Scott's Botanical Links--November 2002


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Past links:

November 27, 2002 - Where Food Crops Originated
If you are reflecting on Thanksgiving today (and if you live in the US you may well be looking forward to this!), you may be wondering what was for dinner in the 1600s. This web site discusses Old and New World crops and their origins at a grade school level. It is interesting to reflect on the botanical diversity that we gained through sharing crops. This is part of the Seeds of Change Garden site, created and maintained by the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics Agricultural Communications electronic media unit. (***) -S (later archived at Smithsonian)
November 26, 2002 - Plant Development and Differentiation
If you have ever imagined taking classes at Harvard, this link to Biology 106 "Plant Development and Differentiation" may have special significance for you. The site is clearly a companion to those who attend class, providing a syllabus, terminological words to define, and exams, with collections of illustrations provided as PDF files (requiring the Adobe Acrobat Reader). Topics include: Plant cells, Hormones, Embryogenesis, Endosperm Development, Seed Maturation, Germination & Seedling Development, Shoot Apical Meristems, Vascular Development, Primordia Initiation, Lateral Meristems, Leaf Development, Heterophylly, Secondary Growth, Epidermal Modifications, and Flowering. Looks like a nice introductory course, by Elena Kramer. (***) -S
November 25, 2002 - Trees of Alabama and the Southeast
"Trees of Alabama and the Southeast" currently includes about 200 woody species listed by family and common name. Each entry provides a panel of images for each species, along with a succinct description. Written at a high school to beginning undergraduate level, the site is accompanied by a well-illustrated glossary of terminology, a search engine (that I could not get to work) and attractive multiple choice quizzes at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. This site could be used as an online companion for the authors' recently published book by Lisa Samuelson and Mike Hogan (web site also includes Tom Stokes), School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Alabama. (***1/2) -S
November 22, 2002 - Wisconsin Vascular Plants and Lichens
This site of the Wisconsin State Herbarium lists the vascular plants and lichens in the state, with synonyms, images (as available), maps, and useful links to other major plant databases. Entries may be examined by browsing families, genera or common names, or may be found by searching plant names, family, habitat, status, or county. Decades of vegetation research contributed to this work. A guide to "What's Blooming" around Wisconsin and a key to the conifers of Wisconsin are two other notable features to this excellent website. (****) -S
November 21, 2002 - Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia
The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia claims to have 3656 species now in 473 genera -- very impressive. The site " compiled from photos collected from growers around the world." The writer relies on collector/growers to be sure of their identifications. Some plants, however, are undoubtedly mislabeled; the author invites corrections. The site has a considerable number of useful images and information. Species links provide for the naming authority and year of publication. Images are variable in quality and medium in resolution. Information on each species includes common name, habitat information, flower descriptions and synonyms. Site by Jay Pfahl. (***1/2) -S
November 20, 2002 - Missouri Flora Website
This site consists of images and descriptions of the flowering and non-flowering plants of Missouri (located in the south central US). Nearly 600 plants are currently listed and described. Listings include species epithet & authority, family, plant, floral and inflorescence characteristics, flowering phenology, habitat, origin and other information. Most have more than one image listed. Plants may be selected by scientific name (with image update data), or accessed by flower color, leaf characteristics, and/or mode of reproduction. A glossary is available to aid in observing characters as well. The site is organized by Dan, who put a lot of work into this! (****) -S
November 19, 2002 - Listening to the Prairie
This web site is a companion to a travelling exhibit from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. These materials are written for K-12 viewers, featuring anecdotes, discussions, images, ideas, as well as educational materials for teachers, group leaders, and families. The materials are designed for four different age groups and are well adapted to meeting their educational needs. The Adobe Acrobat reader is required to read PDF files. Site by Smithsonian Institution. (***1/2) -S
November 18, 2002 - Biological Biochemical Image Database (BBID)
The BBID is a fairly advanced educational / research resource. The site, driven by a searchable database of images from the published literature, illustrates putative biological pathways, macromolecular structures, gene families, and cellular relationships. These images form working models that could prove useful in discussions of, for instance, model genomic approaches to functional biology. Gene names, pathways, cell/tissue types and disease names are listed. Most of these correspond to animal models, but some may prove useful to understanding plants. (***)
November 15, 2002 - Plant Physiology Online
Plant Physiology Online is a companion web site for the text book entitled "Plant Physiology" by Lincoln Taiz and Eduardo Zeiger. Topics, essays, study questions and readings are available, with broad coverage of plant physiology, beginning with an overview of plant structure to encyclopedic coverage of physiological topics ranging from water relations to mineral nutrition, photosynthesis, translocation, respiration, secondary metabolites, gene expression, growth & development, phytochromes, plant hormones, control of flowering and stress physiology. Essays accompany many chapters. Study questions for each chapter include 5 or so open-ended questions. This is a very nice online overview/online text, written mainly for modern browsers (some display artifacts using old browsers like Netscape 4). The inability to scale fonts--a unique potential advantage in non-print, digital media--is sadly missing in this otherwise excellent resource. So far, it is free, sponsorer by Sinauer Associates. (****) -S
November 14, 2002 - Kid's Valley Webgarden
Kid's Valley Webgarden is a truly a kid's site, with animated gif words, colorful cartoon characters, simple but well-thought out links, and bright attention-getting pages. The home page links are in the boughs of a tree, with web topics that include planning, planting, keeping plants healthy, & showing your plants, as well as information on flowers, veggies, herbs and shrubs. Well-chosen links and a glossary round out the pages. Throughout the site, plant biology concepts like pH, soil texture, watering, pollination, hybridization, advantages of out-crossing, and simple experiments are discussed, presenting some very solid scientific information in a storybook atmosphere. This is a great model for how to create a relatively simple but effective educational site that is effective at sharing the excitement of studying plants. The content of these pages is by Louise Larabie, Arnprior, Ontario, Canada, originated for the Pakenham Junior Horticultural Society, Canada. Editing and HTML are by Rina Larabie with graphics by Ray Larabie. (****) -S
November 13, 2002 - Plant Anatomy BIO 311
This website is designed as an online companion to the Plant Anatomy laboratory, as taught by Alison Roberts, University of Rhode Island, Kingston. The site contains three main parts: a lab manual, lab review images, and a glossary. All are very well crafted and organized, augmented by off-site links. The image collection is linked by chapter to review materials, but also can be browsed by index or sequencially by topic. Each image is accompanied by useful help questions. This is a nice modern version of a plant anatomy lab book, just made more dynamic and interactive. This site should prove useful in augmenting general botanical information as well complementing lab materials in a college structural botany class. (****) -S
November 12, 2002 - Malvaceae Pages
The Malvaceae pages include an introduction, an extensive image gallery, web links, family indices, a modern discussion of the current classification scheme for this group, as well as information on the biology, chromosome counts, and economic uses of members of this family. The Malvaceae image gallery has 46 genera listed, featuring coverage of the "new" Malvaceae, including Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae and Byttneriaceae. The images are impressive jpg images of various plants parts, not just flowers. Although these are modest in size, the collection is reasonably encyclopedic. A detailed discussion of members of the family, genus-by-genus is planned. This will be impressive when completed. Site by Stewart Robert Hinsley. (***1/2) -S
November 11, 2002 - Plant Genomes Central
This site is a portal to the three large scale genome projects, Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula and Oryza sativa (rice) as well as six genetic map projects (oats, soybean, barley, tomato, wheat and corn), and diverse EST projects (20 angiosperms, 1 gymnosperm and 1 liverwort). This provides all of the usual genomic research tools for nucleic acids and proteins - for the nucleus, mitochondria and plastids - in one location. This site is an essential research tool for plant molecular biology -- part of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. (***1/2) -S
November 8, 2002 - Fotoweb 2000 - Plantas
"Base de Imagens e Documentos do CNIP" is a Brazilian site that specializes in images of the tropical plants of Northern Brazil. Despite login statements, it is possible to enjoy this image site as a guest (just click "Login" to browse images). This site is almost all Portuguese, except for scientific names and some English navigation aids; common names are in Portuguese, as expected. Images are high quality, medium resolution, with extensive information about the digital image, the scientific name, photographer and some additional notes. This database includes many taxa that I have not seen before, which earned its link. The server is slow during peak hours, and the older the browser you have, slower still; if you find what you are looking for, it is worth the wait! This is operated by Centro Nordestino de Informações sobre Plantas (CNIP). (***) -S
November 7, 2002 - USDA, ARS, APMRU Pollen Lab
The Areawide Pest Management Research Unit (APMRU) maintains a ~7500 specimen pollen reference collection with worldwide coverage including vouchers, light and scanning electron micrographs. The pollen reference collection includes some special purpose collections, such as one for identifying pollen found in honey (melissopalynology), pollen found on insects (entomopalynology) as well as simple identifications. The site includes an introduction, description of the reference collection, research techniques for palynology, photographs (LM & SEM), pollen related organizations and personnel. Navigating the images is a bit of a challenge and the search engine did not work for me, but the quality is good. A brief glossary of pollen terminology would be a plus, but this is still a good site for those wanting to explore pollen. (***) -S
November 6, 2002 - BioCASE - Biological Collection Access Service for Europe
BioCASE represents an attempt to integrate international biological collection information through a single portal site. At its completion, there will be 35 participating institutions from 30 European countries and Israel. Much of the information is offsite in the native language of the country throught "national nodes". These data will be integrated into a central node that offers compiled data, a centralized thesaurus, and unified metadata formats. An ambitious project, the national nodes are linked and useful in their own right. This is a project of the BioCASE consortium. The concept is clear and well conceived. They have just published their first newsletter, but most of the work remains to be done! -S
November 5, 2002 - Tropilab Inc.
Tropilab Inc. is a supplier of botanicals and tropical seeds with a web site that provides useful free information on a variety of plants. This site emphasizes medicinal plants, vegetable & garden plants, plant products, tropical herbs & seeds, rhizomes & bulbs and palms from the Amazon rainforest in Surinam. The individual plant descriptions provide common names, synonyms, families, habit, medicinal lore (all the usual disclaimers apply on these applications), hardiness, propagation information, and at least one image. For tropical plants, this is a useful online resource. (***1/2) -S
November 4, 2002 - Practical Guide to Mycorrhiza
"Practical Guide to Mycorrhiza" is a beginning guide to plant root-fungus relationships. This complex symbiosis provides fungi with organic nutrients and plants with inorganic nutrients, so obviously both benefit. Ted's Chunky Style Myco-bits is an introduction to all aspects of mycorrhizal life. There are also extensive pages on types of mycorrhizae, benefits of mycorrhizae and mycorrhizal restoration projects (work illustrated, outcome not yet shown). Site by Dr. Ted St. John with support by BioNet, LLC (with a similar site in Japanese). (***1/2) -S
November 1, 2002 - MossCam Project
Mosses can be dried completely, survive months or years of desiccation, and begin photosynthesizing within 5 minutes after rewetting. As hard as this may be to believe, this is a serious research site that is examining how frequently moss stands are moist and active in the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve near Riverside, California. Individual views and movies of rewetting of mosses are available as well as explanations of the goals of the project and materials to build your own. Increasingly, this is a more economical task; the current project costs less than $2000. Co-Directors of the project are Brent Mishler and Michael Hamilton. (***) -S

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
2002: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2001: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2000: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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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