BEN # 254

Adolf Ceska aceska at
Mon Aug 14 02:02:15 EST 2000

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. 254                              August 13, 2000

aceska at                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]

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.

From: Rudi Schmid [schmid at]

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: ]

From: Rudi Schmid [schmid at]

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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