Gabriela Ramos


This chapter highlights the diversity of Lima’s indigenous population in the 16th century. The native population of the Lima valley was severely decimated by the effects of the Spanish invasion, especially Old World disease and violence. In the decades following the founding of Lima, an important proportion of the city’s inhabitants labelled as Indians originated from other areas of the viceroyalty. Although it is not easy to understand how these men and women made a living, it appears that most worked in activities such as peddling wares, farming, and domestic service. A tiny privileged group was composed of artisans and small to middle-sized landowners. As they traded their produce, gave and obtained money loans, or offered and sought protection, Lima’s Indians of all economic positions routinely interacted with Spaniards, individuals of African descent, and mestizos. The examination of Lima Indians’ living conditions and material possessions further corroborates its multifariousness.

María Luján Luna, Juan Pablo Ramos Giacosa, Gabriela Elena Giudice, Paula Virginia Fernández, Marina Ciancia and Mario C.N. Saparrat

The xylem in three arborescent species of Blechnum section Lomariocycas was studied in detail using SEM, TEM, FT-IR spectroscopy and sugar composition analysis. The overall structure of root and rhizome metaxylem tracheids was similar in the three species analyzed, and characterized by mostly scalariform pitting of these multifaceted cells. Pit membrane thickness and porosity varied according to the stage of tracheid maturation. Approximately rounded deposits resembling vestures were observed in the outer pit apertures of some tracheids. Under TEM, thickenings like one-sided tori appeared on the tracheid side of tracheid-to-parenchyma contact walls; some parenchyma cells showed, in addition, features of transfer cells. As the increase in stature creates new constraints in terms of biomechanical support and water transport in plants, the characteristics found in Blechnum xylem might be related to optimization of conductive efficiency and safety. Chemical analyses of roots and rhizomes of B. yungense revealed similar levels of G-type lignin deposited in the xylem cell walls. Such lignin is the most common in ferns, including other arborescent genera. Preliminary analysis of cell wall polysaccharide composition of both root and rhizome xylem, yielded cellulose, xyloglucans and xylans with low amounts of mannans and pectins. The xylem of rhizomes had higher amounts of cellulose than root xylem. Our results are discussed in the context of functional and evolutionary aspects of xylem ferns.