BEN # 252
aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Sat Jul 1 14:57:22 EST 2000
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No. 252 July 1, 2000
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
DR. ERICH HABER RECEIVED ROLAND MICHENER CONSERVATION AWARD
From: The Ottawa Citizen, Friday June 23, 2000, page F2
Ottawa scientist Dr. Erich Haber has been recognized by the
Canadian Wildlife Federation with the prestigious Roland
Michener Conservation Award. Erich Haber, 56, currently develops
databases and reports for nationally rare plants, algae, wild-
life areas and migratory bird sanctuaries for the Committee on
the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a na-
tional organization. [Dr. Haber's project IPCAN - Invasive
Plants in Canada - was described in BEN # 181, January 10, 1998.
See http://infoweb.magi.com/~ehaber/ipcan.html ]
Dr. Haber immigrated to Canada from Yugoslavia with his family
in 1951. He grew up in Toronto, moving to Ottawa in 1971, where
he worked as a research scientist with the Canadian Museum of
Nature until 1993. He has worked with the Committee on the
Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) since 1982,
co-chairing the vascular plants, mosses, and lichens species
specialist group. He is one of the committee's longest-serving
The Roland Michener Conservation Award is given every year since
1978 to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to
IDENTIFYING MULTIPLE ORIGINS IN POLYPLOID PLANTS
From: Johannes Vogel [ J.Vogel at nhm.ac.uk ] - originally
published in Plant Cuttings, Issue 3, December 1999
[Posted here with permission]
Polyploidy, the possession of multiple sets of chromosomes, is
common amongst plants. It has considerable evolutionary sig-
nificance as an abrupt mechanism of speciation as it results in
an instant establishment of reproductive isolation from an-
cestral taxa. Most important crop plants, such as maize or
wheat, are polyploids.
Molecular techniques have been used to infer that the genetic
diversity in polyploids is mainly due to multiple origins (i.e.
the evolution of the same species several times), leading to the
claim that "the multiple origin of polyploids is the rule and
not the exception" (Soltis & Soltis, 1993). However, the quality
of molecular data and the assumptions used for their interpreta-
tion require critical examination. Indeed, the evidence for
multiple origins in most allozyme studies is equivocal and other
explanations are possible. Genetic variation in polyploids may
be a result of:
1. multiple (independent) origin,
2. segregation in hybrid swarms,
3. mutation, including loss-of-function mutations,
4. hybridisation and introgression,
5. gene flow from diploids to autopolyploids and segmental
allotetraploids via unreduced gametes,
6. random pairing of different genomes in autopolyploids or
segmental allopolyploids, or
7. combinations of the above.
In order to avoid interpretational problems, we propose the
following list of _conditiones sine qua non,_ to explain the
genetic variation in polyploids:
1. Evidence for multiple origin should be based on several
factors and certainly on a combination of biochemical and
molecular techniques with other methods, e.g. morphology,
cytology, ecology, breeding experiments, biogeography and
2. The genetic diversity in both ancestral diploids and derived
polyploids should be investigated over a large geographical
range covering as many populations as possible;
3. Evidence for necessary assumptions should be supported by
Given this set of requirements, it is clear that limits are
placed on the types of polyploids that can be investigated effec-
tively. For more recently evolved polyploids (neopolyploids),
it is more likely that the ancestral diploids will still exist,
so that studies of the natural history, experimental hybridi-
sation and tests of breeding systems can be carried out, and
direct comparisons made of genetic variation and morphology.
Research in the Molecular Biology Laboratory in the Department
of Botany [The Natural History Museum, London] aims to address
many of the questions raised above. The fern genus Asplenium
(Spleenworts) comprises some 50 taxa in Europe and extensive
cytological studies and morphological comparisons have
demonstrated that half of the European taxa are diploid and the
other half are polyploids derived from these diploids (Lovis,
1977). Accessibility of material and invaluable information
obtained by classical methods make Spleenworts a model genus to
investigate and reconstruct patterns and processes of polyploid
evolution using biochemical and molecular methods.
At the moment the jury is still out on the question as to
whether "the multiple origin of polyploids is the rule and not
Lovis, J. D. 1977. Evolutionary patterns and processes in ferns.
Advances in Botanical Research 4: 229-415.
Soltis, D. E. & Soltis, P. S. 1993. Molecular data and the
dynamic nature of polyploidy. Critical Reviews in Plant
Sciences 12: 243-273.
Vogel, J.C., Barrett, J.A., Rumsey, F.J. & Gibby, M. 1999.
Identifying multiple origins in polyploid homosporous
Pteridophytes. Advances in Plant Molecular Systematics,
Hollingsworth, P., Bateman, R. & Gornall, R. (eds.) Sys-
tematics Association special volume, pp. 101-117.
CAREX TUMULICOLA - AN OVERLOOKED SEDGE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
From: Adolf Ceska & Oldriska Ceska c/o [ aceska at victoria.tc.ca ]
In spring 1998 I taught a course on the identification of
grasses, sedges and rushes at the University of Victoria (UVIC)
as a part of the university Restoration of Natural Systems
Program. Tim Johnsen, a student in that course, brought me a
sedge (collected at the UVIC campus) that turned out to be Carex
tumulicola Mack. that had not been reported from British Colum-
bia at that time. Once alerted to this species, we found it at
several other locations:
Victoria, B.C., University of Victoria Campus; Gordon Head
Rd. opposite of Campus Crescent; 48 deg. 27' 42.25" N. 123
deg. 19' 15" W. (NAD 83); elev. ca 50 m; July 14, 1999; A.
& O. Ceska coll. no.: 31,533.
Victoria, B.C.; Rithet's Bog; at the beginning of the trail
off Fir Glen; 48 deg. 29' 31.9" N. 123 deg. 22' 27.3" W
(NAD 83); elev. ca. 20 m; August 1, 1999; A. & O. Ceska,
Victoria, B.C.; Uplands park, S edge of a large meadow; 48
deg. 26' 26.6" N. 123 deg. 17' 56", elev. 10 m; August 1,
1999; A. & O. Ceska, coll. no. 31,574.
Metchosin, B.C.; Rocky Point DND property; Quercus garryana
stand; 48 deg. 19' 36" N. 123 deg. 32' 27" W.; elev. 15 m;
A. & O. Ceska & Arthur Robinson, col. no.: 31,525.
Voucher specimens are deposited in UBC, duplicates in DAO, UC,
UVIC and WTU.
In the herbarium of the Royal B.C. Museum (V) we found several
specimens of Carex tumulicola collected in 1990 by T.C. Brayshaw
on Cattle Point, Oak Bay. All Dr. Brayshaw's specimens came from
two clumps at the top of an eroded bank W of the geographic
marker (T.C. Brayshaw, personal communication). We visited the
site in 1999 and the two clumps of C. tumulicola are still
In neighbouring Washington State, Carex tumulicola occurs on San
Juan Islands (Fred Weinmann, pers. comm.) and in a remnant of
the grassland prairie in Port Townsend (Binda Colebrook, pers.
comm.). It is a sedge associated with Garry oak (Quercus gar-
Carex tumulicola belongs to the subgenus Vignea, section Brac-
teosae. The species that belong to this section are caespitose,
have pistilate flowers with two stigmas and their bisexual
spikes are androgynous, i.e., they have male flowers in the
upper part, and the female flowers in the lower part of the
spikes. Carex hoodii, the most common relative of C. tumulicola,
occurs in British Columbia generally south of 55-th parallel.
Another member of this group, Carex vallicola, has been reported
from British Columbia only recently from the Ashnola River
Valley (Douglas et al., 1998).
The following key can serve to identify Carex tumulicola and
other species of sect. Bracteosae in British Columbia:
1. Beak of the perigynia shallowly cleft, not bidentate; spikes
form an interrupted elongated inflorescence
......................................... C. vallicola Dewey
1. Beak of the perigynia bidentate; at least a few uppermost
spikes aggregated into a head.
2. Spikes closely aggregated into a dense, oblong-cylindric
to ovate head; scales shorter than perigynia; bracts under
the lowermost spikes inconspicuous, short
......................................... C. hoodii Boott
2. The lower spikes separated from the small terminal head;
scales about the same length as perigynia or longer;
bracts of the lowermost spikes conspicuous, several times
longer than the corresponding spikes
..................................... C. tumulicola Mack.
Douglas, G.W., F. Lomer, & H. Roemer. 1998. New and rediscovered
native vascular plant species in British Columbia. Canad.
Field-Naturalist 112: 276-279.
NEW EDITION OF "NORTH AMERICAN TERRESTRIAL VEGETATION"
From: Rudi Schmid [ schmid at socrates.berkeley.edu ] - originally
published in Taxon 49 (May 2000): 335. - Abbreviated for BEN.
Barbour, M.G. & Billings, W.D. [eds.] 2000. North American
terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge. ix + 708 p. ISBN 0-521-55027-0 [hard cover] -
Price: US$120.00, ISBN 0-521-55986-3 [soft cover] - Price:
Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Bldg., Cambridge CB2 2RU, United Kingdom
40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA
Although the dimensions of editions 1 (1988) and 2 are nearly
identical, edition 2 is much longer (434 vs. 708 pages). Re-
vision is thorough, with five new chapters (see the *-marked
entries in the Contents). The 13 chapters from edition 1 have
"new tables, illustrations, chapter sections, and references,"
whereas all 18 chapters now have "information on habitat loss
and the restoration and preservation programs that are mitigat-
ing these losses." A definite downside in the new edition, which
is particularly inexcusable in that the price rose to $120.00
from $49.00 in 1988, is the heavier inking of many diagrams and
especially the muddy reproductions of the photos carried over
from edition 1. Nevertheless, this is an outstanding and
landmark book that belongs on the shelf of everyone teaching
even a regional course on community ecology. This work is a fine
memorial to W.D. Billings (1910-1997).
Contents (new chapters marked with *): L.C. Bliss on arctic
tundra & polar desert biome; D.L. Elliott-Fisk on taiga, boreal
forest; R.K. Peet on forests & meadows Rocky Mts.; J.F. Franklin
& C.B. Halpern on Pacific Northwest forests; Barbour & R.A.
Minnich on California upland forest & woodlands; K.E. Keeley on
chaparral; N.E. West & J.A. Young on intermountain valleys &
lower montane slopes; J.A. MacMahon on warm deserts; P.L. Sims &
P.G. Risser on grasslands; H.R. Delcourt & P.A. Delcourt on
eastern deciduous forests; N.L. Christensen on vegetation of
south-east Coastal Plain; * C.J. Richardson on freshwater wet-
lands; * I.A. Mendelssohn & K.L. McKee on salt marshes &
magroves; W.D. Billings on alpine vegetation; * A. Velazquez et
al. on Mexican temperate vegetation; * A.E. Lugo et al. on the
Caribbean; G.S. Hartshorn on tropical & subtropical vegetation
of Mesoamerica; * L.L. Loope on vegetation of Hawaiian Islands;
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