News from the Science Team
BSBI News, Views & Events
It’s easy to keep up with all the latest news from BSBI, share your views with other members and find out what’s happening in the botanical world:
News & Views is the place to go for all the latest botanical news: read about BSBI’s members and activities, and keep up with news from partner organisations.
The Bulletin Board on the right keeps you updated on conferences, scientific papers and other botanical news items.
Check out what BSBI members are up to in your local area by clicking here.
Read BSBI News and New Journal of Botany - every year, members receive three copies of each.
For media enquiries and press releases, please visit the Publicity page.
Contact Louise to share your news, views and botanical stories on the News & Views page, to add an event to the Bulletin Board and for all media enquiries.
BSBI Bulletin Board
Phone app or recording card?
Are you interested in apps for recording wild flowers on a smartphone? Or do you prefer to use a BSBI recording card and a pencil? Whether or not you took part in this year's New Year Plant Hunt, please have your say about apps for botanical recording here.
BSBI County Recorder awarded MBE
Conference: Plant Network
Plant Network, the national network of botanic gardens, arboreta and other documented plant collections, is holding its annual conference in April and the theme is 'Connecting gardens; engaging people'. Details here.
PhD opportunities for botanists
Our Science Team has flagged up the following PhD opportunities:
- Conservation ecology of plants of muddy pond margins, most notably the starfruit, Damasonium alisma. Apply here by 25th January.
- The breeding system and pollination biology of the Snake's-head fritillary. Download the pdf here. Apply by 25th January.
- Managing flood risk through working with nature. Download the pdf here. Apply by 25th January.
- Culm grassland and natural flood management. Details here. Apply by 26th February.
- Pollinator-mediated floral evolution during range expansions. Details here. Apply by 31st January.
- Unravelling plant-soil processes as drivers of change in peatland ecosystem services. Details here. Apply by 10th February.
Please let me know if you hear of any PhDs or posts being advertised which might interest BSBI botanists.
New Year Plant Hunt 2017
BSBI's sixth New Year Plant Hunt took place between 1st and 4th January. This year we were trialling a new app developed for us by colleagues at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Follow the results on our New Year Plant Hunt website and on Twitter. If you participated in the Hunt this year, please take part in our survey here. BSBI's Head of Science Dr Kevin Walker will be analysing the records and a preliminary analysis is due to be published in late January (we're aiming for Monday 23rd.).
22 new BSBI Species Accounts published
Vascular plant Red List for Ireland
A new Red List for the vascular plants of Ireland has just been published and can be downloaded here. The Red List is dedicated to BSBI's County Recorders and the foreword says: "This work could not have been undertaken without the huge contribution made by the BSBI Vice-county Recorders, past and present, whose records, gathered both in the field and from the literature, form the bulk of the BSBI’s Vascular Plant Database and Distribution Database used in this analysis, and who kindly provided them for the Red List project – to them this Red List is sincerely dedicated."
BSBI Photographic Competition
See winning entries from the BSBI Photographic Competition 2016, and read details of how to take part in 2017, here.
BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting
Find out what went on at the (British & Irish) botanical world's annual get-together held on 26th November at CEH Wallingford. Most of the talks and many of the exhibits have now been uploaded to this page.
Vegetative Guide to British Orchids
Mike Waller's 'Beginner's vegetative guide to orchids of the British Isles' has now been published and can be downloaded free of charge here.
NBN Conference 2016: Review
The presentations and a summary of the workshops are available here.
BSBI Scottish Annual Meeting
Strengthening the biological recording community
Botanists are invited to participate in this survey about BioLinks, the new training project for biological recorders from the Field Studies Council.
BSBI Annual General Meeting
The 2016 AGM was held at 12.30 on 26th November 2016 at CEH Wallingford and offered BSBI members a chance to vote on items relating to the society’s governance. Any member can raise a matter for discussion by contacting our Company Secretary Clive Lovatt in advance of an AGM. Copies of BSBI annual reports and accounts from recent years are always available to view and download here.
Back copies of botanical journals
We have received several offers from members around the country of print runs of botanical journals, available free of charge to anybody willing to collect them. Titles include: Journal of Botany; The Naturalist (both from late 19th/early 20th century); Watsonia; BSBI Yearbook; and Botanical Society and Exchange Club Proceedings. If you are interested, please contact us and we can let you know what is available for collection in your area.
New paper on food for pollinators
Interesting new paper by BSBI member
New service launched
CEH has just launched a new service for assessing the risk of the presence of Japanese Knotweed. This new service is based in large part on data collected by BSBI members. Find out more here.
Markus Wagner (CEH) et al.: Cereal density and N-fertiliser effects on the flora and biodiversity value of arable headlands. More here.
The State of Nature report 2016 has been published...
... and BSBI is proud to be a partner. More here about how BSBI's volunteers contributed plant data and our Science Team helped with the analysis. See the State of Nature infographic here and download the full report here.
New site found for Killarney Fern
Hybrid Flora awarded Engler Silver Medal and short-listed for Marsh Book Award 2016
J.P. Grime: Scaling up to Communities and Ecosystems
Sharing images of plants in bloom: #wildflowerhour
Every Sunday, 8-9pm, hundreds of people are using this hashtag to share images of wild plants seen in bloom during the previous week across Britain and Ireland. A few of those images are shared (with permission) down the left-hand side of this page. You don't need a Twitter account to see the images flooding in every Sunday - just click on the BSBI Twitter account or the #wildflowerhour live tab at 8pm.
BSBI has a new Finance Officer
Jane Houldsworth, BSBI Head of Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Etherington to the role of BSBI Finance Officer. Julie takes up her post on the 5th of September and you can find out more here.
BSBI Recorders' Conference
Plant species richness is increasing - according to long-term environmental studies
UK Environmental Change Network has published the results of studies carried out over the past twenty years. More here.
Preliminary findings from the Orchid Observers project
Read the results so far: they are here on the Natural History Museum blog.
Latest issue of New Journal of Botany published
Two new Rare Plant Registers published
Download the Rare Plant Register for Ayrshire and for Dumfriesshire here - you can also see all the counties for whom a Rare Plant Register has been produced.
Arable wild flower App launched
Pre-publication offer for 'A New Flora of Devon'
Collecting seed for the Millenium Seed Bank
Read more here about BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh's experience of seed collecting for the Millenium Seed Bank and how you can get involved.
National Plant Monitoring Schemes: launched in Ireland, flourishing in Britain
A Plant Monitoring Scheme has now been launched in the Republic of Ireland: more info here. Meanwhile the UK's National Plant Monitoring Scheme goes from strength to strength: check out the Spring newsletter here (article by Kevin Walker on page 5); read what Pete Stroh spotted while out surveying for the NPMS; find NPMS training sessions here.
NBN Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing
Nominations have now closed for the NBN Awards but watch this space for more info about the winners! Find out more about the awards here.
BSBI Communications Officer appointed
Jane Houldsworth, BSBI Head of Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Louise Marsh to the role of BSBI Communications Officer. Louise will be taking up the post with immediate effect and you can find out more here.
Five Island Bioblitz held in Ireland
New population of Teesdalia nudicaulis found at Thursley Heath NNR
New technical handbook on floodplain meadows
Now available to download from the Floodplain Meadows Partnership.
Help required to sample Black Locust in UK
French botanist Xavier Bouteiller has asked BSBI members for help with sampling a UK population of Black Locust as part of Europe-wide research he is carrying out. More info here on the News & Views blog. Please email Xavier if you can help.
Conference: National Recording Schemes and Societies - celebrating the past, looking to the future
The National Forum for Biological Recording's 2016 conference was organised in partnership with the Biological Records Centre and held on the 12th-13th May at Lancaster University followed by a field trip to the Forest of Bowland AONB on the 14th May.
Are agricultural management and climatic change the major drivers of biodiversity change in the UK?
A recent Open Access paper in PLOS ONE titled 'Agricultural Management and Climatic Change Are the Major Drivers of Biodiversity Change in the UK' is available in full here. The paper is co-authored by BSBI Head of Science Kevin Walker and BSBI Scientific Officer Pete Stroh.
State of the World's Plants Symposium
The first annual State of the World’s Plants Symposium took place on 12 May 2016 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
In conjunction with the launch of a ground-breaking new report, scientists and policy-makers gathered at Kew to take stock of the world’s plant diversity, associated research and trends. You can download the report here.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group
An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV was published on 24 March 2016. Early View access has now ended but the paper is available on pay-to-view here.
Results of GM crop trials
In 2012 the BSBI was one of many organisations that supported plans by researchers at Rothamsted to test a GM crop in the field. In the event there was so much public support for the trials that the protestors who had threatened to destroy the crop were deterred. Now the results have been published in Scientific Reports and the researchers have already answered some questions in this short Q&A.
Millennium Seed Bank
Can you help collect seed for Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank? There are 500 species still to collect for. Read more...
The Robert Pocock Herbarium Project
Robert Pocock was Gravesend's first local historian, printer, creator of its first public library and botanist. In the early 1800's he began a collection of local plants for his herbarium or dried plant collection. Long after his death, the herbarium was donated to the Natural History Museum in London. The herbarium sheets are still there, amongst many thousands of others, effectively 'lost' to us for 200 years! The aim of the project is to find this unique record of Gravesend's botanical heritage and make images of the plant specimens available to us all. To date we have found over 180 specimen sheets.
Follow our progress at www.pocockherbarium.blogspot.co.uk and on our Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Pocock-Herbarium-Project/333265860142783. See images of the plants on Facebook and Flickr (links are on the website, or search for Robert Pocock Herbarium).