Extraction of macrofossils from peats and lake sediments / Identifying seeds and fruits
1) Extracting seeds and fruits from Quaternary sediments
Extracting seeds and fruits from wetland sediments is a relatively easy matter. It is, however, very time-consuming.
2) Identifying seeds and fruits
There is no generally available key to the identification of seeds and fruits. You can find several texts to specific groups or to a specific region in the library page. Most texts on the identification of aquatic plants also illustrate the seeds. You can use these texts to see the general form of the seeds and fruits of specific groups. For example, seeds of Potamogeton are quite distinctive, as are the genera of Cyperaceae. There are tables summarizing the size and shape characteristics of some groups, such as Eleocharis, which are obtained from floras. However, you may need to do this for your taxa and for your region. After that, it is simply necessary to compare your seeds to the reference material.
Other plant parts can also tell you about past environments, but will not be dealt with here. See Lévesque et al on the library page for an introduction.
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