|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 470 August 15, email@example.com||Victoria, B.C.|
Botany BC 2013 toured Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks during the first week of August, 2013. Described by its founders as an "anarchic and spontaneous" gathering of botanists and botanical followers, Botany BC has convened at a different BC location each year since 1987. The organizers of this year's supposedly unorganized event were Tanis Gieselman, Andy MacKinnon, Justine McCulloch, Terry McIntosh, Daniel Mosquin, Mandy Ross, Laura Super and Elizabeth Easton.
Most of the three-day botanical event was taken up with field trips. In the evenings, however, the group put aside their plant lists and gathered at the Revelstoke Senior Citizens Association Hall to enjoy catered meals and topical papers. Andy MacKinnon, co-author of the recently published Alpine Plants of British Columbia, Alberta, & Northwest North America (Edmonton, Alberta: Lone Pine Publishing, 2013), launched the event on the first night with a talk on the ecological constraints of life above the tree line. It ain't easy, Andy pointed out, eking out a living where it's high and cold.
Next day the fifty-plus attendees of Botany BC met at the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk in nearby Mount Revelstoke National Park to tour riverine and marsh ecosystems, and also to sample flora in the forest areas above the boardwalk. Mike Miller and Verena Blasy led the walks.
After lunch, the group drove on to the Illecillewaet Campground of Glacier National Park and followed Mike Miller up the Asulkan Valley trail to the glaciers. Among the interesting plant taxa observed was the blue listed Epilobium x treleasianum [= E. ciliatum subsp._glandulosum X E. luteum].
Returning to Revelstoke in the late afternoon, attendees enjoyed a dinner catered by a women's group from the Revelstoke United Church. After dinner, the group listened to Anne Sherrod's introduction to the incomparable Incomappleux River Valley and applauded as she described efforts to achieve protected status for the valley's old growth habitats. Ken Lavelle, Stewardship Officer of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, described efforts to save the subalpine Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis) from the ravages of White Pine Blister Rust (Cronartium ribicola), which was introduced from Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The final day of the 2013 Botany BC was a subalpine/alpine foray at the top of Mount Revelstoke. Attendees drove the 25 kilometres up the mountain to the trailhead and met with Frederico Osorio, a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia, on a tour of botanical plots laid out and inventoried in the 1970s and re-inventoried in 2011. Weary hikers returned to Revelstoke at the end of the day, and, after a banquet provided by the Revelstoke Knights of Columbus, heard talks by the University of Alberta's Rob Serrouya and the Conservation Data Centre's Jenifer Penny. Rob reviewed recent efforts to halt the decline in the BC Mountain Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) populations. He described efforts to control moose populations, thereby reducing the number of wolf predators on the moose and, ultimately, it is hoped, reducing Caribou by-catch by wolves. Jenifer talked about rare plants in the calcareous habitats of Southeastern British Columbia.
Next year's location was decided, as custom decreed, by a short AGM on Saturday night. (Can anarchic groups have AGMs?) Botany BC 2014 will take place in Sooke, British Columbia.
[Editorial note: For more on Epilobium X treleasianum in British Columbia see Patrick Williston (2004): Notes on the type locality of Epilobium x treleasianum (Onagraceae), a rare western North American willowherb. BEN 336
November 10, 2004 http://bomi.ou.edu/ben/ben336.html It was also seen in Manning Park during the BOTANY BC 2012: http://bomi.ou.edu/ben/ben460.html]
The headquarter of this year's foray will be at the Thomson Rivers University Research & Education Center, across from "Edgewood Blue" 5369 Clearwater Valley Rd. A list of accommodations is on the http://www.wellsgray.ca/ website. Because we are limited to 30 participants, registration will be on a first come, first served basis. Registration Fee $25 (cheque payable to the UBC Herbarium). Registration form is available at http://www.beatymuseum.ubc.ca/images/BryoLich%20foray%20Registration2013-2.pdf
Mail to: UBC Herbarium Dept. of Botany University of British Columbia #3529-6270 University Blvd. Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z4
From: Garrett E. Crow, Michigan State University Herbarium, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
McPherson, Stewart and Donald Schnell. 2012. Field Guide to the Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada. Redfern Natural History Productions Ltd., Poole, Dorset, England. 200 p. ISBN 978-1-908787-08-8 (soft cover). Price: £12.99. Available from: http://www.redfernnaturalhistory.com/
This welcome field guide to the carnivorous plants occurring in North America is a handy book that can easily be carried out in the field. Perhaps the thing that strikes one first is the stunningly beautiful photographs, some of which are presented as full-page, without borders. The field guide is profusely illustrated (with 300 images-largely provided by Stewart McPherson and Barry Rice, with 36 others contributing photos), covering 4 families (Bromeliaceae, Droseraceae, Lentibulariaceae, Sarraceniaceae), 8 native genera (Catopsis, Dionaea, Drosera, Pinguicula, Utricularia, Darlingtonia Sarracenia), and 47 species; additionally numerous infraspecific taxa are included, chiefly varieties and color forms within the genus Sarracenia—perhaps as a consequence of the authors having just published a new book on the Sarraceniaceae (McPherson and Schnell 2011).
Also included in this Field Guide is an Old World aquatic plant of the Droseraceae, Aldrovanda vesiculosa (waterwheel plant), apparently recently introduced locally in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.
The book is organized alphabetically, first by family—giving brief comments, then by genus—with brief generic information, a section on plant structure for the genus, a generalized diagram representing the genus, and comments on habitat and ecology. Species are then alphabetically arranged, giving scientific name and author, common name, literature for the original description (although none cited for taxa transferred to another genus or another taxonomic level), and derivation of specific epithet, along with general geographical distribution (no maps), habitat, and descriptive features (vegetative and floral), and occasionally taxonomic comments. Toward the end there is a section enumerating natural North American carnivorous plant hybrids. The book concludes with a brief discussion addressing issues of conservation of North American carnivorous plants. I only wish that the book included some kind of key to help distinguish those taxa which are rather similar—although the text does address such potential problems of misidentification of certain "look-alikes" and "species pairs." There is no table of contents nor an index.
Although a wealth of information is presented in this handy "field-friendly" book, I was surprised to find a bibliography of only 2 references. Perhaps this is because the authors feel that their other published works more fully cite literature sources. For instance, Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada, 2nd Edition (Schnell, 2002) provides an extensive bibliography citing his sources. And I was also surprised that none of the 300 images are attributed to Donald Schnell. Was this to avoid duplication of information he presented in his second edition. Should that be the case, I believe it appropriate to emphasized that this new Field Guide does not replace Schnell's classic reference on our native carnivorous plants, which is full of very valuable information on the biology of these fascinating plants as well as their taxonomy, and is well illustrated with many excellent photos and diagrams.
As you would expect with any work dealing with taxonomic diversity, not all botanists will be in agreement as to the taxonomy adopted. For instance, in my taxonomic treatment of Lentibulariaceae for Flora North America North of Mexico (Crow, in press), I treat Utricularia macrorhiza as a subspecies within Utricularia vulgaris (as U. vulgaris subsp. macrorhiza (Laconte ex Torrey) R. T. Clausen). I made this decision after careful comparison of specimens of the European U. vulgaris subsp. vulgaris) with North American specimens, and given the variation exhibited in these plants, and the differences between the two taxa as so minor, I felt it best to treat these as a single species. Furthermore, reexamination of my own specimens collected from western Siberia demonstrated that those specimens were also of subsp. macrorhiza, and I came to the realization that subsp. macrorhiza is the taxon with the greater geographical range (North America and east Asia westward to western Siberia). Similarly, I regard what is treated in the Field Guide as Pinguicula macroceras as conspecific with P. vulgaris—the differences being extremely minor—yet I retain subspecific rank for the usually larger-flowered subsp. macroceras because the geographic ranges are largely allopatric; yet occasionally specimens occur that cannot be readily assigned to either taxon.
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