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Hedyosmum-like fossils in the Early Cretaceous diversification of angiosperms
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7587-9687
Oak Spring Gardens.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4331-6948
Aarhus University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3038-0967
2019 (English)In: International journal of plant sciences, ISSN 1058-5893, E-ISSN 1537-5315, Vol. 180, p. 232-239Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Premise of research. Early Cretaceous Hedyosmum-like fossils are important because they provide information on the pistillate flowers and fruits of plants that produced Asteropollis pollen, which is common and widely distributed very early in the history of angiosperms. Hedyosmum (Chloranthaceae) is also the only extant genus for which there is a plausible fossil presence at such an early stage of angiosperm evolution.

Methodology. The fossils were sieved out of unconsolidated sediments and cleaned with HF, HCl, and water. External morphology and internal anatomy were studied using scanning electron microscopy and synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy.

Pivotal results. New information on Hedyosmum-like fossils is provided based on pistillate flowers and fruits with adhering Asteropollis pollen from the Early Cretaceous of Portugal. The fossils are assigned to a new Early Cretaceous taxon, Hedyflora crystallifera, which in external morphology is closely similar to extant Hedyosmum. However, the fossils differ from the extant genus in having a crystalliferous endotesta with cells that have endoreticulate infillings, a feature characteristic of all extant Chloranthaceae except Hedyosmum. Extant Hedyosmum has a thin, unspecialized seed coat. This new discovery confirms earlier predictions that an endotestal seed coat is ancestral for Chloranthaceae as a whole but has been lost in the lineage leading to extant Hedyosmum.

Conclusions. Hedyflora confirms the divergence of the Hedyosmum lineage from other Chloranthaceae very early in the angiosperm radiation but refutes these early fossils as evidence of extant Hedyosmum in the Early Cretaceous.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. Vol. 180, p. 232-239
Keywords [en]
Asteropollis, Chloranthaceae, early angiosperms, fossil flowers, fossil fruits, fossil seeds, SRXTM
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3402DOI: 10.1086/701819OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3402DiVA, id: diva2:1372232
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-5228Available from: 2019-11-22 Created: 2019-11-22 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Friis, Else MarieCrane, Peter RobertPedersen, Kaj Raunsgaard
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