BEN # 264
aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Mon Feb 12 12:36:34 EST 2001
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No. 264 February 12, 2000
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
BOTANY BC 2001 IN SMITHERS - REGISTRATION
Information on Botany BC, the program and the registration form
have been posted at
http://victoria.tc.ca/Environment/Botany - go to Announcements.
WORKSHOP: INTRODUCTION TO MOSS GENERA OF THE ANCHORAGE AREA
From: Stephen Talbot [stephen_talbot at mail.fws.gov]
Special Three-Day Workshop
1 - 3 June 2001
ALASKA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
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 fws.gov>
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 alaskapacific.edu> for information.
MONITORING AIR QUALITY WITH LEAF YEASTS - _SPOROBOLOMYCES_
From: Bryce Kendrick [bryce at mycolog.com]
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
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
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
SHOULD THE PORCUPINE SEDGE BECOME HYSTERICAL?
From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]
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.
NEW BOOK: MOSSES OF BADEN-WUERTTEMBERG
From: Tobby Spribille [toby.spribille at gmx.de]
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 ulmer.de
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
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