Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Dana Royer

Major

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Using the precipitation predictor models described by Wilf et al (1998), it is possible to estimate pre-historic rainfall patterns based on the surface area of fossil leaves. For this comprehensive study, I tested multiple vein scaling methods described by Sack et al (2012) that tie vein traits (density and width) to leaf area. Initial analysis of the Republic and Bonanza flora suggested that the 2° vein density relationships made the strongest venation based leaf area estimations. Overestimations of the Cerrejon flora are attributed to poor preservation of intersecondary. The Hell Creek data presented a much stronger arguments for the vein density method. Comparisons between fragments and complete fossils of the Hell Creek support the idea that larger leaves are fragmented more frequently in high energy depositional systems.

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