ISSN 1188-603X

No. 217 March 18, 1999 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2



Due to an enthusiastically overwhelming response we have had to halt registration effective March 17, 1999 for this year's Botany BC Conference on Saltspring Island. A waiting list will be maintained in the event some of the registrants are unable to attend and people will be contacted in order of receipt of indication of interest. It will be a week or so before a complete list is available of those who are registered and those who are wait-listed.

A list of alternate accommodations on Saltspring will be available shortly for those registrants who were unable to get beds at Cedar Beach Resort. Transportation information packages will also be available in the near future. For further information regarding registration information please contact Elizabeth Easton by telephone at: (250) 953-3488 or by e-mail at: or fax at: (250) 387-0046.


Shelly, J.S., P. Lesica, P.G. Wolf, P.S. Soltis, & D.E. Soltis. 1999.
Systematic studies and conservation status of Claytonia lanceolata var. flava (Portulacaceae). Madroño 45(1998): 64-74.
Abstract. A biosystematic study of Claytonia lanceolata and related taxa in the Rocky Mountains was undertaken to evaluate the taxonomic status of C. lanceolata var. flava. This study was part of a broader assessment to determine the need for protection of the latter taxon under the federal Endangered Species Act. Electrophoretic and morphological studies revealed that C. lanceolata var. flava in southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming represents a distinct diploid species (n=8) whose populations consist of yellow- and/or white-flowered plants. Morphological, allozyme, and cytological data all indicate that this taxon does not belong in the C. lanceolata complex, but is best placed in the group of narrow-leaved species that includes C. rosea, C. tuberosa, and C. virginica. Numerous populations of C. lanceolata var. flava, most often consisting of the white-flowered phenotype, were found in Montana and Wyoming, and legal protection is not warranted at this time. In some cases, actions to conserve endangered plant taxa must be preceded by an evaluation of their taxonomic status; this study illustrates the utility of biosystematic techniques in conducting such evaluations. [The authors did not make formal nomenclatural changes, but left them for publication of a complete revision of the genus undertaken by Miller & Chambers.]


Whitt, M.B., H.H. Prince, & R.R. Cox jr. 1999.
Avian use of purple loosestrife dominated habitat relative to other vegetation types in a Lake Huron wetland complex. Wilson Bull. 111: 105-114.
Abstract. - Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), native to Europe, is an introduced perennial plant in North America wetlands that displaced other wetland plants. Although not well studied, purple loosestrife is widely believed to have little value as habitat for birds. To examine the value of purple loosestrife as avian breeding habitat, we conducted early, mid-, and late season bird surveys during two years (1994 and 1995) at 258 18-m (0.1 ha) fixed-radius plots in coastal wetlands of Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. We found that loosestrife-dominated habitats had higher avian densities, but lower avian diversities than other vegetation types. The six most commonly observed bird species in all habitats combined were Sedge Wren (Cistothorus platensis), Marsh Wren (C. palustris), Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), and Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). Swamp Sparrow densities were highest and Marsh Wren was lowest in loosestrife dominated habitats. We observed ten breeding species in loosestrife dominated habitats. We conclude that avian use of loosestrife warrants further quantitative investigation because avian use may be higher than is commonly believed.

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