Tuesday 16 February 2021

British & Irish Botany: February issue published

Details of the underside of a Scottish example
of a true Diphasiastrum x issleri
Image: F. Rumsey
The first issue has just been published of volume three of British & Irish Botany, BSBI's online, open access scientific journal. This time around we have seven papers for you, many of them authored or co-authored by BSBI County Recorders, past and present, and three past Presidents!

Over to Editor Ian Denholm (also a past President, from 2013-5) to tell you about the first two papers:

"Although the vast majority of hybrids recorded in Britain and Ireland arise from crosses between plants in the same genus, hybridisation between genera is also possible. 

"Mike Wilcox, Stuart Desjardins and Clive Stace (BSBI President 1987-9 as well as the author of the New Flora of the British Isles) review in detail the occurrence and identification of hybrids between the genera Elymus (couchgrasses) and Hordeum (barleys) based on a combination of morphological, cytological and molecular criteria. 

Fruiting stem of Scheuchzeria palustris
Coire Daingean, 2018
Image: P. Smith
"Also on a hybrid theme, the Natural History Museum's Fred Rumsey, together with Hazel and Chris Metherell (BSBI President 2017-9) explore records of an enigmatic and misunderstood hybrid clubmoss, one of whose parents no longer occurs in Britain, if it ever did occur".

From Scotland, we have two papers. Firstly, there's a paper about Scotland's heritage of naturalised medicinal plants by Michael Braithwaite, BSBI President 2008-2011, County Recorder for Berwickshire for may years, Vice-County Recorder Emeritus and author of various publications about botany in the Scottish Borders

Confused hawkweed from
Bryn Euryn (type locality)
Image: T. Rich
Secondly, there's an overview of Scheuchzeria palustris, the Rannoch rush, in Scotland. This paper is by Paul Smith, County Recorder for the Outer Hebrides; Ian Strachan, County Recorder for Westerness; and Angus Coupar from NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage). 

From Wales, we have two papers on the distribution and status of Welsh endemic hawkweeds, co-authored by Tim Rich and Sarah Lee. 

The first paper considers the conservation status of Hieracium britannicoides aka the 'confused hawkweed' - Wendy McCarthy, County Recorder for Caernarvonshire, is also a co-author on this paper. 

The second looks at Hieracium breconicola the Beacons hawkweed, whose IUCN status is 'Critically Endangered'. 

Tim is the author of several BSBI Handbooks, including three on hawkweed sections; his latest hawkweed Handbook has just been published and BSBI members can benefit from a special discount price if they place their order before the end of February. 

A "novel" urban emergent woodland
(including Alnus cordata)  in Dublin
Image: D. Buckley
From the Republic of Ireland, Daniel Buckley offers personal observations on two non-native alder species naturalising in Ireland. Daniel isn't a County Recorder or a past President - he isn't even a BSBI member - but that doesn't matter: we are keen to publish any rigorous, well-researched material relating to the vascular plants and charophytes of Britain and Ireland. 

If you have an idea for a paper, please get in touch with us for an informal chat. We are especially keen to help first-time authors and early-career researchers to publish their first ever scientific paper and can provide extra support to help them through the process. 

We hope you enjoy reading our latest issue of British & Irish Botany!

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