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Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica

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The Cutting Edge

Volume XVIII, Number 4, October 2011

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

VISITORS FROM AFAR, AND NOT SO. Annonaceae specialist Lars Chatrou (WAG) and his students Jeike L. van de Poel and Rutger A. Wilschut were in Costa Rica from 3–30 September, based at INB. As a result of their visit, we are behooved to warn visitors (anyone for that matter) to beware of withdrawing large sums of money from ATMs, especially at night and on foot. It would appear that some of these machines are watched by thieves, who may follow their quarry to the darker and more isolated segments of their route. We should also warn colleagues who may be planning collecting or herbarium visits to INBio to make prior inquiries with INB herbarium manager Frank González; the current economic and administrative situations at INBio indicate that considerable fees for use of the herbarium, drier, and other facilities, as well as the time of collaborating scientists, are being or are likely to be assessed. But getting back to the nitty-gritty, Lars and his crew conducted field work throughout the country, accompanied variously by Manual co-PI Barry Hammel, INB botanist Daniel Santamaría, and Manual co-PI and INBio botany czar Nelson Zamora. Their principal agenda was centered around the biology (phylogeny, biogeography, and floral aromas) of the genus Mosannona. Among the sites visited were the Llanura de San Carlos, Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo, and the Reserva de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo, on the Atlantic slope, and the Zona Protectora El Rodeo, Parque Nacional Carara, and the Penísula de Osa, on the Pacific versant. MO curator George Schatz (who also happens to be an Annonaceae specialist!) and senior herbarium assistant Mary Merello were likewise in Costa Rica, mostly at INB, from 16–22 September. Having come from Panama, they made Costa Rica their last stop on a herbarium tour aimed at fine-tuning distribution data for a select list of "species of interest," the original list having been generated from collections made (principally by MO curator Gordon McPherson) at a site in the Atlantic lowlands of Prov. Coclé, Panama. From these data, an IUCN conservation-status category will be assigned to each sp. on the final select list at a future meeting of minds in Panama.

MELBOURNE MANIA. By now, the big news from this year’s meeting of the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia, will have reached the majority of our readers: as of 1 January 2012, electronic publication of taxonomic novelties is permissible (under certain specified circumstances) and English descriptions and diagnoses are acceptable as an alternative to Latin. As for the great Acacia debate, nothing seems to have changed: conservation of the name with a conserved (Australian) type has been upheld, or at least prolonged, which is actually good news for us, since we toed the line in this regard for the Manual Fabaceae treatment (Vol. 5).


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