BEN # 115
aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Sun Oct 15 09:46:00 EST 1995
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No. 115 October 15, 1995
aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
CLASSIFICATION AND INVENTORY OF THE WORLD'S WETLANDS
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
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
- 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
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-
- 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.
FUNGAL GALLS ON MENZIESIA - A UNIQUE REPORT OF MYCOPHAGY
From: Dr. Brian D. Compton <bcompton at unixg.ubc.ca>
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 mhs-fswa.attmail.com>
via HERB-L <HERB-L at IDBSU.IDBSU.EDU>
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.
North Zone Herbarium
Fortine Ranger District
P.O. Box 116
Fortine, MT 59918
RE: COMMON NAMES - FROM OUR MAIL BOX - PART II
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 olympus.net>
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 terminology...it 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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