plant collecting

Jan Bosselaers dochterland at VILLAGE.UUNET.BE
Tue Oct 12 20:20:40 CDT 1999

Dear John,

> back to plants.

Whew, finally!

> Some years ago, I recall a paper on how to determine if one should make a
> plant collection from a population.  It might have been in Rhodora or Bull.
> Torrey Bot Club. Someone had suggested a minimum number of individuals
> should be present in a population before it was "safe" to make a
> destructive plant collection(whole plant removal).  Anyone remember this OR
> have other guidelines from anywhere that might serve in makeing these
> decisions.  I usually work on weedy stuff, numbers are not ususally a
> problem.  I am trying to advise a colleague.

The now legendary Dutch conservationist Jacobus P. Thijsse used to say
that one should find at least thirty specimens of a plant species on a
spot before one should engage in whole plant collecting of a few
specimens. This is rather similar to David Wagner's "1 in 20" rule.
As an aside, I remember a Belgian botanist (still alive) with a somewhat
deviating opinion on this. That person used to say: "plants are nowhere
better protected than in the herbarium!"

Best wishes,

Jan Bosselaers
"Dochterland", R. novarumlaan 2
B-2340 Beerse, Belgium                       tel 32-14-615896
home: dochterland at           fax 32-14-610306
work: jbossela at
"I’ve discovered that truth is innate, and the lying is
 superficial, superimposed" Buckminster Fuller

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