BEN # 113

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Sun Sep 24 04:28:42 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. 113                              September 24, 1995

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

From: Toby Spribille, Interior Northwest Botany News # 9
      </S=BOTANY-NEWS/OU1=R01F14D03A at>

[The  following  are  autobiographical  notes  written  by Klaus
Lackschewitz last winter after he was  diagnosed  with  terminal
cancer.  They  describe the life and work of Montana's botanist,
whose efforts contributed very significantly to the knowledge of
the flora of the state. His books are now in widespread  use  in
the  U.S. Forest Service and are accepted as standard references
for the flora of west-central Montana. He died in Missoula on 10
August 1995, at the age of 84. The  notes  are  reproduced  with
permission of Mrs. Gertrud Lackschewitz. --TS]

I  was  born  May 4, 1911 in a rural forester's residence in the
then Russian province of Livonia, which was in  1918  to  become
the  independent  republic of Latvia. Shortly after the founding
of the new state my father, who had earned his  forestry  degree
in Germany, was appointed to the State Department of Forestry in
Riga.  There  I  spent  my  high school years, graduating from a
German Gymnasium with a Classics emphasis. My  interest  in  the
Natural Sciences was strongly supported by gifted teachers and a
father  who  came  from  a  family  of  literati  in the Natural
Sciences. I attended Botany  and  Zoology  courses  for  several
years at the "Institutum Herderianum Rigense", a German College.
The political climate in the early thirties in a country border-
ing  on  the  Stalinist  Soviet  Union  was virulent. The German
minority in the Baltic States was gradually disenfranchised  and
put under severe economic pressure. Like many of my countrymen I
turned  from an academic to a practical career hoping to be able
to survive and stay in the country of my  forefathers  which  we
all loved very much. I took a 2-year crash course at an agricul-
tural  college  near Berlin, and from 1935-1939 managed and then
leased a farm in Latvia.

After war broke out in the fall of 1939  all  of  our  hopes  of
holding  on  to  a  place  in  our homeland were dashed when the
Hitler/Stalin Pact assigned Latvia as a "sphere of interest"  to
the  Soviet  Union.  The  150,000  or  so  ethnic  Germans whose
forbears had lived there for  500 years  were  ordered  out  and
shipped  on  boats to resettle in western Poland, on lands taken
away from Polish proprietors. Soon after being "settled", I  was
called  to  the  German  army.  I served on the Russian southern
front from 1941-1945, which  then  advanced  into  the  Caucasus
area. My familiarity with Russian language and culture helped to
open  my  eyes  and  ears  in  encounters  and tradings with the
population. Later on when I was wounded and captured and  trans-
ferred  about  in  POW  camps  in northern Russia, I was able to
serve as interpreter between the camp authorities and my  fellow
prisoners,  which gave me some advantage under nearly unbearable
conditions. My knowledge of edible plants helped here and  there
to  augment  our  starving rations. With shattered health (I was
diagnosed with Tuberculosis), I almost miraculously made it into
a contingent of returnees in 1947, and stumbled back  into  war-
devastated West Germany, which was then almost a foreign country
to me.

After  recovering  I  worked odd jobs. I decided to emigrate to
the United States or Canada, where many  of  my  countrymen  had
gone.  In  the  spring  of  1952  my  papers were complete and I
crossed the ocean in a contingent of "deported persons",  in  an
old military transport ship. My German-born sponsor had hired me
to  rehabilitate an abandoned farm in New Jersey, a project that
had little prospect of success. So I turned my old  hobby,  gar-
dening,  into  a  livelihood.  I  worked in greenhouses and with
landscaping companies, learning about American plants  and  gar-
dens  (and  the  English  language). I specialized in foundation
plantings and rock gardens. Although  I  was  impressed  by  the
richness  of  the  flora of the East Coast I never felt quite at
home in it.

When my wife obtained a position at the University of Montana in
1960 I was happy to move west to Missoula, Montana.  I  was  im-
mediately  taken by the beautiful open landscapes and mountains,
and drawn to investigate the native  flora,  especially  of  the
alpine  regions. Friends like Frank Rose, who had been gathering
native plants for commercial purposes, introduced  me  to  their
favorite  collecting  places.  Tor  Fageraas,  at that time head
gardener of the University campus and  an  experienced  mountain
climber,  accompanied  me an many a field trip in canyons up the
Bitterroots to collect high elevation plants for the  university
herbarium.  I  also  became much interested in the use of native
plants for horticultural purposes and established a rock  garden
at  my house. Since 1965 the Botany Department of the University
as superintendent of greenhouses, and  subsequently  gave  me  a
working  place in the herbarium. I could now pursue my two major
passions: investigating and collecting native  plants  in  their
natural  habitats to further our knowledge about them, and weav-
ing their austere beauty into our garden design.

Until 1994 I  collected  specimens  for  over  12,000  herbarium
sheets, mostly from Montana mountain ranges. Next to the Bitter-
roots,  the largest amounts were taken from the Anaconda-Pintler
Mountains, the Front Range east of the Continental  Divide,  and
the  Beartooth  Plateau.  I  visited  many of the other mountain
ranges, but only a few times each. After all,  I  had  become  a
mountain  man  only  after  the age of 50. A number of specimens
found had not been collected in Montana before.  Agoseris  lack-
schewitzii,  Erigeron  lackschewitzii  and  Lesquerella  klausii
turned out to be heretofore unknown species.

The major fruit of my observations is contained in my  guidebook
Vascular Plants of West-central Montana, 1991 and 1993. In order
to  facilitate plant identification by the lay user the material
is organized by habitat (which plant am I likely to find  here?)
and by frequency of occurrence. The description again takes into
account the surrounding plant associations.

In  1966  I had the opportunity to realize our plan for a Native
Plant Garden around the  University  Botany  Building.  Chairman
Sherman  Preece  shared  my  enthusiasm,  secured  the means and
personally helped to collect the plant  material.  He  mobilized
the  faculty  and graduate students for the actual groundwork of
laying out and planting the garden.  Work  study  students  were
found  to  pluck the weeds, and for a time new plants were added
every year. Several years ago the Native Plant Society took  the
garden  into  their  responsibility. Volunteer workers have gra-
ciously contributed their time and effort to maintain the plant-
ings. Thanks to this ongoing labor of love the garden  has  been
improved  as  a teaching tool and a display of the beauty of our
native flora.

   Klaus H. Lackschewitz

JOSEF POELT (1924-1995)
From: ASPT Newsletter Volume 9(3) - July 1995

Josef  Poelt  (1924-1995),  Emeritus  Professor,  Institut   fur
Botanik,   Universitat   Graz,  Graz,  Austria,  and  a  leading
authority on the systematics of cryptogams  especially  lichens,
died on 3 June 1995 at his home in Graz. Prof. Poelt was born on
17  October  1924  in  the  small  village  of  Pocking in upper
Bavaria. He studied botany in Munchen,  completing  his  PhD  in
1950  and  his  habilitation  in  1959.  In  October 1965, after
several years as Curator and Lecturer at Munchen, Poelt  took  a
professorship  at  the  Institut  fur Systematische  Botanik und
Pflanzen-geographie,  Freie  Universitat,  Berlin.  In  February
1972,  he left this position to become Professor of the Institut
fur Botanik, Graz.In October 1991, after almost 20 years as head
of the Institut, he stepped down to become an  Emeritus  Profes-
sor.  Even  in retirement Prof. Poelt remained active, lecturing
until June 1994 and conducting field  work  and  systematic  re-
search until his death.

Prof.  Poelt  leaves  an  impressive body of systematic research
reported in over 320 publications,  which  reflect  his  diverse
interests  in  floristics,  morphology,  evolution,  and  class-
ification. His flora Bestimmungsschlussel Europaischer  Flechten
(1969)  is  a  standard reference for lichenology. His floristic
interests, however, were not  limited  to  Europe;  Prof.  Poelt
traveled  extensively,  especially conducting field research and
floristic studies on the lichens of the Himalayas. Although most
of his publications are in this  specialty--the  systematics  of
lichen-forming  fungi--many  are  on  non-lichenized  fungi  and
bryophytes, and a few on vascular plants.  The  significance  of
his  scientific  research  has  been  recognized  with  numerous
awards, including membership in the Bavarian Academy of Science,
honorary membership in the Regensburg Botanical Society, foreign
membership in  the  Linnean  Society  of  London,  corresponding
memberships  in the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Botani-
cal Society of America, and Acharius Medals  from  the  Interna-
tional  Association  of  Lichenologists.  Also,  Prof. Poelt was
President of the 4th International Mycological  Congress,  which
was held in Regensburg, Germany in 1990.

Prof.  Poelt  was  a  capable and enthusiastic teacher. Over his
long university career he trained many talented students,  first
in  Munchen,  and  later  Berlin and Graz. To these students and
numerous colleagues and  collaborators,  he  provided  freely  a
fountain of ideas and research suggestions. Both his institution
and his home were international meeting places where science and
friendships  flourished. Over time his scientific family grew to
include many generations of students, all directly or indirectly
influenced  by  Prof.  Poelt's  ideas.  This  large   group   of
lichenologists  and  mycologists  should  be  recognized  as the
"Poelt School."

In addition to his scientific achievements, Prof.  Poelt  was  a
devoted  husband and loving father. After the early death of his
wife, Christa, he cared for their young daughters.  He  is  sur-
vived by these two daughters, Julia Poelt and Mag. Doris Poelt.
Paula  DePriest,  Department  of  Botany,  NHB-166,  Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0001, USA.

From: Dr. Robert Vance <vance at> via QUATERNARY
      <QUATERNARY at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA> [abbreviated]

Report on 'Palaeoecology and Palaeoclimatology  of  the  Pacific
Northwest'  session  held  during the AAAS (American Association
for the Advancement of Science) Pacific Division meeting at  the
University  of  British  Columbia, June 1995. [BEN has published
several abstracts of papers presented on this meeting. From  Dr.
Vance  report  I  selected only those parts that dealt with ter-
restrial vegetation. - AC]

 ....Following lunch, the focus shifted to  terrestrial  records
of  climate  change.  R.  Spear (State University of New York at
Geneseo) discussed pollen evidence of  vegetation  and  climatic
change  in  northern Yukon. A sparse herb tundra prevailed at 18
ka, indicating cold, dry conditions. The 6  ka  palaeoecological
record  features  the  expansion of black spruce (Picea mariana)
and alder (Alnus) populations in south and central  Yukon,  sug-
gesting  decreased  temperatures and/or increased precipitation.
R. Hebda (Royal British  Columbia  Museum)  summarized  Holocene
palaeoecological investigations in British Columbia, emphasizing
that  the  6  ka time slice is best viewed as a 'time of transi-
tion' from warm, dry conditions in the early Holocene to  cooler
and  moister  climate;  much  like today's, but slightly warmer.
Lake- levels were rising from early Holocene lows,  high  eleva-
tion  treeline remained higher-than-present, and western hemlock
(Thuja plicata) was  expanding  along  the  coast.  On  southern
Vancouver Island, Garry oak (Quercus garryana) was more abundant
at  6 ka than it is today, suggesting that at least in this area
of the province dry conditions persisted. R.W.  Mathewes  (Simon
Fraser University) summarized 18 ka conditions in British Colum-
bia, pointing out that the widely used date of 18 ka for maximum
ice-sheet  expansion  is at variance with data from southwestern
British Columbia that suggest interstadial  conditions  at  this
time.  Rather  than  the  cold  and  dry  conditions outlined by
CLIMAP, Mathewes reviewed palaeobotanical data  indicating  more
humid  and  temperate  conditions in the Pacific Northwest. R.E.
Vance  (Geological  Survey  of  Canada)  reviewed  the  existing
palaeoecological  data  base  of the Canadian prairie provinces.
Most, if not all of the region was  covered  by  the  Laurentide
glacier  at  18  ka, although somewhat controversial radiocarbon
dates on lake cores in western  Alberta  (within  the  so-called
'ice-free  corridor'), suggest that ice free areas existed at 18
ka. Sparse shrub  tundra  prevailed,  suggesting  cold  and  dry
conditions.  In  contrast,  the  rich  and  varied 6 ka database
outlines  significant  vegetation,  geomorphic,  and  lake-level
responses to warmer and drier climatic conditions. Major vegeta-
tion  zone  boundaries  (i.e.  grassland and boreal forest) were
located  farther  north  than  today,  treelines  were  situated
upslope  of  current  positions,  forest fires more frequent and
lake- levels lower  than  today.  P.E.  Wigand  (University  and
Community  College  System  of  Nevada) rounded out the regional
palaeoecological syntheses by  summarizing  pollen  and  woodrat
midden records from the northern intermontane west of the United
States.  Records  west  of  the Cascades indicate cold and moist
conditions at 18 ka, whereas cold and dry  conditions  prevailed
in  the northern interior and southern intermountain regions. In
northern Nevada, an 1100 m  depression  in  the  limit  of  pine
(Pinus) growth suggests a drop in temperature of at least 8.5oC.
Like British Columbia, 6 ka conditions in the northern intermon-
tane west were on the downhill side of peak postglacial aridity,
and  a  synchronous  (from  Oregon to southern Nevada), dramatic
increase in precipitation at 5500 BP marks the onset  of  condi-
tions similar to the present.

Following  the  afternoon  coffee  break,  attention  shifted to
'alternative' proxy  indicators  of  climate  change;  that  is,
indicators   that   have   not   been  as  extensively  used  as
palaeobotanical data to reconstruct  past  climate.  M.  Hickman
(Devonian  Botanic Garden and University of Alberta) opened with
a discussion of diatom evidence  of  salinity,  lake-level,  and
climatic  change,  focusing on records from central Alberta. The
diatom stratigraphy of Goldeye Lake, a  possible  18  ka  record
from  western  Alberta,  outlines  an interval of high salinity,
supporting pollen evidence of pronounced  aridity.  Diatom  data
from central Alberta suggest that significant swings in salinity
and  lake-level  occurred  during the mid- Holocene, underlining
the potential  these  sensitive  indicators  of  the  hydrologic
budget have to document rapid environmental changes that may not
be  recorded  by palaeobotanical markers. S.A. Elias (University
of Colorado) followed with  a  summary  of  insect  evidence  of
palaeoenvironmental  conditions  in  Alaska.  At  18  ka, insect
remains indicate that, in contrast to dry, continental  climatic
conditions  in interior Alaska, southwestern Alaska and at least
central regions of the Bering Land Bridge were subject  to  more
mesic  conditions, supporting shrub-tundra communities. By 6 ka,
essentially modern  environmental  conditions  were  established
throughout  Alaska.  However,  spruce  (Picea)  forests  did not
arrive in lowland sites until 4200 BP, some 8000 years after the
time that insect evidence suggests  that  conditions  were  warm
enough  to  support spruce forest. I.R. Walker (Okanagan Univer-
sity College) ended the session with a review of  the  potential
chironomid remains have for reconstructing past climate. Results
from low elevation coastal sites tend to support palaeobotanical
inferences  of  a warm, dry early Holocene followed by the onset
of conditions similar to the present by 6 ka.  Current  research
foci  include analyses of sedimentary records from climatically-
sensitive saline lakes and high  elevation  tarns,  as  well  as
development   of  quantitative  models  for  palaeoclimatic  in-

Those who  wish  more  information  on  the  session  (including
abstracts  and addresses for all contributors) are encouraged to
contact either Robert Vance, Geological Survey of Canada,  3303-
33rd  St.  NW,  Calgary, AB T2L 2A7 Canada (vance at or
Ian Walker,  Okanagan  University  College,  3333  College  Way,
Kelowna, B.C. V1V 1V7 Canada (iwalker at

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 ...connecting the Pacific Northwest (USA) Biological  Resources
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