Circular letter December 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Christmas is coming, a silent time of joy and happiness. The New Year 2016 is approaching with new challenges and opportunities. We wish you a blessed Christmas into the dark times of global instabilities, and a bright New Year to be rich in scientific results!

The year 2015 was very busy in AFE. Now it is high time to report our achievements and the state of the forthcoming volumes.

Although the mapping for volume 17 (Sorbus) is practically complete, quite much work was required to clean the taxonomic synopsis and nomenclature of the European Sorbus. As a result of this activity, five contributions (AFE Notes) dealing with the most critical species of Sorbus in Hungary, Slovakia and Norway have been submitted to peer-reviewed periodicals (Annales Botanici Fennici, Nordic Journal of Botany, Taxon) and partly already published. Many thanks for our contributors from Hungary and Norway for these nice developments! More material is on the way, and we expect to finalize the whole treatment in the first half of 2016. Please accept our sincere apologies for a slow progress in this work.

The mapping data for volume 18 (the beginning of Fabaceae) are nearly complete, except for a few missing territories. Many thanks to those who contributed to this volume! An example of those maps can be seen as a draft on our Christmas card. To comply with present-day trends and technologies, starting from this year we distribute our circular letters and traditional Christmas greetings electronically (also online as a flash-card).

As revealed by the gap-analysis of the plant distribution data performed during this year, AFE has a far better coverage of individual plant taxa in Europe than any other resource of a similar scale. This fact is acknowledged and widely appreciated by European botanists, and we are very proud to say that it was particularly contributions of our collaborators that brought the AFE to its good shape. Thank you very much for your hard work towards this progress!

We expect to send a new circular letter before the summer of 2016, to provide further information on our progress.

With kind regards,

Pertti Uotila                                         Arto Kurtto                                           Alexander Sennikov