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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Nixon, Kevin [1], Gandolfo, Maria [2], Crepet, William [3].

New insights into early Fagaceae based on Turonian fossil material from New Jersey.

Turonian sediments from New Jersey have produced a wide array of angiosperm floral and fruit remains. These sediments are ca. 90 million years old, and constitute the oldest records for several important angiosperm clades, some very specific (e.g., Clusiaceae) and others much more generalized (e.g., a broad array of ericalean taxa). We report here on at least three different taxa of fagaceous inflorescences/flowers that exhibit a range of characters relevant to the evolution of the cupule and monoecy in the family. The first of these are loosely organized proto-cupulate inflorescences that appear to have a mixture of fertile, bisexual flowers subtended and protected by thickened axes bearing reduced male and/or sterile flowers at the tips and subtended by cupule bracts. The second type of fagaceous fossil has much more delicate flowers, probably staminate, in catkins resembling modern quercoid/trigonobalanoid male inflorescences, with oblate pollen with rugulate sculpturing. The third of these are isolated tricarpellate epigynous (morphologically) bisexual flowers and male flowers with typical fagaceous morphology (triangular cross-section, six tepals, reflexed short free styles, and enlarged style-bases resembling the stylopodia found in some modern Fagaceae in both bisexual and male flowers). These latter fossils have prolate castaneoid-like tricolp(or)ate pollen, with parallel striations. Based on overall morphology and distinct differences in trichome type and distribution, we believe these to be from three different species, probably representing very distinct early fagaceous clades. These fossils shed light on possible early transitions from condensed, somewhat unorganized bisexual inflorescences to modern organized female cupules. The isolated flowers suggest an early stage of andromonoecy in the family, varying from mixed male-bisexual inflorescences or separate male and bisexual flowers (inflorescences unknown) and at least one species with male-only catkins resembling modern quercoid/trigonobalanoids.

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Related Links:

1 - Cornell University, L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, 412 Mann Library, Ithaca, New York, 14853, USA
2 - Cornell University, LH Bailey Hortorium, Department of Pant Biology, 410 Mann Library Biulding, Ithaca, NY, 14853-4301, USA
3 - Cornell University, L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, 412 Mann Library, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 32
Location: 555A/Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 32002
Abstract ID:609

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