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Paul E. Berry

Professor of Botany
Director of the Wisconsin State Herbarium

Ph.D. (1980) Washington University

Office: 154 Birge Hall

Plant systematics, floristics, biogeography



Current Research Projects

1. Floristics and molecular phylogeny of a giant genus – Croton (Euphorbiaceae)
An NSF-supported collaborative project to develop a comprehensive floristic resource for a large, mainly tropical genus. In parallel, we are conducting a molecular-based study of Croton and related genera to develop solid phylogenetic hypotheses in this group. See the Croton Research Network homepage.

2. Systematics of the genus Fuchsia (Onagraceae)
A long-running study of the 110 species of this ornamental genus, which is most diverse in montane forests of the Neotropics, but also has two small sections in New Zealand and Tahiti. A molecular systematic study of Fuchsia including a molecular clock analysis was submitted for publication in 2003. I am completing a popular book on the native species of Fuchsia, which will be published by Timber Press in 2004.

3. Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana
An illustrated, 9-volume comprehensive flora treatment of the nearly 10,000 species of vascular plants centered in the Guayana Highland tepui region in southern Venezuela. I am the lead editor of the series, which is published by Missouri Botanical Garden Press (see http://ridgwaydb.mobot.org/mobot/photoessays/introduction.asp?relation=venguayana). Volumes 8 and 9 are scheduled for publication in 2004.

4. Guayana Shield biogeography
Field work for this project has been delayed due to permit difficulties and political strife in Venezuela. However, we have continued lab work in Madison on molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of Rapateaceae and Bromeliaceae.

5. Digitization of Martius’ Flora Brasiliensis as a springboard for a plant checklist of Brazil
A pilot project supported by NSF and Brazil’s CNPq to explore the feasibility of digitizing the 33,000 images of plants from Brazil published in the epic Flora Brasiliensis (1840-1904, in 15 volumes and 40 fascicles).

6. Wisconsin State Herbarium development
Through a series of grants from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the National Science Foundation, we are expanding the database of the 300,000 specimens of vascular plants from Wisconsin housed in Madison. Our data is delivered to the public through a website (http://www.botany.wisc.edu/wisflora/) that presents photographs and detailed distribution maps of all native and naturalized plant species in Wisconsin. We are also developing a data-rich GIS application with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources called “Wisconsin Biomapper”.

In 2002, we acquired the USDA Forest Products Lab Herbarium (acronym MAD), a collection of nearly 50,000 herbarium specimens that documents the lab’s collection of wood samples, which is the largest in the world (see http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/) We will now be responsible for curating MAD collections in conjunction with our own holdings at WIS. This NSF-supported project has allowed us to renovate parts of the Herbarium with additional cabinets, a new compactor section, and overhaul of the Lichen and Bryophyte herbaria.

Selected Publications

Berry, P. E., K. Yatskievych & B. K. Holst (editors). 2003. Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana. Volume VII. Myrtaceae to Plumbaginaceae. 765 pp., 646 figs. Missouri Botanical Garden Press.

Berry, P. E. & A. Wiedenhoeft. Micrandra inundata (Euphorbiaceae), a new species with unusual wood anatomy from black-water river banks in southern Venezuela. [In press]. Systematic Botany.

Berry, P. E., W. Hahn, K. J. Sytsma, J. C. Hall, and A. Mast. [Submitted]. Phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of Fuchsia (Onagraceae) based on non-coding nuclear and chloroplast DNA data. American Journal of Botany.

Berry, P. E. 2002. Biological inventories and the PhyloCode. Taxon 51: 27-29.

Berry, P. E. 2002. Diversidad y endemismo en los bosques neotropicales de bajura. Chapter 4, pp. 83–96 in M. R. Guariguata & G. H. Kattan (eds.), Ecología de Bosques Neotropicales. Libro Universitario Regional, Cartago, Costa Rica.

Berry, P. E., V. Savolainen, K. J. Sytsma, J. C. Hall & M. W. Chase. 2001. Lissocarpa is sister to Diospyros (Ebenaceae). Kew Bulletin 56: 725-729.

Givnish, T. J., T. M. Evans, M. L. Zjhra, T. B. Patterson, P. E. Berry & K. J. Sytsma. 2000. Molecular evolution, adaptive radiation, and geographic diversification in the amphiatlantic family Rapateaceae: evidence from ndhF sequences and morphology. Evolution 54: 1915-1937.

Berry, P. E. and R.N. Calvo. 1991. Pollinator limitation and position-dependent fruit set in the high Andean orchid Myrosmodes cochleare Garay. Plant Systematics and Evolution 174:93-101.

Berry, P. E., H. Tobe and J. A. Gomez. 1991. Agamospermy and the loss of distyly in Erythroxylum undulatum Plowman (Erythroxylaceae) from northern Venezuela. American Journal of Botany 78:595-600.

Berry, P.E. & R.N. Calvo. 1989. Wind pollination, self-incompatibility and altitudinal shifts in pollination systems in the high Andean genus Espeletia (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany 75: 1602–1614.

Systematics Section | Botany Department

© 2000 University of Wisconsin Department of Botany
Last updated: 19 November 2000