Volume 22, No. 2 - December 1999
|NEWSLETTER of the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION of PALYNOLOGICAL SOCIETIES|
UPDATE FOR INTERNATIONAL POLLEN CONGRESS
May 1, 20 Hotel DeadlineThe Jingling Hotel in downtown Nanjing has been selected by the IPC organizing committee as the Convention Hotel for IPC 10. It is a luxurious five star hotel -- the best hotel in the city. There will be two rates to choose from. The congress group rate covers the standard room with two beds for US$60/night for two persons (US$30 for each),or US$60/night if the room is occupied by only one person. These prices do not cover breakfast, and food is US$20/day/person. Rooms at the congress group rate are limited. To receive the congress group rate, the hotel reservation must be confirmed by May 1, 2000,and the length of stay must be at least 6 days. If the stay is less than the 6 day reservation period, no refund for the unused days will be available. The second possible rate (the congress rate) is US$80/night/person, it covers a standard room with two beds. This rate is for stays of less than 6 days OR for days before and after the meeting days of June 24-30, 2000.
Because the lease requires the Organizing Committee to pay deposits for congress rate rooms before May 1, 2000, there is a risk to the Organizing Committee if too few people attend the meeting. Therefore, groups of more than 10 people from one country may be able to apply for a rebate on the registration fee.
Depending on the size of the group, the rebate
may be up to 25% of the registration fee.
People from the developing countries and the
former USSR, and Eastern European countries
may also apply for rebate for the registration
IPC LOGOSDr. Zhu Haicheng and the Organizing Committee for IPC 10 have come up with a great logo, which includes the pollen grain of Metasequoia glyptostroboides. The edifice at the lower foreground is Nanjing's famous Zhonghuamen gate, in the city's southern wall. The logo symbolizes the host city Nanjing, China's unique flora, and China's importance to the global fossil record. It is now my favorite IPC logo.
prepared this summary of their histories. Four
of the first seven IPC logos are variations on
the trilete theme.
The IPC 1 logo is a drawing by Robert Potonie of Reinchospora. This drawing also graced the cover of the "Catalog of Fossil Spores and Pollen," and became its registered trademark. Gerhard Kremp (the Organizer of IPC 1) may have selected this drawing by his mentor because Reinchospora was the first photomicrograph of a spore ever published -- in 1884 by Paulus F. Reinsch. It was later (1944) named by James Schopf in his honor (Traverse, 1988).
Elena Zaklinskaya selected the logo for IPC3.
It features a diploxylon pine grain symbolic of
the former USSR's vast boreal forests. The
logo's shape and format are a stylish departure
from the simpler and more symmetrical forms
of most of the other logos. It reads (not
surprisingly) International Palynological
Conference (encircling), Novosibirsk (center).
record (Latin creta, chalk, being
the root for "Cretaceous"). Norman Hughes, a
Cretaceous palynologist, chaired the IPC 5
work. The dark
central area represents the polar 'thickening(s)'
characteristic of the species (Mary Dettman,
That brings me back to the logo for IPC 10. Like the better-known Ginkgo biloba (which is being used as a logo by The Paleobotanical Congress for its Chinese meeting), the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is a "living fossil" whose foliage is common in late-Cretaceous through Pleistocene sediments of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the early-Tertiary of the Arctic. However, in the early 20th century, its entire population consisted of just a few thousand trees in the Sichuan, Hubei, and Hunan provinces of China. By 1948, seeds from a single grove along the Yangtze River had produced 15 seedlings in Europe and the USA. These populations are of very low genetic diversity, and are therefore of low fertility. Thanks to the recent cooperation of Chinese botanists, new genetic stock has been introduced to the USA and European populations. There is a much more romantic version of this history, involving enlightened monks and a single living tree, but it is laid to rest at http://www.airnet.net/redwood/rwmeta.html.
The pollen of Metasequoia glyptostroboides is similar to that of the other taxodiaceous grains (Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae are combined in recent floras, even though their pollen is distinct). The grain is about 30 mm in diameter and somewhat thickened on the anti-papillate 2/3 of the grain.
Canright, James, 1979, 5th International Pollen Conference, Cambridge, 1980. PALYNOS 2 (2): 1.
Dettman, Mary , 1985, 7th International Palynological Conference Brisbane, Australia, 29 August - 2 September,1988. PALYNOS 8 (2): 2.
Traverse, Alfred, 1988, Paleopalynology. Unwin Hyman, Boston. 6 p.References to combining Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae:
James E. Eckenwalder, 1976. Re-evaluation of Cupressaceae and Taxodiaceae: a proposed merger. Madroño 23:237-300.
Frank D. Watson and James E. Echenwalder. 1993, 4: Cyperaceae Bartlet, Redwood or Cypress family. p 299-422, in: N. R. Morin (editor) Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford University Press, NY 3 vols.
Dept. of Geosciences
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721
MEETING PROCEEDINGSMeeting report of the 32nd annual meeting ofthe American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists, Savannah, Georgia, USA. October 26-30, 1999.
The annual meeting of AASP was hosted by Dr. Fredrick Rich, Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia. Sixty-two members and spouses attended the meeting, which was held in the Coastal Georgia Center,
facility located near downtown Savannah.
Meeting activities began with a reception held
in the Savannah History Museum on the
evening of October 26.
Technical sessions began on the morning of the
27th, and continued on the 28th and 29th.
Thirty papers were accepted for oral
presentation, and ranged widely in their
content, illustrating them any directions that
palynology has taken. Eleven poster
presentations were also displayed in the lobby
of the Center. General session papers included
Paul Strother's description of the morphology
and stratigraphic significance of Paleozoic
cryptospores, as well as Gretchen Jones'
analysis of the feeding behavior of Western
Corn Rootworms. Two special sessions were
held, including one on Short-term
Palynological Records with Emphasis on
Human Influences, hosted by Art Cohen, and a
second session hosted by Joyce Lucas-Clark on
the Cretaceous and Tertiary Palynology of the
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, Southeastern
United States. Following the Friday morning
talks, a guest lecture was presented by Dr.
Steven Emslie, University of North Carolina at
Wilmington, on the paleontology of a Pliocene
catastrophic death assemblage from Florida.
The death assemblage consists largely of
seabirds, and is believed to have been caused
by red tides. Following Dr. Emslie's lecture, a
group photograph was taken, and the annual
business luncheon was held. President Chris
Denison convened the business portion of the
meeting, and various reports were made by officers in the
organization. All reports show that AASP, and
the AASP Foundation are in excellent financial
condition and continue to offer publications
and service at remarkably little cost to the
members of the organization.
Several awards were also presented, including one made to Dr. Vaughn Bryant, Jr. (Texas A&M University) who was honored with the Distinguished Service Award. After a brief introduction by Dr. Len Eames, Dr. Aureal Cross (Michigan State University) was presented with the AASP Medal of Excellence in Education. The Best Student Paper Award was presented to Robert Booth, University of Wyoming, for his talk entitled "Impacts of Historical Logging and Fire on a Lake Superior
Coastal Wetland, Keweenaw Peninsula,
Michigan". Mr. Booth co-authored his paper
with Dr. Stephen Jackson. The Best Poster
Award was presented to Dr. Daniel Michoux
of TOTALFINA whose poster was entitled
"Organic Sedimentation in the Early
Cretaceous of the Austral Basin (Tierra Del
Fuego, Argentina)". Dr. Michoux's co-authors
were Samuel Piriouand Rene Braun. The Best
Student Poster Award was shared by Jennifer
Hopkins and Sarah Tiffin, both students at
Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Following the presentation of the awards,
President Denison introduced Dr. Fred Rich,
President-Elect of AASP, who was given the
ceremonial gavel and copy of Roberts Rules of
Order. President Rich offered a brief address to
the group, and concluded by reminding
participants of a Friday afternoon field trip to
the Savannah and Ogeechee Canal. While the
Board of Directors held their first meeting
under Rich's leadership, 30participants went
for a tour of the canal, a historic structure that
served the transportation needs of Savannah
for most of the 19th Century. On Saturday, 38
brave souls boarded a bus for a field trip to the
Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
The trip was lead by Fred Rich, and included a
bus ride along the coast, accompanied by a
narrative designed to acquaint the participants
with some of the natural and cultural history of
the Georgia coast. After arriving at the swamp,
participants were first introduced to the
displays in the visitors' center, then climbed
into boats for a trip down the Suwanee Canal
and into Chesser Prairie. The Okefenokee
Swamp is one of the largest largely intact
freshwater ecosystems remaining in the
continental United States. While the persistent
winds, and easily fouled outboard motors gave
the boat captains plenty to do, the passengers
are reported to have had a very enjoyable time.
Following the retreat from the swamp, and a
long bus ride back to Savannah, participants
were eager to spend one more night on the
Fredrick J. Rich
NOMENCLATURAL NOTESA Day or Two in St. Louis: Nomenclatural Fallout for Paleobotany and Palynology.
Another International Botanical Congress has come and gone and with it, as usual, an eventful nomenclatural session. All in all, we feel that paleobotany (including paleopalynology) was served well in St. Louis in August, and that the changes to the Code that came to pass will have a stabilizing and clarifying effect on paleobotanical nomenclature, rather than an obfuscating one.
Of the Big Ticket items, the concept of an overriding code ("BioCode") for all organisms was put on hold, although a committee will continue to take note of the ways in which the several existing codes could be harmonized. The dream of a new, universal code for the new millennium was a seductive one. But seduction is commonly on the path to dysfunction, so many of us were greatly relieved to see this project shelved. With regard to other big issues, no aspects of the Names in Current Use proposal passed, though discussions appear to continue. There is no current or planned paleobotanical activity on this front, anyway. Nor was anything passed relating to Registration: all proposals were withdrawn, but the issue will probably reappear in the future. For now, all mention of Registration in the Code will be removed.
On the more specific items, the proposals of Fensome et al. (Taxon, v.47, p.489-490) were passed. These regarded clarification of the designation of types of the names of fossil plants. Thus (pending minor modifications by the Editorial Committee),Article 8.4 will now read:
After Article 8.4, another article will be added,
With regard to the status of the "form-genus", two partly overlapping, but partly conflicting proposals had to be dealt with. To ease the potential conflict, a compromise proposal was worked out during the meeting by a consensus of the proponents of the original proposals (Chaloner, Greuter, Traverse and Nicolson; Fensome and Skog) and the members of the fossil plant committee present (Archangelsky, Faegri, Jansonius, Skog and Traverse). One of the main points of contention was what to call the entity that is in effect a combination of the former organ- and form-genus concepts. In the original proposals, Fensome and Skog had preferred to retain the term "form-genus" (or perhaps "form-taxa"), albeit with a modified definition. Chaloner et al. had suggested "parataxa", but this term is already in use for an evolutionary concept. As a compromise, the term "morphotaxa" was accepted as a simple and appropriate alternative by all.
The terminological question thus settled, the main part of the compromise proposal was to add a new paragraph to Article 11 (on priority), with two examples:
Ex.1. The genus Sigillaria Brongn. 1822, established for bark fragments, may in part represent the same biological taxon as the cone-genus Mazocarpon M.J. Benson 1918, which represents permineralizations, or Sigillariostrobus (Schimp.) Geinitz 1873, which represents compressions. Certain species of the genera (Sigillaria, Mazocarpon, Sigillariostrobus) can all be assigned to the family Sigillariaceae. Some species of these genera may be associated with the root-genus Stigmaria Brongn. 1822 and the leaf-genus Cyperites Lindl. & Hutton 1832; other species of Stigmaria or Cyperites may be assignable to the families Lepidodendraceaean d Bothrodendraceae. All these generic names can be considered correct in spite of the fact that they may, at least in part, apply to the same organism.
Ex.2. The fossil cysts known under the generic name Tuberculodinium D. Wall 1967 may be retained under this morphogeneric name even though modern cysts of this type are known to be part of the life cycle of the extant genus Pyrophacus F. Stein 1883, which is the senior name if the two are considered taxonomically synonymous.
Another aspect of Article 11was modified - Article 11.7 will be modified to read "Names of botanical taxa (Bacillariophyceae excepted) based on a non-fossil type are treated as having priority over names of the same rank based on a fossil (or subfossil) type. (Bacillariophyceae are diatoms.)
Thus, older names based on
fossils, like Tasmanites Spiniferites, can no
longer have nomenclatural priority over
modern, more recently named, counterparts
like Pachysphaera and Gonyaulax.
The proposals of Traverse concerning illustrations as types of microfossils were withdrawn. However, a problem in this area is still perceived by some taxonomists, and this issue will be addressed within the committee between now and the Vienna IBC in 2005.
The following names are now conserved:
1) Cyclopteris Brongniart (fossil plants) against Cyclopteris Schrad. ex Gray (non-fossil Pteridophyta) (proposed by Cleal & Shute in Taxon 47: 448-450.1998).
2) Neuropteris (Brongn.) Sternb. (fossil plants) with a conserved spelling and ultimate type (proposed by Laveine in Taxon 47: 451-452.1998).
3) Rhaetogonyaulacaceae G. Norris (fossil Dinophyceae) against Shublikodiniaceae V. D. Wiggins (proposed by Fensome & al. in Taxon 47: 731-732.1998).
Although not under the aegis of the Committee for Fossil Plants, many palynologists will be interested to know that the dinoflagellate family name Protoperidiniaceae has been conserved against the names Congruentidiaceae, Diplopsalaceae and Kolkwitziellaceae.
The list of members on the current Committee for Fossil Plants will appear in a forthcoming issue of this newsletter. The present authors agreed to serve again as Chair and Secretary respectively, and we welcome your comments and questions on nomenclatural matters.
Rob Fensome(email@example.com) and Judy Skog (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additional Nomenclatural Note by Rob
The above write-up reports on what are important advances in making the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature more responsive to paleobotanical needs. This success results from the work of many people, and in recognition of this I would like to thank the members of the Committee for Fossil Plants who responded promptly and constructively to the ballots leading up to the St. Louis meeting. I'd also like to thank those members of the Committee for Fossil Plants who put in long hours, notably to forge the compromise on the form-genus issue: Sergio Archangelsky, Knut Faegri, Jan Jansonius and Al Traverse. Last, but by no means least, I'd like to thank Judy Skog for her hard work in compiling and reviewing the ballots, her communication skills at presenting the paleobotanical point of view and, generally, her dedication to the cause.
PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLEAs of September 1, 1997 the Geological Survey of the Netherlands became part of the Dutch TNO-organisation and is now known as the 'Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience-National Geological Survey'. Subsequently the well-known Haarlem office moved to Utrecht in June 1999 and a major reduction of the famous Heerlen library collection took place. At both occasions many off-prints and a number of palynology volumes of the Mededelingen RGD were saved.
These are available, free of charge, upon request. If you are interested in obtaining a list of titles, please contact Dr. G.F.W. Herngreen, NITG-TNO, P.O. Box 80015, 3508 TA Utrecht,fax +-30-2564505 or e-mail email@example.com
Pollen PosterThe American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists is selling a pollen poster that was developed by the pollen laboratory at USDA-ARS, Areawide Pest Management Research Unit (APMRU), College Station, TX. This pollen poster is a compilation of222 black and white micrographs from 117 plant taxa. The light micrographs were made using bright field microscopy. Pollen for the
was collected from vouchered plant specimens,
acetolyzed, and stained. The micrographs are
grouped by aperturation and family. More
tricolporate types are shown than any other
type. Both anemophilous and entomophilous
taxa are represented. Aperturation, family, and
scientific name are printed above the
micrographs. Most of the micrographs are from
plants that occur in the southeastern United
States of America; however, some are common
to Mexico. Micrographs from commonly, and
uncommonly occurring taxa can be found in
the poster including (common) Pinus palustris and
Magnolia virginiana; and (uncommon)
Pithecellobium calostachys and Berchemia
scandens. The idea of the poster is to give
technicians and students a starting place for
pollen identification, rather than to be the
ultimate identification tool. The poster is 3' X
5' (about 91 X 152 cm) and costs $25 (USA
dollars). Purchase price includes postage and a
mailing tube. MasterCard and Visa are
To order a poster, contact:
Vaughn M. Bryant, Jr.
Professor and Director
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas, 77840-4352 USA
Several other publications are now available from AASP. The Pliocene: Time of Change is a new text edited by John H. Wrenn, Jean-Pierre Suc, and Suzanne A.G. Leroy. AASP held its 26th Annual Meeting on October23-29, 1993, at the Louisiana state University. during that meeting, a symposium entitled Palynology, Climate, and Sequence Stratigraphy of the Pliocene was organized to bring together researchers from around the world who are studying the geological record of the Pliocene. This book is a collection of manuscripts that represent the content of that symposium. A quick first read indicates that this is an excellent resource, and we hope to have a review publishsed in the June issue of PALYNOS. Copies of The Pliocene: Time of Change area available for US$35, and can be purchased from Vaughn Bryant at the address listed on this page.
Two new additions to the AASP Contribution
Series have been published. Number 35,
entitled Distribution of Recent Dinoflagellate
Cysts in Surface Sediments from the North
Atlantic Ocean and Adjacent Seas in Relation
to Sea-surface Parameters was written by
Andre Rochon, Anne de Vernal,Jean-Louis
Turon, Jens Matthiessen, and Martin J. Head. It
is a 150 page text with 14 photographic plates,
numerous text-figures and tables, and is hidden
wire-O hardbound. It is available for US$22.00.
Contribution Series 36, Jurassic and Lowermost Cretaceous Dinoflagellate Cyst Biostratigraphy of the Russian Platform and Northern Siberian Platform has been written by James G. Riding, Valentina A Fedorova, and Vera I. Ilyina. It consists of 180 pages, with 35photographic plates, numerous text-figures and tables, and is also hidden wire-O hardbound. It is available for US$24.00. Both of these Contribution Series publications may be purchased from Vaughn Bryant at the address given on page 8.
ANOTHER NEW BOOK!Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic History of North American Vegetation (North of Mexico, written by Alan Graham, Kent State University, 1998, 384 p, 171 illus., ISBN 0-19-0511342-X, Oxford University Press, 198Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016.
This book is a unique and integrated account of the history of North American vegetation and paleoenvironments over the past 70 million years. It includes discussions of the modern plant communities, causal factors for environmental change, biotic response, and methodologies. The history reveals a North American vegetation that is vast, immensely complex, and dynamic.
2. Cause and effect - factors influencing the composition and distribution of North
4. Methods, principles, strengths, and limitations
5. Late Cretaceous through Early Eocene North American vegetational history
6. Middle Eocene through Early Miocene North American vegetational history
7. Middle Miocene through Pliocene North American vegetational history
8. Quaternary North American vegetational history
9. The origins of North American biogeographic affinities
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio USA 44242
NOTICE FROM THE PALAEOBOTANICAL SOCIETYH.P. Gupta, Secretary of The Palaeobotanical Society, Lucknow, has asked that the following notice be published in this issue of PALYNOS.
Be it KNOWN TO ONE AND ALL that the Probate applied by Dr. Shyam Chandra Srivastava, Secretary-Cum-Trustee of Birbal Savitri Sahni Foundation, 686, Birbal Sahni Marg, New Civil Lines, Trans Gomti, Lucknow has been dismissed by the Honorable court and the alleged WILL dated 09.10.1984, creating the said Foundation has been declared an forged document. If any one deals with the said Foundation, he will do so at his own risk.
H. R. Gupta
Secretary, The Palaeobotanical Society
53, University Road
Lucknow, India 226 007
BOOK REVIEWSThe Origins of Agriculture in the Lowland Neotropics, 1998, Dolores R. Piperno and Deborah M. Pearsall. Academic Press, 416 p., illus. (B&W and color), tables, biblio, index, ISBN: 0-12-557180-1(Cloth), US$99.00.
When I was an undergraduate student during the early 1960s, I learned that the domestication of many New World cultivars and the beginning of New World agriculture occurred in the highlands of Central and South America and not in the regions. The thinking at that time was that agriculture must have begun in the highlands of the New World because tropical forests had soils with poor fertility, had low human population densities, and native peoples living in those forested regions today were mostly foragers. Nevertheless, as students we were told that there were some scientists who did not agree with this hypothesis. Most notable among "rebels" was Carl Sauer (Sauer, 1952) who argued that there is a single origin of agriculture in Southeast Asia and that it has been in the lowland tropical and forested regions of that area. Sauer expanded his views to include the New World and argued that there had been a similar origin of agriculture and it undoubtedly occurred in the lowland tropics, or Neotropics as they were called. What was lacking in Sauer's argument, and generally missing throughout much of the 1960s and1970s, was hard evidence to support such an assumption. Most archaeologists during those early years were searching for the remains of ancient cultures in the drier, easier-to-reach regions of Central and South America, not in the hot and steamy jungles. Those who might have believed in Sauer's hypothesis were discouraged because they were told that the rapid decay and oxidation of organic materials in tropical forest soils would erase whatever plant evidence might have been deposited;
therefore, why even look? After all, hadn't
Richard Mac Neish and his colleagues already
resolved the whole issue as to the origin of
New World agriculture with their extensive
work in the dry Tehuacan region of central
Mexico? Hadn't Mac Neish then begun
excavations in the highlands of Peru during the
early 1970s and didn't he report that he had
found the origins of South American
Has anything changed from those early views that were so popular during the 1960s and 1970s? Actually, quite a bit has changed. Several decades ago most early anthropologists thought that agriculture couldn't have originated in the heart of the Brazilian Amazonian region, thus it must have also been impossible in all the other Neotropical forested regions as well. Today, most scientists would agree that the Brazilian Amazon had little to do with the origins of cultivars or agriculture in the New World, but many now realize that not all Neotropical areas are identical to the interior of the Brazilian Amazon. There is now a growing awareness that there is a great variety in the plant compositionand rainfall patterns found in different Neotropical regions of the New World. Another reason paleoethnobotanical research in the Neotropical regions was delayed until fairly recently can be traced to early failures to recover fossil pollen from tropical forest soils during the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the earliest attempts ended in failure and further attempts to search for fossil pollen were delayed because of the extensive study conducted by the prominent British palynologist George W. Dimbleby. During the 1950s, Dimbleby's research (Dimbleby 1957) showed that tropical forests' soils were among the worst places on the planet to search for preserved fossil pollen and that further searches would undoubtedly be a waste of time and money. Likewise, archaeologists and other paleoethnobotanists who believed that tuber-like plants may have been some of the earliest cultivars in the New World often failed to search regions of the lowland tropics because they agreed that it was reasonable to assume that rapid rates of organic decay in tropical soils would destroy all traces of whatever evidence might have been present.
During the last two decades (1980s and 1990s)
the discovery of new and sophisticated
recovery techniques, improved laboratory
analysis techniques, and new approaches to the
search for agricultural origins in the disciplines
of archaeology, botany, and geology have
revealed that many of the earlier assumptions
about the Neotropics were wrong. New
recovery techniques and refinement of
phytolith (plant crystals) classification systems
have shown that these microscopic silicate
materials are diagnostic for many plant taxa
and that they remain preserved in many
Neotropical soils even in regions where high
oxidation rates have destroyed all other traces
of organic remains. Likewise, recent studies of
how and why fossil pollen is destroyed in some
sediments, but not others, have encouraged
palynologists to return to the Neotropics and
begin new searches for fossil pollen records of
early horticulture and changes in forest
composition created by human actions. The
new data resulting from research in both of
these disciplines have been very encouraging
and together reveal that fossil pollen and fossil
phytoliths are proving to be key elements in
the overall reassessment about the origins of
agriculture in the New World.
In Piperno and Pearsall's new book the authors have gathered an extensive amount of data pertaining to early horticulture and agriculture in the New World. They have drawn heavily upon the disciplines of anthropology, botany, and geology in an effort to provide a strong and convincing theoretical framework to support their views that plant domestication in the New World can trace its origin to the forested lowland regions of the Neotropics. Their book is filled with convincing arguments and data to support their primary views, which can be condensed into the following main points. First, they believe and defend their idea that food production in the lowland regions of the Neotropics began at nearly the same time as it did in the Middle East, approximately 10,000 years ago. Their hypothesis pushes the origins of agriculture in the New World back several thousand years earlier than what current textbooks state, and it also documents that lowland regions of cultivation predate the existing evidence of early agriculture in the highland regions of Mexico and Peru.
Second, the authors note
and document that the lowland tropical regions
of the New World underwent profound
climatic and vegetational changes after the end
of the Wisconsin Glacial Period and during the
onset of the Holocene around 10,000 years
ago. They also state that the impact of these
changes in the lowland Neotropics was as
significant as the changes that have previously
been documented for regions at higher
elevations in the Western Hemisphere. Third,
Piperno and Pearsall present convincing
evidence that documents how cultural groups
living in regions of the lowland tropics in
Panama, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia were
cultivating plants in small "garden plot" areas
near their residential quarters by 10,0 years
ago. The authors also mention that by at least
9,000-8,0 years ago changes in the seed
morphology and phytolith size of certain plant
taxa indicate that those changes resulted from
systematic cultivation and plant selection by
early farmers. They further note that by 7,000
years ago cultivation in the lowland tropics had
become so important that cultural groups
expanded their planting areas beyond the
earlier small garden plots to include larger
areas of the nearby forests. Those areas were
being cleared using early slash-and-burn
techniques which opened up the forest canopy
and permitted sunlight to reach the crops
below. By that time period the authors also
believe the initial ideas and techniques of early
cultivation were being exported from the
lowland Neotropics into nearby drier regions at
The two authors are both noted scholars with distinguished research careers in the Neotropics. In the preface of their book the authors say that they wrote the book because of their "career-long fascination with and research into the topic." Later, they say that for them, the "tropical forests have always had an aura of mystery about them." These are both good reasons to write the book and I can't think of two individuals who are more qualified to write a book on the subject of agricultural origins in the New World or discuss the research that has been done or is still ongoing in the Neotropics. Dr. Piperno has spent most of her professional career in Panama, where she has devoted many years to the search for, and work at, sites associated with early
evidence of human occupation and cultivation.
Dr. Pearsall likewise has spent much of her
career working in areas of the lowland tropics
of South America. Together, they have
produced a good document full of facts and
references. I found it difficult not to be
persuaded to their point of view after reading
and examining the wealth of evidence they
have documented. I suspect you also will find
it difficult not to be convinced by the evidence
they have presented.
The cost of the book, at nearly US$1 is high. However, it seems that almost every research-oriented book these days is expensive. Compared to the cost of other research books I have recently purchased, and compared to the amount of information and data that these authors have assembled in their book, frankly, the cost is a bargain. I highly recommend the book to each of you. If you are one of those who still believes that the Neotropics could not have produced the earliest cultivars nor been the cradle of cultivation in the New World, then you need to read this book. On the other hand, if you are one who already believes the Neotropics is the home of New World plant domestication, you still need to read the book so that you can see how well your view is documented.
If you are a serious researcher and are interested in the origins of agriculture in the New World, then this text should become part of your reference library.
Dimbleby, Geoffrey W., 1957, Pollen Analysis of Terrestrial Soils: New Phytologist 56:12-28.
Sauer, Carl O., 1952, Agricultural Origins and Dispersals: American Geographical Society, New York.
Dr. Vaughn M. Bryant, Jr.
Professor and Director, Palynology Laboratory
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77840-4352
A Short History of Planet Earth, 1996, by J. D.
Macdougall, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New
York, 266 p., ISBN 0-471-199703-3 (paper),
ISBN 0-471-14805-9 (cloth), paperback
This is a great little book. It arrived in my mail a year ago, and I failed to read it as promptly as I now wish I had. The cover bears a statement from Publishers Weekly claiming that the book is a splendid introduction for the lay reader. I would modify that to read ...for anyone . I consider myself to be a seasoned professional geologist by now, having taught physical and historical geology for nearly twenty years. Still, I found this book to be very engaging. I actually substituted it for the fiction that I oftentimes read in the evenings because A Short History of Planet Earth reads like something new and fresh. It will certainly appear on my adoption list, particularly for courses that we teach for earth science teachers.
The book's attractiveness comes from Macdougall's ability to write as though he were speaking to the reader. This conversational style leads one to the inevitable conclusion that 'This is really pretty neat stuff!". The content covers the whole spectrum of Earth's history and is styled after such historical geology texts as Wicander and Monroe's Historical Geology or Dott and Prothero's Evolution of the Earth. Macdougall actually borrows an illustration or two from the latter, but he carefully avoids mimicking it. There is a review of the history of geological thought (Chapter 1, Reading the Rocks), and then a sequence of chapters that treat everything from Precambrian history (Chapter 2, Early Days) to a philosophical discussion of what is likely to happen on Earth now that humans and the Great Ice Age have had their opportunities to shape its surface (Chapter 13, What Comes Next? Geology and Man). The author even nods in the direction of palynology on a couple of occasions, and gives fossil pollen and spores recognition as significant tools in understanding the K-T extinctions and Pleistocene climate changes. Three chapters seemed to me to be especially good. Chapter 2, Early Days, provides an unusually clear discussion of radiometric dating, and, particularly, the significance of
zircons in determining the age and location of
the first fragments of continental crust. I
wonder at these refractory little white grains
whenever I see them in concentrations of
Georgia's beaches. They have many stories to
tell, and are too often overlooked by
geologists. In Chapter 3, Wonderful Life,
Macdougall seriously questions the validity of
the Miller-Urey experiment, stating that "In a
carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere, the Miller-Urey
electrical discharge method for creating
amino acids doesn't work." I don't know how
many times I have faithfully taught my
students that the famous amino acid
experiment successfully models the early
planet, but apparently I need to learn more
about this. Finally, Chapter 9, From Pangea to
(Almost) the Modern World: The Mesozoic
Era, includes a very interesting and well-explained history of accretion in western North
America during the Mesozoic, and a clear
description of what geological signatures
accompany rifting (salt beds, volcanic deposits,
I found only a few errors in this otherwise excellent book. In Chapter 9,. for example, Tyrannosaurus is referred to as the Jurassic "king of the beasts;" doubtless even Macdougall has been adversely affected by the hyperbole associated with Jurassic Park.
Macdougall won me as a disciple as I read Chapter 12, The Great Ice Age. There the author describes climate modeling and then observes that "Ultimately, information from the earth itself, the record in the rocks reflecting the actual climate changes that occurred, is the standard against which these theoretical treatments must be judged" Models are only models; they are not truth. The only true history lies within the Earth itself, and J.D. Macdougall does a mighty good job of describing it.
Fredrick J. Rich
IN MEMORIAMOn January 4, 1999 the science of palynology suffered a great loss in the death of Vladimir Polikarpovich Grichuk. Research performed by Professor Grichuk not only enabled the solution of major problems in palynology, paleogeography, and Quaternary geology, but also greatly influenced research in the fields of botany, paleoclimatology, and other areas.
V.P. Grichuk started his palynological research in the late 1930Õs, when he was transferred from the Moscow Geological Department to the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences. Within the Institute V.P. Grichuk established the Laboratory of Pollen Analysis, which soon became a leading scientific center in the field of palynology in the Soviet Union. Prof. Grichuk worked out the method for the separation of pollen from mineral sediments, which allowed for considerable broadening of application opportunities for pollen analysis. Since that time palynology has been widely introduced into the practice of geological exploration. At the same time, V.P. Grichuk conducted methodological studies of pollen assemblages of recent deposits in various vegetation zones.
Under the guidance of Vladimir Grichuk, and with his direct participation, studies of pollen morphology were conducted and research into floral Quaternary history were begun. World War II interrupted analytical investigations, but Grichuk was able to continue his research in 1945 after being demobilized from the Soviet Army. In 1948, in collaboration with E.D. Zaklinskaya, Prof. Grichuk published a manual entitled "Analysis of fossil pollen and spores and its application to paleogeography" in which, for the first time in Russian science, the methodological basis of pollen analysis and the broad possibilities of its application to solving theoretical and practical problems were fully considered. In 1950Grichuk coauthored the volume Pollen Analysis, which was highly appreciated by specialists. At the same time, he conducted the training of specialists in Quaternary palynology on an extensive scale.
It would not be an overstatement to say that
V.P. Grichuk advised virtually all
palynologists from Russia, as well as some
specialists from other countries.
Vladimir Grichuk regarded pollen analysis not as the final product of investigations, but rather as a tool which opens new perspectives in detecting the not-yet-known regularities of natural development. As a consequence, he successfully created palynology-based reconstructions of vegetative cover for a number of interglacial and glacial epochs, and by means of estimating the heat and moisture supply of the environment, provided explanations for major landscape changes during the glacial-interglacial climatic macrocycles. His maps, which are reconstructions of global and regional vegetation, appeared in both Russian and international publications such as paleogeographical atlases, and monographs on the regions included in Europe, Northern Eurasia, and the Northern Hemisphere generally.
Another principal direction of paleogeographical studies that Grichuk developed was paleoclimatology. Using his methods of paleoclimatic reconstruction, it became possible to recreate quantitatively the spatial distributions of the main climatic indexes over large areas for various epochs of the Pleistocene. In recent years such reconstructions acquired particular significance in connection with the problem of human-induced global warming; some of the reconstructions are used as analogs for possible future situations.
The main features of the evolution of floras are used generally in the fundamental paleogeography and in studies of the Quaternary. Prof. Grichuk made a significant contribution to the development of stratigraphical applications of palynology, and formulated the principles for the detailed stratigraphic subdivision of Pleistocene deposits on the basis of paleobotanical data. He also worked out the system of correlation attributes for interglacial deposits, and suggested criteria for distinguishing between glacial and interglacial floras.
V.P. Grichuk participated enthusiastically in the field of geological work and in the
discussion of its results. He also participated
actively in palynological conferences and
congresses both in Russia and elsewhere.
Since 1955 he was a member of the Bureau of
Commission on the Studies of the Quaternary
Period. For 12 years (1957-1969) he was the
Chairman of the INQUA Commission on the
Pliocene/ Pleistocene boundary, and the Head
of the Palynological Commission. V.P.
Grichuk published over 2 research papers,
and a short list of his major publications
appears below that gives a general idea of the
wide diversity of his scientific interests, and of
the broad range of problems that were studied
Vladimir Polikarpovich Grichuk, being a highly talented scientist, was at the same time a kindly and modest person, always benevolent to other people. His readiness to help everyone, not only by word of advice but also by concrete example won an affectionate memory among his followers and colleagues.
Prof. Lidya Rovnina
IGIRGI, Fersmana, 50, Moscow
Grichuk, V.P., 1937, A new method of treatment of sedimentary rocks for pollen analysis: Proceedings of the Soviet section of INQUA, v. 3, Leningrad-Moscow, p. 159-165.
___________, 1940, Method of treatment of sediments with low organic content for pollen analysis: Problemyfizicheskoi geografii, N 8, p. 53-58.
___________, 1940, On the pollen flora of Quaternary deposits (loesses and other sediments) of the southern part of the European USSR: Izvestiya AN SSSR, seria geografii i geofiziki, N 4,p. 599-616.
___________, 1942, Pollen spectra of recent sediments in various vegetation zones in the European USSR: Problemyfizicheskoi geografii, N 11, p. 101-129.
___________, and Zaklinskaya, E.D.,
1948,analysis of fossil pollen and spores and
its applications for palaeogeography: Moscow,
Geografgiz, 223 p.
___________, 1949. On the Quaternary history of the broad-leaved forest of the East European Plain: Voprosy geografii, N12, p. 79-96.
___________, 1950, Vegetation of the Russian Plain during the Early and Middle Quaternary: Trudy Instituta Geografii ANSSSR, v. 46, p. 5-202.
___________, 1951, Historical stages of the evolution of vegetation in the European USSR during the Quaternary: Trudy Instituta Geografii AN SSSR, v. 50, p. 5-74.
___________, 1959, The lower boundary of the Quaternary System and its Stratigraphical position in the Russian Plain. Trudy Instituta Geografii AN SSSR, v. 77, p. 5-90.
___________, 1961, Fossil floras as the basis for the Quaternary stratigraphy, In , RelÕyef i stratigrafiy achetvertichnykh otlozheniy Severo- Zapada Russkoi ravniny: IzdatelÕstvoAN SSSR, p. 25-71.
____________, 1969, Glacial floras and their classification, In, Posledniy lednikovyi pokrov na severo-zapada Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR: Moscow, Nauka, p. 57-104.
____________, 1969, An attempt of reconstruction of certain climatic indexes of the Northern Hemisphere during the Atlantic stage of the Holocene, In , M. I. Neustadt (Ed.) Golotsen, Nauka, Moscow, p.41-57.
____________, 1973, Results of the palynological study of continental Pleistocene and historical-floristiccriteria of its stratigraphical subdivision, In , M.I. Neustadt, (Ed.) Problems of Palynology: Proceedings of the 3rd International Palynological Congress, Moscow, Nauka,p. 106-116.
____________, 1979, Procedure of interpretation of paleobotanical data for solving the problems of stratigraphy and correlation of Late Cenozoic, In, V.P. Grichuk
(Ed.) Palinologicheskkiyeissledovaniya na
severo-vostoke SSSR: Akakemiya Nauk
SSSR, DalÕnevostochnyi Nauchnyi Tsentr,
Vladivostok, p. 5-22.
____________, 1981, On the problem of distant correlations of subdivisions of climatic and stratigraphical scale, In, Pleistotsenovye oledeneniya Vostochno-Evropeiskoipavniny: Moscow, Nauka, p. 91-112.
____________, 1982, Vegetation of Europe during the Late Pleistocene, In, I.P. Gerasimov and A.A. Velichko (Eds.)Paleogeography of Europe during the last one hundred thousand years: Moscow, Nauka, p. 92-109.
____________, 1984, Late Pleistocene vegetation history, In, A.A. Velichko (Ed.), Late Quaternary Environments of the Soviet Union: University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, p.155-178.
____________, 1985, Reconstructed climatic indexes by means of floristic data and an estimation of their accuracy, In, A.A. Velichko and Ye Ye Gurtovaya (Eds.) Metodyrekonstruktsii paleoklimatov: Moscow, Nauka, p. 20-28.
___________, 1987, Stratigraphical subdivision and correlation of the Quaternary deposits, In, E.D. Zaklinskaya (Ed.) Metodicheskiye aspektypalinologii: Moscow, Nauka, p. 109-130.
____________, 1989, The Quaternary history of flora and vegetation in the Russian Plain: Moscow,Nauka, 182 pp.
Velichko, A.A., _____________,Gurtnovya, Y.Y., Zelikso, E.M., and Borisova, O.K., 1982, Paleoclimatic reconstructions for the optimum of the Mikulino Interglacial in Europe: Izvestiya AN SSSR, seriya geograficheskaya, N 1, p. 15-19.
Velichko, A.A., ___________, Gurtovaya, Y.Y.,and Zelikson, E.M., 1983, Paleoclimate of the USSR territory during the last (Mikulino) interglacial optimum: Izvestiya AN SSSR, seriyageograficheskaya, N 6, p. 30-39.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONSFor the past eight years it has been my pleasure to serve IFPS as Secretary-Treasurer, then as President. It is my duty, now, to call for nominations for President of IFPS for the term2000-2004. It is this individual's duty to chair the IFPS Council and General Assemblies, and to oversee the routine tasks of producing the IFPS Newsletter, Directory, and Web Page. To this end, the IFPS President selects and appoints the Newsletter Editor and Secretary-Treasurer. I urge you to nominate individuals who have the resources and the devotion to IFPS that are needed to complete this task. All current IFPS Councillors of Affiliate Societies in good standing (societies who have paid their dues) are eligible - provided that they agree in advance to stand for election. In addition, any member in good standing of an affiliate society can run for President, if he/she is nominated in writing by another member in good standing to the Secretary-Treasurer of IFPS two weeks in advance of the deadline for mailing the ballot to the IFPS Council. Therefore the due date for nominations for President of IFPS shall be FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1999, and the ballots shall be mailed to the Council Members before FRIDAY, OCTOBER15, 1999, in accordance with the IFPS Constitution. Furthermore, it is my pleasure to call for invitations for the location of IPC-11. Two IFPS societies have already expressed tome their interest in hosting IPC-11, in the year 2004. I urge the other affiliate societies to also consider this opportunity. Again, only Affiliate Societies in good standing are eligible to submit proposals. All invitations and proposals for the venue of the IPC-11, 2004, are due in the office of the President of IFPS before FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2000.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT(third notification)
Article 17 of the IFPS Constitution states, "The Constitution may be amended only at a plenary session of the General Assembly. The text of any proposed amendment(s) shall be circulated to all members through the affiliated societies at least six months before the plenary session."
Therefore, as proposed during the June
27,1996 meeting of the IFPS Council, I post
the following proposed amendment to the IFPS
Constitution, to be voted upon by the IFPS
Members present at the Plenary Session at the
opening of IPC 10, Nanjing, China, June 24-30, 2000.
The amendment to Article 16 reads:
"Up to $60 shall be made available to the organizing committee of the International Palynological Congress, upon their request, to assist with the expenses that may be incurred for organizing the Congress. The amount loaned shall be returned to the Secretary-Treasurer of the IFPS; and in addition, half of any profit accruing from the meeting shall be transmitted to the IFPS along with a detailed account of the financial status of the Congress".
It is to replace the last sentence of Article16, which currently reads:
"Surplus funds remaining after the final settlement of financial affairs of each International Palynological Congress shall be sent in trust to the Secretary-Treasurer of the IFPS for transmittal, if needed, to the organizing committee for the next congress."
Both notices submitted by:
Owen K. Davis
PALYNOS (ISSN 0256-1670) is published semiannually (June and December) and is distributed to all individual members of the scientific organizations affiliated with the International Federation of Palynological Societies (IFPS). News items, photos, member and society activities are welcome. (Scientific papers will not be published in PALYNOS.) Please forward materials for PALYNOS to the Editor:
Dr. Fredrick J. Rich
Department of Geology and Geography
P.O. Box 8149, Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Georgia 30460U.S.A.
Phone: (912) 681-5361 FAX:(912) 681-0668