Scott's Botanical Links--January 2002


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Past links:

January 31, 2002 - NAL Agricultural Thesaurus
The National Agricultural Library provides this thesaurus as a public service for describing, organizing and classifying agricultural resources in 17 broad areas, one of which is plants. Like any electronic thesaurus, there are links to more specific and less specific words. The Thesaurus Group of the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture facilitates creation of terminological hierarchies, which can be use as a tool to turn a database into a guide. For instance: "organisms > plants > ferns and fern allies > Equisetopsida > Equisetum" orders these in a hierarchy of relatedness. Site by NAL. (***1/2) -S
January 30, 2002 - Wayne's Word: A Newsletter of Natural History Trivia
This is an encore link, but one of the most dynamic ones presented on a non-paid basis! Wayne Armstrong (aka Mr. Wolffia) presents trivia on a multitude of plants (and plant topics) with incredible energy, graphical talent and painstaking accuracy to detail. The list of essays all look quite interesting and I could feature one a day for most of a month, and afterwards, I think that you would still enjoy them. The Wayne Word trivia page has enough data for a botanical game! Once again, this is one of my favorite sites, last featured 9/30/96, or 5 yr/5 mo ago and better than ever! And remember, that's Wayne's Word, not to be confused with Wayne's World. (****) -S
January 29, 2002 - Native Plant Information Network
This site hopes to "reconnect people to the land by providing them with the tools and resources needed to understand their ecological heritage, become better ecological citizens, and secure a sound ecological future." Sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, there are Texas Online and Native Plant Online sites. Online are a variety of useful resources in web format and PDF, including lists of recommended native plants by species, plant & seed source lists, landscapers, native plant organizations, and a bibliography. There also is a slide show and a variety of other links for learning about propagation, finding plant sources, treating & preventing plant disease. (***1/2) -S
January 28, 2002 - Premier Cactus Photo Gallery
Malcolm Pym has been collecting and photographing plants for thirty-five years and this site offers a glimpse of what his camera has seen. The hundreds of images on the site are mostly converted from film, but all of them that I have seen are excellent. The images are provided as a public service for identification, so the "save" function has been disabled; you will have to enjoy them online. Future plans call for more images and reference notes - definitely worth a look! Photographs and site by Malcolm Pym, somewhere in the UK. (****) -S
January 25, 2002 - Amorphophallus titanum
This page is a brief introduction to the world's largest flowering plant inflorescence, Amorphophallus titanum, or the Titan Arum (Araceae). This monstrous spadix can reach over 3 meters (10.75 ft) tall. With its proportionately large spathe, when the plant blooms outside of its native Sumatra, it is noteworthy. Male florets are located toward the top and female florets at the base, so it is a challenge to have pollen available when the stigma is receptive. The scent is overwhelming as this is a carrion flower! (***1/2) -S
January 24, 2002 - The Order Rafflesiales
Rafflesiales are strictly parasitic on roots or stems of other plants. Members lack chlorophyll and are so modified as to challenge beginning botanists. Members include Rafflesia arnoldii of the Malaysian jungle, which is the world's largest flower, with up to 1 m wide flowers weighing 11 kg (25 lbs). Most of the plant is underground, deriving nutrition from Tetrastigma, a member of the grape family, and the flowers are among the most foetid, attracting carrion flies as likely pollinators. Rafflesiales are among the most highly modified of flowering plants, and once seen, quite memorable. This one page site has enormous visual appeal. (***1/2) -S
January 23, 2002 - WattleWeb - Wattles of New South Wales
In Australia, the wattle (Acacia) is the largest genus of flowering plants, with over 960 species. People often can recognize that a given tree or shrub is a "wattle" but it is often difficult to identify it to species. This site features information about wattles, a clever interactive key, browser to many species descriptions, ecological information, and gardening with wattles. It is a bit visually impoverished but the information would be useful to anyone working on this plant or its near relatives. Site by Sydney Royal Botanic Garden. (***1/2) -S
January 22, 2002 - National Estuary Program
The mission of the National Estuary Program (NEP) is to restore and protect America's nationally significant estuaries. The site provides an excellent introduction to what estuaries are and why they are important, followed by information about related environmental law and regulation, challenges, estuaries in the NEP, program profiles, a "Coastlines" newsletter, links and success stories. Some of the key management issues discussed include nutrient overloading, pathogens, toxic chemicals, habitat loss & degradation, introduced species, alteration of natural flow regimes, and declines in fish & wildlife populations. This a well-organized and useful governmental and educational site. (****) -S
January 21, 2002 - Racist Relics: An Ugly Blight On Our Botanical Nomenclature
This is an encore presentation of this online article for Martin Luther King Day. Here we are in 2002 and some of these nomenclatural artifacts still exist. Melvin Hunter's article addresses the need to abandon racist names of plants. We as botanists should help make them extinct. The article is free at The Scientist, but you will need to provide an email address for access. Originally appeared in Vol 5, #23, November 25, 1991. (****)-SR
January 18, 2002 - Invasive Plants of Natural Habitats in Canada
In the modern world, every country is plagued by introduced plants that have escaped biological control. This site (also available in French) covers issues of alien plant invasiveness and control, species distributions, reduction methods, public policy statements, laws & acts relating to invasive plants and contacts for further information. Each species record contains alternate common names, a taxonomic overview, distribution, biology, ecology, present status, potential threat, control measures, survey summary and literature cited. Ten principal threats, a few modest threats and numerous minor threats are covered here. Site by Wildlife Habitat Conversation, Canadian Wildlife Service. (****) -S
January 17, 2002 - Canadian Biodiversity
Although this site (in French and English, naturally) was conceived, written and posted in Canada, many species are found in the U.S., sometimes occurring as far south as Mexico. There are many pages on the site including an introduction, a theory of biodiversity, Canada's ecozones (quite complete), patterns of biodiversity, species distributions, conservation issues, Canadian legislation, and links & references. A great place to start is page 4 of the introduction, a complete site map, in which each element of this extensive site is mapped and easy to browse. If you are looking for a given plant, animal, fungus, or any other group, there will be something here for you -- this contains the whole plant kingdom and much more -- quite remarkable. Site by Torsten Bernhardt, Redpath Museum of McGill University, with support of the Museums Assistance Program of Heritage Canada. (****) -S
January 16, 2002 - Plant Fact Sheets
Plant Fact Sheets from North Carolina State University cover more than 700 plants used horticulturally in the region. Species are listed by scientific name, common name, and growth habit. Individual data sheets include attractive images, and information on appropriate hardiness zone, habit, growth rate, light conditions, soil drainage, special microclimate needs, texture, form, height, width, flower/fruit or fructification, special comments and cultivars available, if any. This is a useful gardening source and worth a bookmark. (****) -S
January 15, 2002 - BMC Plant Biology
BMC Plant Biology is a new journal sponsored by BioMed Central that operates under a novel publishing strategy where authors pay the cost of publication and the scientific knowledge is free for everyone else. Initiated by NIH, this site also includes a variety of other journals with occasional plant content, including: BMC Biochemistry, BMC Bioinformatics, BMC Biotechnology, BMC Cell Biology, BMC Chemical Biology, BMC Developmental Biology, BMC Ecology, BMC Evolutionary Biology, BMC Genetics, BMC Genomics, BMC Molecular Biology, BMC Structural Biology, and Genome Biology (each accessible from a column on the left). The journal appears as manuscripts are selected. This was first featured June 5, 2000 when it was just a concept. Now there are 50 journals operating with open access, rapid review and digital publication. The jury is out about the success of this approach. (***1/2) -S
January 14, 2002 - California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch
This site provides authoritative reports on California plants including (1) a recent special plants list; (2) endangered, threatened and rare plants list; (3) guidelines for assessing effects of proposed projects on rare, threatened & endangered plants and natural communities. Reports are also provided on natural communities (with an exhaustive classification list) and habitats by county and list. These are typically PDFs but they are quite complete. This site is operated by the Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch, Habitat Conservation Division of the California Department of Fish and Game. (****) -SR

Past, past links (by date):

2006: January
2005: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2003: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2002: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2001: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2000: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1999: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1998: January*, February*, March*, April*, May*, June*, July, August, September, October, November, December   (*Leigh's links)
1997: January, February, March, April, May, June, September*, October*, November*, December*    (*Leigh's links)
1996: February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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