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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XII, Number 4, October 2005

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

NEW BLOOD AT LANKESTER. The Jardín Botánico Lankester has strengthened its already solid program with two recent additions to the curatorial staff. Bryologist Gregorio Dauphin (who had previously worked at INB) and pteridologist Alexander Rojas (formerly of CR) add new dimensions to a department that has specialized mainly on Orchidaceae, but has designs (like its sister institution, The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens) on epiphytes in general. Gregorio, with a doctorate from the University of Göttingen in Germany, will divide his time between bryophytes (especially liverworts) and Araceae; Alexander, now finishing up his doctorate at the Universidad de Costa Rica, will continue working on ferns, with a view to produce a Costa Rican pteridophyte flora. We wish Gregorio and Alex the best of luck and look forward to collaborating with them to the fullest extent possible.

THE WORD FROM VIENNA. For those who may not have heard, the final word is in on the great Acacia controversy: the Australians carried the vote at the XVII International Botanical Congress. This means that, for those who buy into the new taxonomy, the name Acacia will cease to be used for native spp. in most of the world beyond Australia. Of course, if past events are any indication, endless appeals are on the horizon! Nomenclatural stability, you say?

OUT OF THE WOODWORK. MO’s annual October symposium brought out the usual assortment of notable attendees. We were pleased to see (albeit briefly) Manual correspondents Mario Blanco (FLAS) and Robbin Moran (NY), the former on his first visit to MO; and Manual contributor Bruce Holst (SEL; Myrtaceae, pro parte), a former MO employee.

VISITORS IN COSTA RICA. Manual Piperaceae contributor Ricardo Callejas (HUA) was in the country from 19–26 August, working mostly on Piper. Having seen many types and studied the plants in the field, he now considers that the number of Piper spp. known from Costa Rica is going to leap back up toward the total recognized by Standley (1937) in Flora of Costa Rica. Apparently, many Piper spp. have much narrower geographic ranges than some recent taxonomies have acknowledged.

Unbeknownst to one another, two groups of botanists from Swedish institutions visited Costa Rica and INBio back-to-back during September and October. Student Alejandro Antonelli and Dr. Claes Persson (GB) were here from 15–30 September to collect plant specimens for their project on "cladistic biogeography and molecular systematics of neotropical plants." This project, they said, "has several study groups such as two tribes of Rubiaceae, Campanulaceae, Moraceae, Chloranthaceae (Hedyosmum), etc." They were obviously busy during their stay, appearing at odd hours in the drier room and, fortunately, accompanied by INB herbarium assistant Daniel Santamaría on a week-long trip to the Península de Osa. Immediately thereafter arrived Dr. Jürg Schönenberger (SUNIV) and student Juliene Borg, to stay for the month of October. Both are working on floral development, Jürg on various members of Theales (he was especially interested in material of Actinidiaceae, Marcgraviaceae, Cleyera, Freziera, Pelliciera, and Ternstroemia) and Juliene on primitive members and outgroups of Acanthaceae (especially Avicennia, Elytraria, Mendoncia, Nelsonia, and Schlegelia). We wish them luck and the best of possible weather in this wettest time of the year!

SOUTHWARD BOUND. New World Apocynaceae specialist and principal Manual contributor Francisco Morales (INB) "vacationed" in Ecuador and Peru during 2–15 September, visiting various herbaria to examine types and other material for miscellaneous Apocynaceae manuscripts and Manual treatments of various other families.


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