BEN # 155

BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             ISSN 1188-603X
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BBBBB    EEEEE    NN N N             BOTANICAL
BB   B   EE       NN  NN             ELECTRONIC
BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             NEWS

No. 155                              January 31, 1997

aceska@freenet.victoria.bc.ca        Victoria, B.C.
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2

From: AR Kruckeberg <ark@u.washington.edu> originally
      printed in Douglasia Winter 1997

A  novel  botanical gathering occurs annually over the border in
Canada. Novel, indeed, in the waning years of this century, when
botanists now most often gather  to  share  their  findings  and
techniques  from laboratories equipped to probe the mysteries of
DNA molecules and proteins. Rather, Botany BC harks back to  the
days when field botany (read, Natural History!) was a common and
respected  pursuit.  Especially in the study and appreciation of
regional floras is the "gel jock" botanist supplanting the field
botanist. Yet Botany BC is hardly  an  anachronism;  it  thrives
each  year on the premise that total immersion in one's regional
flora can be fun and an unforgettable learning experience.

>From my attendance this summer at a 3-4 day excursion  in  north
central  British  Columbia  with  about  thirty women and men of
Botany BC, I learned that its diverse clientele all leave  their
appointed  tasks  in  land  management, recreation, forestry and
rehabilitation ecology to renew  their  contact  with  the  real
world  of  BC's  biodiversity.  Most  attendees  work for the BC
government: Ministries of Forestry, Environment, the  Endangered
Species program and the like; academics are in the minority. The
annual  gathering  of  self-motivated BC naturalists is hardly a
conference; much more it is: "Botany BC, a very  informal  group
whose  sole  purpose is to put together an interesting, informa-
tive, fun-filled trip each year. It brings  together  interested
botanists  from  throughout BC and adjacent areas from many dif-
ferent fields (forestry,  mine  reclamation,  etc.)"  [Craig  De
Long,  the  1996 convener]. Besides fascinating habitats visited
during the day, evenings combine an informal botanical talk with
social activities.

This year Botany BC  focused  on  unusual  habitats  within  the
Prince  George  area.  We  visited  a serpentine outcrop (Murray
Ridge) and a limestone habitat  (Pope  Mountain),  both  located
near  Fort  St James and the scenic Stuart Lake. With the aid of
botanists  familiar  with  the  local  flora,  we  put  together
creditable  check lists for these two, and other, edaphic sites.
I had given a talk the night before on Pacific Northwest serpen-
tine ecology, so all were primed to encounter a  unique  vegeta-
tion.  And  it  was! On Murray Ridge we witnessed the serpentine
form of maidenhair fern (Adiantum aleuticum) in a subalpine  fir
(Abies  lasiocarpa)  forest.  Then  at  the  summit  a  sparsely
vegetated serpentine outcrop with a number of exceptional  herbs
and  shrubs.  The  uniqueness  of  the flora was repeated on the
limestone of Pope Mountain. No endemics, but a peculiar  mix  of
wide-ranging  species.  Then  back  to  Prince George for a fine
catered dinner, followed by an evening  talk  on  forest  mycor-
rhizae (Hugues Massicotte). And the night  before, it was Canad-
ian folk singing by Andy  McKinnon  around the  campfire at Lake

The next day again focused on unique habitats: wetlands,  dunes,
and  the  like,  in  the  Rocky  Mountain  Trench east of Prince
George. I saw my first tamarack (Larix laricina) in a  bog  set-
ting;  it  was  the  dominant  tree,  mostly  dwarfed by the bog

In yet another bog, we saw a rich wetland  flora:  club  mosses,
ericaceous shrubs and sedges. After bog-slogging in the morning,
we entered a remarkable habitat that could have been on the west
side  of  the  Olympic Peninsula: the West Twin Creek old-growth
cedar-hemlock forest, and here we  were,  almost  to  the  Rocky
Mountains!  Notable  absentee  in  this  mesic western hemlock -
western red cedar forest was vine maple. At  this  stop  we  had
Trevor Goward, lichenologist, regale us with a novel notion that
lichens  serve  as  indicators  of  stages in forest succession.
Goward claims that some lichens  are  only  found  in  very  old
growth  forests,  what he calls "antique forests". The last stop
of the day was just west of  Valemont,  where  the  highway,  BC
Route  16,  borders  a  thinly forested duneland along the upper
Fraser River. Scattered lodgepole pine grows here with kinnikin-
nik and Juniperus communis in the pine understory,  as  well  as
herbs (including a rare sedge and locoweed - Astragalus sp.).

So the three days of rich botanical fare in the field and in the
informal  lecture- discussion sessions came to an end; it was an
exciting experience for me to be with Canadian  companions  who,
freed from their appointed daily chores, reveled in the devotion
to  fun  with  botany.  An added thrill for me was an all-day BC
Rail trip from North Vancouver  to  Prince  George.  It  gave  a
kaleidoscopic view of BC vegetation and scenery from wet coastal
forest up into the dry interior (ponderosa pine and sagebrush at
Lillooet),  then  on  east to the Cariboo Plateau for a taste of
the subboreal spruce forest. There is "method"  in  my  relating
this  delightful  event.  I  believe it can be matched below the
border. Washington state has the flora, the requisite  amenities
for hostelry, and above all a potential clientele. We could pull
it  off here, just as well as the Canadians do it! Our potential
clientele: botanists, ecologists, and wildlife specialists  with
the  federal  and state agencies (USFS, BLM, NPS, DNR, etc.), as
well as junior college and high school botany/biology  teachers,
graduate  students  - yes, and even academics from the four-year
colleges and universities.

Botany BC's organization is simple, especially as it is divorced
from any government agency. One host  convener  per  year  at  a
given meeting area; their own bank account, and modest registra-
tion  fees  to cover housing, meals and transport. I could envi-
sion our version of Botany BC  holding  annual  outings  in  the
Columbia Gorge, the Hanford Reach, the Columbia Plateau country,
the  Okanogan  Highlands,  the  North  Cascades, and the Olympic
Peninsula, and elsewhere, well into the future. So  let  us  in-
itiate  a  "Botany  Washington"  field tour some time before the
century plays out. We have the botanists and the botany to  make
it  work!   I am  willing to be  the "point - person"  to get it
Art Kruckeberg, University of Washington, Botany, Box 351330, 
Seattle, WA 98195. 
Phone: (206) 543-1976.   E-mail: ark@u.washington.edu 

From: Jiri Sindelar & Josef Frydl c/o <FORINST@MS.ANET.CZ>

Forests cover 34.4% or 4 626  million  hectares  of  the  former
Czechoslovakia,  with 33.4 and 39.9%, respectively, in the Czech
Republic and Slovakia. Development of  these  forests  has  been
influenced by human activity.

The health of forests in the Czech Republic forests is declining
quickly,  mainly due to air pollution. For example, 54.5% of the
forests in 1986 were affected by  air  pollution  while  only  6
years  later about 58.3% were affected (Domes, 1992). Air pollu-
tion results in the acidification of soils  and  depositions  of
harmful  substances  including  compounds  of sulphur, nitrogen,
fluoride, chlorine, and heavy metals.

The damage is most severe in Northern Bohemia.  For  example  in
the  Ore  Mountains  (Krusne  hory  Mountains)  and Orlicke hory
Mountains, soil pH can be as low as 2.2 ( Materna, 1978). Norway
spruce, the predominant tree species in these  areas,  is  quite
susceptible to air pollution.

To  alleviate  the  problem  in  forests  in  the Czech Republic
forests, it is necessary to reduce the effects of air  pollution
and  then  to  regenerate forest stands using tree species which
are genetically and economically suitable for  the  sites.  Good
tending  of  young  stands,  especially  on  an ecological-sound
basis, is also very  important  for  re-establishing  productive
forests  in  the  regions affected by air pollution. Our results
with larch inter-specific hybrids progenies in the Ore Mountains
region indicate that they are good candidates  for  regenerating
the forest stands in air pollution damaged areas.

For more than 50 years, intensive provenance testing of European
larch  (Larix  decidua  Mill.) and Japanese larch (L. leptolepis
Gord.) has provided basic information on the natural variability
of these species (Paques,  1992).  In  the  Ore  Mountains,  two
research  plots  with  larch  inter-specific hybrids were estab-
lished in  1970  as  a  part  of  a  program  to  determine  the
feasibility of using such trees for reforestation in areas which
have been heavily damaged by air pollution.

Observation  made on 18-year old trees show that growth was slow
on sites heavily affected by air pollution, but that  the  trees
were  otherwise  healthy.  Our  results indicate the possibility
that using inter-specific hybrids  of  larch  for  reforestating
disaster areas will be successful in the Ore Mountains. Compared
to European larch progenies, hybrids grow more quickly, avoiding
the detrimental effect of ground frosts, competition from weeds,
and  animal damage. We propose the establishment of larch hybrid
seed orchards to provide seed for reforesting these areas.


Domes, Z. 1994. Forestry of the Czech Republic. Workshop Country
   Report, FAO, Rome, 1994, 25 p.
Materna, J. 1978. The effect of industrial pollutants on  forest
   trees:  Physiological  and  ecological  aspects. UVTIZ Praha,
   Lesnictvi, 5, 76 p. [In Czech]
Paques, L. 1992. Current status of inter-  and  intra-  specific
   hybridization.  Pp.  108-122 In: Results and future trends in
   Larch breeding on the basis  of  provenance  research.  Proc.
   IUFRO Centennial Meeting of the IUFRO Working Party S2.02-07.
Sindelar,  J.  1987.  State of health and growth of Larch (Larix
   sp.) progenies from open pollination  and  controlled  cross-
   breeding in the Ore Mountains. race VULHM, 70(1987): 37 - 69.
   [In Czech]

Authors' address:
   Ing. Jiri  Sindelar, C.Sc.  and  Ing. Josef  Frydl, C.Sc.
   Forestry and Game Management Research Institute
   Jiloviste - Strnady
   156 04  Praha 5 - Zbraslav nad Vltavou
   The Czech Republic

From: Emily L. MacQuarrie c/o <sfshome@igc.apc.org>

At The School for Field  Studies'  Center  for  Coastal  Studies
located in Bamfield British Columbia.

Experienced  in: Cost benefit analysis, Sustainable development,
Extensive experience developing survey  tools,  Experience  with
First  Nations  peoples, Knowledge of local politics in a social
and cultural context, Assessment and evaluation methodology, The
Social Science of natural resources,  The  human  dimensions  of
wildlife  and  conservation  biology.  All faculty positions are
residential and require faculty to live on site  with  students.
Programs  are  offered  to  32 college students for semester and
summer programs. Faculty will teach the equivalent  of  one  and
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Columbia or similar ecosystem. At least 2 years  at  the  under-
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experience to:

   SFS BC Search, 16 Broadway, Beverly, MA 01915
   Fax: (508) 927-5127, Phone: (508) 922-7200 ext. 304
   E-mail: sfshome@igc.apc.org

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