Phytolith Systematics

Distribution and ecological significance of South African plant silica (Lloyd Rossouw)

The need for modern, comparative phytolith databases is increasing globally as p
hytolith research are now progressively becoming a mainstream analytical approach in palaeoecological, palaeobotanical and archaeological research. However, testing of the ecological trends in modern, morphologically diagnostic phytolith morphotypes through wide-ranging actualistic studies remains critically under-researched in South Africa, partly as a result of few available comparative collections. This project aims to develop a modern comparative phytolith database, involving the collection and extraction of plant silica bodies from the highly diverse and endemic, southern temperate and subtropical flora of the South African region.