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Small is beautiful: new investigations into Lower Devonian plant mesofossils and their in situ spores

Morris, Jennifer Louise, Edwards, Dianne and Richardson, J. B. 2010. Small is beautiful: new investigations into Lower Devonian plant mesofossils and their in situ spores. Presented at: 25th New Phytologist / Colston Research Society Symposium: Colonization of the terrestrial environment, Clifton Hill House, University of Bristol, UK, 21-22 September 2010.

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Abstract

Much of our understanding of the anatomy of the earliest land plants comes from well-preserved charcoalified mesofossils. Whilst representing only a facet of early land vegetation, initial studies indicate that these minute axes with terminal sporangia continue to make a significant contribution to the understanding of biodiversity and development of terrestrial ecosystems during the Lower Devonian. As well as exceptional anatomical preservation, many sporangia contain in situ spores, many of which represent new taxa (both cryptospore and trilete), whilst some have been recognised in the dispersed spore record, but not previously been recorded in situ. A new investigation aims to obtain detailed morphological, anatomical and ultrastructural data on both the mesofossils (particularly the axes) and their in situ spores, predominately using SEM and TEM techniques. With this data it is hoped that the affinity of these mesofossils may be elucidated, and their taxonomic relationship with the early tracheophytes and bryophytes can be explored. Recent evidence of highly-branched mesofossil sporophyte axes suggests that at least some of these minute plants may represent stem-group embryophytes with bryophytic characters.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 13:38
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/17559

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