PLANT MACROFOSSILS: (Megafossils) plant parts visible w/o magnification
  1. seeds + fruits (orchids to coconuts), cones, sporangia
  2. leaves + buds, needles
  3. wood
Quantitative analysis of Quaternary plant macrofossils began in 1957 (West, 1957) PRINCIPALS:

Seeds:

  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Appendages
  • Surface
  • Size
  • Embryo

grass seeds

grass pollen

Wood:

Identification requires sectioning
  • Cross, Radial, and Tangential Sections.
  • non-porous, Ring-porous, Diffuse Porous.
  • Pore Size, Rays +/-, Parenchyma +/-

Needles:

Identification requires sectioning
  • Epidermis
  • Hypodermis
  • Mesophyll
  • Endodermis
  • Vascular Bundle

SEDIMENTS STUDIED:


TECHNIQUE: If dry, keep it dry. If wet ...
  1. Solution: mixing sediment with water
  2. Screening or Flotation: separating macrofossils from sediment matrix based on size (screening) or density (flotation)
  3. Sorting: removing identifiable remains from 'debris' Identifiable remains placed in labeled vials.
  4. Storing in labeled vials or plastic boxes


CALIBRATION: Relationship between macrofossils and vegetation:
QUANTIFICATION: displayed in diagrams, like pollen diagrams

MACROFOSSIL DIAGRAMS





INTERPRETATION
Indicator approach
Ecological: succession on bogs (Watts & Winter, 1966)

Complementary macrofossil and pollen analysis of same sediments. Macrofossil analysis provides species composition pollen indicates abundances and regional pattern


Macrofossil Readings

HOMEWORK