BEN # 115

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Sun Oct 15 09:46:00 EST 1995

BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             ISSN 1188-603X
BB   B   EE       NNN  N
BBBBB    EEEEE    NN N N             BOTANICAL
BB   B   EE       NN  NN             ELECTRONIC
BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             NEWS

No. 115                              October 15, 1995

aceska at        Victoria, B.C.
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2

From: Dr. Pekka Pakarinen <PAKARINEN at cc.Helsinki.FI>

The  latest issue of Vegetatio (1995, Vol. 118:1-192), edited by
C.M. Finlayson and A.G. van der Valk, contains  the  proceedings
of  a  symposium  'Classification  and  inventory of the world's
wetlands' held at the IV International  Wetlands  Conference  in
Columbus,  Ohio,  USA,  in  1992.  Wetland  and  peatland class-
ification systems and the  status  of  wetland  inventories  are
discussed in fourteen articles:

- Scott, D.A.  &  Jones,  T.A.:  Classification and inventory of
  wetlands: A global overview.

  There is a need for a simple global classification system.  It
  is  suggested  that the Ramsar classification system should be
  adopted generally for international purposes.

- Hughes, J.M.R.: The current status of European wetland  inven-
  tories and classifications.

  The  status  of European wetland inventories is summarized for
  44 countries. The total area of designated Ramsar wetlands  in
  Europe in 1994 was 7.4 Mha.

- Pakarinen,  P.:  Classification of boreal mires in Finland and
  Scandinavia: A review.

  The paper reviews the development of peatland  classifications
  in  Fennoscandia  (Finland, Sweden, Norway), with a discussion
  on circumboreal classification  and  corresponding  vegetation
  types in Canada.

- Gopal, B. & Sah, M.:  Inventory and classification of wetlands
  in India.

  We propose a hierarchical classification of wetlands based  on
  their  location,  salinity,  physiognomy, duration of flooding
  and the growth forms of the dominant vegetation.

- Lu, J.: Ecological significance and classification of  Chinese

  Natural  wetlands are classified into three main groups: coas-
  tal and estuarine wetlands, riverine and lacustrine  wetlands,
  and  peat  bogs. Artificial wetlands include four types: paddy
  fields, aquatic culture ponds, water storage  reservoirs,  and
  salt  pans.  The total extent of wetlands in each province has
  been estimated.

- Taylor, A.R.D., Howard, G.W. & Begg, G.W.: Developing  wetland
  inventories in Southern Africa: A review.

  The  status  of  wetland  inventories and availability of data
  sources is reviewed for the ten countries of southern Africa.

- Pressey, R.L. & Adam, P.: A review of  wetland  inventory  and
  classification in Australia.

  Past and current approaches in Australia are reviewed, and the
  issue of a global classification scheme is discussed.

- Semeniuk, C.A. & Semeniuk, V.: A geomorphic approach to global
  classification for inland wetlands.

  A  geomorphic classification on criteria other than vegetation
  is proposed, based on their host landform and degree  of  wet-

- Naranjo,  L.G.:  An evaluation of the first inventory of South
  American wetlands.

  The paper evaluates the  reliability  of  the  South  American
  wetlands  inventory  and its impact on wetland conservation in
  South America during the last six years.

- Zoltai, S.C. & Vitt, D.H.:  Canadian  wetlands:  Environmental
  gradients and classification.

  For peatlands, the primary division should be acidic Sphagnum-
  dominated  bogs  and  poor  fens  on  one hand and brown moss-
  dominated rich fens on the other.  Non  peat-forming  wetlands
  lack  the  well-developed  bryophyte  ground layer of fens and

- Cowardin, L.M. & Golet, F.C.: US  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service
  1979 wetland classification: A review.

  We review the performance of the classification after 13 years
  of  use. The classification structure consists of five hierar-
  chic  levels.  The  principal  problem  areas  are   discussed
  (definition  of  wetland,  definition  of classification taxa,
  lack of basic ecological data, limitations of remote sensing).

- Wilen, B.O. & Bates, M.K.: The US Fish and Wildlife  Service's
  National Wetlands Inventory Project.
  The  current  status  of the National Wetland Inventory in the
  conterminous US and Alaska is described, with information also
  of the availability of  inventory  products  (list  of  hydric
  soils, list of wetland plant species, map reports and bibliog-
  raphic listings).

- Novitzki,  R.P.:  EMAP-Wetlands: A sampling design with global

  The wetland component  of  the  Environmental  Monitoring  and
  Assessment Program (EMAP) of the U.S. Environmental Protection
  Agency  (EPA)  is designed to provide quantitative assessments
  of the current status and long-term trends in  the  ecological
  condition of wetland resources.

- Finlayson,  C.M. & van der Valk, A.G.:  Wetland classification
  and inventory: A summary.

  An international committee under the auspices of  an  interna-
  tional  agency  (e.g.  IWRB,  Ramsar Bureau, IUCN) needs to be
  established to develop a classification system and  guidelines
  for carrying out a complete inventory of the world's wetlands.

From: Dr. Brian D. Compton <bcompton at>

Compton,  Brian  D. 1995. "Ghost's ears" (Exobasidium sp. affin.
      vaccinii) and fool's huckleberries  (Menziesia  ferruginea
      Smith):  a  unique  report of mycophagy on the central and
      north coasts of British Columbia. Journal of  Ethnobiology

Exobasidium  spores may infect the leaves, stems, and flowers of
fool's huckleberry or false azalea, resulting in organ  deforma-
tion  and  hypertrophic  growth that accompanies fungal develop-
ment.  Eventually  the  fungus  sporulates  on  the  surface  of
mycocecidia  (fungal  galls)  that range from 1-2 cm in size and
are somewhat berry-like (i.e.,  globular,  somewhat  sweet,  and
crisp). The mycocecidium produces a whitish bloom when sporulat-
ing, but the immature structure may be pale rose to purplish.

The  cultural  roles of mycocecidia (fungal galls) of the fungus
Exobasidium sp. affin. vaccinii on  Menziesia  ferruginea  Smith
(false  azalea,  or  fool's  huckleberry)  among various Pacific
northwest coast cultures are identified and discussed.  As  many
as nine distinct coastal groups named and ate these mycocecidia.
These  galls  were occasionally eaten fresh when they were found
but there is no evidence that they were gathered or prepared  in
any  way.  Among at least three coastal groups, the Henaaksiala,
Heiltsuk, and Tsimshian, the mycocecidia had mythological impor-

From: Toby Spribille
      </S=T.SPRIBILLE/OU1=R01F14D03A at>

We are working on establishing a small  herbarium  in  northwest
Montana  and  are  interested in the possibilities of exchanging
specimens with other herbaria for the purpose  of  stocking  our
collection of Carex, Vaccinium and other genera. We have miscel-
laneous  material  collected  in  northwest  Montana,  including
vascular plants, lichens and bryophytes  (quite  a  few  of  the
latter, in fact).

We  are  particularly interested in material from other parts of
Montana, as well as  Idaho,  Washington,  British  Columbia  and
Alberta.  If anyone is interested in exchanging material, please
let me know. Unfortunately, we are not yet listed in  the  Index
Herbariorum, but intend to do so soon.

   Toby Spribille
   North Zone Herbarium
   Fortine Ranger District
   P.O. Box 116
   Fortine, MT 59918


From: Bianca Davis <davise at BLUE.CS.NYU.EDU>
I suppose you will be getting a  great  many  responses,  but  I
wanted  to  let  you know how much I enjoyed your article, which
Tom Stuart posted on Alpine-L.  I  am  a  botanical  artist  and
illustrator  and  gardener, not a botanist. But without correct,
universal scientific names I would be lost. More and more  books
are substituting pseudo-common names in their indexes and texts,
and  this  makes doing research more time-consuming for me, as I
don't just use keys and floras. Often my research  must  include
standard texts written for gardeners and other such materials.

Even at exhibits organized by botanical illustrators and artists
I will be asked to supply common names for plants that really do
not  have  one.  Some of the plants I draw and paint are alpines
from remote regions. Perhaps the  yak  herders  or  nomads  have
cutest  common names for these things -- often I feel like tell-
ing people to hike up there themselves and  find  out.  Ha!  And
isn't  is "imperialism" for *us* to be making up names for these
plants anyway? Shouldn't the locals have a say?

It is so wonderful for me to be able to consult  a  flora  in  a
language  I  don't  read,  but can use, because the names are in
Latin, and I can piece the rest together...

You say we should take botany out of the kindergarten. I say the
opposite. As you point out, children have no problem with  these
things.  Before  my four year old nephew moved on to an interest
in the Revolutionary War, he had successfully memorized hundreds
of scientific names of dinosaurs and other creatures. Botany  is
not  taught  in  schools, but it used to be. Children and adults
could also draw, to some degree or other,  what  they  saw,  and
this  is  a  great  way  to  learn  about a plant. People cannot
respect or care for what they have never  been  taught  to  take
seriously  or  understand. I know many people who consider them-
selves "environmentalists" who don't know the name of  a  single
plant--they  consider  all  plants  silly  flowers.  The schools
should teach botany from a young age, and teach children how  to
draw  and  paint  what they see. Then maybe even PBS would start
having some serious programs about plants, not just animals.

I am also a gardener. As you can see, my perspective is  one  of
an amateur and layperson. Many gardeners are somewhat hostile to
botanists.  They find keys intimidating. (They need more usable,
gardener oriented keys.) But at  least  rock  gardeners  have  a
respect  for  the  names of their plants! I have no problem with
common names for truly common plants. Tasha Tudor  is  perfectly
free to call her violas whatever she likes, just as I am free to
call  my dogs all sorts of weird names. The problem comes when I
start asking everyone I know to learn all that stuff, put it  in
books,  rewrite  things, and remember that I don't call my dog a
dog, I call him a teddy bear.

Long live botany, botanists, and scientific names.  As  I  said,
I'd  be  lost  without them--literally,I could not do my job. So
thanks, and good luck. - Bianca

From: Bob Simmonds <simmonds at>
A reply to Dr. Weber: While I can understand  your  position,  I
think there are other points to be considered. In today's educa-
tional  system,  the  number  of students learning Latin is very
small, and the number learning Classical Greek essentially zero.
During my teaching career (in geology) I found it  necessary  to
offer  a mini-course on the meanings of common Greco-Latin roots
in scientific terminology. While the meaning of eg "Eohippus" is
immediately obvious to me, it might as well be Martian to  most,
and  labelling  the  beast  as  "Dawn Horse" is far more helpful
(Yes, i am aware that the name is  no  longer  valid,  and  that
illustrates a problem with the scientific keeps
changing  as  earlier references turn up...witness the demise of
"Brontosaurus".) Furthermore, most vascular  plants,  at  least,
*have*  common  names in areas where the population is gatherers
who have been in place for a long time. It would seem only  fair
to use these names, at least on the specific level.

From: Weber William A <weberw at spot.Colorado.EDU>
Probably  I  should  have  pointed  out  that  I  use scientific
nomenclature to teach these benighted people the meanings of the
words in their own  English  language!  I  also  have  no  gripe
against  using common names that have grown up within a culture.
But even these are not usable when you are talking to a  Chinese
or Russian or even a Swedish friend.

In  the  Boulder  Camera  at  the  beginning  of  August 1995, a
quotable quote: Astronomer  Carl  Sagan,  in  his  first  public
appearance  since  undergoing a bone marrow transplant in April,
telling a Seattle audience that adults  are  sending  the  wrong
messages  to  kids: "One trend that bothers me is the glorifica-
tion of stupidity, that the media are reassuring people it's all
right to know nothing, that in a way it's cool. That  to  me  is
far more dangerous than a little pornography on the Internet."
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