Beaty Biodiversity Museum

University of British Columbia Herbarium

November 2004 Herbarium Paper, Vol. 5, Number 1

Table of Contents

Director's Message

--- from Fred Ganders
There was no Herbarium newsletter in 2003 because I was on sabbatical leave from July 2003 through June 2004. However, I spent July and August writing grant proposals for the Herbarium, one in conjunction with the University of Montreal for a Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) application for a Canadian Biodiversity Collections database network, and for matching money from the BC Knowledge Development Fund. The CFI grant to the University of Montreal wasn't funded, so the matching fund grant became irrelevant. After that I tried to use my sabbatical more productively, to see plants from some parts of the world I'd never been before, and to start vouchering specimens from the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Thailand. I went to Mexico (the Yucatan) twice, Thailand twice, and to the Cape region of South Africa. Although it was the worst year in 50 years for flowers because of inadequate rainfall (until I got there), the Cape flora was spectacular. I must now save up enough airline points to go again.
While I was away our new Curator of Vascular Plants, Dr. Jeannette Whitton, was Acting Director, and got to go to planning meetings about our new Herbarium that will be in the new Centre for Biodiversity Research Building. The University has now raised enough matching money for the project to begin. It will still be several years, though, before we move. Maybe about the time I retire.
We also have a new Collections Manager for the vascular plant and algae collections, Cindy Sayre. She has instigated several improvements to protect our collections and make our present Herbarium more user-friendly until we get our new dream Herbarium.
Our long-time Collections Manager Olivia Lee received a UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Outstanding Service for her work in the Herbarium. Olivia and Cindy also recently arranged the first Herbarium sponsored lecture in the Botany Dept. seminar series by Dr. James Dickson in September 2004.
In the 2002 Herbarium Paper I reported the initiation of the E-Flora BC Project. Although far from complete, in just two years this has blossomed into the Herbarium's (and Botany Department's) major contribution to the Community (in the sense of President Martha Piper's Trek 2000 vision). The website (www.eflora.bc.ca) has received international recognition. Read more about E-Flora BC and other Herbarium news below.


Interaction with the Native Plant Society of BC (NPSBC)

--- from Fred Ganders

After a talk I gave several years ago where I mentioned the Herbarium, a lady came up afterwards and said she was really interested in herbs, and had a large herb garden herself. And if we had the largest herbarium in Canada west of Ottawa she would really like to see it. After I told her what the herbarium really was, she never came. This is a fundamental problem a herbarium has in relating to the public. A herbarium with dead plants can't compete with a botanical garden with live plants. But more serious naturalists interested in plant identification form the herbarium's small natural public, and the Native Plant Society of British Columbia (NPSBC) is the organization most likely to contain such people. So it is very pleasing to us in the herbarium that in the last two years we've dramatically increased our interaction with the NPSBC.
Collections Managers Olivia Lee and Cindy Sayre recently presented a NPSBC plant specimen workshop. Curator of Bryophytes Wilf Schofield and Shona Ellis also recently gave a bryophyte workshop for the NPSBC. Curator of Vascular Plants Jeannette Whitton organized a symposium about the Herbarium in conjunction with the NPSBC's annual general meeting. Director Fred Ganders, Assistant Curator of Algae Sandra Lindstrom, and graduate student Jeff Saarela, who has the most specimen loans of any current student, gave talks about the role of the Herbarium.
But most of the Herbarium's interaction with the NPSBC involves the E-Flora BC project, which has become the Herbarium's Big Community Project.


--- from Fred Ganders

The Short Version: go to:

The Long Version:
The E-Flora BC project is a partnership between the Native Plant Society of British Columbia (NPSBC), the UBC Herbarium, and Dr. Brian Klinkenberg's Spatial Data Laboratory in the Department of Geography at UBC. The NPSBC originated the idea and is the lead organization and coordinator for the E-Flora BC project. Brian Klinkenberg is an Honorary Research Associate in the Herbarium, and his vision was an interactive, on-line atlas of BC plants and an E-Flora BC website that would be the comprehensive centralized source of information about the plants of BC Being a geographer, of course a key component of E-Flora BC would be interactive on-line distribution maps linked to herbarium specimen data. For this, E-Flora BC needed a database of correctly identified herbarium specimens of BC plants. The UBC Herbarium had the only large accessible database of BC plant specimens, which had just been made available on-line in 2001 through the efforts of Curator of Fungi Mary Berbee and her husband Dr. Dave Carmean.
Brian Klinkenberg and Rose Klinkenberg, also an Honorary Research Associate in the Herbarium, suggested to me that the Herbarium should join E-Flora. All the Herbarium had to provide was its database and $800 and the Herbarium would get fame and glory. I thought about it and liked it. I wanted to get a big Herbarium project going that could attract support and the public. Our database needed editing and specimens added, but maybe this would be a way to get help in data entry from E-Flora. When Rose and Brian asked if I had decided, I said yes so quickly I think they were disappointed. I think they had all sorts of persuasive arguments ready for me.
The Vancouver Orchid Society was an early donor to the E-Flora BC project, and coincidently E-Flora picked the orchid family as its pilot project. E-Flora website programming and planning went on in Klinkenberg's Laboratory, and data entry took place in the Herbarium. Very few of our orchids had been entered at that time. Past Honorary Curator of Vascular Plants Helen Kennedy set up databases for data entry. Several E-Flora volunteers came from the NPSBC. Vanessa Pasqualetto and Rosemary Taylor entered label data, Don Benson and Chris Sears checked the identifications of specimens, and Chris even updated the taxonomy of some confused Platanthera species.
The E-Flora BC website has progressed astoundingly quickly. It has been enthusiastically joined by a number of organizations that are providing data, expertise, and other support. The Royal BC Museum Herbarium provided their plant database, and the Canadian Museum of Nature Herbarium provided their data for 10,000 BC specimens. The BC Government Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management gave E-Flora the text and illustrations from the 8 volumes of the "Illustrated Vascular Flora of BC" by Douglas et. al. They also provided staff to convert their files into a suitable html format usable by E-Flora BC. This 8 volume work is the most up to date reference on vascular plants of BC, but is so expensive it is out of reach for most people. The University of Washington allowed E-Flora BC to use all the illustrations from Hitchcock et al. "Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest". The BC Ministry of Forests provided access to their Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification database, which provides detailed ecological information on many species. The BC Conservation Data Centre allowed their rare species database to be linked to E-Flora BC. The Canadian government HRSD (Human Resources Skills Development) has provided several Job Creation/Job Training positions to work on E-Flora BC.
Species searches on the E-Flora BC website now provide interactive distribution maps with dots linked to specific herbarium specimens, species descriptions and illustrations, ecological data, and more. Programs have just been completed for the E-Flora Image Bank databases, which are now ready to receive donated photographs of BC plants. The Royal B. C Museum donated a database with over 30,000 images. Yikes, I'm on the image review committee! Although initially focused on vascular plants, E-Flora will soon include seaweeds, fungi, mosses, liverworts, and lichens. Curator of Bryophytes Wilf Schofield provided some of his unpublished maps for mosses and an introduction to the bryophytes. Assistant Curator of Algae Sandra Lindstrom is preparing species descriptions of BC seaweeds for E-Flora, and a list of current names and synonyms is also being prepared.
E-Flora BC is becoming the virtual home of a botanical community interested in the flora of British Columbia. This success has been due to the efforts of many people, but, in my opinion, E-Flora Project Coordinator Brian Klinkenberg deserves the most credit. He has supervised all the programming to create the website. In September 2003 I received a UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Outstanding Service for my "work on the E-Flora BC Project, an interactive internet atlas of BC plants based on the biodiversity collections in the UBC Herbarium". There isn't any similar award in the Faculty of Arts, so unfortunately Brian has had no recognition from the University, Visit the E-Flora BC website (www.eflora.bc.ca). Remember it is under active development, so if something doesn't work, try again in an hour.
And now for the E-Flora BC website's first international recognition. The Internet Scout Project is supported, in part, by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Dear Website Administrator,
As the managing editor of the Internet Scout Project I am pleased to notify you that your site was reviewed and reported on in the current edition of the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences.
You can access the current report at: http://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/NSDL/LifeSci/Current/
Our weekly reports are read by tens of thousands of subscribers (and passed along to tens of thousands more) and seek to separate the proverbial ‘wheat from the chaff’ when it comes to the innumerable resources available on the Web. Your site was found to be one of great quality and merit.
In addition to this notification, we offer the attached decal which you are free to include on your website and to use as a link to the Scout website, if desired.
Congratulations on providing such a great Web resource!
Warm regards,
Chris Long
Managing Editor
The Internet Scout Project
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Big Changes in the Herbarium

--- from Fred Ganders

In the past two years there have been big changes in the Herbarium. Cindy Sayre was hired as a collections manager and she cleaned up the Herbarium and reorganized it for more work space. Cindy and Tessa Richardson raised over $1,000 for freezers for Herbarium pest control with a herbarium plant sale and "movie night". Incoming specimens will now be frozen to kill enemies from the animal kingdom, and the present collection will be frozen on a rotating basis to keep specimens insect-free. Cindy attended the Northwest Herbarium Workshop at the University of Idaho in May 2004 and returned with a fundraising idea. The Herbarium is now selling framed prints of herbarium specimens of native plants of B.C. to raise money. They look so real you can't resist trying to pull them off the paper. We are also selling plant photo cards.
The Botany Department purchased new computers for the Herbarium. Kent Brothers' donation to the Herbarium Fund, matched by his employer Creo Inc., provided a secure fire-resistant case for our type specimens. Director Fred Ganders got a UBC Faculty of Science Skylight Development Grant for over $3,000 worth of fiber optic microscope lights. He also got a $3,000 TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Grant for the E-Flora BC website". Half of it is to upgrade the Herbarium's database.
Collections Manager Olivia Lee reports that Kent Brothers is also supplying the Herbarium with recycled 24" x 36" acid-free, heavy-weight display board. These cardboards have many uses in the Herbarium. One is to make specimen boxes for the bryophyte and lichen collections instead of using shoe boxes from local shoe stores.

Volunteers Needed for Mounting Specimens


For many years volunteers from the UBC Botanical Garden FOGS (Friends of the Garden) have mounted herbarium specimens for us. They have stopped doing this temporarily because they are needed to mount specimens for the Garden, which is starting its own herbarium. Therefore we are seeking volunteers to mount specimens.

Collections News: Algae

--- information from Sandra Lindstrom and Michael Hawkes

Bowie Seamount Seaweeds
Only two collections of algae have been made on the Bowie Seamount, an offshore pinnacle that rises to within about 25 m of the ocean surface 180 km west of Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands). The first collection, made by divers from the C.S.S. Parizeaux in August 1969, was described in 1970 by R. F. Scagel (Syesis 3: 15-16). The second collection, made by Doug Swanston of Seacology Consulting and his colleagues in August 2003, has been deposited in the UBC herbarium. Both collections contained only brown and red seaweeds. Habitat pictures from both years reveal a canopy of Desmarestia ligulata.
Assistant Curator of Algae Dr. Sandra Lindstrom reports that this new collection adds nine new records of seaweeds for Bowie Seamount: one brown algae, Sphacelaria norrisii, and eight red algae, Callophyllis sp., an encrusting coralline alga, Fauchea laciniata, Haraldiophyllum nottii, Hommersandia maximicarpa, Membranoptera sp., Opuntiella californica, and Phycodrys isabellae. Of these species, all but Opuntiella californica constituted the turf covering the shells of the giant barnacle, Balanus nubilus, the rock scallop, Crassadoma gigantea, and the California mussel, Mytilus californianus. The abundance and conspicuousness of Opuntiella californica during the 2003 survey and its failure to show up in the 1969 collections indicate that this species has colonized Bowie Seamount during the intervening years.
A number of species recorded in 1969 were absent in 2003: Cryptopleura sp., Delesseria decipiens, and Polyneuera latissima. Although it is possible that these species disappeared from Bowie Seamount between 1969 and 2003, another explanation is that these earlier records, based on scrapings from rocks preserved in formalin, are the same as specimens we now identify as Haraldiophyllum, Membranoptera and Phycodrys, respectively.
Bowie Seamount is thought to have been an active volcano during the last ice age and as such, represents a potential offshore glacial refugium for marine organisms. The Bowie Seamount Area includes 15,000 sq. km encompassing the Bowie, Hodgkins and Davidson seamounts and surrounding abyssal plain. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has designated it a pilot marine protected area. Additional information is available at

A webpage providing images of the collection and links to additional information on Bowie Seamount will be posted on the herbarium website in the near future.

Phycological Library Acquisitions
The UBC herbarium phycological collection received two recent donations of books and journals. When she retired as herbarium technician, Julie C. Oliveira gave her personal library to the herbarium. Dr. Robert Sheath gave the herbarium some books and nearly complete sets of major phycological journals that he received from the estate of the late Professor Emerita Kathleen M. Cole.

Although our phycological library is modest compared to other major phycological collections, we hope it will grow as others recognize the value of donating to it. The collection would benefit most from donations of older works (nineteenth century—but many available as modern reprints) in which species occurring in the rich seaweed flora of the coast were originally described.

Curator of Algae Michael Hawkes is co-author, with Scoresby Shepherd of the South Australian Research and Development Institute, of a paper in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin of Marine Science entitled ‘Algal food preferences and seasonal foraging strategy of the marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus, on Santa Cruz, Galapagos’.

Collections News: Bryophytes

--- information from Wilf Schofield
Curator of Bryophytes Wilf Schofield has been collecting on Simeonof Island in the Shumagin Islands, southwestern Alaska. As a result of his collections and exchanges, our accessioned bryophyte specimens have passed the quarter million mark. Our 259,000 bryophytes are the largest and most comprehensive collection in Canada and western North America west of St. Louis, Missouri. During the past year, over 2,000 specimens were sent out in exchange and approximately 1,000 were received in exchange. For the Bryophytes of North America project, approximately 3,000 specimens of 10 genera have been sent on loan. For western North American species as well as for distribution of all species, the UBC herbarium is a critical resource.
This past year about 10 students have used bryophyte and lichen specimens in their studies. Professional bryologists Dr. J. H. Dickson and Dr. T. T. McIntosh have visited the herbarium to study specimens.
Using money obtained through contracts to Dr. Schofield, we have been able to lure Richard Chan to add data to the database as well as process specimens for accessioning. Even so, the bryophyte database is still only 60% complete.
Wilf published the following papers in 2004:
Daniels, F. J. A., S. S. Talbot, S. L. Talbot and W. B. Schofield. 2004. Phytosociological study of the dwarf shrub heath of Simeonof Wilderness, Shumagin Islands, SW. Alaska. Phytocoenologia 34: 465-489.
Ramsay, H. P., W. B. Schofield and BC Tan. 2004. The Family Sematophyllaceae (Bryopsida) in Australia. Part 2. J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 95: 1-69.
Schofield, W. B. 2004. Endemic genera of bryophytes of North America (north of Mexico). Preslia, Praha 76: 255-277.
Schofield, W. B., S. S. Talbot and S. L, Talbot . 2004. Bryophytes of Simeonof Island in the Shumagin Islands, southwestern Alaska. J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 95: 155-198.

Collections News: Lichen

--- information from Trevor Goward and Wilf Schofield
Curator of Lichens Trevor Goward has been working on a book entitled "Ways of Enlichenment: Macrolichens of Northwest North America", with co-authors Andy MacKinnon and Jim Pojar. Anyone at all familiar with plants in British Columbia knows the field guides by Andy MacKinnon and Jim Pojar, and some of us (Wilf and Fred) are old enough to remember Andy and Jim when they were graduate students using the UBC Herbarium.
The book will provide keys for all 650 species of macrolichens known to occur in the area extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, and from the MacKenzie River south to Monterey, California. For 450 of these species it also includes photographs, distribution maps, and ecological information. It will be published by Lone Pine Press, Edmonton, Alberta.
Trevor adds, "As you can imagine, both the maps and my taxonomic concepts benefitted tremendously from the collections at UBC."
About 1,200 specimens of lichens have been processed and deposited in the herbarium this past year, many of them collected in connection with Trevor's studies of B.C.'s inland old growth rainforests. It is of course important to document what currently exists in these forests, as one never knows how long they will remain standing. A volunteer, Derek Woods, has helped process the lichen specimens and enter label data into the database. The lichen database, with data from our 38,000 specimens, is essentially complete.

Collections News: Vascular Plants

--- information from Cindy Sayre and Fred Ganders

New People
In 2003 Dr. Jeannette Whitton was appointed Curator of Vascular Plants and Cindy Sayre was appointed Collections Manager for the vascular plants.

Viktoria Wagner, an undergraduate student from Göttingen, Germany completed a one month Internship in the Herbarium in September, 2004. While Viktoria is primary interested in grasses, she can read Russian and was able to translate label information for 240 Russian vascular plant specimens received through exchange, so they could be entered into the herbarium database. In addition to this project, Viktoria received training in the major aspects of herbarium work and spent much of her time entering label information into the database, accessioning new specimens and incorporating these into the existing collections.

We would also like to acknowledge our new E-Flora volunteers who enter specimen label data for E-Flora and the Herbarium’s online database: Justine Karst, Crystal Cerny, Kristin Stevenson, and Soren.

Software Architect Gerald Carter of Suresoft Development has been working with Cindy Sayre to design and develop a new custom herbarium database. This database will be used for the vascular collections, and possibly others in the future, and will facilitate data transfer between the herbarium and E-Flora BC. Unlike the database we currently use, the new program is relational, more secure, has improved user access control, and can link to reference databases. These features, including built-in verification of taxonomy and geographic data, and annotation tracking, will improve the integrity of our data and facilitate data entry and editing.

New Collections
Frank Lomer, Herbarium Honorary Research Associate, is one of the most active collectors of vascular plants in British Columbia. In 2003 and 2004 Frank contributed over 500 new specimens from various parts of BC, including the Rocky Mountain trench, the dry lands along the Thompson River near Cache Creek, the Tofino area, and the Lower Mainland. Among his collections are two new species records for BC: Melica fugax (Poaceae) and Agoseris elata (Asteraceae), both growing in Manning Provincial Park. Dr. Helen Kennedy donated 575 specimens, most to be used for exchange with the University of California, Riverside for Californian and Mexican specimens. Of four other major collections received, the most unusual is the Inuvialuit Ethnobotanical Collection from the Aurora Research Institute, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, from former Herbarium work study summer student Bob Bandringa.

Nong Nooch and Internationalization
One of the goals of the University of British Columbia Herbarium, which is also one of President Piper's Trek 2000 goals, is "internationalization". We want to expand international cooperation and the international significance of the herbarium. We want to make it an international rather than just a regional herbarium.

We can't compete with giant old herbaria like Kew or Harvard, so we have to specialize. There are no Canadian herbaria actively building tropical collections. We already have a major collection of the tropical family Marantaceae. Dr. Helen Kennedy, an Honorary Research Associate in the Botany Dept., is a world expert on the taxonomy of Marantaceae, so Marantaceae have been the first focus of our project.
Director Fred Ganders and Helen Kennedy have started vouchering the living collections in the Hortus Botanicus at the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden near Pattaya, Thailand. They have made two trips collecting Marantaceae and cycad specimens, and will make a third one in December 2004. These trips have been supported by the Tropical Rainforest Plant Fund, at no expense to the Herbarium.

Nong Nooch is a 520 acre tourist-oriented botanical garden owned by Mr. Kampon Tansacha. Nong Nooch has a remarkable scientific resource collection, not open to the public, called the Hortus Botanicus. It specializes in acquiring the most complete living collections of selected families of tropical plants, including palms, cycads, and the order Zingiberales, which includes gingers, bananas, heliconias, Costaceae, Lowiaceae, and the prayer plants, Marantaceae. Nong Nooch has, for example, over 1100 species of palms and all 275 known cycad species. That is why cycads are our second focus. These collections can be of great value to scientific researchers around the world, as well as to conservation and horticulture. The living collections are available for research by scientists and graduate students.

Photographing and making herbarium specimens of the plants in the Hortus Botanicus will make the collections more valuable to international researchers, because any published research can cite the specimens at UBC as vouchers. Our collection of voucher specimens will be internationally important. This will save researchers time, and protect the plants because fewer specimens will be made from each one. It will also make access to all of the vouchers available in one herbarium, and link all of the various studies done on the same living plant to one specimen. All of the herbarium specimen label data will be on our herbarium database website, making it searchable by anyone.

Herbarium People


Head, Department of Botany: Dr. Carl Douglas

Department of Botany Herbarium Committee: Dr. Mary Berbee, Dr. Fred Ganders, Dr. Sean Graham, Dr. Michael Hawkes, Dr. Jeannette WhittonDirector of the Herbarium: Dr. Fred Ganders, Professor of Botany

Curator of Algae: Dr. Michael Hawkes, Lecturer in Botany

Assistant Curator of Algae: Dr. Sandra Lindstrom, Adjunct Professor of Botany

Curator of Bryophytes: Dr. Wilf Schofield, Emeritus Professor of Botany

Curator of Fungi: Dr. Mary Berbee, Associate Professor of Botany

Curator of Vascular Plants: Dr. Jeannette Whitton, Associate Professor of Botany

Collections Manager, Bryophytes, Lichens and Fungi: Olivia Lee

Collections Manager, Vascular Plants and Algae: Cynthia Sayre

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