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Record: oai:ARNO:524700

AuthorsR. van der Meijden, P.W. Leenhouts
JournalBlumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants
AbstractAmazement merged with enthusiasm was my feeling after the reading of the Banksia Atlas. The production of accurate and up-to-date distribution maps being already complicated enough in tiny and densely populated countries like the Netherlands, how difficult must it be in such a vast, sparsely populated area as Australia! Yet, in a mere three years, the authors have succeeded in producing a convincingly reliable distribution atlas of all the 75 taxa of the genus Banksia (Proteaceae) occurring in Australia, based on some 25,000 records, and comprizing a fair amount of detail on the habitats of the plants and other biologically relevant data. The success of the project lies in the cooperation of some 450 active volunteers. Knowing all too well how difficult it is to convince individual volunteers to provide accurate and detailed plant records in Western European countries, it is an enormous achievement of the authors to organize such a good network of observers. The main importance of the work, of course, lies in its biological information on the marvellous genus itself, pursued especially with the aim of finding effective nature conservation measurements, e.g. in providing a sound basis for monitoring endangered species. We must assume, indeed, that the effective protection of Banksia species has come a vast step nearer to realization with this publication. For non-Australian readers, however, the Atlas will be of special interest for its part on ‘Methods and Materials’, its account on the organization of the project and its feed-back relations. Anyone involved in biological monitoring projects should read it carefully, because the book itself is an outstanding example of what can be achieved in the field of nature conservation with active support of the public itself.
Document typearticle
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