Scott's Botanical Links--June 2001


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Past links:

June 29, 2001 - Allergy Glossary
The Allergy Glossary published by HON, an international not-for-profit portal to medical information on the internet, has information on the major tree, weed, and grass species having pollens that cause allergic reactions. Browsing the Glossary alphabetically reveals the medical terms and species today's botanist needs to keep in step. Site by The Health on the Net Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland.(****)LF
June 28, 2001 - Peatlands Around the World
Anyone studying bogs or fens, or both, will find invaluable information compiled on this website of an Irish bogs conservation charity."Peatlands Around the World" tours the global occurrence of peatlands by continent and by country. See a Siberian oligo-mesotrophical through-flow fen, a New Zealand low-alpine string bog and island tarn wetland complex, cushion-plant bogs and every other kind of bog and fen. The Information and Fact Sheets are excellent, on the structure and importance of bogs, sphagnum and other bog vegetation, and some surprising topics like "Bog Butter." And, you may find out how to build your own bog at this site by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Dublin, Ireland.(****)LF
June 27, 2001 -
Here's a convenient place to search, in particular, articles dating from 1998 "Ecology," "Ecologist,""Bioscience,"" Science News,""Science World" and "The Sciences." Theoretically it is a most generous service to enable browsing full text articles so effortlessly. But the advertisement frame is a monstrosity. A search for "flower" in the magazine "Science World," geared for children 7-10 turns up gambling banners on every page. So what's up with that? Site by Looksmart, San Francisco, CA (**)LF
June 26, 2001 - Central Pacific Island Environments
This is a resource website for aquatic biology, produced by AECOS, an environmental consulting firm which has completed 800 projects in the Central Pacific over a span of thirty years. The illustrated "Keys to the Aquatic Biota of the Hawaiian Islands" are not only totally cool, but the Instructions are a fun introduction to dichotomous keys in general. Impatient types can go straight to the "List of Species from Aquatic Environments (Brackish & Fresh Water) in the Hawaiian Islands" and check out the Algae, Higher Plants, Invertebrates, Insects (which, yes are invertebrates), and Vertebrates Lists, with many species linked to bio-images. Natural History Links are very well planned to provide relevant material on Oceans, Islands, and Ecosystems at this site by Eric Guinther, AECOS, Inc., Kailua, HI.(****)LF
June 25, 2001 - Plant Conservation Alliance
PCA is a consortium of ten federal and 145 non-federal "cooperators" working together to solve problems of native plant extinction and native habitat restoration. Of primary concern are escalating threats to ecosystems from invasive species and over-collection of plants in the wild. The "Weeds Gone Wild" project publishes invasive plant Fact Sheets online and is looking for more authors. "Green Medicine" explains how today's commercial-scale quest for herbal remedies may result in extinctions. Check out the "Traveling Artist" project featuring modern botanical illustrations (copyrighted), in watercolor, of Great Plains Region and Southwest/Intermountain Region wildflowers. Site by Plant Conservation Alliance, Bureau of Land Management, Washington, DC.(****)LF.
June 22, 2001 - National Eutrophication Management Program
Here's a good idea from Australia- National Eutrophication Management. Ecologists and microbiologists will appreciate NEMP's January 2000 technical report "Physical and nutrient factors controlling algal succession and biomass in Burrinjuck Reservoir" and the workshop report "Factors controlling algal growth and composition in reservoirs." Harmful algal blooms cost community and Government hundreds of millions yearly. This program seeks to do more than just take the phosphates out of laundry products, by addressing agricultural, mining, irrigation, and drainage impacts as they contribute to nutrient enrichment in significant waterbodies and catchments. An exciting color brochure in pdf format, "The Cost of Algal Blooms" explains whose responsible for these great big globs of blue-green goop offensive to man and other animals. Site by NEMP Online, Dr. Richard Davis, coordinator; Canberra.(****)LF
June 21, 2001 - Florida Forestry Information
This cooperative project to provide Forest Resources and Forestry Information for the Public does an excellent job introducing a number of Florida trees, the origin of soils, forest ecology and pathology. The online book "Insects and Diseases: Important Problems of Florida's Forest and Shade Tree Resources" by Edward L. Barnard, Pathologist, and Wayne N. Dixon, Entomologist, has illustrated chapters detailing "Concepts of Entomology" and "Concepts of Tree Disease." Find also "Trees of Florida" with a hot-linked list of predominant forest trees; sections on upland and bottomland forest ecosystems, a forest terminology glossary and lots of material in the Site Index of this site by Christopher M. Demers and Dr. Alan J. Long, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville.(****)LF
June 20, 2001 - The Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Utah
The original paper atlas, published by the Utah Museum of Natural History in 1988 mapped the collection locations of some 2,000 species following a seven year study of 400,000 specimens. Now the data has been transposed into a Geographic Information System containing 72,000 collection locations in Utah. Indexed by family, each species is mapped on a page also bearing a text link to a search engine query for the species. Atlas authored by Beverly J. Albee, Leila M. Shultz, and Sherel Goodrich; website by R. Douglas Ramsey, Department of Geography and Earth Resources, Utah State University, Logan.(****)LF
June 19, 2001 - The Art of Botanical Illustration
Botanical art is more than great wall decor- it must be sufficiently accurate to distinguish species. So it is some accomplishment for an artist to rise to the rank of great botanist as well. Online highlights of an exhibit at University of Delaware Library summarize the development of botanical illustration from the early books to the present, with selections from categories of Herbals, Travel and Exploration, Scientific Botany, Women Artists, Seed Catalogs, and Modern Botanicals. Find out about the artists, view beautiful illustrations, and exploit the bibliography at this site by the University of Delaware Library Special Collections, Iris Snyder, Curator; Newark, Delaware.(****)LF
June 18, 2001 - The Magic of Australian Plants
Visitors to South Florida, and new residents, frequently assume many of the urban plantings are "native" when in fact they are Australian. Though the Melaleuca/Casuarina monocultures began back when folks killed all the nicest birds for hat feathers, it was in the early 1970's when builders discovered certain Australian trees could not be killed by the most inept landscapers, that nurserymen outdid each other to offer practically all-Australian stock. Now we are all sneezing our heads off and in most municipalities it is no longer illegal to cut down an Australian tree without a permit. But for those who are unsure of their Florida plants, or for those headed for Australia, "The Magic of Australian Plants" has a beautiful Guide and Photo Gallery. Site by The Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants, Canberra, Queensland.(****)LF
June 15, 2001 - Duke University Wetand Center Everglades Field Trip
Duke University has been maintaining a field laboratory in Water Conservation Area 2 (WCA-2) in the central everglades for eight years, though Floridians seldom hear of it. We think they keep quiet because they have to borrow airboats and data from the very agencies which ruined the everglades. However the Wetland Center website manages to explain in a very nice way," In addition to the many national legislation acts addressing environmental protection and water quality that were created during the 1960’s, the Florida legislature, in 1972, enacted several of its own. Among these was ... the establishment of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The enactment of this legislation had drastic effects on the dynamics of water management in the region." For example, South Florida is on water restrictions now because the District has let too much water out of Lake Okeechobee. It is the District which introduced us to Xeriscape™ and other desert survival practices. Along with the history of anthropogenic effects on the ecosystem, Duke's Field Trip presents everglades hydrology, geology, and biology, including details on plant communities. Site by the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Dr. Curtis J. Richardson, Director; Duke University, Durham, NC.(****)LF
June 14, 2001 - Perspectives Online
Great reading and beautifully produced as a website, every botanist and biologist in America ought to have NCSU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' quarterly publication "Perspectives" on their desktop. Four fabulous years of issues are available to date, covering all sorts of work, people, and university goings-on. This Spring's "Perspectives" encompass dune restoration, plant protection, turfgrass considerations, and whether pigs have manure which can become ethanol. Don't miss this site by the "Perspectives" Staff, CALS, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.(****)LF
June 13, 2001 - Farmers' Rights Information Service
Concerned with balancing commercial development and exploitation of India's biodiversity with provision of just benefits to the indigenous peoples who are custodians of numerous commercially interesting resources, FRIS publishes information on their social customs, life styles, medicinal and other useful plants in the states of Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Andhra Prades and Kerala. "Plant Information" by species lists local names for the plant, uses in healthcare, references, and sometimes botanical illustration. The photographs and details of tribal life are captivating. Find out about what makes Sacred Groves sacred and why Orissa is probably a secondary center of the origin of rice cultivation, at this site by the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation, Cuttack, Orissa, India.(****)LF
June 12, 2001 -
If your doctor is the the tight-lipped type who won't discuss your own personal biology with you, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop has a website to empower consumers with the best prescription- knowledge. More than just another index of medical abstracts and disease entries, the virtual health center covers the health news and topics today's personal physician may forget to mention. The "Drug Checker" reveals contraindications and interactions of medications; there are videos, and resources for determining one's ideal weight, diet, and likelihood to contract maladies. A medical encyclopedia includes information on medically significant (poisonous) plants. Site by, Austin, Texas.(****)LF
June 11, 2001 - Blooming of the Titan Arum
Not since New York Botanical Garden 1937 has there been an 8' 5" Amorphophallus titanum inflorescence like the current one at University of Wisconsin, where it is reported, "At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 11, the top half of the titan arum's spire-like spadix fell over, exhausted by its titanic reproductive effort." Such exhaustion is a sight to behold, and the fate of the spadix is documented by web-cam, time lapse photos, a growth chart, and the exciting tale of cross-pollination with an arum from Florida. This is the type of plant that stimulates enthusiasm for botany, so the Greenhouse provides complete promotional materials- shirts, postcards, posters, signed lithographs- to memorialize what is referred to as the "stinking beauty." Site by University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Botany.(****)LF
June 8, 2001 -
Not intended for botanical scrutiny,, which concludes in "Bulb Basics" it is nevertheless safe to call all those underground things bulbs, is U.S. press for the Dutch flower industry. Its materials are copyright-free to print, broadcast, and cyber-journalists. There are some exceptional images of plants available grouped according to flowering season, along with landscape guides and cut flower arranging information. Noteworthy is the section on "History, Myths, and Romance," with interesting tales like the Great Tulip Commodity Crash of 1637. Be astounded at the amazing prices paid for beauty in the olden days at this site by the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center (NFIC Parent Office) = IBC:Internationaal Bloembollen Centrum, Hillegom, Holland. (****)LF
June 7, 2001 - Phytoestrogens
This page, part of a larger site on environmental estrogens and hormones discusses the occurrence of phytoestrogens in our food and whether they may be beneficial or a health risk, either or neither. Consumers may want to think twice before pouring soy milk on their wheat or rice cereal, and clearly we are all probably eating a lot more soy than we realize these days. As the question of whether this is a good thing or bad thing stimulates more controversy, botanists will want to know what's being reported by the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane and Xavier Universities, New Orleans, LA.(****)LF
June 6, 2001 - Cornell Composting
Cornell Composting makes the unfathomable mountain of New York State's food scraps more interesting than you'd think. For chemical and biological processes of the compost pile are an arena for the study of microbes, invertebrates, and biodegradation. The Science and Engineering section of the website opens with a Note to the Casual Composter then jumps right into hard core biology and engineering principles. Detailed illustrated text includes Ideas for Student Projects. Other sections of the site offer information on self-composting and other weird forms of composting, Cornell's compost work, information for schools, and a Teacher's Page. Site by Tom Richard, Nancy Trautmann, Marianne Krasny, Sue Fredenburg and Chris Stuart, Cornell Waste Management Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.(****)LF
June 5, 2001 - Food Resource
Along with pursuing the deep botanical aspects of life, keeping up with food botany is essential to dispelling annoying myths as to what is natural; and to not looking surprised when earnestly asked for advice about the array of plants showing up in foody places which frankly are not in the palette of the North American botanist. So count on Food Resource which organizes a variety of resources on today's plant products, including phytochemicals, how they are produced, processed and used in the most important activity of food production. Site by Food Resource, Nutrition and Food Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. (****)LF
June 4, 2001 - Friends of the Everglades
The Everglades made a new friend today when the President flew to South Florida for a tour of Everglades National Park. That was early this afternoon, and before dark we heard he came up with a plan to Save the Everglades. This is progress. So far years of South Florida Water Management, The Army Corp of Engineers, and every bureaucrat who could get in on the act spending millions of juicy funds on experimental simplistic solutions which failed or reported dubious results makes one think we ought to just Save the Money. Hence, this website of the conservation organization Friends of the Everglades is recommended for a quick overview of some of the problems requiring heroic measures to Save the Everglades that the new plan must address. For example, if the new plan doesn't have the keywords "evapotranspiration" or "subsidence" (not subsidy) we may be in for another round of radical spending without direction. Two articles explain why, and a short biography of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the organization's founder, gives a brief history of everglades destruction. Site by Friends of the Everglades, Miami, Florida.(****)LF

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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