BEN # 264

Adolf Ceska aceska at
Mon Feb 12 12:36:34 EST 2001

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No. 264                              February 12, 2000

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


Information on Botany BC, the program and the registration form
have been posted at - go to Announcements.

From: Stephen Talbot [stephen_talbot at]

   Special Three-Day Workshop
   1 - 3 June  2001
   4101 University Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508

   Principal leader: Dr. W.B. Schofield,
   Department of Botany University of British Columbia,
   Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T1Z4

Purpose:  To  gain  familiarity  with  genera  of  mosses in the
Anchorage area based on field and microscopic  characters,  with
strong  emphasis  on habitats, variability and the living plant.
This workshop gives an entry into moss taxonomy and provides the
characters used to discriminate among moss  genera,  and  to  an
extent,  to  the species. It will include an introduction to the
literature, information on collecting,  storing  and  annotating
collected material for reference, field experience with collect-
ing,  laboratory experience with microscopic examination and use
of the literature, and use of artificial keys to  aid  in  iden-

Requirements:  Participants should have a hand lens 15 or 20X. A
blank pad of good typewriter paper would be valuable to  prepare
moss  packets, a collecting bag for the field would be extremely
helpful, a pocket knife, putty or paint scraper, or wood  chisel
can be useful in collecting. Students may bring a limited number
of specimens that they have collected for determination.

Description: The workshop will be held at Alaska Pacific Univer-
sity  (with  field trips in the local area) and be limited to 20
participants. Cost of the workshop is US$150. Checks or purchase
orders should be made payable to "Alaska Pacific University" and
sent  to:  Attn:  Jen  Rochelle,  Department  of   Environmental
Science,  Alaska  Pacific  University,  4101  University  Drive,
Anchorage, AK 99508; phone (907) 564-8207.  Classes  from  9:00-
12:00 and 1:00-5:00 pm. Questions concerning the workshop should
be  addressed to: Stephen Talbot, Division of Refuges, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503;
phone   (907)   786-3381,   fax    (907)    786-3976,    e-mail:
<stephen_talbot at>

Information  on  the  presenter:  Dr. Wilf Schofield was born in
Nova Scotia. He received a B.A. from Acadia  University  (1950),
M.A.  Stanford  University (l956), Ph.D. Duke University (1960),
D.Sc (Hon.) Acadia University (l990). Wilf was a  public  school
teacher  in Nova Scotia for 5 years, Professor at the University
of British Columbia Botany Department  1960-1993  until  retire-
ment, emeritus since. He published over 100 papers, co-author of
4  textbooks  in  plant  structure and evolution; authored "Some
Common Mosses of British Columbia" (1969) which was revised  and
expanded  (1992),  wrote the textbook "Introduction to Bryology"
(1985) and the most recent edition  of  Encyclopedia  Britannica
entry  on  "Bryophytes." His new book "Hepatic Genera of Pacific
North America" is in press and will be published in 2001. Wilf's
field experience in mosses goes  from  1947  to  present,  seven
summer  periods  in  Alaska, two in Arctic and subarctic Canada.
also periods in Australia, New Zealand, Japan,  Taiwan,  Europe,
conterminous  USA.  He  is  a  contributor to bryophyte flora of
North America and of Australia.

College Credit: 1  semester  credit  is  available  from  Alaska
Pacific  University;  contact  Roman  Dial,  Department Chair at
<roman at> for information.

From: Bryce Kendrick [bryce at]

Members of the  genus  _Sporobolomyces_,  a  genus  of  basidio-
mycetous  yeasts, form an invisible population on the surface of
leaves. They do no harm to the leaves. In fact, sitting  on  the
outside  of the leaf cuticle, they are dependent on tiny amounts
of leaf-exudates, plus anything that comes to them  through  the
air or in the rain.

If  there  are any pollutants in the air, and most specifically,
sulphur dioxide, this will affect _Sporobolomyces_ very quickly.
Since their cells divide fairly often, this suggests  that  they
could  perhaps  be  used  to  monitor  short-term changes in air

How can we test air quality with leaf yeasts? One  simple  tech-
nique  takes  advantage of the fact that _Sporobolomyces_ shoots
basidiospores. The procedure may be simply outlined  as  follows
(Dowding & Richardson, 1990):

 1. Prepare some petri plates with sterile malt extract agar (2%
    malt  agar  made  from  gooey  malt from a health food store
    seems to work best).
 2. Cut leaf discs (5 mm in diameter) from tree leaves (ash  was
    used  in  European  experiments,  but any deciduous tree may
    work,  and  _Arbutus_  should  be  tried  in   the   Pacific
 3. Attach  seven  discs  by  their upper surfaces to the lid of
    each petri dish with vaseline petroleum jelly.
 4. Incubate the dishes for 24 hours at  room  temperature  with
    the  leaf  discs  uppermost:  this  ensures  that,  when the
    basidiospores are shot, they will land on the surface of the
    sterile medium.
 5. Invert the dishes and incubate them at room temperature  for
    three  days.  At  this  point you should find groups of pink
    yeast colonies at the places where the spores landed on  the

The  correspondence  of  these  groups with the locations of the
leaf discs explains  why  we  call  _Sporobolomyces_  a  'mirror
yeast.'  The  number  of colonies will reflect the health of the
yeast, and so, indirectly, the quality of the air.  Large  scale
comparative studies have been done by school children in several
European countries, and have established that the lowest numbers
of  leaf  yeast colonies (usually plotted as the square roots of
the median counts), correlate well with higher levels of sulphur
dioxide pollution.

I am indebted to Dr. David Richardson of St. Mary's  University,
Halifax, for information on leaf yeasts.
(Note  that lichens, which also get most of their nutrients from
air or rain, also reflect air  quality,  but  because  they  are
long-lived  organisms,  they integrate the effects of pollutants
over much longer periods.)


Dowding, P. & D.H.S. Richardson. 1990. Leafyeasts as  indicators
   of  air  quality  in Europe. Environmental Pollution 66: 223-
Richardson, D.H.S., P. Dowding & E. Ni Lamhna. 1985.  Monitoring
   air quality with leaf yeasts. Journal of Biological Education
   19: 299-303.

From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at]

Porcupine  sedge  was  described by German botanists in 1805 and
1806  based  on  a   specimen   collected  by   Muehlenberg   in
"Pensylvania."  The  species  was  described by Willdenow (1805)
with a reference to Schkuhr's illustration (Tab. Fff, Fig. 127).
The identical description was published again by Schkuhr  (1806)
that  appeared  several  months  after Willdenow's book was pub-
lished. In their publications, both Schkuhr and Willdenow called
this sedge "Stachelschweinartige Segge -  _Carex  hystericina_."
"_Carex hystericina_" was also the original Schkuhr's annotation
of Muehlenberg's specimen (Dr. Uwe Braun, pers. comm.).

Bailey  (1886)  was  the  first  who  noticed  that  Schkuhr and
Willdenow made a mistake in the spelling of the species name.  A
species  name  derived  from  the  Latin  name  of  porcupine  -
_Hystrix_ - should have been  _Carex  hystricina_  and  not  _C.

   "The  name was originally written _hystericina_, a name of
   no application. That the author  meant  to  refer  to  the
   comose  or hystricinous character of the spikes is evident
   from Willdenow's German name of the plant, no  doubt  sug-
   gested   by  Muehlenberg,   "Stachelschweinartige  Segge,"
   porcupine-like sedge." (Bailey 1886: 70)

Bailey corrected the spelling from _Carex hystericina_ to _Carex
hystricina_ and this  correction  was  accepted  by  most  Carex
monographers: Kuekenthal, Mackenzie, Fernald, Boivin, Cronquist,
Hermann,  Egorova.  Only  recently,  Kartesz  (1994  and   1999)
reintroduced the original spelling "_C. hystericina_."

Boivin  (1979:  98)  agreed  with  Bailey and suggested that the
original spelling "_hystericina_" could  mean  "hysterical."  It
looks like derived from the Greek "_hysterikos_" and may have an
obscure  connotation  to  "hysteria," although "_hysterikos_" or
"_hystera_" (Lat.) also means  womb.  (The  word  "hysteria"  is
derived  from  Greek "_hysterikos_" or Latin "_hystera_" - womb;
"from the Greek notion that hysteria was peculiar to  women  and
caused by disturbances of uterus" - Merriam-Webster's Collegiate

When  Bailey made his correction, there were no rules that would
allow or ban such a  correction.  The  modern  versions  of  the
International  Code  of Botanical Nomenclature allow the correc-
tion of "typographical or orthographical  errors"  (Art.  60.1),
but  the  application of this article might be questionable even
if the name would be published today.  Bailey's  corrected  form
(_C.  hystricina_),  on the other hand, has become a well estab-
lished custom that was and should be followed (ICBN  -  Preamble
10)  and  in  my opinion, it would be a mistake to revert to the
original spelling now.

Bailey made a mistake when he attributed the authorship  of  the
name  "Stachelschweinartige Segge"  to Muehlenberg.  Muehlenberg
originally named this species "_Carex erinacea_"  referring  not
to  a porcupine, but to the hedgehog. Muehlenberg did not realize
that this name had been already used about 6 years  earlier  for
another  species by Cavanilles: _Carex erinacea_ Cav. = _Uncinia
erinacea_ (Cav.) Pers. and hence could  not  be  used  for  this
species.  From  the  annotation  of the type specimen is obvious
that the name was first suggested by Schkuhr  (who  also  listed
_C. erinacea_ Muehlenb. as a synonym of the Porcupine Sedge) and
this species should be cited as
_Carex hystricina_ Schkuhr ex Willd. Those who would not  accept
Bailey's correction can call this sedge _C. hystericina_ Schkuhr
ex  Willd.,  but  I don't see any reason why the Porcupine Sedge
should become Hysterical.

I would like to thank to  all  who  helped  me  with  literature
search,  examination  of the type specimen, and valuable discus-
sions: Uwe Braun, Jacques Cayouette, Jan Kirkby,  John  McNeill,
Dan  Nicolson,  John  Pinn, Anton Reznicek, and Alan Yen. I take
all the responsibility for any errors or flaws in my conclusion.


Bailey, L.H. 1886. A  preliminary  synopsis  of  North  American
   Carices. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts Sci. 22("1887"): 59-157.
Boivin, B. 1979. Flora of the Prairie Provinces. Part IV. Monop-
   sida. 43: 1-106.
Kartesz,  J.T.  1994.  A  synonymized  checklist of the vascular
   flora of the United States, Canada and  Greenland.  -  Second
   edition.  Volume  I: Checklist, 622 p.; Volume II: Thesaurus,
   816 p. - Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.
Kartesz, J.T. 1999.  A  Synonymized  Checklist  and  Atlas  with
   Biological  Attributes  for  the Vascular Flora of the United
   States, Canada, and Greenland. First  Edition.  In:  Kartesz,
   J.T.,  and  C.A.  Meacham.  Synthesis  of  the North American
   Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical  Garden,  Chapel
   Hill, NC. [CD-ROM]
Schkuhr,  C.  1806.  Nachtrag  oder die zweyte Haelfte der Ried-
   graeser. Wittenberg. 94 p.
Willdenow, K.L. 1805. Species plantarum. T. 4, Pars 1. 629 p.

From: Tobby Spribille [toby.spribille at]

Nebel, M. & Philippi, G.(eds.) 2000.  Die  Moose Baden-Wuerttem-
   bergs.  Band  1.  Verlag  Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart. 512 p., 153
   colour photos. ISBN 3-8001-3527-2. Price: 98.00 DM

   Ordering information: Verlag Eugen  Ulmer,  Postfach  700561,
   70574  Stuttgart,  Wollgrasweg  41,  Germany. For e-mail try:
   info at

This book is the long-awaited  bryological  counterpart  to  the
fantastic  monographic  treatments  of  lichens, fungi, vascular
plants, birds, bees and butterflies of the  southwestern  German
Bundesland  of Baden-Wuerttemberg.  About  the  same size as the
other volumes in this series, a hefty  512  pages  in  hardback,
this  first  of  three  volumes covers in considerable depth the
bryoflora from Andreaeopsida throught the primitive mosses up to
the Splachnaceae (Sphagnopsida are interestingly  not  included,
but are promised in a forthcoming volume). Each group is handled
by  a  specialist  in that area. An excellent detailed diagnosis
accompanies each species, as well as a discussion of morphologi-
cal variability,  ecology,  total  distribution,  a  raster  map
showing  the  species'  distribution  by  map  quadrat in Baden-
Wuerttemberg, and  the  conservation  status  of  each  species.
Detailed  keys  are  provided with each family and genus. A very
attractive part of this book  is  its  beautiful,  lucid,  high-
resolution  detailed  colour  photos,  over 150 of them, showing
mosses and moss characteristics as if viewed through a fine hand
lens. Colour photos are provided for many  species,  but  unfor-
tunately  not  for  all.  The  book is sturdily and attractively
bound in hardback and for 98.- DM  -  about  US$45.00  -  it  is
economically  priced.  This  book  will be useful far beyond its
stated borders and is sure to become  a  standard  reference  in
bryology,  particularily  in  central  Europe, but also in other
temperate regions.

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