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Peter Gasson, Paula Rudall, David Cutler, Barry Tomlinson, Elisabeth Wheeler and Pieter Baas

Mary Gregory, botanist, editor and bibliographer and from 1980 Honorary Member of IAWA passed away unexpectedly on 20 August at the age of 85 at her home in Kew, England. Throughout her career Mary helped hundreds of plant anatomists with literature references on their subject of study, either in

The Limits of Science

An Analysis from “Barriers” to “Confines”


Edited by Wenceslao J. Gonzalez

The problem of the limits of science is twofold. First, there is the problem of demarcation, i.e., the boundaries or “barriers” between what is science and what is not science. Second, there is the problem of the ceiling of scientific activity, which leads to the “confines” of this human enterprise. These two faces of the problem of the limits — the “barriers” and the “confines” of science — require a new analysis, which is the task of this book. The authors take into account the Kantian roots but they are focused on the current stage of the philosophical and methodological analyses of science. This vision looks to supersede the Kantian approach in order to reach a richer conception of science.

Elisabeth A. Wheeler, Rashmi Srivastava, Steven R. Manchester and Pieter Baas

Associate-editor Michael Wiemann

forests, or mangroves subjected to strong seasonal fluctuations in salinity. Groenendijk et al. (2014) even found a significant proportion of tree species in a wet tropical forest from Central Africa to have distinct growth rings. The Deccan woods show a low percentage of taxa (19%) with distinct growth

Jie Wang, Liping Ning, Qi Gao, Shiye Zhang and Quan Chen

Edited by Lloyd A. Donaldson

atmosphere. The released CO 2 was first dried with methanol/dry ice and then collected with liquid nitrogen for subsequent graphitization. The collected CO 2 was subjected to hydrogen reduction using a cobalt catalyst, and a graphite target was prepared and placed in an AMS instrument to complete the test

Shu-Yin Zhang, Pieter Baas and Marinus Zandee

Twelve wood anatornical characters, together with broad parameters from ecology, habit and phenology were subjected to simple correlation analysis, path analysis and principal component analysis, in a total sampie of over 470 specimens belonging to 271 species of the Rosaceae from the entire distribution area of the farnily. The functional, developmental and systematic implications of the resulting relations are discussed. Based on the present analysis of ecological trends and previous phylogenetic analysis, a tentative scenario for the evolution of the Rosaceae is offered.

Wolfgang Gindl

The intra-annual distribution of cell-wall lignin concentration was determined in Austrian pine tree rings and compared with tracheid diameter, lumen width, cell wall thickness and proportion of cell wall area. Lignin concentration was highly correlated with all tracheid dimensions, but only the proportion of cell wall area exhibited a direct statistically significant relationship. Since cell dimensions in Austrian pine are subjected to the indirect and direct influences of the water status of trees, the negative correlation between cellular lignin content and the proportion of cell wall area is attributed to an indirect effect of water stress on lignification in pine tracheids.

Geoffrey M. Downes, J. Gwinyai Nyakuengama, Robert Evans, Richard Northway, Philip Blakemore, Ross L. Dickson and Marco Lausberg

The relationships between wood anatomy in standing trees and the strength of boards were examined in Pinus radiata D. Don (thinned vs thinned and fertilized) at 2 contrasting sites. Fertilizer treatments were applied after mid-rotation thinning. Logs were taper sawn and boards, near the pre-treatment / post-treatment boundary, subjected to acoustic and strength assessment. Average wood property data from a 12-mm increment core obtained prior to harvest, was extracted from the relevant portion of the radius.

In general, fertilizer resulted in lower density, higher microfibril angle (MFA) and slightly lower stiffness. However, stiffness was still relatively high as the affected wood was from the more mature portion of the radius. SilviScan density and MFA data were good predictors of stiffness. Acoustic measurements on boards were strongly correlated with board stiffness. Path analyses explained up to 45% of the variance in stiffness, as a function of estimated MOE and log sweep.

Ilker Usta and Mike D. Hale

The anatomical structure of the cross-field pits in unsieriate rays of Sitka spruce has been examined by scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic images were subjected to image analysis to explain the differences in radial permeability (as assessed by fluid uptake) of dried wood from selected trees of two different seed origins (Queen Charlotte Islands, QCI grown in Rhondda, South Wales vs. South Oregon, SO grown in Dalby, North-East England). Different features of ray pitting were observed. The most radially permeable seed origin (QCI) had considerably larger cross-field pits in latewood than the least permeable (SO). Variation in pit size across the growth rings was minimal in QCI but an abrupt increase in size was noted in the latewood of SO. It is concluded that one of the important anatomical features influencing preservative uptake is the size and number of the cross-field pits.

Veronica De Micco, Enrica Zalloni, Angela Balzano and Giovanna Battipaglia

Tree rings provide information about environmental change through recording stress events, such as fires, that can affect their growth. The aim of this study was to investigate wood growth reactions in Pinus halepensis Mill. trees subjected to wildfires, by analysing anatomical traits and carbon and oxygen isotope composition. The study area was Southern France where two sites were selected: one subjected to fires in the last 50 years, the other characterised by comparable environmental conditions although not affected by fire events (control site). We analysed whether wood growth depends on the tangential distance between developing xylem cells and the limit where the cambium was directly damaged by fire. In the burnt site, thick wood sections, including fire-scar, were taken from surviving plants. Digital photo-micrographs were analysed to measure early- and latewood width, wood density, and tracheid size. Anatomical and isotopic traits were analysed in two series of tree rings (5 rings before and 5 after the fire) selected at different positions along the circumference (close or far from the scar). Anatomical and isotopic traits were quantified also on tree rings of the same years from cored trees growing at the control site. Results showed different wood reaction tendencies depending on the distance from the scar. The comparison between plants from the two sites allowed to exclude possible climate interference.

Our results are discussed in terms of two kinds of growth reactions: the local need to promptly compartmentalise the scarred cambial zone and sapwood after fire, and the general growth perturbations due to tree reaction to crown scorch during fire. Anatomical results, combined with dendrochronological and isotopic analysis, could provide an efficient way to distinguish between direct growth reactions due to heat-related damage on cambium and indirect outcomes related to defoliation.