ISSN 1188-603X

No. 495 August 19, 2015 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, 1809 Penshurst, Victoria, BC, Canada V8N 2N6


From: Jamie Fenneman, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Abstract of the paper presented on July 29, 2015 at BOTANY 2015 Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta.

Antennaria (Asteraceae: Gnaphalieae), commonly known as the 'pussytoes,' is a genus of dioecious plants characterized by extensive hybridization, polyploidy, and apomixis among many of its species. The resulting taxonomic complexity has rendered the systematics of the genus a considerable source of confusion for over a century, and several differing approaches have been proposed in an attempt to define and describe the component taxa. These approaches differ most notably in their treatment of the apomictic taxa within the genus, which are exceedingly morphologically variable yet are defined almost exclusively on morphological grounds. These difficulties associated with attempting to apply the most recent taxonomic concepts prompted a review of the extensive Antennaria collections at the University of British Columbia Herbarium to determine if older or neglected concepts may better capture the morphological variability within the genus. I focused primarily on reviewing collections from the province of British Columbia, which had received only partial attention in previous studies, to test the various approaches directly on a large sample of specimens from a region that had not been fully incorporated into earlier research. The results strongly suggest that two taxa that have not been widely recognized in recent decades, Antennaria pallida E.E. Nelson and Antennaria pulvinata Greene, are morphologically, ecologically, and phytogeographically distinct from any other members of the genus, and that their recognition as species renders the remaining members of the genus better defined and morphologically more consistent. The adoption of these changes clarifies species boundaries and simplifies the systematics of the genus in British Columbia, and their adoption in other jurisdictions may be of similar benefit.


Lynn J. Gillespie, Jeffery M. Saarela, Paul C. Sokoloff, Roger D. Bull. PhytoKeys 52: 23-79 (25 Jun 2015) Full article:

Abstract: The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a vast region of approximately 1,420,000 km2, with a flora characterized by low species diversity, low endemicity, and little influence by alien species. New records of vascular plant species are documented here based on recent fieldwork on Victoria and Baffin Islands; additional records based on recent literature sources are mentioned. This paper serves as an update to the 2007 publication Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago [], and brings the total number of vascular plants for the region to 375 species and infraspecific taxa, an increase of 7.7%. Three families (Amaranthaceae, Juncaginaceae, Pteridaceae) and seven genera (Cherleria, Cryptogramma, Platanthera, Sabulina, Suaeda, Triglochin, Utricularia) are added to the flora. Five species are first records for Nunavut.

Species covered in this article (species marked with * are first records for Nunavut):

Adolf Ceska: This remarkable publication is a beautiful example of e-publishing in its best. Jeff Saarela, one of the authors, wrote me this technical information about their paper.

Jeff Saarela: The publisher of Phytokeys, Pensoft Publishers, is in the lead in terms of digital publication of biodiversity information. They have made a lot of interesting innovations in linking information together on the web, while maintaining "traditional" publication. Most of the links in the HTML version of the paper are to addresses that the publisher maintains (i.e. all the various tabs on the right side of the page) so the publisher is responsible for maintaining those and ensuring they work well into the future.

The external links to images of the cited specimens, published on the external site, Figshare, are linked with DOIs. This means that, if the link to the actual content on Figshare changes, that organization would update the registered link with the DOI resolver, so the link will always work. In other words, the DOI will never change, but the page of the content linked to the DOI can change, as long as the most link is always kept current in the DOI database. That is the theory behind DOIs. Of course it is up to the different publishers to ensure that "their" DOIs continue to work properly going forward. That's the state of the art in digitial publishing today.

That is the reason why we did not simply link to images on the museum's collections online webpage. The URLs to images there will certainly change going forward, so the links would be dead very quickly. By using a site like Figshare that assigns DOIs to every piece of content uploaded, in theory link rot will not be an issue (as long as Figshare stays in business…or are bought and maintained by some other publisher down the road).

In the case of this paper, all the core info is in the PDF, which will not ever change. You can read more about the vision for Phytokeys here:


By Agnes Lynn, edited by Elizabeth Easton

BOTANY BC 2015 was held Thursday July 2nd through to Sunday July 5th in the beautiful Elk Valley in southeastern B.C. We were headquartered at the United Steelworker Union Hall in Elkford which was the ideal gathering place for the group with enough room for the 40-45 participants who came from around BC and Alberta (even from as far away as Fort McMurray) for all our activities.

The Elk Valley was chosen because it is one of the least botanized areas of the province that is reasonably accessible and promised some diverse habitats to explore. It was a crazy year weather-wise but it actually turned out well for the plants, many of which were in full bloom for us. Even without the excellent plants, the phenomenal scenery was worth the trip. Everywhere you looked were vistas of high craggy mountains. The weather cooperated as well with temperatures into the 30s but with enough shade for comfort.

Thursday night started with a warm welcome and orientation of the weekend's proposed activities from the organizing committee of Tanis Gieselman, Jenifer Penny and Elizabeth Easton. The first speaker of the evening was JoAnne Fisher, an ethno botanist with the Ktunaxa Nation who welcomed us to the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation followed by ecologist Clint Smyth who provided us with an excellent introduction to the Elk Valley history, physical environment and ecosystems.

On Friday, participants had two field trip choices. The first was a 1/2 day tour of Teck's Greenhill's operation to view reclamation research sites (See ) and a 1/2 day visit to a site in the southern Elk Valley to collect information that would be included in the Flathead BioBlitz event taking place later in July. The second option on Friday was a day long trip to high elevation sites in the Crowsnest Pass and Andy Goode Creek lead by Michael Keefer of Keefer Ecological Services. The Crowsnest Pass site terrain was typically sloping grassland and open woods with an interesting selection of plants. Hard to mention everything of interest but a few special ones were: Penstemon nitidus, P. eriantherus, P. lyallii, Townsendia parryi, Delphinium sutherlandii, Astragalus crassicarpus, Viola praemorsa subsp linguifolia , Astragalus drummondii (1 plant only!) and various colour forms of Castilleja occidentalis. The second site at the Andy Goode Creek area was up a very rugged track where only a few of the very high clearance trucks could make it past the first bit on what could hardly be called a road. Amazing driving by those who persevered. Everyone was able to view limber pines, the focus plant for this trip. The prize plant higher up was Physaria didymocarpa. We did manage to get back pretty well on time for dinner after some more exciting driving.

On Friday evening, one of Teck's Environmental Officers, gave us an "Introduction to Teck's Biodiversity Program". See . The second speaker of the evening was John Przeczek of PRYZM Environmental Ltd. who told us about "Developing a Native Tree and Shrub Planting Program at Teck's Elkview Operations". We finished the evening by hearing from Randy Moody of Keefer Ecological Services about the area's endangered five-needle pines – Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) and Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis).

The second day offered two more field trip options. The first was an 8 km hike to Josephine Falls led by Janice Strong and Gretchen Whetham from Cranbrook. It was a good representation of the local flora and there were enough interesting plants that we had to work together to sort out a few of them. We enjoyed high elevation plants like Zigadenus elegans, Diphasiastrum complanatum and Stenanthium occidentale. The second trip option on Saturday was a journey into the alpine area of Mt Gass/Ewin Ridge. This was another trip where only the very tough high clearance vehicles could traverse the route. The hiking part was up through high subalpine meadows and then more talus slopes, the kind of terrain that leader Hans Roemer enjoys! The subalpine and alpine flora of Mt. Gass proved to be extremely rich and colourful. One of the prize plants up there was Claytonia megarhiza. A few others that Hans thought were worth mentioning included Erigeron ochroleucus, Packera conterminal, Carex incurviformis, Melica spectabilis and beautiful clumps of Saussurea densa. They also saw Botrychium lunaria as they were coming down.

On Saturday night Michael Keefer from Keefer Ecological Consulting showed us some photos of the "Flora of the Elk Valley" and he gave his "Thoughts on Revegetation Following Major Disturbances". Our final presentation of the session was given by Alison Burton, the Coal Regulatory Coordinator with the Ktunaxa Nation Council who spoke about Native Plants from the Ktunaxa Perspective. It was a good selection of talks which gave us a feel for the diversity of plants that grow in the area and the substantial efforts made by Teck to revegetate massive areas. Nice work on the part of the committee to find us such high calibre speakers in such an out-of-the-way spot.

For those who are interested in more than just the plants, there were some super birds. Prize was a Three-toed Woodpecker at the lake near Elkford and we enjoyed listening to a Northern Waterthrush constantly singing right outside our hall. Butterfly populations were also impressive as expected with so many flowers.

Check the following links to see what photos Ian Cumming kindly put together for us:

Of course no Botany BC is complete without the traditional vote to determine "Where in the province will Botany BC be next year?". Of the 4 locations nominated and championed by this year's participants (Churn Creek/Chilcotin, Princeton/Tulameen, Squamish/Pemberton and Northern Vancouver Island), Scott Black's pick of the Churn Creek/Chilcotin gained the most votes. This area includes some of BC's rare bunchgrass grasslands as well as a diversity of other rare flora and will be the focus of Botany BC 2016.

All in all, everyone who made the big trek had an enjoyable time due to the great speakers and interesting but crazy field trips. Plus the good food and accommodations that the organizers put together for us. Thanks again Elizabeth, Jenifer, Tanis and the rest of the folks (locals, walk leaders, speakers and participants) for a very enjoyable gathering.

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