Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Christopher Liu

Committee Members

Michael Zavada, Thomas Jones, Istvan Karsai


Soil seed banks are a reservoir of viable seeds present in the soil in plant communities. They have been studied and characterized in various ways in different habitats. However, these studies are limited to modern seed banks. This study extends seed bank studies to the Paleozoic Era. It was hypothesized that size distribution and seed density in Paleozoic seed banks exhibit similar patterns as in modern seed banks. Seed sizes and seed density of fossil seed from Wise Virginia were estimated. Modern seed bank information was obtained from published data. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis test. The Paleozoic size distribution was predominated by larger seeds and the estimated seed density of 19 200 seeds m-3 falls within the range of modern seed banks but at a higher end of modern seed bank densities. During the Paleozoic they were sufficient to insure regeneration of these economically important forests.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.