BEN # 234

Adolf Ceska aceska at VICTORIA.TC.CA
Mon Oct 25 03:01:44 EST 1999

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No. 234                              October 25, 1999

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

From: Elgene O. Box <boxeo at>

(Abstract of the paper presented at the symposium on "Vegetation
Classification  and  Mapping  in  the  Rocky Mountains," Glacier
National Park, Montana, 29 June - 2 July 1999)

Phytosociology (Braun-Blanquet sampling) is not  totally  unlike
timber  cruising -- it provides a means for extensive vegetation
sampling, covering large areas  quickly  without  having  to  do
measurements  in  the field or statistics afterward. It consists
of three steps: field sampling,  classification  (clustering  of
similar  samples),  and naming (associations and higher levels).
Not all steps are necessary, depending on the purpose.  Although
developed  in  Europe  during  the  first  half of this century,
concepts of phytosociology (especially the sampling methodology)
have been found very useful in a US context, especially  in  the
recent  large-area inventories of The Nature Conservancy and the
various state Natural Heritage Programs.

The Braun-Blanquet field methodology  provides  a  standardized,
full-floristic,  three-dimensional  stand  description  called a
releve (composition, structure, and abundance), which is  under-
stood  by  vegetation  scientists  all  over  the  world. Class-
ification can be performed by  various  computerized  clustering
algorithms,  some  of  which  (e.g. TURBOVEG) have been used for
very  complete  national  inventories  and  classifications,  as
recently  in  South Africa. The final products, associations and
related vegetation units, are the  basic  units  of  most  other
approaches  and  are  quite  compatible,  for  example, with the
associations in the US National Vegetation Classification.

The only real prerequisite, relatively complete knowledge of the
local flora, can be  overcome  by  working  with  a  good  local
botanist.  Large-area  applications  in  North  America  include
ongoing forest inventories in  eastern  and  western  Canada,  a
1988-90  inventory  throughout eastern North America, and recent
classifications of boreal  and  western  North  America  by  two
Spanish groups.

From: Nicole Brand <nicolebrand at>

On  the  last  weekend  in  September, a small but keen group of
thirteen lichen enthusiasts gathered at the home of Tevor Goward
for a workshop on the lichen genus Cladonia. We  were  a  varied
bunch  with  a  similar  goal:  to  gain an understanding of the
taxonomy of Cladonia, as well as some insight into  the  ecology
of this complex genus.

The  weekend began on Friday evening with an informal discussion
about lichens. The good  company  and  cozy  atmosphere  sparked
intriguing  conversation.  Although several topics were covered,
one takes home message was that in order to begin to  understand
a lichen we must view the species interacting within its natural
landscape  as  well  as its individual characteristics and func-

Saturday morning we dove  into  Cladonia  taxonomy!  Armed  with
Trevor's  new book "The Lichens of British Columbia, Illustrated
Keys Part 2 - Fruticose  Species"  and  supplied  with  numerous
Cladonia  samples,  we  began  working our way through the keys.
Although approximately 69 Cladonia species  exist  in  B.C.,  we
focused on the 38 which occur in the southern interior. Instruc-
tion  was  also  given  on  the  use  of chemical spot tests and
ultraviolet light tests for identifying particular species. Upon
trying to understand color differences between Cladonia species,
we witnessed the birth of a new color - usnic!  This  color  was
described  by  Trevor  as  yellowish-green,  but  may be seen as
greenish-yellow to some.

By combining our patience and helpful hints from Trevor, we were
successful in identifying many species. However, we also  became
aware  of  the  extremely  varied forms a particular species may
take. These tricky samples illustrated the complexities of  this
feared  genus. In the afternoon we took a well-deserved break to
visit some of the sites in Wells Grey Provincial Park, and  then
reconvened  to  discover  more  Cladonia  species into the early
evening hours. Sunday morning we continued keying  samples,  and
again ventured outside in the afternoon. By this time I think we
had accomplished a lot and gained respect for what we had yet to
learn. The weekend was a definite success.

I would like to thank Trevor Goward for hosting the workshop and
sharing  his home, time, and wisdom. Thank you Patrick Williston
for your effort in organizing another great lichen  workshop.  l
would  also  like  to thank the participants of the workshop for
their friendly enthusiasm. I hope to see you again!


Lawton, Elva. 1971. Moss flora of  the  Pacific  Northwest.  The
   Hattori    Botanical    Laboratory,    Miyazaki-shi,   Japan.
   xiv + 389 p. + 195 plates. ISBN  4-938163-12-8  [soft  cover]
   Price  US$47.00  (5,000  JPY  if  you remit by credit card or
   International Postal Money Order). If you  pay  by  check  in
   USD, please add $5.00 to cover bank charges. Available Novem-
   ber 1999
   Send  your  order  now  to: The Hattori Botanical Laboratory,
   2-112-2,  Funatsuka,  Miyazaki-shi,  Miyazaki-ken   880-0031,
   Fax (+81) 985-29-0905, e-mail: hattorib at

"This  is  the  paperback  edition of Lawton's Moss flora of the
Pacific Northwest which was published in 1971. It is  the  first
comprehensive  moss  flora of the Pacific Northwest (Washington,
Oregon,  Idaho,  western  Montana,  Wyoming,  and  the  Canadian
Provinces  of  British  Columbia  and  Alberta through the Rocky
Mountains and north to about the fifty-second parallel)."

When the original edition was published, the identification keys
were reprinted in a separate soft-cover booklet. This booklet is
still (or again?) available as

Lawton, E. 1971. Keys for identification of the  mosses  of  the
   Pacific Northwest. Price: US$7.00

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