|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 459 September 24, email@example.com||Victoria, B.C.|
The Burns Bog Conservation Society is thrilled to announce that the Government of Canada has joined 20 682 hectares of Lower Mainland wetlands into the newly-renamed Fraser River Delta Ramsar Site. The new Ramsar site designation includes all of Burns Bog, and affirms the area's deep ecological significance to British Columbia and the international community.
Today's announcement is the result of over two decades of conservation work. The original proposal to declare Burns Bog a Ramsar site was brought forward by Rob Stoneman of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, at the International Peat Society's Congress seventeen years ago in 1995.
"The news about The Fraser River Delta [Ramsar site] is a great step in the right direction for Canada, and all the wetlands around the world," stated Dr. David James Bellamy OBE, keynote speaker at the 1995 Congress. "It's been a long wait, but worth it," said Eliza Olson, President of the Burns Bog Conservation Society. The expanded definition of the Fraser River Delta Ramsar Site includes Sturgeon Bank, South Arm Marshes, Boundary Bay, Serpentine, and the former Alaksen Ramsar Site.
Burns Bog Environmental Conservation Area, created in 2004, is a collective covenant between four levels of government. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, created in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the "wise use" of wetlands of international importance.
The new Ramsar site designation comes as the area is threatened by development proposals. This includes the South Fraser Perimeter Road, and a rezoning application by MK Delta Lands Group. "As wonderful as the Ramsar designation is, it won't stop the destruction of Burns Bog unless the federal government honours its commitments to the Ramsar Convention," said Ms. Olson. Over two thousand people have signed a petition to stop the development of 89 acres of unprotected bogland at Highway 91 and 72nd Avenue.
The South Fraser Delta wetlands form an internationally critical migratory stopover for the locally endangered Sandhill Crane, and are crucial in regulating air quality in the greater Vancouver area. They are a deeply significant salmon habitat during the feeding and rearing phase, as the fish migrate from the Fraser River to the Pacific Ocean.
The following two reports deal with the botany and vegetation of Burns Bog: Hebda, R.J., K. Gustavson, K. Golinski and A.M. Calder, 2000. Burns Bog Ecosystem Review Synthesis Report for Burns Bog, Fraser River Delta, South-western British Columbia, Canada. Environmental Assessment Office, Victoria, BC. http://www.burnsbog.org/bog/wp-content/uploads/Burns-Bog-Ecosystem-Review.pdf
Madrone Consultants Ltd., 1999. Burns Bog Ecosystem Review. Plants and Plant Communities. Report prepared for Delta Fraser Properties Partnership and the Environmental Assessment Office in support of the Burns Bog Ecosystem Review, with additional work on publicly owned lands conducted for the Environmental Assessment Office in association with the Corporation of Delta. Madrone Consultants Ltd., Duncan, BC. http://a100.gov.bc.ca/appsdata/epic/documents/p60/1036435221990_16af42884ae64e0f8553d621be48be92.pdf
In their recent article, T. Niskanen et al. 2012 , the authors described 5 new species of Cortinarius, including three that also occur in British Columbia. The description of one of them (Cortinarius brunneotinctus Niskanen, Liimat., Ammirati, A. Paul & Lebeuf) cited three specimens collected in Burns Bog by O. Ceska during her 1999 botanical survey of the Bog. See: http://mushroomobserver.org/109448
Niskanen et al. 2012. New Cortinarius species from conifer-dominated forests of North America and Europe. Botany 90: 743-754.
In 2010, Steve Joya found a large patch of Plagiomnium growing along a wall near a sidewalk in central Vancouver. Although it first looked like Plagiomnium insigne, a fairly common moss in coastal BC urban habitats, later examination showed that it was Plagiomnium undulatum, a Eurasian-North African species (Smith 2004). Steve Joya has since found this species in scattered locations in Vancouver, including Stanley Park, as well as in the Oak Bay area in Victoria. It appears to be an introduction from Europe that has probably been overlooked in the past.
Plagiomnium undulatum is characterized mainly by an irregularly dendroid growth form, with 10 to15 cm long, often arching, sterile branches near the tops of stems, and its transversely undulate (most noticeable when wet), narrowly ligulate or lingulate, 6--12 mm long leaves. To date, only sterile patches lacking sporophytes have been observed. The narrow, undulate leaves and the dendroid growth habit in well-developed plants readily distinguish it from Plagiomnium insigne.
It is highly likely that more patches of this species are extant in the northwest, especially in the Victoria area, but also in other urban areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Mycologue Publications and the Haida Gwaii Museum are happy to announce the publication of The Outer Spores - Mushrooms of Haida Gwaii a new book about the fungi of Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). The authors visited this archipelago off the north west coast of British Columbia many times over a 5-year period, and collected on many of its islands in order to compile a database of its macrofungi (and some microfungi). We collected over 600 species, and these are carefully documented in text and almost 300 sparkling colour photographs in the book. Special emphasis has been placed on the nature of fungi, their nutritional and ecological groups (mycorrhizal, saprobic, parasitic, dune-inhabiting, carcass-exploiting), and their cultural aspects, including edible, poisonous and hallucinogenic species. A number of rare, and in some cases possibly undescribed, fungi are documented, as is our progress in accumulating taxa over the five years.
Andy MacKinnon says about The Outer Spores: "This is a terrific book, lavishly illustrated and deliciously idiosyncratic. It's not a field guide to mushroom identification, per se, though it will assist those looking to become sated or stoned. The Outer Spores is eminently readable and, as a bonus, the title is an excellent pun."
This 200-page book is a unique exploration of a unique habitat, and belongs on every mycologist's bookshelf. Copies can be ordered from Mycologue Publications, 8727 Lochside Drive, Sidney, BC, Canada V8L 1M8. Prepayment of $25 plus shipping is requested.
Dr. Naohiro Naruhashi is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toyama and a Research Associate of the Osaka Museum of Natural History. He has studied taxonomy and biosystematics of Japanese plants, especially of the genus Rubus and Fritillaria. In 1981 Dr. Naruhashi began photographing flowers of the Rosaceae family, and in the period of 23 years between 1981 and 2003 he amassed a substantial collection of UV photographs. With the help of the Osaka Museum of Natural History, this unique collection is now available to the botanical public in an interesting book.
After the introduction and description of the photographic technique (both in Japanese and English), the book presents photos of 306 taxa of Rosaceae that belong to 41 genera. Each page has two photographs of the same flower or flowers. Those in the upper half of the page were taken in visible light, the lower part then shows the same flower(s) in the UV light. There are several instances where the flowers of the same species differ in their UV patterns. In those cases both UV variants are shown, and on different plates labelled "A" and "B".
Many photographs were taken in the Toyama University Botanical Garden, but quite a few of them came from Dr. Naruhashi's botanical trips. There are some photographs that Dr. Naruhashi took at during a plant collecting trip in 1989 to Cathedral Lakes, Manning Park, Mount Kobau, & Keremeous that was sponsored by the Royal British Columbia Museum. These photos, as well as the photos from The Olympic National Park, are a warm reminder of our joint botanical fieldwork 23 years ago.
Dr. Naruhashi's collection of UV photos will be of interest to botanists, plant taxonomists, and is also an important source of information for pollination biologists.
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