A plant macrofossil identification tool for south-western Victoria

Tara M Lewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The Seeds of South-Western Victoria database is presented here. The database is a digital collection of seed information that can be searched based on a range of seed morphological characters. Additionally it provides colour photographs of seeds and ecological detail of the plant species. It aims to facilitate plant macrofossil studies in Australia by aiding the identification of unknown sub-fossil seed material. It contains descriptions of 156 commonly occurring species of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, but design allows for continual addition of species from this region and elsewhere. The application of the database system to plant macrofossil identification, from both surface and fossil samples allows, for the first time, comparability of fossil assemblages and modern vegetation at a resolution of relevance to ecologists and conservationists. The taxonomic refinement of the pollen data provided by the macrofossils adds to a better understanding of recent vegetation dynamics and management, demonstrating the applicability of the technique to palaeoenvironmental analyses. A current application is to better understand the past environments and activities of Indigenous people on the Mt Eccles lava flow and assist in landscape restoration for potential World Heritage listing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)88 - 98
    Number of pages11
    JournalThe Artefact
    Volume35
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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