Flora of China: The Missouri Botanical Garden is the coordination center for the Flora of China, a project to publish a revised flora in English for the first time. The joint Editorial Committee, co-chaired by Wu Zhengyi (Kunming) and Peter H. Raven, met August 27-28, 2001, at Kumning Institute of Botany, Yunnan, China. The non-Chinese members of the committee will meet in Paris in January 2002. The Flora is written by Chinese authors in direct collaboration with taxonomists outside China. Information about ttn about the approximately 30,000 species of Chinese vascular plants is being made available on the World Wide Web. The Flora of China web site, which is maintained at Harvard, can be reached from the Garden’s research web page. Four project centers were established in China at the Institutes of Botany in Beijing, Kunming, Guangzhou, and Nanjing, and six editorial centers were set up at Harvard University, California Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Edinburgh, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. A seventh center at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, was added in 1999. Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press are the co-publishers. A total of 25 volumes of text and 25 of illustrations is planned. The first volume published was Volume 17 (Verbenaceae through Solanaceae) in 1994, followed by Volume 16 (Gentianaceae through Boraginaceae) in 1995, Volume 15 (Myrsinaceae through Loganiaceae) in 1996, Volume 18 (Scrophulariaceae through Gesneriaceae) in 1998, Volume 4 (Cycadaceae through Fagaceae) in 1999, Volume 24 (Flagellariaceae through Marantaceae) in 2000, and Volume 8 (Brassicaceae through Saxifragaceae) in 2001. Volume 6 (Caryophyllaceae through Lardizabalaceae) will appear in 2001 and Volume 9 (Pittosporaceae through Connaraceae) in 2002. For the Flora of China Illustrations, Volumes 17 (1998), 16 (1999), 15 (2000), 18 (2000), and 4 have been published so far, and Volume 4 will appear in 2001.
In November-December 2000 Nick Turland and Mike Gilbert sampled large tracts of primary forest in the central mountains of Hainan Island. The collecting expedition was supported by the National Geographic Society. Michele Funston, George Yatskievych and Zhang Xianchun (PE) organized the International Pteridophyte Workshop that was held on May 26-28, 2001, in Beijing. The conference, which was attended by some 30 pteridologists from eight countries, included three days of seminars, followed by excursions to Lushan in Jiangxi and various localities in southern Yunnan. Ihsan Al-Shehbaz and Bruce Bartholomew conducted two months of field work in Xinjiang, and Bartholomew and David Boufford spent one month in the field in Myanmar.
Guanghua Zhu directs the project, handles all China-related matters, and edits the Flora of China Illustrations. Nicholas Turland coordinates production of the text volumes, and he, Anthony Brach, Robert DeFilipps (US), and Orbélia R. Robinson (CAS), are editorial assistants. Michael Gilbert, who is based at The Natural History Museum in London, is the project’s European coordinator. Rosemary Tanaka provides valuable support to the project, especially in the formatting and production of the camera-ready copy of the volumes. Ihsan Al-Shehbaz, Bruce Bartholomew (CAS), David E. Boufford (A), Joël Jérémie (P), W. John Kress (US), Simon J. Owens (K), Peter H. Raven, Mark Watson (E), and Guanghua Zhu are the non-Chinese members of the Editorial Committee. All systematists who are interested in working on various plant groups for the Flora of China project should feel welcome to contact Nicholas Turland (phone: 314-577-0269; fax: 314-577-9438; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Flora of China Checklist: The Flora of China Checklist project will provide a computerized synopsis of the almost 30,000 species of ferns and seed plants known from China. The Checklist will contain information on accepted species and recognnized infraspecific taxa. These data include the place of publication for accepted taxa, synonyms appropriate for the Chinese flora, and location where accepted names of species appear in published volumes of both the Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae and the English language Flora of China (as applicable), as well as other relevant bibliographic sources. Also included will be the status of species and infraspecies in China (native, endemic, introduced, naturalized, cultivated), their provincial distribution and altitudinal ranges within China and, for non-endemic taxa, their occurrence in countries neighboring China and distribution outside Asia, as well as pertinent notes. Michele Funston is the coordinator of the Checklist (e-mail: email@example.com, telephone: 314-577-9517). Candy McCandliss provides editorial and multilingual data entry support to the checklist.
Vietnam: The Garden has been collaborating with the Institute of Ecology and Biologborating with the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) in Hanoi to promote botanical research on the flora of Vietnam. This program features capacity-building through professional training, collection maintenance and development, and dissemination of data nationally and internationally. With the American Museum of Natural History, IEBR, and the Vietnam National University, the Garden has just completed a multi-year inventory of plants and animals in some of Vietnam’s most important and endangered protected areas. This project has helped to accumulate the knowledge and expertise necessary to develop a plan for sustainable management and conservation of the areas. Two additional Vietnamese institutions, the Institute Materia Medica, which is concerned with cataloging and conserving useful plants, and the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute, the government agency that manages Vietnam’s protected forests, have joined the program. Funding for the integrated training program comes from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and the Henry Luce Foundation. The Missouri Botanical Garden’s Botanical Conservation Program has permanent offices in Hanoi and at IEBR to coordinate these various projects.
With funding from the National Geographic Society, Daniel Harder and Vietnamese researchers conducted field work in unexplored areas of northern Vietnam. They also visited Cambodia to talk to interested groups about possibilities for collaboration. A number of conservation groups are working there because of the presence of endemic species of cattle, tigers, and rhinos, among others. There are very few plant collections from Cambodia and even fewer from Laos. These areas are real frontiers for botanists. The Garden’s field research has led to significant discoveries for the flora of Vietnam, including a new genus of Cupressaceae (conifer), new taxa of orchids and a new genus of fern. Vietnam is very rich in species, but there is much more population pressure than in Cambodia or Laos and consequently much less time to save the plants. The Vietnam program is building MO’s collections of Vietnamese plants—to date duplicates of more than 11,000 collection numbers have been sent to the herbarium. Harder, who has directed the Garden’s program in Vietnam for the past several years, recently accepted the position of Director of the Arboretum of the University of California-Santa Cruz. His successor, Jack Regalado (currently at F), will join the Garden in November. Sharon Bodine is project coordinator for the Vietnam project in St. Louis.
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News from MO 2001 was created by Kathy Hurlbert, Leslie Miller, Eloise Cannady and Mary Merello (October 2001) and placed on the MOBOT webserver 1/22/02.