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Leigh's Links -- November 1999

November 30, 1999- Silvics of North America

While better known in some circles as "Agriculture Handbook 654," it is important to note that Silvics of North America (1990) supersedes Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States (1965), aka "Agriculture Handbook 271." This new edition, online and available in print, builds on the old foundation, describing the biology of 200 coniferous and hardwood trees of the United States and Puerto Rico, and a few important species of Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Ten years in the making, its articles were researched and written by Forest Service, university, and cooperating scientists. The online Table of Contents for each of the two volumes, I Conifers and II Hardwoods, is a hotlinked species list. Included for each species is a general description, range map, a description of topography, soils and associated vegetation, a detailed life history, genetics with regards to known varieties, and a list of references. Look around for other silvicultural goodies like natural resource fact sheets, pest alerts, and how to prune trees, all on this site published by Northeastern Area, S&PF, USDA Forest Service, St. Paul, MN.(****)LF

November 29, 1999- A Tenerife Photo-Essay

Botanists have never had it so good as in these days of the internet- it's becoming easier and easier to tour the world's flora and glean information about plants from the comfort of home. A Tenerife Photo-Essay offers a good deal of information about typical plants and communities of the Canary Islands, both in the text and with artistic photo representations of the flora up close and in the landscape. The page design is very coolly done, and one can eagerly anticipate the upcoming completion of the two features "Tenerife and the Archipelago: An Overview of the Natural History with consideration of the acclimatized flora" and "About some typical Canarian genus and species." Site (in French and English) by Pierre Mercan, Tenerife, Canary Islands.(****)LF

November 24, 1999- A Field Guide to the Mangroves of Queensland

Twenty-two of the most commonly occurring mangrove forest plants of Queensland are presented in the AIMS 1993 "A Field Guide to the Mangroves of Queensland" by Catherine Lovelock with illustrations by Steve Clarke. Intended to enhance appreciation for the coastal environment while helping people identify the array of plants, seeds, and fruits found there, the Guide introduces the mangrove environment and its significance before proceeding to the species list. The style is typically field guide, not too complicated, making this a good link for discussion of plant adaptations for geography, ecology, and marine biology resources. (A list of more technical references is supplied at the end for mangrove maniacs). Site by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville MC, Queensland, Australia.(****)LF

November 23, 1999- Allelopathy Research at the University of Savoie

Allelopathy Research at the University of Savoie centers on the inhibition of spruce (Picea abies L. Karsten) seedling germination in alpine forests, by phenolic compounds produced by the fern Athyrium filix-femina L. Roth, present in the forest humus component. Summaries of some of the experiments are provided on this website, with a super page on "What is Allelopathy?" that makes an excellent introduction to the subject. Allelopathy experiments performed with leachates and seedlings are ideal for students needing an uncomplicated, yet impressive project. Start here with the list of Servers, Bibliography and list of Papers which can be ordered from this site by François Pellissier, University of Savoie, Chambéry, France.(****)LF

November 22, 1999- Botany 1050- Introduction to Botany

Just as the author notes in a lab handout, "there may be as many scientific methods as scientists," so let there be as many Introductions to Botany as there are students of plants! This course is online with a great set of Lecture Notes and just about everything else needed to get started in botany-  Plant Photographs, Genetic Code and "Code Cracker," Measures Converter,  EvolveIT Simulation, Geologic Time Scale, a Fruit Key and supporting resources. Site by Steven J. Wolf, California State University, Stanislaus.(****)LF

November 19, 1999- California Wildflowers

This site offers a field guide to a selected 125 species of California wildflowers, apart from the huge 7,500 images collection of the more conspicuous "Manzanita Project" on the UC Berkeley server. Flowers can be viewed by selecting "Color," "Latin Name," "Common Name," "Family," or by geographical location. The latter mode utilizes an awesome clickable color coded map of California's floristic regions. Photography is excellent and each entry bears botanical notes on the plant and its distribution in the state. Site by the California Academy of Sciences, with photographs by  Frank Almeda, Curator of Botany, and Roy Eisenhardt, a former Academy Director; San Francisco, CA.(****)LF

November 18, 1999- Botany in The Library of Congress Vatican Exhibit

Renaissance botany was highly concerned with illustration and compilation of herbals, and the Vatican Library is a repository for many of the works one hears so much about. Available now in perpetuity on the world wide web, in what the authors call  a "hypermedia interface" to The Library of Congress Vatican Exhibit of 1993, is an exhibit of objects (herbals) and descriptions of the works of Pliny, Theophrastus, Galen et al. Also covered are works in medicine and biology- overall quite a useful who's who of old writers. Site by Frans van Hoesel with Marc Andreessen, University of Illinois, Urbana.(****)LF

November 17, 1999- Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk

In March 1999, The PIER Project updated its listings and descriptions of plant species threatening Pacific island ecosystems, particularly in Micronesia and American Samoa. The list is tabulated in several useful ways which botanists can use for comparison with similar floras and ecosystems. The tables are organized according to the level of threat perceived and the status of threatening plants elsewhere. Most everything on the lists is a common "alien" plant in South Florida, for example, and it is a curious feeling to think of weeds here posing a threat on the other side of the world. The lists include worse-than-Latin local names for a species, like "mahsrihsrihk," in addition to English and a few French common names. (But half a point must be deducted for spelling on the Latin in several cases). Site by Philip Thomas (webmaster) of the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project (HEAR), with editor Jim Space, Sun Lakes, Arizona. (***1/2)LF

November 16, 1999- Georgia Endangered Plant Stewardship Network

One of the most elegant "Introduction to Pitcherplants and Pitcherplant Bogs" on the internet is published as part of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia pages to enhance awareness of Georgia's endangered plant species and ecosystems. A good description is given of Georgia's bogs- Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountain. And since the idea of carnivory in plants never fails to spark interest in gory young imaginations, high school biology teachers will appreciate the full instructions for building a classroom (or home) pitcherplant bog. Don't miss this beautiful layout and site design by Jeff Walker for The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, Athens, Georgia. (****)LF

November 15, 1999- The Basic Principles of Genetics

Mendelian genetics has never looked better than in this tutorial for the biological anthropologist.It dovetails with a complete set of others to introduce heredity and evolution with a human focus, with lots of plant-y tidbits, like Mendel and the peas and Linnaean classification to punctuate the curriculum. These pages have professionally-edited textbook polish and contain some real link-list enhancers for botany, and horticulture as well as genetics courses. Kind of like Cliff Notes, many are bound to find the great illustrations and clean, non-hardcore text of these web pages perfect for getting a grip on fundamentals! Site by Dennis O'Neil, Palomar College, San Marcos, California.(****)LF

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