Original paper

Diversity of late Palaeozoic terrestrial ecosystems, Part 1

[In honour of Manfred Barthel's 80th birthday]

Schultka, Stephan


The present volume of Palaeontographica Abt. B is dedicated to Prof. Dr. Manfred Barthel on his 80th birthday. Over 140 publications reflect his interest in many areas of palaeobotany and its research history, ranging from the analysis of cuticles, to Rotliegend floras and even to Palaeogene ferns of the Geiseltal. The acceptance of his research by his colleagues all over the world is demonstrated by, for example, the use of his name for genera such as Barthelopteris or Barthelia. His years as director of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin allowed him – even before German reunification – to network with many international colleagues with whom he several times established close friendly relations.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, we asked some of his compatriots to submit manuscripts that illuminate the broad field of Manfred’s work, although other fields of research which he observed with interest are also touched. Fortunately, the response from the palaeobotanical and palynological community was simply great with the result that this Festschrift must be printed in two issues.

Very early he recognized, and promoted, a keen interest in research of Ronny Rössler, who together with Mathias Merbitz, Volker Annacker, Robert Noll, Rodrigo Neregato and Rosemarie Rohm studied root systems of Permian arborescent sphenopsids. Their morphological and anatomical-histological observations challenge the universal view that this group of plants can only be reconstructed as rhizome-bearing trees (Rössler et al. 2014).

Michael Krings, for many years connected with Manfred Barthel – together with Thomas N. Taylor and Nora Dotzler – offer a manuscript on micro-organisms associated with a seed fern from the English Carboniferous. The authors thus make an important contribution to the knowledge of the biological role of microorganisms in earlier Palaeozoic continental ecosystems (Krings et al. 2014).

Among the first contacts with foreign scientists that Manfred made were with colleagues from the former Czechoslovakia, which are maintained via several young researchers from the Czech Republic. They are represented here by Zbynĕk Šimůnek, who touches an important field of Manfred Barthel’s interests in his cuticular analytical research on Cordaites. This genus shows few characteristics and thus it is very difficult to order it systematically, but in the present paper a new species Cordaites barthelii sp. nov. from the Stephanian B of the Czech Republic is erected based on its cuticular features (Šimůnek 2014).

Erwin Zodrow visited Berlin several times after Manfred Barthel had met him personally in Canada in 1995. Together with José A. Angelo, Ulrike Werner-Zwanziger and Banghao Chen, he offers a further paper from his bio - and petrochemical field of study. Using 13C-magnetic resonance experiments (13C NHR) and the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), the authors examine the “hairs” of Neuropteris scheuchzeri as compared to Odontopteris subcuneata and petrochemical characteristics of Macroneuropteris (ex Neuropteris) scheuchzeri (Zodrow et al. 2014).

We thank all those colleagues who have made significant contributions to this Festschrift, for example as reviewers. We are indebted to the publishing house and thus Dr. Andreas Nägele who made this Festschrift possible. Under the approved auspices of Mrs. Yvonne Zeusche, as Production Manager, the first part of this Festschrift was produced without any problems. We hope the content will interest our readers and pique their curiosity about the second part.

Stephan Schultka, Editor


fossil forestclamitaleansanatomypetrifactionroots