ISSN 1188-603X

No. 296 October 8, 2002 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2

EUGENE ODUM (1913-2002)

From: Janice Sand [], originally posted in ECOLOG-L

On August 10, 2002, Dr. Eugene Odum passed away doing something that he truly loved, gardening. To say he will be missed would be an understatement. He touched many lives.

Eugene Odum was born September 17, 1913. He grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where his father, Howard W. Odum, was a professor of sociology. Eugene Odum's brother, named Howard after their father, was born in 1924 and was to become a noted ecologist as well.

Eugene Odum showed a deep interest in birds as a teenager in Chapel Hill And with a friend named Coit Coker began a column called Bird life in Chapel Hill in the local newspaper in the spring of 1931. When Odum graduated from high school in 1929, his class presented him with a comb because his wind-blown hair was never neat.

He received his bachelor's and master's from the University of North Carolina and spent one formative summer as at the Allegheny School of Natural History. His first faculty post was in the department of biology at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1937, he entered the University of Illinois to work on his doctoral degree.

After graduation, he took a job as a resident naturalist for the Hyuck Preserve in upstate New York. He also married Martha Ann Huff, to whom he was married until her death in 1995. While at the Hyuck Preserve, Odum began research on birds and their habitats, research that would led him to a greater understanding of how entire ecosystems work.

The more Odum thought about ecosystems, the more he was convinced that there should be a way to study how one part affects another. Yet this was in a day when there were no computers. Only crude tools were available to understand how biological and physical systems interacted. And yet, with the single-minded determination that became the hallmark of his method, Odum set about creating a discipline that took a revolutionary view of how ecosystems worked.

In the fall of 1940, Odum took a full-time job as an instructor of zoology at the University of Georgia. He was the only ecologist in a department of five faculty members, none of whom thought much about his ideas of studying entire ecosystems.

Before he could develop his ideas further, World War II exploded. Odum spent three years helping teach science to nurses, pharmacy-mates and pre-medical personnel. He even found time to coach the UGA tennis team.

In 1951, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) made a decision that would have a profound affect on Odum's career and the future of ecology.

The AEC had earlier built the Savannah River Site on land in South Carolina just across the line from Georgia. To see if the site had any effect on nearby plants and animals, it proposed an ecological laboratory.

The AEC selected a proposal developed by Odum as a basis for what would become the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Suddenly Odum found himself with one of the largest, self-contained environmental laboratories on earth, some 300 square miles of property off limits to the public.

He helped set up research projects at the site, but one thing was still lacking for the consistent study of ecosystem ecology: a textbook. There had been many books on the ecology of parts of the natural world for years but there was no single book that examined the entire ecosystem, starting from the top down.

His book, Fundamentals of Ecology, was, for an astonishing 10 years, the only textbook available worldwide on ecosystem ecology. It was translated Into many languages and was crucial in the training of an entire generation of ecologists. Odum argued that ecology was not a subdivision of biology or anything else. Instead, he said it should be an integrated discipline that brings all of the sciences together instead of breaking them apart.

Odum was also deeply involved in the establishment of and staffing of the UGA Marine Institute on Georgia's Sapelo Island, which has continued its mission of marine research for more than 40 years. All of Odum's varied pursuits came together when the University's Institute of Ecology was founded in 1960, with Odum as its first director. It immediately made a name for itself, training a generation of scientists committed to Odum's holistic method of looking at the world around us.

In addition to Fundamentals of Ecology, Odum published more than a dozen other books.

Numerous honors came Odum's way during his long professional life. He was elected to the National Academy of Science and was named an honorary member of the British Ecological Society. With his brother, Howard W. Odum, he received the $80,000 international "Institut de la Vie" prize from the French government. He also received the Tyler Ecology Award and a check for $150,000, presented by then-President Jimmy Carter in ceremonies at the White House.

In 1987, Eugene and Howard Odum won the Craaford Prize given by the Royal Swedish Academy, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize, which is not awarded in ecology. Eugene Odum's share of the money, $125,000 went to set up a private foundation for the promotion of research and education in ecology.

Odum retired from the University of Georgia in 1984 but he never stopped coming to work every day and published his last book in 1998, Ecological Vignettes. He was also the subject of a documentary film that aired a number of times on Georgia Public Television and which has been used in ecology classes on campus.

Odum was preceded in death by his wife, Martha and two sons. William Eugene Odum, also an ecologist, died after a brief illness in 1991, and Daniel Thomas Odum died in 1987.


Howard Thomas Odum, a founder of the modern science of ecology and an influential voice in the restoration of the Everglades, died on September 11, 2002. He was 78.

Howard Odum, who founded the Center for Wetlands at the University of Florida, played a central role in environmental projects in that state. His study of the ecology of South Florida in the 1970's, financed by the state and the federal Department of the Interior, anticipated much of the Everglades restoration that is under way. Dr. Odum earned his doctorate in zoology from Yale in 1951. He taught at Florida, Duke, the University of Texas, the University of Puerto Rico and the University of North Carolina before returning to Florida in 1970. He wrote 15 books and more than 300 scientific papers. His most recent book, A Prosperous Way Down (2001), written with his wife, Elisabeth C. Odum, discusses the prospects for a prosperous future as supplies of fossil fuels dwindle. A revised edition of his 1971 book Environment, Power and Society is to be published next year.


Austrian mycologist Meinhard Moser died on September 30, 2002. Swedish bryologist Elsa Nyholm passed away on October 1, 2002.


From: Mary Clay Stensvold [], Donald R. Farrar [], & Cindy Johnson-Groh []

In our recent article published in the American Fern Journal (Stensvold et al. 2002) we described two new species of Botrychium from Alaska: Botrychium tunux and Botrychium yaakudakeit. These ferns are distinguished from Botrychium lunaria, with which they have been confused, by allozyme data and their morphological characteristics. Ploidy levels of B. tunux (diploid) and B. yaaxudakeit (tetraploid) are inferred from allozyme patterns. In the paper we presented a key to the species of Botrychium subgenus Botrychium in Alaska, in which we also included Botrychium alaskense that was described by Wagner & Grant (2002) in the same issue as our paper. The key is posted here with the permission of the American Fern Journal.

Key to the species of Botrychium subgenus Botrychium of southern Alaska

1. Trophophores (photosynthetic portions of the blade) bipinnate
   or pinnate-pinnatifid.

  2. Trophophores triangular, with  three  nearly  equal  axes;
      pinnae narrowly lanceolate
      ..........................  B. lanceolatum (Gmel.) Ångstr.

   2. Trophophores triangular to ovate, with one principal axis;
      pinnae broadly lanceolate to ovate.

      3. Pinna bases cuneate; pinna apices acute
         ..............  B. alaskense W.H. Wagner & J.R. Grant

      3. Pinna bases obtuse to truncate; pinna apices rounded.
         ................................  B. pinnatum St.John

1. Trophophores pinnate.

   4. Basal  pinnae narrowly fan-shaped to oblong with the blade
      spanning an arc less than 90 degrees; pinnae remote.

      5. Trophophores sessile; pinnae strongly ascending,  their
         margins  dentate  to lacerate; sporangia usually few on
         the proximal trophophore pinnae.
         ...........................  B. ascendens W.H. Wagner

      5. Trophophores stalked; pinnae  spreading  to  ascending,
         oblong  to narrowly fan-shaped, their margins entire to
         undulate; sporangia usually lacking on the  trophophore
         .............................  B. minganense Victorin

   4. Basal pinnae broadly fan-shaped with the blade spanning an
      arc  greater  than 90 degrees; pinnae approximate to over-

      6. Basal pinnae asymmetrical with the  basal  portion  ex-
         panded;  mature sporophore stalks shorter than or equal
         to the trophophores; basal sporophore branches  spread-
         ing and twisted; plants 6-12 cm tall
         ........................  B. tunux Stensvold & Farrar

      6. Basal  pinnae  generally symmetrical; mature sporophore
         stalks longer than the trophophores;  basal  sporophore
         branches ascending and straight; plants 8-25 cm tall.

         7. Pinnae  strongly  overlapping  one  another  and the
            rachis; basal pinnae spanning an  arc  greater  than
            180  degrees;  basiscopic inner margins of the basal
            pinnae strongly recurved; spores 45  (43-48)  um  in
            longest diameter
            ...............  B. yaaxudakeit Stensvold & Farrar

         7. Pinnae  approximate  to  somewhat  overlapping,  not
            overlapping the rachis; basal pinnae spanning an arc
            of less than 180 degrees; basiscopic  inner  margins
            of  the  basal  pinnae linear to moderately concave;
            spores 36 (34-39) um in longest diameter
            .............................  B. lunaria (L.) Sw.

The elders of Alaska's Yakutat Tlingit people chose the epithets tunux and yaaxudakeit.

The epithet tunux honors Tunux, the Tlingit warrior who initiated the 1805 attack on the Russian fort located near the type locality in the Yakutat vicinity. As a result of the battle, the Russians were removed from Yakutat and never returned. Tunux was in the Eagle Moiety and the Teikweidi (Brown Bear) Clan. The word Tunux is pronounced with a guttural "x" similar to the German "ach," making the name sound like "toonook," with a soft "k."

The epithet yaaxudakeit honors Yaa Xu da Keit', the leader of an ancient clan living at the base of the mountain now known as Mt. St. Elias, and purchased Yakutat for the Copper River people. Yaa Xu da Keit' was from the Raven Moiety and the Kwaashkikwaan (Humpback Salmon) Clan. Yaa Xu da Keit' is pronounced with a guttural "x" and "k" and a pinched "t," making the name sound like "yaa khoo da kayt".


Stensvold, M.C., D.R. Farrar, & C. Johnson-Groh. 2002.
Two new species of moonworts (Botrychium subg. Botrychium) from Alaska. American Fern Journal 92(2): 150-160.
Wagner, W.H., Jr. & J.R. Grant. 2002.
Botrychium alaskense, a new moonwort from the interior of Alaska. American Fern Journal 92(2): 164-170.


From: Farjon, A., N.T. Hiep, D.K. Harder, P.K. Loc, & L. Averjanov. 2002. A new genus and species in Cupressaceae (Coniferales) from northern Vietnam, Xanthocyparis vietnamensis. Novon 12: 179-189.

Abstract [abbreviated]. Botanical explorations of poorly inventoried limestone formations in the northern Vietnamese border province of Ha Giang have yielded a new taxon of Cupressaceae [see BEN # 284] that compare closely to Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Spach. It is proposed in this paper to unite C. nootkatensis with the newly discovered species in a new genus Xanthocyparis.

The new genus Xanthocyparis Farjon & Hiep contains the following two species: Xanthocyparis vietnamensis Farjon & Hiep, and Xanthocyparis nootkatensis (D. Don) Farjon & Hiep. This is a new combination for yellow cedar, currently known as Chamaecyparis nootkatensis.


From: George W. Douglas []

Each of the eight papers listed below describes the status of threatened or endangered species found on southern Vancouver Island, adjacent islands and islets, and the lower mainland. Seven species are Red listed, and one is Blue listed.

Douglas, George W. & Jeanne M. Illingworth. 1997.
Status of the White-top Aster, Aster curtus (Asteraceae) in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 111 (4): 622-627.

In Canada, Aster curtus is restricted to south-eastern Vancouver Island where all but five of 18 extant sites are located in the Victoria area. Populations at nine sites have been confirmed in recent years but the status of populations at three other sites remains unknown. An additional six sites are likely extirpated. Existing populations represent the northern range limits of Aster curtus.

Miller, Michael T. & George W. Douglas. 1999.
Status of the Lyall's Mariposa Lily, Calochortus lyallii (Liliaceae), in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 113 (4): 652-658.

In Canada, Lyall's Mariposa Lily, Calochortus lyallii, is confined to a single height of land in extreme south-central British Columbia, where it occupies natural openings in Douglas-fir forest. The 11 known colonies in this upland area represent the northern range limit of the species, which is otherwise limited to the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains in Washington.

Douglas, George W. & Michael Ryan. 1999.
Status of the Golden Paintbrush, Castilleja levisecta (Scrophulariaceae) in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 113(2): 299-301.

In Canada, Golden Paintbrush, Castilleja levisecta has been collected on south-eastern Vancouver Island and some adjacent small islands. Populations at two sites have been confirmed in recent years while the species has probably been extirpated at seven previous collection sites. The confirmed populations collectively represent the northern range limit of Castilleja levisecta.

Penny, Jenifer L. & George W. Douglas. 1999.
Status of Tall Bugbane, Cimicifuga elata (Ranunculaceae), in Canada. Canadian Field Naturalist 113(3): 461-465.

In British Columbia, Cimicifuga elata is restricted to eight recently verified sites in the Chilliwack River valley. Population sizes are relatively small, ranging from a single plant to 63 plants making this species susceptible to low genetic diversity. Suitable habitat for Cimicifuga elata in the Chilliwack River valley appears to be mature, mixed Cedar- Hemlock-Maple stands, Douglas-fir-Maple stands, and some deciduous stands. However, most of the range of this species has been extensively converted through logging to young forest. Young stands that develop following harvest do not contain suitable habitat to sustain Cimicifuga elata, therefore, current forest harvest practises threaten this species. Cimicifuga elata has reproductive limitations that make colonization into new sites difficult.

Jamison, Judy A. & George W. Douglas. 1998.
Status of the Coastal Wood Fern, Dryopteris arguta (Dryopteridaceae) in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 112(2): 284-288.

In Canada, Dryopteris arguta is restricted to south-eastern Vancouver Island and several adjacent small islands. Fifteen of the 16 extant sites are on Gulf Islands; all have been either reconfirmed or discovered during the present study. Existing populations represent the northern range limits of this species.

Douglas, George W. & Jeanne M. Illingworth. 1998.
Status of the Water-plantain Buttercup, Ranunculus alismifolius var. alismifolius (Ranunculaceae) in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 112(2): 280-283.

In Canada, Ranunculus alismifolius var. alismifolius has been documented from collections at four sites, all restricted to south-eastern Vancouver Island and an adjacent small island in British Columbia. Two of these sites were recorded at vague locations and are either extirpated or are earlier records of one of the extant sites. The two extant locations (Uplands Park near Victoria and Ballenas Island near Nanaimo) represent the northern range limits of Ranunculus alismifolius var. alismifolius which extends southward to northern California.

Penny, Jenifer L., George W. Douglas, & Geraldine A. Allen. 1998.
Status of the Bearded Owl-clover, Triphysaria versicolor ssp. versicolor (Scrophulariaceae) in Canada. Canadian Field Naturalist 112(3): 481-485.

In British Columbia, Triphysaria versicolor ssp. versicolor populations are found only on Vancouver Island near Victoria, where eight extant populations are known. Historic records suggest that this taxon has declined in this area since the early part of this century.

Douglas, George W. & Michael Ryan. 1998.
Status of the Montane Yellow Violet, Viola praemorsa ssp. praemorsa (Violaceae) in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 112(3): 491- 495.
In Canada, Viola praemorsa ssp. praemorsa is restricted to Quercus garryana stands and grass-dominated meadows on southeastern Vancouver Island and Saltspring Island. Eight sites have been confirmed in recent years but the status of five other sites remains uncertain. It is likely that at least one of these sites has been extirpated. These Canadian sites represent the northern range limits of Viola praemorsa ssp. praemorsa.

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