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Palaeoecology, ploidy, palaeoatmospheres and developmental biology: A review of fossil stomata
Earth Institute, O’Brien Centre for Science, and School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1729-6755
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7893-1142
2017 (English)In: Plant Physiology, ISSN 0032-0889, E-ISSN 1532-2548, Vol. 174, 650-664 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The presence of stomata is a diagnostic trait of all living and extinct land plants with the exception of liverworts. They are preserved widely in the fossil record from anatomically pristine stomatal complexes on permineralized and charcoalified stems of the earliest land plants dating back >400 million years to isolated guard cell pairs in Quaternary aged palynological samples. Detailed study of fossil stomatal complexes has been used to track the evolution of genome size and to reconstruct atmospheric composition, to circumscribe new species to science and to bring ancient landscapes to life by providing both habitat information and insights on fossil plant ecophysiological function and life-form. This review explores how fossil stomata can be used to advance our understanding of plant, environment and atmospheric evolution over the Phanerozoic. We compare the utility of qualitative (e.g. presence/absence of stomatal crypts) versus quantitative stomatal traits (e.g. amphistomaty ratio) in palaeoecological reconstructions. A case study on Triassic-Jurassic Ginkgoales is provided to highlight the methodological difficulty of teasing apart the effect of genome size, ploidy and environment on guard cell size evolution across mass extinction boundaries. We critique both empirical and mechanistic stomatal-based models for palaeo-CO2 reconstruction and highlight some key limitations and advantages of both approaches. Finally we question if different stomatal developmental pathways have ecophysiological consequence for leaf gas exchange and ultimately the application of different stomatal-based CO2 proxy methods. We conclude that most studies currently only capture a fraction of the potential invaluable information that can be gleaned from fossilized stomata and highlight future approaches to their study that better integrate across the disciplinary boundaries of palaeobotany, developmental biology, palaeoecology and plant physiology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dartmouth, 2017. Vol. 174, 650-664 p.
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2611DOI: DOI: 10.1104/pp.17.00204OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2611DiVA: diva2:1163730
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04905
Note

Other funding acknowledged from:

Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator Award 11/PI/1103;

European Research Council Award ERC-2011-StG 279962;

Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University.

Available from: 2017-12-07 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2017-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.plantphysiol.org/content/174/2/650

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