Changes To the N.Z. Vascular Flora Fact SheetsIn addition to updating and completing fact sheets for the New Zealand Vascular Flora we have been busy adding in the authorities for the taxa listed and their chromosome numbers. We are adding in authorities following the standard entries advocated by Kew Botanists Brummitt & Powell because some NZPCN website users have requested them, and it is also evident from an examination of site visitor usage that this information is desired. We are also adding in chromosome numbers (expressed as 2n counts) for the vascular flora because this information is not otherwise easily available. Chromosome numbers are a useful quick step toward establishing relationships between taxa, as well as providing another means to help distinguish many of them. Equally for those interested in plant breeding, providing this information is a fundamental first step toward successful hybridisations. By world standards knowledge about New Zealand vascular plant chromosomal diversity is rapidly improving. We now estimate that close to 80% of the New Zealand vascular flora has been examined.
Currently we have completed updating chromosome data for the New Zealand grasses (Poaceae), Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, and for most of the Asteraceae.
We acknowledge the considerable efforts of past New Zealand pioneers in this field, particularly the late John Hair, and Ernst Beuzenberg. A useful hard copy compilation, of New Zealand vascular plant chromosomes is the publication by Dawson (2000), which forms the basis of the data we have assembled to which we have added the additional counts supplied since that publication date by various authors. The NZPCN is grateful to Brian Murray and Peter de Lange for providing many as yet unpublished counts.
Dawson, M.I. 2000: Index of chromosome numbers of indigenous New Zealand spermatophytes. New Zealand Journal of Botany 38: 47-150.
Posted: 4 August 2005