Scott's Botanical Links--November 2001


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Past links:

November 30, 2001 - Spore Dispersal in Bryophytes
Reproduction of bryophytes occurs asexually by spores (products of meiosis) which result in potentially massive numbers of gametophytes -- no two of which are likely to be identical (remembering meiotic recombination). This site describes the capsules, dehiscence (opening) mechanisms and dispersal aids in the capsules of liverworts and mosses. Mosses, in particular, are quite complicated. Both possess hygroscopic filaments (elators) or teeth (peristome), aiding wind dissemination. This one-page site contains images, summaries, and a succinct discussion of this critical part of the life cycle of bryophytes. Site by C. M. Sean Carrington, Department of Biology, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, St. Michael, Barbados, West Indies. (***1/2) -S
November 29, 2001 - Mosses and Liverworts in Wales
The "Mosses and Liverworts in Wales" site presents a rather complete introduction to the types of mosses & liverworts, their habitats (dunes & dune slacks, woodlands, bogs, fens, rivers & streams, rocks & walls) and the species (many illustrated with images & distribution maps, abundance and ecological detail). The high quality of the site makes this worth a bookmark, even if you don't encounter the same species where you live. The short habitat descriptions are particularly succinct and useful. The photos are quite attractive. As noted by the author, views of the plants need to approach macroscopic dimensions to distinguish some species. Site by Alan Hale, Countryside Council for Wales Area Ecologist for West Wales. (***1/2) -S
November 28, 2001 - whereonearth/geozip
Part of the WhereOnEarth.Com site, this script calculates latitude and longitude of any physical location on the globe. Address data will provide a reasonably accurate latitude and longitude in Europe, but other continents are not yet supported. Still this is a quick and reasonably good estimate of location for cities and zipcodes. Site by WhereOnEarth.Com (***1/2) -S
November 27, 2001 - National Atmospheric Deposition Program Isopleth Maps
The National Atmospheric Deposition Program is part of a nationwide network of precipitation monitoring sites that measure the chemistry of precipitation to assess pollution and changes in the environment. This site provides maps of the U.S. in GIF and PDF format from 1994 to the present on the concentration and deposition of SO4, NO3, NH4, Ca, K, Mg, Na, Cl, H+ (pH) and H2O (precipitation). These isopleth maps could be invaluable in assessing national trends and downstream chemical effects of pollution. Site by NADP/NTN. (****) -S
November 26, 2001 - Twig Key
This online dichotomous key is a companion to the "leaf key" offered on the same site. As many who have lived in temperate climes, trees and shrubs of central North America, often lack leaves during much of the teaching season. Thus the twig key may be invaluble or routine identifications. The twig key provides clickable choices (occasional trichotomies) with lists of possible matches. Species links have detailed descriptions of plants and high quality images of leaves, fruits, flowers, bark and habit, and also links to the Silvics of North America pages for additional information. Site by the dendrology group at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg. (***1/2) -S
November 23, 2001 - Leaf Key
This online dichotomous key includes many trees and shrubs of central North America, providing easily clickable choices and lists of possible matches. The site is well-illustrated and provides species links that have detailed descriptions of the plants, followed by high quality images of leaves, fruits, flowers, bark and habit. There are also links to the Silvics of North America pages, as available, for considerable additional information. Site by the dendrology group at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg. (***1/2) -S
November 22, 2001 - Wildflowers of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
In case you are getting nostalgic for summer wildflowers already, you will enjoy these images from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minneapolis. Now it is long past season, but during the summer, there are weekly observations and linked flowering reports on the site. Full-sized images are 640 x 480 pixels; they are pretty but carry no additional information. The .cc at the end of the domain is remniscent of Cook County, where most of the images are taken, but it really stands for the Cocos [Keeling] Islands; with 700 inhabitants in the middle of the ocean, selling domains could be a major money maker for them! Site by Erik Anderson for BWCA. (***) -S
November 21, 2001 - Spring-flowering Bulbs: An Introduction
This site is about spring-flowering plants having bulbs as their overwintering organs. Most are monocots and are easily recognizable because of their conspicous flowers. Although I may run the risk of seeming like a gardening site by featuring this site (rather than a more botanical link), this season is the time to contemplate and plant these! The site has good generic advice on seleting bulbs (with criteria ranging from cheap to reliable, deer-resistant, height and dramatic flowers), planting the bulbs (when, where & how to plant, what to do after flowering, and how to force flowers), and finally a floral list of common bulbs. This is a nice introductory site. (***1/2) -S
November 20, 2001 - How to grow perfect African violets
This site is a very specialized one with a single goal: growing excellent African violets (Saintpaulia spp.) The site outlines how to select African violets, how to water them and how to light them. These plants are not forgiving of either incorrect watering or overexposure to light. Hopefully, people will find this useful (even if this is more of a gardening than a botanical link). (***1/2) -S
November 19, 2001 - Blooming Plants of Southern California
Blooming Plants of Southern California presents photographs of over 400 species of Southern California plants. These are listed by pages of montages, common name and scientific name (use your browser's 'search' function). Although the images are fairly modest in size (~400 x 200 pixels), they are still of high quality and provide a nice guide for the California flora. Both native plants and non-native plants are shown here. Site and photographs by Michael L. Charters. (***1/2) -S
November 16, 2001 - National Drought Mitigation Center
The National Drought Mitigation Center develops and implements strategies to reduce societal vulnerability to drought, emphasizing preparation and risk management rather than crisis management. Features include: "Drought Watch", "Drought Science", "What's New", Climatology, Impacts, About NDMC, Drought Links, Mitigation, "Drought Network", Methodologies, "Why Plan?" and a search function. This is an excellent resource for understanding the complexities of drought through many organizational and governmental web resources. National Drought Mitigation Center is part of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (****) -S
November 15, 2001 - People for Trees
People For Trees is a non profit group "established in response to a growing concern over the loss of the tree canopy" in North Port, Florida. There, as in many places, builders have decided that it costs less to bulldoze trees than to build around them. The site is reduced to a pioneer community and the results are devastatingly obvious when drought hits and there is no shade. This site echoes a common concern that some city planners have yet to appreciate. Links are available for drought-resistent gardening strategies, upcoming events, a newsletter and an email your commissioner site. (***1/2) -S
November 14, 2001 - PlantStress.Com
PlantStress.Com is an informational site on the various stresses on plants, presenting news, announcements, events and white papers on various stresses, including drought, salinity, heat, cold, mineral deficiency and mineral toxicity. This is an encyclopedic site that is very well organized and amazingly complete; it approaches the level of a knowledge environment. This is highly recommended. PlantStress.Com was created by Dr. Abraham Blum, Scientist Emeritus of The Volcani Center, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Israel Ministry of Agriculture. The site supports MSIE only, with users informed that "Problems are expected with Netscape" (which accounts for ~30% of academic browsing). Sad to say, I will not be among those who can fully appreciate the site. (***1/2) -S
November 13, 2001 - IPL Online Texts Collection
The Internet Public Library has converted over 18,000 titles into free text books that can be searched or browsed by author, title, or Dewey Decimal classification. These are typically of historical significance and there are some real classics available here, including Darwin, Robert Hooke's "Micrographia", Tench's "A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay", Alphonso Wood's "Class-Book of Botany" (1851). A variety of plant-related listings are available. (***1/2) -S
November 12, 2001 - Noxious, Invasive, and Alien Wetland Species
The Wetland Science Institute, as part of USGS, has the responsibility for delineating, assessing and restoring wetland areas in the US through training and education. In the natural succession of wetlands, the community usually becomes more complex over time, but in the presence of certain aggressive species, the wetlands can become almost a monoculture (e.g., hybrid cattails, purple loosestrife). This website presents a frequently asked questions sheet (FAQ) about recognizing and mitigating problem species. This usually requires considerable information about the autecology of the plant (how it behaves in its surroundings). If you want specific information, you may want to follow their links. Site by Wetland Science Institute. (***1/2) -S
November 9, 2001 - Photosynthesis, Energy and Life
This site is a cleverly constructed grade school site that describes photosynthesis accompanied by color pencil drawings, humor and enthusiasm. The site is simple, factually complete and accurate. It is not heavy in content, but suitably emphasizes the capturing of energy from the sun. "Photosynthesis, Energy and Life" is one of the newest additions to the FT (Flying Turtle) Exploring site. (***1/2) -S
November 8, 2001 - Plant Viruses
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has assembled this Index to Virus Classification and Nomenclature, Taxonomic lists and a Catalogue of viruses. Entries are listed by genome type, acronyms, alphabetical order and host, although they may appear on unanticipated frames from time to time! The species listings are linked to Entrez genome listings and Medline articles. The entries are searchable by virus name and descriptions. If you are looking for informative molecular biology data, the site is ideal; if you are looking for images, you may need to pursue this site somewhere else. (***) -S
November 7, 2001 - Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba was "discovered" on behalf of European science in relictual populations of south-east China in 1690 by Engelbert Kaempfer, though buddist monks had long revered it as it is frequently found near temples. This species has remained essentially unchanged since the Paleozoic and appears to be remarkably resilient as it was also the closest tree species (1 km) to have survived the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. This site is written at a high school to freshman botany level and is quite entertaining (if you like Ginkgo). The original site appears in French, assembled and maintained by Dominique MOUCHEL. (***1/2) -S
November 6, 2001 - Kudzu - The Vine
Kudzu is perhaps one of the most terrifying success stories of introduced alien plants -- a veritable ecological epidemic in the southeastern US. Growing by up to a foot a day, it overtakes and covers canopies. Images of kudzu overtaking trees, equipment, houses, and even barns are dramatic evidence of the problem. A pretty plant, it has no known enemies in the US. Until a biocontrol is introduced, it will continue to spread. The shade it produces is dense enough to kill trees. Site by Jack Anthony, somewhere near Dahlonega, Georgia. (***1/2) -S
November 5, 2001 - Barbara McClintock Papers
Barbara McClintock is the seventh scientist, first botanist and first woman, to be added to National Library of Medicine's "Profiles in Science" website. Their website features laboratory notes, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, photographs, charts, illustrations, and audiovisual materials (Quicktime and/or Real Player needed for full functionality.) Their materials are remarkably diverse, including handwritten notes for a series of lectures at Caltech University in 1954. This provides a fascinating glimpse at one of the most remarkable scientists of the 20th century. Site by National Library of Medicine. (****) -S
November 2, 2001 - History of Evolutionary Thought (at UCMP)
Evolutionary thought far preceded Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace. This site by the University of California Museum of Paleontology presents biographical data and information on some key contributions to the development of scientific thought -- both in general, and specifically in regard to evolution, dating from Aristotle (384-322 BC). Although some of the ideas have been scientifically discarded, others led to the development of modern evolutionary thought. Also presented at the site is a timetable. Site by UCMP (****) -S
November 1, 2001 - Alfred Russel Wallace Page
Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) is among the best recognized of 19th century naturalists, second only to Charles Darwin, with whom he is inexorably linked by his interest in the origin of species. In 1858, while he was abroad, he asked Darwin to bring to Lyell's attention an essay he wrote 'On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type'. Darwin presented this to the Linnean Society, along with some of his own ideas. Clearly, Wallace was a major contributor to the development of evolutionary theory. His studies of the Malay Archipelago made him an expert in biogeography, establishing "Wallace's Line". Meanwhile in England, Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species' and overtook Wallace's reputation for developing the ideas of evolution. Like Darwin, Wallace also published botanical works, including 'Palm Trees of the Amazon and their Uses' (1853). This is a very complete, well documented and well organized site by Charles H. Smith, Science Librarian, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. (****) -S

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
Or search by: Subject Index