An overview of leaf phytolith production patterns in selected northwest Australian flora

Wallis, Lynley (2003) An overview of leaf phytolith production patterns in selected northwest Australian flora. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 125 3-4: 201-248. doi:10.1016/S0034-6667(03)00003-4

Author Wallis, Lynley
Title An overview of leaf phytolith production patterns in selected northwest Australian flora
Journal name Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0034-6667
Publication date 2003-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0034-6667(03)00003-4
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 125
Issue 3-4
Start page 201
End page 248
Total pages 48
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Phytolith occurrence in predominantly the leaves of 177 non-Poaceae plant species, representing 53 families, from northwest Australia were investigated with the aim of creating a comparative collection to assist interpretations of phytolith assemblages recovered from archaeological and geological contexts. Approximately 50% of the samples examined were found to be non-phytolith producers. The remaining samples produced variable quantities of phytoliths, ranging from minimal traces to abundant amounts. A range of phytolith morphologies was observed, including both distinctive and redundant forms. Comparison of the results from this study with those conducted in other geographical locations reveals a general continuity of patterns within families, thereby suggesting a high level of genetic control for phytolith production. However, differences between the results of this study with another major Australian study [Bowdery (1996) Unpubl. Ph.D. Thesis, Aust. Natl. Univ., Canberra, (1998) BAR Int. Monogr. Ser. 695, Hadrian, Oxford] seem to indicate that environmental factors must also be considered to play an important role in determining the nature of phytolith production. It is concluded that phytoliths constitute a valuable microfossil system for the reconstruction of palaeovegetation, palaeoclimate and plant–human interactions in the tropical region of northern Australia.
Keyword Phytoliths
Northwest Australia
Semi-arid environments
Vegetation history
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Aboriginal Environments Research Centre Publications
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Created: Thu, 02 Dec 2010, 00:31:09 EST