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Page 12 ï~~12 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 38 - & L. Watson. 1993. Phylogenetic studies of a large data set. 1. Bambusoideae, Andropogonodae, and Pooideae (Gramineae). Botanical Review 59: 273-343. Linder, H.P. 1987. The evolutionary history of the Poales/Restionales-a hypothesis. Kew Bulletin 42: 297-318. Mauseth, J.D. 1988. Plant Anatomy. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co. Inc. Menlo Park, CA. 560 pp. Renvoize, S.A., & W.D Clayton. 1992. Classification and evolution of the grasses. pp. 3-37 in, G.P. Chapman, ed. Grass Evolution and Domestication. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK. 390 pp. Soreng, R.J., & J.I. Davis. 1998. Phylogenetics and Character Evolution in the Grass Family (Poaceae): Simultaneous Analysis of Morphological and Chloroplast DNA Restriction Site Character Sets. Botanical Review 64: 1-85. Stebbins, G.L. 1956. Cytogenetics and evolution of the grass family. American Journal of Botany 43: 890-905..6 1981. Coevolution of grasses and herbivores. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 68: 75-86.. 1985. Polyploidy, hybridization, and the invasion of new habitats. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 72: 824-832. __. 1987. Grass systematics and evolution: past, present, and future. pp. 359-367 in, T.R. Soderstrom, K.W. Hilu, C.S. Campbell, & M.E. Barkworth, eds. Grass Systematics and Evolution. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, DC 473 pp. Thomasson, J.R. 1980. Paleoagrostology: a historical review. Iowa State Journal of Research 54(3): 301-317. __. 1985. Miocene fossil grasses: possible adaptations in reproductive bracts (lemma and palea). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 72: 843-851.. 1987. Fossil grasses: 1820-1986 and beyond. pp.159-167 in, T.R. Soderstrom, K.W. Hilu, C.S. Campbell, & M.E. Barkworth, eds. Grass Systematics and Evolution. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, DC 473 pp. Watson, L. 1990. The grass family, Poaceae. pp. 1-32 in, G.P. Chapman, ed. Reproductive Versatility in the Grasses. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, UK. 296 pp. __, & M.J. Dallwitz. 1992 The Grass Genera of the World. CAB International. Wallingford, UK. 1038 pp. Weaver, J.E. 1968. Prairie Plants and their Environment. University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln, NE. 276 pp. REVIEW CONTEMPORARY PLANT SYSTEMATICS. By Dennis W. Woodland. Third edition, 2000. Hardcover; xiv + 570 pages. Andrews University Press, 213 Information Services Building, Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1700. Telephone 616. 471. 6134. ISBN 1-883925-25-8. $64.99. Plant taxonomy or systematics is an academic subject that may be taught in a number of ways. For each of these approaches, one or more suitable textbooks are available. Some plant taxonomy courses (such as the one I took at Iowa State almost 30 years ago) stress family recognition, teaching students the characteristics of major angiosperm families. Instructors of such courses might select Guide to Flowering Plant Families by Wendy Zomlefer (University of North Carolina Press, 1994). Such courses may have a strong phylogenetic focus, examining both the processes of evolution and the cladistic patterns of relationships they create. Instructors of such a course might select Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach by Walter Judd, Christopher Campbell, Elizabeth Kellogg, and Peter Stevens (Sinauer Associates, 1999). For other students, taking plant taxonomy means that much of their time will be spent collecting and keying out species of the local flora. In doing so, they might rely on a field guide such as Gleason's Plants of Michigan by Richard Rabeler (Oakleaf Press, 1998). Yet other instructors emphasize principles and methods, teaching students the kinds of
Page 13 ï~~1999 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 13 data and means of data analysis used to address taxonomic questions. A logical choice for such a course might be Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data by Tod Stuessy (Columbia University Press, 1990) and its companion exercise book Case Studies in Plant Taxonomy (1994). But what about the instructor who wants to expose his or her students to all these aspects of plant systematics? What textbooks are available that combine these approaches in a balanced fashion? It's not a rhetorical question, as I have been searching for just such a book to use in my own course. I want a text that will give students a very broad overview of plant taxonomy in its entirety, a book that will help them understand that systematics is a dynamic, multi-faceted, highly synthetic discipline. It has been a challenge to find a textbook that can competently cover the diversity of topics on my syllabus; as noted above, most texts on the market emphasize one particular approach, and ignore or soft-pedal others. For this reason, it was with considerable interest that I picked up the latest edition of Contemporary Plant Systematics by Dennis W. Woodland. In the review that follows, I will evaluate Woodland's book in terms of how well it meets the needs of a broad-based plant taxonomy course. In doing so, I will indicate the chapters that seem germane for each of the major teaching approaches mentioned above. The de rigueur introductory chapter is one of the book's few weak points. It does define a number of important basic terms, and comments on the nature and significance of systematics, but is far too brief. In introducing a probably unfamiliar subject to students, one must expound in some detail on its philosophical bases, as well as its relationship to science and society. Systematics is an extremely synthetic discipline, drawing data from disparate fields (morphology, phytochemistry, cytology, palynology, molecular biology, ecology, biogeography, etc.) and returning to them a rational classification and a standardized system of names. That single fact, which effectively makes systematics the "hub of biology," must be highlighted right up front in any plant taxonomy textbook. The second chapter, also introductory in tone, is a wonderfully concise and clear explanation of scientific names and the rules that govern them. Specifically, each of the six Principles of the current International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (International Association for Plant Taxonomy, 2000) is explained and its implications illustrated by examples. The numerous Articles and Recommendation that make up the bulk of the Code are not detailed; that would be inappropriate in an introductory text. However, they are mentioned under the Principles to which they apply. Especially appreciated is the concluding section, which explains the Code's requirements for naming a newly recognized species. This section may be handily illustrated by any number of examples from the current literature. With these preliminaries concluded, the author swings into a pair of chapters that will be useful for the plant identification component of the course. Chapter 3 deals with dichotomous keys. My one complaint here is that the focus is on how to write a key, rather than on how to use one. I have never been convinced that having beginning students create a key (often to hardware or other nonliving objects) helps them understand how to utilize one effectively. Of course, no actual keys for the identification of plants are included; the book would then be far too provincial for our modern global market. It is necessary for the instructor to supplement the text with an appropriate field guide or manual. In doing so, Appendix II will be most helpful, as it provides a concise guide to floras and manuals of the entire world, organized geographically. Chapter 4 is an excellent compendium on plant collecting and herbaria. All aspects of the collection and preservation of botanical specimens is covered here in detail. Of special value for a class full of neophytes is a section on the proper handling of herbarium specimens to avoid damage. The next five chapters pertain to family diversity. Unlike many textbooks emphasizing plant families, not only are the angiosperms covered, but also major pteridophyte (Chapter 5) and gymnosperm families (Chapter 6). Many will consider this a real plus. Following a comprehensive discussion of the terminology used to describe angiosperms (Chapter 7), a chapter each is devoted to the dicots (Chapter 8) and monocots (Chapter 9). Families of both temperate and tropical climes are included here, increasing the number of places in which it would be appropriate to market the book. Woodland wisely declines to adopt recent molecular-cladistic classifications as the basis for his discussion of angiosperm families. He rightly reasons that these nascent proposals are as yet too incomplete and too labile to foist on beginning students. Instead, he employs the stalwart Cronquistian system (outlined in detail in Appendix III), which has been the standard for teaching and many other purposes for the past two decades. Those seeking to give this portion of the course a more pro
Page 14 ï~~14 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 38 nounced evolutionary focus will want to include Chapter 12, "Contemporary Views on the Origin of Vascular Plants." I really like the format employed in these chapters. Each family occupies a page unto itself. At the top is an illustration with dissections (by Anita Reiss). A succinct description follows, broken up into distinct boldly headed paragraphs: General Description, Leaves, Flowers (with the names of the four floral organs likewise highlighted), Fruit, Seed, Distribution, Economic Value, Classification, and (an interesting addition to the usual information provided by such works) Fossil Record. As such, each page provides an excellent thumbnail sketch of the family covered. The discussion is, of course, not as detailed as one would find in the Zomlefer text mentioned above. But it is eminently suited to the needs of a course in which family recognition is only one component of the syllabus. My sole complaint is with the line drawings, which are executed in a rather dark, heavy style that is aesthetically unappealing. Worse, some of the drawings are misleading or erroneous. I was shocked to see that the syngenesious anther tube, a diagnostic feature of the Lobelioideae, has been omitted from the drawing of Lobelia (Fig. 8.185f). Such problems are obviated in large measure by the compact disk that accompanies the textbook. Photo Atlas of the Vascular Plants by Michael Clayton (University of Wisconsin, second edition, 1998) contains 4700 color images that more than make up for any shortcomings in the drawings. For the portion of the course dealing with the methods and principles of systematics, Chapters 10 and 13 are germane. The former gives an excellent overview of the historical development of classification, including a good summary of the phenetic and cladistic schools of classification. The latter chapter provides concise coverage of various kinds of data used by systematists: anatomy (by Nels Lersten); morphology (by Rolf Sattler); molecular biology, to include both secondary compounds and macromolecules (by Loren Rieseberg); palynology (by Cliff Crompton); biogeography and ecology (by Peter Holland); and cytology and genetics (by Woodland). The only discipline that seems missing is embryology, which has contributed much important data at higher levels of the taxonomic hierarchy. Again, while these discussions are not as detailed as those in the Stuessy book cited above, they are more than adequate for a broad survey course. The remaining portions of the book cover a diversity of interesting and useful topics. Chapter 11 provides a thorough overview of taxonomic literature, with an emphasis on standard reference works and indices. Instructors who assign research papers to their students will find this chapter invaluable. Chapter 14 discusses conservation of biodiversity and endangered species. Included here is a discussion (by Ernest Small and Suzanne Warwick) of the relationship of genetic engineering to conservation, specifically the threat posed by transgenic organisms. Surely this controversial current topic may be used to generate some lively classroom discussion! Chapter 15 covers the role of botanic gardens in society, and includes an illustrated tour of major gardens around the globe. In an epilogue, we find a too brief discussion of the relevance of systematics to society, a topic that (as noted above) should have been discussed, and at greater length, in Chapter 1. It also includes a seemingly unique and most welcome section on job opportunities in plant systematics and information on the requisite qualifications. As one might expect, the book includes a detailed glossary and a comprehensive bibliography for each chapter. The book is generally well produced. Some typographical errors were noted: Pilea "pepperomoides" for Pilea peperomioides (pg. 4), "cladestic" for cladistic (pg. 109), Himantoglossum hircinum not italicized (pg. 492). A factual error (pg. 365): James E. Smith purchased the Linnaean herbarium for 1000 guineas, not (as stated) Â~1000. The guinea equalled 21 shillings, a pound sterling or sovereign just 20 shillings, so that the actual price paid was Â~1050. After careful consideration, I have decided to adopt Woodland's book for classroom use next semester. It covers all areas that I feel a plant taxonomy course should cover, and there is nothing on my syllabus that it omits. Furthermore, depth of coverage of the various topics is entirely appropriate for an introductory course. All in all, it appears to me to be the single best textbook on the market today for courses that attempt to cover the entire breadth and depth of plant systematics. I only hope that my students will agree! - Thomas G. Lammers Department of Biology and Microbiology University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI 54901 lammers @uwosh.edu