This paper was originally published in German in Natur und Museum ( 1996, Vol. 126, No. 12, pp. 421 -  430 ) under the title:

Der Wandel der Wälder im Laufe des Erdaltertums

The December 1996 issue of Natur und Museum contains four contributions to Palaeozoic Palaeobotany and can still be ordered from:
Geschäftsstelle der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft
Senckenberganlage 25,  D-60325 Frankfurt am Main 
Fax: 00-49-69-74 62 38
This web version contains the original illustrations as appeared in the printed version and over 500 links directly related to the history of Palaeozoic forests.  Clicking the high-lighted key words in the text brings you to an index of links from where you can start your virtual palaeobotany tour around the world.  As some groups of plants appear to be more common on the web than others, we have added some photos from our own archives to complete this selection.  These photos are of course particularly recommended! Because the various researchers sometimes use different names for the same (groups of) plants, careful readers might notice some inconsistencies in the naming of the fossil plants.  This also applies to the names of geological periods.

A History of Palaeozoic Forests

Early land plants
The Carboniferous coal swamp forests
The floral change at the end of the Westphalian
Is there a floral break in the Permian?

© Forschungsstelle für Paläobotanik, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
December 2001