Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology (book) Web Resources 

This Web page contains the URLs and annotations for the Web-accessible resources listed in Guide to Reference and Information Sources in Plant Biology, published by Libraries Unlimited in December 2005.


Chapter 2:  General Sources

Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature


Lampinen, R., S. Liu, A. R. Brach, and K. McCree.  The Internet Directory for Botany.


A very extensive alphabetical list of plant biology-related Web sites.  It can be searched by keyword, but unfortunately there is no subject categorization.  Most of the major associations, botanical gardens, and arboreta with Web sites are included in the list.  


MERLOT Biology.  Long Beach, CA: California State University, Center for Distributed Learning.

Designed for higher education, this site provides links to educational resources such as streaming videos, tutorials, online courses, societies, and so on.  At the time of viewing, there were over 100 links to botanical materials.


Plant Science Homepage. Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC), 1999.

While emphasizing agricultural-related sites, this guide is a good starting place for reliable Web sites dealing with plant biology.  It is arranged by type of resource and subject and can also be searched by keyword.


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Databases, Abstracts & Indexes


AGRICOLA  (AGRICultural OnLine Access).  Washington, DC: National Agricultural Library, 1970- .


The online equivalent of the now-ceased Bibliography of Agriculture, produced by the National Agriculture Library (NAL).  This database covers journal articles, book chapters, government documents, technical reports, and proceedings.  AGRICOLA’s focus is primarily agricultural; however, it is important to botanists working in the applied area who need to pick up international information from government reports, agricultural experiment stations, and the like.  The database uses the same controlled vocabulary used in CAB AbstractsAGRICOLA is available from many vendors in several formats including online, on CD-ROM, and through the Web.  The database can also be searched for free at the URL listed above although this search engine is rather clumsy.  NAL also publishes an annual List of Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA that can be accessed at no charge on the Web.  This version includes data on journals back to 1992.



AGRIS. Rome, Italy: U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 1975- .


This database covers agriculture “in the widest sense” according to its Web site.  It indexes articles, unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers, government publications, and unpublished scientific and technical reports from around the world, making it a good source for the gray literature that is hard to find elsewhere.  Like the other agricultural databases (AGRICOLA and CAB Abstracts), AGRIS is a good source of information on plants of economic importance and is especially strong in non-English material.  AGRIS uses the AGROVOC standardized vocabulary.  Users can obtain vocabulary terms in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish from the FAO’s site.  AGRIS is available from various vendors and can also be searched for free at the URL listed above.  Published in print from 1975-1995 as Agrindex.



Index to American Botanical Literature.  Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden, 1999- .


The index covers both living and fossil American plants and fungi, indexing articles covering general and economic botany, systematics and floristics, morphology, and ecology.  The area includes the entire Western Hemisphere, from Greenland to Antarctica.  From 1886 through 1995 the index was published in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club and from 1996 to 1998 in Brittonia.  After that point, it became electronic-only and is searchable at the URL listed above.  The database includes material added to the index from 1996 to date.



PubMed.  Bethesda, MD: National Library of Medicine, 1951- . Updated daily.

PubMed is the free version of the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database and is the access method favored by most biological researchers.  As well as indexing the 4,500 journals covered in MEDLINE, PubMed includes a number of journals in the life sciences that are not included in MEDLINE and has links to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) molecular biology databases.  PubMed has a number of valuable features, including direct links to full-text articles, a citation matching feature, and the ability to save searches.  While the emphasis in the database is on medicine, it is useful for botanists because it covers medicinal plants, plant molecular and cellular biology, and a range of other topics.  MEDLINE is available online and on CD-ROM from a variety of vendors by subscription.  The print version of MEDLINE, Index Medicus, began in 1903 and is still being published.  The very useful List of Serials Indexed for Online Users is available in print and also on the Web.


Scirus: For Scientific Information Only. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science, 2001- .

This free search engine includes only scientific resources, including links to societies, electronic journals, researchers’ personal Web pages, course syllabi, and more.  Since users can search Scirus for subscription-only journal articles as well as Web pages, they may pull up resources that are not available to them, but the search engine indexes many high-quality free sites so it is worth checking.

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Annals of Botany (London). Vol. 1- . Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1887- . 13 times per year. $787.00. ISSN 0305–7364. Available electronically.

An international journal publishing in all aspects of plant biology.  It includes research papers, short communications, invited and submitted review articles and book reviews as well as “Botanical Briefings”, short commissioned reviews.  The Botanical Briefings are available for free on the Web, as are Invited Reviews.


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Dictionaries and Encyclopedias


Committee on Standardization of Common Names for Plant Diseases.  Common Names of Plant Diseases.

Lists the common names of plant pathogens and diseases for use in American Phytopathological Society publications.  Can be searched by keyword or browed by alphabetical listing.



D'Arcy, C. J., D. M. Eastburn, and G. L. Schumann. Illustrated Glossary of Plant Pathology.  American Phytopathological Society, 2001.

This lengthy glossary is part of the society’s Plant Health Instructor site and provides definitions of a large number of terms used in plant pathology.  Almost all of the terms are illustrated with a color photograph or drawing.


Magill, R. E., ed. Glossarium Polyglottum Bryologiae: A Multilingual Glossary for Bryology. (Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, vol. 33). St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, 1990. $19.95 (paper). 297 p.

The dictionary defines nearly 1,200 terms from bryology.  Definitions are in English and include translations in Latin, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Russian.  The English terms and their definitions as well as the Latin, French, German, and Spanish translations are also available on the Web.


Massey, J. R. and J. C. Murphy. Vascular Plant Systematics Glossary.  1996.

This glossary was taken from Chapter 6 of Radford’s classic textbook Vascular Plant Systematics.  The illustrated glossary covers plant anatomy, general characters used in taxonomy, and terms specific to gymnosperms and angiosperms.


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Handbooks and Methods

Association of Applied Biologists. Descriptions of Plant Viruses.  Wellesbourne, England: Association of Applied Biologists, 1970- .

Originally published in paper from 1970-1989 by CAB International and on CD-ROM in 1998, and now freely available on the Web.  The site provides an introduction to plant viruses, over 400 descriptions of plant viruses, taxonomic information, information on gene sequences, and links to other sites.  Formerly titled AAB Descriptions of Plant Viruses and CMI/AABI Descriptions of Plant Viruses.



Plants Database.  Baton Rouge, LA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1990s- .

The database provides standardized information about the vascular and nonvascular plants (excluding fungi) of the United States and its territories including names, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, references, and much more.  Users can get reports on several topics such as invasive or endangered species, culturally significant plants, and alternative crops.  This is an excellent place to start for information on a specific plant of the United States.


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Textbooks and Treatises


Graham, Linda E., James M. Graham, and Lee Warren Wilcox. Plant Biology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. 497 p. $101.33. ISBN 0130303712.

Designed for freshman or non-major plant biology courses, this text covers plant biology and ecology and has chapters on various ecosystems such as deserts or grasslands.  Each chapter has an outline of chapter highlights, review questions, and suggestions for applying concepts found in the chapter; however there are no references or further readings.  An associated Web site has study aids and relevant Web sites.

Mauseth, James D. Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2003. 868 p. plus CD-ROM. $99.95. ISBN 0763721344, 076372517X (CD-ROM).

Suitable for use in an introductory plant biology course.  About a third of the book consists of a survey of plants from prokaryotes to vascular plants.  While each chapter contains review questions and links to the associated Web site, there are no references.  The Plant Biology Tutor CD-ROM provides images, tutorials, and experimental simulations.

Sengbusch, Peter von, Alice Bergfeld, and Rolf Bergmann. Botany Online: The Internet Hypertextbook.  International ed. Hamburg, Germany: University of Hamburg, 1990s- .

An introductory undergraduate botany hypertextbook covering all the usual subjects, from the history of plant biology to genetics, cell biology, evolution, and systematics.  The text was originally published in German, and at the time of viewing some sections (primarily systematics and ecology) had not been translated into English.

Stern, Kingsley Rowland, Shelley Jansky, and James E. Bidlack. Introductory Plant Biology. 9th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2003. 589 p. $113.25. ISBN 0072930381.

An introductory text covering plant anatomy, physiology, genetics, ecology, and breeding.  In addition, about half the volume consists of a survey of organisms from bacteria and Protista, to fungi and vascular plants.  Each chapter includes a summary, review and discussion questions, additional reading, and links to the associated Web site.  Appendixes list scientific names of plants mentioned in the text, biological controls, useful and poisonous plants, houseplants, and metric conversions.

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American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (AABGA). 100 W 10th St., Ste. 614, Wilmington, DE 19801-6604. Phone: 302-655-7100. Fax: 302-655-8100. E-Mail:  

Directors and staffs of botanical gardens, arboreta, institutions maintaining or conducting horticultural courses, and others.  Publishes American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta-Newsletter, and Public Garden.



American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS). Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, 4505 Maryland Parkway, PO Box 454004, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004. Phone: 702-895-3119. Fax: 702-895-3956. E-Mail:

Professional botanists, botany teachers, and hobbyists interested in the study of mosses, liverworts, and lichens.  Maintains moss, lichen, and hepatic exchange clubs.  Publishes Bryologist and Evansia.



American Fern Society (AFS). c/o Dr. George Yatskievych, Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299. Phone: 314-577-9522. E-Mail:

Promotes the study of ferns and their allies by persons interested in the biology, taxonomy, and horticulture of ferns, club mosses, and horsetails.  Publishes American Fern Journal.



American Orchid Society (AOS). 16700 AOS Lane, Delray Beach, FL 33446-4351. Phone: 561-404-2000. Fax: 561-404-2100. E-Mail: 


Professional growers, botanists, hobbyists, and others interested in promoting all phases of orchidology.  Publishes Orchids and various handbooks.



American Phytopathological Society (APS). 3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121. Phone: 612-454-7250. Fax: 651-454-0766. Email:

Professional educators, researchers, and other interested in the study and control of plant diseases.  Publishes Phytopathology News, Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Phytopathology, Plant Disease: An International Journal of Applied Plant Pathology, and more.



Botanical Society of America (BSA). 4474 Castleman St., St. Louis, MO 63166. Phone: 314-577-9566. Fax: 314-577-9519.

Professional society of botanists and others interested in plant science.  The largest U. S. botanical society, with fifteen Special Interest sections covering almost every aspect of plant biology.  Publishes American Journal of Botany and Plant Science Bulletin.



Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI). 68 Outwoods Road, Loughborough LE11 3LY, United Kingdom. Phone: 44 1283 568136. E-Mail:

Amateur and professional botanists in England and the Republic of Ireland.  Promotes the study of British and Irish flowering plants and ferns.  Formerly: Botanical Society of London.  Publishes Watsonia.



British Lichen Society (BLS). Department of Botany, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom. Phone: 44 207 9425617. Fax: 44 207 9425529. E-Mail:


Professional academic, and amateur lichenologists involved in research.  Publishes BLS Bulletin, The Lichenologist.



British Phycological Society (BPS). c/o Dr. Jackie Parry, Division of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom. Phone: 44 1524 593489. Fax: 44 1524 843854. E-Mail:


Scientists, students, and other interested persons organized to further phycology, the study of algae and seaweed.  Publishes European Journal of Phycology, The Phycologist Newsletter, and Seaweeds of the British Isles.



Canadian Botanical Association (CBA)/Association Botanique du Canada (ABC). c/o Christine D. Maxwell, Sec., Biology Dept., Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 7B8. Phone: 705-748-1011. Fax: 705-748-1205. E-Mail:

A national organization for Canadian botanists supporting research and education.  The association has several sections including ones on conservation, teaching, ecology, systematics, mycology, and structure.  Publishes the CBA/ABC Bulletin.



Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL). c/o Charlotte Tancin, Secretary, CBHL, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation - Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Phone: 412-268-7301. Fax: 412-268-5677. E-Mail:

Libraries and collections in botanical or horticultural materials, librarians, bibliographers, booksellers, publishers, researchers, and administrators.  Purpose is to initiate and improve communication between persons and institutions concerned with the development, maintenance, and use of botanical and horticultural libraries.



International Mycological Associations (IMA.

National and international societies promoting the study of mycology in all its aspects.  Constitutes the section for general mycology within the International Union of Biological Sciences.  Publishes IMA News.



Mycological Society of America (MSA). c/o Kay Rose, Allen Marketing & Management, 810 E 10th St., Lawrence, KS 66044. Phone: 785-843-1235. Fax: 785-843-1274. 

Includes both professional and amateur mycologists.  Web site includes membership information, links to mycological sites, full text of newsletter, meeting information, and jobs available.  Formerly Mycological Section, Botanical Society of America.  Publishes Mycologia and newsletter Inoculum.



North American Mycological Association (NAMA). 6615 Tudor Court, Gladstone, OR 97027-1032. Phone: 503-657-7358. E-Mail:

Amateur and professional mycologists, students, and botanists.  Promotes amateur mycology; sponsors field trips and taxonomic and mycological seminars.  Publishes McIlvainea, The Mycophile Newsletter.



Phycological Society of America (PSA). c/o Blackwell Science Inc., Commerce Place, 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148. Phone: 781-388-8250. Fax: 781-388-8270. E-Mail:

Educators, researchers, and others interested in the pure, or applied study and utilization of algae.  Publishes Journal of Phycology, Phycological Newsletter.


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12/22/2005   mma