Martin John Hodson

Martin John Hodson
Oxford Brookes University · Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

B.Sc. Ph.D.

About

113
Publications
28,596
Reads
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5,253
Citations
Introduction
My first degree was in Botany, and I then worked on salt tolerance in plants for my doctorate. Most of my research has concerned plant mineral nutrition, particularly silica deposition and aluminium toxicity In the last ten years or so I have also been working on climate change and related topics. I have also developed an interest in environmental ethics and theology. You can find out more at www.hodsons.org
Additional affiliations
April 2009 - June 2022
The John Ray Initiative
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • I was responsible for managing a small staff team for this charity. Much time was spent in liaison with volunteers, managing websites, using social media, organising meetings and conferences, on publishing projects. I remain on the JRI Board and as Principal Tutor for Christian Rural and Environmental Studies (CRES)
October 2007 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Associate Member
September 1989 - present
Oxford Brookes University
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer and now Visiting Researcher.
Education
October 1977 - October 1980
Swansea University
Field of study
  • Plant Physiology
October 1974 - July 1977
Swansea University
Field of study
  • Botany

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Full-text available
Aluminium (Al) and silicon (Si) are abundant in soils, but their availability for plant uptake is limited by low solubility. However, Al toxicity is a major problem in naturally occurring acid soils and in soils affected by acidic precipitation. When, in 1995, we reviewed this topic for the Journal of Experimental Botany, it was clear that under ce...
Article
A range of methods have been applied to identify whether phytoliths have been heated or fired: morphological alterations, changes in colour and opacity, refractive index and Raman spectroscopy. As not all phytoliths seem to be affected in the same way, these methods are obviously limited and none provide satisfactory results for sufficient discrimi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
21 heads and tutors at UK Theological Education Institutions (TEIs) met for the online consultation on 7th and 8th December 2020 and their conclusions have now been published. These include: 1) It is imperative that creation care is made a key element in ministerial training in all denominations. 2) The focus on integrating environmental understand...
Article
Full-text available
In 1983, Raven suggested that silica could substitute for lignin or cellulose as a structural material in plants, and should be favoured because of its lower energetic costs. He then asked the question why more plants did not use silica for structural support. Raven’s idea eventually led to a whole series of investigations into the substitution of...
Book
Full-text available
Why and how Christian faith and concern for the environment should go together Environmental sustainability is a major issue for us all. In this extensively updated edition, Martin and Margot Hodson consider eight of the key current environmental problems, giving the biblical basis for looking after the environment and helping to integrate environ...
Book
Full-text available
How should we look after the world we inhabit? Martin and Margot Hodson bring together scientific and theological wisdom to offer 62 reflections inspired by passages from the Bible in a thoughtful exploration that encourages both reflection and response. Themes include The Wisdom of Trees, Landscapes of Promise and Sharing Resources.
Book
Full-text available
This booklet covers the origins of the pandemic, the environmental impacts of the lockdowns, and how to build back in a just and sustainable way. The booklet can be ordered at: https://grovebooks.co.uk/collections/ethics/products/e-198-covid-19-environment-justice-and-the-future
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and is an important component of mineral soils. Crystalline forms of Si are sparingly soluble and amorphous forms are somewhat more so. The main soluble form of Si in soils is monosilicic acid (H4SiO4) which is the form taken up by plant roots. Plants vary considerably in the am...
Article
Full-text available
There has been much interest in the possibility that phytoliths might sequester substantial amounts of carbon and might continue to do so in soils and sediments after the death of the plant. This may contribute to mitigating climate change. However, this idea is controversial and it is unclear how much carbon is sequestered in phytoliths. High valu...
Article
In its concern to evoke in its readership an appropriate response to the challenge posed by the contemporary environmental crisis, the recent papal encyclical Laudato Si': On Care for our Common Home differentiates between the task of human education, on the one hand, and the deeper and more abstract task of motivating the human will for change and...
Chapter
Phytoliths are now used in archaeological research around the world. Europe was somewhat slow to take this up, but now phytoliths feature in many archaeological investigations. Ryan (2014) provides a good overall introduction to the topic of phytoliths, but here we will expand onherwork and look specifically at Europe, where phytoliths are employed...
Article
Full-text available
It is now exactly one year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. In many respects it has been a tumultuous year. The name of Donald Trump has hardly ever been out of the news. Certainly, writing from the UK, I can never remember a president of the United States who had such news coverage here. Tru...
Chapter
Full-text available
Phytoliths have now become almost a routine aspect of many archaeological investigations. They are very widely used in many contexts to gain information about the plant species grown by or associated with humans in the past. Up until relatively recently most workers have used phytolith morphology to investigate archaeological contexts, and still th...
Chapter
Soils, land and geology are important components of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) that can also play a vital role within other impact chapters in an ESIA Report (e.g. water, ecology, ecosystem services, livelihoods, health, and resource efficiency). While the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards mention...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Schaller, J., M. J. Hodson, and E. Struyf. 2017. Is relative Si/Ca availability crucial to the performance of grassland ecosystems? Ecosphere 8(3): Abstract. Species composition of grasslands and pastures is an important control on biomass production and ecological functioning, with a significant role of grasses and legumes. A change in c...
Book
Full-text available
Environmental ethics is of increasing importance both in the wider world and as part of thinking about Christian mission. But too often it is explored as one part of human ethics, and so loses its significance. This wide-ranging overview considers both secular and Christian environmental ethics, exploring both key themes and key thinkers, and provi...
Article
Full-text available
The result of the presidential election in the United States is likely to have a major impact on the environment. The election of Donald Trump has been a shock to many of us and will have implications for environmental policy in many areas. Since the election there have been many articles concerning the future of environmental protection under Trum...
Article
In recent years there has been much work on the possibility that carbon could be sequestered in phytoliths and contribute to solving global warming.........
Article
This study investigates hydrological responses to climatic shifts using sediment flux data derived from two dated palaeolake records in south-east Arabia. Flux values are generally low during the early Holocene humid period (EHHP) (9.0–6.4k cal a BP) although several short-lived pulses of increased detrital input are recorded, the most prominent of...
Article
Relatively little is known about how phytoliths develop and form in the plant. We will consider the development of phytoliths where silica is deposited in the cell wall and those where it is deposited in the cell lumen. The cellular environment in which phytoliths develop affects their chemistry. In cell wall phytoliths, silica is deposited onto a...
Book
Full-text available
Environmental sustainability is a major issue in society today. While Christian response was generally slow in the 1980s and ’90s, concern has grown rapidly in the 21st century across the church. In this book, two environmental experts consider eight of the key contemporary issues, offering eco-tips to enable practical response, as well as Bible-ba...
Article
Full-text available
An early-to mid-Holocene humid phase has been identified in various Arabian geo-archives, although significant regional heterogeneity has been reported in the onset, duration and stability of this period. A multi-proxy lake and dune record from Wahalah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) documents significant variations in hydrology, biological produ...
Book
There is an overwhelming scientific consensus on the reality of human-induced global warming. And yet popular perception continues to be sceptical. What are the motivations behind such scepticism? How can we engage with it? And what is the role of Christian individuals and communities in the debate about climate change?
Article
Full-text available
Environmentalists and scientists who study the environment often give a pretty bleak picture of the future. Surveys of secular views on the environment suggest that the general public in the developed West are concerned about the state of the environment. After considering all of the environmental problems that are causing scientists to worry, this...
Chapter
Full-text available
Martin & Margot Hodson provide an update on the science and policy of climate change. This is one of the key issues facing humanity this century and the most negative impacts will be on the poorest in the world. They investigate climate justice through advocacy and mitigation. Finally their theological reflection offers a clear biblical foundation...
Article
Full-text available
Beer is a quintessential part of Belgian heritage. We performed a detailed analysis of factors controlling Si content in Belgian beers as a case study to coincide with the 2011 IBiS meeting in Antwerp (Belgium). Beer is one of the richest dietary sources of Si. Three decades of research have yielded evidence of a role for Si in human physiology: it...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether there is a link between faith and environmental values and understanding in Church of England ordinands. Using a questionnaire survey ordinands were asked to respond to the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP). In addition they responded to statements about the importance of environmental issues and ecology within their fait...
Article
Despite the present hyper-aridity, archaeological investigations in South-east Arabia have demonstrated that the region supported extensive human communities throughout the Neolithic and Bronze Age. These early populations utilised the region’s natural environment in a variety of ways, ranging from the exploitation of coastal resources to practicin...
Article
Full-text available
Metal toxicity and Metal toxicity is an important factor limiting the growth of plants in many environments. Some metals, such as copper and zinc, are micronutrients at low concentrations and become toxic at higher levels, whereas others (e.g. aluminium and lead) are only known for their toxicity. In some cases, soils are naturally very high in met...
Book
Functional Biology of Plants provides students and researchers with a clearly written, well structured whole plant physiology text. Early in the text, it provides essential information on molecular and cellular processes so that the reader can understand how they are integrated into the development and function of the plant at whole-plant level. Th...
Book
Full-text available
Climate change is a major issue for this century with significant impact on the future of the countryside. The first part of this paper considers the expected impacts of climate change on rural communities in the UK and the contribution that these communities make to climate change. Climate change is complex and interacts with many other factors. O...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aluminium (Al) toxicity is an important factor in decreasing plant growth in both naturally occurring acid soils and in soils that are affected by acidic precipitation. The amelioration of Al toxicity by silicon (Si) under some circumstances is now a well established fact. It is nearly 25 years since the first paper in the “modern era” addressing A...
Article
Full-text available
Silicon isotope geochemistry is a relatively new branch of environmental change research. Here we review the recent developments in the preparation of materials, analytical methods and applications of stable silicon isotope geochemistry in the most common types of biogenic silica currently being analysed. These materials are: diatom, radiolarian an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Article
Eastern hemlock [Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.] shoots from mature trees were collected from two sites of contrasting pH in the mixed conifer–hardwood forest: the campus of York University in Toronto, Ontario (pH 6.6 at 3 cm) and the Muskoka region near Huntsville, Ontario, Canada (pH 4.0 at 3 cm). Needles of ages 1–3 years were stored in a cryo-biol...
Presentation
Full-text available
We investigated the biogeochemical cycling of silicon (Si) in an acidic brown soil covered by a coniferous forest (Douglas fir). Based on published and original data, we constructed a conceptual model and used a modified version of the reactive transport code MIN3P for model testing and quantification purposes. The model was first calibrated and fu...
Article
Six mature wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants from one crop were collected one week before harvest, and organs were separated as follows: culm, rachis, leaf sheaths, leaf blades and inflorescence bracts. Percentage silica (% SiO2), % C, % N and δ13C were determined in these samples. Phytoliths isolated from the individual organs were subsequently...
Book
Full-text available
Ecological problems - drought, global warming, pollution, resources - are headline news. Green movements tend to stress pessimistic outcomes. Anxiety is reasonable, but the Christian response should draw upon the concern of God for his creation. Christians are starting to contribute to the debate, and have a vital specific insight: the Christian me...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the biogeochemical cycling of silicon (Si) in an acidic brown soil covered by a coniferous forest (Douglas fir). Based on published and original data, we constructed a conceptual model and used a modified version of the reactive transport code MIN3P for model testing and quantification purposes. The model was first calibrated and fu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] shoots from mature trees were collected from two sites of contrasting soil pH: the Glendon campus of York University in Toronto, Canada (pH 6.7 at 40 cm) designated Can.; and Breuil Forest, Morvan, France (pH 4 to 4.5) designated Fr.. Needles were removed from the shoots, frozen in liquid nitrogen,...
Chapter
Full-text available
When the dust has settled from our time in Prague, what conclusions can we make about the present state of adult Christian environmental education in Europe? The aims of the present paper will be to conduct a preliminary survey of what is available, and to provide some leads for those who might wish to develop courses in this topic area in the futu...
Article
Geomorphological and geoarchaeological studies from the lower Gulf region of southeastern Arabia are increasing our knowledge of hydrological, ecological, and aeolian changes during the Holocene. Preliminary analyses of sediment records from two palaeolakes in the United Arab Emirates are presented, highlighting the potential of these sediment sour...
Article
Lacustrine sediments from southeastern Arabia reveal variations in lake level corresponding to changes in the strength and duration of Indian Ocean Monsoon (IOM) summer rainfall and winter cyclonic rainfall. The late glacial/Holocene transition of the region was characterised by the development of mega-linear dunes. These dunes became stabilised an...
Poster
We investigated the biogeochemical cycling of Si in an acidic brown soil covered by a coniferous forest (Douglas fir) based on a comprehensive data set and reactive transport modelling. Both published and original data enable us to make up a conceptual model on which the development of a numerical model is based. We modified the reactive transport...
Article
Full-text available
Si may play an important role in bone formation and connective tissue metabolism. Although biological interest in this element has recently increased, limited literature exists on the Si content of foods. To further our knowledge and understanding of the relationship between dietary Si and human health, a reliable food composition database, relevan...
Article
Full-text available
Silicon (Si) in plants provides structural support and improves tolerance to diseases, drought and metal toxicity. Shoot Si concentrations are generally considered to be greater in monocotyledonous than in non-monocot plant species. The phylogenetic variation in the shoot Si concentration of plants reported in the primary literature has been quanti...
Article
The biodiversity value of Northern European temporary ponds has been little recognised, and there are many gaps in our understanding of their ecology. This study investigated the wetland (including aquatic) plant and macroinvertebrate assemblages, and the physico-chemical characteristics of 71 temporary ponds in semi-natural habitats. Temporary pon...
Article
The Holocene vegetation history of the Arabian Peninsula is poorly understood, with few palaeobotanical studies to date. At Awafi, Ras al-Khaimah, UAE, a 3.3 m lake sediment sequence records the vegetation development for the period 8500 cal. yr BP to similar to3000 cal. yr BP. delta(13)C isotope, pollen and phytolith analyses indicate that C3 Pooi...
Article
Full-text available
Three-week-old Picea abies seedlings were grown for 7 days in 100 microM aluminium (Al), combined with 1000 or 2000 microM silicon (Si). Solution pH was adjusted to 4.00, 4.25, 4.50, 4.75, or 5.00. In the absence of Si, solution pH had no effect on the decrease in root growth caused by 100 microM Al. Silicon did not ameliorate toxic effects of Al o...
Article
Despite the wealth of archaeological sites and excellent conditions for preservation, few phytolith investigations have been undertaken from the Arabian Gulf region. The results from the Sasanian and Islamic archaeological tell of Kush, Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, are presented. Kush is situated just inside the Gulf on an important trade...
Article
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) shoots from mature trees were collected from two sites of contrasting soil pH: the Glendon campus of York University in Toronto, Ontario (pH 6.7 at 40 cm); and Muskoka near Huntsville, Ontario (pH 4.2 at 40 cm). Needles of ages 1-3 years were removed from the shoots, and the percentage of ash and silica was det...
Article
Silicification is reported in the Pteridophyta and the Spermatophyta, including gymnosperms and angiosperms. Dicotyledon families containing Si accumulators of considerable agricultural significance include the Fabaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Asteraceae. Among the monocotyledons, the Cyperaceae and Poaceae (Gramineae) are pre-eminent. Silica deposits,...
Chapter
Elemental concentrations in cell walls were determined for needles of American and European larch trees growing in the Great Lakes region of central Canada. Shoots were collected in mid-October prior to leaf abscission following a full season of growth. Needles were stored at the temperature of liquid nitrogen prior to x-ray microanalysis. In cross...
Conference Paper
Two year old needles were sampled from healthy trees of Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) growing in a previously heavily polluted environment with acidic soils at Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Mineral distribution in the needles was investigated in a cryo-SEM with x-ray microanalysis. The epidermal and transfusion cells and the xylem walls were ma...
Chapter
Microanalytical techniques were first pioneered in the 1960s, and the earliest paper using X-ray microanalysis on plant materials is that of Läuchli and Schwander in 1966 (1). It was soon realized that microanalysis could provide a link between anatomical studies and plant physiology. It allowed scientists who were interested in aspects of plant mi...
Article
It is widely accepted that acidic precipitation has been responsible for the die-back of trees in Western Europe and North America. The mechanisms responsible for the die-back are, however, not very well understood. It is known that free aluminium (Al) is mobilised in soils that are affected by acidic precipitation, and Al toxicity is probably a ma...
Article
Aluminium (Al) toxicity is a very important factor limiting the growth of plants on acidic soils. Recently, a number of workers have shown that, under certain conditions, silicon (Si) can ameliorate the toxic effects of A1 in hydroponic culture. The mechanism of the amelioration is unclear, but three suggestions have been put forward: Si-induced in...
Article
Shoots from mature trees of white spruce [Picea glauca(Moench.) Voss] were collected in May 1994 from two sites of contrasting soil pH in the Great Lakes region of Central Canada: the Glendon campus of York Univeristy in Toronto, Ontario (pH 6.7 at 40 cm); and a site in the Muskoka-Haliburton Highlands near Huntsville, Ontario (pH 4.2 at 40 cm). Ne...
Article
Full-text available
Two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars, one aluminium tolerant (Atlas 66) and one sensitive (Scout 66), were grown in a continuous-flow culture system (≤pH 5.0) containing aluminium (0–100 μM) and silicon (0–2000 μM) in factorial combination. Treatment with silicon resulted in a highly significant amelioration of aluminium toxicity as assessed...
Article
Seedlings of Triticum aestivum L. (cv. Celtic) were suspended in plastic tubs containing 500 μmol L ⁻¹ Ca(NO 3 ) 2 and 31 μmol L ⁻¹ KC1 as background solution. A1C1 3 (0 and 100 μmol L ⁻¹ ) and Na 2 SiO 3 .5H 2 O (0 and 2000 μmol; L ⁻¹ ) were added to this basal nutrient medium, and solution pH was set at 4.2 or 4.6. Tubs were aerated and supplied...
Article
Most biological X-ray microanalysis is now carried out in scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), or scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) to which energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) equipment has been fitted. When electrons are fired at or through the specimens in these machines they interact...
Article
The response of seedlings of the monocot Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Bronze to 0,25 and 50 M aluminium in factorial combination with 0, 1.4, 2.0 and 2.8 mM Si was tested in hydroponic culture at pH 4.5. Nutrient solution (500 M calcium nitrate) and Al/Si treatments were designed to avoid the precipitation of Al from solution. Silicon treatments gave sig...
Article
Full-text available
Aluminium and silicon are usually abundant in soil mineral matter, but their availability for plant uptake is limited by low solubility and, in the case of Al, high soil pH causes precipitation of the element in insoluble forms. Al toxicity is a major problem in naturally occurring acid soils and in soils affected by acidic precipitation. Al has no...
Article
This study was designed to investigate whether temporary ponds were markedly different from more permanent ponds in terms of their species richness, species rarity and community type. Macroinvertebrates were recorded from six temporary ponds in Oxfordshire, and the resulting data were compared with species data from 33 Oxfordshire ponds of a more p...
Article
Full-text available
Silica fibres from the inflorescence bracts of the grass Phalaris canariensis L. cause dermatitis, and have been implicated in the aetiology of oesophageal cancer in northeastern Iran. Here we describe a method for labelling these fibres so that they can be located in mammalian tissue. Fluorescein was covalently linked to isolated, purified fibres...
Article
The diameter of silicified inflorescence papillae and the number of pits in the base of the papilla of 45 accessions from the genera Hordeum, Triticum and Aegilops, were recorded using light and scanning electron microscopy. There was a highly significant positive correlation between pit number and papilla diameter when all the accessions were cons...
Article
Seeds of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. were germinated on moist filter paper for 6 d, before the seedlings were transferred to pots containing 500 µmol l-1 Ca(NO3)2 for 2 d. The seedlings were then treated with 0 or 100 µmol l-1 Al in factorial combination with 0, 1400 or 2800 µmol l-1 Si for 8 d. The background solution used throughout was 500 µmol...
Chapter
Silica in roots and rhizomes has not been investigated in a comprehensive or extensive manner. Excluding the grasses, the literature indicates two monocotyledons, two dicotyledons and a conifer contain silica in subterranean organs. Grasses, although not completely investigated, have been examined in more detail; major sites of deposition include t...
Article
Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] seed lots from populations growing on acid soil in the Black Forest (BF), and from a calcareous soil in the Schwäbische Alb (SA), West Germany, were grown in perlite and treated with 0 and 6 mM Al. Some of the plants were inoculated with the fungus Paxillus involutes Fr., while some were not. Fungus was assoc...
Article
Full-text available
The applications of x-ray microanalysis in research into silicon in higher plants are reviewed, recent developments are assessed, and new data are presented. Conventionally prepared material [air or freeze drying for scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and glutaraldehyde/osmium tetroxide fixation for transmission electron microscopy (TEM)] has been...
Article
Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. cv. P508.GB plants were grown in water culture for 1 week, when the seminal roots were harvested and sampled at five positions starting from the base: 0.0, 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 of the axis length, and a sub-apical position, 11 mm behind the tip. Mineral distribution in bulk frozen root segments was investigated using SEM...
Article
Norway spruce [Picea aides (L.) Karst.] seed lots were obtained from populations growing on an acid soil in the Black Forest, West Germany (acid), and a calcareous soil in the Schwabische Alb, West Germany (calc). Seedlings were grown in sterile perlite culture containing 0–6 mM aluminium. Hypocotyl extension was inhibited by aluminium in the calca...
Article
Mineral distribution in the roots of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Wheaton) was investigated using X-ray microanalysis of bulk frozen hydrated roots in SEM and of freeze substituted sections in TEM. Results obtained using the two methods agreed reasonably well. A total often elements were detected: Na, Mg, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Mn, and Fe. Of thes...
Article
Full-text available
X-ray microanalysis and backscattered electron imaging were used to investigate silica deposition in the lower glume, lemma, and palea of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Highbury). In the lemma and glume awns, all of the outer epidermal walls were silicified, with the greatest concentration in prickles and papillae. The glume and lemma had similar...
Article
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Wheaton) plants were grown in water culture or in soil. Basal leaves (B) were harvested after 3 weeks from the water culture plants, while flag leaves were collected from soil-grown material at the time of inflorescence emergence (E0) and 7 d after emergence (E + 7). Mineral distribution in bulk frozen leaves was inv...
Article
Silica deposition in the lower glume, lemma, and palea of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Highbury) was investigated using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. Silica was present in the outer walls of all the epidermal cells including prickles and papillae of the glume and lemma awns. The glume and the lemma were similar in epidermal...
Article
A new method for the cytochemical localization of the enzyme laccase, using syringaldazine as substrate, is described. Syringaldazine is specifically oxidized by laccase, producing electron-opaque deposits which were observed by electron microscopy. In Botrytis cinerea, laccase was predominantly located in the cytoplasm.
Article
The effects of 120 mM NaCl on the anatomy and ultrastructure of the root tip of cultured excised pea roots was investigated after 24 h exposure to salinity. In the meristematic cells mitochondrial damage was apparent and these cells showed increased vacuolation. The root cap was already severely affected after 24 h exposure to salinity and clumping...