BEN # 254
aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Mon Aug 14 02:02:15 EST 2000
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No. 254 August 13, 2000
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
BOTANY BC - 2000 AT BIG BAR RANCH, JULY 13-15, 2000
From: Chris Pielou [ecpielou at mars.ark.com]
This year's Botany BC was held July 13 - 15 at Big Bar Ranch in
the Interior Grasslands between Clinton and the Fraser River.
The setting was idyllic, the weather enjoyable, and we all had
an instructive and carefree three days, with every organiza-
tional detail capably looked after by Katie Stewart and
Elizabeth Easton. Three co-authors of the relevant "Book"
(Parish, et al., 1996) were there to help, too: Ray Coup,
Rosamund Pojar, and Anna Roberts.
Field trips went to several destinations, ranging from cool,
subalpine grasslands just above the upper treeline
(_Calamagrostis purpurascens,_ _Saxifraga bronchialis,_ ..) to
semi-desert in the valley bottoms well below the lower treeline
(_Artemisia tridentata,_ _Opuntia fragilis,_ ..). Within the
forested zone, _Pinus ponderosa_ was sometimes present, some-
times absent: we were at the northern limit of its range.
Hans Roemer took us to see a red-listed species - the grass blue
grama, _Bouteloua gracilis,_ which grows elsewhere in BC only in
the extreme south-eastern corner of the province (Douglas et al.
A place where every one of us, I believe, spent a strenuous and
satisfying day is the Churn Creek Protected Area (BC Parks).
Ungulates graze in the area: cattle grazing is permitted and the
site is also winter pasture for a herd 300-500 California
bighorn sheep. With Ray Coup, who supplied an amazingly long
checklist of the plants he has found growing there, we explored
a magnificent expanse of grasslands right to the brink of a
vertical cliff overlooking Churn Creek.
The ground surface between the well-spaced bunch grasses and
other plants is, for the most part, protected from erosion and
moisture loss by a well-developed cryptogamic crust, comprised
of a mosaic of lichens (primarily crustose and squamulose
species), mosses, liverworts, algae, and cyanobacteria (nitrogen
fixers). Ray was careful to point out many of the species and
identify them for us. The crust is crucial to the wellbeing of
the whole grassland ecosystem, however, it is particularly
sensitive to damage from the hooves of grazing animals. Cowpie
lichen (_Diploschistes muscorum_) is one of the first to
recolonize heavily grazed sites and when abundant can be used to
indicate disturbances from the past.
After-dinner speakers added greatly to our enjoyment and to our
knowledge of the region we were in. They were: Dave Eyer, on
'Geology and Ecosystems of the Marble Range'. (The range rises
immediately east of Big Bar Ranch.) Jean Williams, on 'Eth-
nobotanical Use of the Local Flora'. Kimberlee Chambers, on
'Native Plants of South-Central BC: past uses and future
It's worth noting that, geologically speaking, our hikes were in
the Cache Creek Terrane. This terrane was once part of the
Pacific floor. According to current theory, it was the seafloor
between neighbouring island arcs which, together, became at-
tached to BC as a single unit, probably about 150 million years
ago (Ludvigsen and Beard, 1994; Monger, 1996). So we were admir-
ing terrestrial plants at a place where marine life once
flourished, leaving an abundance of early Triassic fossils, up
to 250 million years old. Especially numerous among the fossils
are tiny conodonts, the "teeth" of small (2 or 3 cm) worm-like,
marine "conodont animals" (Orchard, 1996).
That was Botany BC, 2000. Next year, 2001, Botany BC meets in
Smithers. See you there! - Chris Pielou, Comox
Douglas, G., G. B. Straley, & D. V. Meidinger. 1998. Rare Native
Plants of British Columbia. (BC Environment, Victoria).
Ludvigsen, R. & G. Beard. 1994. West Coast fossils : a guide to
the ancient life of Vancouver Island. Whitecap Books, Van-
Monger, J. W. H. 1996. The Origin and Evolution of Canada's
Western Mountains. Pp. 25-44 in Ludvigsen, R. [Ed.] 1996.
Life in stone: a natural history of British Columbia's fos-
sils. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Orchard, M. J. 1996. The microscopic world of Conodonts. Pp. 78-
92 in Ludvigsen, R. [Ed.] 1996. Life in stone: a natural
history of British Columbia's fossils. University of British
Columbia Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Parish, R., R. Coup and D. Lloyd. [Eds.] 1996. Plants of
Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest.
Lone Pine Publishing, Edmonton.
NEW PUBLICATION: GRASSES - COLUMBIA BASIN OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
From: Rudi Schmid [schmid at socrates.berkeley.edu]
Stewart, Heather & Hebda, Richard J. _Grasses of the Columbia
Basin of British Columbia._ 2000. Ministry of Forests Re-
search Program, Royal British Columbia Museum, Natural His-
tory Section, British Columbia, [Victoria] [series: _Working
paper_ (British Columbia, Ministry of Forests, Research
Branch), 45]. vi, 228 pp., ill. (some col.), 281x217 mm, ISBN
0-7726-4147-1 (PB), price unknown (from Crown Publications,
521 Fort St., Victoria V8W 1E7, Canada;
_Contents:_ abstr.; regional intro; methods; morph.; grasses,
sedges, vs. rushes; pic key to major groups; tax. pt.; appen-
dices (grasses by BEC zone; list common names; aid to ID);
glossary; biblio.; no index. On 152 spp. in se. Brit. Columbia,
ca. 67% of spp. in prov.; w/ maps and figs. of morph. for all
[This publication is also available as an electronic file at:
FIELD GUIDES TO ECOSITES IN ALBERTA AND SASKATCHEWAN
From: Rudi Schmid [schmid at socrates.berkeley.edu]
Archibald, J. H. (Harry); Klappstein, G. D. (Grant David) &
Corns, I. G. W. (Ian George William). _Field guide to ecosites
of southwestern Alberta._ 1996. Canadian Forest Service,
Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre, [Edmonton] (series:
_Special report, Northern Forestry Centre, Canada,_ 8). ISBN 0-
660-16439-6. Beckingham, John D. (David) & Archibald, J. H.
_Field guide to ecosites of northern Alberta._ 1996. Ibid.
(series: _Idem,_ 5). ISBN 0-660-16369-1. Beckingham, J. D.;
Nielsen, D. G. & Futoransky, V. A. _Field guide to ecosites of
the mid-boreal ecoregions of Saskatchewan._ 1996. Ibid. (series:
_Idem,_ 6). ISBN 0-660-16387-X. Beckingham, J. D.; Corns, I. G.
W. & Archibald, J. H. _Field guide to ecosites of west-central
Alberta._ 1996. Ibid. (series: _Idem,_ 9). ISBN 0-660-16441-8.
_Each:_ various pagings (e.g, no. 9 644 pp. total), ill. (some
col.), col. map in pocket (exc. no. 6). Zoladeski, C. (Chris-
topher) A.; Wickware, G. M.; Delorme, R. J.; Sims, R. A. &
Corns, I. G. W. _Forest ecosystem classification for Manitoba:
Field guide._ 1995. Ibid. (series: _Idem,_ 2). x, 205 pp., ill.,
ISBN 0-660-15944-9. _All:_ ISSN 1188-7419 (PB), price unknown
(from UBC Press, 6344 Memorial Rd., Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2,
_Contents items 1, 2, 4:_ Eng., Fr. abstrs.;* intro;* descr.
area;* approach to class.;* system overview;* application class.
sys.;* use of fact sheets (FSs);* FSs for various regions; soil-
type class.; interpretations; descrs. taxa; biblio.; glossary;
appendices (incl. biblio.); index. _Contents item 3:_ sect. as
previous *-marked; key to ecosites, etc.; FSs for ecosites,
etc.; soil-type class.; soil-type photos; descrs. taxa; manage-
ment interpretations; mensuration, forest inventory; biblio.;
glossary; appendices (incl. biblio.); index. _Contents item 5:_
Eng., Fr. abstrs.; use guide; orientation; veg. types; soil
types; term.; applications; soil descr.; descrs. taxa; sci. vs.
common names; biblio.; no index. Pl. recognition sect. of items
1-4 w/, resp., 112, 87, 103, 106 spp., each w/ col. photo, B&W
diagram, graph nutrient-moisture regimes. Multifarious guides
jam-packed w/ info. Other nos. in series: 1, 3 on forest in-
sects, diseases; 4 on aspen decay, stain; 7, 11 on forest-fire
behavior (10 not seen).
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