OPTIMA Newsletter 31(e) / Informateur OPTIMA
Printed version ISSN 0376-5016 31 (1997), online version: ISSN 2225-6970,
published by the Secretariat of OPTIMA.
of N°. 31(e)
Nouvelles de l'OPTIMA; OPTIMA News
In Situ Conservation
in Turkey - An International Program; Seed Collection Project
of Turkish Endemics; Current
Research on the Biology of Endangered Plant Species
Field Work News:
International Botanical Expedition - Armenia, June 1996; VIII Expedition of
OPTIMA Itinera Mediterranea
Herbarium of the
Balkan Peninsula (BEO); Web
Arabian Plant Specialist
Group formed in IUCN; Thistles
Wanted Alive!; A
Domestication Programme of Mediterranean Legume Shrubs
IV Conference on
Plant Taxonomy - Barcelona, 19-22 September 1996; World Conservation
Congress - Montreal, 13-23 October 1996; Announcements
Notices of Publications:
OPTIMA; Cryptogamae; Dicotyledones; Monocotyledones; Floras; Flower Books; Floristic
Inventories and Checklists; Excursions; Chorology; Regional
Studies of Flora and Vegetation; Applied Botany; Conservation
Topics, Red Data Books; Gardens; Herbaria and
and Documentation; Reprints; Symposium
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NOUVELLES DE L'OPTIMA
AU SUJET DE CET INFORMATEUR
Dans ce numéro de l'Informateur OPTIMA, nous vous
proposons une nouvelle présentation et quelques rubriques
nouvelles auxquelles nous espérons que vous ferez bon
accueil. Je remercie tous les membres qui ont fourni idées
et suggestions à ce sujet. Nous tenons à prendre en compte
les réactions de nos lecteurs : communiquez-nous vos
opinions aussi bien que tous renseignements utiles à faire
évoluer l'informateur selon vos voeux. Ce numéro met
particulièrement l'accent sur des points de conservation
concernant la Turquie. Les numéros suivants inclueront des
contributions soulignant différents aspects de la botanique
Les membres du Conseil ont convenu d'attribuer 150 FS
par mois au Secrétariat de l'OPTIMA pour lui procurer une
assistance en secrétariat.
Suite à la reconnaissance de la Fondation Internationale
« Pro Herbario Mediterraneo », le Conseil a
ratifié les nominations du coordinateur pro tempore de
l'OPTIMA au Conseil d'Administration, de quatre
représentants au Comité Scientifique et d'un suppléant au
Collège des Commissaires aux Comptes. Il s'agit des
nominations suivantes :
- Coordinateur pro tempore de l'OPTIMA : F.
- Délégués au Comité Scientifique : A.
Charpin, W. Greuter, J. Iriondo et F. Raimondo
- Suppléant au Collège des Commissaires aux Comptes :
C. Heyn et B. Valdès ont également été nommés
vice-délégués au Comité Scientifique.
Le Conseil a également décidé de maintenir la
cotisation de membre de l'OPTIMA pour 1997 à son niveau
Les membres du Comité ont approuvé le rapport annuel et
le rapport financier pour 1995, soumis par le Secrétaire au
nom du Président et du Conseil Exécutif. Le Comité a
également élu S. Pajarón et F. Fernández-González
comme vérificateurs des comptes pour 1996.
En plus de la gestion des comptes de l'OPTIMA et de ceux
de la Commission des Publications et de la Commission des
Prix, de la gestion de la vente des publications et de la
tenue des fichiers des membres, le Secrétariat de l'OPTIMA a
également assuré les relations entre les membres du Conseil
et du Comité et les groupes de travail et commissions de
Les autres activités relevant du Secrétariat comprennent
la publication de l'Informateur OPTIMA et la préparation
d'un site sur le Web pour l'OPTIMA.
Pr. P. Critopoulos, Athènes, Grèce, décédé le
Mme. Rose A. Clement, Edinburgh, Royaume-Uni (Royal
Botanic Garden) décedé en juillet 1996 à l'age de 43 ans.
Pr. Dr. Tadeus Reichstein, Bâle, Suisse (Institut
für Org. Chemie) décédé le 1.08.1996 à l'âge de 99 ans.
Il était membre de l'OPTIMA depuis sa fondation en 1974.
LE POINT SUR LES COMMISSIONS
CONSERVATION DES RESSOURCES VÉGÉTALES
La base de données sur "La recherche en cours sur la
biologie des espèces végétales menacées du Bassin
méditerranéen et de la Macaronésie" a été
transférée dans une nouvelle structure de données gérée
sous « Microsoft Access ». Afin de mettre à jour
les données, un nouveau questionnaire a été diffusé (voir
le paragraphe Conservation News dans cet informateur).
DIFFUSION DES CONNAISSANCES SUR LES PLANTES
La commission DCPM a fait quelques progrès dans deux
- Nous avons mis au point le cadre général du livre
sur « Paysages végétaux de la région
méditerranéenne » (titre provisoire). Un
chapitre particulier sera envoyé prochainement comme
modèle aux auteurs.
- Nous avons reçu le consentement d'auteurs pour les
parties introductive et générale du livre, ainsi
que d'autres qui rédigeront respectivement la
végétation et la flore de l'Espagne, de l'Italie
(îles comprises), et du Proche-Orient (Israël,
Jordanie, Liban et Syrie).
La VIIIème expédition des Itinera Mediterranea de
l'OPTIMA a été organisée par F. Raimondo, du Département
de Botanique de l'Université de Palerme, par G. Cesca du
Département d'Écologie de l'Université de Cosenza et par
G. Spampinato du Département de Chimie Agricole et
d'Agrobiologie de l'Université de Reggio de Calabre. Elle
aura lieu en Calabre du 31 Mai au 21 Juin 1997.
Une circulaire d'informations sur cette expédition a
été diffusée auprès de tous les membres de l'OPTIMA. La
date limite pour les inscriptions était le 31 Décembre
1996. Des détails supplémentaires sur cette expédition
figurent dans le paragraphe Field Work News de cet
La fondation internationale « Pro Herbario
Mediterraneo » a été reconnue officiellement par
décret ministériel Italien du 1er Mars 1995. Fin 1996, le
Comité de Gestion de la Fondation sera installé et
l'activité normale pourra commencer en 1997.
La Loi Régionale n° 19/96 de la Région de Sicile a
financé l'achèvement de l'acquisition du bâtiment jouxtant
le Jardin Botanique de Palerme afin d'y héberger l'Herbarium
DIFFUSION ET MISE SUR RÉSEAU DE L'INFORMATION
Appel à collaboration !
La commission a été mise en place au cours du colloque
1995 de l'OPTIMA à Séville (Secrétaire : Walter G.
Berendsohn, BGBM Berlin). Comme première étape vers
l'intégration des informations disponibles, il est prévu de
mettre en place sur le World Wide Web des répertoires
correspondant aux intitulés suivants :
- Inventaire des bases de données disponibles
relatives à la phytotaxinomie en région
méditerranéenne. Il pourrait comprendre toutes
les sources de données d'accès public depuis
les fichiers texte structurés de chercheurs
individuels, jusqu'aux bases de données
institutionnelles et celles accessibles par Internet.
- Ressources en experts en taxinomie
informatisée. Afin d'identifier les
collectivités et personnes disposant d'une
expérience dans la conception et la gestion de bases
de données botaniques.
- Base de données sur les projets botaniques pour
la région méditerranéenne. Ce répertoire
ferait l'inventaire des projets au stade de la
planification, ou qui n'ont pas encore produit de
données accessibles au public.
De très courts résumés ou des mots-clés (2 lignes au
maximum) sont fournis sur les pages, des liens avec des
documents plus consistants peuvent être inclus (les
documents devraient être soumis au format HTML si possible).
La commission éditera ces pages et le BGBM de Berlin a
proposé dans un premier temps d'héberger et d'administrer
le site, qui peut ultérieurement être déplacé ou
reflété par un autre serveur WWW.
Tous les membres de l'OPTIMA sont invités à prendre
contact (de préférence par courrier électronique) avec W.
Berendsohn ou le Secrétariat de l'OPTIMA s'ils ont
connaissances de sources d'informations rentrant dans les
Dr. Walter G. Berendsohn
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Email : email@example.com
Le volume 5(1) de Bocconea, qui traite des
conférences données au VIIème Colloque de l'OPTIMA tenu à
Borovetz du 18 au 30 Juillet 1993, a été diffusé. Le
volume 6 de Bocconea a également été publié et
contient un inventaire des Lichens méditerranéens.
Le volume 5(2) de Bocconea, avec les posters
présentés au VIIème Colloque de l'OPTIMA, et Flora
Mediterranea vol. 6 sont imprimés et distribués à
peu près en même temps que ce numéro de l'Informateur OPTIMA.
N'oubliez pas de jeter un oeil sur la liste de
publications insérée au début de ce numéro de l'Informateur OPTIMA : vous y trouverez des informations sur les
conditions particulières offertes aux membres de l'OPTIMA
pour l'achat des publications mentionnées.
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IN THIS NEWSLETTER,
In this issue of OPTIMA Newsletter we are presenting a new
format and some new sections which we hope will be well
received. I thank all members who have provided interesting
ideas and suggestions for the newsletter. We are interested
in receiving feedback from our readers, so please, do send
your opinions as well as relevant information to let the
newsletter evolve in accordance to your demands. The present
edition places a special emphasis on conservation issues
related to Turkey. In forthcoming issues we will be including
contributions that stress different aspects of Mediterranean
The Council members agreed to provide the OPTIMA
Secretariat with SF 150 per month for secretarial assistance.
Following the recognition of the International Foundation
«pro Herbario Mediterraneo » the Council ratified the
nominations of the pro tempore co-ordinator of OPTIMA in the
Governing Body, four seats for the Scientific Committee and a
substitute in the Reviser College. These nominations are as
- Pro tempore co-ordinator of OPTIMA: F. Raimondo
- Delegates of Scientific Committee: A. Charpin, W.
Greuter, J. Iriondo and F. Raimondo
- Substitute in the Reviser College: G. Venturella
C. Heyn and B. Valdés were also nominated vice-delegates
of the Scientific Committee.
The Council also decided to maintain the current OPTIMA
membership fees for 1997.
The Board members approved the annual report and the
financial report for 1995, submitted by the Secretary on
behalf of the President and the Executive Council. The Board
also elected the auditors, S. Pajarón and F.
Fernández-González, for 1996.
In addition to the keeping of OPTIMA's accounts and the
accounts of the Publications Commission and Prize Commission,
the management of publication sales and the administration of
membership files, the OPTIMA Secretariat also functions as a
liaising centre for Council and Board members and the working
groups and commissions of our Organization.
Further activities taking place at the Secretariat include
the edition of OPTIMA Newsletter and the preparation of a
Website for OPTIMA.
Prof. P. Critopoulos, Athens, Greece, died on
Mrs. Rose A. Clement, Edinburgh, U.K. (Royal
Botanic Garden) died in July 1996 at the age of 43 years.
Prof. Dr. Tadeus Reichstein, Basel, Switzerland
(Institut für Org. Chemie) died on 1.08.1996 at the age of
99 years. He was a member of OPTIMA since its foundation in
UPDATES ON COMMISSIONS
CONSERVATION OF PLANT RESOURCES
The database on "Current Research on the biology of
threatened plant species of the Mediterranean basin and
Macaronesia" has been transferred into a new data
structure managed in "Microsoft Access".
As part of the process of updating data a new
questionnaire has been issued (see Conservation News section
in this newsletter).
DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE ON MEDITERRANEAN PLANTS
The DKMP commission has made some progress in two aspects:
- We arrived at a general layout of the book
"Vegetal landscapes of the Mediterranean"
(temporary name). An example of a specific chapter
will be sent to the authors in the near future.
- We received the consent of experts to cover the
introductory and the general parts of the book, as
well as the vegetation and flora of Spain, Italy (and
Islands), and the Near East (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon,
The VIII Expedition of OPTIMA Itinera Mediterranea is
being organized by F. M. Raimondo from the Department of
Botany of the University of Palermo, G. Cesca from the
Department of Ecology of the University of Cosenza and G.
Spampinato from the Department of Agricultural Chemistry and
Agrobiology of the University of Reggio Calabria. It will be
held in Calabria from 31 May to 21 June 1997.
A circular with information on this expedition was issued
to all OPTIMA members. The deadline for applications is 31
December 1996. Further details on this expedition are
presented in the Field Work News section of this
The International Foundation «pro Herbario Mediterraneo»
was legally recognised by Italian ministerial decree of 1
March 1995. By the end of 1996, the Management Board of the
Foundation will be installed and regular activity will start
Regional Law no. 19/96 of the Sicilian Region financed the
completion of the acquisition of the building adjoining the
Palermo Botanical Garden in order to house the Herbarium
INFORMATION TRANSFER AND NETWORKING
Call for collaboration !
The commission was established during the 1995 OPTIMA
meeting in Sevilla (Secretary: Walter G. Berendsohn, BGBM
Berlin). As a first step towards integrating available
information resources, it is planned to establish World Wide
Web based directories under the following headings:
- Established phytotaxonomy-related databases
relevant to the Mediterranean area. This can
include all publicly available data sources - from
structured word processor files held by individual
researchers, to institutional database, to databases
accessible via Internet.
- Taxonomic computing expert resources. This is
to identify companies and individuals who have
experience in the design and implementation of
- Botanical Database projects for the Mediterranean
area. This directory is to list projects which
are in the planning stage, or which have not yet
produced publicly available data.
Very short abstracts or key words (max. 2 lines) are
provided on the pages. Links to more extensive documents can
be included (documents should be submitted in HTML format, if
possible). The commission will edit these pages and the BGBM
in Berlin has offered to initially house and administer the
site (which can later be moved or mirrored to any other WWW
All OPTIMA members are urged to contact (preferably by
E-mail) W. Berendsohn or the OPTIMA Secretariat if they have
knowledge of data-resources which fit one of the above
Dr. Walter G. Berendsohn
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 5(1) of Bocconea dealing with the lectures
presented at the VII OPTIMA Meeting held in Borovec from 18
to 30 July 1993 has been issued. Volume 6 of Bocconea has also been published and holds a checklist of
Volume 5(2) of Bocconea, with the posters presented
at the VII OPTIMA Meeting, and Flora Mediterranea vol.
6 are being printed and distributed at about the same time as
this issue of OPTIMA Newsletter.
Please check the publications offer sheet at the beginning
of this issue of OPTIMA Newsletter to get further
information on special discounts for OPTIMA members on these
and other publications.
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IN SITU CONSERVATION
IN TURKEY -
AN INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM
by STANLEY L. KRUGMAN
Turkey has one of the richest temperate flora in the
Mediterranean Region. With its diverse climatic and
geological conditions and its location at the junction of
several major flora regions; Europe, the Mediterranean and
Central Asia, Turkey has given rise to a number of unique
species found nowhere else in the world. Over 30% of the
8,800 plants common to Turkey are endemic. In addition there
is high genetic diversity in the populations found in Turkey.
As a crossroad at the junction of three major centers of
culture between Asia, Africa and Europe, the historical
migration of peoples and their eventual settlements in Turkey
has furthered enriched the diversity of cultivated plants
which were brought to Turkey from often distant lands. This
has produced a number of diverse primitive cultivated
varieties, or landraces that have and are still evolving
under the influence of natural and human selection pressure.
As a result of these various conditions, Turkey has been
and remains a center of origin and an essential source of
important global genetic resources for numerous agricultural,
horticultural, medicinal and ornamental and woody forestry
crop plants. It is important to note that these crops were
first domesticated from wild species which still exist in
Turkey. The major non-woody and woody wild relatives include:
wheat (Triticum spp.), barley (Hordeum spp.),
lentil (Lens spp.), chickpea (Cicer spp.), pear
(Pyrus spp.), apple (Malus spp.), cherry (Prunus spp.), walnut (Juglans spp.), pistachio (Pistachio spp.) and chestnut (Castanea spp.). There are also
several important forest woody tree species which include
several pines (Pinus spp.) firs (Abies spp.)
and cedar (Cedrus sp.) some of which are at the
extreme limits of their distribution in Turkey and found
nowhere else. These genetic resources have and are still
contributing to the raw material for much of modern temperate
Modern agriculture is mostly based on improved varieties,
hybrids and genetic selections. The importance of wild crop
relatives are too frequently forgotten in the crop
improvement process. Even in many current conservation
programs emphasis is placed on the rare or threatened
species. In Turkey with its centuries of human development,
land clearing for agriculture and severe grazing pressure,
many species and populations of wild relatives are themselves
threatened with extinction. The genetic resources commonly
found but little understood in the wild relative populations
are still needed as a current and future source of important
traits for worldwide agriculture. This is especially true as
temperate agricultural crops are now being introduced at a
rapid rate into non-temperate areas as in Asia and Africa.
There are of course many important and useful Ex-situ programs for the genetic resources of Turkey. But it was felt
that such programs, as valuable as they are, failed to
maintain the changes associated with evolutionary and
selection pressures. In-situ conservation provides a
proven method of preserving populations under natural
conditions. If an area is properly designed and of
appropriate size, wild and weedy crop relatives as well as
their pests and pathogens, which are common agents of natural
selection, can continue the evolutionary process. It is
unfortunate that at this time there are very few programs
worldwide designed to protect wild relatives In situ .
This project is the first of its kind in the In situ world to protect the genetic variability and populations of
both woody and non-woody wild crop relatives from an
integrated multi-species approach on a landscape basis.
With funding support from the Global Environment Facility,
an international financial mechanism to fund environmental
protection projects, a three year In-situ conservation
project to protect selected wild relatives was initiated in
Turkey in 1993. Management of the project is being carried
out by specialists from the Turkish Ministries of Agriculture
and Rural Affairs, Forestry and Environment. There are five
major elements in this program:
- a series of plant surveys and inventories in selected
sites with unique and rich wild relative resources
- data managed systems to permit collection,
cataloguing, and sharing of genetic information with
other interested organizations both national and
international were developed;
- institutional capabilities were strengthened by
workshops, technical assistance and training and the
procurement of new scientific equipment;
- a series of gene management areas for selected sites
and species with appropriate management plans were
- a national plan for the In-situ conservation
of wild relatives was developed.
In a three year period it was not intended to provide a
full national conservation program of all of the important
wild relatives but to provide a series of possible models for
future implementation. The key to this program are the Gene
Management Zones (GMZs). The GMZs are large areas carefully
selected and managed for the sole purpose of maintaining an
array of wild relatives in their natural environment. At this
time GMZs have been established in the Kaz Mountain area of
the Aegean region of northwest Turkey. This area includes
elements of the Euro-Siberian, Mediterranean, and
Irano-Turanian flora. Chestnut (Castanea sativa), and
plums (Prunus divaricata), as well as, Anatolian black
(Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana) and Turkish red
pine (Pinus brutia)and the rare Kazdagi fir (Abies
equi-trojani) are major elements of these GMZ.
In southeastern Turkey GMZs have been established in the
Ceylanpinar State Farm which includes Mediterranean and
Irano-Turanian flora containing wild wheat (Triticum
dicoccoides, T. boeticum, and associated species
of Aegilops speltoides, A. crassa, A.
squarrosa), lentil (Lens spp.), chickpea (Cicer spp.), and barley (Hordeum spontaneum) genetic
In south-central Turkey in the Bolkar Mountains forest,
GMZs have been established to include additional forest flora
of the southern regions of the Euro-Siberian, Irano-Turanian
and coastal Mediterranean flora. Among the species placed
under protection are: wheat, lentil, aromatic and medicinal
plants (Lobaria spp. and Cladonia spp.), plum,
apple and hazelnut (Corylus spp.). Southern
populations of both red and black pine, fir (Abies
cilicica) and cedar (Cedrus libani) are also
A key feature of the project is the close cooperation
between the agricultural and forestry specialists. This is
essential since in many cases the agricultural wild relatives
can now only be found associated with various forest
The initial results of this program were presented during
the International Symposium on In-Situ Conservation of
Plant Genetic Diversity held in Antalya, Turkey November 4 to
Stanley Krugman is Senior Forestry Specialist at the
World Bank, Washington D.C., USA.
( ( (
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COLLECTION PROJECT OF TURKISH ENDEMICS
by TUNA EKIM
Data on Turkish endemics became clearer after the
publication of Davis' monumental book "Flora of
Turkey and East Aegean Islands". According to the
information in this book that covers all Turkish vascular
plants, the endemic taxa sum up to 2,700. This figure almost
reaches 3,000 when the new species described in recent years,
mostly by Turkish botanists, are added.
In Turkey, as well as in other industrial and highly
populated countries, all organisms and especially local rare
endemics, are highly affected by the pressure of human
According to the Red Data Book for Turkish Plants,
prepared by Ekim et al. and published by the Turkish
Association for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
in 1989, approximately 400 endemic species grow near big
cities or in sensitive places where they are strongly
threatened. Most of them are only known from type specimen
which were mostly collected in the last century or at the
beginning of this century.
This project, which is supported by the government through
TÜBITAK (Turkish Scientific Research Council), started in
1992 and aims to collect seeds from as many endemics as
possible and deposit them in seed banks in Turkey,
particularly at Menemen-Izmir. The exchange of material will
not be possible until the project is completed.
While in 1992 about 20 botanists were involved in the
project, in 1995 and 1996 this number reached up to 28
botanists from 12 universities and several seed banks.
Initially, the project was planned for three years. Due to
some difficulties, the field work was not very satisfactory
in the first and third year. Therefore, the project was
extended for two more years. In the first period of the
project, approximately 30 percent of total endemics were
collected and preserved in the seed banks. During this
period, several new species were found and some of them were
published in journals, such as Turkish Journal of Botany,
Karaca Arboretum Magazine, Flora Mediterranea, Willdenovia, etc.
During dense field work, some very interesting collections
were carried out for some plant species which were known only
from the type or which had not been collected for a long
time. Unfortunately, even though we made a great effort and
found some very critical species, there has so far been no
parallel success in finding some other very rare and
interesting species, such as Sartoria hedysaroides,
Rhodothamnus sessilifolius and Kalidopsis wagenitzii.
On the other hand, it is now clearer that the distribution of
some species is more common than previously expected. Another
task also carried out during this project has been to
investigate the population richness and distribution of
In the course of the project, we faced some problems
related to seed collection. One of the major problems was to
find a sufficient amount of seed, particularly for some rare
and local endemics with very small populations, or in certain
genera which produce small amounts of seed. Another problem
was insect impact on some particular genera of Labiatae,
Compositae, Leguminosae and even Liliaceae. A third kind of
difficulty was the need to visit a particular mountain
several times as the blooming and seed maturation season of
the existing endemics was completely different in each case.
In certain species the period between flowering and fruiting
was so close that one had to visit the same place several
times within a very short period. Terrorism in Eastern
Anatolia was a big handicap for collecting local endemics of
this region. Due to this and some other difficulties, we
expect to collect at most 75 % of our endemics by the end of
Plant specimens are deposited mostly in local herbaria of
the universities of the project staff. If researchers do not
have this type of facilities then their specimens are sent to
the herbarium of the project centre, GAZI, Herbarium of Gazi
University, Science and Art Faculty, 06500 T. Okullar, Ankara
By the end of the project, we expect to obtain
satisfactory data for most of our endemics. We plan to
publish a comprehensive illustrated book which will try to
sort out most taxonomic and chorological problems of Turkish
endemics, provided we find a publisher or supporter for such
a big and expensive book.
The project work will go on for two more years. After
this, we will finish the hard field work as only very rare
and local endemics will be left. The collection expenses
needed for these cases will not be reasonable enough to
persuade the supporter to cover them.
Project Staff (in alphabetical order)
Nezaket Adigüzel, Yasin Altan, Zeki Aytaç, Lütfi Bekat,
Halil Çakan, Nasip Demirkus, Musa Dogan, Ali Dönmez, Hayri
Duman, Murat Ekici, Tuna Ekim (Project Leader), Yusuf Gemici,
Ramazan Götürk, Güven Görk, Adil Güner, Fergan Karaer,
Mehmet Koyuncu, Güray Kutbay, Erkuter Leblebici, Hasan
Özçelik, Engin Özhatay, Neriman Özhatay, Özcan Seçmen,
Necattin Türkmen, Mecit Vural, Bayram Yildiz and Alptekin
Karagöz, Ayfer Tan (both from seed banks).
Prof. Dr. Tuna Ekim is Head of Department at Gazi
Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi Dekanligi, Biyoloji
Bölümü Baskanligi, Ankara, Turkey.
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ON THE BIOLOGY OF ENDANGERED PLANT SPECIES OF THE
Since 1989, the OPTIMA Commission for the Conservation of
Plant Resources has been involved in the collection of data
on what has been done and what's being done in the biology of
threatened plants of the Mediterranean basin.
If you work in this area we would very much appreciate it
if you would spend a few minutes to fill in the short
QUESTIONNAIRE ON CURRENT RESEARCH ON THE
BIOLOGY OF ENDANGERED PLANT SPECIES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
Please use a separate form for each species. Make copies
of this form if necessary. Please read the appended notes
Name of researcher/s:
Postal address (3)
Area of study (4):
||IUCN category (1)
Demography, pop. dynamics
Period of study: Initial year
(1) Species of interest are those classified, in a worldwide
scale, as EW (Extinct in the Wild); CR (Critically
Endangered); EN (Endangered); VU (Vulnerable); and LR (Lower
Risk); according to new IUCN categories or E (Endangered); V
(Vulnerable); and R (Rare) according to the old IUCN
(2) Country or countries and/or geographical region.
(3) Address of the organization or institution. Please
include telephone, fax and E-mail if applicable.
(4) Check the area/s most closely related to your
(5) Please include published articles as well as those
"in press" from your group or other sources. Make
reference to the author, year, title, publication, pages.
Please make copies
of this questionnaire and send them to the following
Mª José Albert
Dpto. Biología Vegetal, E. U. I. T. Agrícola
Universidad Politécnica, Ciudad Universitaria
E-28040 Madrid, SPAIN
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FIELD WORK NEWS
edited by BENITO VALDÉS
INTERNATIONAL BOTANICAL EXPEDITION
ARMENIA - JUNE 1996
During the two-week expedition thirty localities in
different types of vegetation were visited: semidesert, salt
marshes, "solonchak's", sand deserts, gypsaceous
formations like hammada, mountain steppes (with Stipa and Festuca as dominants), traganth steppes, subalpine
and alpine meadows, beech forests, oak forests (Quercus
macranthera, Q. iberica), mixed forests with Pinus
kochiana and Taxus baccata, open arid forests with Quercus macranthera and Juniperus polycarpos,
"shibliak", petrophilous locations and others. Over
400 species from 69 families of vascular plants were
collected. The material is being determined by participants
of the expedition and specialists of the Institute of Botany
of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. The organizers are
interested in increasing the number of participants from
other countries in future expeditions.
Reported by Dr. G. Fajvush.
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EXPEDITION OF OPTIMA ITINERA MEDITERRANEA
EXPEDITION TO CALABRIA (S. ITALY)
(31 May - 21 June 1997)
This expedition is being organized by F. M. Raimondo from
the Department of Botany of the University of Palermo, by G.
Cesca from the Department of Ecology of the University of
Cosenza and by G. Spampinato from the Department of
Agricultural Chemistry and Agrobiology of the University of
The expedition will allow the participants to visit the
most interesting areas of Aspromonte and of the Serre. On
June 2 the highest altitudes of Aspromonte will be seen, on
June 3 the highmountain Ionian side of the Massif and some
falls, on June 4 the Tyrrhenian side, on June 5 the southern
Ionian coastal belt, on June 6 the woods and the rivers of
the eastern side, on June 7 the mountain areas of the Serre,
on June 8 the Marmarico falls and the Stilo cliffs. June 9
will be dedicated to the setting of the plant material
collected. From June 10 to 14 the excursion will continue on
the Sila. On June 15 it will be possible to visit the
Argentino river valley and on June 16 the Rizzi cliffs. From
June 17 to 19 the Pollino massif will be explored and on June
20 the excursion will end at Rende, from where on June 21 the
participants will return to their own seats.
Saturday, May 31 Arrival of the participants to Reggio
Calabria and accommodation in hotel. Each excursionist shall
provide his or her own accommodation for this first overnight
Sunday, June 1 Transfer from Reggio Calabria to Gambarie.
Participants will be picked up from the hotels by the
organization vehicles. Accommodation in hotel at Gambarie
(Miramonti Hotel) and preparatory seminar. In the afternoon,
beginning of the expedition in the surroundings of Gambarie.
Monday, June 2 Gambarie - Monte Basilico - Torrente Listi
- Serro Sgarrone - Montalto - Gambarie
Tuesday, June 3 Gambarie - Ferraina - Cascate Foggiarelle
- Torrente Menta - Cascate Maesano - Gambarie.
Wednesday, June 4 Gambarie - Piani d`Aspro-monte - Monte
S. Elia - Canolo - Torrente Vasi - Gambarie
Thursday, June 5 Gambarie - Pentimele - Capo dell`Armi -
Melito - Fiumara Amendolea - Bova Superiore.
Friday, June 6 Bova Superiore - C. Spartivento -
Ferruzzano - Fiumara Buonamico - Serra San Bruno.
Saturday, June 7 Serra San Bruno - Monte Pecoraro - Passo
Pietra Spada - Mongiana - Torrente Allaro - Serra San Bruno.
Sunday, June 8 Serra San Bruno - Ferdinandea - Cascate di
Marmarico - Torrente Stilaro - Stilo - Serra San Bruno.
Monday, June 9 All day stop in Serra San Bruno to set the
plants and visit the Certosa and the village.
Tuesday, June 10 Transfer from Mongiana to Camigliatello
Silano (Camigliatello Hotel). Collections at Angitola,
Wednesday, June 11 Lepre river (Marchesato);
Thursday, June 12 Monte Basilicò (Sila Greca) and Trionto
river (Ionian coast);
Friday, June 13 Macchialonga (Sila Grande);
Saturday, June 14 Transfer to Cetraro (S. Michele Hotel).
Collections at Monte Botte Donato, Monte Curcio, Monte Scuro
(Sila Grande); stop at the Botanical garden of the Calabria
Sunday, June 15 Argentino river valley (Monti di
Monday, June 16 Rizzi cliffs (Tyrrhenian coast) and
Tuesday, June 17 Transfer on the Pollino Massif (De
Gasperi refuge). Collections at Lao river valley (Monti di
Wednesday, June 18 Ruggio Plains and Serra del Prete
Thursday, June 19 Pollino Plains (Pollino Massif)
Friday, June 20 Transfer to Rende (University
guest-rooms). Collections at Petrosa (Castrovillari plains),
Saturday, June 21 Departure for one`s own seat
The cost of the expedition will be ITL 2.400.000 for the
senior botanists and ITL 1.200.000 for the junior botanists.
This amount will cover petrol and a small fee for the use and
maintenance of cars during the expedition, accommodation and
meals starting from June 1, some organizative expenses,
including postage of circular letters and reward to 2
Junior participants that really need it, could apply for a
grant of 300 SF to the OPTIMA Council.
Registration fee will be paid on the arrival of the
participants. The estimated costs have been calculated
without considering possible contributions by Calabria
Institutions. If financial support by the mentioned
Institutions were available, a partial refund of the
registration fee could be given.
The deadline for applications was 31 December 1996.
Participants will be selected by the Executive Council of
OPTIMA before January 31, 1997. All applicants will receive a
communication about the decisions made by the Council of
OPTIMA. Those selected for the expedition will also receive
additional information about the expedition.
For general rules which regulate OPTIMA Expeditions, see
B. VALDES in OPTIMA Newsletter 20-24: 44-46 (1988); Lagascalia 15 (Extra): 131-137 (1988); Bocconea 1: 7-8
(1991). Reported by Prof. F. M. Raimondo.
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edited by PALOMA BLANCO
OF THE BALKAN PENINSULA (BEO)
Natural History Museum, Belgrade,
by OLGA VASIC
BEOGRAD (BEO): Herbarium of the Balkan Peninsula
Botany Department, Natural History Museum
Tel./Fax: +381 11 4442263
- Location: Njegoeva 51, 11000 Beograd,
- Foundation: 1895
- Number of specimens: Vascular plants (more than
450.000), Bryophyta (1.000), Fungi (10.000), Lichens
- Herbarium: the former Yugoslavia, now Yugoslav
countries (Yugoslavia-Serbia and Montenegro;
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, FYR
Macedonia), Greece, Bulgaria, Albania.
- Important collections: L. ADAMOVIC, H. DIKLI&, N.
KOANIN, V. NIKOLIC, J. PANCIC, S. PETROVIC.
- Head Curator: Olga VASIC.
- Curators: Marjan NIKETIC - vascular plants, Boris
IVANCEVIC - fungi, Sanja SAVIC- lichens.
- Activities: (1) exchange of materials with other
collections; (2) lending of materials for scientific
analysis; (3) work on the Belgrade Natural History
The Natural History Museum in Belgrade (Beograd), founded
on 19 December 1895, is one of the oldest institutions of its
type on the Balkan Peninsula. In comparison to famous museums
around the world whose history goes back several centuries, a
hundred-year period might not seem like much. However,
considering that the Balkans have always been, and,
unfortunately, continue to be the scene of tumultuous events,
wars and destruction, a hundred years' continuity mustn't be
underestimated. (For additional information, see: Vasi6, O.
1993: Herbarium of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade as
a basis for the shaping and publishing of the Flora of Serbia
I-X [Ed. 1, 1970-1986. Webbia 48, 259-265).
Although the Natural History Museum is housed in a
building which is unsuitable and inadequate in every respect,
its numerous, diverse, and rich collections represent a
priceless naturalist, scientific, cultural and national
One of the richest and most valuable collections is the
Herbarium of the Balkan Peninsula. The Museum's botanical
collection rightfully bears this name, as, in addition to
material from all parts of the former Yugoslavia, it includes
ample material from Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. Over the
last hundred years, several generations of notable botanists,
as well as amateur botanists, enthusiasts, and nature lovers,
have helped the Natural History Museum's Herbarium acquire
specimens of almost all species whose range is currently
known to be partly or wholly in the territory of Serbia.
The greatest part of the Herbarium consists of plants of
the Angiospermae group, as well as the Gymnospermae and Pteridophyta groups. The total number of herbarium
sheets is 122.341. The scope of collection is estimated at
450.000 specimens; since depending on plant dimensions, more
sheets contain more than one specimen. Herbarium specimens
have been supplied with standard Museum labels, and have been
inventoried and classified under E. Janchen's system.
Of smaller scope, but no less important are the fungi,
lichen, and Bryophyta collections.
The Museum's Herbarium offers exceptional insight into the
diversity, complexity, and wealth of the flora not only of
Serbia, but also of the Balkan Peninsula, and is, in fact, a
kind of database of the diversity of the region's flora. Even
though every specimen has its value and importance, the most
precious specimens are those that represent holotypes for the
science of new species, subspecies, varieties and forms;
specimens of species endemic to Serbia, or to the Balkan
Peninsula, and specimens of relict species. Nowadays, at a
time when man unthinkingly destroys plants' natural habitat,
this evidence of past times is invaluable for the
reconstruction of flora composition in the more recent
historical, as well as in the more remote geological past,
not only of Serbia and the Balkans but of the whole of Europe
as well. Accordingly, a significant asset of the collection
are plants existing today solely as herbarium specimens,
since they can no longer be found in the natural environment.
The Herbarium of the Balkan Peninsula has served as a
source of information for numerous works in the field of
floristics, taxonomy, phytogeography, and phytocoenology, and
it was also the basis for the production of the ten-volume
work FLORA SR SRBIJE (1970-1986) [The Flora of the Socialist
Republic of Serbia]. It is also indispensable in the
preparation of the new expanded edition, FLORA SRBIJE [The
Flora of Serbia], which is currently under way.
This botanical collection, the largest in scope in the
Balkans, unfortunately still lacks adequate housing, as
regards both space and equipment. The herbarium sheets are
stored in cardboard boxes, which can only afford protection
against dust. The boxes are kept on rough, makeshift wooden
shelves. As there are no facilities or means of providing
adequate protection whatsoever, the herbarium specimens are
exposed to considerable fluctuations in temperature and
humidity, a characteristic of the continental climate of
Belgrade. It is only thanks to the devoted care of
generations of curators that the collection has been
preserved in good condition to this day. Thanks to regular
checks and chemical treatment, it has been successfully
protected from various museum parasites.
On the eve of the unfortunate disintegration of the former
Yugoslavia, a solution to the problem of the Natural History
Museum premises, and consequently of adequate housing for the
herbarium, seemed to be in sight. However, even though it is
necessary to ensure that the collection is stored in suitable
rooms, which should be furnished with metal cupboards
specifically for this purpose, and in which constant
temperature and humidity can be maintained, as well as
protection afforded to herbarium material from all potential
damage, this will, considering the circumstances our country
is currently in, probably have to await better times.
Unfortunately, the preservation of the collection will
undoubtedly continue to depend for the most part on the
enthusiasm of us botanists curators. It is quite
understandable that the funds allotted to culture and science
are extremely meagre, when the state, until recently
labouring under sanctions, is in a difficult economic
It is a great comfort that the latest destruction and
suffering caused by war on the territory of the former
Yugoslavia had no direct impact on the Herbarium of the
Balkan Peninsula, simply because the war was not fought on
the territory of the present Yugoslavia. We do, however,
encounter the effects of indirect impact daily.
In addition to the problem of inadequate storage, plaguing
the collection for several decades now, over the last few
years, as a consequence of the indirect impact of the war in
our vicinity and the direct impact of the economic blockade
of Yugoslavia, difficulties have arisen regarding the
enlarging of the collection as well as its technical
treatment and protection.
The collection of material for the Herbarium has been
reduced to a minimum, and it has also become territorially
restricted. Due to the very meagre funds at their disposal,
and difficulties in petrol supply, the curators were forced
to give up most of the previously planned excursions in the
territory of Serbia and Montenegro. Moreover, due to the war
and administrative-political measures, it was no longer
possible to collect plants in the territory of other former
Yugoslav republics. Although well aware that plants either
know nor recognize our man-made frontiers, we were forced to
limit ourselves, in our rare and brief field trips, to the
territory of the FR Yugoslavia. Thus, the specimens in our
Herbarium that were acquired in the past, from territory now
inaccessible to us, have gained in value.
Even when we succeed in going out into the field to
collect plants, on our return to the Museum we are faced with
difficulties in the technical treatment and protection of the
material, also caused by lack of funds. The pressing and
drying of plants by means of old newspapers, although not so
practical and fast a process as the use of special absorbent
paper or dryers, fortunately gives no poorer results.
However, we have a shortage of paper for herbarium sheets,
and also of cardboard boxes, so that we are forced to keep
the plants in newspapers even after they have been dried. We
are not complaining about the fact that this manner of
material storage makes handling somewhat more difficult. We
are worried because the material is much more liable to
damage and not as well protected from museum parasites, than
it would be if it were preserved according to regulations. I
suppose that our colleagues in museums throughout the world
will find our discussion of these problems unusual, at the
very least. I believe that they may not even be aware of the
fact, not having had similar experiences, that war can cause
numerous negative consequences indirectly as well, in fields
to which we give no thought, as they tend to be overshadowed
by the horror of direct destruction.
We consider it a question of personal honour as well as of
museum and scientific ethics that in this difficult period we
succeed in preserving the scientific and museum treasure of
the Herbarium of the Balkan Peninsula in the Natural History
Museum in Belgrade, until the better times we all hope for
Olga Vasic is Head Curator of the Herbarium of the
Balkan Peninsula at Beograd, Yugoslavia
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OPTIMA WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A preliminary version of OPTIMA homepages on the Web is
already on the net at htpp://www.bgbm.fu-berlin.de/OPTIMA/ .
The Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum at Berlin is
kindly giving OPTIMA a place in its server. A mirror site
will also be placed at the Universidad Politécnica de
Madrid. The OPTIMA website contains general information on
the organization and on the activities of its commissions.
The latest news on the next OPTIMA Meeting, OPTIMA
expeditions, OPTIMA Newsletter, OPTIMA databases, etc.
will also be presented as well as a selection of links to
other botany areas.
VASCULAR PLANT FAMILIES AND GENERA AND AUTHORS OF PLANT
NAMES AVAILABLE ON THE NET
Since July 1996, Kew's external web site holds two
databases containing Vascular Plant Families and Genera (comp.
R.K. Brummitt) and Authors of Plant Names (eds. R.K.
Brummitt & C.E. Powell). The service is located at
http:/www.rbgkew.org.uk/web.dbs/web-dbsintro.html and it is
compatible with any regular web browser. In this way, data on
about 25,100 genus names and approximately 29,700 authors is
made available online to a worldwide audience. We tested the
site with a few enquiries and it worked to our satisfaction.
VISIT THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF CATANIA, ITALY
Thanks to the project "L'Orto Botanico
Multimediale" financed by the Italian Ministry of
Universities and Scientific and Technological Research and
directed by Prof. Francesco Furnari, it is now possible to
take a break from work and visit the Botanical Garden of the
University of Catania right from your computer. At
http://www.dipbot.unict.it/orto/orto.html you will be able to
learn about its history and organization, study a general map
of the garden or take a look at beautiful pictures from any
of the species present in the garden.
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At the meeting of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in
Montreal, 13-23 October 1996, Dr. George Rabb retired as
Chair of the Species Survival Commission after 7.5 years in
the post. He was awarded with the Peter Scott Award for
Conservation Merit, and with the creation of the George B.
Rabb IUCN/SSC Internship. An endowment fund will support one
internship per year, to be awarded to a graduate student
pursuing study in the area of conservation biology or related
communications. Mr. David Brackett, Director General of the
Canadian Wildlife Service, was elected as the new Chair of
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SPECIALIST GROUP FORMED IN IUCN
Sixty-five botanists from ten countries gathered in a
workshop whose purpose was to discuss the state of floristic
knowledge and plant conservation in the Arabian Peninsula and
formed the Arabian Plant Specialist Group. A Steering
Committee was elected with Dr. Abdulaziz Abuzinada as Chair,
Dr. Dawud Al-Eisawi, Dr. Ahmad Al-Farhan and Dr. A. Miller as
Vice-Chairs and Dr. Said Zaghoul as Secretary. At the
meeting, the need for botanists to initiate projects in the
region, especially multidisciplinary projects, was stressed.
Among the recommendations arising from the APSG Workshop was
the need to develop a Regional Arabian Herbarium, a Regional
Botanical Garden with a germplasm bank and a Regional Plant
Two young scientists (Eva Häffner and Peter Hein) at the
BGBM Berlin, Germany, are presently working on taxonomy and
systematics of the Carduinae (tribe Cardueae, Compositae).
This huge subtribe of the Compositae comprises
about 1600 species in about 36 genera. It is distributed
mainly over Europe and Asia with some representatives in
Africa, America and Australia. A great diversity of Carduinae taxa has developed especially in the Mediterranean area and
in Southwest and Middle Asia.
The subject of P. Hein´s work is a revision of the genus Onopordum L., which comprises about 50 species occurring mainly in the
Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia.
E. Häffner is preparing a phylogenetic analysis of the
subtribe Carduinae on an anatomical and (micro-)
"For our work, living material of defined origin is
required, but not easily available. For this reason, we would
like to ask collectors who are planning field work in one of
the areas mentioned above, for help. Seeds of the Carduinae genera Aegopordon, Arctium, Alfredia, Carduus, Cirsium, Cousinia, Cynara, Galactites, Jurinea, Jurinella, Lamyropsis, Myopordon, Notobasis, Onopordum, Olgaea, Picnomon, Ptilostemon, Saussurea and Silybum are very welcome to us! If anyone encounters seed material of
the above-named genera, we would be grateful for being taken
We would like to thank everybody who is going to help us
Eva Häffner & Peter Hein
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum (BGBM)
D-14191 Berlin, Germany.
DOMESTICATION PROGRAMME OF MEDITERRANEAN LEGUME SHRUBS
In 1985, a living collection of shrubby, non-spiny
leguminous plants was established as a complement to the seed
bank at the Department of Plant Biology of the Escuela
Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos in Madrid. After
over 10 years of direct sampling from wild populations and
germplasm exchange with botanical gardens and similar
institutions, over 400 taxa are stored as seeds and a growing
plant collection of 50 different taxa and 70 different
populations is now being grown at the experimental fields of
the university. Moreover, a frozen collection of strains of
potentially specific Rhizobium taxa complete this
effort. The main genera present in this collection are:
Anthyllis, Chamaecytisus, Colutea, Coronilla, Cytisus,
Dorycnium, Genista, Hedysarum, Hippocrepis, Medicago,
Onobrychis, Teline and Trigonella.
Some of the above-mentioned taxa have been intensively
propagated due to scarcity in nature or remarkable usefulness
in forage production during unfavourable seasons, in
rehabilitation of degraded soils or in increasing growth
speed in native trees of the Mediterranean spontaneous woods.
We are now looking for further collaborations with other
interested institutions with the purpose of increasing our
collection and exchanging samples and bibliography on the
leguminous flora of the Mediterranean basin.
José Luis Ceresuela & Fernando González Andrés
Dept. Biología Vegetal
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos
E-28040 Madrid, Spain.
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IV CONFERENCE ON PLANT
The IV Conference on Plant Taxonomy (following the I
-Sevilla, 1987, the II -Madrid, 1990- and the III -Munich,
1993) took place in Barcelona from September 19 to 22, 1996,
organized by the University of Barcelona and the Botanical
Institute of Barcelona. The main subjects were taxonomical
studies on Mediterranean floras (Catalan Countries, Iberian
Peninsula and Northern Africa) and the contributions of
Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology to Systematics. 190
botanists from 20 countries -with a relevant presence of
Maghribian (Moroccan and Algerian) scientists- who attended
the Conference contributed with 13 invited plenary lectures
and 106 poster communications. In addition, two computer
displays on Flora Iberica and Flora Hellenica projects were held. The full Congress and the Cytogenetics
section were dedicated to the memory of two Catalan
botanists, Josep Cuatrecasas (Camprodon, 1903 - Washington,
D.C., 1996), one of the most important world specialists in
neotropical flora, and M. Àngels Cardona (Ferreries, 1940 -
Barcelona, 1991), pioneer in the Iberian studies on karyology
and cytotaxonomy of vascular plants. In the closing session,
the decision was taken to celebrate the V Conference in 1999
in Portugal, organized by the University of Lisbon. In this
session, the following document was approved:
"We botanists, numbering 190, coming from 20
countries, meeting in Barcelona at the IV Conference on Plant
- To claim from the authorities the recognition of the
scientific task of taxonomists and the necessary
financial support in this field. This research is
mandatory for getting the appropriate level of
knowledge on biodiversity, increasingly threatened by
the impact of human activities. Only on the basis of
this knowledge shall we be able to preserve our
natural resources and to ensure their sustainable
- To manifest publicly the interest of continuing
taxonomic studies on the Western Mediterranean flora
without regard to any kind of frontier, especially to
those that separate the North and the South of the
- To declare that Herbaria are a basic reference for
all works on biodiversity, systematics and evolution
of plants. Thus, it is an exigency of the scientific
community to support the institutions that maintain
them, to ensure their conservation, accessibility and
the dissemination of the information they convey.
- To call the attention of the competent authorities in
scientific research to the need for accepting the
challenge of providing suitable housing for the
scientific collections in Catalonia, with particular
emphasis on the collections of the Botanic Institute
of Barcelona, and for making them available to the
international scientific community.
Barcelona, September 21, 1996.
[Reported by J. Vallès i Xirau].
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CONGRESS- MONTRÉAL (13-23 October 1996).
Scientists, politicians, environmentalists and business
leaders debated global environmental issues under the theme
"Caring for the Earth". As well as holding its 20th
General Assembly during the Congress, IUCN also opened its
doors to the public inviting everyone to the exhibition and
In the General Assembly, the IUCN President, Treasurer,
Regional Councilors and Chairs of Commissions were elected
and the Triennial Programme 1997-1999 was approved.
The exhibition was held from October 17-21 at the Montreal
Convention Centre. Over 150 exhibitors focused on
leading-edge developments in the field of integrated and
sustainable natural resource management, featuring
technologies, organizational issues and so on.
In three and a half days over 20 workshops were held,
organised into nine main streams. Enhancing sustainability examined the different ways people use nature around the
world and identified global principles of sustainability. Conserving vitality and diversity concentrated on new
approaches, with an emphasis on support for the Convention on
Biological Diversity. Protecting and managing land for
conservation focused on the idea of
"stewardship" to encourage personal and community
responsibility for sound land management. This workshop also
addressed such questions as the involvement of resource
users, landowners and municipalities in extending
conservation practices beyond the boundaries of protected
areas. Sharing nature's bounty provided an
opportunity to review trends in resource use patterns and
look at new methods for improving integrated management of
coastal and marine systems, mountains, freshwater wetlands,
and arid lands. Other topics such as deforestation and
desertification were also examined. The next workshop series Implementing strategies for sustainability was both
practical and hands-on, bringing "thinkers" and
"doers" together in small groups to examine
real-life experiences to look at the tools and methods
available to turn plans into action. Involving people in
conservation explored the principles, requirements,
process steps and institutional arrangements of successful
partnerships for conservation. Using economics as a tool
for conservation (or Putting the Eco back into (Eco)nomics) took a look at how to bridge the gap between economic theory
and conservation practice. Acting on global issues looked at the urgency of relating conservation work to the
wider context of events. The workshop programme concluded
with a series on Learning from the Canadian experience.
The overall goal of these workshops was to present and
discuss the Canadian experience in a perspective to allow the
world community to benefit from the lessons learned in areas
of conservation and sustainable use.
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4-8 November 1996
International Symposium on In-Situ Conservation
of Plant Genetic Diversity - Antalya.
The Symposium was a component of the In-situ
Conservation of Genetic Diversity Project whose
objectives are to establish and manage in-situ gene
conservation areas in Turkey, for the protection of genetic
resources of wild relatives of globally significant crops and
forest tree species originated in Turkey. Sponsored by the
Global Environment Trust Fund (GET) in collaboration with the
Turkish Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Forestry
Contact: Dr. Nusret Zencirci, Central Research Institute
for Field Crops, P.O. Box 226, 06042 Ulus, Ankara, Turkey.
Tel: (90) 312 2878957; Fax: (90) 312 2878958.
( ( ( ( (
12-14 November 1996
Methodological Approach to the Definition of the
Mediterranean Physical and Biological Environment: A Project
for the Mediterranean - Castro Marina .
Sixth Edition of "Colloquia Mediterranea".
Working Group on Plant Biorhythms and Phenology. Società
Contact: Prof. Fabio Garbari, Società Botanica
Italiana,Via Giorgio La Pira 4, I - 50121 Firenze, Italy.
( ( ( ( (
15 November 1996
Qualitative and Quantitative Aspects of Italian Flora
Worthy of Conservation - Castro Marina.
Working Groups on Plant Biosystematics, Nature
Conservation and Floristics. Società Botanica Italiana.
Contact: Prof. Fabio Garbari, Società Botanica
Italiana,Via Giorgio La Pira 4, I - 50121 Firenze, Italy.
( ( ( ( (
15 November 1996
Demonstration of Simulation Models on the Dynamics of
Mediterranean Vegetation: ModMed Programme - Castro Marina.
Working Group on Ecology. Società Botanica Italiana.
Contact: Prof. Fabio Garbari, Società Botanica
Italiana,Via Giorgio La Pira 4, I - 50121 Firenze, Italy.
( ( ( ( (
15-16 November 1996
Algology Working Group, Società Botanica Italiana -
Annual Scientific Meeting. Organized by N. Abdelahad.
Contact: Prof. Fabio Garbari, Società Botanica
Italiana,Via Giorgio La Pira 4, I - 50121 Firenze, Italy.
( ( ( ( (
7 December 1996
Recent Progress in Research on Truffles of Commercial
Interest - Perugia.
Micology Working Group. Società Botanica Italiana.
Contact: Prof. Fabio Garbari, Società Botanica
Italiana,Via Giorgio La Pira 4, I - 50121 Firenze, Italy.
( ( ( ( (
25-27 May 1997
Plant Biotechnology as a Tool for the Exploitation of
Mountain Land - Torino
Contact: Fondazione per la Biotechnologie, Viale S. Severo
63, I-10133 Torino, Italy. Tel/Fax: (39) 11 6600187
( ( ( ( (
8-9 August 1997
Chorological Problems in the European Flora - Helsinki.
The Botanical Museum of the Finnish Museum of Natural
History, University of Helsinki will host the VIII meeting of
the Committee for Mapping the Flora of Europe. After the
meeting there will be a three-day botanical excursion in
southern Finland. The registration fee is 800 FIM (c. 800
SFr.) and it includes the material for the meeting and the
Proceedings published afterwards, refreshments in coffee
breaks and the local trips. The botanical excursion will have
an approximate cost of 1,200 FIM (c. 330 SFr.) and it will
include bus transport, accommodation and meals.
Contact: Leena Helynranta or Raino Lampinen; Botanical
Museum, P.O. Box 7, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki,
Finland. E-mail: Leena.Helynranta@Helsinki.Fi or
Raino.Lampinen@Helsinki.Fi. Complementary information at:
( ( ( ( (
23-27 September 1997
ISHS Symposium on Brassicas. Tenth Crucifer Genetics
Work-shop - Rennes.
Contact: Dr. Grégoire Thomas, Science du Végétal, Ecole
Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Rennes, 65 rue de
Saint-Brieuc, F-35042 Rennes Cedex, France. Tel: (33) 99
285476; Fax: (33) 99 285480; E-mail: email@example.com
( ( ( ( (
10-15 November 1997
Second World Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic
Plants for Human Welfare (WOCMAP II) - Mendoza, Argentina.
Contact: Dr. A. Bandoni, SAIPA, Av. de Mayo 1324 - 1º
piso, oficina 36, 1085 Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tel: (54) 13
832360; Fax: (54) 19 617637; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
( ( ( ( (
14-19 June 1998
The IX International Congress on Plant Tissue and Cell
Culture - Jerusalem
Contact: IX IAPTC Congress, KENEX, Organisers of
Congresses and Tour Operators, Ltd., PO Box 50006, Tel Aviv
61500, Israel. Tel: (972) 3 5140000; Fax: (972) 3 5175674;
Back to index
by Werner Greuter
- Werner Greuter (ed.) Proceedings of the VII
OPTIMA Meeting, Borovec, 18-30 July 1993. Part
one: symposium lectures [Bocconea, 5(1)].
Herbarium Mediterraneum Panormitanum, Palermo,
1996 (ISBN 88-7915-003-0). 394 pages, black-and-white
Long overdue, the first half of the Proceedings volume of
the Borovec Meeting of OPTIMA has at last been published. It
includes the full texts corresponding to 37 of the 44
lectures given by invited speakers at the 9 symposia of the
Meeting. Thus, only 7 of the speakers (three in the Balkan
symposium, one in that on Mediterranean-European
relationships, and three in that on dysploidy) did not manage
to produce a paper a fairly gratifying rate. The 58
authors came from 14 different countries.
By its contents, the volume is as varied as OPTIMA itself
and will be of interest to virtually anyone working with
Mediterranean plants. The symposium titles may suffice to
give an idea of the range of topics covered: the Bulgarian
contribution to phytotaxonomy and phytogeography; the
contribution of the Balkan countries to phytotaxonomy and
phytogeography; relationships of the Mediterranean flora with
Central and Eastern European floras; studies on threatened
plant taxa; pollination and dispersal in Mediterranean
plants; dysploidy and evolution in the Mediterranean flora;
classification and evolution of Mediterranean Liliiflorae; studies on Mediterranean bryophytes and pteridophytes; and
mycological studies in the Mediterranean area. Three of the
papers are in French, all the others in English. W.G.
- Pier Luigi Nimis (ed.) Contributions
towards a checklist of Mediterranean lichens. OPTIMA Commission for Lichens publication no.
2 [Bocconea, 6]. Herbarium
Mediterraneum Panormitanum, Palermo, 1996 (ISBN
88-7915-004-9). 294 pages, 4 maps, paper.
Following a general introduction by the editor and
programme co-ordinator, explaining the roots, structure and
prospects of the Lichen Med-Checklist Project, the present
volume includes five distinct and separately authored
checklists of lichens, each for an individual country or part
thereof: Morocco (by José Egea), Tunisia (by Mark Seaward),
Israel (by Margalith Galun and Avihay Mukhtar), the
Mediterranean provinces of S and W Turkey (by Volker John),
and the Ukraine (by Sergej Kondratjuk, Irina Navrockaja,
Aleksander Hodosovcev and Olena Solonina). The number of
species varies from 227 (Israel) to 1147 (Ukraine), and the
treatments themselves, also, vary to quite some extent
which will not go without causing some problems when their
information is merged.
Except for Tunisia, data on within-country distribution
are provided, either by political provinces (Turkey) or by
phytogeographically defined territories. Literature or source
references may be given either globally under each taxon
(Israel, Ukraine) or under the individual territorial units.
Ecological (substrate) indications are provided for Israel
alone. Some of the lists give data on non-lichenized
lichenicolous fungi, or even on some other fungi
traditionally treated by lichenologists, either in an
appendix (Morocco), or incorporated in the main list but
singled out (Ukraine), or they are mentioned in the title but
nowhere else (Turkey). Perhaps somewhat greater consistency
might be achievable in the future, to expedite the task
All lists are primarily based on a thorough screening of
extant, specialized literature, of which an astounding
quantity exists. In addition, they rely to a varying degree
on unpublished herbarium data, and in that case include
original, new information on lichen distribution. In one list
(Ukraine), three new combinations are validated. All in all,
this volume constitutes a huge step forward in Mediterranean
- Theodorus (Ted) Hendrikus Maria Mes Origin
and evolution of the Macaronesian Sempervivoideae (Crassulaceae). Doctoral
thesis University of Utrecht, privately published,
1995 (ISBN 90-393-1281-8). 215 pages, black-and-white
The Crassulaceae of the Atlantic islands, also
known under the phytogeographical term of
"Macaronesia", are a prominent example of a group
that underwent adaptive radiation. In spite of a recent
cladistic analysis of the largest genus, Aeonium, their relationships as inferred from morphology were still
imperfectly understood. This is where the present study,
using modern molecular techniques (DNA sequencing and
restriction fragment length polymorphisms, random amplified
polymorphic DNA) steps in. The attempt to reconstruct
phylogenetic events that took place during adaptive radiation
by using criteria not immediately subject to environmental
pressure, with consequent risk of parallelism or convergence,
is indeed promising.
Through this booklet, Dr Mes shows himself as a careful
researcher and gifted writer. The presentation suffers,
however, from the "publish or perish" syndrome:
Rather than presenting us with a coherent, well-structured
book, of which he would be perfectly capable, he offers a
series of chapters each corresponding to an individual paper,
some already published, others submitted for publication,
still others soon to be submitted. The result is a stagewise
rather than synoptic approach, with many duplications and
redundancies, including figures and graphs published twice in
identical versions a few pages apart.
This being said, the account is nevertheless well readable
and worth reading. It starts by a crash course on basics of
biogeography, molecular systematics, and cladistic philosophy
and techniques, well suited for brushing up ones
knowledge of these topics and generously referenced to
relevant modern literature. In this chapter, a critical
discussion of the shortcomings and limitations of the
presently fashionable methodologies is of note, a critique
that unfortunately is given less prominence in the
presentation and discussion of the authors own results,
Even when used with the appropriate scepticism and care,
Mess conclusions are quite remarkable. He has built a
strong case against the appropriateness of his own title, the
endemic Macaronesian Crassulaceae being shown to be a
likely monophyletic group that is quite unrelated to Sempervivum and obviously belongs in the Sedoideae. Convincing
arguments are given for deriving this whole clade from an
ancestor that also gave rise to a small group of North
African Sedum species. For the phytogeographer, the
most puzzling and revolutionary conclusion is that Aeonium sect. Aeonium, which includes the few non-Macaronesian
species of the genus (found in North and East Africa plus
Arabia), is by no means basal but terminal in the
groups evolution, and that the present disjunct
occurrence of the genus must be viewed as the result of
recent recolonization starting from the Canary Islands, not
of fragmentation of an old, vast common area. This is a tough
morsel for phytogeography to swallow and digest, and may yet
cause much controversial debate in the future. W.G.
- Ali Asghar Maassoumi The genus Astragalus in Iran. Vol. 1 Annuals; Vol. 2
Perennials; Vol. 3 Perennials. Islamic
republic of Iran, Research Institute of Forests and
rangelands [Technical publication, 47-1986;
44-1989; 1995-133], [Tehran] 1986, 1989, 1995. 3
volumes,  + 106 + pages; 386 + 44 +  pages;
 + 502 + 141 +  pages; black-and-white
Three volumes have so far been published of
Maassoumis monumental revision, in Persian, of Astragalus in Iran. Following Boissiers and Buhses systems
of infrageneric classification, the author has thereby
covered five out of eight subgenera, which in Iran are
represented by 43 sections and 372 species. These are amazing
figures, and yet, more is to come.
The first volume is devoted to the two annual subgenera, Astragalus subg. Epiglottis and subg. Trimeniaeus, the
first with two monospecific sections, the second with 17
sections and 43 species. The Iranian distribution of 35
species is shown on 12 maps, and 34 taxa are illustrated by
photographs of herbarium specimens (the last of which, on
page 105, lacks caption but shows A. campylotrichus).
Volume 2 treats Astragalus subg. Hypoglottis (5 sections, 54 species) and subg. Astragalus (8
sections, 133 species). Contrary to vol. 1, it includes full
keys and synoptic species presentations in English. The
illustration of individual taxa extends over no less than 124
pages and includes drawings of habit and analytical details
along with herbarium specimen photographs. Distribution maps
are, however, lacking.
Volume 3 concerns a single subgenus, Astragalus subg. Calycophysa, with 140 Iranian species. The
presentation is again somewhat different. First of all, the
English portion has been greatly extended thanks to the
inclusion of selected specimen citations under the individual
species. Secondly, the illustration of taxa has been reduced
to analytical drawings of their floral parts, full-page habit
drawings being provided to illustrate a typical
representatives of each of ten sections. Thirdly,
distribution maps are again present, but this time of the 11
sections, not of individual species.
The treatments yet to come will cover Astragalus subg. Tragacantha (Podlechs separate genus, Astracantha)
for which a gap of one section and 49 species numbers has
been left in the consecutive numbering, between volumes 2 and
3; as well as subg. Calycocystis and subg. Cercidothrix.
Once completed, Maassoumis revision will fill a
significant portion of the present gap in Rechingers Flora
iranica, for which the volumes devoted to Astragalus will presumably be the last to come. While more limited in
geographical coverage, Maassoumis revision is
nevertheless a big first step towards the bridging of that
- Ali Asghar Maassoumi Illustrated guide to
the genus Astragalus in Iran. Vol.
2. Islamic republic of Iran, Research
Institute of Forests and rangelands [Publication, 86],
Tehran 1993.  pages, black-and-white
illustrations. paper. Price: Rials 4000 (US$80, DM
The second volume of this Illustrated guide, of
which the first was unavailable for consultation and
comparison, comprises the treatments of 100 species of Astragalus, belonging to two of the sections dealt with in vol. 2 of
Maassoumi's taxonomic revision (see above): sect. Caprini and sect. Malacothrix. Each taxon is illustrated by a
full-page drawing of habit and analytical details, to which
corresponds, on the opposite page, a detailed English
description and a dot map showing the know distribution in
Iran. Pagination has been dispensed with, and plate numbers
have to be cited instead for reference purposes.
For Astragalus sect. Caprini, the book is a
useful complement to the revision published four years before
by Maassoumi, and to the 1988 monograph by Podlech, in that
it includes skilfully drawn portraits of the whole plants.
About half of the Iranian taxa are treated: 48 of the 99
species accepted in the 1989 revision, with 6 additional
subspecies, and in addition a single species that had been
described and validly named in the meantime, in 1990.
In Astragalus sect. Malacothrix the
situation is completely different, and the present book is a
major update of the 1989 text that recognized 33 species in
Iran. Only 12 of the latter are illustrated here, but 5
previously described ones are added that had been omitted in
1989, and no less than 28 are species that were newly
described between 1989 and 1993!
This book will therefore be welcomed not only by all
interested in the Iranian flora and in the genus Astragalus, to whom it provides pictorial and descriptive aid in
identifying the species concerned, but it also bears out the
lack of previous knowledge of the group and the extent to
which this has been improved in a short lapse of time thanks
to the skill and dedication of a single Iranian botanist.
- Carlos Aedo Revision of Geranium subgenus Erodioidea (Geraniaceae) [Systematic
botany monographs, 49]. American Society
of Plant Taxonomists, Ann Arbor, 1996 (ISBN
0-912861-49-5). 104 pages, black-and-white
Geranium subg. Erodioidea is likely a
paraphyletic group defined by symplesiomorphic fruit
characters (as Nieto Feliner and Aedo have demonstrated in a
separate, precursory paper). It is nevertheless a convenient
classificatory unit, comprising 3 natural sections with 19
species in total, of which no less than 17 are Mediterranean
endemics. Aedos revision follows classical standards
and procedures and has significantly improved our
understanding of taxon delimitation, if not of natural
affinities (which remain unresolved), within the polymorphic,
critical oreomesogean G. sect. Subacaulia in
which 15 largely allopatric species are now recognized. No
less than seven of these (one from Italy, 6 from Anatolia)
have either been newly described or raised from varietal
status by the author, in a preliminary publication, whereby
the former imbalance between a wide eastern and a suitably
narrow western species concept has been resolved. Among the
positive features of the revision, the faithful and
informative full-page drawings, with plentiful analytical
details, of most of the species recognized (16 out of 19)
deserves particular mention. W.G.
- Manfred Dittrich Die Bedeutung
morphologischer und anatomischer Achänen-Merkmale
für die Systematik der Tribus Echinopeae Cass.
und Carlineae Cass. [Boissiera, 51]. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques,
Genève, 1996 (ISBN 2-8277-0067-0). 102 pages,
black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.
Price: SFr. 75.
Not quite thirty years after his fundamental
carpologically based systematic reassessment of the Cardueae, subtribes Centaureinae and Carduinae, Dittrich
now presents us with an analogous treatment of the two other,
much smaller cynaroid tribes, Echinopeae and Carlineae, both of which are largely centred on the
Mediterranean-Oriental region. He has managed to
produce a very convincing generic classification, based on
material of all major groups and (except for the fairly
homogeneous Echinops) a majority of the species, and
he has thereby once more demonstrated the great significance
of thorough carpological studies for a better understanding
of generic limits and affinities in the Compositae. In
passing, he has also reassuringly demonstrated that even
nowadays it is possible to obtain fully satisfactory
taxonomic results without resorting to cladograms!
The new classification is supported by ample descriptive
material and good illustrations, mainly scanning electron
micrographs of surface structures and microscope views of
longisections. It largely confirms what had earlier been
deduced from gross morphology, except by resurrecting some of
the long neglected early splits of the most acute
synantherological observer ever, Cassini. Echinopeae and Carlineae are not, it appears, closely related.
The former consist of the two classical genera, Echinops and Acantholepis. The latter can be split into natural
assemblages: the quite isolated Xeranthemum group (4
genera), the interrelated Staehelina and Carlina groups (2 and 5 genera, respectively), and the three highly
deviating, mono- or dispecific genera Cardopatium,
Tugarinovia, and Cousiniopsis.
The resurrected genera are Hirtellina (Cass.) Cass.
(3 species; segregated from Staehelina) and Chamaeleon Cass. (4 species; usually merged under Atractylis).
In both, some new combinations have been validated.
Unfortunately, Dittrich has been less careful in handling
nomenclature than in his carpological work, and his new
combination Chamaeleon speciosus is plainly incorrect.
To prevent spreading usage the long forgotten epithet speciosus and consequent displacement of the familiar one, I here
validate the correct combination, as follows: Chamaeleon
comosus (Spreng.) comb. nov. (º Acarna
comosa Spreng., Syst. Veg. 3: 380. 1826 º Atractylis
comosa [Spreng.] Sieber ex DC., Prodr. 6: 550. 1838).
- Helena Duistermaat Monograph of Arctium L. (Asteraceae). Generic
delimitation (including Cousinia Cass. p.p.),
revision of the species, pollen morphology, and
hybrids [Gorteria, Supplement, 3].
Doctoral thesis University of Leiden, 1996 (ISBN
90-71236-28-5).  + 143 pages, black-and-white
illustrations, laminated cover.
In her burdock monograph, Leni Duistermaat presents the
results of her study of a many-faceted subject of just
manageable size, the taxonomy and phylogeny of the genus Arctium.
The problems she encountered and solved can be placed under
three main headings: the delimitation of taxa in what at
first may have appeared as unstructured, random and almost
continuous variation; the identification of hybridity
phenomena and hybrid individuals between the closely similar
taxa thus defined; and the question of phylogeny and
relationship within and beyond the genus as classically
defined, leading eventually to a reassessment of generic
While applying the instruments of morphometry and
statistical treatment to the first set of problems, the
author has obviously, if unacknowledgedly, made good use of
her taxonomic flair and intuition in solving them. Her common
sense has also prevented her being led astray by the rather
unusual and I dare say impracticable species concept she
professes to use, a kind of hybrid between Hennigs
"internodal" species and the biological species
defined by hybrid sterility (or rather, in her case, by the
absence of natural hybridization). Whether her decision to
completely dismiss the formal recognition of intraspecific
variation was a wise one, the future may tell. The scatter
diagrams showing the variation of some of the more plastic
characters rather support her view, at least in the case at
hand. A major argument in favour of her proposed
classification is that, with the species suitably
circumscribed, hybridity can be reduced to a marginal
phenomenon affecting less than 2 % of the specimens
seen, when the expected picture was of large hybrid swarms
connecting ill-defined, variable taxa.
A cladistic study of phylogenetic relationships, including
a sizeable sample of the closely related, huge genus Cousinia, showed that the sister group of Arctium in its
classical sense are five bur-headed Cousinia species
belonging to three closely related sections in one of the
three traditionally recognized subgenera. Wisely, Dr
Duistermaat has opted for expediency and ready definability
by extending the genus so as to encompass the five additional
species. She thereby maintains it as a monophyletic unit,
while deliberately accepting, for the time being, to leave Cousinia as a paraphyletic genus (in the hope that it may not,
eventually, turn out to be polyphyletic altogether).
Owing to an evident want of nomenclatural routine, some
incorrect spellings have unfortunately been retained (Arctium palladinii being misspelled "palladini", and A. sect. Lappacea as "Lappaceum"). The huge synonymies in the systematic treatment (almost four
pages for A. minus alone) also include a few
anomalies. The lack of detailed distribution maps is also to
be deplored, particularly since no specimens are cited. Even
so, however, this revision is a huge step forward in our
understanding of one of the more tricky genera of the
cynaroid Compositae. W.G.
- Dagmar Lange Untersuchungen zur Systematik
und Taxonomie der Gattung Helictotrichon Besser ex J. A. Schultes & J. H. Schultes (Poaceae) in Südosteuropa und Vorderasien [Bibliotheca
Botanica, 144]. Doctoral thesis University
of Frankfurt am Main; Schweizerbarth, Stuttgart, 1995
(ISBN 3-510-48015-5).  + 238 pages,
black-and-white illustrations, paper.
Regional monographs have their merits and their problems.
They often have a parochially narrow concept of taxa, and may
fail to place them in a wider taxonomic and geographical
context. On the other hand, they will normally profit from
the authors first-hand knowledge of the plants as they
grow in nature, in a population context, which in a world
revision can hardly if ever be achieved. The present revision
of the perennial oats of SE Europe and SW Asia largely avoids
the pitfalls of regionalism. The author deliberately places
her conclusions in a very broad geographical context, and she
also adopts a wide, synthetic species concept. Her treatment
does to an extent include the study of live material, but in
a group like grasses, in which structural characters well
preserved and easily observed on dry material are essential,
this adds but little to its conclusions.
Dr Lange presents us with an astounding wealth of facts
and observations, consigned in an extremely thorough and well
documented revision that will be of fundamental importance
for Near and Middle Eastern agrostology. The generous,
high-quality illustration of both macro- and
micromorphological features usefully complements the
exhaustive descriptions, very detailed identification keys
and full specimen enumerations.
Readers will presumably have a rather hard time in finding
their way through the overwhelming bulk of included material.
In fact, the treatment might have gained considerably in
clarity and user-friendliness by a more stringent limitation
to essentials and a more rigorous structuring of the text. It
is difficult, for instance, to find ones way through
the mass of historical data on taxonomy and nomenclature and
through the synonymies encumbered with invalid names,
non-names and later usages. While the author has devoted much
time and energy to a full clarification of nomenclatural
questions, she awkwardly uses the penultimate, partly
obsolete edition of the botanical Code. Had she
employed the Tokyo Code instead, she might not have
blundered in the author citation for the generic name she
adopts, Helictotrichon, which is to be credited to
Besser alone (the author of the text portion that includes
the protologue), not to the Schulteses who, being authors of
the book as a whole, do not even pronounce themselves clearly
on whether or not they accept Bessers treatment. W.G.
- Oriol de Bolòs & Josep Vigo Flora dels
Països Catalans. Volum III
Barcelona, 1995 (ISBN 84-7226-657-5, volume;
84-7226-591-9, work). 1230 pages, maps and drawings,
Extensive reviews of this Flora were written when
the two first volumes had been published (OPTIMA Newsl.
20-24: (24-25). 1988; 25-29: (23-24). 1991), and the positive
comments then made remain fully valid for the third volume.
It is by far the largest of the three and covers a good third
of the total flora of (French and Spanish) Catalonia
to be exact: 1197 species and a large number of infraspecific
taxa, especially numerous in Hieracium which with its
95 recognized species is by far the largest genus treated.
There and elsewhere, scattered through the text and its
footnotes, a considerable number of new combinations have
again been validated by the authors, without alas being
Volume three, comprising the "sympetalous"
families, brings the dicots to completion and leaves but the
monocots to be dealt with in the fourth and (presumably) last
volume. Incidentally, in a footnote, we are told (for the
first time as far as I could ascertain) which system of
classification is reflected in the rather unusual family
sequence followed throughout the Flora: it is the one
that Firbas adopted in 1958 in the 27th edition of
Strasburgers Lehrbuch der Botanik.
It is a tremendous achievement for a small
"team" of just two authors to write such a work,
fully original in its concept and contents, and must have
taken them many years. That this is indeed the case is
confirmed, again incidentally, on p. 93: the Limonium account had been completed and edited by the end of 1989
already, i.e., well before vol. 2 had been published. By
analogy, we may hope that much of volume 4 has by now already
been written. The authors may remain assured that it is
eagerly awaited. W.G.
- Manfred A. Fischer (ed.) Exkursionsflora
von Österreich. Bestimmungsbuch für alle in
Österreich wildwachsenden sowie die wichtigsten
kultivierten Gefäßpflanzen (Farnpflanzen und
Samenpflanzen) mit Angaben über ihre Ökologie und
Verbreitung. Ulmer, Stuttgart, 1994 (ISBN
3-8001-3461-6). 1180 pages, drawings, cloth.
It is a curious fact that there has not so far been a
Flora of Austria covering the whole of its national
territory. The two previous excursion floras for Austria did
on one hand cover vast territories outside the present
political boundaries, south to the Adriatic Sea, and on the
other hand omitted the easternmost, Pannonian portion of the
country. This gap has now been filled, thanks to the efforts
of a multi-author team under the co-ordinating editorship of
Austria has a surprisingly rich vascular flora, with a
total number of species and subspecies exceeding by c.
10 % that of much larger Germany. This flora is here
treated in a synthetic way, making full use of abbreviations,
symbols and conventions, yet exhaustive in coverage down to
subspecies level and including common cultivated and alien
species. Generous space is devoted to corollary material of
interest to the local, non-professional user, such as basics
of nomenclature and taxonomy, descriptive morphology,
biology, ecology and chorology of plants. There are chapters
on the vegetation and physical geography of Austria, on
nature conservation, on the history of Austrian floristics,
and on plant collecting techniques. The indexes and registers
include a list explaining the meaning of Latin epithets, and
also, as a curiosity, a short Austrian to "vulgar
German" dictionary of special terms. The editor has
developed his own system of family classification which,
except for minor details, unacknowledgedly follows
Ehrendorfers scheme as set out in the 33rd edition of
Strasburger's Lehrbuch der Botanik (which in turn
draws heavily on Arthur Cronquists Evolution and
classification of flowering plants, ed. 2).
In the short time of its existence, this new Flora has
become notorious, not thanks to its many merits, but chiefly
because of a single trait that many feel to be revolutionary:
the consistent and deliberate omission of author citations
after scientific plant names. While this decision may not
have been particularly wise, perhaps even unfortunate (since
a Flora of this kind is indeed a choice place for users to
look up the appropriate author citation when they need it),
the general indignant outcry it aroused is disproportionate.
This over-reaction shows that author citations are seen to
bear a kind of pseudoreligious nymbus that they in no way
deserve, and which it is high time to dispel. Manfred Fischer
and his team may perhaps, through their omission, have put
their finger on a real, underrated problem. W.G.
- Stefan Kozuharov (ed.) Flora na Republika
Balgarija. Flora Reipublicae Bulgaricae. Vol. 10.
Akademicno Izdatelstvo "Prof. Marin
Drinov", Sofija, 1995 (ISBN 954-430-366-9). 429
pages, figures, inset folded map, hard cover.
The first post-communist volume of Bulgarias
national flora has appeared under the new general editorship
of Stefan Kozuharov, replacing Daki Jordanov, and with its
title shortened to reflect the change of the countrys
official name as defined in its constitution. Otherwise,
little has been altered as compared with earlier volumes of
the Flora of the Peoples Republic of Bulgaria (see
OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (26). 1991 for volume 9, published in
1989). If anything, the paper quality has improved. The
standard of texts and illustrations has not suffered and
Kozuharov and his prematurely deceased friend, Bogdan
Kuzmanov, are co-editors of the present volume, which treats
the Scrophulariaceae, Orobanchaceae, Plantaginaceae,
Caprifoliaceae, Valerianaceae, and a handful of smaller
families: altogether 38 genera and 239 species of
Bulgarias wild flora, all illustrated by skilful
original drawings grouped on 92 plates. Verbascum (45
species), Veronica (36, not counting 6 split off as Pseudolysimachion)
and Orobanche (24) are the three largest genera. Four
newly described varieties have their names validated in an
Appendix, and some new infraspecific combinations are
scattered in the text. Since publication of the last (4th)
edition of Flora of Bulgaria, by Stojanov & al. in
1967, 4 newly described species, 8 that were newly discovered
in the country, and 9 that were raised from infraspecific to
specific status, sum up to an increase of 21 species for the
families here treated. The number of confirmed, previously
doubtful reports (4) exactly balances that of deletions of
Bulgaria has been going through difficult times of lately.
It is good to see that its botanists have not lost courage
and, hopefully helped by a recovering economy, successfully
uphold the glorious tradition of Bulgarian botany. In so
doing, they can be assured of our sympathy and support. W.G.
- M. Assadi, M. Khatamsaz, V. Mozaffarian & A.
A. Maassoumi (ed.) Flora of Iran. No. 11: Frankeniaceae (by H. Amirabadizadeh; 13 +  pages; 1995). No.
12: Saxifragaceae (by Z. Jamzad; 21 + 
pages; 1995). No. 13: Caprifoliaceae (by M.
Khatamsaz; 29 +  pages; 1995). No. 14: Plantaginaceae (by M. Janighorban; 55 +  pages; 1995). No.
15: Thymelaeaceae (by Kh. Akhiani; 29 + 
pages; 1995). Nos. 16 (Gentianaceae) and 17 (Menyanthaceae) (by M. Khatamsaz; 36 +
 +  pages; 1995). Research Institute of
Forests and Rangelands, [Tehran]. 6 brochures
illustrated with figures.
With seven families newly published in 1995, Flora of
Iran (see OPTIMA Newsl. 25-29: (31-32). 1991; 30: (15).
1995) is continuing to make good, steady progress. This
critical national Flora, unfortunately of difficult use for
those who are not familiar with Persian language and Arabic
script, will at least offer them full-page, good drawings
often with analytical details of a large
majority (c. 90 %) of the wild native species.
The treatments are a careful, critical but moderate update
of the Iranian data included in Rechingers monumental Flora
iranica, of which the earlier issues are beginning to
become outdated. In fact, all corresponding families,
in Flora iranica, were published between 1965 and
1972. No wonder that several additional species have since
been discovered in Iran, some of them (Daphne pontica,
Lonicera caprifolium, Viburnum opulus) new for the whole Flora
iranica area, and one, Saxifraga ramsarica, recently
described as new to science. Two additional genera are also
mentioned: Lomatogonium and Limnanthes. Some
former records are rejected as erroneous, and some species
sunk into synonymy (mainly in the Gentianaceae). On
the other hand, some nomenclatural errors of long standing
have not been corrected (the illegitimate Plantago
psyllium is adopted in preference to P. afra;
Nymphoides is treated as masculine). W.G.
- S. I. Ali & M. Qaiser (ed.) Flora of
Pakistan. No. 197, Gentianaceae (by S.
Omer;  + 172 pages, 53 figures, map; hard cover;
"15 Sep 1995"). Department of
Botany, University of Karachi.
The newest part of this major critical Flora (see OPTIMA
Newsl. 30: (15-16). 1995, and earlier reviews referred to
there) is devoted to a family that has one of its centres of
diversity in the high mountains of northern Pakistan, so that
the treatment has claim to be submonographic. The author has
indeed devoted years of study to gentianaceous taxonomy, and
has authored or co-authored half a dozen papers on the
subject, published in various international journals between
1988 and 1993. He has acquired a thorough knowledge of his
plants, and one may be confident that his species definitions
are sound and his descriptions and keys accurate. A major
benefit of his in-depth studies is that the illustration is
much more generous than usual: with the exception of Lomatogonium and Swertia, treated somewhat more cursorily,
almost every species is illustrated by a full-page line
drawing, showing the general habit as well as analytical
details of floral organs.
Unfortunately, Omer proves to be a radical, and
prematurely so. He chose to blast the classical genus Gentiana to pieces, to the extent that no Himalayan species
remains in it, nor incidentally in the somewhat less familiar Gentianella. Instead, he ends up with no less than 9
genera, 3 of which described by himself, without having
attempted to look at diversity patterns world-wide. The
result is a highly preliminary, predictably unstable
classification, based on few easily observed characters. It
is particularly deplorable that he misapplied the generic
name Ciminalis, typified by the European Gentiana
acaulis, to an unrelated, predominantly Asian species
group. Nomenclature is, anyhow, his weak point, as documented
by the publication of an illegitimate and superfluous
substitute name, Gentianodes eumarginata, in this same
Printing speed in Karachi has greatly improved over the
years, and the discrepancy between the date on the cover (15
Sep 1995, being the date on which the finalized text went to
the printer) and the date of effective publication has become
negligible: my copy was poststamped on 14 Oct 1995. The
publishers deserve a special compliment on that account. W.G.
- Isildo Gomes, Samuel Gomes, Maria Teresa
Vera-Cruz, Norbert Kilian, Teresa Leyens &
Wolfram Lobin Plantas endémicas e árvores
indígenas de Cabo Verde. Instituto
Nacional de Investigação e Desenvolvimento
Agrário, S. Jorge dos Orgãos & Cooperação
Técnica Alemã, Praia, 1995. 33 pages (incl. inside
back cover), black-and-white and colour
A product of bilateral co-operation between the Cabo Verde
Republic and Germany, this small and unpretentious but nicely
produced brochure includes illustrations, with short
explanatory texts, of 54 species or subspecies endemic to the
island group, plus 7 indigenous trees. With the exception of
two sedges represented by line drawings, the illustrations
are reproductions of colour paintings by Petra Leyens and Kay
Rees-Davies (since the individual figures are unsigned, one
is left to guess exact authorship of each). They and the six
text authors have jointly produced a remarkable documentation
of a little known and highly vulnerable small portion of the
worlds biodiversity. W.G.
- Leslie Linares, Arthur Harper & John Cortes
The flowers of Gibraltar. Flora calpensis.
Wildlife (Gibraltar) Limited, Gibraltar, 1996
(ISBN 84-7207-088-3). 196 pages, figures and colour
photographs, flexible cover.
Two self-taught botanists and hobby photographers and a
trained biologist, all from Gibraltar, have joined efforts to
produce this pretty and informative booklet on the flora of
their home country. It represents, by colour photographs and
short descriptive texts, a good selection of the more common
or representative or characteristic, but not necessarily the
most showy, members of the Gibraltar flora. 200 species are
thus shown, and several more are shortly and diagnostically
described, so that the booklet covers almost exactly one half
of the known wild flora of the area (257 out of 530 species).
There is also an introductory part, with an outline
description of the geography and vegetation, again
illustrated by colour photographs.
Perhaps inevitably with so large a selection, the
photographs are of somewhat uneven quality. Some are
definitely underexposed or show unnatural colours (e.g., the
purples being too red). A few are hardly diagnostic of the
plants they illustrate, and the odd one may even be wrongly
identified (I strongly doubt that the plant said to be Medicago
polymorpha is in fact M. arabica). In a general
way, however, one will use the book with pleasure and profit.
It shows some rarely portrayed common weeds such as nettle,
pellitory-of-the-wall and chickweed along with the extremely
rare, sometimes endemic chasmophytes of the Gibraltar rock.
The unquestionable highlight among the latter is the
Gibraltar endemic, Silene tomentosa, long thought to
be extinct but recently rediscovered, and observed by the
authors of this book as recently as 1994. W.G.
- Franco Rasetti I fiori delle Alpi. Le
specie che crescono al di sopra del limite della
foresta illustrate da 568 riproduzioni di fotografie
a colori eseguite dallautore. Seconda edizione
a cura di Walter Rossi [Collana Scienza e Natura, 1]. Selcom, Torino, 1996 (ISBN 88-86553-03-x).
222 pages, figures and colour photographs, laminated
cover. Price: Lit. 55,000.
Franco Rasetti is doubtless among the most fascinating
personalities among 20th century scientists. A prominent atom
physicist and spectroscopist, senior member of Nobel Prize
winner Enrico Fermis illustrious research team, he is
also an enthusiastic biologist and as such has achieved fame
in three utterly distinct fields: as a coleopterologist in
his younger days, as one of the worlds leading experts
in Cambrian trilobites in his middle years, and as an
explorer and photographer of the flora of the Alps and of
Italian orchids, at the age of maturity. From 1958 onward, he
climbed the various massifs of the Alps for at least twenty
consecutive seasons, an indefatigable mountaineer, patient
and scrupulous observer and pioneer nature photographer.
Among the companions of his trips we find the most prominent
Alpine botanists: Fenaroli, Melzer, Merxmüller, and several
more. He shot well over 8000 colour photographs from which to
select those published in the present book certainly
the most complete and most beautiful picture collection of
Alpine plants ever assembled by a single person. The second
edition of his book, Fiori delle Alpi, was presented
to him in June 1996 on the occasion of his 95th birthday.
This second edition is significantly reduced as compared
to the first one. Many paragraphs and whole chapters of the
introductory portion have been deleted, most notably a whole
section (80 pages) describing the vegetation, regional
floristic aspects of particular areas, and photographical
technique. The photographs have been slightly reduced in
number (4 being omitted) and more significantly in size.
Also, they have been incorporated in the descriptive part
rather than being assembled in a single block at the end. The
size reduction is more than compensated by a much better
printing quality, resulting in improved neatness and a better
colour balance. In several instances has the nomenclature
been updated, among others by the adoption of generic splits
recognized in Flora europaea and the recent Italian
The result of Walter Rossis editorial efforts and
the printers skills is a slim, reasonably priced and
splendidly illustrated vademecum for the field botanist,
amateur and professional alike. While not the size of pocket
book, it is the ideal companion for botanical holidays and a
helpful adviser for holiday planning. W.G.
inventories and checklists
- Daniel Jeanmonod & Hervé Maurice Burdet (ed.)
Compléments au Prodrome de la flore corse. Annexe
n° 4. Flore analytique des plantes introduites en
Corse, par Alessandro Natali & Daniel
Jeanmonod. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques,
Ville de Genève, 1996 (ISBN 2-8277-0811-6). 211
pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated
cover. Price: SFr 35.70.
To write the analytical inventory of the alien flora of a
whole, large Mediterranean island is a challenging and
promising idea. Not one that is easily realized though, since
it poses many problems that require critical reflection and
carefully balanced decisions. The authors had to develop
accurate yet flexible definitions of what is alien, what
indigenous, and had to decide how to evaluate the often
fragmentary evidence. They have succeeded in producing a
workable concept, and as a result, their publication may be
seen as a milestone in Mediterranean plant geography.
Corsica was particularly suited for this kind of analysis,
since the data on its flora, both indigenous and xenophytic,
are abundant, well checked and readily accessible. Still, the
basic difficulty remains, for all Mediterranean floras alike:
the fact that reliable floristic data are available for the
last two centuries at most, whereas the human influence on
the flora, and therefore the phenomenon of plant
introduction, has its early roots several millennia ago. The
authors have wisely, though not quite consistently, renounced
considering archaeophytes as elements of the alien flora,
which probably explains the discrepancy between the 17 %
incidence of alien taxa in the Corsican flora and the
50 % quoted for some areas with a much more recent human
colonization history, e.g. New Zealand.
For each of the 473 taxa considered, the inventory gives
detailed information on first and subsequent Corsican
records, with source and date; on possible doubts concerning
the alien status; on degree of naturalization; and on
probable mode of introduction. Sensibly, a consistent
distinction is made between (presumed) purposeful and
accidental introduction. The occurrence of each species on
neighbouring islands and island groups is also tabulated. The
inventory proper is followed by an extensive analytical
chapter, in which various statistical approaches are included
along with case histories of well documented, recent
successful introductions. There is much more to be found in
this analysis than can be mentioned here, but one point in
particular becomes obvious to the reader: comparisons and
generalizations are virtually impossible at this stage, since
no comparable data sets exist for any other Mediterranean
(and perhaps even extra-Mediterranean) area. Natali &
Jeanmonod have, by this book, set new standards for a type of
analysis that should by all means also be undertaken
elsewhere, even though the data at hand may be fewer and less
reliable. Mediterranean islands provide choice models for
this kind of study, since their natural seclusion avoids some
of the problems one would face in mainland areas. Get started
on the islands! W.G.
- David Aeschimann & Christian Heitz
Index synonymique de la flore de Suisse et
territoires limitrophes (ISFS). Synonymie-Index der
Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF).
Indice sinonimico della flora della Svizzera e
territori limitrofi (ISFS) [Documenta
Floristicae Helvetiae, 1]. Centre du
Réseau Suisse de Floristique, Chambésy &
Zentrum des Datenverbundnetzes der Schweizer Flora,
Bern, 1996. lii + 317 pages, paper.
For Swiss people this is common knowledge, but they will
rarely speak of it to the outsiders: their country is deeply
split, politically and culturally, by what is locally known
as the "Rösti trench", the divide between the
Romance and German-speaking parts of Switzerland. This
fundamental schism has, in recent years, extended to the
botanical field. Since re-editing of the classical Swiss
school and excursion flora, known as "the Binz",
has been confided, for German and French respectively, to
different people, the nomenclature adopted has kept drifting
apart. The college and high-school kids whose mother tongue
is "Schwyzertüütsch" have been trained in the
spirit of Ehrendorfers compendium of the Central
European flora, whereas their French-speaking counterparts
have been schooled to the standards of Flora europaea and Med-Checklist.
The two editorial teams have now signed a truce, if not a
treaty of peace, the terms being laid down in this voluminous Synonymic index, just published. It will not only
serve as a dictionary to Switzerlands botanically
trained youth, enabling them to communicate across the
language border, but it also recommends one given taxonomy
and nomenclature and includes a commitment of the authors
(and also of the prospective authors of a planned new Flora
of Switzerland, here first announced) to henceforth
follow the recommended standard and thus to make their
country botanically unilingual.
It is to be hoped that they will not take this commitment
too literally and will allow for the correction of obvious
errors if and when they are discovered. There is one in
particular that must be mentioned, which the authors should
have spotted by themselves had they indeed, as they claim,
verified cases of discrepancy at the source, in the Geneva
library: the alleged illegitimacy and consequent rejection of Thlaspi rotundifolium (L.) Gaudin as a later homonym
is the result of a bibliographical error imputable to Med-Checklist, and the name must be reinstated. The error was noted time ago
by Gutermann (pers. comm.) and is easily detected upon
Apart from details such as the above, the idea of
establishing a pro-tempore consensus taxonomy for a
whole country is interesting and has much to commend itself.
A particularly positive aspect of the Synonymic index is that it provides unique, standardized sets of
denominations in modern languages (French, German, and
Italian) for all species and subspecies listed. W.G.
- M. Nabil El HADIDI & Abdel-Aziz Fayed
Materials for Excursion Flora of Egypt [Taeckholmia, 15]. Cairo University Herbarium, Giza, 1995
(ISBN 977-5067-18-9).  + e + x + 233 pages, map,
It is rather curious to see two botanical inventories for
the same country, with almost the same scope and a similar
sequence and layout, published in the same year. Here it has
happened: the Checklist by Loutfy Boulos (see OPTIMA
Newsl. 30: (24). 1995) came out at the end of April 1995, and
was followed in mid-November by the present Materials.
Both are arranged, at least in principle, in the sequence of
Vivi Taeckholms Student Flora of Egypt of 1974,
but having obviously been written independently and perhaps
without knowledge of each other (but see the final remark!),
they differ in more than just trivial detail. The Checklist gives fuller synonymy and recognizes a much larger number
of infraspecific taxa, whereas the Materials single
out by an asterisk all post-1974 additions to the Egyptian
flora; and they have the doubtful privilege of pullulating
with typographical errors of all kinds.
The total of listed wild species is not very different:
2094 in the Checklist and 2076 in the Materials. A
cursory analysis shows, however, that this similarity hides
pronounced differences that nearly balance each other. Of the
127 species listed by El Hadidi & Fayed as additional to
the Student Flora, 96 are cited by Boulos either as
accepted or more rarely in synonymy, but 31 are additional to
the Checklist, viz.: Azolla caroliniana, Persicaria
attenuata, Polygonum argyrocoleum, P. balansae, Silene
coniflora, S. oreosinaica, S. pendula, S. armeria (?!), Chenopodium rubrum, Atriplex mollis, Alternanthera
bettzickiana, Gomphrena celosioides, Nymphaea micrantha,
Hypericum aegyptiacum, Brassica juncea, Lepidium virginicum,
Fagonia haplotricha (stat. nov.), Euphorbia maculata,
E. nutans, Limonium bonduellei, L. mareoticum (sp. nov.), Ballota pseudodictamnus, Solanum americanum, S. linnaeanum,
Physalis ixocarpa, Carduus acanthoides, C. tenuiflorus,
Atractylis serrata, A. phaeolepis, Centaurea hyalolepis, and Varthemia sericea. Most are naturalized or anyhow weedy;
but there is also a newly described species and an upgraded
former variety among them, as well as some obviously new
additions to the autochthonous flora such as Ballota
pseudodictamnus. In a few cases, accidental omissions by
Boulos have been rectified (e.g. Atriplex patula, Silene
longipetala). In other words, one will have to use the Materials as a necessary complement to and update of the Checklist.
The reverse, however, is at least equally true. Not only
is the nomenclature used by El Hadidi & Fayed sometimes
faulty (see, e.g., Silene arabica and S. vivianii),
but they also left out a considerable number of species. The
main reason is apparently that they do not accept any new
Sinai records by Danin and other Israeli botanists unless
they have been confirmed by Egyptian collections. Is it
conceivable that political considerations or, just as
unaccountably, personal grudge should have outweighed
scientific honesty? I hope not, and trust that the fact that
undisputed species have been sunk into synonymy or simply
forgotten when co-authored by Boulos (Persicaria
obtusifolia) or dedicated to him (Atractylis boulosii) is an unfortunate coincidence. The authors of both books
ought better join efforts and smooth out the differences to
produce the definitive floristic inventory (or even a Flora)
of their country. Some anastomoses must already exist, though
rather mysteriously unless one has to dismiss as
fortuitous coincidence the fact that in at least one case
exactly the same, unique misspelling appears in both books (Dianthus
cryi instead of D. cyri). W.G.
- Ina Dinter Botanische Studienwanderreise.
Abruzzen. Bergwelt im Herzen Italiens.
Landschaften Flora Kultur. 1.-15. Juli
1995. Privately assembled/duplicated, D-74348
Lauffen, 1995.  unnumbered sheets in plastic
cover sheet, black-and-while illustrations.
- Ina Dinter Botanische Studienwanderreise.
Abruzzen. Bergwelt im Herzen Italiens.
Landschaften Flora Kultur.
[25.07.-08.08.1996]. [Natur-Exkursionen, K 9609].
Privately assembled/duplicated, D-74348
Lauffen, 1996. 87 sheets in plastic cover sheet,
- Ina Dinter Botanische Exkursion. Insel
Sizilien. 9.-23. April 1994. Privately
assembled/duplicated, D-74348 Lauffen, 1994. 
unnumbered loose sheets, black-and-while
- Ina Dinter Botanische Studienwanderreise.
Perlen der Ägäis die Inseln Lesbos und
Chios in der Ägäis vom 10.-24. April 1995.
Privately assembled/duplicated, D-74348
Lauffen, 1995.  unnumbered sheets in plastic
cover sheet, black-and-while illustrations.
- Ina Dinter Botanische Exkursion. Zypern der nördliche Landesteil vom 10.-24.
März 1996. Privately assembled/duplicated,
D-74348 Lauffen, 1996. 72 loose sheets,
Ina Dinters botanical excursion guides are typical
examples of "grey literature". Each is compiled for
use by a small group of people, participants in one of the
nature excursions planned and led by her, and none is
commercially available. Their general pattern is more or less
consistent (see also OPTIMA Newsl. 30: (25, 26). 1995): each
pamphlet is a mixture of anecdotic information on the sites
visited, with glimpses on cultural and local aspects, and of
plant lists for the individual trips or stops. There is
always a cumulative botanical index at the end, with locality
numbers under each named taxon, so that floristic information
can easily be accessed. The lists are based on Mrs
Dinters own plant collections, kept in her private
herbarium, made during preparatory excursions and sometimes
increased during successive tours to the same area, when
updated re-editions of the guide pamphlets are produced
(e.g., items 21 and 22). The illustrations are seldom
original, often plant drawings copied from some Flora of from
Fioris Iconografia, or reproductions of
postcards; there are also landscape photographs (presumably
by the author) and map cuttings with itineraries, and in item
24, as an innovation, some photocopies of herbarium
specimens. A special feature of item 23 is the reproduction,
as an annex, of the plant lists of a student excursion of
Stuttgart University, in 1985. All the included lists contain
original floristic data, which may on occasion be novel and
can, if desired, be checked against the herbarium specimens
on which they are based. W.G.
- Arne Strid & Kit Tan (ed.) Flora and
vegetation of the Peloponnese and Kithira. Report
of a student excursion from the University of
Copenhagen. May 14-28, 1995. Privately
published, Copenhagen, 1996 (ISBN 87-982179-6-8). 91
+  pages, black-and-white illustrations,
couloured maps and photographs on 6 extra plates,
paper with plastic cover sheet.
The excursion, with 15 to 16 participants including 4
leaders, was based on Kithira (3 nights), in Sparti (4
nights) and Nafplio (6 nights). Over 1000 numbers of plants
were collected, and several more observed, in 36 collecting
localities. Their enumeration in locality lists and a tabular
overview makes up for the larger portion of this report. The
introductory, general chapters were written by the
participating students and deal with geography, geology,
climate, vegetation, flora, distribution patterns and
endemism. The illustration consists of a choice of fairly
splendid colour photographs, nicely reproduced by colour
xerocopy, pre-prints of dot distribution maps intended for
publication in Flora hellenica, and (authorized?)
reproductions from copyrighted books. This report, being a
"real" publication, well edited and almost
luxuriously produced (even with its own ISBN!), is far more
sophisticated than other excursion lists that have so far
been reviewed in this section. W.G.
- Oriol de Bolòs i Capdevila, Xavier Font i Castell
& Xavier Pons i Fernández (ed.) Atlas
corològic de la flora vascular dels Països
Catalans. Vol. 3, 4 [ORCA:
Atlas corològic, 3, 4]. Institut
dEstudis Catalans, Secció de Ciències
Biològiques, Carme 47, E-08001 Barcelona, 1993, 1994
(ISBN 84-7283-241-4 & -266-x). , 
pages, maps 307-465, 466-619 with text; paper.
The Organization for the Mapping of plants of the Catalan
Countries (ORCA; see OPTIMA Newsl. 20-24: (45-46). 1988) is a
remarkably functional and productive group. Its chief
activity (but see also items 30-35, below) is the production
of grid distribution maps for the whole vascular flora of
Catalonia. Four volumes have so far been produced, with maps
for 503 species, 114 subspecies and 2 varieties,
corresponding to 14 % of the total flora. Vol. 4
includes a consolidated index to the first four volumes.
While vol. 1 consists of loose maps printed on Bristol
paper and assembled in a ring folder, vol. 2 (see OPTIMA
Newsl. 30: (28). 1996) already has the same general
appearance as the present volumes. What now gradually emerges
is a concrete, coherent publication plan. Whereas the first
two volumes treated an apparently random choice of taxa and
differed as to their ordering principles, the new volumes are
arranged strictly in conformity with the sequence and
numbering of the taxa in Bolòs & al.s Flora
manual dels Països Catalans, and obviously endeavour at
completing first parts first. True, the last third of vol. 3
(maps 412-465) still consists of "mixed pickles": 3
naturalized Compositae, 27 representatives of various
liliiflorous genera, the 5 species of Eriophorum
(Cyperaceae), and a selection of 19 grasses. But the
earlier portion of vol. 3 as well as the whole vol. 4 (maps
307-411 and 466-619) are a single block, bringing the
pteridophytes, gymnosperms and first dicot families (Lauraceae to Crassulaceae) to virtual completion when
associated with the earlier maps relating to their kin (Nos
1, 26, and 104-137). When checking for the few remaining gaps
among species Nos 1-222 of the Flora manual, one will
find that most are easily explained away, either because the
taxon is neither native nor naturalized (Picea abies,
Berberis vulgaris subsp. vulgaris), or doubtfully
present (Callianthemum coriandrifolium, not found
recently; Thalictrum foetidum subsp. foetidum,
Myosurus minimus subsp. minimus), or is treated as
synonymous (Isoetes brochonii with I. echinosperma;
Ophioglossum azoricum with O. vulgatum). Only 4
"early" species remain to be mapped: Cystopteris
montana, Asplenium ruta-muraria, the naturalized Azolla filiculoides, and Aristolochia baetica. They
may have been forgotten, or omitted for some unstated reason.
The map data are maintained in a continuously updated
database, or rather two: one bibliographic and one floristic,
as described by Vigo & al. (in Acta Bot. Barcinon. 39.
1989). They are thus easily updated and can be re-edited in
no time. This is obviously what is intended, as implied by
the fact that all maps, and other ORCA publications as well,
bear the unusual qualification "first edition".
Yet, it is to be hoped that the editors will give priority to
the completion of that first edition before committing their
funds to the production of costly updates. W.G.
- Kazimierz Browicz Chorology of trees and
shrubs in South-West Asia and adjacent regions. Supplement.
Bogucki & Institute of Dendrology, Polish
Academy of Sciences, Poznao, 1996 (ISBN
83-86001-19-4). 48 pages, 25 maps, paper.
When reviewing the 10th and declared last volume of
Browiczs monumental Chorology (in OPTIMA Newsl.
30: (30). 1996) I expressed the "hope that either he or
someone of his research team might perhaps consider to
continue". My wish has been fulfilled sooner that I
dared to hope, with a further 25 maps being added to the
former impressive total of 550. The additional maps relate to
taxa almost evenly scattered over 15 different families, none
being represented by more than 4 species (Labiatae), and
no single genus by more than 3 (Lonicera and Phlomis). Most of the species mapped belong to the
Saharo-Arabian, Iranian or Caucasian floristic elements, but
a few are Mediterranean (the Labiatae, and Suaeda
vera) or sub-Mediterranean (Prunus cerasifera). Among
the problems discussed in the explanatory texts that of the
native range of widely cultivated trees like Juglans regia and Punica granatum is of particular interest. In
both cases Browicz concluded that records from western
Anatolia and further to the west refer to planted or
naturalized trees, although walnut in particular has often
been considered as a member of the autochthonous flora of the
southern Balkan countries. The pollen record suggests that it
reached Greece and SE Anatolia in Mycenean or Minoan times,
about 3400 years b.p., which means that it is a well
established archaeophyte there W.G.
studies of flora and vegetation
- Mercedes Herrera Estudio de la vegetación
de la cuenca del Río Asón (Cantabria) [Guineana, 1]. Universidad del País Vasco,Bilbao, 1995.
435 pages, black-an-white illustrations, colour map,
The area studied by Dr Herrera lies in the eastern part of
the Province of Cantabria, east of the harbour town of
Santander, and extends over c. 1000 km2 from the N
Spanish coast to the watershed of the Cantabrian range. It
corresponds to the catchment basin of the Río Asón, down to
its estuary at Santoña and up to an altitude of 1632 m at
the Picón del Fraile, except that the south-eastern portion
of the valley has been chopped off as belonging to the
Province of Vizcaya. In this ragged, loosely populated
country, the author has collected no less than 1062 vascular
plant taxa, several new for Cantabria, to which she adds a
mere 26 recorded by others but not seen by herself.
The work is divided into two main portions, the floristic
inventory and the description of the vegetation. They are
preceded by a general, introductory part on the physical
environment, and followed by a large annex of tabular
phytosociological material. The vegetation map that
summarizes the phytosociological results has unfortunately
been so strongly reduced in size as to be barely legible and
difficult to understand. The same is true for the other,
black-and-white maps that illustrate the introductory
The book corresponds to the first volume of a new
botanical journal, published by the Department of Plant
Biology and Ecology of the Basque University in Bilbao. By
its title, Guineana, this journal most appropriately
commemorates the local botanist Emilio Guinea López, a very
kind and erudite colleague whom I had the pleasure to meet
frequently during his extended stays at the Conservatoire
botanique of Geneva in the early sixties, when he was
preparing the Biscutella and Ulex accounts for Flora
- Antoni de Bolòs i Vayreda & Oriol de Bolòs i
Capdevila Plantes vasculars del quadrat Santa
Pau, 31T DG66 [ORCA: Catàlegs floristics
locals, 1]. Institut dEstudis
Catalans, Secció de Ciències Biològiques,
Barcelona, 1987.  + 60 pages, black-an-white
- Oriol de Bolòs i Capdevila & Margarida
Masclans i Aleu Plantes vasculars del quadrat
UTM 31T CF79 La Llacuna [ORCA: Catàlegs
floristics locals, 3]. Institut
dEstudis Catalans, Secció de Ciències
Biològiques, Barcelona, 1990 (ISBN 84-7283-142-6).
57 pages, black-an-white illustrations, paper.
- Manuel Calduch i Almela Plantes vasculars
del quadrat UTM 31S CE01 Els Columbrets. The
Columbrets Islands. Vascular plants of the UTM square
31S CE01 [ORCA: Catàlegs floristics locals, 4]. Institut dEstudis Catalans, Secció
de Ciències Biològiques, Barcelona, 1992 (ISBN
84-7283-199-x). 37 pages, black-an-white
- Josep A. Conesa i Mor Plantes vasculars del
quadrat UTM 31T BF99 Sarroca de Segrià (Utxesa-Secà)
[ORCA: Catàlegs floristics locals, 5].
Institut dEstudis Catalans, Secció de
Ciències Biològiques, Barcelona, 1993 (ISBN
84-7283-239-2). 58 pages, black-an-white
- Jesús Riera i Vicent & Antoni Aguilella i
Palasí Plantes vasculars del quadrat UTM 30T
YK03 Pina de Montalgrao [ORCA: Catàlegs
floristics locals, 6]. Institut
dEstudis Catalans, Secció de Ciències
Biològiques, Barcelona, 1994 (ISBN 84-7283-262-7).
61 pages, black-an-white illustrations, paper.
- Ignaswi Soriano i Tomàs Plantes vasculars
del quadrat UTM 31T DG08 Gréixer [ORCA:
Catàlegs floristics locals, 7]. Institut
dEstudis Catalans, Secció de Ciències
Biològiques, Barcelona, 1994 (ISBN 84-7283-267-8).
75 pages, black-an-white illustrations, paper.
This second series of ORCA publications (see also item 27,
above) has been reviewed in some detail when No. 2 of the Catàlegs
floristics locals became available, and I will not
again repeat the general points then made (in OPTIMA Newsl.
25-29: (35). 1991). So far, seven out of a total of 848
possible mapping grid unit areas have been treated, still
less than 1 % of the total. They are fairly equally
scattered over the Catalan territory and when taken together
encompass an altitudinal range from sea level up to 2536 m.
While all follow the same basic pattern, the way in which
they are presented, not only the type face but also the data
categories included, varies considerably. In each the plants
are listed alphabetically by families, genera and species
within the main categories (pteridophytes, gymnosperms,
dicots and monocots); and all indicate taxon frequency and
(optionally or consistently) occurrence in phytogeographical
territories defined within the square; and all have a fairly
similar introductory part with concise presentation of the
flora, vegetation and physical environment, illustrated with
some maps and diagrams. But then there are the optionals:
only Nos. 3 and 4 include vernacular plant names; they and
No. 7 give habitat indications. No. 4 is peculiar in having a
bilingual (Catalan and English) introductory text, and is the
only to consistently mention data sources. The absence of
such information elsewhere, and the general lack or paucity
of data on field work and on the whereabouts of voucher
material, are the only substantial points of criticism one
There are striking differences, obviously correlated with
altitude, in the floristic richness of the different
territories. No. 7, treating of a high-mountain area in the
Pyrenees, lists the highest number of taxa (1182), whereas
the middle and lower altitude squares host between 600 and
900, and the Islas Columbretes (No. 4), which culminate at 67
m, have a mere 114. The latter, a little archipelago of small
to minute, volcanic islets and rocks, are of particular
interest for the phytogeographer. It is of note that their
flora lacks the originality one would find in similar
situation in the Aegean but then, all but the 4 major
islets are either unexplored or devoid of higher plants
(which, we are left to guess). W.G.
- Ferat Rexhepi Vegjetacioni i Kosovës (hartografimi
dhe hulumtimi fitocenologjik). The vegetation of
Kosova. Universiteti i Prishtinës, Fakultetii
i Shkencave të Naturës, Prishtinë, 1994. 163
pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.
The Kosovo Province is the south-western part of Serbia,
in Yugoslavia, that is mainly inhabited by Albanians. The
present account of its vegetation is, indeed, written in
Albanian, with a two-page "English" summary
somewhat difficult to interpret because of obvious linguistic
shortcomings. The manuscript was apparently finished in 1989
and took five years to be published, which when one looks at
the countrys political and economic situation will
surprise no one. Its basic aim, apparently, is to serve as
explanatory background to a vegetation map (or maps) at a
1 : 50,000 scale which I have not seen, and which
may still await publication.
The book synthesizes the result of 13 years of field work
(1976-1988), mostly in impervious territory and without even
so much as the benefit of a car. The vegetation analysis
follows the method of Braun-Blanquet and the
Zürich-Montpellier school (which is what is meant by
"cyrical-mountlallier", in the summary),
"considering the modern science achievements"
(whatever this may mean). In his endeavour to classify his
countrys vegetation the author ends up with 139
different associations, grouped in 63 alliances, 35 orders,
and 20 classes, each briefly characterized by the mention of
characteristic or differential component species. The
phytocoenological part is followed by a phytogeographical
analysis in which each of the 1455 vascular plant species
known from Kosovo is attributed to the appropriate floristic
element or sub-element. A most promising if slightly
unorganized feature is the bibliography at the end, listing
all papers and books relating to the flora and vegetation of
the area from the early days until 1989. W.G.
- Artemios Yannitsaros, Irini Vallianatou, Ioannis
Bazos & Theophanis Constantinidis Flora
and vegetation of Strofades Islands (Ionian Sea,
Greece). Hellenic Society for the
Protection of Nature, Athens, 1995. 25 pages + sheets
25-26 +  sheets of illustrations (5 in colour),
plastic cover sheet.
The Strophades are two small, completely flat islands of
sedimentary rock (the larger, Stamfani, is just 22 m high and
measures 1600 by 800 m), lying south of Zakinthos in the open
Ionian Sea at about 50 km from the nearest land. Stamfani
houses a venerable but almost deserted monastery and an
unmanned lighthouse, whereas the smaller island, Arpia, is
uninhabited. There is no regular boat service and no tourism,
nor any major beach that might attract any. The flora is poor
and trivial, and the vegetation consists of phrygana and an
extensive, perhaps formerly degraded but now recovering dense
wood of Pistacia lentiscus and Juniperus phoenicea.
The islands have been but rarely visited by naturalists,
and perhaps not by any botanist prior to the present authors.
Viennese zoologist Otto Reiser collected 56 species in 1899,
published by Halácsy that same year. Later some geologists
from Athens brought back a few specimens, publishing their
finds in 1979. Unknown to the authors, the German
herpetologist and biogeographer Harald Pieper went ashore on
both islands on 14 October 1980 and brought back a handful of
scrappy fragments, now in my herbarium, out of which I could
identify 31 species largely additional to Halácsys.
The basis of the present, thorough study of flora and
vegetation are four visits by the junior authors, in April
1991, April 1992, and May and June 1995.
The authors list 300 wild vascular plants and a good dozen
cultivated ones, none being particularly remarkable or rare
let alone endemic to the islands. From their list, one should
delete Delphinium peregrinum (Reisers specimen
is cited by Paw5owsky among the paratypes of D. hellenicum), Pistacia terebinthus (an obvious slip
of memory or pen in a letter by Reiser, P. lentiscus being
meant), and perhaps Quercus ilex (which a
geologist might easily have confused with mature Q.
coccifera). Sarcocornia fruticosa is unlikely to
grow on a rocky island coast and is almost certainly an error
for Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, collected there by
Pieper but not mentioned in the present list. Phillyrea sp.
is P. latifolia, also collected by Pieper. The planted
palm trees, of which Pieper brought back a colour slide, are
not Phoenix but a fan-leaved species, perhaps Trachycarpus
fortunei. Another large cultivated tree photographed by
Pieper is Ficus cf. bengalensis. Finally, there
are two genuine additions among Piepers harvest: Salvia
verbenaca and Eryngium creticum.
Thanks to support by the WWF the authors have produced a
nice case study which makes pleasant reading. Their plea to
declare the islands a national monument is, however,
far-fetched. It is true that the dense coastal woodland on
Stamfani is an unusual feature, but it is not, as far as one
can see, under any severe pressure or threat. The handful
non-trivial species they mention are either found in the
cultivated area (and might well vanish if protection were
granted) or safely hidden on coastal cliffs. There are
hundreds, perhaps thousands of places in Greece more
deserving and more needful of protection than this hidden,
far-off, peaceful spot of land. W.G.
- Pier Virgilio Arrigoni, Milena RIZZOTTO, Romano
Zerboni & Mariangela Manfredi Flora
allergenica e pollinosi. Ricerche ed esperienze
nel territorio fiorentino. Università degli
Studi di Firenze, Laboratorio di Fitogeografia &
Nuovo Ospedale San Giovanni di Dio, Firenze, 1995.
 + 184 pages, black-and-white illustrations,
Hay fever is not a deadly plague, but often a severe
handicap for those who suffer from it. It partakes of the
general boom of allergic affections that one notes in recent
years. The study of its mechanisms and causes is therefore of
general interest, and is one of those fields in which plant
taxonomy can claim to be of practical value. The present book
is the result of joint efforts by a medical and a biological
team, in which plant taxonomists, aerobiologists and
immunologists have closely collaborated. It is mainly
designed for practical use in the urban area of Florence, but
has a number of features that may be of more general
After a general description of the phenomenon of pollen
allergy, the methods of aerobiology (the study of airborne
biological material sampled by pollen traps), and relevant
climatic and phenological data, the authors proceed by the
study of individual taxonomic groups. These are defined by
their distinguishable pollen and are mostly whole families or
even family groups, for which the average air pollen
concentration is graphically represented as a function of
time, the year round. Other data categories are more specific
and include flowering period, distribution in the Florence
region (with maps indicating abundance), allergenic
substances when known, and clinical aspects. One is surprised
at the wealth of statistical data available in the medicinal
field. Obviously, the term "hay fever" as a generic
designation of pollen and dust allergies has still some
justification, because a large majority of those suffering
from such allergies are sensitive to (some or all) grass
pollens: over 80 % in the Florence region, as compared
to barely 20 % reacting to Parietaria. Pity the
latter ones: pellitory-of-the-wall is omnipresent in Italian
cities and rural settlements and keeps flowering for most of
the year (April through October) without respite! W.G.
topics, red data books
- Vasile Cristea La conservation de la nature
en Roumanie [Luomo e lambiente, 18]. Università degli Studi, Camerino, 1995.
105 pages, black-and-white illustrations, laminated
This is a thorough and informative documentation on nature
conservancy in Rumania, with an extensive, policy- and
legislation-orientated historical introduction. Concrete
measures of nature conservation in Rumania date back to the
times of the monarchy and were forcibly promoted under the
communist regime. At present there are no less than 585
protected areas in the country, their size varying from a
mere 1000 m2 of some nature monuments to the
5800 km2 of the huge Danube Delta National Park. A
tabular appendix lists them all, by categories and with their
district, year of foundation and surface area mentioned. The
main text describes several examples, naming the most
prominent plant and animal species they house. Judging from
this booklet, Rumania can indeed be proud of its achievements
in the field of nature and landscape conservation.
The question may legitimately be asked: what will become
of all this now, in a radically changed political context?
The authors optimistic assessment of the present
situation is encouraging. Structures are being modernized,
the efforts are progressively placed in an international
context. University curricula in ecology and conservation are
being developed. Environmentalists parties arise,
giving political credit and weight to ecologically oriented
policies. National economy permitting, Rumania will remain at
the forefront of European efforts to safeguard nature as an
inalienable patrimony of mankind. Let it become true! W.G.
- Vladimir Stevanovic & Voislav Vasic (ed.)
Biodiverzitet Jugoslavije: sa pregledom
vrsta od meðunarodnog znacaja. Bioloski
Fakultet Univerziteta u Beogradu & Ecolibri,
Beograd, 1995 (ISBN 86-7078-004-6). viii + 562 pages,
black-and-white illustrations, 1 map in colours,
The new multi-author biodiversity manual edited by
Stevanovic and Vasic concerns Yugoslavia in its present,
restricted boundaries, i.e., Serbia and Crna Gora
(Montenegro). It is written for the benefit of local
biologists and policy makers, which is why it can dispense
with an English summary, yet it is of general interest both
because of the data it includes and the way in which they are
presented. The volume consists of two unequal halves. The
first and smaller, general part includes chapters defining
biodiversity and discussing its social and economic aspects,
man-made threats to it, international conventions, programmes
and standards, as well as the impact of the physical
environment. It ends with an outline subdivision of the
country into biogeographical units. The much larger special
part sets off with an attempt at a phylogenetic
classification of the living world, to which the subsequent
authors pay but little attention, followed by chapters each
devoted to one of the major organismic groups. For botany,
they are: macrofungi, lichens, freshwater algae (including Cyanobacteria),
bryophytes, and vascular plants. In addition there are 18
zoological chapters covering all animals from the rhizopods
to the mammals. Each chapter includes a tabular list of
threatened taxa, with a rough indication of their altitudinal
and horizontal distribution, IUCN red data category, etc.
There is also a special chapter on vegetation diversity, with
a coloured map of potential climax vegetation. W.G.
- Jani Vangjeli, Babi Ruci & Alfred Mullaj
Pibri i kuq. Bimët e kërcënuara e të
rralla të Shqipërisë. Red book. Threatened and
rare plants species of Albania. Academy of
Science, Institute of Biological Research, Tirana,
1995.  + 169 pages, black-and-white illustrations,
The Albanian Plant Red Data Book deals with 320 species,
almost exactly 10 % of the known wild vascular flora
(3250 species). Of these, according to IUCN red data
categories, 4 are said to be extinct, 12 doubtfully extinct,
58 endangered, 20 vulnerable, 194 rare, 29 insufficiently
known, and 3 endemic but not threatened. Of the extinct or
doubtfully extinct taxa 5 are said to be endemic and would
thus have gone altogether. It is much to be hoped that their
obituary need not be written yet, though. The fact that they
have not been seen during the last 30 years does not
necessarily mean that they have vanished: all are mountain
plants living in remote border areas of difficult access and
with little human disturbance of their habitats. Furthermore,
four out of the five have become known from neighbouring
areas: Ranunculus hayekii (extinct in Albania) from
Bulgaria, R. degenii and R. wettsteinii (doubtfully
extinct) from the F.Y.R. Makedonija, and Viola kosaninii (doubtfully
extinct) from SW Yugoslavia. The only true endemic of which
the survival is in doubt, then, would be Wulfenia
baldaccii, one of the most interesting Balkan relict
species, the rediscovery of which would be most desirable
This book has not quite achieved western standards in the
quality of paper and printing, but it is remarkably well
structured and carefully prepared, has an extensive summary
in (excellent!) English, and includes maps (gross grid
distributions, with 18 unit squares for the whole country)
for all taxa treated. It is based on exhaustive literature
search (less complete, however, for the neighbouring
countries), on the National Herbarium in Tirana with its
120,000 Albanian specimens, and on more than 20 years of
investigations in the field. It is a major national
achievement on which the authors are to be congratulated.
- Dimitrios Phitos, Arne Strid, Sven Snogerup &
Werner Greuter (ed.) The red data book of rare
and threatened plants of Greece. World
Wide Fund for Nature, Athens, 1995 (ISBN
960-7506-04-9). xlvii + 527 pages, black-and-white
and colour illustrations, cloth.
If there should be a prize for the most remarkable of
Plant Red Data Books, this one would be a likely and
deserving prize-winner. It presents 263 specific and
subspecific taxa of the Greek flora, belonging to 261 species
(Erysimum senoneri and Scutellaria rupestris with two
subspecies each), most of them endemic to Greece and often
extremely rare and local, limited perhaps to a single
locality and with only a few individuals known to exist. Each
treatment is confined to two opposite pages and consists of a
standardized text (status, description, distribution,
habitat, conservation measures taken and proposed,
peculiarities and value, references to publications), a map
of Greek distribution, and illustrations whenever available.
Some unique pictures of rare and critical plants have been
included, perhaps not all of professional quality but each
important as a scientific document. Technically (as to paper,
printing, images and binding) the book has been produced to
match the highest standards.
The plants presented are but a selection of the threatened
flora of Greece. Time, funds and data available were limited.
A choice had by needs to be made, and it was made most
judiciously. Priority was given to the most spectacular
species and to those that are most immediately at risk. By
IUCN Red Data categories, 6 of the included taxa are presumed
extinct, 36 endangered, 146 vulnerable, and 75 rare. Overall,
the rare plants would outnumber by far all the other
categories together, but they are not immediately threatened
at present so were given less prominence. Even the most
serious situation, extinction, is not however exhaustively
covered: one gap I happen to know of is Isoetes
heldreichii, of which I have recently searched all
classical localities with the aid of Berlin pteridologist
Brigitte Zimmer, to find they had all gone, the source waters
having either been captured or flooded by a dam. On the other
hand, one may hope that some, perhaps most of the species
presumed extinct (Alkanna sartoriana, Astragalus idaeus,
Centaurea tuntasia, Geocaryum bornmuelleri, G. divaricatum,
Satureja acropolitana) may be rediscovered, especially
those that grow in remote areas and in localities not known
with precision. After all, the first, full-page colour
photograph remarkably shows vigorous stands of Biebersteinia
orphanidis and Adonis cyllenea growing side by
side, two species that had long been believed extinct in
Greece and have only recently been rediscovered. Two other,
comparable cases of recent "exhumations" are Biarum
fraasianum and Helichrysum taenari.
More than 30 different authors have contributed texts and
data to this book. Among them are renowned specialists of the
Greek flora or of certain of its genera, the discoverers
and/or describers of new, endemic taxa, and also a fair
number of Greek field botanists, amateurs and professionals
alike. The author team is a perfect mix and vouches for a
very high standard of scientific accuracy. Yet, a work of
this kind can never be perfect and complete. On the contrary,
one of its natural aims is to stimulate research and the
forthcoming of new or updated information. In this it has
already succeeded by prompting a note on "New sites for
species included in the Red Data Book on the Greek
flora", by George Sfikas (in Anthophoros 1996(2): ).
May I then add my own grain of salt: the photograph published
under Silene flavescens subsp. dictaea does not
show that species but another Cretan endemic, S.
The complete editorial team of Flora hellenica is
credited with editorship of the volume, and I feel proud and
honoured for being among them; but in fairness, the credit
must mainly go to Dimitrios Phitos, and with him to his wife
Georgia Kamari and to their young and active research team in
Patras. They have spent years of assiduous, dedicated work
assembling the data, writing many of the texts, investigating
critical cases in the field, selecting the illustrations,
preparing the distribution maps, and worst of all to get the
printers do a proper job (and still they could not avoid
upside-down reproduction of a few pictures, Sesleria
doerfleri and Woodwardia radicans in particular).
They have produced a book they may be justly proud of. W.G.
- Anastasios Anagnostopoulos & Kyriaki
Athanasiou Registration of the rare, endemic
and threatened plants of Zakinthos (Ionian Islands,
Greece) [WWF Project MR 4108]. World
Wide Fund for Nature, Patras, 1994. 40 loose sheets,
maps, colour photographs, with plastic cover sheets
and clamp back.
The authors of this account, two members of the young and
dynamic botanical team of Patras University, basically
present 20 plant taxa that are rare and to various degrees
threatened on Zakinthos, proposing measures for their
protection and, more generally, for nature conservation on
that island. Of the taxa discussed, 3 are island endemics (Limonium
zacynthium, L. phitosianum, and the still unpublished Asperula naufraga), 9 are Ionian endemics (limited
to the Ionian Islands, S and W Greece, and sometimes Mt
Gargano in Italy), and 9 are more widespread in the
Mediterranean area. There are brief descriptions (some
of them compiled) of all taxa discussed, data on their local
and total distribution and habitats, and maps of their local
The text looks rather like a preliminary report, not like
a mature publication (as which it may not have become
available before 1996). It is incomplete in several respects.
Neither does it include an inventory of the island flora nor
is there a concrete statement of the criteria of selection
for the species presented. It is badly under-referenced as to
the sources of distributional data, and includes several
inaccuracies (e.g., Coris monspeliensis is not
"common in Europe", nor is Scorpiurus
vermiculatus "a central European plant", both
being restricted to the W and central Mediterranean region).
Some of the authors opinions on conservational matters
are in my opinion quite dangerous. They want to
"minimize collection [of plants] by specialists for
scientific reasons" [sic!], and in the same context they
claim that the collection of plants for trading purposes,
with the single exception of the Cretan endemic Origanum
dictamnus, "has not resulted in a significant or
noticeable reduction of their populations" (when e.g. Gentiana
lutea has become seriously threatened, in Greece and
elsewhere in the Balkans, by local collectors contracted by
Central European liquor factories). They call for
reforestation measures in burnt areas with what they consider
as the native forest, Pinus halepensis wood, when it
is notorious that the Aleppo fir is a "tree weed"
striving on burnt areas, and that afforestation in
Mediterranean countries is, very often, the worst enemy of
These critical notes are in no way meant to imply that the
authors did a bad job but, quite on the contrary, want to
encourage them to round off what they have so promisingly
begun into a much more complete and really useful assessment
of the threatened island flora. The subject deserves it, and
they are the right people for the job. W.G.
- Günther Kunkel & Mary Anne Kunkel
Arboles ornamentales de Almería. Una
introducción hortícola. Editorial La Acacia,
Almería, 1996 (ISBN 84-920339-3-2). 188 pages,
black-and-white illustrations, laminated cover.
Books on trees cultivated in Spanish cities are as it
seems the fashion. Two have been reviewed last time in this
column (OPTIMA Newsl. 30: (46). 1996), and here is the third.
Each is unique and has its own merits. Those of the present
volume are, to my mind: the choice of the species
represented, the sophistication of the descriptions and
synonymies, and the accuracy and artfulness of its full-page
drawings, both of habit and analytical details. When one
compares this book with the two reviewed last time (which
excel by a more sumptuous presentation, and beautiful colour
photographs) one will find the species treated to be less
numerous (77, as opposed to 135 and 172, respectively) but,
to a remarkably high proportion, additional: 29 species
portrayed here are absent from the two other volumes, 19 also
appear in either of them, and 29 in both.
This is by no means the first book, on this or a similar
subject, to result from the teamwork of the botanist Günther
Kunkel and the artist his wife. Some of the drawings and
texts here included are taken from earlier publication. As
the preface explains, the text was written in no time and the
selection made had to be pragmatic. The authors have already
started a loose series of complementary drawings and texts,
in the Hojas sueltas ("loose leaflets")
published by Kunkels own "Ediciones Alternativas
Illimited" (Nos 4, 1995; 13-14 & 17, 1996). Health
and good sales permitting, a second, enlarged edition of the
book may soon be forthcoming. W.G.
- Francesco Maria Raimondo, Pietro Mazzola &
Andrea Di Martino LOrto botanico di
Palermo. The Palermo Botanical Garden.
Edizioni Arbor, Palermo, 1995. 201 pages, colour map
and photographs, laminated cover.
This is the pocket-book version of the larger and more
sumptuous hard-cover book that had been published under the
same title in 1993 (see OPTIMA Newslett. 30: (49). 1996). The
texts, both the English and Italian version, have been
reproduced in full, but only a selection of the colour
photographs (51 out of 238) has been retained. In quality
(paper and print) the new version equals the high standard of
the original edition. W.G.
- Ricardo Garilleti Herbarium Cavanillesianum seu enumeratio plantarum exsiccatarum aliquo modo
ad novitates cavanillesianas pertinentium, quae in
Horti Regii Matritensis atque Londinensis Societatis
Linnaeanae herbariis asservantur [Fontqueria, 38].
Madrid, 1993. 249 pages, black-and-white
illustrations; separate issue with plastic front
sheet and taped back, lacking pages -.
Garilleti had already co-authored, with Javier Fernández
Casas, a very important, critically compiled index to names
appearing in Cavanilless widely scattered papers and
works (in Fontqueria 26. 1989). He has now produced an at
least equally valuable, careful analysis of original material
of all names of Cavanilless newly described species,
insofar as present in his own type herbarium in Madrid or in
James Edward Smiths herbarium at the Linnean Society of
London. All such names are listed, with their correct
bibliographic citation and with full quotation of relevant
indications in the protologue (locality data in particular).
When original material was found, label texts and annotations
are meticulously transcribed, with identification of the
various handwritings, mention of differences in ink (or
pencil) used, etc. Use of this book is a must for anyone
lectotypifying one of the names in question and will prevent
that future authors reiterate mistakes made in the past. Its
only major shortcoming is the neglect of the historical
herbaria in Paris, in which most of the original material for
Cavanilless early names is to be found. These herbaria
are now easily accessible as IDC microfiche editions, so that
at least an attempt at taking them into consideration might
have been made. W.G.
- Carlo Gregolin I musei, le collezioni
scientifiche e le sezioni antiche delle biblioteche. Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova,
1996. 183 pages, illustrations in colour or
black-and-white, laminated cover.
The various traditional science institutes of the old
Italian universities hold almost unbelievable treasures from
their glorious past, which are presently being rediscovered
as an historical patrimony of great public interest and in
which the universities, which had contributed little to their
maintenance for many years, now take pride. Padua University
can serve as a model in this respect, as documented by the
present volume. It gives the reader an overview, the merest
glimpse one suspects, of the riches of Paduas
collections in domains as diverse as medicine, palaeontology,
mineralogy and petrography, archaeology, geography,
literature, zoology, veterinary science, and engineering.
Botany is well represented in this concert, with a section of
its own comprising four chapters on 40 pages.
One naturally fears that there might be much overlap
between these botanical chapters and the gorgeous volume in
English language published in 1995 to commemorate the 450th
anniversary of the Padua Botanic Garden (see OPTIMA Newsl.
30: (49). 1996), but this is not so. The texts are by
different authors and entirely new: Patrizio Giulini writes
on the Botanic Garden, Noemi Tornadore on the herbaria and
other collections, Elsa Maria Cappelletti introduces the new
historical (19th-century) drugstore, and Fernanda Menegalle
presents the library. Even the illustration shows but minimal
duplication. In particular, different plates have been
selected for reproduction out of the same old books and
painted herbals (rather, curiously, the same plate has been
reproduced twice in the same  volume, on p. 149 and
179). It would be tempting, though far beyond the scope of a
book review, to critically compare the 1995 and 1996 texts
and look for differences in fact or stress. What is
appropriate here, though, is to commend a timely and
splendidly achieved effort at valorizing Paduas
historical patrimony in the academic domain at the eyes of
the public authorities and citizenship. W.G.
- Arne Strid Flora hellenica bibliography [Fragmenta floristica et geobotanica,
supplementum, 4.] W. Szafer Institute of
Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, 1996
(ISBN 83-85444-44-0). x + 508 pages, paper.
This publication lists a total of 10241 references of
books and articles relevant to the forthcoming Flora
hellenica. It includes floristic publications relating to
the Greek territory and adjacent areas, taxonomic (including
nomenclatural) papers dealing with Greek material, major
taxonomic works involving Greek taxa, phytogeographical and
phytosociological literature pertaining to Greece, and
literature dealing with chromosome data. The accuracy and
correctness of the references has been systematically
verified. The list is arranged alphabetically and
chronologically according to author(s) and year. The indices
at the end of the book allow for searches by taxa (families
and genera) or geographical area. The result is a most
complete bibliography for botanists working on Greece, as
well as a useful reference guide for all Mediterranean
José Maria Iriondo
- Filippo Parlatore Le specie dei cotoni.
Facsimile reprint: Dipartimento di Scienze botaniche
dellUniversità di Palermo, 1995. [Original
publication: Stamperia Reale, Firenze, 1866.]  +
62 +  pages, 6 coloured extra plates, cloth with
- Agostino Todaro Relazione sulla cultura dei
cotoni in Italia seguita da una monografia del genere Gossypium. Facsimile
reprint: Accademia Nazionale di Scienze Lettere e
Arti, Palermo, 1995. [Original publication: Stamperia
Reale ditta P. A. Molina, Roma & Cromo-Litografia
Visconti, Palermo, 1877-1878.]  + iii + 287 + 
pages, frontispiece and 12 extra plates in colour,
These two sumptuous reprints, and even more the reprinted
works, have much in common. First of all the subject treated,
cotton taxonomy; then authorship by Italian, Palermo-born
botanists; on a more formal level, both provide early
examples of chromolithography (Parlatores is actually
the first case, in Italy, of application of the then new
technique to plant illustration); both consisted of two
portions in different format, printed independently: the text
in-4°, the plates in-folio. For the purpose of the reprints
the format, for both, was unified by enlargement of the text
and reduction of the plates; the occasion for producing them
was one and the same: commemoration of the bicentenary of the
Palermo Botanical Garden; and even the outward presentation,
blue cloth with gilt imprint, is quite similar.
Why this sudden outburst of interest in cotton, of which
these two works are not the only witnesses? The answer is
political: the American Secession War (1861-1865) brought
cotton exportation from the States to a standstill, which
resulted both in a threat to European weaving industry and in
a chance for Mediterranean agriculture to step in. The year
1864 saw the first Italian cotton fair in Torino, at which
Parlatores manuscript report was presented; and in 1878
Italy featured cotton at the European Exhibition in Paris,
for which purpose the Palermo Botanical Garden was appointed
by government as the co-ordinating centre, with charge to
produce a monographic revision of the genus. In other words,
the two decades 1860 to 1880 saw a sort of cotton boom in
southern Italy, to collapse soon after.
There ends the common ground for the two works.
Taxonomically, Parlatore and Todaro stood at opposite ends.
By 1866 Todaro, based on the rich stock of cultivated cottons
in Palermo, had already described over a dozen new species.
Parlatore sank them all into synonymy (where they still
rest), considering them as expressions of polymorphism caused
by selection and breeding within a few cultivated,
"Linnaean" species. Well, of his two own novelties,
too, neither survives today (one had been named independently
in 1865). In his 1877-1878 monograph, Todaro upheld his
splitters approach, describing many more new species
and bringing the total of recognized ones to 54. Todays
monographer Fryxell has a mere 34, among which just 4 of the
binomials credited to Todaro survive. Sic transit gloria Gossypii.
- Augustino Todaro Hortus botanicus
panormitanus. Facsimile reprint: Accademia
Nazionale di Scienze Lettere e Arti, Palermo, 1993.
[Original publication: Francesco Lao & Ciro
Visconti, Palermo, 1876-1878; Ignazio Virzì &
Ciro Visconti, 1879-1892.]  +  + 91 + + 64 +
 pages, frontispiece and 40 extra plates in
Todaros Hortus botanicus is probably the most
splendid of all publications dealing with and issued through
the Palermo Botanical Garden. It is a large in-folio
consisting of 40 oversize chromolithographic plates and two
text volumes, and was issued in 21 instalments over a period
of more than 16 years. The last issue, bringing the work to a
(premature) completion, was distributed after Todaros
death (18 April 1892) and includes his portrait, to serve as
Under Todaros 36-year reign the Garden acquired
international fame and a great wealth of plants from all
continents, both in its living collections and in the
associated herbarium. As was then natural, many of the
acquired plants were new to science, or deemed such. An
obvious purpose of this work was therefore to serve as an
outlet for the description of new species, or for a more
complete documentation of previously and separately published
ones. Indeed, more than half of the 46 species treated, and
most of the new varieties, make their first appearance in the Hortus botanicus, and another ten species, plus the
genus Biancaea (now a synonym of Caesalpinia),
had been previously named by Todaro himself, e.g. in his Nuovi
generi e nuove specie di piante (1858-1861) or in various
issues of the Gardens Index seminum.
The reprint is a full-size reproduction of the original,
and was produced as a gift to the invited guests at the
bicentenary celebrations of the Palermo Garden. Sumptuously
bound in navy-blue cloth with gilt imprint and on heavy
quality paper, the text and plates are a good match of the
original except perhaps for the fact that the
reproduced original had some of the plates badly stained and
that the reproductions often show a predominance of red. One
item that would have been of interest is alas missing: the
fascicle covers, of which only a few are known (two of them
in the incomplete copy of the Berlin-Dahlem library). They
are informative not only because they bear the respective
publication date (month and year) but, on the back, etchings
of contemporary views of the Garden in Palermo that have
documentary value. W.G.
- Bernardino da Ucrìa Hortus regius
panhormitanus aerae vulgaris anno mdcclxxix
noviter extructus septoque ex indigenis, exoticisque
plurimas complectens plantas. Facsimile
reprint: Edizioni Grifo, [Palermo], 1996. [Original
publication: Typis regiis, Palermo, 1789.]  + vi +
498 pages, cloth.
Father Bernardino from Ucrìa, a village in the Province
of Messina that still takes pride in having lent him his
botanists appellation when his secular name
Michelangelo Aurifici is long forgotten, was a modest
Minorite friar with a vast botanical knowledge. It was he who
introduced the Linnaean system of classification and
nomenclature to Sicily. In 1786 he succeeded Giuseppe Tineo
as "plant demonstrator" at the first, small
botanical garden of the Royal Academy of Studies of Palermo
(to become University in 1805), founded in 1779 on the city
ramparts at Porta Carini. When between 1789 and 1795 the new
botanical garden was built in its present location, on open
ground outside the city walls, he was the one to design the
layout and arrange the plantations. He may have felt
frustrated when his less gifted but more agile competitor
Tineo (father of his more famous successor Vincenzo Tineo)
was the one to be appointed director of the new garden and
harvested the fruits of his labour: he is known not to have
taken part in the opening ceremony and, as the saying goes,
died of chagrin within the year.
The book here reprinted on the occasion of the bicentenary
of his death is the only major work he left to posterity. It
is the inventory of the [old] Palermo garden and also of the
wild flora of Sicily then known, in which 607 genera of
plants (including cryptogams) and a multiple number of
species are treated, arranged according to Linnaeus. For wild
plants, provenance and vernacular names are given, and for
all their (mainly medicinal) uses. The book wants to be
popular: it defines the Linnaean classes in both Latin and
Italian, and has a glossary with Italian definitions of Latin
terms. Tineo, who in the following year published an 88 page Index
plantarum horti botanici regiae academiae panormitanae, is
said to have been very jealous of Ucrìas work. It is
now extremely rare, virtually unavailable but for this
meritorious reprint. W.G.
- Società Botanica Italiana. 90° Congresso. Manifestazioni
celebrative del bicentenario dellOrto Botanico
di Palermo. Palermo, 9-13 dicembre 1995 [Giornale
botanico italiano, 129(1, 2)]. Società
Botanica Italiana, Firenze, 1995. 490, 287 pages in 2
volumes, black-and-white illustrations, paper.
The 90th congress of the Italian Botanical Society
coincided with the closing ceremony of the bicentenary
celebrations of the Palermo Botanical Garden. The proceedings
of the Congress, available upon registration, were published
in two volumes, the first for the symposium lectures, the
second for the poster presentations. For the 85 lectures
either 1-2 page summary versions or full papers were
submitted. The opening session (16 lectures) was devoted to
the present and future of botanic gardens. It was followed by
8 symposia: on macromolecules and phylogeny (5 lectures),
plant biosystematics (11), cryptogams (11), cell wall
proteins (7), vegetation dynamics (14), marine plants (12),
succulents (5), and palms (4). The 259 poster presentations,
all in summary version, pertained to phycology (6),
reproductive biology (18), biosystematics (15), applied
botany (15), bryology (9), cytology (19), conservation (14),
differentiation (17), ecology (30), herbaria (4), ethnobotany
(4), floristics (19), mycology (10), gardens (21),
palaeobotany (7), palynology and archaeobotany (18),
medicinal plants (12), and vegetation science (21). All texts
are in Italian or English except for two papers in French but
with English summary and one French abstract for which an
English translation is added on a loose sheet. W.G.
- Società Botanica Italiana. 91° Congresso. Ancona,
16-19 settembre 1996 [Giornale botanico italiano, 130(1)].
Società Botanica Italiana, Firenze, 1996. 528
pages, black-and-white illustrations, paper.
The general scheme of this proceedings volume is quite
analogous to that of the foregoing item, except for the fact
that lectures (50) and poster presentations (204) are
combined in a single volume, both being somewhat less
numerous than the year before. This time, the symposia
covered the following subjects: cell growth and
differentiation (6 lectures), evolution and phylogeny (6),
dioecious plants (10), agrarian landscape studies (13),
climate, areas and vegetation units (9), and the Adriatic Sea
(6). The posters which, regrettably, are not indexed,
pertained to mycology (10), botanical gardens (10),
palaeobotany (7), palynology (13), medicinal plants (8),
bryology (3), biorhythms (2), phycology (13), biosystematics
(12), differentiation (15), cytology (18), didactics (2),
applied botany (11), conservation (8), floristics (19),
vegetation science (21), and ecology (32). Overall, the
subjects presented look like a sound, evenly balanced mix,
both qualitatively and in quantity. It is particularly
rejoicing to see the that classical subjects are not swamped
by studies in the fields of physiology, cell biology and
cytogenetics, as is so often the case nowadays elsewhere, at
botanical congresses. W.G.
- Ellênikê Botanikê Etaireia. 5° epistêmoniko
sunedrio. Praktika. Delfoi, 21-23 oktôbriou
1994, Eurôpaiko Politistiko Kentro. Hellenic
Botanical Society. 5th scientific Conference.
Proceedings. Delphi 21-23 October 1994, European
Cultural Centre, Greece. Ellênikê Botanikê
Etaireia, Thessalonikê, . 380 pages,
black-and-white illustrations, paper.
Participants to the VI OPTIMA Meeting in Delphi in 1989
will remember with pleasure the European Cultural Centre.
Five years later that same Centre came to host the 5th
scientific Conference of the Hellenic Botanical Society. The
corresponding Proceedings volume gives the complete
programme, with titles of the 51 lectures and 33 posters
presented. Besides welcome and closing addresses as well as
society business, it includes the corresponding papers
insofar as submitted: 6 of 8 contributions to the round-table
conference on botanical research in Greece, 39 of the
lectures, and 23 of the poster presentations. Of these 68
papers, all but 2 are in Greek, but only 5 lack an English
title and abstract.
No titles are given for the 7 Conference symposia, but
judging from the contents, No. 1 was devoted to the flora of
Greece in general, No. 3 to studies of wetland and aquatic
plants, No. 5 included reproductive biology, and No. 6,
floristics and plant taxonomy (the others dealing with, i.a.,
physiology, in-vitro cultures, and cell ultrastructure).
Among the contributions of note, let me mention the
rediscovery of Coriaria myrtifolia in Attiki and of
the presumed extinct Onobrychis aliakmonia near its
locus classicus in Thessaly (the population in Peloponnisos
being now attributed to a distinct subspecies). Several of
the posters present studies on the taxonomy and chorology of
critical taxonomic groups of the Greek flora: Iris
unguicularis, Biarum, Satureja calamintha, S. montana, and the Cretan hybrids of Phlomis. W.G.
periodicals (see also item 29)
- Conservación vegetal. Boletín del Comité
Español para la Flora de la Union Mundial para la
Naturaleza (CEF-UICN). Comité Español para
la Flora & Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. 1
(1996), 8 pages.
The Spanish Flora Committee for IUCN was founded in
December 1995 at a meeting in Córdoba, when Enrico Salvo
Tierra of the University of Málaga was designated to serve
as its first president. It wants to co-ordinate and reinforce
the efforts of the many groups working on conservation
biology of plants at various research institutions throughout
Spain. Its Newsletter, of which the first issue has just been
published under the title of Conservación vegetal, is
edited by Felipe Domínguez Lozano of the Universidad
Autónoma in Madrid (email: email@example.com) and is
due to be published at least twice 56. a year, with support
from the publications services of that University. It is a
tiny leaflet lacking cover and pagination, but with an
attractive layout and printed in two colours (navy blue and
This issue, apart from introducing itself and the new
Committee, surveys present conservation status and priorities
in several of the countrys regions: Castilla-La Mancha,
the Canary Islands, Valencia, Aragón, the Madrid area, and
the Sierra Nevada. There is a chapter devoted to one of
Spains most prominently endangered plants, the
dioscoreaceous Borderea chouardii, whose leaf has been
chosen as the Committees emblem. A News Section is of
course present, duly featuring César Gómez Campos
"Artemis" project cosponsored by the OPTIMA
Commission for the Conservation of Plant Resources.
Spain is probably the European country with the densest
population of students of plant diversity. It is therefore
highly appropriate that the Committee should, as it proposes,
stress the importance of taxonomy as the basic science for
conservation, just as it will promote ex-situ conservation
and the botanical gardens contribution to it. Noting
that 4 out of 6 scientific plant names appearing in the
figure captions have been misspelt, one feels that the
Committee has indeed an educational role to play in basic
scientific matters, too. W.G.
- F.A.N. Florae austriacae novitates. Arbeitsgruppe
"Flora von Österreich" an der
Forschungsstelle für Biosystematik und Ökologie der
Östereichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und am
Insitut für Botanik der Universität Wien. 1 (1994),
38 pages; 2 (1995), 53 pages; 3 (1995), 51 pages.
The set-up of a new Research Unit on Biosystematics and
Ecology by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, at the beginning
of 1993, gave new impetus and provided an improved basis to
some of the associated research groups. Among them was the
"Flora of Austria" project, that had budded off
from the Catalogus florae Austriae Commission of the
Academy largely on the initiative of Manfred Fischer and his
team of the Botanical Institute of Vienna University. The
Working Group for the Flora of Austria, still partly based at
the Institute but having its Secretariat at the Research
Unit, did not suffer as much as other projects (such as
tropical biology) from the fact that the Units first
Director, Wilfried Morawetz, left almost immediately for the
botanical chair at the University of Lipsia. The recent
publication of a new Excursion Flora (see item No. 11, above)
must have proved beneficial. Whether the first of the three
planned volumes of the large, critical Flora will make the
self-set publication deadline of 1996 remains to be seen.
The new periodical Florae austriacae novitates, edited
by the Working Group and published by the Research Unit
symbolically featuring a rare Austrian endemic, Callianthemum
anemonoides, on its cover , is not as one might
think a mere newsletter, but rather a collection of materials
generated by and for use by the authors of the Flora. Much
of the first issue is devoted to a detailed description of
the background, structure and prospects of the Flora project.
The entire third issue consists of a new classification of
plant growth forms, and correlated terminology (in German
only, alas!), inspired and co-authored by Meusel pupil Arndt
Kästner of Halle likely to become a landmark in that
field and deserving general attention (presumably, also,
translation into other languages). New floristic records and
notes on the taxonomy of critical groups, some in the form of
work-bench reports, make up for the remainder. W.G.
- Phytologia balcanica. Institute of
Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofija. 1
(1995), 106 pages, 9 extra plates of black-and-white
photographs. Price: per issue, US$ 25; annual
subscription, US$ 70.
The Botanical Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences, which has an international tradition of long
standing, has decided to make one further, deliberate step in
that direction by raising its house journal on an
international scientific level. Outwardly, this is documented
by a change in title. The already renowned Fitologija, of
which 48 issues have been published between 1975 and 1996
(the last one considerably delayed, resulting in
chronological overlap with its successor) is being relayed by
Phytologia balcanica. The language is now English throughout
(as it is also in Fitologija 48), and even the Bulgarian
abstracts have been abandoned. An editorial advisory board,
with members from 8 different countries, has been
constituted. Contributions (from the fields of "taxonomy
or biosystematics of higher plants [including bryophytes],
chorology, floristics, phytocoenology, palaeobotany, plant
anatomy, embryology, mycology, and biology of medicinal and
aromatic plants") are also invited from outside
Bulgaria. The first issue does not yet mark a breakthrough in
this respect, though, since all 14 papers it includes are
authored by staff members of the Academy at Sofia.
[author: Werner Greuter]
Please send all items for review directly to the author of
Prof. Dr. Werner GREUTER,
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin
D-14191 Berlin, Germany.
Phone: (+4930) 838-50132 or 8316010, Fax: (+4930) 838-50218