Thursday 9 June 2022

British & Irish Botany: issue 4.2 published

Sword-leaved Helleborine
growing under oak and holly
 in Knapdale, Argyll
Image: P. Batty

The latest issue of British & Irish Botany has just been published and features nine papers or short notes which range across time and space to grab your botanical attention, whether your interest lies in trees or grasses, gorgeous orchids or challenging apomicts!

There are two papers for orchid-lovers, investigating long-term changes in their abundance and distribution, so it seems fitting to ask Editor-in-Chief Prof. Ian Denholm to say something about them, as he is also one of our expert referees on orchids

Over to Ian: 

"Dave Trudgill follows up on his paper in our last issue, once again using data extracted from BSBI’s Distribution Database, but this time he is comparing the current ranges in Britain of 20 orchid species with those recorded four decades previously. Emphasis on northern and southern geographical limits provides insights into likely impacts of climate change on the distributions of individual taxa. In our second orchid paper, Patricia Batty reports on systematic monitoring of four Scottish colonies of Sword-leaved Helleborine, Cephalanthera longifolia, following the size, flowering success and longevity of individual plants over a 22-year period". 

Birches at Holme Fen
Image: S. McAdam

From Scotland to Holme Fen, Cambridgeshire, for our next paper, but staying with the theme of long-term observation, Anthony Davy and John Gill report on growth trajectories of a stand of birch trees over a 38-year period; then we stay with trees but head over to Wales, where Martin Lepsi and Tim Rich focus on two endemic Welsh whitebeams, Sorbus cambrensis and S. stenophylla

Next we go back in time, for a report by Jim Bevan on the 16 species of hawkweed Hieracium that were known in 1821 and the nomenclatural problems which still exist.

Brambles are as tricky to identify as hawkweeds and it doesn't help when they change their names, but the new name proposed by Muhammad Idrees and Julian Shaw for the species formerly known as the Rubus rubicundiflorus is both snappier and honours a much-loved botanist, the late Peter Sell

This issue also features notes on Atriplex species and hybrids by Mike Wilcox; a conspectus of, and key to, the world's species of Vulpia by Clive Stace; and a discussion by Diulio Iamonico on the typification of the Linnean name Papaver medium in Flora Anglica (1754). 

We hope that you enjoy your whistle-stop tour across the decades and countries with this latest issue of British & Irish Botany, which as always is completely free, both for you to read and for our authors to publish in: happy reading! 

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