BEN # 147

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Wed Oct 30 04:02:02 EST 1996


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

No. 147                              October 29, 1996

aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca        Victoria, B.C.
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 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
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A NEW START FOR AN OVERVIEW OF PLANT COMMUNITIES OF EUROPE
From: /S=T.SPRIBILLE/OU1=R01F14D03A at mhs-fswa.attmail.com

Dierschke,  H.  (1992):  European  Vegetation Survey - ein neuer
   Anlauf fur eine Ubersicht der Pflanzengesellschaften Europas.
   - Tuexenia 12: 381-383. Gottingen

Considerations to work up a syntaxonomic overview (prodromus) of
the plant communities of Europe have been around since  the  20s
already,   in   other   words  almost  since  the  beginning  of
phytosociology. With the establishment  of  a  private  research
institute  by  Braun-Blanquet in Montpellier (1929), the Station
Internationale  de  Geobotanique   Mediterraneenne   et   Alpine
(SIGMA),  an international commission was put in place which was
to work on the prodromus. Only four years later the first  over-
view  of  coastal communities of the Mediterranean area appeared
(Braun-Blanquet 1933) after which six parts  appeared  in  addi-
tion,  concluding  with  the  Class  Cisto-Lavanduletea  (Braun-
Blanquet et al. 1940).

After the second World War began an  intensive  phase  of  field
work,  vegetation analysis and synthesis. The number of publica-
tions multiplied almost exponentially, many  international  sym-
posia  and  excursions  expanded  the  knowledge  and led to the
refinement and unification of phytosociological methods.  A  new
international   centre   developed   at   Stolzenau,   later  at
Todenmann/Rinteln under the direction of R. Tuxen. With this new
plans were soon discussed for  a  European  prodromus  of  plant
communities. A first resolution to this end was at the Symposium
on Phytosociological Systematics in Stolzenau in 1964. A two-day
colloquium in 1968 in Todenmann led to a provisional overview of
the  state  of  work  in the European countries, and to concrete
work proposals (cf. Dierschke 1971, Tuxen 1972). Also a list  of
possible  editors  of  individual classes was put forward (Tuxen
1971). At the Prodromus-Colloquium  of  1972  in  Todenmann  the
first results were presented for discussion.

The  first  concrete  result  was a very complete syntaxonomical
bibliography  as  basis  for  finding   and   working   up   the
phytosociological  data  which  were  widely  scattered  in  the
literature. The first paper appeared already in 1971  (Tuxen  et
al.);  up to the present 39 papers on many classes of vegetation
have been completed. Two years later  the  first  paper  on  the
prodromus  was  published  (Beeftink  &  Gehu  1973). The second
initiative ended with a fourth paper, on the Lemnetea  (Schwabe-
Braun  &  Tuxen  1981).  With  the  exception  of  a few, mostly
species- and community-poor  classes  (in  the  mean  time  also
Littorelletea and Violetea calaminariae) the actual work had not
even begun, or only partially. The reason for this was primarily
the  absence  of  professional, paid specialists. There was cer-
tainly enough expertise, but it was with phytosociologists whose
time was taken up with other projects.

Today there are both positive  and  negative  signs  for  a  new
start.  We  have available not only considerably better informa-
tion out of regions which were considered little researched only
20 years ago (e.g., France, Italy), but also the  beginnings  of
syntaxonomical  work  especially  in eastern Europe. At the same
time the number of vegetation releves  has  gone  into  the  in-
numerable  (an  estimated  100,000).  However  it appears that a
synthesis today with help of EDV would be  more  promising  than
the routine handwork of 20 years ago. Nonetheless, the number of
published  syntaxa on all different levels, often in regional or
national solo efforts, is scarcely viewable. A European synopsis
must not only examine and bring together a giant data  set,  but
must  at  the  same  time  lead  to a strongly reduced, viewable
number of syntaxa which are applicable to the  widest  area  and
more  strongly  abstracted from regional idiosyncracies. Already
the agreement on these basic issues must be  viewed  with  skep-
ticism.

Despite these difficulties and misgivings a new beginning had to
be  attempted. Under the  encouragement and direction of S. PIG-
NATTI (following earlier  discussion  in  1988  in  Frascati)  a
meeting  of  interested  phytosociologists took place during the
Symposium for International Unification of Vegetation Science in
Warsaw in 1990, followed by another in 1991  in  Eger.  At  this
time it was agreed that a preparatory meeting of representatives
from  the  most countries possible should be held at Rome at the
beginning of 1992, the results of which  are  reported  here  in
brief. The entire project received the name "European Vegetation
Survey".

A  workshop  with  several  keynote presentations as well as na-
tional reports on the syntaxonomic state of work was held at the
Botanical Garden at Rome, led by  S.  Pignatti  and  L.  Mucina.
Vegetation  scientists  from the following countries were repre-
sented:  Austria,  Czechoslovakia,   Germany,   Finland,   Great
Britain,  Ireland,  Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Rus-
sia, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland.

Out of the reports from the individual countries  the  following
deserve mention:

Great Britain (J.S. RODWELL/J.J. HOPKINS)

For  a  long  time there has scarcely been any connection to the
European  phytosociology.  Recently  the  interest  has   become
greater,  in  part  because  of  the  translation of Ellenberg's
central  Europe  book  into  English.  The  urgent  need  for  a
vegetation-scientific  reference  system  especially for natural
conservation questions led to a  longer  research  project  with
numerous  fully paid scientists. A five-year phase of systematic
(relatively schematic) vegetation sampling began  in  1975.  Ap-
proximately  35,000  releves were then interpreted on a national
computer database, and  ultimately  ca.  350  vegetation  types,
roughly  equating  associations,  were  differentiated  (without
syntaxonomic hierarchy).  Detailed  descriptions  with  synoptic
tables  are  summarized  in  five volumes which are currently in
preparation (Rodwell 1991).

Netherlands (J.H.J. SCHAMINEE)

Since 1988 a state-funded project has  been  underway  with  two
fully-paid  scientists.  20,000  of the estimated 50,000 releves
have been entered into a database. The data are worked up  class
by  class  and  presented  in  preliminary  publications  (e.g.,
Schaminee 1988). The final results should appear in five volumes
from 1993.

Austria (L. MUCINA)

Here, too is a research project established with state  funding.
In  3  years  the  encompassing  literature  was worked through,
though without immediate evaluation of  vegetation  releves  and
tables.  A  description  in  text should be published in 1993 in
four volumes.

In  other  countries  (e.g.,  Germany,  France,  Poland,  Spain,
Czechoslovakia)  there  is more encompassing syntaxonomical work
in progress [taking place] in various working groups.  Since  no
paid  specialists  are  available,  it is proceeding at a crawl.
Mostly lacking are generally accepted methodical  basics  and  a
national database.

The  discussion  of  organizational and financial questions took
much time. L. Mucina presented a  detailed  organizational  plan
with  actual  syntaxonomical  working  groups  and  more central
groups for coordination and control as well as for  basic  deci-
sions  and  representation  to the outside. The possibilities of
funding were particularly strongly debated. There was  agreement
that,  at least for the central assignments, including an inter-
national database, only fully  paid  assistance  could  be  con-
sidered.  10-20 years have to be allowed for the entire project.
In the test phase several widely distributed, not  too  species-
poor  communities  should  be worked over. The complex Koelerio-
Corynophoretea/Sedo-Scleranthetea/Tuberarietea  was proposed for
this.

In conclusion assignments were distributed  to  smaller  groups,
which are to be taken care of within a year:

   - working up an overall scientific concept and work programme
     with emphasis on usability of results;
   - compilation of general syntaxonomical basics (Grundlagen);
   - rules for working up tables, text, etc.;
   - establishment  of  a  list  of  the  vegetation  classes of
     Europe;
   - investigation of financial possibilities for  a  firm  work
     platform;
   - checking around in all countries about the present state of
     syntaxonomical work.

In  order  to  expand the data base, current national programmes
should be supported and encouraged. Lately they  have  laid  the
decisive groundwork for an overview in the framework of Europe.

Literature

Beeftink,  W.G.,  Gehu, J.-M. (1973): Prodromus der europaischen
   Pflanzengesellschaften. 1: Spartinetea maritimae.  -  Cramer,
   Lehre: 48 p.
Braun-Blanquet, J. (1933): Prodrome des groupements vegetaux. 1:
   Ammophiletalia et Salicornietalia medit. - Montpellier: 23 p.
Braun-Blanquet,  J.,  Molinier,  R., Wagner, H. (1940): Prodrome
   des groupements vegetaux.  7:  Classe  Cisto-Lavanduletea.  -
   Montpellier: 53 p.
Dierschke, H. (1971):   Stand  und Aufgaben der pflanzensoziolo-
   gischen  Systematik in  Europa.  -  Vegetatio  22 (4-5): 255-
   264. The Hague.
Dierschke,  H.  (1972): Bericht uber das Prodromus-Kolloquium in
   Todenmann am 26. Marz 1972. Vegetatio 25 (5-6): 406-408.  The
   Hague.
Pignatti,  S. (1990): Towards a prodrome of plant communities. -
   Journ. Veg. Sci. 1 (3): 425-426. Uppsala.
Rodwell, J.S. (ed.) (1991): British plant communities.  Vol.  I:
   Woodlands and scrub. - Cambridge Univ. Press: 395 p.
Schaminee,  J.H.J.  (1988): Plantengemeenschappen van Nederland.
   2. Lemnetea. - Intern. rapport Rijksinst. Natuurbeheer 88/75.
   Leersum: 20 p.
Schwabe-Braun, A., Tuxen, R. (1981): Prodromus der  europaischen
   Pflanzengesellschaften.  4:  Lemnetea  minoris.  -    Cramer,
   Vaduz: 141 p.
Tuxen, R. (1971): Vorlaufige Liste von Mitarbeitern am Prodromus
   der Europaischen Pflanzengesellschaften. - Vegetatio  24  (1-
   3): 23-29. The Hague.
Tuxen,   R.   (1972):  Richtlinien  fur  die  Aufstellung  eines
   Prodromus   der   Europaischen   Pflanzengesellschaften.    -
   Vegetatio 24 (1-3): 23-29. The Hague.
Tuxen,  R.,  Bottcher,  H.,  Dierssen,  K. (1971): Bibliographia
   Phytosociologica Syntaxonomica. 1:Bolboschoenetea maritimi. - 
   Cramer, Lehre: 25 p.


GRADE 3 PROJECT: WHY DOES MOSS ONLY GROW ON ONE SIDE OF A TREE?

Several   weeks  ago,  Rachel  Rayman  posted  this  message  on
bryophyte discussion list bryonet-l:

   "Hi, My grade 3 teacher asked me to  research  this  ques-
   tion.  Sites  on  the  web are too complicated. Can anyone
   answer the question or point me to a resource? Thx. - R."

Rachel got over twenty answers and did her own observations  and
experiments.  Results  of her project are summarized at the fol-
lowing web page: http://www.interlog.com//moss.htm


POSITION OPEN: SYSTEMATIC BOTANIST / ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR
From: ECOLOG-L <ECOLOG-L at UMDD.UMD.EDU>

Department of  Biology,  Southern  Oregon  State  College  seeks
applicants  for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor to
teach systematic botany and environmental education.  For  posi-
tion  description,  requirements, salary, and other particulars,
contact  http://www.sosc.osshe.edu/biology/jobs.htm   or   write
SBEE,  Department  of  Biology,  Southern  Oregon State College,
Ashland, OR 97520 or phone 541-552-6341.  SOSC  is  a  four-year
college  in the Oregon State System of Higher Education. SOSC is
an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity  employer  committed  to
the development of an inclusive multi-cultural community.


ETHNOBOTANY RESEARCH - PIT COOKING
From: Mary Ellen Grant <ma_grant at cariboo.bc.ca>

I  am  a  Biology student based out of the University College of
the Cariboo under the supervision of R.  David  Williams  (UCC),
Dr. Gary Bradfield (UBC) and Dr. Nancy Turner (UVIC).

The  title  of  my Directed Studies is "An Ethnobotanical Study:
Utilization  and  management  of  plant  species  by  Indigenous
peoples,  a local to global view of pit cooking." The objectives
of this study is to compile data from local to global sources.

I would greatly appreciate the support of the readers  to  guide
me to resources which might be available.


PROVINCIAL MUSEUM OF ALBERTA - WORLD WIDE WEB PRESENTATION
From: Alwynne Beaudoin <abeaudoi at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca>

Sponsored  by  the  Friends  of the Provincial Museum of Alberta
Society, the Provincial Museum of Alberta World Wide Web presen-
tation is now "on the air" and can be accessed at:

http://www.pma.edmonton.ab.ca

This site contains over  325  pages  of  information  about  the
Museum, including an introduction to the twelve curatorial areas
and  the  educational  programs,  information  on  galleries and
exhibits, and a visit to  the  Museum  Shop.  It  also  contains
general  visitor information (dates and times of opening, admis-
sion prices etc.), details of  volunteer  opportunities,  and  a
calendar of events.
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Also archived at   http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/ben/
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