Circular letter December 2017

Helsinki, 21 December 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Although the snow cover, our traditional attribute of Christmas, is sparse and unstable around in Helsinki, time is coming again when the star of Bethlehem shines and we are treasuring secret wishes of good luck and happiness for the coming year. We wish you, the AFE collaborators, a fruitful year of 2018.

2018 is the year of our long-awaited Sorbus AFE book to appear, most likely in January. In 2017, a taxonomic synopsis of Sorbus s.l. was completed and published in a separate article (in Memoranda Societatis pro Fauna et Flora Fennica 93: 1–78). This was the first synopsis of Sorbus in Europe to follow the phylogeny and the rules of nomenclature consistently and strictly. The Sorbus book appears as a collaborative effort of several teams, first of all from Great Britain, Germany and Hungary, and we congratulate our Sorbus experts and all contributors with this excellent achievement. Our traditional Christmas card celebrates this achievement and meanwhile reflects the climate change that turned our snow into a tear-dropping ice.

This was also the first time when AFE was in a close cooperation with the IUCN in evaluations of the protection status of all arboreous taxa mapped in AFE. Plant conservation is a critical issue nowadays, and we are glad that our data are so much sought-after. Many thanks and warm greetings to our colleagues from the IUCN and BGCI for this nice collaboration.

As in the previous years, we continued publishing AFE notes, with two more contributions on the Hungarian Sorbus. Now it is high time to get more concentrated on Fabaceae, with its first volume 18 (Fabaceae: Cercis to Calophaca) scheduled to the end of the next year. At present its text is completed and being edited, and the distributional data are complete except for a few most critical taxa.

A further work is in progress. AFE vol. 19 (Fabaceae: Astragalus to Erophaca) is in a good state: the draft text has been updated and revised. We would like to bring your attention to the fact that the deadline of the data submission for this volume is the end of this year.

As to vol. 20 (Fabaceae: Glycyrrhiza to Pisum), the text is being elaborated and the data from some AFE territories have been already received. The draft text will be sent to the collaborators in late 2018 or early 2019.

It is our pride and our pleasure to thank you, our contributors and collaborators, for your dedicated work on treating and mapping the challenging taxa of Sorbus s.l. and Fabaceae.

With kind regards,

Pertti Uotila                                          Arto Kurtto                                           Alexander Sennikov