Circular letter June 2017

Dear Collaborators of Atlas Florae Europaeae:

In the midsummer time we are distributing for your kind review a draft text of the forthcoming volume 19 of Atlas Florae Europaeae covering the genera Astragalus, Oxytropis and Erophaca of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae) according to the system of Flora Europaea. The text was compiled by Editor-in-chief Arto Kurtto.

The taxonomy of the most species-rich plant genus in the world, Astragalus, largely follows the latest monograph of Podlech & Zarre (A taxonomic revision of the genus Astragalus L. (Leguminosae) in the Old World, vols. I–III, 2013), with a few additions and corrections. Of the genera accepted in Flora Europaea, Biserrula is included in Astragalus but Erophaca is resurrected. The taxonomy of Oxytropis in West and Central Europe is largely based on the account in Flora Europaea but in East Europe a number of new taxa were added from the easternmost margin of the territory. Concerning species circumscriptions, a broader concept was followed, resulting in e.g. several subspecies accepted in Oxytropis (this makes a certain deviation from the narrow concept of East European authors).

The draft is available electronically from our website, following this link: astragalus_to_oxytropis_june2017.pdf.

As in the previous volume, precise background information (e.g. citations of herbarium specimens) is not required. However, at your own concern and to facilitate the editorial work you may include such information, especially for the most critical taxa and non-native taxa, where extra verification may be needed at the stage of editing, and also for highly disjunct occurrences.

Further changes were implemented as to the mapping territories. From vol. 18 onwards the former designation Uk (U) [Ukraine, except Crimea] is changed to Uk, whereas Uk (K) [Crimea] becomes Cm.

We would particularly appreciate your careful consideration of the notes and questions given in the text box titled ‘Data wanted’. Please note that the current draft reflects the information available to the Secretariat, and some country records and even some taxa may be overlooked. If you want to add or correct something, we would be glad to receive your corrections, additions and suggestions with references to the sources of information (free text). Comments on the text are welcome by e-mail directly to the editor, Arto Kurtto.

To keep draft mapping within a reasonable time, we need the distributional information by the end of 2017. Please send the distribution data (AFE records) prepared using the format of AFE Editor to Arto Kurtto. Exceptionally we can also accept other formats (please discuss the situation with the Secretariat).

For the mapping of volume 19 of Fabaceae, a taxon list (file taxon.txt, part of the AFE Data Editor program for submitting the data in a digital format) is available following the link in this message, or at the web site of Atlas Florae Europaeae ( In order to begin the mapping of this group, you need to replace the existing file taxon.txt of the package AFE Editor 2010 by the new version which contains only Astragalus, Oxytropis and Erophaca. The program as a whole, with instructions for installation and use, is also available for downloading at the same web site.

We are glad to inform you that the text of volume 17 (Sorbus s.l.), which was outstanding for a long time, has been finalised and is ready for publishing. All latest research was taken into account, and further new taxa were added. In AFE we favoured a phylogenetic treatment of Sorbus, accepting monophyletic taxa, which resulted in its splitting into 5 monophyletic genera (treated as ”primary” irrespective of the actual origin): Sorbus s.str., Aria (Pers.) Host, Chamaemespilus Medik., Cormus Spach and Torminalis Medik. Intermediates between these groups are treated as five separate genera, which have been formally named anew for nomenclatural reasons.

The nomenclatural checklist of Sorbus s.l. in Europe has been published separately. Its full text is available here:

Volume 17 will be printed and distributed during this year, in late autumn or early winter.

The text and mapping data of volume 18 of AFE (first part of Fabaceae) are nearly complete. However, we are still in the process of editing them as concerns the taxonomically difficult genus Cytisus. We hope to be able to publish this volume in 2018.

We warmly thank you all for your dedicated work and effort. More progress is expected soon.

With kind regards,

Pertti Uotila                                   Arto Kurtto                                Alexander Sennikov