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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Meyer-Berthaud, Brigitte [1], Dambreville, AnaŽlle [2], Rey, Hervť [2], Barczi, Jean-Francois [2].

Modeling growth and architecture of earliest trees: Pseudosporochnus nodosus (Cladoxylopsida) from the Middle Devonian of Belgium.

The hypothesis that the evolution of early land plants played a major role in the carbon cycle and ultimately affected life in the Devonian is now widely popularized (Algeo & Scheckler 1998), and study of the mechanisms regulating this relation regularly refined. According to Beerling & Berner (2005), plant size represents a significant parameter in the system of feedbacks between plants and CO2, influencing atmospheric moisture, weathering, and organic carbon burial. In parallel, a significant number of progresses have been made recently concerning the identity, morphology, architecture and ecology of the earliest trees. The tallest individuals of the Middle Devonian forest of Gilboa (New York) are affiliated to the pseudosporochnalean cladoxylopsids (Stein et al., 2007). Their morphology is consistent with the architectural model of Pseudosporochnus hypothesized by Berry & Fairon-Demaret (2002) from disconnected remains of Belgian origin. The plant model we propose for Pseudosporochnus incorporates this information supplemented by that derived from the quantitative analysis of 55 specimens of P. nodosus from the paleobotanical collections of Université de Liège, formerly studied and illustrated by S. Leclercq, M. Fairon-Demaret and C. Berry. The data were processed with the AmapSim software (Barczi et al. 2008) in order to construct and simulate a 3-D growing numerical plant model. Whether secondary growth is considered significant or not for the radial expansion of the stem provides differences in the morphology of the juvenile states. We made an attempt to use these 3-D numerical models to estimate the amount of carbon that individuals and populations of Pseudosporochnus accumulated during growth. Despite their large size, the impact of such trees on the carbon cycle may have been moderate.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Cnrs, Botanique et Bioinformatique de l'Architecture des Plantes (AMAP), c/o CIRAD, TA-A51/PS2, Bd de la Lironde, Montpellier, F-34398, France
2 - Cirad, Montpellier, 34398, France

Devonian trees
Plant Architecture
3D modeling.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: S3
Location: 555B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: S3001
Abstract ID:137

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