The Biology and Evolution of Fossil Plants


  • Edith Taylor, University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Lawrence, KS USA
  • Thomas Taylor, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA
  • Michael Krings, Bayerische Staatssammlung fur Palaontologie und Geologie, Germany

This book provides up-to-date coverage of fossil plants from Precambrian life to flowering plants, including fungi and algae. It begins with a discussion of geologic time, how organisms are preserved in the rock record, and how organisms are studied and interpreted and takes the student through all the relevant uses and interpretations of fossil plants. With new chapters on additional flowering plant families, paleoecology and the structure of ancient plant communities, fossil plants as proxy records for paleoclimate, new methodologies used in phylogenetic reconstruction and the addition of new fossil plant discoveries since 1993, this book provides the most comprehensive account of the geologic history and evolution of microbes, algae, fungi, and plants through time.
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Plant biologists; paleobotanists; botanists; researchers in palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, palaeontology and systematic biology.


Book information

  • Published: December 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-373972-8


"A splendid gift for anyone interested in the evolution of terrestrial life. By opening the door to a diversity of ideas, the authors turned what could have been a gaping void into an agenda for many a lab meeting or conference session. Taylor, Taylor, and Krings provide the most accurate, useful, and well-illustrated comprehensive account of fossil plants now in print. Their new edition has caught up with recent discoveries and the progress of thoughts about plant evolution. It points the way toward the most promising avenues for future research."

“A colossal revision … with 2139, mostly color figures, this dynamite book by TNT & al. reflects the explosive growth and immense influence of paleobotany in recent decades.”

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction to paleobotany, how plant fossils form; Precambrian life - fungi, bacteria, and lichens; Fungi; Algae; Bryophytes; The move to the land- introduction to vascular plant morphology and anatomy; Organography; Early land plants with conducting tissue; Lycophyta; Sphenophytes; Ferns and early fernlike plants; Progymnosperms; Paleozoic seed ferns; Mesozoic seed ferns; Paleozoic and mesozoic foliage; Cycadophytes; Ginkgophytes; Gymnosperms with obscure affinities; Cordaites; Conifers; Flowering plants; Interactions between plants and animals; Appendix 1 - classification of organisms; glossary; bibliography; index