The April issue of New Journal of Botany is now at the printers and here is another sneak preview: we are delighted to publish a paper by Dr Torbjörn Tyler of University of Lund, Sweden on 'Critical notes on species of Hieracium (Asteraceae) reported as common to Sweden and Britain'. Torbjörn is responsible for the project The Hieracia of Sweden, is Curator of the Herbarium at Lund LD and is also Editor in Chief of Nordic Journal of Botany. I asked him to tell us something about his work and he said "Although people may believe differently when looking at my list of publications, my main interest is plant biogeography". [Follow the link to read Torbjörn's clear definition of this term.]
|Torbjörn in the field
By kind permission, T. Tyler
"In addition, I recognised that the patterns observed might be difficult to interpret convincingly as long as there is no consensus about how, when and where these taxa have evolved. Further, I found that it was a great pity that virtually no work had been done on Hieracium in Scandinavia since the 1940s. So in 1997 I began to revise the old literature and all existing herbarium material of Hieracium, beginning with the relatively species-poor southernmost Swedish provinces and when I later got the opportunity to also do molecular and cytological analyses, I tried to use these techniques, in combination with thorough multivariate morphometric analyses, to get a better understanding of the evolutionary history and relationships of the species.
|Tim Rich, British Hieraciologist, with a Taraxacum!
Image: C. Gait
|Pilosella officinarum Mouse-ear hawkweed
Image: C. Ferguson-Smyth
"Although most Hieracium species are certainly regional or national endemics that have evolved in post-glacial times, a few species have confirmed wider distributions and, for many more, dubious far disjunct records are reported in the literature. It is in this context that my forthcoming paper for New Journal of Botany, on the identity of some British Hieracium species, came into being.
"Thus, since all biogeographic research depends on the accurate identification of the biological entities studied, I have become increasingly involved in purely taxonomic research, not only in Hieracium but also in several groups of e.g. introduced and potentially invasive species whose origin and taxonomy is not well understood. Furthermore, I consider knowledge of biogeographic facts and processes as the key to biological conservation and I have accordingly taken active part in many nature conservation issues and projects trying to assess recent and ongoing changes in the Swedish flora and its underlying causes".
Many thanks to Torbjörn for telling us about his work and his forthcoming paper for New Journal of Botany. Did you know that Lund was the first university attended by Carl Linnaeus?And I hope you like the Pilosella - another yellow Comp! - which Claudia has selected as the second of her images to appear on the cover of the April issue.