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Phytopaläontologie und Geologie

Abstract

Prof. Deecke's essays on broad questions of geology always provide interesting reading. The present work is perhaps unduly sceptical; but its stimulus to further comparison and correlation is based on careful reasoning. While mention is made of the importance of plants as rock-formers, the main thesis is their value for geologists as indicating topographic and climatic conditions in the past. The author shows how vegetation growing on cold uplands may become entombed in the down-wash from mountain-sides, and he strongly opposes the notion that the flora of a sheltered Miocene marsh at GEningen may be used as an illustration of the contemporaneous flora on the Swabian Alb. Even the beautiful theory that the occurrence of rings of growth in fossil trees indicates an orderly recurrence of seasons, while their absence indicates a uniform climate, comes in for useful criticism. Though the author states the importance of calcareous algae in forming Carboniferous limestones and, aided by their magnesium, Triassic dolomites, we miss a reference to the Cryptozoon question. This is a mere petrographic detail in the general discussion, which leaves us with the impression that geology, including the determination of local conditions of plant-growth, may be of more service to palaeophylology than phytopalasontology can be to geology.

Phytopaläontologie und Geologie.

Prof. Dr.

W.

Deecke

Von. Pp. iii + 97. (Berlin: Gebrüder Borntraeger, 1922). 6s. 3d.

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