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Abstract Detail


Paleobotanical Section

Looy, Cindy V. [1].

Branch abscission in walchian conifers.

Leaf abscission is a common feature in extant plants and the fossil record. The abscission of complete branch systems is less common and occurs in conifers and some angiosperm taxa. Within conifers, abscission of primary branch systems is less common and has been described mainly from juveniles, e.g. Kauri (Agathis australis) and Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), and the recently discovered Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis). Here we show evidence for the abscission of primary branch systems within early (walchian) conifers - small trees with a plagiotropic branching pattern. The specimens studied originate from a middle Early Permian seedplant dominated flora within the “middle” Clear Fork Group. Complete branch systems of three walchian conifer morphotypes were preserved; all have pronounced swellings and smooth separation faces at their base. The Colwell Creek Pond flora was preserved in abandoned channels and represents a streamside habitat growing under seasonally dry climatic conditions. Implications for the ecology and life-history of these conifers will be discussed.

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1 - University of California, Berkeley, Integrative Biology, 3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg 3140, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3140, USA

Keywords:
Conifers
paleobotany
life-history
Permian.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 12
Location: 555B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 12006
Abstract ID:646


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