|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 181 January 10, email@example.com|
On December 11th, 1997 British Columbia and North America lost a superb botanist and plantsman. Dr. Gerald Straley is survived by his mother, father, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew all of Eggleston, Virginia. He is also survived by hundreds of friends and acquaintances in the botanical and horticultural world. As Research Scientist and Curator of Collections at UBC Botanical Garden he was botanist, gardener, taxonomist, naturalist, hiker, photographer, author, teacher. Above all he was a gentle man; warm, humorous, welcoming and generous but also quietly tenacious and strove for excellence in all he did. His passion for his subject rubbed off on his students. Whether those students were in graduate level systematics or the layperson distinguishing a stamen from a pistil he was equally at home and equally committed to imparting knowledge to both. BC botanists now have an indispensable tool in the form of the Vascular Plants of BC which he authored with Douglas and Meidinger; and for ten years he strolled the streets and parks of Vancouver documenting every tree for his Trees of Vancouver book. This latter work seem to characterize his life in being meticulously accurate while being readable and available to all.
His numerous articles on myriad subjects grace journals and magazines on both sides of the border. From the rare to the commonplace, from tree to diminutive annual all were fascinating to Gerald and he in turn made them fascinating to us. I'm not sure I can recall a single plant that stumped him for an identification, such was his encyclopedic mind. His tours to the Siskyous, to Greece and Australia, often with David Tarrant were an inspiration for all who traveled with him. And I consider myself so fortunate spending weeks with Gerald botanizing in Northern BC and in California.
For years he battled failing health but, as he put it, "I've still got too many things to do". Where he found his strength to keep fighting back is a mystery to us all. Or is it? In the simple act of feeding his goldfish and watering plants in his patio garden Gerald found joy, delight and an excited anticipation for what next may bloom. The world is a poorer place with the loss of Gerald Straley but we are, all of us, richer for having known him.
To remember his life in a way most appropriate a celebration will take place at the UBC Botanical Garden on Saturday, January 31st, 1998 at 2 PM. Memorial donations may be made to UBC Botanical Garden, c/o Bruce Macdonald, 6804 Southwest Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4.
Dr. Richard S. Cowan (1921-1997) died 17 November 1997. Dr. Cowan was a botany curator and later the director of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. He was a co-author (with Dr. Frans Stafleu - see below) of the monumental work "Taxonomic Literature." After his retirement in 1985 he moved to Australia.
Prof. dr. Frans A. Stafleu (1921-1997) died on Tuesday, 16 December. He is well-known for his numerous activities in the IAPT (International Association for Plant Taxonomy) and affiliated organizations, and authorship of many papers. His name will be long associated with the impressive bibliographic series Taxonomic Literature and the journal Taxon.
Stephen C. Zoltai (1928-1997), a noted peatland expert, passed away Monday December 15, of cancer. Steve will be remembered for his gentle humour, his kindness, and his excellence in science.
The Invasive Plants of Canada (IPCAN) project was initiated in 1995 with the financial assistance of several federal departments in Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Natural Heritage Canada. Its purpose is the development of an information base on invasive plants and to facilitate information exchange and increase awareness of the impact of invasive plants on Canadian biodiversity.
The IPCAN had its origin in activities begun in the early 1990s by the Habitat Conservation Division of the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) to document the occurrence of invasive plants in natural habitats in Canada (White, Haber and Keddy 1993). This initial publication was followed by other activities such as the development of invasive plant databases and summary of occurrences of invasive plants and species at risk in National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (Haber 1995). These various activities were undertaken at a time when international concern was being expressed over the impact of the spread of invasive aliens. A document of particular interest that was published by the U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (1993), that summarizes the impact of harmful non-indigenous species in the United States is now accessible on the internet:
As part of the IPCAN activities, 10 fact sheets have been prepared on invasive plants, a national survey of biologists and plant specialists was conducted in 1996 to determine what species are of greatest concern and a monitoring guide to exotic plants was prepared. Databases of nine exotic plants have also been initiated for computer mapping and analysis and, in particular, to facilitate the development of range maps to show the historic spread of these plants since their introduction. To make these products widely available, an internet site was also established for the IPCAN:
In 1997, an Invasive Plants Alert (IPA) program was initiated as part of the IPCAN with the primary aims of promoting local actions, in particular by naturalist clubs, to monitor exotic plants and to undertake projects to control invasive plants. Initial funding for the IPA has been provided by the Biodiversity Convention Office, Environment Canada. With the assistance of the Canadian Nature Federation, naturalist clubs across Canada were contacted to solicit their participation in the IPA. To date, naturalist clubs and individuals in seven provinces have responded to a request for participation in the IPA. Club activities, especially those regarding the control or eradication of invasive species, as well as reports of significant findings of newly arrived exotic or invasive plants that are becoming troublesome, are published as information notices in the IPA Bulletin. This bulletin can be accessed through the IPCAN homepage or directly at the following URL:
Anyone with information on exotic species that appear to be aggressively spreading into natural areas and, especially if they are potentially a threat to provincially or nationally rare plants, is encouraged to contact the coordinator of the IPCAN. Of particular interest and need is precise site information on such exotic plants or of newly arrived exotics that appear to be spreading rapidly. Information provided by credible sources are entered as sight records into national databases being developed for monitoring purposes. Precise site coordinates (lat/long or UTM with full six and seven digit easting and northing values) are required for recording site locality. The general description of the location and extent of occurrence and threat to rare species or local biodiversity should also be provided. If coordinates cannot be provided, detailed location data using road map reference points and distances will also be accepted for documentation purposes. The receipt of such data by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) post or fax (613-722-6291) would be much appreciated.
Dr. Erich Haber, National Botanical Services, 604 Wavell Ave., Ottawa, ON, Canada K2A3A8 Tel: 613-722-5523, Fax: 613-722-6291
Two British amateur botanists, Andrew N. Gagg and Roger Whitehead, are working on a pair of linked projects to do with plant names. Andrew is collecting the names of the 30,000 or so species of the European flora, in as many European languages and dialects as he can find. So far, he has found few to many names in just a tenth of the 211 languages extant at the last count. He says, "It's all still to do"!
Roger's project is to collect old and current names of the British vascular flora, from Britain and its former colonies [before the time of King George III - AC]. He's gathering scientific, apothecaries', herbalists' and colloquial names. He's found about 8,000 names to date, for 2,200 species.
Andrew and Roger will be glad to exchange information on these topics with other readers. Their e-mail addresses are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
For more information see: http://www.gagg.mcmail.com/Babel.htm
Available from: Dr. S.R. Edwards, The Manchester Museum, Manchester University, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom. E-mail: email@example.com; web: http://www.man.ac.uk/museum/ Phone: +44 (0)161-275-2671/2; fax: +44 (0)161-275-2676
This is the first comprehensive catalogue of 'Common Names' of bryophytes of Britain and Ireland, together with some English names for non-British taxa, compiled by Dr Sean Edwards of the Manchester Museum. The detailed historical review demonstrates the long history of some English names back to J.J. Dillenius in 1742, and some even to Gerard's Herball (1597).
However, for many species, names have had to be newly coined, and this has been undertaken using defined guidelines and principles. For many taxa more than one published name was traced (it is remarkable how many English names actually appear in the literature: 4,865 distinct names with 7,680 references to them from 114 sources) and for these a `preferred name' is given in bold, followed by synonyms.
This is a well-sourced and meticulously cross-referenced, scientific treatment of a `popular' subject which can only be very good for publicising and popularising bryophytes. The catalogue is indexed both by botanical name and English name. Some names will no doubt be familiar to bryologists, such as Bog-moss (Sphagnum), Ostrich-plume Feather-moss (Ptilium crista-castrensis) and Wall Screw-moss (Tortula muralis), but many will be unfamiliar and thought-provoking, such as Two-horned Pincer-wort (Cephalozia bicuspidata), Thick-set Earwort (Scapania compacta), Mouget's Yoke-moss (Amphidium mougeotii) and Potato Bryum (Bryum bornholmense). A very fine publication and well worth the modest cost.
A new guide entitled "Grow Your Own Native Landscape - A Guide to Identifying, Propagating, and Landscaping with Western Washington Native Plants" is now available on line at the Native Plant Salvage Project web site at...
The manual provides information about plant identification (including graphics); obtaining plants through responsible salvaging, propagation and purchasing; and non-native invasive species. The online manual was developed by The Native Plant Salvage Project - (WSU Cooperative Extension - Thurston County).
Submissions, subscriptions, etc.: firstname.lastname@example.org. BEN is archived at http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/