6.1.1 Concept

From Lavoisier (1790) we owe the rule of the indestructability of matter: “rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée”. Robert Mayer (1842) has created its analogue in energetics: the rule of the indestructibility of energy, “das Gesetz der Erhältung der Kraft”. Both rules have become to one since Einstein’s demonstration of the identity of matter and energy.

Now Clausius formulated the second law of thermodynamics in 1855. This law states that the diffuse form of heat, the entropy interacts at the expense of the useful work performed during any energy transaction. Bolzmann recognises this increase of entropy as a general trend in nature and predicts a “Wärmetod” for the Kosmos.1

We are interested in the material counterpart of the second law of thermodynamics. Analogous to an increase in diffuse, non-utilisable energy, the entropy, there should be, during a chemical or mechanical reaction an increase in the material dispersion of the system. This material dispersion we call dissipation. At another place in this book, we shall revert to this problem (see Baas Becking, Proc. Roy. Ac., 1942 and Burgers, Entropie en Levensverschijnselen, Verh. Ak., 1943) when we deal with the influence of forces both animate and intelligent.2 The workings of man as shaper of the environment. Here it should suffice to state the influence of organisms upon the dissipation. Organisms are able to concentrate (geochemically) rare elements. Organisms are also able to exclude chemical compounds from their internal milieu. But the effect of the element upon the organism does not need to go parallel to its concentration. Now in squandering our heritage we have sown that which we cannot harvest. We have dissipated, minutely dispersed, a number of elements, that actually belong in earth’s molten core, or in the calx surrounding it. We owe it to living things that these are brought back to us concentrated by the anti-dissipatory action of living matter. Of course, care should be taken not to squander at a rate greater than accumulation and concentration. And the squandering may be not only our doing, and the concentration not only a biological process, at that. Thus, both animate and inanimate seem to collaborate here.3

6.1.2 Les éléments concentrateurs

(Baas Becking, 1942a; see also Noddack, 1942, Naturwiss.),4 V.M. Goldschmidt (1923).

When we plot the log concentration of the bioelement within in the organism against the logarithm of the concentration of these elements in the earth crust, we find little correlation (Fig. 6.1). If we plot against the concentration in the hydrosphere, we see only 2 elements, hydrogen and oxygen on the diagonal, they are neither concentrated or dissipated. This is rather evident, in as much as organisms consist for such a large part of water. But the organism has apparently created its own world, and the composition of this world, is quite different from that of its surroundings. We have seen in Section 1 how preponderant the elements O, Al, Fe, Si are, still, the organism has to build something quite different, at least quantitatively different.

6.1.2.a Carbon

Carbon is, of course, preponderant, it has to be concentrated from 0.002% in the hydrosphere to ±10% in living matter! This concentration is brought about by the carbon dioxide assimilation of the green plant and the subsequent dehydration of the glucose formed to products as cellulose. The dissipation of the carbon is never so great as the concentration, or part of it, formerly was.

6.1.2.b Iron

Iron is, in seawater only present in a few γ/cm2 (as Cooper (1935) showed), as the fluoride.5 How the intake and concentration take place we do not know. Inorganic iron is present in plants (Molisch). Most of it is bound to porphines and the like. The re-dissipation is presumably complete.

6.1.2.c Iodine

The most interesting case of concentration we find in the iodine. In freshwater it is hardly present. Still all organisms contain it, and some (mammals, sponges, algae) in appreciable quantities. We only know it in organic compounds with the organisms, such as di-iodothyrosines or thyroxine (Bayer) [small drawing of the molecule structure]

6.1.2.d Phosphorus

In freshwater and in seawater a veritable minimum factor. Enters the plant as acid phosphate ion (v.d. Honert),6 and is built in in various compounds (lecithinoids, Cu phosphate and apatite). It cannot be induced by living cells, although there are, perhaps, bacteria that may perform this feat.

6.1.2.e Fluorine

Toxic when present in more than a few γ/cm2 in the milieu. Enormously concentrated and built in the structure of bone and tooth, in the marine organisms more than in land inhabiting organisms. Its influence in plants to most well known.

6.1.3 Les éléments dissipateurs

The inspection of the mineral analysis of ore, or a few groups of organisms, is never sufficient to obtain an idea about the significance of such minerals. Notably this is the case with Na and Cl. We know that they are useful things in the external milieu, as sodium and the most abundant of the earth alkalis, such as Ca and Mg. We know that the formation of HCl plays a role in the digestion in higher animals, and that NaCl is a regular component of the body fluids. Also, its decrease goes parallel with certain pathological phenomenon. Still, NaCl causes in plants curious aberrations (succulence) which are induced hereditarily on certain species, but make us suspect that the role of Na and Cl is not as universal as we thought before.

6.1.3.a Sodium

There is a tenfold decrease at least from seawater concentrations to body fluid. As Kuenen has shown even halophyte organisms like Artemia have quite diluted body fluids.7 Ancel Keys demonstrated the presence of a NaCl secretory gland in the cell.8 Kidney function also performs work to concentrate excretion NaCl and so to dissipate it (Nernst RT log C1/C2).

6.1.3.b Magnesium

In organisms, in certain enzymes, in chlorophyll, and in the aleurone protein. Necessary apparently in very small quantities, while present in seawater in high concentrations. The method of dissipation is totally unknown. How its permeation as against the necessary Ca is regulated, remains a mystery.

6.1.3.c Chloride

Excretion of chlorides is known to occur in succulents, as well as in other plant families. This should elaborate the statement made above under sodium. Its position in the Hofmeister (1888) series, (or better, lyotropic permeability series) might account for its lack of accumulation within the cell.9

6.1.3.d The position of hydrogen and oxygen

Although hydrogen and oxygen are intensely used in the cell, the amount of these elements taken up in metabolic activity is so small as compared with the total amount of cellular water that it may conveniently be neglected. Even all of the hydrogen and oxygen fixed in organic compounds is out small percentage of the total cell weight.

6.1.4 Summary and conclusions

A plant may grow, constantly accumulating and concentrating atmospheric carbon (Fig. 6.2). It grows from I to M, and the dissipation of the carbon decreases, perhaps following some such curve as given in the diagram. At M it dies and decays or is eaten, the dissipation of its carbon increases, but never to the level as where it comes from. There is a gain, a net gain in concentration, incarcerated in the bodies of the organisms which fed upon the original plant and also incorporated in fossilising carbonaceous material. In the cycle of the carbon there is no complete repetition, part of it is held back. In the case of the iodine, we meet the same thing, although the factor ‘fossilification’ is absent. But still the concentration in an original organism I-M may partly be maintained by organisms feeding upon this initial organism (level c in the figure). The ‘fossil’ concentration becomes again quite important in such elements as phosphorus while in others, like nitrogen, it is neglectable (only Chilean nitrate and guano).

It would be interesting and worthwhile to investigate in detail the concentration and dissipation of a number of bioelements. As we shall see later, ‘waste’ is one of our chief problems. The concept of dissipation is closely allied to this problem. In this section we shall further deal with the influence of organisms upon the inanimate world. It will be seen that the influence is profound and in certain cases, as in the atmosphere, dictatorial. Biochemically, this influence may be ultimately traced to the accumulation, the concentration power of the living cell. To elaborate upon the mechanism of this concentration, intrability and permeability in general, is a task for physiology and being outside the scope of this essay.

6.2.1 Introduction

People in a crowded room not only change the CO2 tension, but also the temperature and the vapour pressure. Soon we are right outside the ‘area of well being’ and we become too dazed even to speculate upon the influence of organisms upon the physical milieu. We are struck, when aboard a steamer, or walking along the beach, or in the forest, by the wonderful phenomena of bioluminescence. From the example given it would appear that organisms exert a marked influence upon the physical milieu. But this influence is local, and, what is more important goes with very little energy exchange. The biophysical phenomena, while curious, lack the great geological importance which is particular to many other biological phenomena.

6.2.2 Heat production

Description of the wonderful thermostat which is the warm blooded animal, falls outside the scope of this essay. Animals with imperfect eurythermy (duck bill, insectivores, bats and rodents) show real hibernation.10 During hibernation they are poikilothermic after awaking a bat may raise its temperature by 25 °C in less than a minute. It should be remarked, however, that even cold blooded animals may raise the temperature of the environment by several degrees. Pythons are said to incubate their eggs. The heat production by microbes is a well known phenomenon and is dealt with more fully in Section 5.4. Animals make use of this heat production! The mallard hen, Megapodiidae,11 occurring in Australia and islands of the Pacific, lays her eggs in mounds made of rotting leaves. The cobra is said to do the same. About the regulation of temperature inside a beehive (see Shelford, 1929, p. 322). Higher plants may produce heat in the floral organ, raising the temperature as high as 48 °C. (Nymphaeacea, Aracea, Aristolochiacea). In Sauromatumvenosum (Aracea), van Herk (1937) found enormous consumption of sugar under the influence of the yellow respiration enzymes.12 Post-mortal (necrobiotic) changes in leaves (tobacco) may give rise to temperatures up to 50 °C. According to Schwarz and Laupper (1922) the self combustion of hay is due to a chemical reaction catalysed by iron. According to Mach (1900a and b) this is a (pyrophoric iron) in probably localised in the plastid.13

6.2.3 Light production

Certain marine bacteria (B. phosphoreum, V. indicus)14 various Hymenomycetae (Mycena, Xylaria),15 lampyrid beetles, a crustacean (Cypridina)16, jellyfish, and gastropods are able to radiate a blue or green, perfectly cold light. The mechanic of this emission was first studied by R. Dubois (1886 and 1892) and later by E.N. Harvey and co-workers (1928) .17 Pierantoni (1921) claims that light emission of higher animals and worms takes place by symbiotic bacteria.18 In the last decade the late L.S. Ornstein and A.J. Kluyver and co-workers have been able to elucidate the mechanism of light emission further.19 Already, Dubois (1886) assumed the presence of a substance luciferin and atmospheric oxygen changed into oxyluciferin. Now Kluyver has been able, by a very ingenious method, to obtain the spectrum of bacterial luciferin and to find organic, luminescent compounds, which show similar spectra (oxychinones ?).20

6.2.4 Electricity

50 millivolt is usually the potential drop near the other phase of a living cell. Certain specialised cells of specialised tissues of tropical fishes (electric eel, and rays [order Torpediniformes]) are able to generate currents of 40 – 60 V. About the mechanism of the process the literature is still obscure.

6.2.5 Humidity

At another place (Section 3.6.11) we shall deal with the influence of organisms upon atmospheric humidity. Where the evaporating capacity of bare soil and vegetation often greatly differ, it is obvious that organisms contribute greatly to the atmosphere and influence its humidity. The effect has, up till now, been studied little, although much speculation exists upon this, and allied matter.

6.2.6 Summary and conclusions

While the changes caused by organisms in the chemical milieu are of enormous geological importance the microbes, the plants and the animals leave no imprint upon the physical milieu. The changes here are interesting, they are measurable, they are manifold, but they are of no further geobiological consequence. Of course, the influence upon the cystic movements of water is enormous, and requires special treatment at another place.

Text box 6.1 – Baas Becking notes made prior to writing the manuscript

Loosjes and Schuffelen (1943). Roots of higher plants (oats). K intake and excretion in two sided process. Both processes of same order of magnitude. By means of radioactive K. Dependent upon concentration, activity and potential difference, peripheral root tissue and milieu.21

6.3.1 Introduction

Already, Sachs (1865) could demonstrate the excretion of acids (he ascribed the action to CO2 of plant roots, which he grew between marble slabs, with the resulting corrosion of the calcite).22 It is known that spectacle lenses, window glass and photographic plates are attacked, in the tropics, by a silica dissolving fungus, an organism, therefore, that is able to secrete alkali. The chemical influence of organisms is manifold, and only a few instances may be mentioned.

6.3.2 Changes by photosynthesis and respiration

Respiration in an aqueous milieu, by liberation of CO2, will acidify the water as H2CO3 is formed which has a dissociation constant of 4.7 × 10-7. According to some, only part of the CO2 forms, with H2O, H2CO3. According to others the acid present is not H2CO3 but either a brine acid C(OH)4. In any case the acid seems too weak for H2CO3!

Photosynthesis, by withdrawal of CO2 will make the water more alkaline. The water, which is much buffered to the acid side, but very weakly buffered to the alkaline side will suffer, in 1 litre, a large starfish for hours without marked drop in the pH. A few fragments of the alga Ulva, in the light, will cause the pH to rise within a few hours from 8.1 - 9.2.

6.3.3 By recretion, excretion and secretion

In the section on metabolism many examples of the excretion of important organic compounds by plants may be given. Here we call attention to substances which may poison the milieu, for competition. We mention here the well known penicillin of Raistrick23 and the remarkable, amine-like compound excreted by the alga Chara and the anti-germination substances discovered by Troschel (1854) as secreted by many seeds of economic plants. Sepia is a remarkable camouflage substance secreted by Loligo. [in margin: Tonna galea, H2SO4,24 centipede, HCN, beetles, iodine!]

6.3.4 By exchange

Baumann and Gully (1910) claim the following origin for the acid in Sphagnum bog.25 The bog being ombrogenic (fed by rainwater only) mineral content of the water will be low. The cations in the rainwater (mainly Na) are absorbed in the cell walls of the Sphagnum and exchanged for H+. Assuming a plausible value for NaCl in rainwater, ±30 micromolar we might expect the equivalent of 0.5 × 10-3 N Na+ in H +ions, corresponding to a pH of 4 - 0.7 = 3.3. This may be actually a pH observed in a fen moor! Baas Becking and Nicolai (1934) and Vaas repeated the experiments under a variety of conditions and confirmed, on the whole, the above hypothesis.26 Activity of so called humic acid (Odén, 1922), CO2, iron salts or organic acids they were able to exclude. As the only anions in the rainwater were Cl- and SO42- is quantitatively reduced in a Sphagnum bog to H2S the acid present should be hydrochloric acid.

Thompson, Lorah and Rigg (1927) were able to corroborate these findings for Canadian peat bogs. We shall have occasion to revert to this problem again in Section 9. Suffice is to state that agar treated with HCl to remove the Ca, and washed until neutral, will become acid again when watered with dilute NaCl (H. Bungenberg de Jong). Roots have been shown (by means of radioactive K) (Schuffelen and Loosjes, 1942 a and b) (see Section 6.3, Periodic Changes in Chemical Milieu), to exchange K between internal and external milieu. Both processes are of almost equal intensity. Here, apart from potential and membrane effects, metabolism plays a large role.

Arens (1934) and his pupils (Lausberg, 1935) have shown that leaves excrete large quantities of salt (leaf weight per season) chiefly potassium acid phosphate.27 When the leaves (tobacco) are washed by rain these salts will become available to the plant again. The amount excreted in this way may mean more than ½ of the weight of the leaf per season. It is, therefore, not indifferent whether tobacco is harvested before or after rain!

Text box 6.2 – Baas Becking notes made prior to writing the manuscript

[Three pages with annotations in ink.]28

Suborder Actipylea (Genera Actinelius, Acanthociasma, Acanthometron, Acanthonia, Sphaerocapsa, Diploconus) of Radiolaria, skeleton strontium sulphate (Kudo, Fig. 168, p. 371).29

Caustobiolithes, Haquébard (1943) probably autochthonous.30 Probably autochthonous. H. Potonié (1910), carbonisation and humification (boghead and cannal form bitimunisation from sapropelite).31 Nomenclature of Stopes:32vitriet (shining), dunite (matt), fusiet (charcoal fossil), clarite, vitrite without structure = collite, with structure telite.

(= xylinite + periblinite + subernite), fusite = fusinite.

Dunite = resinite + eximite + micrinite (fine debris).

Clarite = vitrinite + exinite (mixture of vitrite + durite?).

Vitrite conchoidal fracture = collite (colloid) + tellite = structure.

In vitrite cell lumina filled with collite, in fusite cell lumina filled with gas. Originates fusite under dryest conditions, vitrite wetter, dinite wetter, pseudo cannal still wetter. Fusite probably not formed by forest fires. (2,000 sq. metre in Pittsburg 2 layers) sometimes known from fires.

Lieske thinks fusite originates in sediment covered moor.33 By Haquébard enorme literature.

(Potonié (1910), vitrite perhaps fossil dopplerite, due to perhaps turf detritus).

Self heating of hay, see Schwarz and Laupper (1922).34

Boekhout and de Vries ‘carbonised’ haystack! Cannot be through the agency of bacteria. Very dry hay may carbonise.35

Humic acid forms have antiseptic action.

1912, Maillard. Carbonisation is a purely chemical process.36

1922, Schwarz and Laupper (1922), cellulose and lignine Kohl, vet- en eierkool, was- and hankool [Dutch names for various types of coal]. Pyrophorous iron (see also Noack, 1943) so called “Erdbrände” in coal seams may be caused by similar phenomena.

Foraminiferal ooze.

Guano. 10 metres near Iquique, Chile, formed in 1,100 years. Also, phosphate minerals.

Phosphate may accumulate from magma alone. Apatite 50-80%, nepheline 13-35% etc. from Fersman (1929).37

Graphite occurs as result of metamorphosis carbonaceous matter (Rhode Island).

Sulphur, the large and commercial deposits occur in sedimentary rocks and are generally the result of the reduction of sulphate minerals, notably gypsum.

[In pencil a calculation of the surface of the earth ending in “Surface earth = 5.12 × 1018 cm2.]

Sphalerite, ZnS in sedimentary rocks.

Pyrite, FeS2 decomposed to limonite and goethite. As nodules and excretions in many slates and sandstones (cubic).

Marcasite, (orthorhombic dipyramidal) concretions in marl, clay, limestone and coal. (chalcopyrite, Cu2Fe2S4), pyrolusite (MnO2). hematite (Fe2O3). opal (SiO2.xH2O).

Limonite, Fe2O3.H2O. Halite, NaCl, Sodium nitrate, NaNO3 deposits 6-12 ft deserts of Atacama and Tampaca.38Calcite (hexagonal) CaCO3, Dolomite CaMg(CO3)2, Magnesite MgCO3. Siderite, FeCO3 with sulphide ore deposits. Aragonite (rhombic) CaCO3, Anhydrite CaSO4 mixed with organic matter. Celestite, SrSO4 in shales, limestones and dolomites. Gypsum CaSO4.2aq, (monocline) in common salt deposits, in limestones and shales. Epsomite, MgSO4.7aq non-hygroscopic. Melanterite, FeSO4.7H2O efflorescence. Magnetite, Fe3O4 in black sands. Apatite, Ca5F(PO4)3 = a. nodular, b. phosphate rock, c. guano, also Ca5Cl(PO4)3. Wavellite (AlOH)3(PO4)2.5H2O, (rarer). Andalusite Al2SiO5, often inclusions dark organic matter (chiastolite). Dahllite, 3Ca3(PO4)2.2CaCO3.H2O.

Kollophan, Ca3P2)8.H2O. Vivianite, Fe3P2O8.H2O.

Linné “Omne calx ex vivo.

Allen (1934) finds influence of algae in Mammoth Hot Springs in precipitating travertine important. In cooler water the disposition of silica could be enhanced by functional activity of algae.39 Adjacent springs myriads of living diatoms forming diatomaceous earth.

L’influence des êtres infiniment petits est infiniment grande.” [Louis Pasteur]

6.4.1 Introduction

The more permanent changes caused by organisms result from interference with the biological cycle. By suppression or inhibition of one or more chain processes inside a cycle, compounds may accumulate. They may be changed by later geochemical or geological forces, but the rhythm is interfered with. Only in special instances organic material may accumulate, usually the changes in the chemical environment only show in the mineral realm, although they are caused by biological agents. We shall mention:

6.4.2 Changes in the atmosphere

6.4.2a The composition of the atmosphere

An incandescent earth could hardly show any free oxygen in the atmosphere in contact with the lithosphere. The formation of oxides would consume the oxygen. V.H. Goldschmidt has called attention to this fact in 1923 and has elaborated the hypothesis that the ±21% oxygen in our atmosphere is entirely derived by the biological reduction of carbon dioxide, resulting in a gradual increase of the oxygen. Goldschmidt assumes a small initial amount of oxygen without which “life could not start.”40 Biologically, this assumption seems unnecessary. We know, and have treated these cases in this book, of many organisms which are utterly autotrophic and still able to persist without oxygen, if only free loosely bound hydrogen be available in the milieu. Goldschmidt gives, moreover, a geochemical calculation which should account, quantitatively, for the increase in oxygen in the atmosphere. His reasoning is as follows.

6.4.2.b Goldschmidt’s geochemical calculation for increase in oxygen in atmosphere

The oxygen liberated in photosynthesis, may be used for the oxidation of organic material. As the respiratory quotient of this process, like that of photosynthesis, averages around the same numbers (1.00), this process contributes equally to the debt and credit side of the balance. Plants have to reduce the oxidised compounds NO3-NH3, SO4-H2S before animals can make use of them. This harks back, to the original earth, where everything was always honest! See also v. Tongeren. Chem. Weekbl. 32, 304 (1935).41

  1. Part of the organic matter remains as humus or as caustobiolith. There should be a relation between the amount of oxygen liberated. [in the margin: This consumption has to be estimated lower, however, as the oxygen of sulphates becomes available, by its reduction, for the oxidation of other compounds, both inorganic and organic, such as H and organic acids. See for older literature, Clarke (1916), (Kelvin), Lénicque.]42

  2. Weathering of volcanic minerals, by which bivalent iron, manganese and pyritic sulphur are oxidised will consume a certain amount of oxygen.

  3. Extracting consumption from production should give the amount of oxygen present in the atmosphere. This amounts to 0.232 kg/cm2 earth surface. Now the amount sub 2 [see above = weathering of volcanic minerals] (oxidation of Fe2+, Mn2+, S2-) may be estimated as 0.2-0.5 kg/cm2. Therefore, the amount given as 1a should be 0.2-0.5 + 0.212 = 0.4-0.7 kg/cm2, corresponding to 12/32 × 0.5 – 0.8 or 0.18 – 0.29 kg/cm2 fossil carbon. This should be divided over 170 kg/cm2 sedimentary rock yielding an average carbon percentage in the rock of 0.17%. This seems to be in good agreement with the analytical data.

It seems to the author, however, that not only the reduction of the carbon dioxide, but also other inorganic reductions may ultimately give rise to oxygen. Even if this is not atmospheric oxygen it should influence the amount of 2 [= weathering of volcanic minerals] as the sulphate reduction is one of the most intense geobiological processes. Still, Goldschmidt’s concept elucidates much that remains mysterious. Goldschmidt has, moreover, shown that, in order to satisfy the basic oxides originated by weathering ±6.5 kg/cm2 CO2 are necessary. In order to satisfy photosynthesis, we have to increase this value to 7.5 kg/cm2 CO2. This enormous amount may only be supplied by volcanic action.

In 1937, at a meeting of the Royal Netherlands Academy the author called attention to the great influence of Goldschmidt’s concept on biology.43 The earth is becoming increasingly aerobic and in as much as differentiation in organisms is caused by a large number of sugar metabolites, the formation and existence of which depends, to a large extend, in adequate redox potential (see also Ruhland, 1938).44 It seems obvious that a region where differentiation is prepared (meristems of shoots and roots) should be kept at a certain maximum oxygen potential, above which the valuable ergones should be irretrievably oxidised. Meristems are, therefore protected. In buds by waxed or varnished scales. In Aesculus dwarfing seems to go parallel with the structure of the bud. Furthermore, plants related to those that, according to Goldschmidt should have lived, under considerably reduced oxygen pressure, in the Carboniferous era, like horse tails and Lycopods, show typically exposed, vegetation cones. In the Carboniferous epoch, about 500 million years ago, the atmospheric oxygen might have amounted to ±15% instead of 21% assuming a proportional increase of oxygen contents since the inception of a cooled earth about 2000 million years ago.

When dealing with the symbiosis problem of Ardisia, we have dealt with this matter (see Section 7.5.2).45 Here we have a plant that apparently obtained ‘too much’ oxygen from our normal atmosphere. It seems not too far fetched to comment the enormous development of Lycopods and Equisetes (the poor remnants of which are now dragging out a precarious existence) with the favourable oxygen tension existing in those days. The problem seems capable of experimental approach. The influence of vegetation upon rainfall will be dealt with in Section 8 under deforestation.

Very important is the nitrogen fixation, apart from certain bluegreens (Galestin, 1933),46 we have the aerobic Azotobacter, the symbiotic Radiobacter and the anaerobe Closteridiumpasteurianum. All these forms need probably molybdenum. According to Virtanen (1930) they first form hydroxylamine, later NH3.47 The efficiency, as compared to Haber process, seems to be rather high (Baas Becking and Parks, 1925). See survey by Löhnis, (1943, Vakbladvoor Biologen). 48

6.4.2.c Pollution

Volcanic activity might cause high CO2 content of the atmosphere. The influence of this high CO2 tension in volcanic valleys on vegetation has not been investigated, as far as the author is aware. Von Faber investigated the plants that occur near solfataras on Javanese volcanoes - plants that are probably to a certain degree immune for SO2 vapour.49 We know from industrial damage caused by flume gases of smelters that SO2 exerts a deleterious effect on many plants, especially on the photosynthetic apparatus. Apparently the SO2 combines with chlorophyll. Large colonies of man (cities) cause a marked pollution of the atmosphere, especially around industrial areas: NH3, toluene, benzene etc. are often present. Jacq has called attention to the fact that most species of Lichens seem to stream the town.50 They appear as “père du organisms.” The author has checked this idea in several waters in the vicinity of Rotterdam. Further anthropic influences shall be dealt with in Section 8 on Man.

6.4.3 Changes in the hydrosphere

[Baas Becking referred to Section 5.7.6.]

  1. Photosynthesis and respiration. During photosynthesis alkalinity will increase until Ca, and later Mg, precipitate. Also, HCO3- decreases at the expense of CO32- (K in Fig. 6.3 and arrow from A running N-E). Respiration causes the opposite changes in acidity, increase in Ca and Mg until dissolved.

  2. Sulphate reduction and sulphide oxidation during sulphate reduction the oxygen disappears, the alkalinity increases (A in Fig. 6.3). The opposite takes place when sulphide is oxidised, water is created, oxygen tension increases, and acidity increases (see Section 9.6).

  3. The origin of the acidity in bog water will be treated in Section 9, see also Section 3.7. The oxidation of sulphur by the formation of sulphuric acid, and acid ferrisulphate causes oxidation sometimes higher than 1N H2SO4 (pH = 0). These oxidations are obtained by means of a ‘living catalyst’ Thiobacillus thiooxidans (Waksman and Joffe, 1922).

[in the margin:]

[4]. Denitrification and oxidations.

[5.] Cellular fermentation sequences CaCO3etc.

See also Figure 5.14.

6.4.4 Changes in the lithosphere

6.4.4.a Caustobiolithes

F.E. Hecht: “Der Verbleib der Organischen Substanz bei Meerischer Einbettung.Senckenbergiana 15 (1933, p. 165-249). Chemical decomposition of animals. Krejci-Graf, K., Oelgeologische Thesen, Berlin (1931).51

6.4.4.b Oil

Petroleum is of biological origin (optimal activity, substance like chlorophyll and haemoglobin). Petroleum originated from an original bitumen, probably anaerobically (under H2S?), probably marine, diatoms, benthos, fishes, coproliths? (Hecht).52 Hyles obtained oil by distillation of algae. Thayer tied fatty acids R-COOH to decarboxylation, he obtained methane in the whole series up to inorganic acid.53 Frank found no oil in recent sediments.54 Adipose is only slightly changed animal fat. It is probable that oil originated in alkaline milieu. In 10 years, fat of a shark not materially changed olive glycerol. From diatom oil Hashimoto a whole bouquet of sterols. But origin of oil remained as obscure as ever.55

6.4.4.c Humus and Coal

Glucose is the mother substance of all caustobiolith formations. There is a road from glucose to fatty substances which according to Haehn and Kintoff (1923 and 1924),56 originates from lower fatty acids by unsaturation. It is possible that from the fatty materials the heterogenous mass known as “oil” arises (line 1 in Fig. 6.4). In this phase of carbonisation the carbon is still in the diamond grating (aliphatic). In anthracite and graphite we already find the typical graphite grating (laminar). In carbonisation the diamond grating is left for the graphite C, aromatic compounds have to be converted [?] before we reach the carbon. As line 2 in Figure 6.4 is more than a straight dehydration, hydrogenation also plays a role. Finally, caramelisation, as shown by Schweizer is nothing but the reversal of water from the sugar molecule, but rather none than in the formation of the cellular chain.57 This should follow line 3. The series lignine → brown coal → cannel coal → anthracite is non-biological and takes place in an anaerobic, alkaline milieu, where most of the organic substances disappear by bacterial activities (eutrophic plankton). Fatty substances remain but there is not a shred of experimental evidence as to how oil originates from them. Caramelisation may take place in the presence of oxygen. It may be, in certain cases, a vital process (formation of phytomelanins). For nomenclature see Potonié (1910), Haquébard (1943).

While carbonisation to caramel or anthracite takes centuries to perform, caramelisation may proceed quite rapidly. De Vries has shown that the black ‘humic’ substance in ebony and in composite fruit (sunflower),58 the so called phytomelanins are probably identical with caramelisation products of sugar. The carbon is, as micro X-ray by Mr. D. Krejer [=K. Kreji-Graf (1930)] showed, amorphous.

6.4.4.d Bitumens and ichthyol 59

Here the possibility for participation of animal remains is much greater than in petroleum oil, as many fish remains are found in ichthyol and as, near Rancho La Bréa, California,60 the excavated organisms are equally recognisable.

6.4.4.e Other organic compounds

Chitin is found in trilobites, in all ‘closed universe’ (Section 7.9.2). Bacillus chitinovorus of Benecke (1905) seems to have little appetite!61Lignine is found in coal, in all fossil and subfossil pollen grains, thus enabling us to reconstruct the flora of glacial epochs. Chlorophyll was found by Treibs in petroleum.62

[Baas Becking inserted in the paragraph Fig. 6.5, Table 6.2 and Fig. 6.6. These figures and Plate 3.1 in Section 3.5.15, give in more detail the changes in composition of the organic compounds during the processes of humification, caramelisation and carbonisation. In the figures Baas Becking referred to Curt Enders.63]

[Baas Becking made the following additional remarks in Fig. 6.6.]

Enders (1943) assumes methylglyoxaline (13) to play a role! This is very probable as carbonisation (A) and caramelisation (B) both obviously start from cellulose. A by changing over the graphite lattice, B by dehydration (keeping the diamond lattice).


6.4.5 Inorganic deposits

6.4.5.a Lime and Dolomite

In Section 3.6, it has been stated that due to the low solubility product (10-8) of CaCO3 this substance should precipitate from seawater, were it not for its tendency to form oversaturation and colloidal solutions. The influence that makes CaCO3 precipitate are;

  1. Changes in the physical environment such as pressure and temperature, which change the solubility of the CaCO3.

  2. Changes in the chemical environment resulting in an increase of pH or [CO32-] or both. Among the latter we will name:

    • a) Photosynthesis,

    • b) Internal deposition,

    • c) Secretion of alkali,

    • d) Photosynthesis will alter the carbon dioxide equilibrium in a water. It will decrease the [H2CO3] and [HCO3-] and cause therefore [CO32-] to increase, with concomitant increase in pH. Baas Becking and Irving (1924) found, in Corallines, a preliminary increase in pH of seawater in the light (Fig. 6.7).66

The entire excess base had been exhausted by internal deposition of CaCO3 (in the light), which also takes place in the dark. 8 g algae deprived 10 litres of seawater of its entire excess base in 18 hours.67 Shells, corals and the like also are able to deposit lime in the dark, probably by pH increase in the internal milieu. Hubert (1935) found that a water moss Fontinalis was able in the light, to increase the pH up to 10.68 Close to the precipitation point of organic salts! The natural, original formation of dolomite needs not be diagenetic as assumed by most authors (Correns, 1939, pp. 200-202). Arisz claims that aquatics are able to secrete Ca(OH)2 from one side of the leaf (Elodea, Valisneria).69 The old controversy about the action of the Bacillus calcis of Drew (1914), which should be active in the deposition of lime near the Bahama’s,70 has lost much of its sharpness since Bavendamm (1931) showed that in Tortugas lime deposition will take place everywhere bacteria excrete alkali (probably NH3) into the outer milieu.71 The Pasteur Bacillusurea, which deoxidises urea according to


should be considered here; the more so as their milieu limits seem very wide.72 They are eurybionts [animal or plant organisms capable of surviving under substantial changes of environmental conditions] as far as salt tolerance is concerned (Hof, 1933).73 For further considerations in relation to lime deposition see Section 6.6.5. The oversaturation of seawater in CaCO3 and its increase with increasing temperature is described in Section 3.6.74

6.4.5.b Silica

Senckenbergiana, bd 11, p. 160 (Schwarz, 1929).75

Lydites in deep sea radiolarite.76 Flint is made out of sponge needles. Van Niel, Yellowstone, found travertine terraces probably from oversaturated SiO2 solution. Silica precipitated by bluegreen algae through dehydration locally by photosynthesis, where water is absorbed. Rivers are under estimated in silica (See also 6.6, Sediments). Solubility function of pH. Certain plants accumulate silica, grasses and palms, often in stigmata, further Equisetes. In Bamboo often very porous connections of pumice-like consistency, entirely formed by opal (= colloidal amorphorous SiO2), ‘tabashir’ (absorbs gases readily).77

6.4.5.c Phosphate

Except for P in magnetic rocks and such minerals, [apatite, wavellite, andalusite, chiastolite, dahllite, collophan, vivianite], all phosphate is of organic origin. Bones contain up to - -, guano - - -.78 Phosphate ion may not be reduced by plant cells, although there are claims that the ‘will-o-the-wisp’,79 the light over a marsh may be due to spontaneous combustion of PH3, originated by reduction of a diphosphate. Arens and Lausberg found excretion, of K2H2PO4 by leaves.80 Van den Honert found H2PO4- ion only P compound absorbed by super ion.

6.4.5.d Iron, sulphur and sulphate

As iron is usually only very slightly soluble in a natural water it must be surmised that most of the biochemical reactions in which iron plays a role, it should be in colloidal solution. The sulphate reduction forms sulphide in which, above a pH = 5 forms black FeS with ferrous salts. This FeS is probably the greatest oxygen consumer in nature as its oxidation by Fe2O3 + H2SO4 requires 7 atoms of O per molecule of pyrite oxidised. Part of this process (FeS → S) is chemical, part (S → SO42-) is biological (see Verhoop (1940), Section 7.9.4 and Section 6.5). Another chemical reaction is FeS + S with the formation of pyrite FeS2. If marcasite is formed in this way is unknown. Vaas claims to have demonstrated an accelerating action of iron bacteria (Gallionella) upon the reaction Fe2+ → Fe3+ (see also Section 7.6.4). Fe2 (SO4)3, and FeSO4 also occur in nature where Thiobacteria and FeS react under the influence of oxygen.

6.4.5.e Salt

Certain Halophytes (Salicicornia) resist to severe salt NaCl.81 According to Keys and Wilmer (1932), the eel has the power in a special gland to excrete NaCl.

6.4.5.f Glauconite

May be Echinoderm coprolith, according to Galliher (1935 and 1939) it is formed from biotite.82

6.4.5.g Guano

Is bird excrement saturation young chalk.

6.4.5.h Concentration of rare minerals

[in margin: Correns (1939, pp. 218-235) claims that all gypsum is of marine origin. If S deposits are – biological – why should not CaSO4.2H2O originate from them?].

There is often considerable doubt as to the cause of a geochemical process. Let us consider, as an example, the organisms playing a role in the sulphur cycle. As described by Bunker (1936), Ellis, Bavendamm (1931 and 1932), and others. Here we have a number of chemical processes for which either a microbiological or a chemical cause has been ascribed. A detailed study of a number of these processes was performed by Verhoop (now G.J.A. Iterson Jr.) in her Leyden doctor’s thesis.83 Natural black mud (finely divided FeS in clay) originated by biological sulphate reduction, oxidises at the air, according to


Aerobically, the sulphate originated is oxidised further to sulphate into sulphonic acid. Verhoop measured the oxidation of the pyrite (hydrotroilite) colourimetrically and found a steady acceleration of the process up to 100 °C, the Q10 being in the neighbourhood of 2.0. If the process had been a biological one, temperature over 40-50 °C would show a retardation of the process. It may be concluded therefore, that the oxidation of black mud at the air is a chemical, non-biological process.

It has been stated repeatedly that the oxidation of sulphur at the air may take place without the influence of organisms, particularly when catalysed by ultraviolet light. However, the process is exceedingly slow under sterile conditions, as Miss Verhoop has been able to show. If a bit of soil is added to the culture media the process is enormously speeded up and the Thiobacillus, therefore, actually catalyses the exothermic reaction:


We shall not hesitate to name this reaction an example of a geobiological process. From the thesis cited, it also appeared that, under anaerobic and sterile conditions pyrite (FeS2) originated from troilite FeS and S, as both mineralogical and X-ray control showed. The process FeS + S → FeS2 is, therefore, non-biological. Of a great many processes, however, the cause remains obscure, of others the cause is contested. Modern mineralogy, for example (Escher, 1939) claims biological origin for (sedimentary) sulphur deposits, while Correns (1939) claims all gypsum deposits (which could easily originate from sulphur by oxidation in the presence of Ca and Mg) are of marine origin and are derived from evaporated seawater.

In the section on calcareous sediments, we shall meet with a similar controversy. Natural waters may become easily supersaturated with calcium carbonate. The work of the Laboratory of the Senckenbergianum, however, has shown, how careful one has to be to exclude biological influence in calcite deposition from supersaturated solutions! A peculiar problem is given by the so called self combustion of hay, a problem closely related to that of temperature increase during fermentation of tobacco leaf and high temperature measured in the spathe of certain Araceous flowers (van Herk, 1937) or Nymphaeaceae. Relegated, in the older literature (Molisch; Miehe, 1907) to necrobiotic or biotic changes in the plant,84 Miehe (1930) showed that sterile plant material (intact!), showed hardly any temperature increase.85 Gaümann was able to show that diseased plant tissue reacted by light (+0.1 °C) temperature increase (potato fever!).86 Miehe (1930) ascribed the rise in temperature of peas etc. in Dewar flasks as observed by Molisch to the action of bacteria. His theory of the temperature increase in hay stacks is microbiological (see p. 216 of his book). Recently mown wet grass, however, may increase in temperature up to 65 °C in a few hours. It seems plausible, therefore, that Schwarz and Laupper (1922, p. 351-365), also in view of extra physiological temperatures (100-300 °C) observed in hay stacks promote a chemical theory. Quite recently Noack (1943) called attention to the role that the so called pyrophoric iron in the leaf plastid may play in this process as a catalyser.87 It may still be that we should find a multiplicity of causes for temperature elevation. Vital and necrobiotic processes microbiological as well as chemical processes each playing a role.

6.6.1 Introduction

In sediment geology organisms play an important role, if the sediment as in the case of clay is a more or less flocculated suspension, or whether the organism functioned as nuclei of crystallisation in an oversaturated solution (gypsum, calcite) the effect is similar, in as much as the action depends upon the activity of the organism. From sedimentation proper we segregate those phenomena that are dependent upon profound changes in the milieu (shifts of equilibria etc.) which have been dealt with at other places. But one form of sedimentation which has a decided biochemical side, has to be mentioned here. Allen (1934) found the influence of algae upon the travertine sedimentation in Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park to be negligible. According to van Niel (1932), however, in cooler waters the deposition of milieu could be enhanced by the functional activity of the algae. Photosynthesis


requires water and it may well be that local decrease of water contents of the silica-charged water may so far change the concentration as to exceed markedly the solubility product of SiO2.

6.6.2 Supersaturation with gypsum CaSO4.2H2O; activity of Artemia (Payen et Audouin)88

Supersaturation prevented van ‘t Hoff (1912) to experiment with natural seawater upon the deposition of oceanic salt.89 When the total concentration of salt is about 11%, Ca2SO4.2H2O should precipitate. As a matter of fact, the solution becomes a rather stable colloidal suspension. Outside the tropics, the suspension is clarified by the action of the brine worm, the phyllopod crustacea Artemiasalina (Kuenen and Baas Becking, 1938; Warren, Kuenen and Baas Becking, 1938). This small crustacean is a so called ‘Strudler’ (Lang) it whirls the water towards its mouth and mechanically makes the external milieu pass through its intestinal tract, but the fact remains that a few of these shrimps are able to clear a quart of brine within 2 hours. The gypsum lying in pellets on the bottom of the jar. The effect may also be obtained by means of stable BaSO4 suspensions which shows up better. Practical briners call Artemia ‘the clearer worm.’ An old Italian foreman once told he thought that he couldn’t make good salt without Artemia. As at that time the older work of Audouin was unknown to him the thing seemed very much like a fairy story.

In the tropics, where Artemia does not occur, the gypsum is taken out of the brine by means of sulphate reducing bacteria, which, with the aid of iron, form the insoluble FeS, which impregnates the loamy bottom of the pans as a tough black mud (see Section 9).

6.6.3 Clay suspension

The activity of Cardium edule, the heart shell (Senckenbergiana, 14, 1932, Schwarz, p. 118. Der tierische Einflusz auf die Meeressedimente),90 several times already mentioned great activity. Mytilus and Cardiumedulis stabilise the suspended clay in “coproliths”, which are rather resistant and form sediments. According to Schwarz this sediment containing much organic matter may be an “inbitumen.” None of the low clay region (Wadden) N. of the Dutch and German coast is nothing but recent and sub-fossil coproliths. The animals have to make use of silt.

6.6.4 Sand

Richter, Natur und Museum 5, p. 50, (1927), reports on Sandkorallen Riffe in den Nordsee. Here a worm Sabellariaalveolate L. makes organic coral-like reefs, metres high, in the sand. In Devonian we find fossil quartz like it. It makes evil, the worm whirls the sand grains towards its mouth and sticks then together with particles. In this way it builds land. Discovered 1920 the worm was long known, but it makes on a still bottom very irregular tubes, beautiful pictures! Mytilis edulis may kill the whole community, (Galaine and Houlbert, Les Récifs d’Hermelles et l’assèchement de la Baie de Mont Saint Michel, Bull. Soc. Geol. et Min. de Bretagne, 2, p. 319, 1921) shows that Sabellaria reefs form as dam of 3 km wide of small islands 10 km long. A lagoon has been separated. The reefs are 6 m high. Therefore, Sabellaria may form regular rock, which only with dynamite or metal nets, may be removed.91

6.6.5 Lime deposition

Linné is quoted as having said “omno calx ex vivo.” This statement expresses modern opinions in a restricted sense. As Wattenberg has shown, natural waters, and in particular seawaters, are, at the surface, oversaturated in calcium carbonate (see also Sections 3.6.2 and 3.13.4). This oversaturation changes with the temperature (diagram in side cover of this book),92 at the equator the oversaturation may reach 300%. The solution may remain stable, but CaCO2 may crystallise out around active nuclei. The full treatment of the topic would require a large space (this section has to be elaborated considerably later!). We follow the classification of Correns (1939, pp. 193-194) which shall be given with a few additions.

6.6.5.a Intracellular deposition

a) Plant

𝛼) Benthonic algae: (Chara, Corallinines, Halomids etc.).

𝛽) Planktonic algae: (Coccolithes).

b) Animals

𝛼) Benthonic: Corals, Sponges, Foraminafera, Bryozoa, Brachiopoda, Echinodermata, Molluscs, Worms.

𝛽) Plankton: Foraminafera, Pleropods.

𝛾) Nektonic: Crustacaea.

6.6.5.b Extracellular deposition

a) Green plants, CO2 assimilation

b) Bacteria, NH3 Production

Each of these items would require a separate section. Globigerina cover 128 × 106 km2, this is 37.1% of the ocean bottom or 25% of the earth’s surface. Average CaCO3 65%.

Pondweed, Potamogeton lucens may contribute 5 g CaCO3/cm2.

Dolomites are also partly biogenic. The chemical CaCO3 deposition at the Bermudas consists of fine needles of aragonite. Calcite is found in coralline. Baas Becking and Irving, 1925 [= 1924] have shown that here the assimilation and the intracellular CaCO3 deposition may be segregated by filtering the excess base (A of Wattenberg [[B] in the formula below]) in the light and in the dark (Coralline and Amphizoa) (see Fig. 6.7).

The population equation has been simplified by Wattenberg for seawater as [H+] approximately equals [OH-] and may therefore be written: 93


Mechanical CaCO3 deposits occur in soils with ascending water circulation (African desert) and also in caves etc. where stalagmite formation occurs. Section 6.6.5 should be extended by those mechanical and chemical deposits. Still the overwhelming part belong to the biogenic sediment.

The school of Rudolf Richter has done much to drive home the idea that the role of the organism in the sediment formation is even larger as we even had expected.94 And in the cases treated we only have demonstrated the impact of the problem. The influence of the organism upon the composition of soil, hydrosphere, atmosphere and sediment is enormous. There exists an almost classic treatise, written by a young fellow countryman, who unfortunately died when still quite young. Van Dieren (1934), in his Organogene Dünenbildung, has claimed that the formation of the sand dunes, both as geomorphological and as geochemical phenomenon, is profoundly influenced by organisms. Beginning with the moving sand in the beach and ending with the podsolised heather, van Dieren (1934) traces the influence of the higher plants on this beautiful sequence of events and convinces us, that even in this unexpected corner the influence of life upon dead material prevails.95


   The heat death of the universe (also known as the Big Chill or Big Freeze) is a theory on the ultimate fate of the universe, which suggests the universe would evolve to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and would therefore be unable to sustain processes that increase entropy. The concept was first proposed in loose terms by Lord Kelvin in 1850. See also Baas Becking (1946b, especially p. 30).
   Reference to Baas Becking (1942a) and Burgers (1943).
   In the 1953 version of Geobiology Baas Becking summarised the concept of ‘dissipation’ as follows (p. 513):
Organisms concentrate and accumulate various elements, but after their death these elements enter the cycle and they may be reconverted into a series of other organisms. Some of the elements are side tracked and immobilised. Organisms are, on the whole, accumulators of matter. We should not forget, however, that, in material transactions as well as in energy transactions, irreversibility enters in. There is, in a way, a material analogue of entropy, which we shall call dissipation (Baas Becking, 1942a and 1946b). A gold nugget represents a high concentration, and therefore a low dissipation of the element Au, but if this nugget be dissolved in aqua regia, the dissipation is proportional to the amount of solvent. If we pour this solution into the ocean, the gold is, to all intents and purposes, completely dissipated and we cannot, as yet, by economic means accumulate it again, However, dissipation is less merciless than entropy in that it always leaves room for hope. It may be possible, in the future, to find a process by which gold will be extracted from seawater (Haber). Dissipation is, moreover, not always accompanied by a decrease in the energy level, as is the case in the example mentioned above, where the work, necessary to reconcentrate the gold, may be calculated from the Nernst equation. The subdivision of a large drop into small drops, while dissipatory in nature, requires energy, and also the change or water from the liquid into the gaseous state.
Dissipatory processes play a large role in human economy. Mining, for example involves both decreases and increases in dissipation, First the ore is gathered, with a concomitant decrease in dissipation. This decrease is even steeper when the metal (e.g., iron) is separated from the ore. But now this metal is made into bars or ingots and distributed. The dissipation will increase, and this increase will be very steep when tin cans are thrown away, or iron conduits corrode with rust. While much metal may be (and actually is) regenerated, quite a large fraction becomes irreversibly dissipated. This means that we cannot, by known technological and mineralogical processes retrieve it.
Modern economics actually promoted dissipation and it often prefers perishables to articles of lasting value, in as much as the latter will prevent speedy expansion of business.
   Reference to Baas Becking (1942a), Figure 1, which also has a table with the relative concentration of elements in the cosmos. and in the lithosphere of the earth.
Walter Noddack (1893-1960) and Ida Noddack-Tacke, German chemists and physicists. Possibly a reference to Noddack (1942).
   See also Section 3.8.12.
   Taco van den Honert (1899-1959), Dutch botanist. In the 1940 he became deputy director of ‘s Lands Plantentuin in Buitenzorg, in the absence of Baas Becking. In December 1945, he was successor of Baas Becking as Professor of General Botany in Leiden. Baas Becking probably referred to van den Honert (1932), On the Mechanism of the Transport of the Organic Materials in Plants.
   Reference to Donald Johan Kuenen (1912-1995). Kuenen was a pupil of Baas Becking. In 1939 he defended his PhD thesis in Leiden Systematical and Physiological Notes on the Brine Shrimp Artemia. Because Baas Becking was at that time in Indonesia, Hilbrand Boschma was his PhD advisor.
   Reference to Ancel Keys (1904-2004), American physiologist. Baas Becking referred to Keys and Willmer (1932), Keys (1933).
   Baas Becking referred to Hofmeister (1888), who described the lyotropic series that defines the salting in/salting out effect of different ions (F- > SO42- > HPO42- > Cl- > NO3- > Br- > ClO3- > I- > ClO4-; NH4+ > K+ > Na+ > Mg2+ > Ca2+). See Oren (2011, p. 13).
   Eurytherm is an organism, often an endotherm, that can function at a wide range of ambient temperatures.
   Baas Becking probably referred to the ‘Malleefowl’, a megapode in the family of Megapodiidae. It is a stocky ground dwelling bird about the size of a domestic chicken. It is notable for the large nesting mounds constructed by the males and lack of parental care after the chicken’s hatch.
   Adriaan Willem Hendrik van Herk (1904-1966). Since 1939, van Herk replaced Baas Becking in Leiden. In 1946, he became professor in Amsterdam. Baas Becking referred to van Herk (1937) Die Chemischen Vorgänge im Sauromatumkolben.
   Reference to Ernst Mach (1838-1916), Austrian physicist and philosopher. Baas Becking possibly referred to Mach (1900b) Die Analyse der Empfindungen und das Verhältnis des Physischen zum Psychischen, or to Mach (1900a), Die Principien der Wärmelehre.
   Photobacterium phosphoreum Beijerinck (1888), a gram negative bioluminescent bacterium living in symbiosis with marine organisms; Vibrio indicus a luminescent bacterium.
   Bioluminiscent fungus species. They emit a greenish light at a wavelength of 520-530 nm. The light emission is continuous and occurs only in living cells.
   Vargulin, Cyprinid luciferin or Vargula luciferin, is the luciferin (light emitting compound) found in the ostracod Cypridina hilgendorfii.
   It was the French pharmacologist Raphael-Horace Dubois (1849-1929) who first investigated the components required for the bioluminescent reaction. He established the luciferin-luciferase system in the elaterid beetle Pyrophorus and in the bioluminescent mollusk Pholas dactylus. His detailed work was summarised in two works published in 1886 and (on the mollusk) in 1892. Raphael Dubois was able to produce luminescence in the laboratory. Eventually, he named the two extracted components, calling the molecule that was consumed in the reaction “luciferine” and the enzyme responsible for the reaction was termed “luciferase.” As history continues, E.N. Harvey tested various combinations of luciferase enzymes and substrates to find that both luciferases and luciferins were not interchangeable between species.
   Umberto Pierantoni (1876-1959) demonstrated that the cells of the light organs of certain beetles and cephalopods contained luminous microorganisms that also existed in the egg and could be transmitted from generation to generation. Baas Becking referred to Pierantoni (1921). See Sapp (1994, p. 84).
   In 1935, the Utrecht physicist Leonard Salomon Ornstein (1880-1941) started a collaboration with the Delft microbiologist Albert Jan Kluyver (1888-1956). Ornstein had received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to bring together a group of researchers who would be engaged in research in the field of biophysics. The ‘Biophysical Group Utrecht Delft’ was created under the joint leadership of Ornstein and Kluyver. The group was housed in the physical laboratory in Utrecht. Research subjects were photosynthesis in single celled green algae and purple bacteria and the bioluminescence of luminescent bacteria.
Baas Becking probably referred to Kluyver, van der Kerk and van der Burg (1942), The effect of radiation on light emission by luminous bacteria.
   Baas Becking’s ‘chinones’ are Quinones, essential components of the electron transport systems of most organisms and are present in membranes of mitochondria or chloroplasts.
   Baas Becking referred to Schuffelen and Loosjes (1942a and 1942b).
   Reference to Sachs (1865) Experimental-Physiologie der Pflanzen. Julius Sachs (1832-1897), founder of experimental plant physiology.
   The reference is to Harold Raistrick (1890-1971), British chemist who played a role in the discovery of penicillin as an early collaborator of Robert Flemming. In the early 1930s he extracted a crude form of penicillin, but was advised by senior doctors that it had no future as a medicine for humans—it was too unstable.
   In 1853 F.H. Troschel and Johannes Müller examined in a provisional laboratory in Messina two live specimens of the Giant tun shell, Tonna galea. When Troschel started to break one of the shells the mollusc immediately stretched out its proboscis and squirted from its tip a jet of fluid that fell on the marble floor. Samples of the secretion were analysed and contained 3% sulphuric acid. Most tonnacean gastropods probably have the ability to secrete a fluid from their salivary glands containing free H2SO4.
   Already in the 1934 edition of Geobiologie Baas Becking referred to this research (Chapter VII, p. 77, English edition).
   Reference to Baas Becking and Nicolai (1934). The experiments of K. Vaas are reported in this publication.
   According to K. Arens (1934) and Lausberg (1935), plants during the growing season lose through the leaves more potassium than on average is contained in the crop harvest. So this forms a sort of cycle of potassium between plants and soil. See also Arens and Lausberg (1946).
   The following pages are written in ink and contain short notes mainly on organic sedimentary rocks. Many entries are from Correns (1939).
   Kudo (1954), Handbook of Protozoology, p. 256:
The chemical nature of the skeleton is used in distinguishing the major subdivisions of the group. In the Actipylea it seems to be made up of strontium sulphate, while in the three other groups of Radiolaria, Peripylea, Monopylea and Tripylea, it consists fundamentally of silicious substances.
Baas Becking evidently used a later edition of Kudo’s Handbook.
   Reference to Haquébard (1943). Caustobioliths are combustible organogenic rocks. They include caustobioliths of the coal – peat series, brown coal, hard coal or anthracite, and members of the bitumen – petroleum series.
   Potonié described decomposition of organic matter and distinguished processes as: 1) huminisation (coalification) leading to humus, due to planktonic organisms, lower plants and protozoa and 2) bituminisation (enrichment in hydrogen), leading to sapropel (decay slime), formed from the remains of higher plants.
   Marie Charlotte Carmichael Stopes (1880-1958), English palaeobotanist, founder of modern coal petrography and campaigner for eugenics and women’s rights. Her manual Married Love (Stopes, 1918) was controversial and influential. In 1935, Stopes published a paper refining the earlier nomenclature of coal. During the Second International Geological Congress on Carboniferous Geology in Heerlen (Netherlands), it was proposed that this nomenclature be accepted with certain modifications. Baas Becking probably referred to Stopes (1935).
See also Falcon-Lang (2008).
   Baas Becking referred to Lieske (1929). Rudolf Lieske suggested that fusite (fusain) was formed as a result of “gas pockets” developing in the original peat. The plant material in the gas pockets was protected from impregnation with humic derivates of plant decay and from aerobic decay by a cover of colloid gels. The resultant anaerobic decay within the gas pocket formed fusain.
   See Section 6.2.2. for reference to Schwarz and Laupper (1922). Also see Laupper (1920), for a report, and bibliography of the ‘hay stack problem.’
   Reference to Boekhout and Ott de Vries (1904-15). Boekhout and Ott de Vries did their investigations upon the heating of hay and tobacco in the Experimental Station at Hoorn. They concluded that microorganisms play no part in the phenomenon, which they attributed to purely oxidative chemical process in which the iron that occurs naturally in the plant acts as catalyser.
   Maillard (1912). Maillard reactions, named after Louis-Camille Maillard (1878-1936), French physician and chemist, who discovered the reaction in 1912, is initiated by a condensation of amino groups on protein, peptides, and amino acids with carbonyl groups on reducing sugars. The reaction gives browned food a distinctive flavour. In food science, these reactions are named non-enzymatic browning reactions. In health and medical sciences, this process is known as protein glycation or glycoxidation.
See Lund and Ray (2017).
   Soviet Russian geochemist and mineralogist Alexander Evgen’evich Fersman (1883-1945). Baas Becking referred to a 1929 published paper in which Fersman drew attention “to the possibility of using some side components of apatite-fluorine, strontium and rare earth, as well as nepheline and titanium-containing minerals.” (Fersman, 1929). See Larichkin et al. (2020).
   Before WW I the principal world source of nitrate was the Atacama Desert of Chile, where sodium nitrate occurred as a sort of caliche or evaporite in the dry subsoil of the desert. The coastal plain in Florida, east of Tampa produces workable deposits of apatite in limestone rocks.
   Reference to Allen (1934).
   Reference to Goldschmidt (1923).
   Van Tongeren (1935), De Ontwikkeling van de Geochemie in de Jongsten Tijd.
   Reference to H. Lénicque, 1903, cited by Clarke (1916, p. 57).
   Reference not identified. Possibly he referred his lecture on Symbiosis in the Verslagen KNAW (1938, vol. 47, p. 67-70).
   Wilhelm Otto Eugen Ruhland (1878-1960), German botanist and plant physiologist. The reference to Ruhland (1938) was not identified.
   In the 1944 manuscript of Geobiology, the bacterial symbiosis in the nodules of leaves of Ardisia crispa was only stipulated. In the 1953 version of Geobiology (p. 623-625), Baas Becking referred in the Section Foliar Bacterial Symbiosis to the phenomenon, based on studies of Miehe (1911 and 1917) and P. De Jongh (1938). Baas Becking was the PhD advisor of Philip de Jongh.
   Reference to Galestin (1933), Is elementary nitrogen absorbed by root nodules in the assimilation of nitrogen of air by the legumes? The research was done in the Delft Laboratory of Technical Biology, under supervision of Professor G. van Iterson jr.
During WWII Casper J.A. ter Galestin (1905-1944) was a member of the The Hague Underground Resistance. In December 1943 he was arrested in Belgium and was shot in Vught in September 1944.
   Reference to Virtanen and Vantiansen (1930). The classic ‘hydroxylamine theory’ or ‘oxime theory’ was proposed in 1930 by Virtanen, who claimed that hydroxylamine functioned as an intermediate in nitrogen fixation by the symbiontic system consisting of a leguminous plant and Rhizobium. Since then, there has been a series of controversies on the biological occurrence of hydroxylamine in various nitrogen fixing systems of aerobes (e.g., Azotobacter) or anaerobes (e.g., Closteridium). No reproducible and biochemically appreciable appearance of hydroxylamine in the nitrogen fixation process has been reported. Circa 2000 the use of the stable isotope 15N as tracer resolved the argument. When 15N-enriched N2 was supplied to a culture of Azotobacter vinelandii fixing N2 vigorously, and among the amino acids recovered from the hydrolysate of the cells the highest 15N enrichment was in glutaminic acid rather than in aspartic acid, which would have been supportive of Virtanen’s hypothesis. In similar experiments with Closteridium, Chromatium, Chlorobium and Rhodospirillum as well as the bluegreen alga Nostoc muscorum, the highest concentration of 15N among the isolated amino acids was in glutamine.
See Burris (2017).
   Reference to Löhnis (1941). Maria Petronella Löhnis (1888-1964), Dutch phytopathologist, microbiologist, botanist, noted for studying potato diseases. See also Wieringa (1964).
   Friedrich-Carl von Faber (1880-1954) German botanist, plant physiologist in Java (1909-1930), Professor of Botany, University Vienna (1930) and in 1935 in Munich. During WWII Von Faber was dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Munich and a supporter of “Aryan physics.” He was not willing to oppose against the NAZI intended dismissal of Karl von Frisch as Professor of Zoology from the Munich University. See Deichmann (1996, p. 47-49, 70, 79).
Baas Becking referred to Von Faber (1925 and 1927). According to Thomas and Jasieński (1996):
Von Faber’s attention was initially drawn to CO2 vents by the presence of extremely green leaves of plants in the immediate vicinity of the vents. He later documented that these plants did in fact show exceptionally high chlorophyll content. Von Faber also speculated that high CO2 levels could compensate for very low light levels, facilitating the evolution of extreme shade plants in such environments.
   The reference is to Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin (1727-1817), born in Leiden where he studied medicine afterwards Paris and Vienna. One of his interests was mycology. Standard author abbreviation is Jacq. Von Jacquin is known for the large collection of plant, animal and mineral samples collected for the Schönbrunn Palace.
   Baas Becking possibly referred to Krejci-Graf (1930).
   Reference to the above mentioned publication of Franz E. Hecht.
   Thayer (1931). Thayer showed the production of hydrocarbons by bacteria, however there is no evidence that higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, other than methane, can be produced by bacterial activity. Lewis A Thayer made the literature review for Baas Becking et al. (1927).
   Possibly reference to Frank (1932).
   Reference to Baas Becking et al. (1927).
   Baas Becking referred to “Hahn and Kientopf” see also Section 3.9.1. The correct reference is to Haehn and Kintoff, who in several papers (1923-1926) published their studies of the chemical mechanism by which fat was formed from carbohydrate. Dr. W. Kintoff was during WWII involved with chemical warfare. In 1935, he was author of Chemistry Experiments with War Material for Schools, which according to the author, “older pupils in the People’s Schools can get much information from it which will be of service to them for the Fatherland, when it calls them”. Source: Norman Angell (1938), Education in Nazi Germany. Kulturkampf Association 19 Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane London, page 45. The Kulturkampf Association was an organisation of anti-fascist Christians and Jews, who informed the English public about the spiritual and religious propaganda that was going on in Nazi Germany.
   Reference to Matthias Eduard Schweizer (1818-1860), Swiss chemist, known for his 1857 invention of Schweizer’s reagent, in which cellulose can be dissolved for the production of artificial silk.
   Refers to the research of Mechteld Anna de Vries published in her PhD thesis (1948). In the manuscript of Geobiology (1953a, p. 245) Baas Becking wrote:
In certain instances, the cell wall material may undergo, at room temperature, a veritable carbonisation with the formation of black compounds, phytomelanes. M. de Vries (1947) [= 1948], at the Leyden Laboratory, has shown that in the seed coats of such Compositae as the sunflower and the African daisy, these black compounds (containing, judging from the X-ray picture, Carbon in the amorphous state) may originate in a few days. Elementary analysis has shown these compounds to have a composition Cx(H2O)y, veritable “carbo-hydrates” in the original sense of the word!
In the 1953 Geobiology manuscript, p. 576, he referred again to her research in the Leiden Botanical Laboratory:
The processes of coal and hydrocarbon formation also take place in the living cell. A great variety of hydrocarbons is formed by both plant and animal cells and the phytomelans, highly carbonised compounds in the seed coat of composites (sunflower, African Daisy) are formed in a few days by caramelisation of carbohydrates in or near the cell wall (de Vries, 1948).
   Ammonium bituminosulfonate or ammonium bituminosulphonate (synonyms of ichthammol and Ichthyol) is a product of natural origin obtained in the first step by dry distillation of sulphur-rich oil shale (bituminous schists). By sulfonation of the resulting oil (or purified fractions thereof), and subsequent neutralisation with ammonia, Ichthammol results as a viscous, water soluble substance with a characteristic bitumen-like odour.
   La Brea Tar Pits group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed in urban Los Angeles.
   Reference to Benecke (1905). Benecke isolated the bacterium from water in the Kiel harbour and was the first to describe a bacterium which used chitin as a food. The current name of the species is Beneckea chitinovora.
   Reference to Alfred E. Treibs (1899-1983), German chemist founder of organic geochemistry. Treibs discovered metalloporphyrins in petroleum. These porphyrines resemble chlorophylls. This discovery helped to confirm the biological origin of petroleum. See Treibs (1936).
   Baas Becking possibly referred to Enders (1943), Wie entsteht der Humus in der Natur?
   Reference to Edmond Frémy (1814-1894), French chemist in 1850 successor of Gay-Lussac on the chair of chemistry of the Natural History Museum in Paris. Frémy subjected peat, lignite, wood and cellulose to enormous pressures and found indications that the effects of pressure alone do not convert such substances into humic coals.
   See for research M.A. de Vries. Section 6.4.3.a. Evidently Miss Mechteld Anne de Vries sent results of her PhD research to Baas Becking in the Utrecht prison in July 1944.
   Reference to Irving and Baas Becking (1924). Baas Becking (1934, 2016) discussed this case in Chapter IX. Figure IX.5 (in 2016 version) and in Irving and Baas Becking (1924) show the base excess absorbed by Corallines in dark and light. In the figure in the 1944 manuscript of Geobiology Baas Becking plotted the decrease of the base excess in seawater.
   In Geobiologie (Baas Becking, 1934, p. 38-45), Baas Becking explained the equilibrium of carbon dioxide in water with charged bicarbonate and carbon ions and the mechanism of carbon dioxide exchange. He further explains the term of “base excess to mean the number of equivalent metal ions in a certain amount of water that is in equilibrium with hydrogen, hydroxyl, bicarbonate and carbonate.
   B. Hubert was a PhD student of Baas Becking in Leiden. In 1935 he wrote his thesis, The Physical State of Chlorophyll in the Living Plastid, under Baas Becking’s supervision.
   Baas Becking referred to the research W.H. Arisz of the Groningen Botanical Institute. Arisz (1945) discussed,
[…] the ability of plant cells to take up salts from their environment. From vegetation experiments, it has appeared that plants can absorb inorganic salts even from very dilute solutions. […] Whereas it was originally thought that the salts are carried along by water that the plant takes up as a result of transpiration, it has become clear in later years that the uptake of salt is a complicated process, which though it may be more or less affected by water absorption, for the rest takes place independently of it. So, it comes to pass that also submerged water plants, which naturally show no transpiration, yet take up nutrient substances as salts and aminoacids from the environment. This is partly done by their roots, partly by their leaves, as for instance Elodea and Vallisneria.
   Reference to Drew (1914). The bacillus held responsible for the precipitation of calcium carbonate was named by Drew Bacterium calcis, and subsequently was shown to belong to the genus Pseudomonas. Cultures of this bacillus made by Drew indicated that it is capable of changing calcium nitrate to calcium carbonate, and he supposed a similar action to take place in seawater. Drew suggested,
That B. calcis, or other bacteria having a similar action, may have been an important factor in the formation of the various chalk stata in addition to the part played by the shells of Foraminafera and other organisms in the formation of rocks.
Later studies attacked the conclusions of Drew and considered that there is no support for his explanation of the mechanism of CaCO2 precipitation in natural waters.
See Twenhofel (1926, p 237-238).
   Bavendamm (1931, 1932) concluded that there are no specific calcium bacteria, although he believed that microbiological calcium precipitation in tropical seas may be an important process, particularly in mangrove swamps where the organic content and bacterial population are high. In the 1934 edition of Geobiologie Baas Becking referred to the research of Drew and Bavendamm (Chapter IX, p. 98, English edition).
   Pasteur ascribed in 1859 the cause of ammoniacal urinary disorders to bacteria. The conversion of urea into ammonia is a function possessed by a number of bacteria. The earlier observations of Pasteur, Miquel and others showed that various large spore forming “urobacilli” could be isolated from air, soil, and sewage, and, later, many other bacteria were found able to form small amounts of ammonia from urea.
   Reference to Hof and Frémy (1933). Baas Becking (1934) referred to T. Hof in Chapter X, p. 120-121, English edition. She defended her PhD thesis (Hof, 1935a), Bacteria Living in Strong Brine, in 1935 in Leiden, Baas Becking was her PhD advisor.
   Baas Becking discussed the precipitation of calcium carbonate in Chapter IX of Geobiologie (1934) (p. 97-98 in the English edition, 2016). In Chapter VI.6.5. Baas Becking discussed the lime deposition in natural waters and particularly seawaters.
   For A. Schwarz in Senckenbergiana see also Section 6.6.3.
   Radiolarite is a siliceous comparatively fine grained chert-like and homogeneous sedimentary rock (called lydits) that is composed predominantly of the microscopic remains of radiolarians. Radiolarites are biogenic, marine, finely layered rocks.
   ‘Tabashir’, a hard, whitish, translucent substance extracted from the nodal joints of bamboo, chiefly composed of silica. In the 1953 version of Geobiology (Baas Becking, 1953a, p. 526-527) Baas Becking wrote:
In the hollow stem of the bamboo sometimes large accumulations of a very porous SiO2 occur. These masses, called ‘tabashir’ may absorb large quantities of gas. They are used in native medicine. The metabolism of the silicon is still utterly unknown. The element is closely allied to carbon and like carbon, it may form chains, and a great number of Si-O-H compounds and C-Si-O-H compounds are described.
   Baas Becking wrote in Chapter VI.4 in ink on phosphor containing minerals.
Apatite, Ca5F(PO4)3 = [a.] nodular, b. phosphate rock, c. guano, also Ca5Cl(PO4)3. Wavellite (AlOH)3(PO4)2.5H2O, (rarer). Andalusite Al2SiO5, often inclusions dark organic matter (Chiastolite). Dahllite, 3Ca3(PO4)2.2CaCO3.H2O.
Kollophan, Ca3P2)8.H2O. Vivianite, Fe3P2O8.H2O.
Recent research learns that in humans, the majority of phosphate (∼85%) is actually present in hard tissues that form through biomineralisation. Red Guano, a biogenic sediment is a pure phosphate fertiliser with 20-30% phosphoric acid content (P2O5). White guano refers to the guano that is produced daily by animal excrements – especially sea birds. It consists of 10-12% phosphoric acid.
   ‘Will-o’-the-wisp’, or ‘ignis fatuus’, in folklore is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. Modern science often explains them as natural phenomena such as bioluminescence or chemiluminescence, caused by the oxidation of phosphine (PH3), diphosphane (P2H4) and methane (CH4) produced by organic decay.
   According to Arens (1934) and Lausberg (1935), plants during the growing season lose through the leaves more potassium than on average is contained in the crop harvest. This process does not occur passively during transpiration, and is due to active mechanisms. So, this forms a sort of cycle of potassium between plants and soil.
In the 1953 manuscript of Geobiology (p. 665) Baas Becking wrote: “It is known by the work of Arens (1934) and Lausberg (1935) that leaves may excrete large amounts of mineral matter.”
   For Salicornia see Patel (2016).
March 24, 1936 Baas Becking together with his assistent Dr. J. Reuter visited Lake Fowler in South Australia. In the 1953 version of Geobiology Baas Becking wrote:
This lake measures more than four miles on its W-E diameter. The gypsum cliffs on the S-E shore are more than 70 ft high (see figure). […] It affords a most unusual spectacle, (never seen by me anywhere in the world). Viewed from the north the salt crust tapers off to a tough greyish mat, covering most of the southern part of the lake to the shore where the snowy-white cliffs, covered with peacock green and crimson “samphire” (Salicornia and Halicnemum sp.) and bluish-black Melaleuca trees from a long wall under the blue sky. On top of the cliffs a complete collection of salt plants occurred, including Mesembryanthemum. A beautiful mirage made us see a vast sheet of non-existent water towards the north.
The dusty tessellated crust which covered the southern lake be for several hundred yards covered a thin layer of gypsum and salt crystals, overlying a thin stratum of black mud, where the sulphate was reduced down to a depth of 5 centimetres. Beautiful gypsum crystals up to one centimetre long occurred in the grey sand underlying this black mud. With an air temperature of 21.6⁰C (9.15 a.m.) we found at 12 cm depth 20⁰C. At the N.W. end of the lake, we found an expanse of pinkish salt, about 5 mm thick below which there occurred a layer rich in iron oxide, 3mm thick overlying several thin layers of black mud, alternating with gypsum. At places, the “crust” was developed as on the southern shore. With an air temperature of 26.4⁰C we measured, immediately under the crust.
   According to Galliher (1939):
In examining a number of glauconite sediments, a surprising amount of evidence is found tying glauconite to a biotite or iron mica derivation. Principal evidence for relationship lies in series of transition grains demonstrating gradual change from mica to glauconite.
   Verhoop (1940). Miss J.A.D Verhoop married the Delft Professor in Applied Botany, Gerrit Jan van Iterson (1878-1972). According to Baas Becking, Kaplan and More (1960, p. 263).
Verhoop showed convincingly that the oxidation of black iron sulphide to sulphur is an abiological process.
See also Section 7.9.4.
   In the 1953 manuscript of Geobiology Baas Becking described on p. 108 the term necrobiosis:
There is a state, called necrobiosis by Beijerinck, where, while organisation is destroyed, the enzymatic activities continue. In the organised cell, enzyme and substrate are kept apart, and their interactions are regulated. In the necrobiotic state, the enzymes freely react with the cell substrate. Molisch, to whom we owe many simple and illuminating experiments, has given a striking example of necrobiosis. When leaves are locally heated, by means of a match, we will see a green plane around the burnt centre. This green area, where both structure and enzymes are destroyed, is the necrotic zone. Around this zone there develops, in many leaves, a dark ring (‘Totenring’), showing that here the enzymes were still active, oxidising the phenols to coloured oxyphenoles. This necrobiotic zone is surrounded by normal, biotic, cells.
   Reference to Miehe (1907), Miehe (1930). In the 1934 edition of Geobiologie Baas Becking referred to the research of Miehe in which he was able to isolate a large number of thermophilic organisms. (Chapter IV, p. 33, English edition, 2016).
Hugo Robert Heinrich August Miehe (1875-1932), German botanist in 1909-1910 involved in botanical research in the Botanic Gardens at Buitenzorg, from 1916 to 1932 Professor of Botany at the Agricultural University Berlin.
   Ernst Albert Gäumann (1893-1963), Swiss botanist and phytopathologist.
   Reference to Noack (1943). In the 1953 manuscript of Geobiology Baas Becking remarked (p. 537):
According to Noack, iron in the necrobiotic cell may catalyse sudden breakdown of organic materials (pyrophoric iron).
   Baas Becking referred to ‘Payen and Audoin’ in the 1934 edition of Geobiologie (Chapter X, p. 218, Dutch edition; p. 118 English edition). Jean Victor Audouin (1797-1841), French naturalist Audouin (1836); Payen (1836).
See also Kuenen and Baas Becking (1938), Warren, Kuenen and Baas Becking (1938).
In the 1953 edition of Geobiology (p. 565) Baas Becking wrote:
Already in 1836 Payen and Audouin observed that the brine shrimp (Artemia salina L.) could clear stable suspensions of calcium carbonate. The experiments were repeated by the author (Baas Becking, 1931a), using fine and rather stable suspensions of calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate and barium sulphate. Five Artemia cleared 100 cc of a milky white suspension of barium sulphate in twenty four hours, while the controls remained unchanged. Tiny pellets (coproliths) on the bottom of the jar contained the precipitated matter. Artemia has a recognised function in temperate solar salt works, where it clears colloidal gypsum from the second reservoirs. For this reason, it is called “clearer worm” by the “briners.” The colloid chemistry of this reaction has not been studied. Similar reactions, of much greater geochemical importance, have also been investigated only from the ecological point of view. These reactions are performed by mussels and by heart shells (Cardium edule L) in estuaries. Rivers may carry large amounts of clay, silicon and iron oxide in suspension. Hundreds of miles seaward from the deltas of the great tropical rivers one may perceive a sharp demarcation line between the blue ocean water and this white yellow or orange terrigenic suspension.
   Reference to van ’t Hoff (1912). In the 1934 edition of Geobiologie (Chapter X, p. 218 Dutch edition; p. 118 English edition), Baas Becking wrote:
Van ’t Hoff described how when seawater is evaporated and the solubility equilibrium of CaSO4.2H2O has been exceeded, the compound does not precipitate but remains in suspension.
   Reference to Schwarz (1932). In the 1953 manuscript of Geobiology (p. 566) Baas Becking wrote:
Schwarz (1932) has called attention to the fact that on the low temperate river flats, mussels and heart shells, continuously flocculate, by means of the ciliated mucous mantle epithelium, these suspensions which are finally deposited as coprolites in the environment. One might say that much of the “new land” near the North Sea is nothing but molluscan coprolite. The process has probably a much wider significance than is yet realised. Active ‘pasting’ together of sand grains and other particles is a function common to many animals.
   In the 1953 manuscript of Geobiology (p. 566) Baas Becking related:
Cahune and Houlbert (1921) mention extensive reefs 3 × 10 km of Sabellaria near Mt. St. Michel, Brittany. They proved to be extremely solid and could only be removed by dynamite.
Baas Becking referred to ‘Cahune’ must be ‘Galaine’: Galaine and Houlbert (1921).
   The diagram is not on the front and rear cover of this manuscript, so Baas Becking probably referred to Wattenberg.
   Baas Becking copied from Correns (1939, p. 187) the Wattenberg equation.
   Rudolf Richter (1881-1957), one of the most influential geologists of the twentieth century. He founded the Senckenberg Vorschungstelle für Meeresgeologie und Meerespaläontologie (Senckenberg Research Station for Marine Geology and Paleontology) at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, which was subsequently known as Senckenberg am Meer (Senckenberg by the Sea). It was the first institution founded with the specific aim of actively applying the actualistic concepts of Charles Lyell, following the principle “the present is the key to the past”, a principle that Baas Becking often quoted. In December 1932, Richter gave a lecture in Leiden, Bildung künftiger Gesteine in der Gegenwart, that is referred to in Baas Beckings 1934 edition of Geobiologie
   Reference to van Dieren (1934). July 12, 1934, J.W. van Dieren defended his thesis in Amsterdam (PhD advisor Prof. Th. J. Stomps). He died on November 14, 1935.
See Scheygrond (1936).