Saturday 14 December 2019

British & Irish Botany: issue 4 published

Hybrid comfrey
Symphytum caucasicum x orientale
spotted by Bob Leaney and discussed in
 his paper for British & Irish Botany 1.4
Image: R. Leaney
The fourth issue of British & Irish Botany, BSBI's online, Open Access, scientific journal, has just been published and it's our biggest issue yet, with six papers and a short note!

There's an important paper on 'Temporal changes in distributions and the species atlas: how can British and Irish plant data shoulder the inferential burden?' - very pertinent for anyone who's been out recording wild and naturalised plants for BSBI's Atlas 2020 project. The authors are Oli Pescott from CEH (also a member of BSBI Records & Research Committee) and three BSBI staff members - our Head of Science Kevin Walker, Database Officer Tom Humphrey and England Officer Pete Stroh.

Kevin and Tom also joined forces with fellow BSBI luminaries such as Chris Preston, David Pearman, Simon Leach, Paul Smith and Trevor James to co-author 'Recording plant status and regeneration during single visits'. Alternative categories are proposed that focus on origin rather than persistence. 

A new species of lady's-mantle:
Alchemilla sciura photographed in The Cairnwell
Image: M. Lynes
As always, the British & Irish Botany editorial team will be keen to hear from readers with their comments, either in favour of, or against, the proposals outlined in the paper. by Kevin et al. - or about anything else you read in the journal. Just email and tell us what you think and why.

Other papers in this issue consider birdseed aliens; a hybrid comfrey; and a spatial and vegetation  analysis of one site over 20 years. We publish a description of a new species of lady's-mantle Alchemilla by Mark Lynes, author of the forthcoming BSBI Handbook on Alchemilla; and there's a short note about a pink bindweed.  

Apple-of-Peru Nicandra physalodes: 
one of the birdseed aliens
discussed in B&IB 1.4
Image: G. Hanson
Editor-in-Chief Ian Denholm said: "The first volume of British & Irish Botany is now complete. It has been a steep learning curve for the editorial team but I believe we have achieved all the aspirations expressed in my talk to the 2018 Recorders' Conference: those of producing an online journal free of charge to authors and readers that is readily accessible to both professional and amateur authors, and which encompasses broad-ranging aspects of the composition, dynamics, ecology and taxonomy of the British and Irish flora. 

"I thank editors, reviewers and authors for their contributions to reaching this milestone and encourage everyone to consider sharing their data, results and observations in subsequent issues. We can help with all stages of the publication process and are pleased to advise on the suitability of material for inclusion. So please do help us with building on the success to date, and if you are a new reader do check out the contents of the previous three issues: the first issue published in February; the second issue in May; and the third issue in August". 

We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of British & Irish Botany and look forward to bringing you more fabulous issues in 2020. Happy Christmas from the B&IB editorial team!

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