the natural history of stress and adaptation
Martial and Line Rossignol, Roelof A.A. Oldeman
and Soraya Benzine-Tizroutine

Long-term experiments in vitro, long-term research on oceans and climate, and long-term research on forest ecosystems since 30 years allowed the authors to compare the rules of adaptation over the whole hierarchy of life, from nucleotides to ecosystems. It also permitted to distinguish the thermonuclear solar clockwork pacing the changes in environmental stress.

At all system levels, architecture, rhythm and behaviour of systems were outlined and proven. Over the whole system hierarchy, development was found to follow sequences of a rather low number of elements, separated by "biological clasps". A clasp is similar to a full stop after a phrase of instructions, but a biolocially active stop. There is a clasp half-way along each helicoidal turn-path at the genetic level. Other clasps are the meristem-with-leaf ("leaf-plus") in vegetable axes, the "minimal axis" in branched arrays, possibly the "homeotic sequences" in animal development, and the "critical eco-unit" in ecosystem building.

Adaptation to stress is operated by clasp mechanisms, including plasmid transfer, meristem differentiation, and selective activation of diaspores. All these mechanisms are fuzzy at their own level, the very fuzzyness causing the diversity of life. Life is Life, an axiomatic category in itself, not an aim. Life assimilates stress and puts it to profit, often by symbiosis. As such, struggle is an attribute of life. The notion of "struggle for life" is teleological and invalid.

About the authors

Dr. Martial Rossignol as a professional oceanographer studied ocean currents, marine biology and fisheries in the Gulf of Guinea and the Caribbean, particularly the interactions between climatic and oceanic circulation, like El Niño. From 1977 to 1994 he was associated to the lab for experimental plant morphogenesis in Orsay, where with his wife Dr. Line Rossignol he worked on one in vitro clone of potato and its explants.
Prof. Roelof Oldeman studied architecture, ecology, and dynamics of tropical trees and rain forests since 1963, and other forests and ecosystems since 1977.
Dr. Soraya Benzine-Tizroutine collaborated closely with M. and L. Rossignol on the genetic aspects of in vitro cultures. Dr. Rossignol, Dr. Rossignol and Dr. Oldeman started cooperating 25 years ago in Cayenne (Fr. Guyana) and Orsay.

Published by Treemail
Treebook 1
ISBN 90-804443-1-6