The recipient of the 2021 IW Bailey award is Shohei Yamagishi, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University awarded for his paper entitled:

Artifactual lipid coatings on intervessel pit membranes in dried xylem tissues of some angiosperms

IAWA Journal 42 (4), 2021: 365–383. DOI 10.1163/22941932-bja10060

The judges commented:

"This paper explores the composition and possible artifactual appearance of pit membrane incrustations (PMIs). A comprehensive set of species were studied using Cryo-TOF-SIMS SEM and chemical analysis with TOF-SIMS. The paper concludes that these coatings may well be artifactual and could lead to misleading conclusions being drawn about the structure and function of the intervessel pit membranes.

Studies of pit membrane structure and function are essential to the advancement of our understanding of water transport in plant stems. The field of study is focusing very closely on the behaviour and physical and chemical features of the pit membrane which has a critical role in maintaining water transport and preventing the spread of cavitation.

This paper presents a comprehensive and meticulous analysis of a problem. It provides a step-by-step answer to the issues arising from the presence of possible artifacts in the preparation of wood samples and challenges previously held assumptions."

From 2014 onwards, the IW Bailey Award is presented annually for the best original or review paper submitted to the IAWA Journal by a PhD candidate or postdoc who has completed her/his PhD no longer than five years since the submission of her/his manuscript. All subject matters published in the IAWA Journal are eligible: wood, bark, palm, bamboo, and rattan anatomy and ultrastructure, preferably linked to other fields such as, for instance, plant physiology, ecology, tree biology, pathology and decay, plant systematics and phylogeny, paleobotany, climatology, archaeobotany, wood properties, biomechanics, and wood culture. The Award consists of a certificate and €1000, sponsored by Brill Publishers.

We also thank the judges of this year's award, Nigel Warwick and Yoon Soo Kim for their time and effort.

Lloyd Donaldson & Marcelo Pace
Editors in Chief – IAWA Journal