BEN # 271
aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Fri Jul 27 00:52:52 EST 2001
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No. 271 July 26, 2001
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
LINCOLN CONSTANCE (1909-2001)
From: Brent Mishler [bmishler at socrates.berkeley.edu]
It is my sad duty to report that after a battle with pneumonia,
one of my Integrative Biology colleagues, Professor Emeritus
Lincoln Constance, passed away on June 11, 2001 at the age of
Lincoln was the patriarch of Botany at Berkeley and foremost
expert on Umbelliferae/Apiaceae systematics. He was immensely
influential in shaping the modern history of the University and
of systematic botany on a worldwide level. Lincoln's long and
distinguished career began as a graduate student with Willis
Linn Jepson in the 30's. He was Curator of Seed Plants in the
University Herbarium beginning in the 40's, Chair of the Depart-
ment of Botany in the early 50's, Dean of the College of Letters
and Science from the mid-50's to early 60's, Vice-Chancellor of
Academic Affairs from the early to mid 60's, Director of the
University Herbarium from the early 60's to mid 70's and Trustee
of the Jepson Herbarium from 1960 until his death. In addition
to his numerous professional accomplishments, Lincoln was a true
gentleman and an exceptionally generous colleague, mentor and
friend. We will truly miss him.
A memorial service will be held in September. We will send more
information when it becomes available.
A larger obituary was written by Bob Sanders. It is at:
GONDWANAN TREE DISCOVERED IN THE AUSTRALIAN NIGHTCAP RANGE
From: Dianne Brown [dianne.brown at npws.nsw.gov.au]
In the far north-east of New South Wales, the discovery of a new
member of the Proteaceae family has created much excitement in
the botanical world and beyond. Dubbed the Nightcap Oak,
_Eidothea hardeniana_ is a tall tree that occurs in the rain-
forest of the Nightcap Range.
The discovery of the Nightcap Oak was a slow process, beginning
in 1875 in Victoria. A fossil of a closely related tree found
near Ballarat was first described by botanist Baron Ferdinand
von Mueller as _Xylocaryon lockii_. Then, nearly one hundred
years later in the 1960's, renowned botanist Bernie Hyland found
similar fruits on the rainforest floor on the flank of Mount
Bartle Frere in far north Queensland. It took him 20 years to
finally locate the trees that produced the fruit to allow final
identification, which were formally described in 1995. These
trees were placed in the Proteaceae family in the genus
_Eidothea_ (it is very closely related to the Nightcap Oak).
This North Queensland species has been named _Zoexylocarya_, due
to many similarities with the fossil plant found in Victoria.
Then in the late 1980's, botanist Rob Kooyman found leaves from
a young plant in the Nightcap Range that he could not identify.
Specimens returned from the herbarium placed the leaves tenta-
tively in the genus _Corynocarpus_, however, without any further
material such as flowers or fruits, it was impossible to more
accurately describe the species. The mystery remained unsolved
until late in 2000 when Rob was once again working in the
Nightcap Ranges in northern New South Wales with colleague
Andrew Benwell, when more individuals were found, including some
that were large rainforest canopy trees. When Rob took a small
sample of wood from one of the trees, it showed the familiar oak
flecking which is characteristic of the family Proteaceae.
Further searching located nuts from the trees, which displayed
remarkable similarities with the fossil nut from Victoria, and
the nuts from the Mt Bartle Frere trees. By now, Rob was con-
vinced that he was looking at a new member of the Proteaceae
family. The Nightcap Oak has been formally described by
Proteaceae specialist Peter Weston at the NSW National Her-
barium, assisted by Rob Kooyman. Fortuitously, some of the trees
flowered shortly after discovery, which will assist with the
formal description of the taxon.
Description, habitat and population
The Nightcap Oak grows in simple notophyll vine forest (warm
temperate rainforest) on rhyolite (an acid volcanic rock) geol-
ogy. The Nightcap Range is renowned for its World Heritage
rainforests, high biodiversity, and particularly for its large
number of rare, threatened and significant plants and animals.
The largest Nightcap Oak measures 40 m in height, and has a
diameter at breast height of 75 cm. The juvenile leaves have
persistent spiny teeth, while the adult leaves have entire
margins. The fruits are woody with ribs intruding into the seed,
similar to a walnut. The flowers are a creamy white with a
mildly aniseed scent. The tree often has a suckering growth
habit, similar to many rainforest trees that grow in the area.
The trees are only known to occur within one catchment of the
Nightcap Range, and are scattered across a few hectares. The
only other member of the _Eidothea_ genus occurs in far north
Queensland and has a restricted distribution. After extensive
searching for further populations, the current population size
is approximately 56 mature trees, 107 stems and 48 seedlings
have been recorded.
Proteaceae is an ancient Gondwanan plant family. Members of the
Proteaceae family are among the first flowering plants that
appear in the Australian fossil record during the Cretaceous
period, over 60 million years ago. The flowers of the Nightcap
Oak have characteristics far more primitive than many other
members of the family, indicating that it has an evolutionary
history stretching far into the past. Along with the fossil
relative found in Victoria and the _Eidothea_ in far north
Queensland, the discovery of the Nightcap Oak provides addi-
tional evidence that southeast Australia was once covered in
rainforest. The Nightcap Oak represents one of the families from
which much of the modern, dry-adapted Australian flora such as
the genera _Banksia_ and _Grevillea_, evolved and as such may
provide important information to assist with the reconstruction
of the evolution of Australia's flora.
Naturally, comparisons were made early on in the discovery to
the finding of the Wollemi Pine (_Wollemia nobilis_,
Araucariaceae) in Wollemi National Park north-west of Sydney.
This subsequently attracted considerable media attention includ-
ing national and international radio, newspapers and television.
Although it is important to publicise a new and exciting botani-
cal discovery, it is essential that this attention does not
expose the Nightcap Oak to any potential threats. Now that the
media interest has died down, the NSW National Parks and
Wildlife Service is concerned to keep the location of the plants
confidential to prevent any trampling, illegal collection or
vandalism, or the accidental introduction of pests and disease.
One of the most important actions now to protect the Nightcap
Oak is to keep the location of the trees confidential for
reasons mentioned above. A site visitation protocol similar to
that developed for the Wollemi Pine will need to be developed.
This will aim to control access to authorised personnel such as
researchers and land managers. Management will also be required
to ensure that the trees are protected from a natural disaster
such as fire. The species will also need to be protected from
any direct or indirect impacts of logging such as sedimentation
or exposure. In recognition of the significance of the Nightcap
Oak, the NSW Scientific Committee has proceeded with an emer-
gency listing of the species as Endangered under the NSW
Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995. If the Nightcap Oak
is listed the National Parks and Wildlife Service will be re-
quired to develop a Recovery Plan for the species. The Recovery
Plan will aim to ensure that the Nightcap Oak and its habitat is
protected from threatening processes by outlining the actions
needed to ensure its long term survival in the wild.
Ex situ conservation of the species will also be investigated,
including the collecting of seeds and cuttings for growing in a
botanic garden. This will ensure that, if any catastrophic event
kills the trees growing in the wild, the species will not be
lost forever and may be reintroduced to the site.
A Recovery Plan will also outline the development of a research
plan. The research plan will investigate the species' ecology
such as its habitat, life cycle, pollinators, dispersal
mechanisms and genetics. Initially, the NPWS has provided addi-
tional funds to survey potential habitat for the species.
For further information on the Nightcap Oak please contact
Dianne Brown at the Threatened Species Unit, NPW.
Threatened Species Officer
National Parks and Wildlife Service
PO Box 914
Coffs Harbour 2450
Tel: 02 6659 8273
Fax: 02 6651 6187
email: dianne.brown at npws.nsw.gov.au
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA HERBARIUM - SEARCHABLE ONLINE
From: Dave Carmean [carmean at sfu.ca]
The University of British Columbia Herbarium is the third
largest in Canada and worldwide in scope. Complete label data
(mostly unedited) from about 65% of our 560,000 accessioned
specimens is now accessible at http://herbarium.botany.ubc.ca
Vascular Plant Database (>120,000 records online)
Bryophyte Database (>130,000 records online, 20% entered)
Fungal Database (>13,000 records)
Lichen Database (>35,000 records)
We believe this is one of the larger and most complete herbarium
data sets available online.
The UBC Herbarium is part of the Department of Botany
http://www.botany.ubc.ca/ and the Director is Dr. Fred Ganders.
The vascular plant collection contains over 217,000 specimens
(Curator, Dr. Helen Kennedy). Due primarily to the collections
of Dr. W. B. Schofield, the bryophyte collection is one of the
largest in North America, with about 227,000 specimens (Curator,
Dr. Wilf Schofield). The algae collection, of over 67,000
specimens, includes the world's largest collections of Alaskan
and British Columbian seaweeds, largely due to the efforts of
Dr. R. F. Scagel and his many students and colleagues (Curator,
Dr. Michael Hawkes). The lichen collection includes more than
36,000 specimens (Curator, Mr. Trevor Goward) and the fungi
collection more than 14,000 specimens (Curator, Dr. Mary
The databases are served by Filemaker Pro using an iMac com-
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