Earlier reviews

Periodically, review papers on plant heat production appeared in monographs dedicated to the whole spectrum of biological calorimetry [8-11] or in special is sues of scientific journals from the field of Thermal Analysis [12-14]. They inform about instrumental techniques applied for plant investigations [15], some aspects of plant calorimetry [8, 9] or the means to find 'differences between apples and oranges' [16, 17]. Special attention should be paid to the comprehensive contribution of Criddle and Hansen to the Handbook of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry [11], which is a true gold mine for historical and modern aspects of plant calorimetry and facilitates the access to this fascinating and growing field.

In his 1995 survey of microcalorimetric techniques for plant material investigation Wadso presented a number of existing instruments and vessels that could be used for this end [15]. They would allow for mere batch experiments in closed ampoules with changing gas atmosphere, for stirring of tissue cultures, for illumination in the sense of photocalorimetry, for gas perfusion and determination of carbon dioxide production. Although multifunctional instrument systems would be ideal tools for more complex analyses and appropriate physiological tissue conditions, the author nevertheless recommended the use of simple static ampoules as the most dependable process monitors [15]. His statement is still valid, but meanwhile he himself presented several sophisticated solutions for advanced tissue studies (see Instrumentation).

In the same special issue of Thermochimica Acta Hansen and his colleagues published part 2 of their Plant calorimetry [17] that reports about new technical efforts to ameliorate plant calorimetry, e.g. by coupling gas chromatographs or mass spectrometers to traditional instruments. Their work deals with aspects of thermogenic plants (see below) and presents a broad discussion about modelling the relation between growth rate and respiratory variables. Reviews to the stimulating area of thermogenic plants may be found in early surveys of Leick [2, 18], papers of Seymour [19, 20] and the present authors [21-24].

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