Introduction to Paleobotany

How Fossil Plants are Formed 1

What Is Paleobotany? 1

The Objectives of Paleobotany 2

Reconstructing the Plants 2

Evolution of Plant Groups 3

Form and Function in Fossil Plants 4

Biostratigraphy and Correlation 4

Paleoecology: Plants in Their Environment 5

Determining Paleoclimate from Fossil Plants 6

Tree Rings 6

Nearest Living Relative 6

Leaf Physiognomy 7

Stomatal Index 7

Summary 7 Preservation: How Plant Fossils are Formed and

Preserved 8

Depositional Environments of Fossil Plants 8

Compressions 10

Cuticle 13

Biofilms and Plant Fossil Preservation 16

Electron Microscopy 17

Confocal Microscopy 17

Maceration and D├ęgagement 17

Other Techniques 18

Coal and Charcoal 18

Impressions 21

Molds and Casts 22

Cellular Preservation 23

Permineralization 25

Peel Technique 25

Coal Balls 27

Other Permineralizations 29

Petrifaction 30

Unaltered Plant Material 30

Chemical Fossils 32

Ancient DNA 33

Mummification 33

Amber 33

Summary Discussion 34

Palynology 34

Geochronology and Biostratigraphy 36

Paleoecology 37

Absolute Dating 38

Geologic Timescale 39

Biological Correlation 40

Systematics and Classification 40

Nomenclature of Fossil Plants 41

Classification of Organisms 42

Background Reading 42

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