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The Cutting Edge
Volume XXIII, Number 2, April 2016
News and Notes |
Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy
TICOS VISIT TIQUICIA. Manual principal contributor J. F. Morales (Apocynaceae, etc.) visited CR at its Santo Domingo branch briefly, just prior to Semana Santa, on home leave from his thesis work at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. Another Manual contributor, Daniel Santamaría, also visited herbaria and was in the field in his homeland (escaping from the coldrums of St. Louis, where he is currently in residence with his wife and Campanulaceae expert, Laura Lagomarsino), examining Burseraceae material from 15 February through 24 March (Laura was also here briefly, doing field work on pollination with a collaborator, and then on to Perú for more of same).
MEANDERINGS IN TIQUICIA. During his ca. month-long visit (see above), Manual contributor Daniel Santamaría made several field trips, mostly with the intent to help resolve copalaceous issues: one excursion to the Atlantic slope (Estación Biológica La Selva and vicinity), two to the Cordillera Central region (Cerro Chompipe and Reserva Nectandra), and two to the Península de Osa. On one of the latter, he was accompanied by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel and his better 2/3, Isabel Pérez. For Hammel, the raison d'être of this particular trip to favored haunts on the peninsula was to visit the site where, last year, Reinaldo Aguilar and visiting Ph.D. candidate (phylogenetic systematics of the genus Disocactus) Miguel Cruz Espindola (MEXU) stumbled across what has proven to be an additional sp. of Epiphyllum for Costa Rica, E. columbiense (F. A. C. Weber) Dodson & A. H. Gentry. To make a long story short, this is (was) a new record for the Península de Osa, but not for the country—more of a new realization. In any case, and unfortunately, the fallen piece [out of the top of a huge, ca. 50 m, Ceiba pentandra ( L.) Gaertn.] whence Reinaldo and Miguel had made the original gathering (a small piece of stem with an immature fruit attached) had long since withered up and died. Not to give up hope, though: both Barry and Reinaldo have cuttings in cultivation, alive and okay. This and other noteworthy findings from the Osa are reported in this issue under "Season's Pick" and "Leaps and Bounds." Hammel and Pérez also made a quick (boat) trip to Islas Pájaros, in the Golfo de Nicoya, to check out the large population of Marshallocereus aragonii (F. A. C. Weber) Backeb. (see under "Lodé," in "Germane Literature") they had scoped from Playa Pájaros earlier this year. Hammel insists that he wasn't chewing on anything stronger than gum when he thought he might have seen stems of Pilosocereus leucocephalus (Poselger) Byles & G. D. Rowley among those of Marshallocereus! Turns out that the lighter-colored stems that gave leap to his imagination were the same-old-same-old M. aragonii, heavily streaked with white bird guano; the name of the islands is well put! Toward the end of February, Manual contributor Joaquín Sánchez (CR) made a quick trip up Cerro Chirripó, in a successful effort to recollect Lysipomia (Campanulaceae), which apparently hadn't been seen there since it was first found in 1967 and 1981 by intrepid páramo exlplorer Arthur Weston. Joaquín tells us that, because of taxonomic complications (the genus is otherwise totally Andean, and with ca. 32 spp.), the specific identity of the Costa Rican material is in doubt, and he is working toward a resolution. Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INBio) reports that, on field work for Korean colleagues, he has discovered a beautiful forested valley (Bajos del Toro) and decent road from Zarcero northeast, running between Parques Nacionales Juan Castro Blanco and Volcán Poás and tying into the Aguas Zarcas road. We presume that this until-now-hidden (to us) valley has become more accessible due to the Bajos del Toro hydroelectric project. This is definitely an interesing area to explore—one more on our bucket list for this year!