Page images

per hour



expressed in British thermal units radiated per square foot

THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN IN SOUTH as 16 x 10-10(T,*-1,-), where T, and T, are

AMERICA. the temperatures of the incandescent gases and of the boundary respectively in degrees Fahrenheit absolute; THE views held by Dr. Florentino Ameghino as to the This formula inay be applied in order to find a theoretical antiquity of inan in South America are based on upper limit to the quantity of heat radiated to the fire- che occurrence of split bones, and bones showing signs of box boundary on the assumption that the flame is actually having been cut, side by side with certain scoriaceous procomposed of solid masses of incandescent carbon, and so ducts, the " tierras cocidas” of Argentina. We are not follows Stefan's law. Thus, with flame and boundary as yet in possession of figures of the bones, and it may temperatures respectively of 3000° and 800° F. absolute, be presumed that they are regarded as of less importance the heat radiation is 129,600 British thermal units per than the baked and reddened earths. A lively controversy square foot per hour. With temperatures respectively of has arisen round the latter, and the question appears to 4000° and 800° the radiation amounts to 410,000 British be one that must be decided by the geologist rather than thermal units, showing the rapidity of increase of radia- | by the anthropologist. tion as the flame temperature rises. Stefan's law does Several series of deposits of Cainozoic age are recognot apply to cases where the gases are not incandescent. nised along the curving coast-line south of the mouth of

In transmission by conduction and convection the heat- the Rio de la Plata, past Mar del Plata, and away flow path from the interior of the mass of gas in the fire- towards Bahia Blanca. The orientation of one of Dr. box to a point in the interior of the mass of water is Ameghino's maps is unsatisfactory; but much topomade up of the following parts :--the gaseous part from graphical and descriptive inatter will be found in his paper the starting point to the gas film clinging to the plate ; Las formaciones sedimentarias de la región litoral the gas film itself; the surface of contact between the de Mar del Plata y Chapalmalán " (Anales del Museo plate and the gas; the metallic plate ; the surface of con. nacional de Buenos Aires, tomo xvii., p. 343 ; published tact between the plate and the water ; the water film; November 28, 1908). This, so far as the baked earths are the water from the film to the point in the mass of water. concerned, is overshadowed by a memoir by Señor Outes, To these must be added, for dirty plates, a layer of sooty Dr. Ducloux, and Dr. H. Bücking, of Strassburg, issued deposit on the gas side and a layer of scale on the water on September 15 of the same year (" Estudio de las side, on which there may also be a deposit of oily matter. supuestas escorias y tierras cocidas de la serie pampeana There is evidence that 98 per cent. of the total tempera- de la República Argentina,' Revista del Museo de la

head is required in order to force the heat from Plata, tomo xv., p. 138). the gas into the plate, the remaining 2 per cent. alone The two authors who have called in Dr. Bücking to being required to transfer the heat from the plate to the their assistance review the question historically. The water in the boiler. The presence of oily matter may Araucanian formation, with the Monte Hermoso beds, raise the temperature difference between the hot side of which Florentino Ameghino prefers to regard as Miocene, the plate and the water from 68° F. to 550° F., depend is very generally placed by other authors in the Pliocene : ing on the nature and thickness of the greasy deposit. but this does not affect the arguments of Outes and The thickness of the film of gas clinging to the plate is Ducloux. They point out that in 1865 Heusser and probably of the order of 1/40-inch, and accounts for the Claraz, in a paper published in French at Zürich, recog. greater part of the resistance offered to heat transmission nised cellular, and apparently volcanic, material in the by the total path of flow. The water film clinging to lower part of the Pampas beds near Mar del Plata. the plate also contributes to the resistance, as convection More than twenty years later, in 1887, Florentino currents cannot exist in it, and heat must be transferred Ameghino gathered similar "escorias " at Monte Hermoso, across it by the conductivity of the water forming the 60 km. north-east of Bahia Blanca, and in 1889 described film, which is known to be exceedingly small.

others from the neighbourhood of La Plata. These places If these films be completely or partially destroyed, the are, of course, all remote from any volcanic vents that head required to effect the heat transmission from the have so far been discovered. gas to the water across the plate will be considerably Meanwhile, from 1874 onwards, the

obscure reduced. One of the most potent factors in disturbing materials known as

" tierras cocidas were collected by the gas film is the velocity possessed by the moving gases. Señores Juan, Carlos, and Florentino Ameghino from Most of the work in connection with heat transmission various places in the province of Buenos Aires, and the since the time of Rankine shows attempts to introduce a last-named writer claimed them traces of ancient velocity factor variable into the expressions. Again, hearths, and as indicating man's antiquity in South owing to the temperature gradient from the centre of the America. The field was widened by other observers, and flue gases to the boundary, the efficiency must increase the typical specimens, with new ones personally collected, with a decrease in the size of the flue within limits. Hence have now been investigated by Outes and Ducloux. the hydraulic mean depth of the flue must form a factor. These authors make no claim to originality in rejecting The importance of good water circulation lies in the fact the opinion of Florentino Ameghino. They quote the that forcing water across the heating surface with a high views of Steinmann in 1906 (p. 160 of their memoir) as velocity has the effect of breaking up the water film.

to the andesitic nature of the scoriæ and baked earths, Notwithstanding the large number of researches bearing and they go back (p. 191) to Charles Darwin, who reon the subject of heat transmission, there is a general corded, in 1851, the occurrence of pebbles of pumice on absence of complete data regarding the actual phenomena the surface of the raised terrace at Monte Hermoso. occurring in a steam boiler when working under ordinary Darwin attributed these pebbles to the transporting action conditions of practice. For instance, no data exist which of ancient rivers, and pointed out how the rivers Negro gives the temperature gradients at different parts of a and Chupat bring down volcanic pumice and scoriæ at boiler flue with accuracy. Researches have had little effect the present day. Outes shows that such materials need in modifying the general design of steam boilers, although not have been carried directly from the Andes, but may the costly nature of these may be understood from a set have been washed out of the detrital volcanic beds of the recently made by the United States Geological Survev, Araucanian formation, which is much older than the costing 100,000 dollars. The author suggests that the Fampas beds, and possibly than those of Monte Hermoso. institution might undertake a research in which steam The inclusion of vegetable remains in the scoriæ is held boilers of different types under practical conditions may not to militate against their volcanic origin. Doering has have all the elements of their working measured, together urged the importance of laterisation in determining the with temperature measurements for the purpose of characters of the red beds in the Lower Pampas series, establishing the temperature gradients at different parts and Outes (p. 194) quotes his views with approval 35 of the heating surface. Such a research would be costly, explaining many of the "

baked earths. The elaborat? but would be well worthy of the institution.

chemical work of Ducloux (pp. 162-184) goes to show The paper contains elaborate indexes giving reference that the loess of the Pampas beds and the included scorize to all known work bearing on the subject; these will be and “baked earths" have a similar chemical composition, extremely valuable to all interested in heat transmission. and inasses like volcanic scoriæ have been made artificialls




by heating the loess at 1300° C. to 1350° C. The loess problem with the chemist or botanist who could throw appears to contain abundant minerals that characterise much light upon it. Under present conditions almost the volcanic lavas. The analyses given show a silica per-only opportunity the agriculturist has of meeting his fellowcentage of about 66 for the debatable scoriæ and " baked workers in the region of pure science is at the British earths, and of only some 57 for the specimens of loess; Association meeting. For this reason agriculturists are but the latter loses some 13 per cent of water, against awaiting with no small interest the outcome of the pro4 or 5 per cent. from the former materials. Ducloux posal made last year, and carried forward another stage opposes the suggestion of Ameghino that alkalies from this year, that agricultural science shall form a definite the associated vegetation, burnt up with the loess, have and permanent part of the British Association programme. entered into the composition of the scoriaceous matter. In his presidential address Major Craigie dealt with the

H. Bücking's petrographic contribution (p. 185) should future wheat supply of the world, and showed that there certainly have been illustrated. The writer, after micro- was no reason for the gloomy apprehensions that have at scopic examination, has no hesitation in classing the times been raised, and particularly by Sir W. Crookes at scoriæ as ordinary andesites. He traces volcanic lapilli Bristol in 1898, as to whether or not population would outin a " baked earth" from “ Chapadmalal," and describes strip wheat production. The address is printed in extenso features in this material and in others sent to him which in NATURE (September 30). suggest a laterisation of volcanic dust.

Dr. W. Saunders gave an account of the experimental Dr. Ameghino's paper, published in November, 1908, farm system in Canada. The central farm is at Ottawa, is largely stratigraphical. The beds of Monte Hermoso where the scientific staff reside. There are eight sub(p. 344) are here held to be much older than the Pampas sidiary stations situated at various points between the formation, on account of their absolutely distinct fauna. Atlantic and Pacific coasts, viz. at Prince Edward Island, If, then, man or his precursor is responsible for the Nova Scotia, Branden (Man.), Indian Head and Rosthern " baked earths" found among them, the human race in (Sask.), Lacombe and Lethbridge (Alta.), Agassiz (B.C.). South America may be traced back further than even At each of these a scheme of experiments drawn up at Ameghino had previously supposed. We gather that this Ottawa is carried out under the supervision of an experipaper was well advanced before the issue of that by Outes enced superintendent; different varieties of crops suited to and Ducloux, for Ameghino has since found it necessary the district and different methods of management are all to emphasise still further his views on the “ baked earths investigated, and the results published as widely as possible. in a specially written memoir, in both French and Spanish, Any abnormalities or matters of general interest that may entitled “ Productos piricos de origen antrópico en las require further elucidation are examined in greater detail formaciones neogenas de la República Argentina " (Anales at Ottawa. del Museo nac. de Buenos Aires, tomo xix., p. 1; pub- The possibility of extending the food production of lished February 17). He points out that the analyses of Canada was discussed a joint meeting with the Ducloux merely show that the alleged volcanic 'cinders Economics Section, papers by Prof. Brigham, secretary of might have been formed from the fusion of the earth in the Association of American Geographers, and Prof. which they lie, which is precisely the point that Ameghino Mavor, of the Toronto University, forming the text. The wishes to establish. But it is not clear that the fused possible wheat area of the three provinces Manitoba, products (p. 17), prepared by Ameghino himself at 950o Alberta, and Saskatchewan has been put at 175 million to 1000° C., have been submitted to microscopic examina- acres, and the possible output at 317 million bushels, tion, or that they exhibit the felspars and other associated which estimates are not at all accepted by the optimistic minerals found by Bücking in the scoriæ.

westerners. Prof. Mavor, however, points out that wheat Ameghino (p. 19) states that certain burrows formed as cultivation cannot continue to be the mainstay of nests by the bee Ancyloscelis analis occur in the “baked husbandry, but that mixed farming must become more earth," which must therefore have been burnt after the

Already, indeed, the wheat area is going down formation of the nests. Presumably this bee must also in Ontario, and in certain other districts it is not inbe transferred to the Miocene period if this argument is creasing so rapidly as the area under oats. Dry farming, to be sustained. The paper concludes with a statement which alone could be practised over large areas, is as yet of how Outes and Ducloux failed to bring forward at on its trial. The difficulty of forming satisfactory Santiago, in Chile, a promised refutation of Ameghino's estimates is complicated by the fact that two sets of reiterated views. We may be happy, perhaps, if they mutually inconsistent statistics are officially issued, one consider that enough has now been said. While Florentino compiled by the Dominion Statistical Department, the other Ameghino does not seem to appreciate sufficiently the by the provincial authorities. changes induced in rocks by laterisation, his critics have A joint meeting with the botanical and chemical sections certainly not utilised to the full the resources of modern was held for the discussion of wheat problems. An petrology. Probably

independent worker will important contribution to the history of the various wheats ultimately arrive upon the scene, and we venture to think was made by Dr. Stapf, whose paper was read in his that he will confirm the views of Steinmann, Outes, and absence by Colonel Prain. Hitherto this question has been Ducloux. The widely distributed materials which have very obscure, and has formed the subject of much speculaaroused so much discussion are hardly likely to add to tion. Dr. Stapf has succeeded in applying more precise our knowledge of the antiquity of man in South America. methods, and in replacing the vague ideas hitherto held

G. A. J. C. by definitely ascertained facts. The factors determining the

yield of wheat formed the subject of a paper by Messrs.

A. D. Hall and E. J. Russell. Wheat is very dependent AGRICULTURE AT THE BRITISH

on a supply of nitrogenous food-stuff ; indeed, for small ASSOCIATION.

increments of nitrogen a more than proportional crop

return is obtained. At a later stage the returns diminish, IN view of the outstanding importance of agriculture in and after a time cease to yield any profit. Phosphates

Manitoba, it was decided to concentrate attention on are of less direct importance, but have considerable indirect a few of the fundamental probleins of the North-west and effect; in particular, they often enable the crop to be to discuss them as fully as possible both in the subsection harvested at a somewhat earlier date, and thus they tend itself and in joint meetings with other sections. Such to extend further northwards the region of profitable projoint discussions are particularly valuable, because the duction. It was also shown that wheat is capable of withproblems in agricultural science are highly complex, and standing drought conditions, and is therefore a crop have generally to be dealt with by men working away from adapted to dry regions. Mr. F. T. Shutt discussed the large university centres and only occasionally coming into influence of environment on the composition of the grain. contact with pure men of science. Only those who have | Whilst not prepared to maintain that the percentage of had to work under such conditions know what it means nitrogen, phosphoric acid, or potash in the soil would to attempt research work in small laboratories in the appreciably affect the percentage of these substances in country without the stimulus of the research atmosphere, the grain, he nevertheless showed that the composition of often, indeed, with the drag of a considerable amount of the grain was influenced by its surroundings. Soil routine work and little opportunity of discussing the moisture affects the quantity of nitrogen present; on



adjacent pieces of ground with varying amounts of organic way of survey to ascertain the damage caused by forest matter, and therefore of moisture, the nitrogen was found insects. to decrease with increasing water content. Thus a strong

A morning was devoted to live-stock problems. Mr. wheat containing. 12:5 per cent. of nitrogen : yielded on P. A. Mørkeberg, the Danish State expert on the breednewly broken prairie land a grain containing only 9.9 per ing of dairy cattle, described the remarkable cooperative cent. of nitrogen, but on adjacent older and drier land system obtaining in Denmark and its effect in increasing the grain contained. 12.4 per cent. of nitrogen. Mr. both the output and also the value of the output from the Shutt's view is that the character of the gluten is a farms. Mr. Mørkeberg came over as the foreign representamatter of heredity, whilst its amount depends on environ- tive of the subsection, and his paper was of great value by ment.

reason of its suggestiveness to the Canadian authorities Two papers then followed on the strength of wheat, who were present, and who are faced by a not dissimilar one, by Mr. A. E. Humphries, in which strength was problem. Mr. Rutherford, the veterinary inspector at described from the miller's point of view, and one by Ottawa, sketched out the general character of the western Dr. E. F. Armstrong, in which the present position of the cattle trade, and Prof. Somerville described, his experichemistry of wheat strength was set out. Good quality is ments at Cockle Park, in which a clay pasture has been the sum of excellence in several directions. The capacity improved by basic slag. Prof. Wilson, of Dublin, gave for making large, shapely, and therefore well-aërated the results of his investigations into the history of the loaves; the facility with which large masses of dough can Aberdeen-Angus breed of cattle. The idea underlying the be handled in the bakehouse ; the percentage of water re- method is that an invading race would bring their cattle quired to make a dough of standard consistency, are all with them; thus the original cattle were black; the taken into account by the miller in valuing his four. Romans brought white cattle; the Anglo-Saxons brought This paper of Mr. Humphries is of great value to the red; the Norsemen brought a hornless race;

while a chemist in that it sets forth with clearness the problem large Aecked race was imported from Holland in the that has to be solved ; correlations are now wanted between soventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Prof. Wilson the chemical composition of the flour and these various examines the history of each district, and shows how the characters. Dr. Armstrong, in a critical review which local cattle have been derived. was much appreciated, showed what had been done up to The last meeting of the session was devoted to soil the present in tracing such connections, and set forth problems. Mr. F. T. Shutt described the prairie soils as the methods by which it is possible in particular cases to characterised by a high percentage of organic matter, judge the value of four. No one chemical characteristic intimately mingled with clay and sand. The percentage of is sufficient ; account must be taken of various factors, organic matter is of the greatest importance in determining such as the percentage of nitrogen, the size of the starch their fertility, because it so often happens that water is grains, and others. Prof. Harcourt then described experi- the factor limiting their productiveness. It is hoped that ments he had conducted on the baking qualities of certain this paper, which summarises a considerable amount of flours from the western provinces. When Alberta red work on the subject, may soon be available for the agrifour was mixed with soft Ontario winter wheat, a dis-cultural chemist. Prof. Alway followed by studies on tinctly better result was obtained than when either flour / semi-arid and arid soils, where the problem is quite was baked alone. The value of these flours for blending different in type from that on humid soils. It was found, purposes was thus demonstrated. Mr. W. B. Hardy then for instance, that a crop of clover did not increase the described the experiments he had made with Prof. Wood succeeding wheat crop, because the clover had taken too to emphasise the importance of mineral constituents of the much water from the soil. A mere determination of soil flour on the plasticity of the gluten.

moisture is not sufficient to give useful data ; the hygroDr. C. Saunders approached the subject from quite a scopic coefficient is wanted before the result can be interdifferent point of view, and described his experiments in preted. Prof. King, of Wisconsin, sent admirable breeding wheats. It is fortunately recognised in Canada summary of his work on soil moisture, which will be that wheat may have to be bred to suit local requirements, much appreciated by English students. The phenomena and indeed has to be bred if the area of the crop is to be connected with the water relationships of soils were dealt pushed northwards. Early ripening is essential in districts with in some detail, and a very useful warning was given where the harvest may be spoiled by frost, and early with regard to “ dry farming." By applying certain ripening varieties are being produced by Dr. Saunders at methods of cultivation that produce a firm subsoil and a Ottawa. A note on selection was then read by Prof. loose surface soil it is possible to economise the water L. S. Klinck, of the Macdonald College. Finally, Prof. supply, and therefore to raise crops in arid or semi-arid Zavitz discussed the influence of good seed as a factor in regions normally alnost desert land; but Prof. King points wheat production, and described also the work done at out that the rainfall goes more or less in cycles, and that Guelph on selection and breeding. Altogether, the wheat the favourable results so often quoted have in some cases, papers formed a valuable summary of our knowledge of at least, been obtained in seasons when there was quite a the various phases of the wheat problem, and general considerable amount of rain. Whilst fully admitting the satisfaction was felt at the decision to print them in close relationship between cultivation and soil moisture, of extenso and to issue them in the form of a pamphlet.

which, indeed, his own work forms the best illustration Another session was devoted to the discussion of forestry we have, he laid stress on the fact that the large-scale problems. Prof. Somerville opened by a paper on the out- methods are in no sense fully developed. look for timber supplies, pointing out that the consumption The last paper, by Messrs. A. D. Hall and E. J. Russell, of timber is rising faster than the supply, the growing dealt with the general problem of the conservation of soil scarcity of timber being clearly reflected in its rising prices. fertility, especially with regard to the nitrogen of the soil. During the past twenty-two years, nine out of thirty-two At least five factors affect the amount of nitrogen present. varieties examined had risen more than 100 per cent. in Two tend to increase it, viz. (a) bacteria fixing atmospheric price, and only two had risen less than 25 per cent. It nitrogen, and (b) the combined nitrogen brought down by is to the interest of every country to take energetic steps the rain ; and three to decrease it, viz. (c) drainage water, to prevent waste of timber and to plant up such lands (d) bacterial action in decomposing organic matter, with as are not otherwise wanted. The Canadian chief forester, liberation of free nitrogen, and (e) the growth of plants Mr. R. H. Campbell, followed with a paper from which with its concomitant assimilation of nitrogen compounds. it appeared that perhaps Canada is not yet fully alive to Three sets of cases were discussed. It was shown that the importance of the problem. The area of forest land the nitrogen content of land under arable cultivation de is probably not more than 500-600 million acres, only clines when the produce is entirely removed and no organic half of which appears to be of actual value. Suggestions

matter is added as manure. When land rich in organic were made for conserving the supply, and various adminis- compounds is subjected to arable cultivation the destructiva trative, educational, and legislative reforms were urged. agents become very active, and the land loses nitrogen The entomological problem was next discussed by Messrs. rapidly. On the other hand, when land is carrying natural Lockhead and Swaine, of the Macdonald Agricultural vegetation which is not removed, there is a gain of College, who showed that much remains to be done by nitrogen.



BOTANY AT THE BRITISH ASSOCIAtion. the author, two may be mentioned. First, as compared

with other Marattiaceæ, the ventral canal cell of the far as Section K is concerned, the Winnipeg, meet- archegonium is very imperfectly developed. Secondly, no

trace of a root can be found until the embryo has reached success. Though less than a dozen British botanists and a considerable size. The first root then arises endoonly one Canadian were present, the numbers attending genously. the section were about up to the average. This was largely Prof. D. T. Gwynne-Vaughan communicated a paper due to the presence of a number of Imerican botanists, by Dr. Kidston and himself on the ancestry of the many of whom communicated papers and in other ways Osmundaceæ. Lalesskya and Thamnopteris are two genera contributed to the success of the meeting.

of primitive Osmundaceæ from the Permian deposits of The opening address of the president, Lieut.-Colonel Russia. The stem in these forms contains a protostele Prain, was delivered on Thursday, August 26. It dealt with a solid mass of xylem. The latter, however, is not chiefly with the position of modern systematic botany, and homogeneous, as it consists of a central mass of short its relations to palæobotany, phytogeography, and other tracheids surrounded by a peripheral zone of normal scalaribranches of botanical study. The address was published in form tracheids. This central mass of short tracheids is full in Nature of September 30.

held by the authors to be homologous with the parenThe papers read during the meeting may be roughly chymatous pith of the modern Osmundaceæ. They also classified according to subjects.

believe that the Osmundaceæ and Zygopterideæ have been

derived from a common ancestor. Cytological and Fungal Papers.

A paper was also presented by Mr. W. T. Gordon on Prof. J. B. Overton (of Wisconsin) contributed a paper the structure of a new Zygopteris. This species (2. Pettyon the organisation and reconstruction of the nuclei in the curensis) exhibits a protostele, a type of vascular system root-tips of Podophyllum pellatum. After summarising the

which had hitherto not been found in the group. This work of Grégoire and others, the author described his own

form thus occupies the same position in the Zygopterideæ observations, which, in his opinion, strongly support the as Thamnopteris schlechtendahlii does in the Osmundaceæ. view of the individuality of the chromosomes. During the passage of the chromosomes from the equatorial plate to

Ecological Papers. the poles, they exhibit progressive vacuolisation. Dr.

Friday morning was largely devoted to the consideration Overton believes that each individual chromosome increases

of papers on ecology. The first was by Prof. H. C. in size, and ultimately forms an independent elementary Cowles, of Chicago, on the fundamental

of reticulum. Thus the reticulum of the resting nucleus is succession among plant-associations. In dealing with the composed of a number of these smaller reticula. Con- fact of succession, Prof. Cowles stated that plantversely, during the earlier prophases of division, the

associations only exhibit this phenomenon when changes chromosomes become more condensed and distinct, and, occur in the external conditions ; but complete stability of joining end to end, give rise to the well-known spireme. conditions is rarely met with, so succession constitutes the

Mr. Harold Wager communicated a paper by Miss A. normal course of events. The earlier stages may be Peniston and himself on the nucleus of the yeast plant. termed the proximate, and the later ones the ultimate The authors contend that the so-called vacuole of the yeast stages. Except in those cases where the proximate and cell is in reality part of the nuclear apparatus. This ultimate formations are the same, as, for instance, in vacuole is surrounded by a peripheral chromatin network, deserts, it is only in the ultimate stages that a plantwhich in its turn is connected with a stainable nucleolus. association becomes relatively stable. The author then The paper was illustrated by a number of convincing draw- discussed a number of the causes of succession. Apart ings.

from such obvious ones as topographic and climatic Miss H. C. I. Fraser discussed the nuclear phenomena changes, the most important are those which are more or of Ascomycetes in relation to heredity. Fertilisation in the

less associated with the plants themselves. Of these, Dr. Ascomycetes may be either normal or degenerate. The

Cowles laid especial stress on two factors: the accumulalatter, which consists of the fusion in pairs of either tion of humus, which involves changes in the temperature, ascogonial or even vegetative nuclei, is found in cases and the moisture and air content of the soil; and the where one or both sexual organs are absent. Fertilisation

increase of shade, due to the increasing luxuriance of the of either type is followed by a second nuclear fusion in the vegetation. The ultimate formation of any upland will be ascus. The sexual fusion is compensated by a true meiotic

composed of plants that can germinate in the densest shade reduction, while the fusion in the ascus is followed by a

that exists there. Other factors discussed

the simpler brachymeiotic division. It thus appears possible invasion of an area by alien species, and the influence of to differentiate between sexual and asexual fusion by a

The latter makes itself felt chiefly by reason of study of the subsequent reduction phenomena.

man's destructive activity. Speaking broadly, the effect of Prof. A. H. R. Buller (of Winnipeg) gave an account interference by man is to keep plant-associations more of the production and dispersion of spores in the Hymeno- xerophytic than they would otherwise be. A number of experiments were made on the rate

Prof. F. Ramaley (Colorado) discussed the Rocky Mounof spore discharge, the path of the falling spores, &c.

tain flora in relation to climate. He stated that the flora During the paper Prof. Buller gave a pretty demonstra

of the Rockies is remarkably uniform from Canada to tion of the discharge of spores from the fruit-body of a Colorado ; but any given species must be looked for at species of Polyporus. By suspending the fungus in a

higher and higher altitudes as one travels southwards from closed glass chamber, through which a concentrated beam

Canada. The author is of opinion that the chief factor of light was passed, the clouds of falling spores

which determines this altitudinal distribution is temperarendered clearly visible. A full account of this work is

This he regards as more important in this instance .contained in the book on fungal researches just published than either topography, soil, or rainfall. by the author.

Prof. B. E. Livingston (Baltimore) then gave an account Another paper by Prof. Buller, in collaboration with Mr.

of the porous cup atmometer an instrument for C. W. Lowe, dealt with the number of bacteria in the air

ecological research. The author first emphasised the of Winnipeg. Observations were made on the University importance of evaporation determinations in ecological campus every week for a year. Both the volumetric and investigations, and then described the form of instrument the plate methods were employed. During the winter half

he has himself used. Finally, he gave some useful hints of the year the average number of micro-organisms in

with respect to precautions to be observed when using this ten litres of air was 0-9, while in the corresponding summer

instrument. half ihr average number rose to 10:33.

Prof. R. H. Yapp gave the result of some observations

and experiments on the ecology of Spiraea Ulmaria. This Papers on Pteridophyta.

plant exhibits curious seasonal changes in respect to the Prof. D. H. Campbell (Leland Stanford University) read formation of glabrous and hairy leaves. It was shown a paper on the prothallium and embryo sporophyte of that the production of these two tvpes of leaves in nature Danæa, a fine series of which (belonging to several species) varies with the annual march of evaporation and light had been procured in Jamaica. Of the points described by | intensity.









Papers of Economic Interest.

dichasia, and these by compound dichasia. From the On Monday, August 30, there was a joint discussion latter, racemose inflorescences may have been derived by wheat by the chemical, botanical, and agricultural

an increase in the number of lateral flowers, with supsections. Most of the papers read at this discussion have pression of tertiary branching, and, finally, of the original already been noticed in NATURE (see the article

terminal flower itself. Chemistry at the British Association,

October 14, P:

Miss E. J. Welsford described the life-history of Tricho475, and that on " Agriculture at the British Association

discus elegans, an alga belonging to the Chætophoracea. in the present number). The only one that need be further

It was found in this species that various forms of reprodealt with here is an important botanical contribution by duction may occur under identical external conditions. Dr. O. Stapf (communicated by Lieut.-Colonel Prain), on

These results are somewhat at variance with the wellthe history of the wheats.

known experiments of Klebs. The wheats are generally divided into (a) the wheats

Dr. R. R. Gates (Chicago) discussed the effects of proper, with tough spindles to the spikes, loose grains, tropical conditions on the development of certain English and thick pericarps (N.B.-the first two of these characters

Anotheras. Two species were

grown from seed in are of economic importance, as they greatly facilitate

a tropical greenhouse. The resulting plants were usually threshing); (b) the spelt wheats, with brittle spindles,

found to continue indefinitely in the rosette stage. Even giains tightly enclosed in the husks, and thin pericarps.

when ordinary stems were produced they exhibited marked The former comprise the soft, hard, and English wheats,

fasciation. together with the dwarf and Polish wheats. The latter

The Semi-popular Lecture. include the spelt wheats proper, the emmer and the einkorn wheats, and also the wild Triticum aegilopioides and

This was given on the Friday afternoon by Mr. Harold T. dicoccoides.

Wager. He chose for his subject the perception of light After careful investigation, and in the light of recent

in plants. The lecturer dealt with the problem as it affects discoveries, Dr. Stapf concludes that all the varieties of

both the lower, free-swimming organisms, such as Euglena, modern wheat may be traced to some four distinct primitive diatropic organs of the higher plants. With respect to the

Chlamydomonas, &c., and also the various orthotropic and wild types :-(1) the einkorn to Triticum aegilopioides, with its original home in Asia Minor and the Balkans ;

latter, Mr. Wager criticised Haberlandt's view of the (2) the emmer and the hard wheats, as also the English agreeing that the optical behaviour of those cells may in

ocellar function of the epidermal cells of leaves. While by Mr. Aaronsohn in northern Palestine ; (3) the spelt general be as Haberlandt suggests, the lecturer inclined proper to Triticum cylindricum, in an area extending from

to the view that the chlorophyll grains, rather than the Rumania to southern Russia ; (4) the common or soft, and

cytoplasmic lining of the epidermal cells, constitute the

actual percipient organs. The lecture, which was probably also the dwarf, wheats, to a still unknown species, thoroughly appreciated, was well illustrated by a number which probably occurred either in Syria or Mesopotamia. Dr. Stapf concluded his paper with an appeal for the

of beautiful photographs. systematic collection of all the wheats at present cultivated

Several botanical excursions were arranged during the in the Old World, which must, he said, still include many

meeting by the local secretary, Prof. Buller. One of these of the more primitive races; also for a further exploration

was to Hedingly, where a fine bit of uncultivated prairie of the Orient, which might well result in the discovery of

was examined. Another was to Winnipeg Beach, on the new wild forms.

shores of Lake Winnipeg. On a third occasion Elm Park, Other papers of agricultural interest were read by Prof.

on the Red River, was visited. Some of the members of H. Bolley (North Dakota), on the destruction of weeds in

Section K also took part in the western excursion, and so field crops by means of chemical sprays; and by Prof.

had a further opportunity of witnessing some of the rePammel (Iowa), on the delayed germination of seeds.

markable types of vegetation to be found in travelling from The latter author experimented with the seeds of a number

past to west across the North American continent. of species of weeds. He found that if the seeds were kept during the winter in paper packages, the percentage germination was lower, and the dormant period longer,

UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL than if the seeds were placed in sand and exposed to the climatic conditions of an ordinary winter.

INTELLIGENCE. On Thursday afternoon Mr. J. Parkin gave an interest- CAMBRIDGE.—It is proposed that, in accordance with the ing account of the industry of rubber cultivation. He recommendation contained in a report of the council of referred to the various rubber-yielding trees, and more the Senate on the endowment of a professorship of German, particularly to Hevea braziliensis, the Para rubber tree. the generous offer of Messrs. J. Henry Schröder and CoinAfter describing the introduction of the latter into the pany of the sum of 20,000l. for the endowment in the eastern tropics, Mr. Parkin dealt with the methods University of a professorship of German, to be known employed in tapping the rubber trees. He fully discussed as the Schröder professorship of German, be gratefully the relation between the yield of rubber and the pheno- accepted, and that the thanks of the University be conmenon known as wound

response, and also the nature veyed to the donors. of latex coagulation. The paper was fully illustrated with The superintendent of the museum of zoology has specimens of the plants, commercial rubber, the instruments appointed Mr. C. L. Boulenger to the office of assistant used, &c. Mr. Parkin also demonstrated the actual to the superintendent of the museum of zoology for one coagulation of rubber latex.

year from October 1, 1909. Mr. H. H. Thomas has been

appointed curator of the botanical museum for a period Other Papers.

of three years from Michaelmas, 1909, and Mr. Gordon In contrast to the Dublin meeting, there was a notice

Merriman has been appointed to the studentship in medical able dearth of physiological papers. One, however, was

entomology lately held by Mr. F. P. Jepson. contributed by Prof. R. Willstätter, on the chemistry of

The Vice-Chancellor, Mr. R. F. Scott, Mr. Fitzpatrick, chlorophyll. One of the points emphasised by this author

Prof. Kenny, Dr. Anderson, Prof. Sorley, Sir J. J. Thomthe essential difference between chlorophyll and

son, Mr. R. T. Wright, Mr. C. E. Grant, and Mr. H.

McL. Innes have been nominated a syndicate to consider hæmoglobin in respect to the metals bound up in their respective molecules. Iron occurs in that of hæmoglobin,

the question of providing pensions for professors and others while in the case of chlorophyll the iron is replaced by

in the service of the University. magnesium. The action of acids and alkalis on chloro- LONDON.–At the meeting of the Senate held on October phyll was also discussed.

20, the degree of D.Sc. was granted to Mr. L. L. Fermor, Mr. J. Parkin put forward some rather novel views as an external student, for a thesis entitled "The Manganese to the evolution of the inflorescence. He is of opinion Ore Deposits of India," and other contributions; and to that racemose inflorescences have been in all cases derived Mr. S. Russ, an internal student, of University College, from cymose. According to his view, solitary terminal for a thesis on The Active Deposits of Radio-active Subflowers were primitive; these were succeeded by simple stances."


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