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Department ofBotany

No. 104
December 1991

Editor: Jane Villa-Lobos


On November 14, 1991 the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo opened its new molecular genetics laboratory which will aid the Zoo's efforts to save endangered animals and to help scientists understand complex aspects of evolutionary biology. The molecular genetics laboratory will be used to help resolve problems like selecting the best individuals for mating from severely depleted animal populations. Increasingly, populations of endangered species are reduced to a few individuals before zoos and other conservation organizations can initiate carefully managed breeding programs to save them from extinction. With so few potential mates available for breeding, it is vital for zoologists to understand a species' genetics and, especially how closely individuals are related so that pairs can be established based on their potential for producing healthy, non-inbred offspring. The same careful evaluations must be made when selecting zoo-born animals of an endangered species for reintroduction into nature. With the molecular genetics lab, such analyses will be possible, even if an animal's pedigree is unknown.

At the lab scientists can also look at the genetics of individual endangered animals that died hundreds of years ago, by taking DNA-bearing tissue from preserved museum specimens and studying it in the lab. By employing newly developed techniques of DNA amplification, genes of animals that lived in the distant past can be compared to those of animals living today. These studies will provide useful information to conservation biologists on the amount of genetic diversity that has been lost by an endangered species population. Also, studies of the tissues of extinct animals preserved at museums and comparisons with living, related species may shed light on the process and rate at which new species develop.

Another function of the molecular genetics laboratory will be to train graduate students and post-doctoral level biologists in the techniques of molecular biology research.


By Bruce MacBryde

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will have its 8th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (now 112 member nations) on 2-13 March 1992 in Kyoto, Japan. For plants, several comprehensive or profound topics and potential listings are on the agenda.

Among the draft resolutions for decision in Kyoto are: 1) revising the criteria for inclusion of species (fauna and flora) in CITES Appendices I and II; 2) detailing the administrative responsibilities of CITES Scientific Authorities; 3) a less strict definition of artificial propagation; 4) adopting rigorous criteria to begin registration of those nurseries that qualify in the artificial propagation of particular Appendix I taxa; 5) a possible means to exclude regulation of artificially propagated, flasked seedlings of Appendix I orchid species; and 6) initiating preparation of a complete checklist of Orchidaceae with the genera (approx. 4,000 species) most in trade. Also the Parties will select the six members for the CITES Plants Committee, which will elect a chairman and vice-chairman.

Eleven countries have proposed amendments to CITES appendices for plants. Most pivotal are several proposals to include well-known tropical timber species: Dalbergia nigra (Brazil), Gonystylus bancanus (Indomalesia), Guaiacum officinale (N. South America & Caribbean), Intsia (tropic Asia), Pericopsis elata (tropic W. Africa), Schinopsis (S. South America), and Swietenia (2 ssp.) (Caribbean, tropic America). Other notable proposals would add the first bromeliads (Tillandsia) to CITES and the Venus flytrap (Dionaea). Twelve plants are proposed for delisting. Eight are neotropical trees: Batocarpus costaricensis, Caryocar costaricense, Cynometra hemitomophylla, Oreomunnea pterocarpa, Platymiscium pleiostachyum, Quercus copeyensis, Tachigali versicolor, and Vantanea barbourii. Three occur in the Philippines: Alocasia sanderiana, Areca ipot, and Hedychium philippinense; and Didiciea cunninghamii is from the Himalayas. Another concern is the need for stronger export-import controls, shown in several proposals to uplist some genera or species of cacti: Ariocarpus (3 species, Mexico-US), Discocactus (Brazil-Bolivia), Melocactus (Brazil), Turbinicarpus (14 taxa in Mexico), and Uebelmannia (Brazil).

To provide or obtain information, contact: Bruce MacBryde, Office of Scientific Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 725 Arlington Square Bldg., Washington, DC 20240. Tel: (703) 358- 1708; Fax: (703) 358-2276.


January 24-25, 1992. "Tropical Forest Medical Resources and the Conservation of Biodiversity", a symposium organized by the Rainforest Alliance in collaboration with the New York Botanical Garden's Institute of Economic Botany, will be held at Rockefeller University. Representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, conservation groups and the medical community will be participating. For fee and registration information, contact: Sarah Laird, Rainforest Alliance, 270 Lafayette Street, Suite 512, New York, New York 10012; Tel: (212) 941-1900; Fax: (212) 941-4986.


Anon. 1991. Conservation International launches program in the Maya heartland. Tropicus 5(3): 3. (Peten, Guatemala)

Anon. 1991. Last wilderness in the Philippines under threat. Tropicus 5(3): 1, 6. (Palanan wilderness of northern Luzon)

Abensperg-Traun, M. 1991. Survival strategies of the Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus Shaw 1792 (Monotremata: Tachyglossidae). Biol. Conservation 58(3): 317-328.

Anderson, B. 1991. The swamp bear's last stand. Nature Conservancy 41(5): 16-21. (Louisiana's rare black bear)

Baskin, J. and Baskin, C. 1991. An eight-year greenhouse germination study of the Cedar Glade endemic Onosmodium molle subsp. molle. Nat. Areas J. 11(4): 190-192. (Seed-banking rare plants)

Beissinger, S. and Snyder, N. (eds.) 1991. New World Parrots in Crisis. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 256 pp.

Booth, W. 1991. Vast change predicted for America's forests. Washington Post November 1: A4. (Effects of global warming)

Borota, J. 1991. Tropical Forests. Some African and Asian Case Studies of Composition and Structure. Developments in Agricultural and Managed-Forest Ecology 22. Elsevier Science Publishing Co., New York, New York. 274 pp.

Buchele, D. et al. 1991. Ecology of the endangered species Solidago shortii. III. Seed germination ecology. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 118(3): 288-291.

Buchele, D. et al. 1991. Ecology of the endangered species Solidago shortii II. Ecological life cycle. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 118(3): 281-287.

Buck, S. 1991. Understanding Environmental Administration and Law. Island Press, Covelo, California. 225 pp.

Campbell, W. 1991. Mbaracayu rescue. Nature Conservancy 41(5): 6. (Purchase of 143,000 acres in eastern Paraguay saves forest)

Casado, S. and Montes, C. 1991. Estado de conservacion de los humedales peninsulares espanoles. Quercus 66: 18-26. (Spain)

Cash, C. 1991. The Slipper Orchids. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. 228 pp. (Conservation status listed)

Cereza, J. 1991. El reino de las canones. El nuevo Parque Nacional de la Sierra y Canones de Guara. Quercus 66: 27- 33. (Spain)

Ciesla, W. 1991. Cypress aphid: a new threat to Africa's forests. Unasylva 42(167): 51-55.

Conner, R. and Rudolph, D. 1991. Forest habitat loss, fragmentation, and red-cockaded woodpecker populations. Wilson Bull. 103(3): 446-457. (Texas)

Cowling, R. and Bond, W. 1991. How small can reserves be? An empirical approach in Cape Fynbos, South Africa. Biol. Conservation 58(3): 243-256.

Dean, W., Milton, S., Watkeys, M. and Hockey, P. 1991. Distribution, habitat preference and conservation status of the red lark Certhilauda burra in Cape Province, South Africa. Biol. Conservation 58(3): 257-274.

Dickinson, R. 1991. A commentary on: probable impact of deforestation on hydrological processes. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 175-176.

Dobson, A. and Absher, R. 1991. How to pay for tropical rain forests. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 6(11): 348-351. (Economic plants, ecotourism)

Donnelly, M. 1991. Cuba opens doors to sea turtle biologists. Marine Conservation News 3(4): 7.

Eldredge, M. 1991. Sanctuary status may not be enough to protect Flower Garden Banks. Marine Conservation News 3(4): 13. (Coral reefs off coast of Texas)

Fabregat, C. and Mateo, G. 1991. Valores botanicos de la Sierra de Javalambre. Quercus 67: 30-35. (Endemism, Spain)

Facklam, H. and Flacklam, M. 1991. Plants, Extinction or Survival? Enslow Publishers, Inc., Hillside, New Jersey. 96 pp.

Gash, J. and Shuttleworth, W. 1991. Tropical deforestation: albedo and the surface-energy balance. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 123-134.

George, S. and Wayne, R. 1991. Island foxes: a model for conservation genetics. Terra 30(1): 18-27. (Santa Cruz Island, California)

Greller, A. et al. 1991. A vascular flora of the forested portion of Cunningham Park, Queens County, New York: Corrections and additions - III. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 118(3): 330-332. (List of plants under New York State Conservation Law)

Harvey, L. 1991. A commentary on: tropical deforestation and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 119- 122.

Henderson, A. and Balick, M. 1991. Attalea crassispatha, a rare and endemic Haitian palm. Brittonia 43(3): 189-194.

Henderson-Sellers, A. 1991. A commentary on: tropical deforestation: albedo and the surface-energy balance. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 135-138.

Hooper, R., Krusac, D. and Carlson, D. 1991. An increase in a population of red-cockaded woodpeckers. Wildlife Soc. Bull. 19(3): 277-286. (South Carolina)

Houghton, R. 1991. Tropical deforestation and atmospheric carbon dioxide. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 99-118.

Hubbuch, C. 1991. Lightning strikes rare cycads. Fairchild Trop. Gard. Bull. 46(4): 35. (Microcycas calocoma, growing at Fairchild Tropical Garden)

Hubbuch, C. 1991. Palm diversity in cultivation: a question of conservation. Fairchild Tropical Garden Bull. 46(2): 22-28.

Hudson, W. (ed.) 1991. Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity. Island Press, Covelo, California. 224 pp.

Johnson, S. 1991. The occurrence of state rare species on Hog Island in the Virginia Coast Reserve. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 118(3): 326-328. (Plants)

Keller, M., Jacob, D., Wofsy, S. and Harriss, R. 1991. Effects of tropical deforestation on global and regional atmospheric chemistry. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 139-158.

Klein, W., Jr. 1991. Rare and endangered botanists. Fairchild Trop. Gard. Bull. 46(4): 4-5. (Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands Endangered Plant Task Force meeting, Center for Plant Conservation)

Lanier-Graham, S. 1991. The Nature Directory: A Guide to Environmental Organizations. Walker and Co., New York, New York. 304 pp.

Mackie, C. 1991. Forest-gatherers of the Kenyah Dayak. Tropicus 5(3): 5. (Indonesia)

Marland, G. 1991. A commentary on: tropical forests and the greenhouse effect: a management response. Climatic Change 19 (1-2): 227-232.

Marquez, C., Morillo, G. and Cayot, L. 1991. A 25-year management program pays off: repatriated tortoises on Espanola reproduce. Noticias de Galapagos 50: 17-18. (Ecuador)

Martin, C. 1991. The Rainforests of West Africa: Ecology- Threats-Conservation. Birkhauser, New York, New York.

McFall, D. (ed.) 1991. A Directory of Illinois Nature Preserves. Illinois Department of Conservation, Springfield, Illinois. 382 pp.

Medellin, R. 1991. The Selva Lacandona: an overview. Tropical Conservation & Development Program Newsletter 24: 1-5. (Mexico)

Meher-Homji, V. 1991. Probable impact of deforestation on hydrological processes. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 163-174.

Milan, V. 1991. Species in peril: the Philippine tamaraw. Tropicus 5(3): 12. (Water buffalo)

Musokotwane, I. 1991. Is there a future for the teak forests of Zambia? IUCN Forest Conservation Programme Newsletter 11: 3. (Project of IUCN's Regional Office in South Africa)

Myers, N. 1991. Tropical forests: present status and future outlook. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 3-32.

Myers, N. and Goreau, T. 1991. Tropical forests and the greenhouse effect: a management response. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 215-226.

Narland, G. 1991. A commentary on: tropical forests and the greenhouse effect: a management response. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 227-232.

Organization of American States. 1990. Economic Biology of Underutilized Tropical Plants. Regional Scientific & Technological Development Program, Washington, D.C. 39 pp.

Palmer, T. 1991. The final act? Buzzworm 3(6): 31-36. (Future of the Endangered Species Act)

Patterson, K. 1991. NOAA considers marine sanctuary in Hawaii. Marine Conservation News 3(4): 15. (Kahoolawe Island)

Patterson, K. 1991. Washington sanctuary plan fails to protect key areas. Marine Conservation News 3(4): 10-11. (Washington Outer Coast National Marine Sanctuary)

Pearce, F. 1991. Indonesia prepares to pulp itself. BBC Wildlife 9(10): 666-667. (World's largest exporter of paper & wood pulp)

Peters, R. and Lovejoy, T. (eds.) 1991. Global Warming and Biological Diversity. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut. 552 pp.

Pickart, A. 1991. The evolution of a rare plant monitoring program: a case study at the Lanphere-Christensen Dunes preserve. Nat. Areas J. 11(4): 187-189. (Menzies' wallflower, California)

Poole, C. 1991. The gift of a no-man's-land. BBC Wildlife 9(9): 636-643. (Demilitarized Zone, South Korea)

Prance, G. 1991. A commentary on: tropical forests: present status and future outlook. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 33-36.

Quinn, N. 1991. This creature of habit is running out of habitat. Nature Canada 20(4): 21-25. (Wood turtle, threatened)

Reading, R., Clark, T. and Kellert, S. 1991. Towards an endangered species reintroduction program. Endangered Species Update 8(11): 1-4.

Rome, A. 1991. Protecting natural areas through the planning process: the Chesapeake Bay example. Nat. Areas J. 11(4): 199-202. (Maryland)

Rosenberg, N. 1991. A commentary on: deforestation, climate change and sustainable nutrition security: a case study of India. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 211-214.

Rowley, G. 1991. Saphesia flaccida: here today, gone tomorrow? British Cactus & Succ. J. 9: 69-71. (Capetown, South Africa)

Rowntree, P. and Lean, J. 1991. A commentary on: possible climatic impacts of tropical deforestation. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 197-200.

Rudolph, C. and Conner, R. 1991. Cavity tree selection by red-cockaded woodpeckers in relation to tree age. Wilson Bull. 103(3): 458-467. (Texas)

Salati, E. and Nobre, C. 1991. Possible climatic impacts of tropical deforestation. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 177-196.

Shaw, T. 1991. Rain forest reprieve. Washington Post Home Section(November 14): 16-17, 24-26. (Designers are switching to ecologically correct woods)

Shevock, J. and Allen, G. 1991. A new variety of Erythronium citrinum (Liliaceae) from the Scott Mountains of northwest California. Phytologia 71(2): 101-103. (Rare, localized endemic)

Simberloff, D. and Boecklen, W. 1991. Patterns of extinction in the introduced Hawaiian avifauna: a reexamination of the role of competition. Am. Naturalist 138(2): 300-327.

Sinha, S. and Swaminathan, M. 1991. Deforestation, climate change and sustainable nutrition security: a case study of India. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 201-210.

Skow, J. 1991. Everything looks different when you are up in the air. Smithsonian 22(8): 86-106. (Lighthawk, environmental air force)

Spence, J. 1991. Notes on cryptogamic plants of Utah: range extensions and species new to the state from Capitol Reef National Park. Great Basin Naturalist 51(3): 279-281. (Rare and endangered plants)

Stolzenburg, W. 1991. Treasures of the Sierra Nevada. Nature Conservancy 41(5): 8-15. (Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia)

Vetter, D. 1991. Teeming oasis or desert mirage? Nature Conservancy 41(5): 22-27. (Stillwater Wildlife Management Area, Nevada)

Viejo, J. and Lopez Munguira, M. 1991. Conservacion de las mariposas espanolas. Quercus 67: 16-29. (Spain)

Vincent, M. 1991. Trifolium reflexum L. (buffalo clover: Leguminosae) in Ohio, its history and present status. Michigan Botanist 30(2): 65-68.

Vitousek, P. and Matson, P. 1991. A commentary on: effects of tropical deforestation on global and regional atmospheric chemistry. Climatic Change 19(1-2): 159-162.

Wake, W. 1991. Species in danger. Nature Canada 20(4): 51. (Loggerhead shrike, threatened in Canada)

Warwick, C. 1991. Tender-age moribund endangered terrapins. BBC Wildlife 9(9): 630-632. (Red-eared terrapin)

Wiser, S. 1991. Two North Carolina locations for Calamagrostis cainii Hitch., previously considered endemic to Mt. LeConte, Tennessee. Castanea 56(2): 147-149. (Very rare)

Wolbarst, A. (ed.) 1991. Environment In Peril. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 272 pp.

Young, N. 1991. Species in peril: Chinese river dolphin. Marine Conservation News 3(4): 3.

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