Books  Palaeontology  Palaeobotany 

The Vegetation of Antarctica through Geological Time

The first and only overview of the fossil plant history of the Antarctic continent and its relationship to the global record of environmental and climate change
Provides an up-to-date reference for all students and researchers in the field of Antarctic palaeobotany and terrestrial palaeoecology
A complete palaeoecological approach to the evolution of southern hemisphere vegetation provides an in-depth insight into the history behind modern austral biogeography

By: David J Cantrill (Author), Imogen Poole (Author)

480 pages, 61 b/w photos and illustrations, 5 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Nov 2012 | #195231 | ISBN-13: 9780521855983
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £113.00 $137/€126 approx

About this book

The fossil history of plant life in Antarctica is central to our understanding of the evolution of vegetation through geological time and also plays a key role in reconstructing past configurations of the continents and associated climatic conditions. The Vegetation of Antarctica Through Geological Time provides the only detailed overview of the development of Antarctic vegetation from the Devonian period to the present day, presenting Earth scientists with valuable insights into the break up of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. Details of specific floras and ecosystems are provided within the context of changing geological, geographical and environmental conditions, alongside comparisons with contemporaneous and modern ecosystems. The authors demonstrate how palaeobotany contributes to our understanding of the palaeoenvironmental changes in the southern hemisphere during this period of Earth history. The Vegetation of Antarctica Through Geological Time is a complete and up-to-date reference for researchers and students in Antarctic palaeobotany and terrestrial palaeoecology.

"[This] well-written, well-illustrated book contains instructive figures and tables, and has a comprehensive bibliography. This is an excellent reader or text for undergraduate or graduate students [...] Cantrill and Poole have set a high standard for future synthetic work in paleobotany, and have crafted a volume that is useful for both students and professionals. Highly recommended."
- M. S. Zavada, Choice


1. Introduction
2. Colonization of the land
3. Deglaciation and colonization of the South Pole
4. Mass extinction and life in the Triassic
5. Continental break up and its impact on Jurassic vegetation
6. Fern-conifer dominated lower Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) ecosystems and the angiosperm invasion
7. The origin of southern temperate ecosystems
8. The heat is on: Paleogene floras and the Paleocene-Eocene warm period
9. After the heat: late Eocene to Pliocene climatic cooling and modification of the Antarctic vegetation


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David Cantrill is Chief Botanist and Director of the National Herbarium of Victoria at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Australia. Throughout his academic life he has undertaken extensive work across the southern hemisphere, particularly Antarctica, researching fossil floras from the Permian to early Cenozoic. His research into Antarctic biotas has concentrated on the systematic composition of floras, palaeoecology, the role of Antarctica in mediating climate and biogeographic patterns during Gondwana break up and developing present day patterns of austral plant distribution.

Imogen Poole is a Senior Research Fellow at Utrecht University and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen. She has worked extensively on palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic interpretations of Cretaceous and younger floras from both hemispheres. A particular focus of her research has been determining the floristic composition of high latitude Antarctic floras and reconstructing the palaeoenvironment and climate of these early angiospermous ecosystems. She has also been actively involved in conservational issues relating to tourism and human impacts in Antarctica and has authored articles for the popular press.

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