Newsletter - Volume 16, No. 3

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Volume 16, No. 3
September-December 2002
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VOLUME 23 IN PRINT

We are pleased to announce that FNA Volume 23, Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae, was published in late December and is now available for purchase. This volume treats a total of 843 species in 27 genera. Several very large genera are described, including Carex (480 species), Cyperus (96 species), Eleocharis (67 species), and Rhynchospora (68 species), along with 23 smaller genera in the sedge family.

For information on ordering a copy of any of the volumes, see related article page 14.


VOLUME 25 GOES TO PRESS

Volume 25 was sent to OUP on 1 March, with the understanding that the first copies would be available in June. The volume treats 733 species and six named interspecific hybrids. The subfamilies treated are the Aristidoideae, Arundinoideae, Centothecoideae, Chloridoideae, Danthonioideae, and Panicoideae. The larger genera treated include Muhlenbergia, Paspalum¸ Panicum, and Dichanthelium. All but one species are illustrated; an illustration of Eragrostis setifolia, the missing species, will appear on the Grass Manual Web site (http://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual/). This species was added too late for an illustration to be included in the printed volume.

An order form for Volume 25 is posted on the Grass Center's Web site (http://herbarium.usu.edu), or it may be purchased directly from OUP (see related article, page 14).

FNA EXTENDS THANKS

FNA offers sincere thanks to all the authors, reviewers, donors, and staff who have contributed to volumes 23, 25, 26, and all recent volumes.

 

It is their time and commitment that have enabled the project to make such excellent progress.

CHANTICLEER RENEWS FUNDING FOR 2003

In early January, Christopher Woods, Executive Director of the Chanticleer Foundation in Wayne, Pennsylvania, announced to the FNAA that Chanticleer would renew its support of the Flora project in the amount of $450,000 for 2003. These funds will allow for the continued preparation and editing of manuscripts for the volumes that will be published over the next several years. The Chanticleer Foundation has been the major funder of the Flora of North America for the past three years, and this support has been indispensable in getting the organization focused on its commitment to produce the entire Flora expeditiously while still maintaining high quality.

STEVENS SERVES AS INTERIM FNAA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Peter F. Stevens, Professor of Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, has agreed to serve as interim Executive Director/CEO of the Flora of North America Association. This follows the departure of Charles M. Levine, FNAA Executive Director/CEO since May 2001, who announced prior to the annual October meeting in St. Louis that he would be leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Dr. Stevens is a noted biologist, systematist, and natural history historian, co-author of Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach (Sinauer, in its second edition), and custodian of the popular and ever-changing Angiosperm Phylogeny Web site (http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/). In addition to his various scientific pursuits, Stevens enjoys hang-gliding, bungee-jumping, rock-climbing, and gardening, among his various avocations.

Dr. Stevens can be contacted via e-mail at peter.stevens@mobot.org


FNAA REORGANIZATION

APPROVED BY BOARD

In early January 2003, the FNAA Board (a.k.a. the Editorial Committee) approved the reorganization plan that had been presented at the annual meeting in October. The changes to the by-laws provide a dual structure within FNAA that includes both an Executive Management Committee and an Editorial Management Committee, which deal with issues of policy and publication of the Flora, respectively. The committee responsible for the reorganizational effort was chaired by Craig Freeman and also included Editorial Committee members Luc Brouillet, Robert Kiger, Nancy Morin, James Zarucchi, and then-Executive Director Charles Levine. The final implementation of the accepted plan will take place at the mid-year meeting of the FNAA management body on March 28-29 in St. Louis.


FNA VOLUMES ON SALE THROUGH OUP

All published volumes in the Flora of North America series, including the newly published volumes 23, 25, and 26, may be ordered from Oxford University Press. The price of volumes 25 and 26 is $120; all other volumes are $95.00 each, plus shipping and handling. To place an order, call OUP at (800) 451-7556; fax (919) 677-1303; or visit http://www.oup-usa.org. Refer to promotion number I999 when phoning or faxing orders.

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.





NEWS FROM FNA EDITORIAL CENTERS

Botanical Research Institute of Texas

The three projected Compositae volumes (19, 20, and 21) are well under way; they are being prepared together rather than sequentially. The large number of treatments that have been submitted are queued and moving through the regional review, taxonomic editing, and prepublication processes. As of 10 March, 419 genera and 2,505 species are recognized in the flora region. Treatments of 278 genera and 1,443 species have been received, 183 genera are in review, 112 have been promised imminent submission by their authors, and only 29 small genera have yet to be assigned.

Prof. Luc Brouillet of the Université de Montréal joined the FNA Editorial Center at BRIT in early January for a sabbatical leave. He is a member of the FNA Compositae Editorial Committee, along with Dr. John L. Strother of UC-Berkeley and Dr. Ted Barkley of BRIT. Dr. Brouillet will spend his leave in Fort Worth focusing on the tribe Astereae and on aspects of synthesizing the entire family treatment.

Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey, FNA Art Director, spent several days at BRIT in late October, setting up the art program for the Compositae volumes. She is working directly with the authors and the artists, coordinating instructions and assignments and related illustration matters.

Prof. John Semple of the University of Waterloo spent a week at BRIT in February to work on the treatment of Solidago and to consult with Luc Brouillet and Guy Nesom on the Astereae.

Bryophyte Flora of North America

The FNA Editorial Center for Bryophytes at the Missouri Botanical Garden reports that as of March 2003, 160 genera (37%) and 661 species (38%) have been submitted to the Bryophyte Flora of North America (BFNA; FNA volumes 27-29). In detail, 61 genera (49%) and 347 species (57%) have been submitted for Volume 27 (mosses-acrocarps in part); 83 genera (43%) and 227 species (36%) have been submitted for Volume 28 (mosses-remainder of acrocarps and pleurocarps); and 16 genera (13%) and 87 species (17%) have been submitted for Volume 29 (hepatics and anthocerotes).


Authors of the 101 peer-reviewed treatments presently available on the BFNA Web site (http://www.buffalo
museumofscience.org/BFNA/bfnamenu.htm
are: for Volume 27, G. Brassard, V. Bryan, W. Buck, H. Crum, C. Delgadillo, P. Eckel, J.-P. Frahm, R. Hastings, R. Ireland, R. Magill, R. Pursell, P. Redfearn, Jr., W. Reese, W. Weber, and R. Zander; for Volume 28, M. Bourell, W. Buck, J. Christy, H. Crum, L. Hedenas, H. Higuchi, R. Ireland, P. Majestyk, A. Newton, W. Reese, J. Rohrer, J. Spence, L. Stark, and W. Weber; and for Volume 29, S. Bartholomew-Began, D. Breil, J. Godfrey, W. Hong, S. Jessup, and L. Leonardi. Forty-six treatments by other authors are now in review or edit. The process of finishing the volumes is picking up speed as new treatments are published electronically.

It is hoped that submission of all manuscripts for Volume 27 and most for Volume 28 will be completed before September 2003. If so, then there will be enough time (usually six to nine months) to complete editing, illustration, proofing, indexing, last-minute corrections, etc., so that Volume 27 will appear in 2004, followed by Volume 28 in 2005.

Grass Center

The Grass Center at Utah State University, responsible for producing FNA volumes 24 and 25 (the Grass Manual), completed Volume 25 early this year and submitted it to OUP in March. For details, see article page 13.

Work on Volume 24 has begun in earnest. This volume will treat the Pharoideae, Bambusoideae, Ehrhartoideae, and Pooideae. Some treatments have already been sent for regional review, and the several more will be sent over the next six months. Contributors of some larger genera have expressed a wish to make substantial revisions to their treatments; these can be accommodated only if such revisions are completed in the near future, so that the volume may be completed in 2005. Meeting this target date also requires securing the necessary funding for illustrations, editing, and page composition.

On 1 December, a proposal was submitted to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that would enable the center, in conjunction with funding from the FNA Association, the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, and a private donor, to make significant progress in editing the treatments for Volume 24, as well as to publish current work on the Web site (http://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual/).

Maps on the Web site are frequently but irregularly updated as information is entered into the geographic database. The line drawings from Volume 25 have also been posted.

Dr. Mary Barkworth, Lead Editor at the Grass Center,

distributed about 180 flyers for the Flora of North America series at the annual meeting of the Society of Range Management in February. Several individuals expressed pleasure at the news that the series has come back to life, and looked forward to ordering copies of the latest volumes.

For more detailed information on the Grass Manual project, see the latest issue of the Grass Manual Newsletter at http://herbarium.usu.edu/grassmanual/.

Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

After editing on Volume 26, which treats Liliales and Orchidales, was completed at the Institute in the fall, typesetting was done at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the volume was sent to the publisher. It is now in print and in stock from OUP. Information on how to order a copy can be found in the related article on page 14.

Technical Editor Mary Ann Schmidt, ELS, assisted with the editing of Volume 23. Work is now being done on some treatments of Volume 4, which began being processed at the editorial center in Flagstaff.

Twenty-five new Volume 5 treatments have been posted to the ftp site. Now under review in Carophyllaceae are Achyronychia, Agrostemma, Cardionema, Herniaria, and Scopulophila; in Polygonaceae, Acanthoscyphus, Antigonon, Aristocapsa, Brunnichia, Centrostegia, Chorizanthe, Coccoloba, Dedeckera, Dodecahema, Emex, Gilmania, Goodmania, Hollisteria, Koenigia, Lastarriaea, Mucronea, Nemacaulis, Oxyria, Oxytheca, Polygonella, Pterostegia, Rheum, Sidotheca, Stenogonum, and Systenotheca. These genera join the nine Carophyllaceae treatments posted earlier in 2002.


FUNDING AVAILABLE

AUGUSTIN-PYRAMUS DE CANDOLLE PRIZE, GENEVA SOCIÉTÉ DE PHYSIQUE ET D'HISTOIRE

NATURELLE (SPHN). The SPHN will award the Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle Prize to the authors or coauthors of the best monograph on a plant genus or family, either published or unpublished, produced after 31 December 2001. The winner(s) will receive a sum of CHF 5000. To apply, send two copies of the manuscript, along with a curriculum vitae, to Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle Prize, Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Case postale 60, CH-1292 Chambésy/GE, Switzerland. The deadline is 31 March 2004. For more information, send e-mail to prix-candolle.cjb@ville-ge.ch.


TREE OF LIFE, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION. The NSF invites research proposals from multidisciplinary teams to conduct creative and innovative research that will resolve phylogenetic relationships for large groups of organisms on the Tree of Life. Teams of investigators will also be supported for projects in data acquisition, analysis, algorithm development, and dissemination in computational phylogenetics and phyloinformatics. For more information and guidance on proposal preparation, see the Documents Online section of the NSF Web site, http://www.nsf.gov. Proposals must be received by 5 May 2003.

PUBLICATIONS

Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southwestern United States Returned to Print

An important classic in the field of plant identification, Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southwestern United States, by Donovan S. and Helen B. Correll, has been returned to print by The Blackburn Press. Originally published in 1972, this 1,777-page reference resulted from a government-sponsored environmental research project that covered nine years.

The primary aim of Aquatic and Wetland Plants is to enable the identification of fern and flowering plants in polluted and nonpolluted aquatic and wetland habitats of the southwestern United States. The basic requirement for inclusion was a plant's ability to withstand a permanent or seasonally long submersion of at least its root system. In addition, plants classified as phreatophytes, those whose deeply penetrating roots tap the groundwater, are included. The authors examined plants found in four states, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, but the habitats of many of the plants listed extend far beyond that area.

To purchase a copy, visit http://www.blackburnpress.com/aqandwetplan.html.

Directory Lists Internship Opportunities at Public Gardens

The American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA) has published its 2003 Directory of Public Garden Internships, a 60-page book listing over 700 internship opportunities at more than 119 public gardens throughout North America, including the Smithsonian Institution, The New York Botanical Garden, and the U.S. National Arboretum. This book is a valuable resource for aspiring horticulturalists, educators, curators, and horticultural therapists. A limited number of copies are available for $15. To order one, contact AABGA, 100 West 10th St., Suite 614, Wilmington, DE 19801; (302) 655-7100.

Asters of Ontario Now Available

Cultivated and Native Asters of Ontario (Compositae: Astereae), by John C. Semple, Stephen B. Heard, and Luc Brouillet. 2002. University of Waterloo Biology Series, Number 41. 124 pp., perfect or spiral bound. $28.00 plus shipping.

This new publication presents the native asters of Ontario, as well as native and non-native cultivars including Eurasian genera. Various classifications of all asters are discussed, and a revised scheme is presented based on DNA analyses and previously published studies on morphology and cytology. Generic limits are the same as those used by the Flora of North America project.

Asters of Ontario features generic and subgeneric descriptions and revisited discussions of species. There are detailed treatments of 8 genera, 43 species, and 1 cultivated hybrid. Distribution dot maps have been updated, and 18 new nomenclatural combinations are given.

The cost is $28.00, plus $10.00 shipping and handling in the U.S. and Canada ($12.50 for overseas delivery); Canadian buyers add 7% GST to the total. To order, send a check payable to "University of Waterloo - Biology Series" to Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada, or visit http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/biology/jcsemple/
uwbioser.htm
. Please specify perfect or spiral bound.

NYBG Offers Americas Basemap

A Digital Basemap for Studying the Neotropical Flora, by Nat Bletter, John Janovec, Berry Brosi, Douglas C. Daly, W. Thomas, and C. Peters. February 2003. The New York Botanical Garden.

In an effort to help modernize neotropical plant studies and to make GIS more accessible to botanists, The New York Botanical Garden has developed a digital base map of the Americas with multiple registered map layers that can be superimposed in any combination and may be used to create digital distribution maps from collection lists for dissemination and analysis. The Americas Base Map may be utilized by any botanist affiliated with a nonprofit institution and with access to ArcView®, and it is available (with instructions for its use) on CD or in electronic form by request (regional data sets not included). Requests should be directed to Doug Daly, ddaly@nybg.org. Read more about the Americas Base map at http://www.nybg.org/bsci/digital_maps/ or follow the link from http://www.botanypages.org.

Second Edition of Herbage Ethnobotany Database CD-ROM Released

The Herbage Ethnobotany Database, by Tim Johnson. Ed. 2. 2003. Holisticopia. CD-ROM. $200.00

Holisticopia has released a second edition of Tim Johnson's CD-ROM database, first issued in 1998. The updated version contains concise monographs of 28,659 medicinal plant species, including an inventory of claimed attributes and historical uses by cultures throughout the world. Monographs are linked to hundreds of thousands of articles and images via the Web, and each species listing has links to image and article searches.


Sources for this index, which is the product of over 10 years of research, include the three largest U.S. government ethnobotany databases, the U.S. National Park Service NPFlora plant inventory lists, and 18 leading works on the subject.

This CD-ROM is compatible with any Windows or Macintosh computer. The cost is $200 per copy. Purchases may be made online at
http://www.holisticopia.com/herbage/, or by contacting Holisticopia, 107 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; (831) 475-0904. The database may be viewed online for free until the end of March.

OTHER NEWS

The University of Iowa Herbarium: Endangered

The University of Iowa Herbarium (IA) is in the midst of the ultimate battle: losing means extinction. In July 2002, just days prior to her departure to the University of Michigan, former university president Mary Sue Coleman and Dean Linda Maxson of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences signed an agreement to transfer the herbarium to Iowa State.

The agreement with Iowa State was the culmination of a decision by Dean Maxson in late 2001, a decision made without the knowledge or involvement of the user-groups that are most directly affected. Faculty in Biological Sciences, the Environmental Sciences Program, related facilities that rely on the herbarium as a resource, and I, the Curator, learned of the Dean's decision after the fact. Since then we have fought internally to have the decision overturned, but our efforts so far have been unsuccessful. However, a new president was installed recently and the dean is interviewing for a position elsewhere. In view of these changes, we continue our strenuous efforts to stop the transfer, with the public media our present venue. Copies of editorials, letters, and articles are on the herbarium Web site, http://atmos.cgrer.uiowa.edu/herbarium.

The UI Herbarium was the first herbarium in the state, and today it is one of the largest in the country. It houses some 250,000 specimens from all over the world, including the only major collections of bryophytes and fossils in Iowa. The heart of the collection is the nearly 75,000 Iowa specimens that make it a regionally significant resource.

Current activity levels in the herbarium are unprecedented. Since 1990, IA has documented at least 10 species previously unrecorded from Iowa. In the past decade, approximately 100 publications/reports/creative works and 30 theses have been based on IA specimens. The herbarium is widely utilized for undergraduate instruction, and the herbarium Web site averages 4,000 requests per month. The site offers extensive information on Iowa's endangered species legislation (see "Iowa's Fragile Flora"), including the "Fragile Flora Database," with all state listings of rare plants since 1977. Our current project is the "Iowa's Fragile Flora Inventory," a distributional database for all Iowa plant species (ca. 2,000) that will be used to generate county distribution maps on the site.

The possible transfer of the UI Herbarium should concern all collections managers. If the transfer goes ahead, field investigations of plants in eastern Iowa undoubtedly will be greatly reduced, even though our work over the last 10-15 years demonstrates that there is a great deal still to be learned about the distributions of Iowa plants. The quality of the educational experience for liberal arts students at the university will be compromised, and the Green Track of the popular Environmental Sciences Program will be seriously undermined. Our outreach program, via presentations, tours for students from surrounding colleges and schools, assistance with identifications, and the herbarium Web site, will cease. Overall, fewer people will learn about plants, collections-based research, and conservation, and fewer will have ready access to a vital resource for assessing the environment.

—Diana Horton, Director and Curator, University of Iowa Herbarium

Chicago Botanic Garden Library Acquires Rare Book Collection

The Chicago Botanic Garden has acquired more than 4,000 rare books and journals from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, including first editions of Darwin's botanical works and a collection of botany, horticulture, and gardening journals published in the eighteenth century. This acquisition significantly expands the size of the Garden's June Price Reedy Horticultural Library, which now houses 20,000 volumes and 2,000 rare books.

Containing historical and scarce volumes dating as far back as the 1400s, this priceless collection includes 2,219 rare books and 2,000 journal titles. Thirty percent of the books were published before 1799, and 60 percent were published in the nineteenth century. The original, hand-printed and -colored plates in the collection are unique because such a small number of books was printed, and even fewer still exist. The oldest book in the collection, published in Treviso, Italy, in 1483, is De Historia Plantarum, a Latin translation of the Greek text by Theophrastus, Aristotle's favorite student and the father of botany.

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society will keep some books from the collection, primarily ones that were printed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, books and journals of specific historical or archival value, and seminal works on landscape design and American horticulture. An additional 130 or so rare books, featuring exceptionally fine illustrations and valued at tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, were auctioned off by Christie's on 18 December.

Until the Garden realizes its plans to accommodate the collection, many books and journals will be warehoused. Ed Valauskas, manager of the June Price Reedy Horticultural Library, will lead a team of experts in processing and restoring the collection as necessary. In the meantime, some of the best books and journals will be selected for ongoing public exhibition at the Garden.


Potentilla robbinsiana Removed from Endangered Species List

The New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS) reports that for the first time in history, a plant has been delisted from the federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants due to its recovery in the wild.

Potentilla robbinsiana, or Robbins' cinquefoil, is a small plant native to the harsh, treelessalpine zone of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Before receiving Endangered Species Act protection in 1980, this plant was on the brink of extinction, with only 3,700 known occurrences. Starting in 1983, the Appalachian Mountain Club rerouted the trail away from the species' critical habitat and built an enclosure to protect the primary population. NEWFS began propagating P. robbinsiana in its nursery and reintroduced it to the primary population, as well as introducing plants to two additional sites within the National Forest. Today, thanks to the conservation efforts of the NEWFS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Appalachian Mountain Club, there are more than 14,000 plants in the wild. Partners continue to monitor the health of these populations.

Botany Division of Peabody Museum Relocated

The Botany Division of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, which includes the Yale University Herbarium (YU), recently was relocated to a state-of-the art facility on the third floor of the new Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center. The herbarium contains about 350,000 specimens from throughout the world, including about 15,000 ferns and 35,000 bryophytes. In addition, 35,000 specimens from the collections of the Connecticut Botanical Society have been merged with the YU collections, although the CBS specimens are maintained in separate folders. Plans to digitize and database all collections are underway. The relocation and reorganization of the herbarium was carried out by Dr. Nico Cellinese, who in August 2002 became YU's first collections manager. For more information about the collections, loans or visits, contact Dr. Cellinese at (203) 432-3537, nico.cellinese@yale.edu, or visit the Peabody Web site, http://www.peabody.yale.edu/collections/bot.


NEWS FROM CONTRIBUTORS AND REVIEWERS

Dr. Leila Shultz, FNA Taxon Editor, has returned to Utah State University as a research professor in the College of Natural Resources. Her new e-mail address is shultz@cc.usu.edu. Anyone interested in contributing Apiaceae or Scrophulariaceae treatments is invited to contact her.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

Three Rare Books Digitized at MBG

The Missouri Botanical Garden has added three new books to its Rare Book site, http://ridgwaydb.mobot.org/mobot/rarebooks/:

Fragmentia botanica, figuris coloratis illustrata: ab anno 1800 ad annum 1809 per sex fasciculos edita/opera et sumptibus Nicolai Josephi Jacquin, by Nikolaus Joseph Freiherr von Jacquin

Le jardin du Roy tres chrestien, Loys XIII, Roy de France et de Navare, by Pierre Vallet

Revisio generum plantarum vascularium omnium atque cellularium multarum secundum leges nomenclaturae internationales cum enumeratione plantarum exoticarum in itenere mundi collectarum…/mit erläuterungen von Dr. Otto Kuntze, by Otto Kuntze

In addition to these three works, Nicolaas Meerburgh's popular book, Afbeeldingen van zeldzaame gewassen, published in 1775, has been redigitized to improve the image quality. Users may also view new author biographies, including those of Otto Kuntze and Benjamin Delessert, as well as a list of materials to be digitized over the next two years.

NCSC Unveils Vulpia

The North Carolina State University Herbarium (NCSC) announces the release of a new online botanical publication, Vulpia, named in honor of the late Dr. William Basil Fox (1915-1952), first curator of NCSC. (The name Vulpia comes from vulpes, the Latin word for fox.)

Not wishing to duplicate existing journal coverage, Vulpia seeks primarily to provide useful scientific information often not published in existing journals for lack of resources or space, such as botanical keys to native and cultivated plants, detailed nomenclatural notes, discussions of synonymy and typification, floristic notes, and lengthy exsiccatae. The first volume includes two specimen distribution lists provided by FNA contributor Dr. Paul R. Fantz. We hope this publication will be of interest to other


FNA authors as a cheap means of documenting and making available the extensive exsiccatae resulting from the development of taxonomic treatments.

To facilitate broad, cost-effective distribution, the publication is available online as an Adobe PDF file. Archival hardcopies and electronic media will be deposited at the library of North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

Subscriptions are free for the time being and will be managed through a list-serve. Persons subscribing to the publication will receive notification of new papers as they are released and a complete table of contents of the year's volume at the end of the calendar year. Volume 1 and subscription information can be found at http://www.vulpia.ncsu.edu. For more information, contact Alexander Krings, Curator, NCSC, at alexander_krings@ncsu.edu.

First Issue of Constancea Published

The University of California-Berkeley and the Jepson Herbarium announce the publication of the first issue of Constancea, an online, refereed journal named after Lincoln Constance. The journal, available at http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/constancea, takes over from the University of California Publications in Botany, which published its final volume (#82) in 2001.

Virtual Herbarium Prototype Now Online

The Fairchild Tropical Garden Research Center now offers a prototype of their Virtual Herbarium Web Portal, exploring different search strategies. To view the site, visit http://www.virtualherbarium.org/vhportal.html. Questions and comments may be sent to Gerald Guala, Keeper of the Herbarium, stinger@fairchildgarden.org.

New Resources Available from Kew

KEW CATALOGUE. The Kew library catalogue is now available online for global public use at http://www.kew.org/library/index.html. John Flanagan, Kew Librarian, reports that this resource includes more than 145,000 individual records, primarily for published material such as monographs and pamphlets. Of the 4,000 periodical titles held at Kew, about 700 have entries in the catalogue so far. Catalogue entries for the archives and illustrations collections will be made available in the future.

Other recent additions to the catalogue include recommended botanical sites, which can be viewed via hyperlink from within bibliographic records. Another key feature of this botanical gateway is the ability to search other libraries from within the catalogue itself.

Live connections to the Library of Congress and the Natural History Museum, London, are already set up, and links to other libraries with relevant collections will be added.

DNA BANK DATABASE. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, DNA Bank Database, which contains more than 13,000 samples of plant genomic DNA available upon request, is now online at http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/data/dnaBank/homepage.html. (A small handling fee is requested.) Queries and may be addressed to the Bank Managers, DnaBank@rbgkew.org.uk.

ePIC SERVICE. Kew Gardens has released the first stage in a new online information resource discovery service called ePIC, the electronic Plant Information Centre. From the ePIC interface at http://www.kew.org/epic/, a user can search simultaneously for plant information across four databases held at Kew. Features will be expanded over the next two years and many more databases will be added, with the ultimate goal of including all of Kew's major collections, bibliographies, and taxonomic and species-based datasets. The first release includes the International Plant Names Index, bibliographic data in the Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature, information about the economic uses of plants in the Survey of Economic Plants of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, and Kew's living collection of 30,000 plant taxa. Any comments on this service may be addressed to Mark Jackson, Applications Development Manager, m.jackson@rbgkew.org.uk.

BRAZILIAN SPECIMENS. Kew Gardens also offers a new online database of herbarium specimens from northeastern Brazil. This project is part of the Biodiversity Subprogramme of the Plantas of Nordeste Project, a bilateral collaboration between RBG Kew and the Associação Plantas de Nordeste, supported in part by the Brazilian and U.K. governments. To access the database, go to http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/data/repatbr/homepage.html. The first release of the database comprises Compositae specimens. Types have been digitally imaged, and users may search for specimens using a variety of criteria. Any comments should be directed to brazilianrepatriation
@kew.org
.

Oregon State University Herbarium Puts Database Online

The Vascular Plant Specimen database of Oregon State University may be accessed at http://www.orst.edu/dept/botany/herbarium/db/vasc_plant
.html
. To date, over 47,000 specimens labels have been entered, representing about 30% of the Oregon specimens in the herbarium. These labels can be searched by taxon name, collector, date, and county. For most taxa, at least one specimen has been entered for each Oregon county in which it occurs. All Oregon specimens have been entered for select genera, including Allium, Carex, Festuca, Salix, and Senecio, as well as all conifer specimens (Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, and Taxaceae) and most weed species.


COURSES

Three-Week Course on Plant Families of Southeast Asia

Undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in the botanical wealth of Southeast Asia are invited to participate in a full-time, three-week course at the Leiden University branch of the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland. The course, which is given every two years, will take place 6-23 May 2003. Participants will earn 150 credit hours, and space is limited to 20 students. For more information on the program, contact J. W. F. Slik, slik@nhn.leidenuniv.nl, or M. C. Roos, roos@nhn.leidenuniv.nl.

MEETINGS & CONFERENCES

Fourth Biennial Conference, Systematics Association

The Systematics Association will hold its fourth biennial conference 18-22 August 2003 at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Thematic sessions include "Biodiversity Databases: Change and Challenge," "The Systematics of Species-Rich Taxa," and "Human Evolution and Environments." Contributions in the form of posters or presentations are welcome on any topic. Students are particularly encouraged to participate. There is a bursary scheme that will contribute to the costs of registration, accommodation, and subsistence for current and recently graduated students. More details are available at http://www.systass.org/biennial2003/index.html, or by writing to systematics.conference@tcd.ie.

Joint Conference Celebrates 150th Anniversary of National Herbarium of Victoria

The National Herbarium of Victoria and Plant Systematics in Australia will commemorate its sesquicentenary with a joint conference of the Australian Systematic Botany Society and the Australasian Mycological Society, with the Seventh Australasian Bryophyte Workshop and the Orchid Conservation Forum II. The conference will take place at the University of Melbourne, 29 September-3 October 2003. Those interested in participating in the conference and/or associated workshop or forum and who would like to be added to the mailing list to receive updates should send their name and contact information to bhewitt@unimelb.edu.au. For more information, see http://www.conferences.unimelb.edu.au/150years/.


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