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Paleobotanic Department

Paleobotanic Department

The collection of plant fossils and phytogenic rocks at the Nature Education Centre of the Jagiellonian University (NEC) is based on the collection donated by the University’s Institute of Botany.

The collection of plant fossils at the Institute of Botany started in connection with the activities of Professor Marian Raciborski (1863-1917), an eminent botanist and paleobotanist, author of papers on fossil flora in Poland. Research on plant fossils dating back to various ages, from the Devonian to the Quaternary, has been carried out continuously to this day. Simultaneously with the palaeobotanic research, work was also carried out in the field of palynology, which resulted in a collection of Quaternary material in the form of both preparations, as well as samples of the tested sediments. 

The collections of the Nature Education Centre of the Jagiellonian University encompass plant macro-, meso- and microfossils from the Carboniferous, Neogene and Quaternary, as well as material documentation of studies of contemporary pollen sedimentation. Selected specimens belonging to different systematic groups of plants from various geological eras are presented as part of geological blocks of the permanent “Evolution of the Earth and Life” exhibition. 

The main scientific collections of NEC include: 

  • Carboniferous macroflora, material from spoil tips, Lycophyta, Sphenophyta, Pterophyta, Lyginopteropsida, Cordaitopsida fossils: - Upper Silesian Coal Basin (Bieruń, Jaworzno, Kaczyce, Jastrzębie, Knurów, Murcki and others) – Lower Silesian Coal Basin (Nowa Ruda, Wałbrzych) 
  • Cuticulae dispersae (plant remains and arthropod cuticles) and other meso-fossils (mainly charred wood) from the Upper Silesian and Lublin Coal Basins, material prepared from hard coal in dry form and microscopic slides; 
  • Megaspores and microspores from the Carboniferous, found in Poland; 
  • Macroflora of leaves (mainly Magnoliopsida fossils), xylites and phytogenic rocks from the Miocene (Bełchatów); 
  • Mineralised woods from various locations, mainly from Poland (near Kwaczała, Roztocze, Radłów, Lower Silesia and others) 
  • Quaternary palynological materials from Poland (samples from drilling rigs and prepared material); 
  • Material documentation of the research on contemporary pollen sedimentation, including aerobic monitoring carried out in the Botanical Garden of the Institute of Botany of the Jagiellonian University 

A significant part of the collections requires a detailed inventory and will only be available for further research after all the required work is done. 

Apart from the above-mentioned collections, other collections of fossil flora were transferred to the NEC from the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Jagiellonian University.