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The changing flora of Bedfordshire 1949-2004: Dony's habitat studies revisited

By K.J. Walker, C.D. Preston and C.R. Boon

Abstract

The new Flora of Bedfordshire has now been published, following years of recording by members of the Society. \ud Grass-of-Parnassus painted by Caroline Gaye in 1844 County Floras have been and still are an important feature of Britain’s botanical scene. The Flora of Bedfordshire will provide an up-to-date account of the status and distribution of the flowering plants and mosses of the county, and place their occurrence in the context of over 400 years of study of the local flora. \ud For Bedfordshire it follows in a long line of such works, from Charles Abbot’s Flora Bedfordiensis in 1798, to James Saunders’ Field Flowers of Bedfordshire of 1911 and, more recently John Dony’s masterly Flora of Bedfordshire of 1953 and Bedfordshire Plant Atlas of 1976. \ud The authors, Chris Boon for the flowering plants, and Alan Outen for the mosses, have each spent many years studying their fields of natural history, and are not only recorders for the county, but are also involved with their respective national societies. The flora is the culmination of more than 20 years of a comprehensive programme of recording in the county by the BNHS. \ud There are introductory chapters on many aspects pertaining to the flora of the county including geology, soils, conservation of the countryside and changes in the flora over the last 50 years. Also given are accounts of the history of botany in Bedfordshire, and an overview of the botanical hotspots. \ud Significant records are listed, and the distribution maps for each of the 2,250 species that have ever been recorded in the county show their presence in areas of 2x2km. A unique feature is the indication on the maps of the distribution data from an earlier survey in the 1970s by John Dony, the distinguished former county botanist, showing clearly the changes that have taken place

Topics: Botany
Publisher: Bedfordshire Natural History Society
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:16147
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