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The ‘seed-fern’ Lepidopteris mass-produced the abnormal pollen Ricciisporites during the end-Triassic biotic crisis
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2987-5559
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6723-239X
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1766-3516
Department of Biology, Lund University, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden.
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2023 (English)In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 627, article id 111723Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The end-Triassic mass extinction (ETE; ~201.6 million years ago) led to dramatic changes in terrestrial eco­ systems including the extinction of several seed-plant groups. Among the most intriguing features in the vege­ tation signal is the dominance of the peculiar pollen, Ricciisporites tuberculatus Lundblad, across large areas of the Northern Hemisphere immediately prior to and during the ETE. The parent plant of this pollen has remained unknown for 70 years. Here, we demonstrate that the ‘seed-fern’ Lepidopteris ottonis (Go¨ppert) Schimper (Pel­ taspermales) produced R. tuberculatus in permanent tetrads. We show that R. tuberculatus is a large, abnormal form of the small smooth-walled monosulcate pollen traditionally associated with L. ottonis, which disappeared at the ETE, when volcanism induced cold-spells followed by global warming. We argue that the production of aberrant R. tuberculatus resulted from ecological pressure in stressed environments that favoured asexual reproduction in peltasperms. The expansion of dry environments led to the dominance of drought-tolerant plants in the Early Jurassic of northern middle latitudes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 627, article id 111723
Keywords [en]
Triassic-Jurassic extinction, Aberrant pollen, Peltaspermales, Volcanism, Mutagenesis
National Category
Geology Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history; The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-5287DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2023.111723OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-5287DiVA, id: diva2:1792194
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, KAW 2020.0145Swedish Research Council, 2019-4061Swedish Research Council, 2018-04527Swedish Research Council, 2022-03920The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, GS2021-0018Available from: 2023-08-28 Created: 2023-08-28 Last updated: 2023-12-06Bibliographically approved

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