Elisabeth A. Wheeler and Pieter Baas

Edited by Lisa Boucher


We revisited questions about changes in the incidences of functional wood anatomical traits through geologic time and compared the incidences of these traits in the fossil record with modern wood anatomical diversity patterns in order to test classical (“Baileyan”) and more recent ecophyletic hypotheses of xylem evolution. We contrast patterns through time for tropical and higher (paleo)latitudes. Data are from the InsideWood database. There are striking differences between woods from high and mid latitudes versus tropical (paleo)-latitudes. At temperate and subtropical latitudes (Laurasia and high latitude Gondwana), the epoch by epoch time series supports the Baileyan transformation series of vessel-bearing woody angiosperms (basal woody angiosperms and eudicots): “primitive” features such as scalariform perforations, exclusively solitary vessels, apotracheal diffuse parenchyma and heterocellular rays abound in the Cretaceous and become much less frequent in the Cenozoic, especially post-Eocene. In contrast, in the paleotropics hardly any changes occur in the incidences – each epoch has an equally “modern” spectrum of wood anatomical attributes. Although climatic gradients from the poles to the equator were less steep in the Cretaceous than in the late Cenozoic, the wood anatomical differences between mid-high latitude woods and tropical woods were much more pronounced in the Cretaceous than in later epochs. This seeming paradox is discussed but we cannot resolve it.

We suggest that tropical conditions have accelerated xylem evolution towards greater hydraulic efficiency (simple perforations), biological defense and hydraulic repair (elaborate paratracheal parenchyma patterns) as evidenced by late Cretaceous tropical latitude woods having near modern incidences of almost all traits. At higher paleolatitudes of both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere “ancestral” features such as scalariform perforations were retained in cooler and frost-prone regions where they were not selected against in mesic habitats because of lower demands on conductive efficiency, and could even be advantageous in trapping freeze-thaw embolisms. The fossil wood record remains too incomplete for testing hypotheses on the wood anatomy of the earliest angiosperms. The low incidence of so-called “xerophobic” woods sensu Feild with scalariform perforations with numerous (over 40) closely spaced bars in the Cretaceous tropical fossil record is puzzling. At higher paleolatitudes such woods are common in the Cretaceous.

Ring porosity, an indicator of seasonal climates and deciduousness, occurs at low levels in the Cretaceous and Paleogene at higher paleolatitudes only, and reaches modern levels in the Miocene. In Neogene and Recent temperate Northern Hemisphere, wide vessels are virtually restricted to ring-porous woods. In the tropics, there is a low incidence of ring porosity throughout all epochs.

The fossil record indicates that ecophysiological adaptation to tropical or temperate conditions was already evident in the Cretaceous with considerable latitudinal differences.

Robert Pepperell

This illustrated essay highlights some conceptual problems that arise when we consider the nature of visual perception and its relationship to art. Science proceeds on the assumption that natural phenomena operate rationally and can be explained rationally. Yet the study of art shows that many ordinary acts of perception, such as looking at a picture, can be paradoxical, logically contradictory and self-referential. I conclude that we must confront these problems if we are to reconcile the scientific approach to explaining visual perception with artistic and philosophical discoveries.


Sascha Henninger and Stephan Weber

In naher Zukunft werden weltweit zwei von drei Menschen in Städten leben. Urbanisierung und Klimawandel stellen die städtischen Räume vor große Herausforderungen. Das Verständnis der Wechselwirkungen zwischen Klima, Luftqualität und Städtebau erlangt daher eine wachsende Bedeutung. Das Lehrbuch führt in die physikalischen Grundlagen und Prozesse des Stadtklimas ein und beleuchtet die Arbeitsfelder der planungsorientierten Stadtklimatologie.

Ivan Chigray, Maxim Nabozhenko, Gayirbeg Abdurakhmanov and Bekir Keskin

The taxonomic history, composition, morphology, distribution, and bionomics of the genus Dila Fischer von Waldheim, 1844 are discussed. The following new generic synonymy is established: Dila Fischer von Waldheim, 1844 = Caenoblaps König, 1906, syn.n. As a result, four species are transferred from Caenoblaps to the genus Dila: Dila difformis (König, 1906), comb.n., Dila nitida (Schuster, 1920), comb.n., Dila baeckmanni (Schuster, 1928), comb.n., Dila kulzeri (Schuster, 1928), comb.n. A new synonymy is established: Blaps kulzeri Pierre, 1964 = Caenoblaps kulzeriana Pierre, 1964, syn.n. A taxonomic review of the eight known Caucasian, Turkish and Iranian species is given. Lectotypes of Caenoblaps nitida and Caenoblaps difformis are designated. Three new species are described: Dila hakkarica sp.n. and Dila svetlanae sp.n. from the Hakkary Province of Turkey and Dila crenatopunctata sp.n. from West Azerbaijan Province of Iran. The position of the genus Dila within the tribe Blaptini and subtribal classification are discussed.

Xin Tong and Bao-Zhen Hua

Neopanorpa, the second largest genus in Panorpidae, is mainly characterized by the well-developed notal organ on male tergum III. However, it remains largely unknown how the length of the notal organ influences the nuptial feeding behaviour of Neopanorpa. Here, we investigated the nuptial feeding by comparing the morphology of mating-related structures and the genital coupling of a) Neopanorpa lui Chou & Ran, 1981 with a weakly-developed notal organ, b) N. carpenteri Cheng, 1957 with a medium-sized notal organ, and c) N. longiprocessa Hua & Chou, 1997 with an extremely elongated notal organ. The couples of N. lui and N. carpenteri maintain an intermittent mouth-to-mouth mode but do not exchange any edible food. After that the males secrete a salivary mass onto the surface as a nuptial gift, which is distinctly larger in N. carpenteri than in N. lui. Correspondingly, the male salivary glands are more developed in N. carpenteri than in N. lui. Males of N. longiprocessa bear very short salivary glands corresponding to a coercive mating tactic. The genital couplings are similar among the three species of Neopanorpa. The paired hypovalves of males are used to control the cerci of females. The prominent basal processes of male gonostyli grasp the posterior portion of the female medigynium across the intersegmental membrane. The male aedeagus physically couples with the female medigynium to ensure the male phallotreme to connect to the female copulatory pore. The influence of the notal organ length on the nuptial feeding behaviour of Neopanorpa is briefly discussed.

Isabel T. Hyman and Frank Köhler

The helicarionid fauna of southeastern to mid-eastern Queensland is dominated by a group of semislugs with moderately reduced shells belonging to genera Fastosarion, Eungarion, Stanisicarion, Dimidarion, Macularion and Hymanarion. We comprehensively revise their systematic classification using comparative morpho-anatomy and mitochondrial phylogenetics, and demonstrate that these genera combined form a well-differentiated and monophyletic radiation. In our mitochondrial phylogeny, this radiation is divided into three main clades that are statistically well supported. One clade is also well defined in terms of diagnostic morpho-anatomical characters, but we could not identify diagnostic characters for the other two clades due to considerable levels of morpho-anatomical variation. We propose accepting only two genera, Fastosarion (with junior synonyms Eungarion, Dimidarion, and Hymanarion) and Stanisicarion (with junior synonym Macularion). Both genera represent mutually monophleytic sister taxa that can consistently be distinguished by the presence or absence of a penial verge that is fused to the penial wall and by egg shape. We also synonymise Fastosarion ameyi with F. aquavitae, F. schelli with F. helenkingae, Dimidarion peterbrocki and D. slatyeri with F. alyssa, Stanisicarion virens with S. freycineti. Revised species descriptions are presented for Fastosarion alyssa, F. aquavitae, F. brazieri, F. comerfordae, F. griseolus, F. hannianus, F. helenkingae, F. mcdonaldi, F. minerva, F. paluma, F. papillosus, F. pustulosus, F. superbus, Stanisicarion aquila and S. freycineti. Nine new species, Fastosarion deensis, F. ephelis, F. insularis, F. katatonos, F. longimentula, F. rowani, F. sarina, F. tuljun and Stanisicarion wolvi are described, bringing the total number of accepted species to 24.

Ian Verstegen, Tamara Prest and Laura Messina Argenton

This qualitative report concerns a larger study on pictorial continuous narrative devised by Alberto Argenton and developed by the authors in his memory, reporting only a synthesis of the main findings obtained through the study of a corpus of 100 artworks on the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. The study was aimed at identifying the perceptual–representational strategies used by artists to visually tell this story in the continuous narrative mode. The pilot study, accomplished by three independent judges (the authors) on the corpus of artworks, adopting phenomenological observation, highlights four strategies used by artists to distinguish and link the episodes or events constituting the story: segmentation of episodes or events, time/space separating cues, vectors of direction and repetition of principal figures. A description of the above categories accompanied by some illustrative examples is given.

J. Efrain Ramirez-Benitez, Ibis Vargas Paredes, Luis F. Cuevas Glory, Enrique Sauri Duch, Victor M. Moo Huchin, Sara Solis Pereira and Gabriel Lizama Uc

Plant-essential oils have been considered as an important source of bioactive molecules like antimicrobials, analgesics, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen agents. Biological functions of plant extracts from the genus Capsicum are unknown. In the present work, non-polar fractions of ripe and unripe fruits of Capsicum chinense Jacq. Cultivar (cv.) Jaguar and Criollo were obtained by hexane-batch extraction and tested for antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacterial strain Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Gram-positive bacterial strains Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC 29212), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 12228), and yeast Candida albicans (ATCC 90028). Non-polar fractions from ripe fruits for both cv. exhibited greater antimicrobial activity compared to unripe fruits. Implication of numbered FFA’s on observed antimicrobial activity are discussed.

Mast Ram Dhiman, Siddharth Moudgil, Chander Parkash, Raj Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, S.S. Sindhu and Arun Agarwal

Interploidy crosses between Lilium lancifolium (3x) and Asiatic lily cultivar ‘Brunello’ (4x) were attempted for creating genetic variability and to analyse the progenies for different ploidy levels. Experimental results revealed that most of the crosses attempted were developed into fruits, confirming that male-sterile triploid lilies can be used as the female parent for crossing with a suitable male parent. Wide variation in chromosome numbers (28 to 38) was obtained in different plant progenies, indicating that aneuploidy is generated by 3x × 4x crosses. The nuclear DNA content analysis of 13 plant progenies showed that the 2C nuclear DNA content has increased (range = 32.60 pg to 41.32 pg) as compared to Lilium lancifolium, while it was found lower than the cultivar ‘Brunello. Further, morphological characterization of different plant progenies revealed significant differences among themselves, which confirmed the dependence of these traits on cultivars ploidy level. Therefore, present findings will be instrumental for development of new Lilium cultivars with high aesthetic value and utility.

D.R. Bhardwaj, Sharmistha Pal and Pankaj Panwar

In this paper we investigated how succession has altered soil properties in relation to plant biomass and litter characteristics in mid Himalayan region of India. The natural forest with four succession phases were identified. The early stages are (1) pure Pinus roxburghii forest of coniferous shade intolerant species (2) middle stage is a Pinus roxburghii + Quercus leucotricophora (60: 40) forest with combination of coniferous and deciduous species (3) later stage is a Quercus leucotricophora + Pinus roxburghii (60: 40) and (4) climax stage is a Pure Quercus leucotricophora forest of shade tolerant deciduous broadleaf species. The soil samples were collected from surface (0–15 cm) and subsurface (15–30 cm and 30–45 cm) levels. The soil properties showed gradual improvement with progress in succession phases. Our study shows that, there was a substantial increase in level of soil organic carbon and nitrogen from early to climax phase. Soil pH was significantly lower in early succession phase. The highest available nitrogen was under climax (pure oak) and least in early phase (pure pine) (402 and 347 Kg ha–1 in surface soil, respectively). The concentration of very labile carbon (fraction 1) was highest in climax and least in early stage. The highest biomass accumulation was in climax (pure oak, 420.6 Mgha–1), followed by oak + pine (348.7 Mgha–1) and least in pine + oak (299.3 Mgha–1). Out of 4 stages, shrub biomass was maximum in early (pure pine) (20.5 M Mgha–1), being 6.57% of total biomass and least in climax (pure oak) (10.7 Mgha–1), being 2.54% of total biomass. Further, the labile carbon pools showed a strong positive correlation with total biomass at different succession stages. The recalcitrant carbon pool had significant negative correlation with biomass. Hence, the study suggests that, this increase in soil organic carbon, nitrogen and soil fertility parameters are in accordance to changes in biomass and litter fall characteristics with progress in forest succession.