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Plant Macrofossils Workgroup

Seeds, leaves and other macroscopic plant remains have been long studied for the reconstruction of past environments. In particular, the analysis of plant macrofossils captures a high-resolution record of local environments, because most plant macroremains are deposited locally, such as in ponds and lakes, and are representative of floras immediately surrounding these depositional sites.  Most plant macroremains can be identified to the species level, which provides more taxonomic precision than do pollen analysis, and so both of these proxies are typically analyzed in tandem. Also, seeds, fruits, needles and other remains of terrestrial plants are typically used to obtain radiocarbon dates.

Given the nature of plant macrofossils, data obtained from this proxy interface with data on pollen, peatlands and packrat middens.  Data from the North American Plant Macrofossil Database (NAPMD) have been absorbed into NEOTOMA.  Data contributions from North America and, in particular, other geographic regions are welcome.