Preservation & Taphonomy /
Taphonomy in General
Plant Fossil Preservation and Plant Taphonomy
Collecting Bias: Our Incomplete Picture of the Past Vegetation
Three-Dimensionally Preserved Plant Compression Fossils
Pith Cast and "in situ" Preservation
Bacterial Biofilms (Microbial Mats)
Permineralized Plants and the Process of Permineralization
Upland and Hinterland Floras
Abscission and Tissue Separation in Fossil and Extant Plants
Leaf Litter and Plant Debris
Log Jams and Driftwood Accumulations
Wound Response in Trees
Fungal Wood Decay: Evidence from the Fossil Record
! Fossil Charcoal@
X-ray and Tomography@
Teaching Documents about Wood Anatomy and Tree-Ring Research@
! Chemotaxonomy and Chemometric Palaeobotany@
Rainer Albert, Steinkern.de: Die Konservierung sulfidisierter Fossilien mittels Ethanolaminthioglycolat und Paraloid B67. In German.
! P.A. Allison (1990): 3.8.3 Pyrite. PDF file, scroll to page 253! Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine. Article in: Derek Briggs and Peter Crowther (eds.): Paleobiology: A Synthesis. Navigate from the contents file (PDF).
Uwe Buschschlüter, Steinkern: Konservierung sulfidisierter Fossilien - zwei Methoden im Vergleich. In German.
Usha Bajpai, Madhav Kumar, Manoj Shukla, Anand-Prakash and G. P. Srivastava, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany,, Lucknow, India: Nature and composition of pyrite framboids and organic substrate from degraded leaf cuticles of Late Tertiary sediments, Mahuadanr Valley, Palamu, Bihar. PDF file. Current Science Association in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Sciences.
A.R. Bashforth (1999): Descriptive taxonomy, biostratigraphic correlation and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of an Upper Carboniferous macrofloral assemblage, Bay St. George Basin, Southwestern Newfoundland. Thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland. See also here (in PDF).F. Becherini et al. (2018): Pyrite Decay of Large Fossils: The Case Study of the Hall of Palms in Padova, Italy. In PDF, Minerals, 8. doi:10.3390/min8020040. See also here.
J.C. Benedict (2015): A new technique to prepare hard fruits and seeds for anatomical studies. In PDF, Appl. Plant Sci., 3.
Sylvain Bernard et al. (2010): Multiscale characterization of pyritized plant tissues in blueschist facies metamorphic rocks. Abstract, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74: 5054-5068.
T.R.R. Bontognali et al. (2012): Sulfur isotopes of organic matter preserved in 3.45-billion-year-old stromatolites reveal microbial metabolism. In PDF, PNAS, 109: 15146-15151. See also here.
P.S. Borkow and L.E. Babcock (2003): Turning Pyrite Concretions Outside-In: Role of Biofilms in Pyritization of Fossils. PDF file, start on PDF page 4. The Sedimentary Record, Volume 1.
The Botanical Society of America:
The American Journal
of Botany Cover Images Index.
The collection on the page holding the cover images of
the American Journal of Botany. A great set of images!
Now provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine. Go to:
Three-dimensional reconstruction of the pyritized fossil fruit Palaeorhodomyrtus subangulata.
Dee Breger, Mgr. SEM/EDX Facility, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY: Earth Images, Black Sea pyrite. A beautiful pyrite framboid SEM picture.
D.W. Brett and N. Edwards (1970): Pyrite Crystals in the Parenchyma Cells in Wood of Fossil Root. Abstract, Nature, 227: 836-837.
! D.E.G. Briggs and S. McMahon (2016): The role of experiments in investigating the taphonomy of exceptional preservation. Abstract, Palaeontology, 59: 1–11. See also here (in PDF).
Derek E. G. Briggs (hosted by chembytes e-zine): Death and construction. The chemical secrets of some of the world's most spectacular fossils. Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
! Derek Briggs and Peter Crowther (eds.), Earth Pages, Blackwell Publishing:
Paleobiology: A Synthesis
Series of concise articles from over 150 leading authorities from around the world.
Navigate from the content file.
Provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine. Go to:
Pyrite (page 253).
F. Brock et al. (2006): EXPERIMENTAL PYRITE FORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH DECAY OF PLANT MATERIAL. Abstract, PALAIOS, 21: 499-506.
H. Brunner and K.-P. Kelber (1988):
im württembergisch-fränkischen Unterkeuper -
Bemerkungen zum fossilen Environment. PDF file, in German.
In: Hagdorn, H. (ed.): Neue Forschungen zur Erdgeschichte von Crailsheim.
Sonderbände d. Ges. f. Naturk. in Württemberg, 1: 185-205.
Anatomical views of the Triassic horsetail Neocalamites merianii in pyrite/goethite preservation.
Graeme Caselton (?), UK: Jurassic Cliffs, Pyritisation. Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
B. Cavalazzi et a. (2014): The Formation of Low-Temperature Sedimentary Pyrite and Its Relationship with Biologically-Induced Processes. Abstract, Geology of Ore Deposits, 56: 395–408. See also here (in PDF).
Shya Chitaley, Paleobotany group, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland, Ohio Preserving pyritized fossils by wax impregnation (now via wayback archive).
Fred Clouter, Sheppey Fossils:
Partly pyritized Nipa fruits. See also:
The trouble with pyrite. In PDF.
M.E. Collinson et al. (2016):
micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) of
pyrite-permineralized fruits and seeds from the London
Clay Formation (Ypresian) conserved in silicone oil:
a critical evaluation. In PDF,
Botany, 94: 697–711
(part of a Special issue entitled "Mesozoic and Cenozoic Plant Evolution and Biotic Change").
See also here and there (abstract).
Margaret E. Collinson: Pyrite Conservation from Fossil Plants of the London Clay. In PDF.
! L. Cornet et al. (2012): A Devonian Callixylon (Archaeopteridales) from Ronquières, Belgium. In PDF, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 183: 1-8.
L. Cornish and A. Doyle, Discovering Fossils
(an education resource dedicated to British Fossils, Fossil Collecting Locations
and the Geology of the UK):
! Treating Pyrite Fossils. The use of Ethanolamine Thioglycollate in the conservation of pyritized fossils. Provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
S. Cotroneo et al. (2016): A new model of the formation of Pennsylvanian iron carbonate concretions hosting exceptional soft-bodied fossils in Mazon Creek, Illinois. In PDF, Geobiology, 14: 543-555. See also here (abstract).
Géza Császár et al. (2009): A possible Late Miocene fossil forest PaleoPark in Hungary. PDF file, Carnets de Géologie / Notebooks on Geology, Brest, Book 2009/03, Chapter 11. Lignified tree trunks in situ, partially covered by a fine-grained pyritic sandstone crust.
! S. Dai et al. (2020): Recognition of peat depositional environments in coal: A review. Free access, International Journal of Coal Geology, 219.
F.E. de Sousa Filho et al. (2011): Combination of Raman, Infrared, and X-Ray Energy-Dispersion Spectroscopies and X-Ray Diffraction to Study a Fossilization Process. In PDF, Braz. J. Phys., 41: 275-280.
M.L. DeVore et al. (2006): Utility of high resolution x-ray computed tomography (HRXCT) for paleobotanical studies: An example using london clay fruits and seeds. American journal of botany, 93: 1848-1851.
N.P. Edwards et al. (2014): Leaf metallome preserved over 50 million years. In PDF, Metallomics, 6. See also here.
Neil Ferguson, Cardiff sulphide research group, Department of Earth Sciences, Cardiff University: earth >> research >> sulphide. Kinetics and mechanism of metal-sulphide chemistry at ambient temperatures. Scroll down to: "pyritisation in fossilisation".
R.L. Folk (2005): Nannobacteria and the formation of framboidal pyrite: Textural evidence. PDF file, Journal of Earth System Science, 114: 369-374.
! Y. Fors (2008): Sulfur-Related Conservation Concerns in Marine Archaeological Wood: The Origin, Speciation and Distribution of Accumulated Sulfur with Some Remedies for the Vasa. Doctoral thesis.
Fossil Preparation (American Museum of Natural History and The Paleontology Portal). Go to: Pyrite "Disease".
! J. Garcia-Guinea et al. (1998): Cell-Hosted Pyrite Framboids in Fossil Woods. In PDF, Naturwissenschaften 85, 78–81.
R.A. Gastaldo and A.-Y. Huc (1992): Sediment facies, depositional environments, and distribution of phytoclasts in the Recent Mahakam River delta, Kalimantan, Indonesia. PDF file, Palaios. Framboidal pyrite in fig. 8B, 9B.
J. Garcia-Guinea, J. Martinez-Frías, M. Harffy, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid: Cell-Hosted Pyrite Framboids in Fossil Woods. PDF file, Naturwissenschaften 85, 78-81 (1998). Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
Stephen T. Grimes et al., (2002), Department of Earth Sciences, Cardiff University: Fossil plants from the Eocene London Clay: the use of pyrite textures to determine the mechanism of pyritization. Abstract, Journal of the Geological Society, 159: 493-501.
! S.T. Grimes et al. (2001): Understanding fossilization: Experimental pyritization of plants. Abstract, Geology, 29: 123–126.
! Stephen T. Grimes et al. (2001): Understanding fossilization: Experimental pyritization of plants. Abstract, Geology, 29: 123-126.
Stephen Grimes et al. (2000):
of Plant Axes from the London Clay:
Pyrite Textures and Their Importance to Understanding the
Mechanism of Fossilisation. Abstract, PDF file.
Website outdated. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
! S.T. Grimes, D. Rickard, D. Edwards, A. Oldroyd, L. Axe, and K. Davies, Department of Earth Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales, UK EXPERIMENTAL PYRITISATION OF PLANT CELLS. PDF file, Ninth Annual V.M. Goldschmidt Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
C. Guan et al. (2016): Controls on fossil pyritization: Redox conditions, sedimentary organic matter content, and Chuaria preservation in the Ediacaran Lantian Biota. Abstract, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 474: 26-35. See also here (in PDF).
A.E.S. Högström et al. (2009):
A pyritized lepidocoleid machaeridian (Annelida)
from the Lower Devonian Hunsrück Slate, Germany. PDF file,
Proc. R. Soc. B, 276: 1981-1986. This paper is exemplary in its combination of X-ray and
CT of animal body fossils.
This expired link is now available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
K.-P. Kelber, Würzburg (2007): Die Erhaltung und paläobiologische Bedeutung der fossilen Hölzer aus dem süddeutschen Keuper (Trias, Ladinium bis Rhätium). In German. PDF file, 33 MB! Scroll to fig. 7 on page 49 (PDF page 14): Triassic wood in pyrite preservation.
W.D. Keller, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri (page hosted by The Mineralogical Society of America, "From the Archives"): Sulfide replacements of a trigocarpus fossil fern fruit. The American Mineralogist, Volume 32, pages 468-470, 1947.
C.G. Kenchington and P.R. Wilb (2015): Of time and taphonomy: preservation in the Ediacaran. In PDF. See also here.
P. Kenrick et al. (1991): Novel ultrastructure in water-conducting cells of the Lower Devonian plant Sennicaulis hippocrepiformis. PDF file, Palaeontology.
K.P. Krajewski and B. Luks (2003), Instytut Nauk Geologicznych PAN, Warszawa, Poland: Origin of "cannon-ball" concretions in the Carolinefjellet Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Spitsbergen (PDF file). Polish Polar Research, 24: 217-242. Macroscopic wood fragments in concretion bodies, consisting of a massive matrix composed of clastic compo- nents, organic detritus, dispersed pyrite, and carbonate cement.
M.J. Kraus and S.T. Hasiotis (2006):
of different modes of rhizolith preservation to interpreting paleoenvironmental
and paleohydrologic settings: examples from Paleogene paleosols. In PDF,
Journal of Sedimentary Research, 76: 633-646.
The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
Microgeodynamics Laboratory, School of Earth Sciences, Leeds University: Pyritisation of fossil wood. See also here.
A.G. Liu (2017):
pyrite shroud confirms the "death mask" model for moldic preservation of Ediacaran
soft-bodied organisms - a reply. Abstract,
Palaios, 32: 197-198. Please take notice:
G.J. Retallack (2017): COMMENT TO LIU (2016) "FRAMBOIDAL PYRITE SHROUD CONFIRMS THE "DEATH MASK" MODEL FOR MOLDIC PRESERVATION OF EDIACARAN SOFT-BODIED ORGANISMS". In PDF.
A.G. Liu (2016): Framboidal pyrite shroud confirms the "death mask" model for moldic preservation of Ediacaran soft-bodied organisms. Abstract, Palaios 31: 259-274. See also: Supplementary information (Word file).
! E.R. Locatelli (2014): The exceptional preservation of plant fossils: a review of taphonomic pathways and biases in the fossil record. PDF file, In: M. Laflamme et al. (eds.): Reading and Writing of the Fossil Record: Preservational Pathways to Exceptional Fossilization. The Paleontological Society Papers, 20.
Naomi Lubick, Geotimes 2004: Pyrite fossil preservation.
! R.E. Martin (1999): Taphonomy: A Process Approach (provided by Google Books). Cambridge Paleobiology Series, Cambridge University Press.
Ana Martín-González et al. (2009): Double fossilization in eukaryotic microorganisms from Lower Cretaceous amber. PDF file, BMC Biology, 7. See also here.
! Lawrence C. Matten (1973): Preparation of pyritized plant petrifactions: "a plea for pyrite". Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 16: 165-173.
K.R. Moore et al. (2017): Pyritized Cryogenian Cyanobacteria Fossils From Arctic Alaska. In PDF, Geosciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
A. Mozer (2010): Authigenic pyrite framboids in sedimentary facies of the Mount Wawel Formation (Eocene), King George Island, West Antarctica. In PDF, Pol. Polar Res., 31: 255-272.
! G. Mustoe (2018): Mineralogy of non-silicified fossil wood. Open access, Geosciences, 8.
G.E. Mustoe (2018):
Fossil Wood. Open access,
Note fig. 23: Silification of charred wood.
! A. Newman (1998): Pyrite oxidation and museum collections: a review of theory and conservation treatments. In PDF, Geological Curator 6: 363-371.
John Nudds and Paul Selden (2008): Fossil-Lagerstätten. In PDF, Geology Today, Vol. 24.
G.L. Osés et al. (2017): Deciphering pyritization-kerogenization gradient for fish soft-tissue preservation. Sci Rep., 7: 1468.
L.A. Parry et al. (2018):
Fossils Are Not Simply Rotten Carcasses –
Toward a Holistic Understanding of Exceptional Fossil
Exceptional Fossil Preservation Is Complex and Involves the Interplay of Numerous Biological and
Abstract, BioEssays, 40: 1700167. See also here (in PDF).
Note figure 1: The long journey from live organism to fossil. "... soft-bodied fossils have passed through numerous filters prior to discovery that remove, modify, or preserve anatomical characters. ..."
"... Although laboratory decay experiments reveal important aspects of fossilization, applying the results directly to the interpretation of exceptionally preserved fossils may overlook the impact of other key processes that remove or preserve morphological information".
A.A. Picard (2016): What do we really know about the role of microorganisms in iron sulfide mineral formation? In PDF, Front. Earth Sci., 4. See also here.
Imogen Poole and Geoffrey E. Lloyd (2000):
SEM techniques for observing pyritised
fossil material. PDF file,
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 112: 287-295.
Still available via Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds:
fossil plant, Eocene, Isle of Sheppy, England.
Provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
See also: Pyritisation of fossil wood (Microgeodynamics Laboratory, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds).
G.W. Rothwell and S.R. Ash (2015): Internal anatomy of the Late Triassic Equisetocaulis gen. nov., and the evolution of modern horsetails. Abstract.
T. Särkinen et al. (2018): A new commelinid monocot seed fossil from the early Eocene previously identified as Solanaceae. In PDF, American Journal of Botany, 105: 95–107. See also here.
! J. Schieber (2011): Iron sulfide formation. In PDF, Encyclopedia of Geobiology. See also here.
! J. Schieber (2002): Sedimentary pyrite: A window into the microbial past. In PDF, Geology, 30: 531-534. See also here (abstract).
! J.D. Schiffbauer et al. (2014): A unifying model for Neoproterozoic–Palaeozoic exceptional fossil preservation through pyritization and carbonaceous compression. Open access, Nature Communications, 5. See also here.
! M.A.A. Schoonen (2004) starting on page 117: Mechanisms of sedimentary pyrite formation. PDF file. In: Sulfur Biogeochemistry - Past and Present. Geological Society of America Special Paper 379. See also here (abstract).
A.C. Scott and M.E. Collinson (2003), Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham: Non-destructive multiple approaches to interpret the preservation of plant fossils: implications for calcium-rich permineralizations. Journal of the Geological Society, 160: 857-862. Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine (slow download). See also here.
A.C. Scott (2001): Federico Cesi and his field studies on the origin of fossils between 1610 and 1630. Endeavour, vol. 25. Early descriptions of fossil wood and of decaying pyrite!
Herbert Seiler: Mikrobiologie und mehr, Pyritisierte Fossilien - Nährstoff für Bakterien? In German.
Sally Shelton, San Diego Natural History Museum: Pyrite Preservation. Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society KGeMS Volume XXXII, Issue 2 February 2001 Page 8. Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
A. Shinya and L. Bergwall: Pyrite Oxidation: Review and Prevention Practices. PDF file. Provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
S. Simon (2016):
of the Fluvial Systems of the Clear Fork Formation in North-Central Texas:
Implications for Early Permian Paleoclimate and Plant Fossil Taphonomy. In PDF,
Thesis, Dalhousie University,
Halifax, Nova Scotia.
See especially PDF page 185: "Taphonomy and Preservation of Plant Material".
Goethite petrification of cellular structure of plant remains on PDF page 188.
S.S.T. Simon et al. (2016):
fill with exquisitely preserved plants in redbeds of the
Clear Fork Formation, Texas, USA: an Early Permian
water-dependent habitat on the arid plains of Pangea. In PDF,
Sed. Res., 86, 944–964. See also
Note fig. 11: Goethite petrification of cellular structure of plant remains.
B.J. Slater et al. (2015): A high-latitude Gondwanan lagerstätte: The Permian permineralised peat biota of the Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. In PDF, Gondwana Research, 27: 1446-1473. See also here (abstract).
A.R.T. Spencer et al. (2017):
insights into Mesozoic cycad evolution: an exploration of anatomically preserved Cycadaceae
seeds from the Jurassic Oxford Clay biota. PeerJ 5.
Description of a new genus of anatomically preserved gymnosperm seed from the Callovian–Oxfordian (Jurassic) Oxford Clay Formation (UK), using a combination of traditional sectioning and synchrotron radiation X-ray micro-tomography (SRXMT).
! W.E. Stein et al. (1982): Techniques for preparation of pyrite and limonite permineralizations. PDF file.
C. Strullu-Derrien (2014): The earliest wood and its hydraulic properties documented in c. 407-million-year-old fossils using synchrotron microtomography. Abstract, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 175: 423-437.
! G.W. Stull et al. (2016): Revision of Icacinaceae from the Early Eocene London Clay flora based on X-ray micro-CT. In PDF (26 MB), NRC Research Press. See also here
S. Teare and D. Measday (2018): Pyrite Rehousing – Recent Case Studies at Two Australian Museums. Free access, Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 2: e26343.
! A.M.F. Tomescu et al. (2016): Microbes and the fossil record: selected topics in paleomicrobiology. Abstract, in: Hurst C. (ed.) Their World: A Diversity of Microbial Environments. Advances in Environmental Microbiology, vol 1: 69-169. See also here (in PDF).
Kyle Trostle (2009), Franklin and Marshall College, Earth and Environment Department, Lancaster, PA: Diagenetic History of Fossil Wood from the Paleocene Chickaloon Formation, Matanuska Valley, Alaska. Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
D. Uhl (2013); article start on page 433:
The paleoflora of Frankenberg/Geismar (NW-Hesse, Germany) - a largely unexplored "treasure chest" of anatomically preserved plants from the Late Permian (Wuchiapingian) of the Euramerican floral province. PDF file; In: Lucas, S.G., et al. eds., The Carboniferous-Permian Transition. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Bulletin, 60, 433-443. See also here.
Note Fig. 6c: Fine-grained pyrite in cell lumina and granular pyrite replacing former cell walls in a fragment of a pyritized needle of Pseudovoltzia liebeana.
! L.A. Vietti et al. (2015): Rapid formation of framboidal sulfides on bone surfaces from a simulated marine carcass-fall. In PDF, Palaios.
B. Wang et al. (2012): Widespread pyritization of insects in the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota. In PDF, Palaios, 27: 707–711. See also here.
YI-MING GONG et al. (2008): Pyrite framboids interpreted as microbial colonies within the Permian Zoophycos spreiten from southeastern Australia. Geological Magazine, 145: 95-103.
E. Zodrow and M. Mastalerz (2009):
proposed origin for fossilized Pennsylvanian plant cuticles
by pyrite oxidation (Sydney Coalfield, Nova Scotia, Canada).
PDF file, Bulletin of Geosciences, 84: 227-240.
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