This represents one of several sections of "A Bibliography Related to Crime Scene Interpretation with Emphases in Geotaphonomic and Forensic Archaeological Field Techniques, Nineteenth Edition" (The complete bibliography is also included at ResearchGate.net.). This is the most recent edition of a bibliography containing resources for multiple areas of crime scene, and particularly outdoor crime scene, investigations. It replaces the prior edition and contains approximately 10,000 additional citations. As an ongoing project, additional references, as encountered, will be added to future editions.
Botanical or plant evidence is often overlooked at crime scenes. Unless plant remains such as seeds, or “burrs” are found adhering to the victim’s hair or remains, incidental to the collection of the body, independent control and questioned samples of plant parts “from leaf to root” are typically not recognized as evidence. Perhaps the standards of scientists such as Hall (1988, 1997), Willey and Heilman (1987), Warren (1975, 1980, 1984), or Bock and Norris (1997), will continue to alert investigators and prosecutors to the value of plant and plant component evidence. Compilations such as Miller Coyle's Forensic Botany (2004) serve to reinforce and update developments in this critical component of crime scene analysis and reconstruction.
Forensic botany is a relatively young application of an old science. The majority of the references below address botanical and palynological collections and analyses as they relate to archaeological site deposits. For this reason, the researcher should also be aware of archaeological site reports under Excavation and Recovery Strategies which might contain information on site specific collections and analyses of plant remains. It has long been a standard in archaeology protocol to collect soil samples or “constant volume” samples for separation and identification of small plant remains. The use of this information by archaeologists to help interpret the climate and environment of sites during particular time periods, or to determine the diet of a site’s population have direct application to forensic settings. The same “answers” are often sought by crime scene investigators seeking to validate subject or witness accounts, as well as time and location of death. A reflection of forensic botany's progression along with other forensic sciences is the increased number of resources addressing research and observations in plant DNA, (Bever, et al., ; Linacre, et al., ; Weising, et al., ; and Craft, et al.,  to name a few.)
This bibliography’s references in Taphonomy may also contain information/observations on the effect(s) of plant activity on disposed remains. Like entomological evidence, plant remains offer the opportunity to place remains or associated evidence in temporal and spatial contexts. Over time, plant growth may first serve to demarcate areas in which remains were disposed, and then impact the remains by utilizing them as a component of the lithosphere or biosphere. Botanical evidence also represents trace evidence which could link subject and victim and crime scene, as well as establish the movement of the subject and/or victim through a crime scene. From pollen to a rash from poison ivy, botanical clues follow Locard's principles of exchange. Trackers utilize damage to plants to find and follow paths taken by subjects and victims. The use and interpretation of botanical evidence requires holistic knowledge of crime scene environments, the accurate recording of same, and site specific conditions which might affect plant growth (see Photography, Reconnaissance, Survey, and Mapping Techniques, Excavation and Recovery Strategies, as well as Geoarchaeology and Soil Science).