Synthesis of Some Phytolith Studies in South America (Brazil and Argentina)


Heloisa Helena Gomes Coe (Editor)
Faculdade de Formaçao de Professores da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Geografia, Brazil

Margarita Osterrieth (Editor)
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina

Series: Botanical Research and Practices

Phytolith studies are placed in the interaction of many scientific fields in both natural and human sciences. Although phytolith studies go back over 150 years, in the last 20 years they have increased substantially, with many publications in scientific journals of recognized quality. This book presents a review and synthesis of recent works in some areas of the Southeast and Southern Brazil and the Pampean Plain in Argentina, which have concentrated on numerous phytolith studies and may provide new contributions to the knowledge of phytoliths in these regions.

This book has eleven chapters structured in sections. As an introduction a review of phytolith production and functions, organ and tissue localization and distribution among plant families is presented. It also describes the main phytolith morphologies found in plants, soils and sediments and their taxon assignment. The taxonomic value of these amorphous silica biomineralizations and the classifications employed in different phytolith studies are also discussed. A summary of some phytolith indexes, used in palaeoenvironmental studies from different regions and based on the relative abundances of morphologies, is presented. Lastly, applications and limitations of phytolith studies are also mentioned.

The first section presents reference collections of plants from different types of vegetation in Brazil, these being restinga of the coastal plain of Maricá in the Rio de Janeiro State; eight species of Arecaceae in Paraná State; two dicotyledonous species from the Brazilian Cerrado biome; grassland and Araucaria forest in Southern Brazil; as well as different plant communities from the Pampean Plain in Argentina.

The second section presents studies about vegetation reconstructions, origin and evolution of pedosedimentary sequences and geomorphic evolution. In this section, we have three chapters concerning different areas in Brazil and two chapters about Argentina. The chapters on Brazil discuss the paleoenvironmental conditions since the late Pleistocene of Campos Gerais, Paraná State, the origin and evolution of soil profiles in the São João river basin, Rio de Janeiro State and a geomorphic sequence in the Espinhaço Mountain Range, Minas Gerais State. The Argentinian chapters look at representative soils of the southeast of the Pampean Plains and silicophytoliths and the biogeochemical cycle of silicon on the Pampean Plain.

The work presented in this book highlights the importance of phytolith studies to help solve problems in the context of botany, earth Sciences, environmental sciences and biogeochemistry. (Imprint: Nova)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Igo F. Lepsch

Chapter 1 – Phytoliths and Their Applications (pp. 1-26)
Heloisa Helena Gomes Coe, Ph.D., Margarita Osterrieth, Ph.D. and Mariana Fernández Honaine, Ph.D. (UERJ, Brazil and others)

Section I: Reference Collections of Plants from Different Types of Vegetation

Chapter 2 – Reference Collections of Plant Communities from ―Restinga‖ of the Coastal Plain of Maricá, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (pp. 29-48)
Natalia Borrelli, Ph.D., Heloisa H. G. Coe, Ph.D. Leandro O. F. de Sousa, M.D., Cátia P. dos Santos, M.S. Yame B. M. Ramos, André L. C. da Silva, Ph.D., and Carolina P. Silvestre, M.S. (UNMdP, Argentina and others)

Chapter 3 – Characterization of Phytoliths in Eight Species of Arecaceae in the State of Paraná, Brazil (pp. 49-74)
Janaina Silva Rossi Pereira, M.S., Mayara dos Reis Monteiro, Ph.D., Mauro Parolin and Marcelo Galeazzi Caxambu, Ph.D. (Unespar; UEM, and UTFPR, Brazil)

Chapter 4 – Phytoliths from the Rough Leaves of Two Dicotyledonous Species from the Brazilian Cerrado Biome and Their Occurrence in Soils (pp. 75-90)
Igo F. Lepsch, Ph.D., Lilian A. de Oliveira, Ph.D., Ascensión Pinilla-Navarro, Ph.D., and Heloisa Helena Gomes Coe, Ph.D (UFMG, Brazil and others)

Chapter 5 – Phytolith Signature from Grassland and Araucaria Forest in Southern Brasil (pp. 91-120)
Marcia R. Calegari, Ph.D., Edenilson Raitz, M.S. Caroline P. Menegazzi, Fernanda A. Cecchet, Paula L. L. Felipe Ewald and Lucas T. Brustolin (Unioeste, Brazil)

Chapter 6 – Silicophytolith Reference Collections of Different Plant Communities from Argentina (pp. 121-146)
Mariana Fernández Honaine, Ph.D, María Laura Benvenuto, M.S. and Stella Maris Altamirano, M.S. (UNMdP, Argentina and others)

Section II: Vegetation Reconstructions, Origin and Evolution of Pedosedimentary Sequences and Geomorphic Evolution

Chapter 7 – Paleoenvironmental Conditions of Campos Gerais, Paraná, Since the Late Pleistocene, Based on Phytoliths and C and N Isotopes (pp. 149-170)
Mauro Parolin, Ph.D. Giliane Gessica Rasbold and Luiz Carlos Ruiz Pessenda, Ph.D. (Unespar; UEM, and USP, Brazil)

Chapter 8 – Understanding the Origin and Evolution of Soil Profiles in the São João River Basin, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (pp. 171-192)
Heloisa Helena Gomes Coe, Ph.D., Jenifer Garcia Gomes and Kita Macario, Ph.D. (UERJ and UFF, Brazil)

Chapter 9 – Applications of Phytolith Studies in a Geomorphic Sequence in the Espinhaço Mountain Range, Brazil (pp. 193-214)
Heloisa Helena Gomes Coe, Ph.D., Cristina Helena R. Augustin,Ph.D. and Karina Ferreira Chueng (UERJ, UFF, and UFMG Brazil)

Chapter 10 – Silicophytoliths in Representative Soils of the Southeast Pampean Plains, Argentina (pp. 215-242)
Margarita Osterrieth, Ph.D., Mariana Fernández Honaine, Ph.D., Natalia Borrelli, Ph.D., and María Fernanda Alvarez, Ph.D. (UNMdP, Argentina)

Chapter 11 – Silicophytoliths and Silicon Biogeochemical Cycle in the Pampean Plain, Argentina (pp. 243-262)
Margarita Osterrieth, Ph.D., Natalia Borrelli, Ph.D., María Fernanda Alvarez, Ph.D. and Mariana Fernández Honaine, Ph.D. (UNMdP, Argentina)



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