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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XIII, Number 2, April 2006

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

MANUAL VOL. 6.  With our next (to be published) volume nearing completion, and with publication slated for later this year, we must take this opportunity to appeal to our very few remaining holdouts:  we beseech you!

VISITORS IN COSTA RICA.  Manual aquatic families contributor Garrett Crow (NHA) was back in Costa Rica during 6–27 March, mainly to do field work on Podostemaceae.  He was accompanied by fellow aquatics specialist Tom Philbrick (WCSU) and his student, Thomas C. Edson.  Well-known plant morphologist and embryologist Hiroshi Tobe (KYO), collaborator with Manual co-PI Barry Hammel (Ruptiliocarpon, Ticodendron), spent the week of 19–27 March in Costa Rica with his student, Jun Okada.  Their goal was for Jun to see as many Salicaceae (former Flacourtiaceae) as he could in the field, and to collect embryological material.  They knocked off several genera during a few days at La Selva, then journeyed briefly to the Península de Osa, mainly to get Tetrathylacium.  The trip was triply successful, because they also lucked onto fertile material of both Ruptiliocarpon (Lepidobotryaceae) and Ticodendron (Ticodendraceae), on which Hiroshi will continue to pursue various anatomical studies.  The duo was assisted during the entire trip by Daniel Solano (INB), at La Selva by Orlando Vargas, on the Península de Osa by Reinaldo Aguilar, and at Porrosatí (Ticodendron country) by Barry Hammel.

VISITORS FROM COSTA RICA.  MO has played host this quarter to a procession of distinguished visitors from Costa Rican botanical institutions.  Arriving immediately after the departure of Alexánder Rodríguez (see this column in our last issue) was INB curator Francisco Morales, who stayed for two weeks working on Myrsinaceae and various other groups.  Panamanian native and Universidad de Costa Rica student Blanca Arauz, recipient of a MO Bascom Fellowship, showed up on 1 April to begin a month-long tour of duty working on Paradrymonia (Gesneriaceae).  Pteridologist Alexander Rojas (Jardín Botánico Lankester) hit the town on 5 April for a two-week immersion in the MO fern collection.

SAPOTACEAE CONCLAVE. An “International Meeting of Sapotaceae Researchers” convened at the Museo Nacional in San José on 15–16 March. This event was moderated by Daniel Potter (DAV), and featured talks by Arne Anderberg (S), Armando Estrada (CR), James E. Richardson (E), Ulf Swenson (S), and Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora (INB/LSCR), among others. At the end of the two-day session, participants were offered a day-trip to CATIE in Turrialba, followed by a five-day excursion to the Península de Osa. The latter junket, with Reinaldo Aguilar and Daniel Santamaría as guides, was, by all accounts, a unique experience for everyone involved.

MAJOR CONSERVATION PROJECT IN THE OFFING. Manual co-PI Nelson Zamora journeyed to Europe during 3--9 April for IUCN meetings in Geneva and London. What transpired there? The plan is that IUCN, in conjunction with Plantlife International (based in Salisbury, England) and six tropical countries, will seek funds from the Global Environmental Facility to implement a strategy "to improve plant conservation through the protection and management of threatened plants species and Important Plant Areas" in each of these countries. The full project will run for five years. As one might assume from Nelsonís involvement, Costa Rica is one of the six targeted countries, and INBio will coordinate the national preparatory work there. For the record, the outher countries are: Cameroon, Madagascar, Morocco, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

NEW TALAMANCA STUDY. The British-based Darwin Initiative recently approved funding for a conservation project in both the Costa Rican and Panamanian portions of Parque International La Amistad. Led by Alex Monro (BM) and Nelson Zamora (INB/LSCR), this is a three-year endeavor that will kick off in July of the present year. Extensive field work is planned (at least seven trips), involving both ground-truthing and plant collecting. Among the end results will be a life-zone map of the preserve, a data-based checklist of "keystone" plant spp. (whatever those are), and a list of indicator spp.


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