This web site presents data collected by Dr. Deborah M. Pearsall and students at the University of Missouri's Paleoethnobotany Laboratory during the Phytoliths in the Flora of Ecuador project. The lab operates as part of the American Archaeology Division, which is under the direction of Dr. Michael J. O'Brien. Phytoliths in the Flora of Ecuador has been funded by the National Science Foundation Archaeometry Program.
The first phase of the project, Methodology for Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction, from 1997-2000, involved the creation of a database of significant phytoliths from tropical South American plant taxa and some important New World domesticated plants. The second phase of the project, Establishing Vegetation Signatures and a Key to Diagnostics, from 2004-2007, included the identification of important root, tuber, and fruit taxa through starch grains and phytoliths.
The Supplementary Materials link will take you to a set of tables compiled from recent literature showing phytolith production in various plants, as well as a table summarizing the findings of the first phase of the project. We also include two articles.Finally, if you would like to find out more about the people who work in the Paleoethnobotany Laboratory, click the About Us link.
How to cite this web site:
Pearsall, Deborah M. "Phytoliths in the Flora of Ecuador: the University of Missouri Online Phytolith Database." [http://phytolith.missouri.edu]. With contributions by Ann Biddle, Dr. Karol Chandler Ezell, Dr. Shawn Collins, Dr. Neil Duncan, Amanda Logan, Meghann O'Brien, Sara Stewart, Cesar Veintimilla, Dr. Zhijun Zhao, and Bill Grimm.