|Phytoliths are microscopic silica bodies produced by
plants via the deposition of dissolved silica within or between plant cells.
They are found mainly in the above ground parts of plants and are released
to the environment when the plant tissue breaks down. Silica deposited
in this way by biological organisms is referred to as biogenic silica or
opal. Many plants incorporate silica into their structure; however, grasses
are common and prolific producers of identifiable phytoliths.
|Publications on phytoliths:|
|Fearn, M.L. 1998. Phytoliths
in sediment as indicators of grass pollen source. Review of Palaeobotany
and Palynology 103: 75-81.
University of Missouri Phytolith database
Terry Ball's Phytolith Page
|Mimi Fearn Home Page
University of South Alabama
Last modified: 5/26/99