Review: The Functions of Phytoliths in Land Plants

  • Inga C. Keutmann
  • Björn Melzer
  • Robin Seidel
  • Ralf Thomann
  • Thomas Speck
Part of the Biologically-Inspired Systems book series (BISY, volume 6)


This chapter comprises a review on phytoliths in land plants. The review summarizes the occurence and role of phytoliths, including their appearance and potentially important functions in land plants, ranging from mechanics, reduction of climatic and chemical stresses, defence against herbivores and pathogenic fungi or germs, to growth promotion. The review ends with a short summary of the methods used for quantitative and qualitative detection, and a description of phytoliths in land plant tissues.


Phytoliths silica silica function silica detection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inga C. Keutmann
    • 1
  • Björn Melzer
    • 1
  • Robin Seidel
    • 1
  • Ralf Thomann
    • 2
  • Thomas Speck
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Plant Biomechanics GroupBotanic Garden of the Albert-Ludwig University, Faculty of BiologyFreiburg im BreisgauGermany
  2. 2.Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF) and Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Albert-Ludwig UniversityFreiburg im BreisgauGermany
  3. 3.Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF)Freiburg im BreisgauGermany

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