Scott's Botanical Links--March 1999


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March 31, 1999 - Towson University Biology: Online Courses
This page is host to an index of 11 online biology courses published by Towson University Biological Sciences, including botany, genetics, medical-micro, animal behavior, introduction to cell biology, and environmental physiology. The presentations all vary with instructor and are an excellent source of undergraduate biology study materials. Follow the link to the Biological Sciences Welcome Page- this is a dynamite presentation of the Department with graphic appeal! But who should be credited with this wonderfulness is a mystery at this site sans credits, Towson University Department of Biological Sciences, Towson, Maryland.(****)LF
March 30, 1999 - Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants
Established in 1888, the University of Tennessee Herbarium (TENN) houses the largestcollection of fungi, bryophytes, lichens, and vascular plants from Tennessee and the southern Appalachian mountains. Along with a Checklist of Tennesee Vascular plants, TENN features an online version of Chester, Wofford, Kral, Deselm, and Evans,1993, Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants Vol. 1 (ferns, gymnosperms, monocots) and Chester, Wofford, and Kral, 1997, Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants Vol. 2 (dicots) co-published by The Center for Field Biology, Austin Peay State University (APSU). Species distribution maps can be accessed by county or an alphabetical index, and a choice feature is the "geographical perspective" providing regional maps of Tennessee counties followed by a species diversity list by county. The TENN web site is maintained by Q. Victor Ma, University of Tennessee Herbarium, Knoxville.(****)LF
March 29, 1999 - The Jade Glue Theory
Those who are still stuck on Elmer's may want to try Jade, the archival glue, which can't be removed from clothing, but makes an excellent herbarium mount, according to workers at the University of Texas Herbarium, home to a 1.1million specimen collection. Subtitled "A Plant Mounting Guide for the 21st Century," this manual for the art was developed by students who dedicated the work to their fearless curator. Fully illustrated with images, this is an excellent site to introduce techniques for the preparation of specimens. The text includes folksy tips like going for the Miss Clairol bottles with black tops for glue, and is peppered with definitions like, "Packets are just one of the numerous examples of anal retentiveness often revealed in the field of preservation." Site by Eva Shipp, Holly Nichols, Chris Ligon, Plant Resources Center, University of Texas, Austin.(****)LF
March 26, 1999 - Systematics of the Cyclanthaceae
The neotropical family Cyclanthaceae, whose relatives could be Araceae, Palmae, or Pandanaceae, is usually placed in an order or superorder of its own. On the Goteborg University Systematic Botany website, Roger Eriksson presents his original taxonomic revision of the genus Sphaeradenia (Eriksson 1995)... which work has "expanded to generic delimitations, phylogenetic analyses at generic level, and pollination biology." Great just for general botanical reading, the article is detailed and well illustrated, not-to-miss for anyone studying plants of Central and South America. Site by Roger Eriksson, Systematic Botany / Herbarium, Botanical Institute, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. (****)LF
March 25, 1999 - The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association
There are times a botanist might get asked about Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss (CSPM), and from Sporotrichosis to Sustainability, the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association website does a good job of addressing today's major peat moss issues. Some reporting of bog restorations, lower prices, and under-harvesting of peat is supplemented with resources for horticultural applications of peat and links to peat suppliers and Association members who have websites. Most everything needed for a working knowledge of CSPM, except its botanical name, can be found at this site by the Canadiana Group for the CSPMA, Alberta, Canada. (***1/2 )LF
March 24, 1999 - Biology Teaching
Do biology students everywhere make the same mistakes as biology students in Hong Kong? At this extraordinary teaching resource site professors can consider some reports of misconceptions and errors made by Hong Kong students, with ideas of what might be done to improve student performance and comprehension. Other goodies onsite include a small collection of photomicrographs, a list linked to extra-curricular activities (some in Chinese, but a number in English), and a good page of biology teaching links. All's ready for a great exhange of ideas and biology teaching information at this site by Johnson Leung, Hong Kong. (****)LF
March 23, 1999 - Hort 400 Autotutorials
Here among some twelve scripted slide shows of techniques in commercial crop plant production, are two virtual field trips to horticultural businesses concerned with Raspberries and Apple Grafting, and presentations of Chimeras and CEA Lettuce Production as specialized research topics. General techniques of grafting, budding, propagation by cuttings, and seed propagation are covered by sequences of images designed to provide experience to the student beyond the limitations and restrictions of a lab session. A really neat way to bring the real world into the classroom, each tutorial starts with a page of thumbnails, from which to proceed through a presentation of each subject which indeed rivals the pictures in a textbook! Site by Kenneth W. Mudge, Angelica Hammer and Lillian E. Henry, Cornell University Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, Ithaca, N.Y.(****)LF
March 22, 1999 - Tissue Culture in the Home Kitchen
"It's not as hard as you might think!" says the author, whose dedication to propagating species of carnivorous plants has inspired this comprehensive slide show and tutorial on everything needed for tissue culture at home. Definitions, technique, all the neccessary supplies, suppliers, and formulas (for CP)are provided, and illustrated in detail. Tissue culturing plants is economical and environmentally friendly, particularly when it comes to propagating wild species. Anyone needing a fast introduction to growing plants in a bottle will appreciate this informative site by Rick Walker, Palo Alto, CA. (****)LF
March 19, 1999 - Bio-Tech
It's time to update bookmarks to BioTech, home of more than several famous internet resources- Cyberbotanica, an Illustrated Dictionary of Life Science Terms, a Chemical Acronyms Database, a Bio-informatics site, and an Introduction to Glycolysis, to name a few. BioTech is intended to "open the doors of biology resources to post-secondary students, researchers, and faculty," while the public and professional are equally well served by the variety of resources offered. Try the new Cyberbotanica Online Phytochemotherapeutic Quiz at this Site by the BioTech Resources Web Project, Indiana University, Bloomington.(****)LF
March 18, 1999 - The Charles B. Graves Herbarium at Connecticut College
All monocots (Class Liliopsida) of this collection of 12,000 plants of the northeastern United States are now in the online database of the Charles B. Graves Herbarium, with a number of the entries linked to images of specimens (an ongoing work) in the Liliaceae, Iridaceae, and Orchidaceae. The collection can be browsed hierarchically starting from the family level, searched as a list of specimens or map of the collection, or viewed from the list of linked images. A brief history of the collection is given as well as a description of the techniques used to capture the images at this site by Carl Lewis, New London, Connecticut.(****)LF
March 17, 1999 - Culpeper- The Complete Herbal
While greatly maligned as a medical text of any sort, Culpeper's Herbal tends to reveal Culpeper may also have been less than astute in the field. For example, he compares Polypodium (whose roots are described as "set with certain rough knags on each side thereof, having also much mossiness or yellow hairiness upon it, and some fibres underneath it") with Spleenwort, ( no doubt because both plants are owned by Saturn), thusly: "the smooth Spleenwort sends forth many long single leaves, cut in on both sides into round dents almost to the middle, which is not so hard as that of polypody, each division being not always set opposite unto the other, cut between each, smooth, and of a light green on the upper side, and a dark yellowish roughness on the back, folding or rolling itself inward at the first springing up." Every botanist should have a link to Culpeper's Herbal, probably. Find this and other books online at the Bibliomania site by Data Text Publishing Ltd.(***- a bit of illustration would be nice)LF
March 16, 1999 - Paleobotany and Palynology
The Florida Museum of Natural History Paleobotanical Collection consists of some 105,000 specimens, and is important for its many well-preserved fruits and flowers as well as leaves and woods of Cretaceous-Tertiary angiosperms. Publications on angiosperm systematics citing the collection are now listed at this website. Some have images, as part of an image gallery which can be seen as a slide show or accessed from the citation list. Also, the Museum Department of Vertebrate Paleontology offers a number of resources for fossil collecting and about fossil formation, including an informative section on petrified wood in Florida. Site by the Florida Museum of Natural History Division of Paleobotany, Gainesville, Florida.(****)LF
March 15, 1999 - Horticulture and Crop Science in Virtual Perspective
This invaluable page of the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University website indexes its variety of "web-assisted" courses which may be used to compliment food, agriculture, and life science curricula almost anywhere. There are links to notes and resources for Computers in Horticultural Management, Crop Science, Landscape Horticulture, Landscape Plants, General Plant Biology, Environmental HorticultureOrganizations in Ohio; Quality, Ethics, and the Global, Environment, and Research Methods in Plant Sciences. Site by Tim Rhodus, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science in theCollege of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University, Colombus. (****)LF
March 12, 1999 - Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen, 1887
Hermann A. Köhler's magnum opus, Medizinal Pflanzen, including excellent color renditions of 287 plants was published in three volumes in 1887, eight years after his death. This was a noteworthy achievement and included plants of medicinal interest from several European nations. The quality of the digital reproductions is excellent (~450 by 600 pixels and ~100KB in size) and although the downloading may be slow on a modem, it is worth the wait! Thumbnails are unlabeled and only 25 photos are shown at a time, but a text listing of species provides an excellent gateway for finding a specific plant of interest. Digitizing started using Dr. James Zarucchi's photographs of the book in the Harvard Botanical Museum library, completed and hosted at Missouri Botanical Garden. (****) -SR
March 11, 1999 - Vorlesung: Allgemeine Botanik Teil II (General Botany, pt 2, in German)
This is an excellent online botany text on morphology and anatomy of higher plants -- unfortunately, not in English! Chapters cover the plant body, stem, leaf, root, ecological adaptations to habitat and nutritional needs, inflorescences, flowers and fruits. It is mainly text oriented, with few figures (though it seems like the choice for figures has been made, judging by the indicated references in each section). Site by J.R. Hoppe, Abteilung Spezielle Botanik, Universität Ulm, Germany. (***1/2) -SR
March 10, 1999 - Developmental Plant Anatomy
This site is a companion to the Virtual Plant site. The emphasis of this site is leaf function and transport systems -- emphasizing the structure of plasmodesmata and apoplastic vs. symplastic transport. The FACTFILE has interesting and thought-provoking discussions of vegetative apical growth, functional relationships in the leaf, the leaf, morphology and tissue systems, source-to-sink relationships, plasmodesmata, Cell-cell communication in plants, phloem loading ecophysiology, modified and secondary plasmodesmata in higher plants, and an essay: from single cell to supracell. Site by C.E.J. Botha, Botany Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. (****) -SR
March 9, 1999 - Virtual Plant
The Virtual Plant is part of a 4 week practical exercise in seed plant anatomy designed specifically for the web. This site covers the organization of plant organs -- and particularly in structure-function relationships. Although the site is designed principally as a local resource (photomicrographs are in the MB range, though excellent), the site can be linked for educational purposes, provided that appropriate credit is given. This is an outstanding online illustrated textbook and a model for this type of work. Site by C.E.J. Botha, Botany Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. (****) -SR
March 8, 1999 - IPL Science Fair Project Resources Guide
This site provides relevant web sites describing how to do a science fair project -- a question that is asked frequently on the Internet. This includes the different parts a of science fair project, with links for samples, ideas, magazines to look at and other resources you might need to complete your own science fair project. Notes for parents, mentors and teachers are also linked. Site originally created by Marie Wolffe, maintained by the Internet Public Library. (***) -SR
March 5, 1999 - Mythical Plants of the Middle Ages
This is a fun site that helps to immortalize the believe in plants that have been postulated to exist, despite a lack of available evidence! Featured mythical plants include the barnacle tree, the Bohan Upas-the tree of poisons, tree of knowledge, tree of life, amber tree, mysterious origin of species, apple of Sodom and the Zieba tree. With illustrations and references. Site by James L. Matterer, based on the writings of Ernst & Johanna Lehner and William A. Emboden. (***) -SR
March 4, 1999 - Sieve tubes in action
This site is a companion site to the paper entitled "Sieve tubes in action" published in Plant Cell 10, 35-50 (1998) by Michael Knoblauch and Aart.J.E. van Bel, Institut für Allgemeine Botanik, Giessen, Germany. This site features some of the newest functional views of living phloem cells using confocal scanning laser microscopy. For those wanting to learn about phloem or challenge their students with movies and images, this is a nice site. (****) -SR
March 3, 1999 - Botanic Garden of Smith College
This site has recently been expanded to include information on research, academics, history, gardens, photo gallery, events, Botanic Garden News, herbarium, Lyman Conservatory and more. The photo gallery is a virtual tour of Smith College, complete with striking Java-enabled pond-side views of the gardens. This is a nice model that would be well worth emulating! Site by a professional web development team, authorized by the Botanic Garden of Smith College, Northampton MA (****) -SR
March 2, 1999 - Virtual Plant Cell
This site is an innovatively constructed image site for the organization of plant cells. For each organelle and topic, there are multiple options for viewing, including stereo vision, anaglyph, standard electron micrographs and artist's conceptions. This is an extremely visually oriented site that excels in 3-D views, but some are definitely more useful than others! Site by Matej Lexa of the University of Illinois. [Reviewed before April 12, 1996; the text is improved considerably. Worth revisiting.] (****) -SR
March 1, 1999 - Reforestation, Nurseries and Genetic Resources
This site includes pages on people and services, Tree Planters' Notes (full electronic version of a technical journal), Forest Nursery Notes (News & Information Service, Forest Nursery Reference Database), Bareroot Nursery Equipment Catalog, Directories of Forest & Conservation Nurseries, Forest & Conservation, Nursery Workers (w/E-mail Directory), Directory of Commercial Seed Dealers, Links to Related WWW Sites, and National Tree Seed Laboratory Native Plant Network. A good resource for growing trees. Site sponsored by USDA Forest Service through the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. (***1/2) -SR

Past, past links (by date):

2006: January
2005: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2003: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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1999: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
1998: January*, February*, March*, April*, May*, June*, July, August, September, October, November, December   (*Leigh's links)
1997: January, February, March, April, May, June, September*, October*, November*, December*    (*Leigh's links)
1996: February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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