Newsletter - Volume 15, No. 4

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Volume 15, No. 4
October-December 2001
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM FNA

MANAGEMENT, EDITORIAL

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The Flora of North America Management Committee (MC) and the Editorial Committee (EC) met on October 12 and 14, respectively, at the Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis. This note reports general information derived from the two meetings.

The MC is a subset of the EC and is concerned chiefly with operational matters; it meets semi-annually or more often if needed. The EC is the responsible corporate body for the FNA and it oversees matters of policy for the entire project. Policy matters originating with the MC are passed to the EC for ratification and implementation.

Volumes 26 and 23 of the Flora are approaching completion and should be published in early 2002. Volume 26 treats the Liliales and Orchidales, and it is expected to be ready for printing in January_February 2002, before Volume 23, which treats the Cyperaceae. Other volumes are in line for publication; those immediately on the horizon are volumes 25, 4, and 5. Volume 25 (Poaceae, Part 2, to be completed before Volume 24, Part 1; Mary Barkworth, Lead Editor) should be ready for submission to the publisher in 2002. The Poaceae volumes will be a joint publication of the Utah State University Grass Manual project and the FNA. Volume 4 (Caryophyllidae, Part 1; Nancy Morin, Lead Editor) should also be delivered to the publisher in 2002, and Volume 5 (Caryophyllidae, Part 2; Bob Kiger, Lead Editor) could be submitted in 2003. The Bryophyte Flora (BFNA) is progressing under the coordination of Richard Zander at the Buffalo Museum of Science, and work is also progressing on the three volumes of Asteraceae (Volumes 19, 20, and 21) under the coordination of the Compositae Editorial Committee (Ted Barkley, Lead Editor).

The Chanticleer Foundation of Wayne, Pennsylvania, supports the FNA through a generous grant, and the terms of the grant request that the FNA publish its products at the rate of at least two volumes per year. This rate has not yet been achieved, in large part because the amount of effort required to complete a volume is greater than had been estimated. Two volumes per year is not an impossible goal, but we must streamline our program for acquiring and editing manuscripts.

The FNA agreed to produce both volumes 26 and 23 during 2001, but this did not happen and the FNA offered to forego requesting any more support from the Chanticleer Foundation until the two volumes are published; the administration of the Chanticleer Foundation has accepted the offer. The FNA will continue its operations with the funding currently in hand, which should be adequate until volumes 26 and 23 are completed.

It has been evident that the organizational structure of the FNA needs to be recast, and the installation of Mr. Charles Levine as Executive Director and CEO of the FNA in May 2001 has prompted a reconsideration of how the project is to be managed. Among the items needing attention are the natures of the MC and the EC, and the need to operate in a more businesslike way. A committee was appointed and approved to completely reexamine the structure of the FNA, and they were asked to submit a report in six months, i.e., in April 2002. The committee consists of Craig Freeman, Chair, of the University of Kansas; Bob Kiger of the Hunt Institute; Charles Levine, the FNA Executive Director and CEO; Nancy Morin of The Arboretum at Flagstaff; and Jim Zarucchi of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

 

A simple, computer-based scheme called the Volume Tracking System (VTS) is being created for tracking the flow of manuscripts from their assignment to authors and their first arrival, through their editorial and review passages, and on to publication. The VTS is based on the Access program and it will be accessible online, so anyone may see the status of any manuscript as it traverses the editorial process. The goal is to have a prototype VTS running on the FNA Web site during the first quarter of 2002.

Jim Zarucchi, who has served admirably as the FNA Managing Editor, was elected to serve as chair of the MC. It was noted that all of the roles of the MC and the EC may be revised on the basis of the expected report from the committee studying the structure and operation of the FNA.

The following were elected to membership in the Editorial Committee: Amy Denton, from the University of Alaska, to serve as regional coordinator, replacing Dave Murray, who has retired; Kanchi Gandhi, of Harvard University, to be the nomenclatural editor; and Richard Rabeler, of the University of Michigan, and Fred Utech, of the Hunt Institute, to serve as taxon editors.

Also noted was the resignation from the MC of Barbara Thiers, who was thanked for her services as a member and former chair of the MC.

It was decided to insert a colored frontispiece in each forthcoming volume, illustrating a plant treated in that volume. This was seen as a worthwhile touch of class, and as something that could be useful for marketing.

Distribution maps were discussed with some considerable energy. All agreed that we do not have the resources to prepare and publish detailed distribution maps, and that any map will be a compromise. It was resolved that the FNA pursue contracting with BONAP to prepare the maps, with the understanding that the practical details are yet to be agreed upon. Charles Levine was asked to resolve these matters with John Kartesz as quickly as possible, in time for the preparation of the forthcoming volumes.

John McNeill, a long-time participant in the FNA, has been a member of the MC and served as its chair for the past three years. His term of membership on the MC ended with this meeting, and he was commended for his dedicated service to both the MC and to the entire FNA project. John will remain active in the FNA both as a nomenclatural advisor and as the author for several genera of Caryophyllaceae for Volume 5.

— Ted Barkley, Secretary, Flora of North America

SOME QUALITATIVE

RESPONSES FROM THE BOTANY 2001 SURVEY

In the last issue of this newsletter, we presented a numerical summary of responses to our survey of attendees at Botany 2001 this past August in Albuquerque. We asked the respondents, in addition to answering structured questions that we could tabulate, to comment freely about specific areas of the Flora. We thus received a wide range of frank remarks and recommendations, some of the more interesting of which are summarized below.

As noted in the last issue, the overall assessment of the quality of the FNA volumes was overwhelmingly positive, with 97% of the respondents rating the FNA volumes good to excellent. But, not


surprising, a strong request was expressed about producing the books much more quickly:

Timely publication of the keys and descriptions should have priority over all the bells and whistles.
Be sure [the Flora] keeps coming out in a timely fashion—all treatments need not be perfect—there are addenda for that.
Good to excellent, but productivity is so slow as to risk rendering it irrelevant.

We invited specific feedback on each element of the Flora. For the taxonomic treatments, for example, respondents recommended:

Shorten [the] technical part; allow more prose descriptions [of diagnostic characteristics].
[M]ore emphasis on diagnostic features.
[Need] better treatment of phenology—e.g., blooming time, etc.
Mention where disagreements on species exist.


There were several calls for geographic keys:

Add more geography [to the keys].
[Include] "speeded keys" (special keys for small geog. or sterile specimens).
Regional keys for large genera.

The illustrations, all of which are carefully drawn for each volume based on information supplied by the authors and taxon editors, received almost unanimous praise, with a chorus asking for more and larger illustrations. (We are in fact exploring printing the illustrations larger in the volumes that will go to press after 2002, but this might mean illustrating fewer taxa, not more.) There were also a number of requests to:

[P]oint out distinguishing characters more.
[Give] key features (beyond the "1[out of] 3 [species] illustrated" limitation).
Place illustrations closer to descriptions, just as you do for distribution maps.
If possible, each taxon should be represented, or at least its diagnostic characters.


Distribution maps, as we know, have been the subject of heated debate within FNA over the past few years; specifically, how to continue producing thumbnail distribution maps while reducing the time and effort they demand. In general, the respondents said that maps need to be larger to be more useful:

Make [the maps] 50% larger.
Make them big enough to see.
Dots denoting [a] unique collection cover too much area in some cases.
Need more specific detail on larger maps.


But it has become abundantly clear that to create more detailed maps would require a project separate from the current Flora, and we are exploring how to separately post atlas-quality maps on the FNA Web site while reducing the work authors and reviewers are asked to do in creating the thumbnail maps for the printed volumes.

The Flora of North America (FNA) project is a cooperative program to produce a comprehensive account of the plants of North America north of Mexico. The FNA Newsletter, edited at the Hunt Institute and printed at the Missouri Botanical Garden, is published twice a year by the Flora of North America Association to communicate news about the FNA project and other topics of interest to North American floristic researchers. For more information, please see the FNA Web site, http://www.fna.org.

Readers are invited to send appropriate news items to:
Elizabeth A. Polen, Newsletter Editor
Flora of North America
Hunt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 Items can also be sent by e-mail to: kiser@andrew.cmu.edu.





We received many sound suggestions for improving the Web site at http://www.fna.org, which at the moment is underdeveloped and as a result underutilized (a majority of the respondents, 58%, said they seldom or never visit the site).

[Add] up-to-date listings of contributors and status of volumes.
List of who's doing what, with e-mails to contact.
[Post] all of the information in the book volumes.
More updates [plus] unpublished treatments.
A [place on the] site to add new articles.
Better links through[out] the site.




Clearly we have our work cut out for us in bringing the FNA volumes to press more quickly and efficiently. With the help of the Botany 2001 respondents, we also have a lot of food for thought about ways to improve both the upcoming print and electronic versions.

— Charles M. Levine, Executive Director and CEO, Flora of North America Association

WORKING TOGETHER TO

PREVENT SPREAD OF INVASIVE PLANTS

Nurserymen, science and garden writers, educators, horticulturists, other experts from botanical gardens and arboreta, conservationists, and representatives from government agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, met at Missouri Botanical Garden 1_4 December to discuss how to link ecology and horticulture to prevent plant invasions.

Half of all imperiled species in the U.S. are threatened in part by alien species (Wilcove et al. 1998; Campbell 2001). In the U.S., losses associated with invasive alien species total $137 billion annually (Campbell 2001). The majority of woody invasive plants in the United States were introduced for horticultural purposes: in one study as many as 82% of 235 woody plants were found to have been used in landscaping (Reichardt 1997). Herbaceous invasive species are more likely to have been introduced as contaminants in weed seed, in ballast, or otherwise accidentally, although many in the west were used by the Soil Conservation Service to improve forage or for erosion control.

Tens of thousands of plant species and cultivars have been brought into cultivation through the horticultural trade or as crops, and of these only a very few have become major invasive problems. The purpose of the meeting in St. Louis was to identify methods that would be helpful in predicting which species could be problematic, and to develop codes of conduct that would encourage the elimination of problematic species from the trade and prevent introductions of new invasives.

Flora of North America authors and reviewers are uniquely positioned to recognize potential problem plants before they become a problem. During the course of preparing or reviewing a treatment, the author or reviewer can be on the lookout for nonnative plants that seem to have appeared outside of cultivation recently, or naturalized plants whose range seems to be expanding. It turns out that many nonnative plants that appear to be well behaved for decades — 50 to 100 years, even —may suddenly expand their range and numbers. The cause for these sudden population explosions is unknown, but it may be due to hybridization events, introduction of a necessary pollinator, an environmental disturbance or climatic change, or a steady build-up of the seed-bank. Important to note, however, is that prevention is far more cost-effective than control. Many nonnative species, if noticed early, can be eradicated; if they are not, it may be impossible to exterminate them later.

Authors and reviewers should be mindful of plants in families and genera known to be widespread or invasive elsewhere, plants that reproduce easily and rapidly by seed or vegetatively, and plants that seem to have a wide range of climatic, soil, and vegetation tolerances.

Whom should you alert? Many states and even some regions within states have exotic plant pest councils. The local herbarium, botanical garden, or extension service may be able to take appropriate action or direct you to the right place. If you come across a problem outside of your area, feel free to let me know and I'll track down the right person to contact.


There are many other things we as botanists can do in our areas to reduce the introduction of invasive plants. Most states have lists of weeds of special concern to them. Becoming familiar with the species on those lists and making local nurseries aware of the dangers of selling any of those plants is one way to help. Work with the local botanical garden, master gardeners, extension service, adult education organizations, etc., to be sure that they are not using or promoting the use of plant material that could escape and become invasive. Something as simple as considering the plants used in making holiday wreaths can be important: discarded wreaths end up in the local landfill, often near or surrounded by natural area; seeds in berries germinate or get carried off by birds and there you are.

Working together, we can all help to control or eliminate introduced invasive species. Let's take advantage of the resources in our herbaria and in the literature and during the regional review process to identify species that may be in the early stages of becoming invasive.

Campbell, F. T. 2001. The science of risk assessment for phytosanitary regulation and the impact of changing trade regulations. BioScience 51: 148_153.

Reichardt, S. H. 1997. Prevention of invasive plant introductions on national and local levels. Pp. 215_227. In: J. A. Luken, J. A. Thieret, eds. Assessment and Management of Plant Invasions. Springer.

Wilcove, D. S., D. Rothstein, J. Dubow, A. Phillips, and E. Losos. 1998. Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. BioScience 48: 607_615.

— Nancy R. Morin, The Arboretum at Flagstaff

ICNCP REVISIONS

The current (1995) edition of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (Cultivated Plant Code, or ICNCP) is in the process of being revised, and a new edition is planned for late 2003.

The Code is maintained by the IUBS Commission on the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants. (For information on this Commission, see http://www.ishs.org/sci/icraiubs.htm.) The Commission is pleased to accept submissions for consideration from any party with an interest in the naming of cultivars and allied taxonomic categories and groups. A number of submissions have already been received and may be viewed in past editions of Hortax News, http://www.hortax.org.uk/.

Additional submissions may be sent to Dr. Piers Trehane, Rapporteur, International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 1 Haggates Cottages, Witchampton, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 5BS, United Kingdom; phone +44 (0)125 884 0086; voice mail +44 (0)709 225 4657; fax +44 (0)870 052 6268; e-mail piers@indhort.demon.co.uk. Submissions must be received by 1 April 2002 so that the documentation may be assembled in time for the Commission meetings in August 2002.

There will be an open forum for discussion on the Code as part of Symposium 22, the Fourth Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants, during the Twenty-sixth Horticultural Congress, Toronto, 11_17 August 2002. For further information on the Congress, see http://www.ihc2002.org/.

DEATHS

Further information on the current Code, including details of its availability, may be found at http://www.ishs.org/.

DR. LUCIANO BERNARDI, former curator at the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens of Geneva, passed away suddenly on 1 December 2001.

EDITORIAL CENTERS

BRIT

The FNA Editorial Center at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas has recently submitted a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation for support in completing the FNA Compositae treatments, which are due to be submitted to Oxford University Press by the end of March in 2004. The BRIT Editorial Committee is served part time by Dr. Guy Nesom, a staff botanist who serves as an author for Compositae treatments and as a treatment editor, and full time by Mr. Justin Allison, the administrative assistant. The grant proposal asks support for a full-time staff botanist, a full-time technical editor, and a part-time clerk-typist, all of whom would begin work on 1 April 2002.

Intermountain Herbarium (UTC)

Work on the two grass volumes, FNA volumes 24 and 25, is proceeding steadily. Though the editing of Volume 25 fell slightly short of the goal of completion before winter break, 80% was edited by 21 December, and the rest will be finished soon. Now the staff at UTC is pleased to turn their attention to Volume 24. Work on this volume will begin in the new year, and their experience with Volume 25 will help make the editing process more efficient. Reviewers will be happy to hear that manuscripts will be sent in more digestible batches from now on, rather than sending everything all at once. Contributors should expect to be contacted in 2002; all others may prepare to order a copy of the first grass volume this summer.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

BFNA Web Site Moves

The Bryophyte Flora of North America Web site has moved to the Buffalo Museum of Science and is now fully operational. The new site, http://www.buffalomuseumofscience.org/BFNA/, mounts treatments, including maps and illustrations, for the FNA bryophyte volumes immediately after peer review and technical editing as "provisional publications."

The liverwort genus Cryptocolea was recently posted to the site, as well as various illustrations and maps. Several genus descriptions were also posted as "Works in Progress" as part of an effort to make it easier for authors to begin writing treatments.

Other helpful files are available for authors, including "Utterly Simplified Cookbook Method and Overview," "How to Write a Description of a Family of Only One Genus, or of a Genus of Only One Species," and "Word Processors and Graphics Programs: How to Use Various File Formats for BFNA."

A high-resolution base map suitable for printing at the size of the hard-copy edition (1.3 inches wide) or wider is available at


http://buffalomuseumofscience.org/bfna/BaseMapSmall.tif.

Catalog of the Vascular Plant Species of

Eastern Brazil

The first installment of the Catalog of the Vascular Plant Species of Eastern Brazil is now available at http://www.nybg.org/bsci/.

When the catalog is completed, it will contain information from all specimens of vascular plant species collected in eastern Brazil and housed in the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium. In addition, for each species that also occurs beyond the boundaries of eastern Brazil, the catalog will contain information from specimens chosen to indicate the limits of the species' geographical range in the Americas.

PUBLICATIONS

Catalog of the Vascular Plants of Ohio

Seventh Catalog of the Vascular Plants of Ohio, edited by Tom S. Cooperrider, Allison W. Cusick, and John T. Kartesz. 2001. The Ohio State University Press. ISBN 0-8142-0858-4 (cloth), 0-8142-5061-0 (paper). $65.00 cloth, $29.95 paper, plus shipping.

Scientific study of Ohio's plant life began in the late eighteenth century, and the first catalog of Ohio's vascular plants was published in 1860. The most recent catalog, published in 1932, has understandably become outdated. Now Dr. Tom S. Cooperrider and his coauthors, Drs. Barbara K. Andreas, Allison W. Cusick, Guy L. Denny, John V. Freudenstein, and John J. Furlow, provide a comprehensive, modern reference covering the Ohio vascular flora. This user-friendly book includes two thorough indexes, one to scientific names and one to common names, and will be invaluable for conservation and environmental workers in Ohio and surrounding states.

The Catalog is available at bookstores, by phone at (773) 568-1550, or online at http://www.ohiostatepress.org.

Plants of British Columbia a Useful Resource

Plants of British Columbia: Scientific and Common Names of Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, and Lichens, by Hong Qian and Karel Klinka. 1998. The University of British Columbia Press. 548 pp. ISBN 0-7748-0652-4 (hardcover). $135.00 U.S.

This reference contains accounts of 4,349 species and 604 infraspecific taxa belonging to 1,128 genera and 304 families of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens native to British Columbia. In addition, it treats 582 exotic, naturalized taxa. A total of 16,919 scientific names (including both accepted names and synonyms) and 3,976 common names are accounted for. For the convenience of use, the book consists of three parts: Part I includes three lists of plants names, one for each of the three major plant groups; within each group, scientific names are organized alphabetically, first by family name, then by species name. Part II is an alphabetical list of all the plant names listed in Part I, and Part III lists common names used for the plants of British Columbia.

In Canada, Plants of British Columbia can be ordered from Raincoast Books, 9050 Shaughnessy Street, Vancouver, BC

V6P 6E5, Canada; phone (604) 323-7106 or (800) 663-5714; fax (800) 565-3770; e-mail custserv@raincoast.com. For orders from the United States, contact the University of Washington Press, 1326 Fifth Ave, Suite 555, Seattle, WA 98145-5096; phone (800) 441-4115 (Monday through Friday, 8 A.M._ 4 P.M., PST); fax (800) 669-7993; e-mail uwpord@u.washington.edu.

Vascular Plants of Wyoming Updated

Vascular Plants of Wyoming, Third Edition, by Robert D. Dorn; illustrations by Jane L. Dorn. 2001. [iv+] 412 pp. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Distributed by the Rocky Mountain Herbarium. $20, shipping included in the U.S.

To order the third edition of this publication, please send a check payable to the Rocky Mountain Herbarium to the Rocky Mountain Herbarium, Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071-3165. Wyoming residents, please add sales tax for your county.

Any questions may be directed to Dr. Ronald L. Hartman, Curator, Rocky Mountain Herbarium, (307) 766-2236; fax (307) 766-2851; rhartman@uwyo.edu.

CBHL ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD IN SAN FRANCISCO

The 34th annual meeting of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Inc. (CBHL) will be held in San Francisco, 8_13 April 2002. Hosted by the Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens (http://www.strybing.org/) and the California Academy of Sciences (http://www.calacademy.org/), this meeting will explore "Plants and People: A Regional Perspective." The meeting will feature workshops, panel presentations, informal receptions, and tours to some of the exceptional gardens of the San Francisco area, and will gather an audience interested in exploring issues of botanical and horticultural information. Opportunities for networking, sharing information, and touring the rich horticultural resources at the height of San Francisco's springtime bloom await. For more information, please call (415) 661-1316 ext. 303; fax (415) 661-3539; or e-mail library@strybing.org. For more information about CBHL, visit http://huntbot.andrew.cmu.edu/.

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS IN BRYOLOGY, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Each assistantship provides a monthly stipend and complete tuition for the duration of graduate study. To obtain further information regarding application procedures, please contact Dr. Barbara Crandall-Stotler, Department of Plant Biology, Mail Code 6509, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901-6509; (618) 536-2331; fax (618)453-3441; e-mail crandall@plant.siu.edu.

FELLOWSHIPS, New England Wild Flower Society. NEWFS seeks six advanced undergraduate or early graduate students to perform basic research addressing species of conservation concern throughout New England. Stipends are provided. A full list of potential project topics is available at http://www.newfs.org/, and guidelines for research proposal preparations can be found at http://www.newfs.org/nsfguide.htm. Proposals are due by 5 February 2002, and notification of fellowships will be made in early March. For more information, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth, (413) 534-6572, efarnswo@mtholyoke.edu.


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