Scott's Botanical Links--August 1999


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August 31, 1999 - Major Biomes of the World
For brushing up on eight of the world's major biomes, here's a module covering characteristic growth forms and taxonomic affiliations of the vegetation; major soil order(s); and common adaptations of the fauna of the tundra, boreal forest, temperate broadleaf deciduous forest, tropical broadleaf evergreen forest, tropical savanna, temperate grasslands, desert scrub, and Mediterranean shrub biomes. Supplemented with a Biogeography Glossary, the module provides basic descriptions, maps, and photographs for an extended range of application to studies in geography and biogeography as well as plant taxonomy and ecology. Site by Susan L. Woodward, Radford University, Radford, Virginia.(****)LF
August 30, 1999 - The Botanical Pages
Eclectic, and with an Australian flair, this author's botanical pages contain an assortment of well-done special interest articles. "Watsonia in Australian Gardens" features great images of commonly grown species, hybrids, and cultivars; "Notes on Lycoris Species" describes members of this ornamental genus of Amaryllidaceae. "Flower Colour in Chasmanthe" explains that the red and yellow variants may differ by a single gene, and "Centrolepidaceae" introduces a group of odd grass-like plants that are adapted to live in impoverished habitats. On a broader note, linked from a list of plant families present, there are Checklists of Exotic Plant Species known to be in cultivation in Australian horticulture which many botanists may value. Site by David Cooke, Australia.(****)LF
August 27, 1999 - National Wetlands Research Center Education
The National Wetlands Research Center was founded in 1975 as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of Biological Services. It is now one of 16 science centers of the Biological Resources Division of the U. S. Geological Survey, conducting studies throughout the Southeastern U.S.,Texas, and Mexico. The NWRC Education Page indexes links to its resources, teaching guides and lesson plans for elementary through high school science, on the subject of wetlands ecology. "Fragile Fringe" is designed for lower and middle school while "Wetland Science Lesson Plans," created during two years of the USL Summer Science Program, include lots of pond biology for high school teaching needs. Site by NWRC, University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette.(****)LF
August 26, 1999 - Echinocereus Online
Available in German and English, this publication is purported to be, "The first elektronic magazine about the genus Echinocereus." The photography is exceptional, of a number species, and includes an index of natural habitat photos and close-ups of plant parts indexed by species. This is the place to find all the best Echinocereus action on the net- Echinocereus supplies, Etymology, and Links. Cacti enthusiasts will find this to be an indispensable site by Martina & Andreas Ohr, Germany.(****)LF
August 25, 1999 - The Chlamydomonas Teaching Center
Of course the key to keyword searching is proper spelling, and those who inadvertently wander onto this site in search of Chlamydia will be promptly ushered on to Yahoo. This resource is dedicated to the culture and benefits of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as both a research and teaching organism. Find out how to grow and mate it, how to teach with it, use it in experiments, or get in touch with genuine members of the "Chlamy Crowd" who know all about this popular little single-celled, biflagellated green alga, at this site by Mike Adams, Biology Department,Eastern Connecticut State University Willimantic, CT.(****)LF
August 24, 1999 - National Biological Information Infrastructure
USGS is around every corner with a website it seems. This one's a gateway to biological data maintained by all levels of government agencies and cooperating partners, if you can get to it, presumably via the mystifying Metadata Clearinghouse feature. For the less sophisticated surfer, Hot Topics include "Frogweb," with a Focus on Amphibian Declines and Deformities and "Biology in the News" which lists numerous sites with daily science news updates. There are also botany and biodiversity sections, educational resources, and the The NBII web search function for keywords. Overall, there's promise here for an all-around useful biological bookmark. Site by NBII National Program Office, Reston, Virginia.(****)LF
August 23, 1999 - Live Fences
The benefits of live fences in tropical agriculture are many. Aside from restricting the general flow of traffic across lands, they provide a harvest of ornamental, edible and medicinal crops unto themselves, and are more pleasing visually and less expensive overall than barbed wire. The botany of living fence posts or fences is the fascinating topic of this web article, complete with introductory text, photographs, and bibliography. Site by Stefan Cherry and Erick Fernandes, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.(****)LF
August 20, 1999 - State Lists of Endangered Species Under Fish and Wildlife Service Jurisdiction
FWS has gotten very well organized in its Endangered Species pages, where one of the more useful spots of the website to bookmark is "State Lists of Endangered Species Under Fish and Wildlife Service Jurisdiction* (by Service Region). " From here Lists are accessed by Region, or a clickable map which seems to be out of service, or the complete file of Species Lists by State. For each State, plants and animals are tallied from year to year; entries on the List are linked to their own information link page, many with images. Site by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species, Branch of Information Management.(****)LF
August 19, 1999 - Federal Science and Technology Websites
Here's one of the best kept secrets on the internet- unless the web counter is fully malfunctional. It's a one-page guide to federal websites organized by Subject, Branch of Government, Libraries, Archives, Museums, & Scholarly Communication, and Other Websites with Additional Information. Handy and efficient, this is the bookmark to have for avoiding frustration trying to find those elusive government sites which tend to get buried in the search engines. This is a great concept and design, compiled by the Science Team, Texas Tech University Library, Bill Johnson, Jack Becker, Michael Golden, Susan Hidalgo, Susan Norrisey, and Brian Quinn; TTU, Lubbock, Texas.(****)LF
August 18, 1999 - Plant Biology Images
Within the summary of courses taught by the professor/author of this website at Eastern Oregon University, is a link to her plant-bio image gallery for home study by students of BOT 201 and 202, and for anyone else wishing to use it for non-commercial, academic purpose. Topics currently covered by the collection of labelled slides are: Herbaceous Stems, Leaves, Roots, Embryos, Fruits, Fungi, Protista, and Non-vascular plants (Mosses, Liverworts). Site by Dr. Karen Antell, Associate Professor of Biology, Eastern Oregon University, La Grande, Oregon.(****)LF
August 17, 1999 - Plants of Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp
Fortunately in the days of American wilderness exploitation, a few men like Francis Beidler obtained lands they couldn't bear to devastate. In 1969, the Audubon Society raised money to purchase his family holdings in Calhoun County, South Carolina, so that today, the Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp maintains the largest remaining virgin stand of bald cypress and tupelo gum trees yet standing in the world. Richard D. Porcher's article (reprinted from Castanea 46:248-280. 1981) describes the tallest cypress trees at around 120 feet, up to six feet in diameter, 700 to 800 years old, growing with a tupelo gum sub-canopy approximately 80 feet tall. Studies of the forest and its subtle vegetational community types by Radford et al. have contributed to new disctinctions in swamp ecology. The author of this website has done an excellent job presenting the importance of this preserve with her article, photos, and the supportive academic literature. Site by Gail Lang, Summerville, South Carolina.(****)LF
August 16, 1999 - Mercury Cycling in the Everglades ENR Areas
Environmental problems in South Florida rate a variety of Task Forces, Commissions, and Investigations these days. Now the Department of the Interior is publishing USGS findings on the presence of methylmercury in the everglades ecosystem, a problem which has for years caused the health department to label freshwater fish throughout several counties "unfit for human consumption." These pages include data, abstracts, and under Fact Sheets, an in-depth presentation of Mercury Studies in the Everglades. Check out the superb color poster of panthers and herons at the top of the food chain lapping up atmospherically deposited mercury, methylated in the waters of the everglades, which quite frankly are believed by at least one Florida botanist to be methane-enriched due to the loss of gas-venting swampland! Site by Investigator: David P.Krabbenhoft, U.S. Geological Survey,Madison, Wisconsin.(****)LF
August 13, 1999 - John Kunkel Small Photo Collection
John Kunkel Small's doctoral thesis, "Flora of the Southeastern United States," launched his career as one of the world's foremost taxonomists. He became curator of the newly-founded New York Botanical Garden in 1898, where he devoted his life's work. Small traveled to Florida for the first time in 1901 exploring and photographing the state's tropical hammocks, its flora and other inhabitants, through the patronage of Charles Deering. The Florida State Archives has 3,600 of these old-time photographs online, reproduced from prints and glass plate negatives. Along with Small's botanical expeditions, the photographs portray Florida's Seminole Indians, Indian mounds, lighthouses, sugar cane processing, arrowroot starch mills, the plant introduction station at Miami, and the Royal Palm Park (now the Everglades National Park) in the early part of this century. Site by Joan Morris, Supervisor, Florida Photographic Collection, Florida State Archives, Tallahassee.(****)LF
August 12, 1999 - SULIS: Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series
In the interest of long-range conservation of resources and a more aesthetically pleasing future, SULIS is a very attractive website used to provide sustainable landscape information to the public and to the horticulture/landscape industry. Its general principles and guidance through the design process can be applied to landscaping in any hardiness zone. The series is divided into the basic stages of landscape creation- Design, Plant Selection, Implementation, and Maintenance, and includes "Plant Elements of Design, A Plant Selection Program" for viewing various materials according to their desired characteristics entered into the program. Following the SULIS process, property owners in all walks of life can avoid expensive planting errors and maintenance nightmares while contributing to the ecosystem besides. Site by Communication and Educational Technology Services, University of Minnesota Extension Service, University of Minnesota, St. Paul.(****)LF
August 11, 1999 - Centex Naturalist
The "Centex Naturalist" leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the natural wonders of Central Texas. From diatoms to Anasazi structures, this is one of the most intriguing one-man presentations yet on the natural history of a locality. Pages like these for every county would make travel a lot more interesting by supplying foreknowledge of most all the organisms one may encounter while passing through! Under Botany, Mushrooms, Lichens, Liverworts, Mosses, Ferns, and Wildflowers of Miller Springs Nature Center are represented. Not only is this also an excellent site for field-studying invertebrates, an extraordinary Science Curriculum for Third through Fifth Grade has its own list of irresistible links. Site by Jerry Evans, Bell County, Texas.(****)LF
August 10, 1999 - Biology 211: Flowering Plant Taxonomy
Here's a fun place for those getting introduced to Flowering Plant Taxonomy, principles and practice, featuring a photographic "Tour of Required Flowering Plant Families" (60 in all), designed to enhance sight recognition of each; and a polyclave key of world-wide scope which groups families according to selected characters. Additional goodies include a checklist of 2,916 Vascular Plants Native and Naturalized in New England, Field Trip Photos, and a super page of related resources. Site by Ray Phillips, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of Information Technology Services, Colby College, Waterville, Maine.(****)LF
August 9, 1999 - Arid Lands Information Center
ALIC provides specialized information on drylands to the University of Arizona community, government agencies, international development organizations and the world public. Some 30,000 documents are distributed from the center worldwide, including The Arid Lands Newsletter, published semi-annually. Hiding behind a Home Page of stark simplicity, many of these articles are available on different websites the center is employing to enhance information dissemination. "Information Resources" opens with an USGS Introduction to Deserts, while the other numerous resources, categorized under Scientific Aspects or Human Aspects, are created from ALIC data, projects and studies. Two features in the Plant department are "Desert Vegetable Crop Production," by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and Office of Arid Lands Studies (OALS) and "Low-Water Use and Drought Tolerant Plants," by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. If you've heard enough about wetlands lately, don't miss this site by Michael Haseltine, Office of Arid Lands Studies, Tucson, Arizona.(****)LF
August 6, 1999 - The USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program
Called a "high priority element " of NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program, the USGS - NPS Vegetation Mapping Program is busy generating data to promote vegetation-related research at various parks around the United States, to improve and assist NPS resource management operations. This largest undertaking ever in the history of the National Park Service comes with oodles of protocols like the Standardized National Vegetation Classification System which produced "Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States: The National Vegetation Classification System Volumes I and II, stated to be the first standardized classification of the terrestrial ecological communities of the United States standardized enough to provide a base for making local decisions. "Products," so far by park, include classification, photographs and field data of the studied vegetation communities. Site by the USGS Biological Resources Center for Biological Informatics (CBI), Denver, Colorado.(****)LF
August 5, 1999 - Plant Biology at OSU Lima
Along with the campus inventory of important trees and wildflowers, this Department of Biology site features a collection of classic Plant Biology 101 images that is a "virtual lab" unto itself. Beginning with slides of organelles in living cells and onion root tip mitosis, a study of plant tissues xylem, phloem, parenchyma, collenchyma and sclerenchyma proceeds to leaves and leaf anatomy, stems, and roots. Next a survey of Plant Diversity covers all from Kingdom Monera through Flowering Plants. To top off the fare, "Flowering Plant Reproduction, Meiosis" illustrates pollen (male gametophyte) development, female gametophyte development, meiosis, fertilization, seed and fruit development, and cross-sectional aspects of flower buds. Site by the Biology Department at Ohio State University, Lima.(****)LF
August 4, 1999 - Earth History Resources
Having trouble with Geologic Time? In this creative resource, "A Pictorial History of Life Through Time" has a very easy-to-digest timetable hyperlinked to illustrated text for each era. An additional "Geologic Timeline" reduces earth history to a manageable half-day, while interested parties are invited to dig in and create their own presentations utilizing any of the intriguing slides of the mammoth site and its findings, in Hot Springs, South Dakota. And for rainy days and shut-ins there's a set of virtual museums with cut and fold instructions- a series of colorful graphics to print and make into museum dioramas which can be arranged into their geologic sequence! Site by Ron Thomas and Carl Wozniak, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan.(****)LF
August 3, 1999 - University of Connecticut Plant Database
This developing campus ornamentals database of plants of the Northeast, features many maples, firs, spruce, and junipers with facts and images concerning Habitat, Habit and Form, Summer Foliage, Autumn Foliage, Flowers, Fruits, Bark, Culture, Landscape Uses, Liabilities, Identifying Features, Propagation, and on-campus Cultivars/Varieties. The outstanding feature of this site is the PLSC 260 - Deciduous Woody Plant Species "Plant Material Walks," of which there are ten. They begin with a Map and the Plant List. Each plant is shown in a panoramic shot of its campus location, linked to a closeup of the campus specimen and to the page in the database where more detailed photos and facts can be found. What a great resource for teaching plants and bringing them into everyday campus life! Site by Kimberly Mason Philp, Department of Plant Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs.(****)LF
August 2, 1999 - Cacti and other Succulents that are Hardy in Denmark
On "Benny's Yucca Page" Benny Møller Jensen has put together quite a bit of useful information on the genus Yucca, from germination and cultivation to a list of 250 Yucca names (which might easily be overlooked as a feature of this website in favor of the 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer). A detailed article on construction of outdoor beds for hardy cactus, illustrated with images of his own beds and greenhouses, shows expertise in the cultivation and use of Yucca and other cacti as ornamentals in cold climates. Find also a number of Opuntia images and a collection of various succulents at this site by Benny Møller Jensen, Hjørring, Denmark.(***3/4)LF

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