The Influence of soil fauna on phytolith distribution in an Australian soil

D. M. Hart

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

    Abstract

    A comparison of phytolith assemblages in the termite sheeting above the surface of an Australian soil and down the profile of the underlying soil was undertaken using cluster analysis. Faunal channels within the soil were mapped and found to be at a maximum in the A1, diminishing down the profile. Sediment particle size analysis and examination of phytolith assemblages showed that termites were using the A horizon material in construction of their sheeting in tree stumps. The faunal channels in the B horizon of the soil, however; were enriched in clay-sized material and their phytolith assemblage was very different from that of the surrounding B horizon. This study concludes that soil fauna are capable of moving phytoliths within soils and sediments and in conjunction with other pedological processes such as pervection and weathering, bioturbation is an important mechanism which must be considered when analysing soil phytolith assemblages in archaeological and palaeoenvironmental studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPhytolith and starch research in the Australian-Pacific-Asian regions
    Subtitle of host publicationthe state of the art : papers from a conference held at the ANU, August 2001, Canberra, Australia
    EditorsDiane Hart, Lynley Wallis
    Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
    PublisherPandanus Books
    Pages83-91
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Print)1740760395
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    EventPhytolith and starch research in the Australian-Pacific-Asian regions : the state of the art - Canberra
    Duration: 1 Aug 20013 Aug 2001

    Publication series

    NameTerra Australis
    PublisherPandanus Books
    Volume19
    ISSN (Print)0725-9018

    Conference

    ConferencePhytolith and starch research in the Australian-Pacific-Asian regions : the state of the art
    CityCanberra
    Period1/08/013/08/01

    Keywords

    • phytoliths
    • bioturbation
    • soil fauna
    • termites
    • ants
    • pervection
    • phytolith assemblages
    • cluster analysis

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