 7Z2
Phone: 604-930-3309 E-mail:


From: Trevor Goward, Nature Canada - Summer 1994.

As a rule, lichen colonization in a maturing forest occurs in two pulses. The first consists of various species of widespread distribution, and is essentially complete by the time the forest reached the century mark. The second, more diffuse pulse doesn't really begin to register until 50 to 100 years later. It is comprised of species living at or near the ecological limits of their range; many will remain rare even once they do become established.

These phenomena are by no means peculiar to the conifer forests of western North America. Similar patterns have already been amply documented in Britain by lichenologist Francis Rose (1976).

In mid-'70s, Rose conducted inventories of the lichens of 102 oak and beech woodlands in different parts of the British Isles. When later he compared his species lists against existing land use records, he found a definite positive correlation between lichen diversity and forest age. This led him to conclude that some lichens may be regarded as "historical indicators of lack of environmental change, within certain critical limits, over long periods of time."

British forests undisturbed for many hundreds of years typically support between 120 and 150 lichen species per square kilometre. The richest forest for lichens by far is the New Forest which ironically, is anything but new, having apparently escaped woodcutter's axe since at least the Middle Ages. It was found to contain an astonishing 259 species of lichens. By contrast, British woodlans dating from less than 200 years ago tend to support fewer than 50 lichens per square kilometre.

In the British Isles, as in British Columbia, a 150-year-old forest will not acquire its full complement of epiphytic lichens for at least another century or two. The fact obliges us to think again about what we mean when we speak of "old growth."

Should an old-growth woodland 1000 years old be lumped, for the purposes of conservation, with one that is "only" 200 years old? Both forests may appear identical to the untrained eye. But they clearly are not identical - whether as living archives of British Columbia's past, or as repositories of biological tradition.

"Antique forests," as I define them, are simply the oldest of the old: forests that have been around long enough to accumulate, among other things, a rich assemblage of old-growth epiphytes. Such forests seem invariably to be more than 300 to 350 years old, and many, in many cases, have been in existence much longer than the most ancient trees within them. The last point is important. A 150-year-old tree in a 500-year-old forest may well support more old-growth indicators than a 250-year-old tree in a forest dating from a fire of equivalent vintage.

Goward, T. 1994.
Living antiquities. Nature Canada, Summer 1994: 14-21.
Goward, T. 1994.
Notes on oldgrowth-dependent epiphytic macrolichens in inland British Columbia, Canada. Acta Botanica Fennica 150: 31-38.
Rose, F. 1976.
Lichenological indicators of age and environmental continuity in woodlands. Pp. 279-307 in: Brown, D.H. et al. [eds.] Lichenology: progress and problems. Academic Press, London.


Rita M. O'Clair, R. M., S. C. Lindstrom, & I. R. Brodo. 1996.
Southeast Alaska's rocky shores: seaweeds & lichens. Plant Press, Auke Bay, Alaska. 152 p.

This guide to the abundant and diverse organisms living between tidelines on the rocky shores of Southeast Alaska is useful from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Oregon because the complete ranges of all species are given.

The book provides detailed descriptions of 83 species of algae, 30 species of lichens, 1 moss and 2 seagrasses. A chapter is devoted to favorite seaweed recipes.

Each species description includes the common names, current and former scientific names, geographic distribution and bathymetry, as well as comprehensive anatomical, physiological and ecological information. Almost every species is illustrated by an exquisite grayscale b&w drawing. A complete species list, bibliography and index are included, while a glossary is integrated with the text.

Together, these three biologists, whose careers span a total of 80 years, have written a treasure for all who love west coast rocky shorelines, including:

To order a copy of this book, please send $22.95 in US funds for orders with the US (residents of the City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska, add $.80 sales tax), or $25 in US funds for orders from Canada or Mexico. For other foreign orders, please enquire. Send funds together with your complete name and address (including zip code or postal code) directly to the publisher:

Plant Press
PO Box 210094
Auke Bay, AK 99821-0094

Submissions, subscriptions, etc.: BEN is archived on gopher The URL is: gopher:// Also archived at