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Phytolith analysis as a means of plant identification: Arundo donax and Phragmites communis
- Ollendorf, A.L., Mulholland, S.C., Rapp, G. Jr.
- Annals of botany 1988 v.61 no.2 pp. 209-214
- Arundo donax, Phragmites australis, taxonomy
- Despite the wide range of research that has involved phytolith analysis, including studies of palaeosols and palaeovegetation, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, and archaeological interpretation, examples of applications to the systematic identification of modern plants are scarce, and are not applied rigorously. The present study suggests that phytolith analysis may be useful for identification of certain grasses unidentified or misidentified in the field. Leaf samples of Arundo donax and Phragmites communis, giant reedgrasses important to past and present societies in the eastern Mediterranean, are distinguished through phytolith analysis and serve as new examples of the potential use of phytoliths in systematic botany.