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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XIV, Number 3, July 2007

News and Notes | Leaps and Bounds | Germane Literature | Season's Pick | Annotate your copy

LA SELVA FRENZY.  Manual co-PI Mike Grayum was in Costa Rica from 5–19 June, working mainly at the Estación Biológica La Selva in the fine company of José González, Orlando Vargas, and Nelson Zamora.  Their goal was to track down, photograph, and voucher as many spp. as possible that had not been previously accounted for by the Flora Digital de La Selva project:


exploiting in particular Grayum’s knowledge of ferns and Araceae at the study site.  In this regard, reasonable success was achieved; although we could not find some spp. that we fully expected to encounter, we compensated by finding others that were unanticipated.  The most successful day found us scouring the shores of the Río Sarapiquí, where virtually any sp. occurring anywhere in the drainage basin of that river might pop up, at least temporarily.   There, not surprisingly, we added several spp. to the La Selva checklist, including a few new genera (see, e.g., “Leaps and Bounds,” under Poaceae).  On another day, we “cheated” by visiting the nearby Finca El Bejuco reserve, where numerous spp. that are very scarce and difficult to find at La Selva grow in relative abundance.  By great good fortune, our visit to La Selva overlapped (though just barely) with that of Finnish/English graduate student Mirka Jonesa, who had just completed the field work for her doctoral dissertation.  This involved a painstaking and systematic inventory of the pteridophytes, with collections made at every coordinate throughout the eastern (original) half of the reserve.  In this manner, Mirka succeeded in adding at least four pteridophyte spp. to the La Selva list (compared with just one such addition by others during the last 18 years), even though her project was not floristic in nature.  She graciously allowed us to examine her collections as she was packing to go.

MORE GLOBETROTTING.  Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora traveled to Sweden and Switzerland during 27 April–10 May to collaborate on a pilot project, funded by the Global Environmental Facility, to implement a plant conservation strategy in six scountries [see The Cutting Edge 13(3): 1–2, Jul. 2006].  Fortunately (for our agenda), he also had a chance to visit the herbaria at G and S, with a view to resolve certain taxonomic problems in Fabaceae.  As we go to press, Nelson is back in Europe (1–7 July), this time in Paris, representing the Costa Rican government at yet another conservation meeting; already he has managed to escape briefly to the P herbarium, where he examined some of the many historical collections from Costa Rica, e.g., of Adolphe Tonduz.  INBio filer/collector Daniel Santamaría was at BM from 4–24 May, at the invite of Alex Monro, to help identify Panamanian collections from an expedition to an apparently never-before-visited peak known as “Falso Fábrega.”  Seems that, during this time, Daniel’s keen (and far-wandering) eye was at work as usual, having been involved in the identification of what appears to be a new generic record in the Santalaceae for Guatemala.  INB curator Francisco Morales is presently (1–15 July) back in El Salvador on “Proyecto Noruega” funding [see The Cutting Edge 13(4): 1, Oct. 2006], working in the herbarium (MHES) of the Museo de Historia Natural, along with CR curators Silvia Lobo and Armando Ruiz.

VISITORS TO MO.  Manual Ericaceae coordinator James Luteyn (NY) checked in on 19–20 June to put the finishing touches on his family treatments for both the Manual and Flora mesoamericana.  Around the same time, Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB, LSCR) stopped by for a few days during a whirlwind traverse (13–24 June) of the United States that included visits to both Washington state and Washington, DC; true to form, he squeezed in limited herbarium work at F, MO, and US.


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