News

Scroll down for: new scientific papers; forthcoming workshops and conferences; news about BSBI books and periodicals; field meetings and training opportunities; BSBI in the media; podcasts; what's new on the BSBI website; requests from BSBI members; and much much more... and don't forget to sign up here for our new mid-monthly eNewsletter!

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British & Irish Botany 4.2 published

The latest issue of British & Irish Botany, our online Open Access scientific journal, has just been published. Read a summary of the nine papers & short notes here or go straight to the full issue here.

For BSBI members: New Journal of Botany and Stace's Concise Flora

We recently revamped the password-protected members' area on this website - all the papers published in New Journal of Botany between 2011 and 2017 are now available for members to view free of charge; we also posted details of Clive Stace's Concise Flora of the British Isles, due for publication in June. If you're a BSBI member, and you've forgotten your password to access the members' area, just email us and we'll get straight back to you.

Sad news about Terry Swainbank

We were very sorry to hear recently that orchid enthusiast, blogger and two-time BSBI Treasurer Terry Swainbank died recently; our condolences go to Terry's family and his many botanical friends.

Aquatic Plant Project re-opens for 2022

Bookings are now open for the first of this year's free Aquatic Plant Project (APP) training sessions. All APP sessions are open to everyone, whether or not you live in Ireland webinars are recorded so watch out for them on the APP playlist on our YouTube channel.

New videos on our YouTube channel

The BSBI Spring Conference took place online on 26th March and the Irish Spring Conference took place on the following Saturday, 2nd April; all the talks were recorded and 14 videos are now available to watch on our YouTube channel.

Sad news about Clive Lovatt

We are shocked and saddened to announce the recent sudden death of Clive Lovatt, BSBI's County Recorder for West Gloucestershire and our Administrative Officer until his retirement in 2016. Our thoughts are with his family and all his many friends and colleagues in the botanical world.

New paper on Water-crowfoots

A new paper in Bot J Lin Soc about water-crowfoots Ranunculus Batrachium group in central Europe will be of interest to British and Irish botanists! They are acknowledged as being some of the most taxonomically-challenging aquatic plants. Read the paper here.

Sweet Chestnuts

The Royal Horticultural Society have launched a citizen science project to monitor the health of Britain’s Sweet Chestnut trees. They are particularly concerned about the spread of Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp. To find out more about the project and to get involved, please visit the Check a Sweet Chestnut page.

Bluebell paper

As Bluebell season gets underway, this paper by BSBI member George Garnett et al. may be of interest: The complete plastome of Hyacinthoides non-scripta (L.) Chouard ex Rothm. (Asparagaceae)

Ash dieback paper

Interesting new paper: 'Mycobiome of Fraxinus excelsior With Different Phenotypic Susceptibility to Ash Dieback'

Historical trends in herbarium specimens could cause misleading observations

Interesting paper published in Annals of Botany here, and there's a blogpost summarising the findings here.

Rare plant re-introductions: good or bad?

This blogpost, written by journalist Amanda Tuke for Mark Avery's blog, gives a balanced view of the pros and cons of rare plant re-introductions.

Useful diagram

This handy diagram, produced by the OU/ Floodplain Meadows Partnership, shows roots and shoots of some meadow plants - a handy teaching aid.

Using a handlens

Here's a useful short video demonstrating to beginner botanists how to use a handlens. Many thanks to Arthur Chater and Fay Newbery for this link!

Impact of sheep-grazing on upland plant communities

A new paper by Alday et al. considers the 'Effects of long-term removal of sheep-grazing in a series of British upland plant communities: Insights from plant species composition and traits'. It's paywalled but even if you don't have access to the full paper, the abstract is still worth a look.

Landmark account of Large-leaved Lime published

Donald Piggott's account of Tilia platyphyllos has been published in the Biological Flora of the British Isles.

Interesting Open Access paper

Jessica Hamilton, convenor of the BSBI Kerry group, is co-author on a recent paper titled 'Engaging and empowering people in biodiversity conservation: lessons from practice'. 

Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans) photographed by Gus Routledge at St Cyrus NR #wildflowerhour June 2017 Download the Species Account for Silene nutans here.

Heath Speedwell photographed by Jane Rock for #wildflowerhour June 2017

Marsh Helleborine photographed by Dave Steere #wildflowerhour June 2017

Rowan berries and flowers, photographed in Edinburgh, August 2017. Image: Janet Wyllie.

Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris ) - frosted but flowering #wildflowerhour

Image by James Faulconbridge

Harebell (Scottish Bluebell) in bloom at Striding Edge, Lake District, 23/7/2016. Image: Alistair Whyte 

Dwarf Succisa pratensis in two colours, on coastal heath in Mayo. #wildflowerhour 21/8/2016 Image: Rory Hodd 

Sea Campion Photographed on Sidmouth beach 4/12/2016 by Karen Woolley

Pipewort on Skye, August 2016. Image courtesy of Simon Harrap.

Thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) in flower. Image: Timothy Body

Carex magellanica in Tyrone, shared via #wildflowerhour 21/8/2016 Image: Rory Hodd. Near Threatened in England.  

Sea Clover (Trifolium squamosum) Portland Dorset 22/6/16. Image: Karen Woolley 

Hybrid goosefoot Atriplex prostrata x glabriuscula spotted at Arnside by BSBI member Howard Beck, October 2019. New for Cumbria

Bell heather and cowberry cling to a rock face on Iona. Spotted by @mclaverock for #wildflowerhour August 2018

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Pyramidal orchid spotted June 2018 at Godrevy, Cornwall by ecologist David Matheson

Hawthorn photographed by Geraldine Murray, May 2018

Dwarf Spurge photographed at Saltmills, Co. Wexford 12th November 2017 for #wildflowerhour. Previous tetrad record was in 1888. Image: Paula O'Meara

Bristly Ox-tongue photographed for #wildflowerhour in Kent, November 2017. Image: David B. Burbridge

News from the Science Team

*NEW* Kevin Walker co-authored a paper just published in Nature. Click on the link to read it in full: 'Extinction risk from climate change is reduced by microclimatic buffering'.

Kevin Walker and Pete Stroh have been on the Isle of Colonsay recording towards a new Flora of the island Read about their visit here.

Kevin Walker is a co-author on 'Overcoming the challenges of public data archiving for citizen science biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes' published this month in the Journal of Applied Ecology. A bit more info about the paper here.

Kevin Walker is quoted in an article published today (14th May) by Roger Harrabin for BBC Science News, about the impacts of nitrogen deposition and over-zealous cutting on plant assemblages found on roadside verges. There is also an article in The Telegraph which uses the same quote from Kevin.

Kevin Walker co-authored a high impact paper titled 'Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools' published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. It uses BSBI data which also appear in David Pearman's recent 'first dates' book; access the paper here (subscription required) and there is a note about the paper on the IUCN News website here.

Kevin Walker also co-authored a paper 'Seed bank dynamics in restored grassland following the sowing of high- and low-diversity seed mixtures'. More here.

Pete Stroh co-authored a paper on Field Fleawort as an indicator species for longterm changes in lowland calcareous grassland plots. You can download the full paper free of charge here.

Kevin Walker co-authored a paper titled 'Risk management to prioritise the eradication of new and emerging invasive non-native species'. Click here to download the paper, published in the August issue of Biological Invasions.

Pete Stroh is writing eight new Species Accounts - he has just completed Orobanche reticulata and is "currently drafting Medicago minima".

Kevin Walker is revising a paper on threatened species on SSSIs for Biological Conservation (assisted by Pete) and "completing a paper on analysis of traits of threatened grassland species".

Pete Stroh has been "editing and formatting completed species accounts for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England for a future Scarce Grasslands book". He also liaised with County Recorders across England over their Annual Reports for 2016.

Kevin Walker says he's been "commenting on BTO papers, one on open data access and one on the risks and benefits of climate change for British wildlife (analysis of 17 groups including vascular plants). The full report is available here and the paper should be published later in 2017 all being well".

Pete Stroh is "editing and formatting completed species accounts for Natural Resources Wales and Natural England for a future book on Scarce Grasslands".

Kevin Walker and Pete Stroh are finalising the Introduction to their book about the Threatened Plants Project, which is "in an advanced stage of preparation".

Kevin Walker starts working on a preliminary analysis of New Year Plant Hunt records on 10th January. 

Pete Stroh's first task in January is liaising with County Recorders in England over Annual Reports for 2016.

Kevin Walker has been researching current distribution of Hydrocotyle ranunculoides as "it seems to be exploding due to a run of mild winters". More here.

Pete Stroh has completed the latest batch of Species Accounts and they can be downloaded here.

Kevin says: "I've been completing assessment of impacts for 14 invasive plants as part of the Non-Native Species Secretariat workshop. I'm also working on introductory analyses and chapters for the Threatened Plants Book".

Kevin Walker tells us what he's working on this month and Pete Stroh talks about surveying for the National Plant Monitoring Scheme and collecting seed for the Millenium Seed Bank.

Kevin & Pete: "Are you interested in the results of the Threatened Plants Project? We have now completed all the accounts and are editing them for publication!"

Pete Stroh says: "I've a small project with CUBG investigating the soil seed longevity of Iberis amara. More here on the BSBI Science page."

Kevin Walker says:" "I'm currently working on a paper outlining the development of the NPMS including how we chose the habitats, species, methods, etc. As part of this I've had to summarise all semi-natural habitats covered in one table. Quite a feat!"

Mudwort photographed for #wildflowerhour in Dorset, September 2017, by Karen Woolley.

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Greater Knapweed photographed for #wildflowerhour in Fife, August 2017 by Heather Kelly

Bearberry (on left) & Alpine Bearberry #wildflowerhour June 2017. Image: Andy Amphlett, County Recorder for Banffshire

Scarlet Pimpernel photographed by Zach Haynes at Nosterfield Nature Reserve in North Yorkshire for  #wildflowerhour 30/4/2017.  Zach is also BBC Wildlife Magazine's Junior Blogger of the Year.

Corn salad (Valerianella sp.) photographed in Cornwall by Kevin Thomas for #wildflowerhour 23/4/2017.