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12th International Meeting on Phytolith Research (UPDATES)

SECOND CIRCULAR – The 12th IMPR will take place in Kiel (Germany) on September 8 –11, 2021. Exceptionally this time, the conference will be carried out in the frame of the 27th annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA). Important To submit an abstract within IMPR-sessions, you have to be a member of […]

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3D shape analysis of grass silica short cell phytoliths

Gallaher, T.J., Akbar, S.Z., Klahs, P.C., Marvet, C.R., Senske, A.M., Clark, L.G., Strömberg, C.A.E., 2020. 3D shape analysis of grass silica short cell phytoliths: a new method for fossil classification and analysis of shape evolution. New Phytologist 228, 376–392. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16677 It has long been recognized that the three-dimensional (3D) morphology of grass silica short cell […]

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Assessment of Open Science Practises in Phytolith Research shows we could do better!

Karoune, E., 2020. Data from “Assessing Open Science Practices in Phytolith Research”. Journal of Open Archaeology Data, 8(1), p.6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/joad.67 This recently released data paper, and soon to be published research article (find the pre-print here), highlights a need for us as a community to move towards more open ways of working. The dataset was compiled […]

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BLOCKY phytoliths with bordered pits in Picea abies

  Thank you Zsuzsa for this post on remarkable phytoliths!     Silica reliefs of the bordered pits in Gymnosperms A cubic-like BLOCKY phytolith morphotype and its anatomical position were described in Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] H.Karst) needles that are characteristic. These phytoliths are located in the transfusion tissue. They form a specific phytolith […]

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Silicification of Root Tissues

  • January 31, 2020
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Lux, A., Lukačová, Z., Vaculík, M., Švubová, R., Kohanová, J., Soukup, M., Martinka, M., Bokor, B., 2020. Silicification of Root Tissues. Plants 9, 111. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010111 Silicon is taken up in the form of silicic acid by roots, where the silica is deposited or translocated to the above-ground tissues. Shoots – stems, leaves, flower and fruit […]

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Phytoliths encapsulate As, Cu, Mn, and Zn heavy metals!

  • January 16, 2020
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Delplace, G., Schreck, E., Pokrovsky, O. S., Zouiten, C., Blondet, I., Darrozes, J., & Viers, J. (2019). Accumulation of heavy metals in phytoliths from reeds growing on mining environments in Southern Europe. Science of The Total Environment, 135595. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719355901   Silicon role in various reactions in the Critical Zone has been studied for a long […]

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Phytolith Radiocarbon Dating: The debate is going on!

  • December 16, 2019
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Zuo, X., & Lu, H. (2019). Phytolith Radiocarbon Dating: A Review of Previous Studies in China and the Current State of the Debate. Frontiers in plant science, 10. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.01302/full This paper reviews the various aspects of the debate regarding the reliability of phytolith carbon dating. Although it is more slanted toward “believing in the reliability of phytolith […]

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Take a survey on grass phytolith identification!

  • May 9, 2019
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Caroline Strömberg and Tim Gallaher are developing a machine learning and computer vision (ML&CV) tool for automatically identifying grass silica short cell phytoliths (GSSCP). To make this tool better than a human at identifying GSSCP, they have to know just how good us phytolith researchers are. They need your help! Please take this ~10-minute anonymous […]

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Springs, palm groves, and the record of early hominins in Africa

  • May 6, 2019
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Barboni, D., Ashley, G.M., Bourel, B., Arraiz, H., Mazur, J.-C., 2019. Springs, palm groves, and the record of early hominins in Africa. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 266, 23–41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2019.03.004   In this paper we explore the importance of groundwater-fed micro-habitats in Eastern Africa and provide new pollen and phytolith data to evaluate how […]

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Small-scale spatial resolution of the soil phytolith record in a rainforest and a dry forest in Costa Rica

  • May 6, 2019
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Crifò, C. and Strömberg, C.A., 2019. Small-scale spatial resolution of the soil phytolith record in a Neotropical rainforest and a dry forest in Costa Rica: applications to the deep-time fossil phytolith record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.03.008 Our objective was to define guidelines for the collection of soil samples to conduct phytolith modern analogue studies […]

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