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  • 1.
    Anderson, Heidi
    et al.
    Dorrigo, NSW, Australia.
    David J. Batten, David
    Manchester University.
    Cantrill, David
    National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
    Cleal, Christopher
    Museum of Wales.
    Susanne Feist-Burkhardt, Susanne
    SFB Geological Consulting & Services, Odenwaldstrasse 18, D-64372 Ober-Ramstadt, Germany.
    Fensome, Robert
    Natural Resources Canada.
    Head, Martin
    Brock University, Canada.
    Herendeen, Patrick
    Chicago Botanuic Garden.
    Jaramillo, Carlos
    Smithsonian Institution.
    Kvaček, Jiří
    Czech National Museum, Prague.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Skog, Judith
    George Mason University.
    Takahashi, Masamichi
    Niigata University.
    Wicander, Reed
    Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Central Michigan University .
    (087–090) Proposal to treat the use of a hyphen in the name of a fossil-genus as an orthographical error2015In: Taxon, ISSN 0040-0262, E-ISSN 1996-8175Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We propose modifications to the Code such that use of a hyphen in the name of a fossil-genus is treated as an error to be corrected by deletion of the hyphen. This will circumvent the need to conserve the numerous de-hyphenated names against unused hyphenated forms. We propose changes to Art. 60 of the Code to allow this correction, and the addition of a phrase in Art. 20 to add clarity to the naming of fossil-genera.

  • 2.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    et al.
    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany.
    Blomenkemper, Patrick
    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany.
    Kerp, Hans
    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Polar regions of the Mesozoic–Paleogene greenhouse world as refugia for relict plant groups2018In: Transformative Paleobotany: Papers to Commemorate the Life and Legacy of Thomas N. Taylor / [ed] Krings, M., Harper, C.J., Cúneo, N.R., Rothwell, G.W., Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2018, p. 593-611Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Throughout Earth history, plants were apparently less dramatically affected by global biotic crises than animals. Here, we present the unexpected occurrence of Dicroidium, the iconic plant fossil of the Gondwanan Triassic, in Jurassic strata of East Antarctica. The material consists of dispersed cuticles of three Dicroidium species, including the type species D. odontopteroides. These youngest occurrences complement a remarkable biogeographic pattern in the distribution of Dicroidium through time: the earliest records are from palaeoequatorial regions, whereas the last records are from polar latitudes. We summarize similar, relictual high-latitude occurrences in other plant groups, including lycopsids, various ‘seed ferns’, Bennettitales, and cheirolepid conifers, to highlight a common phenomenon: during times of global warmth, the ice-free high-latitude regions acted as refugia for relictual plant taxa that have long disappeared elsewhere. Eventually, such last surviving polar populations probably disappeared as they became outcompeted by newly emerging plant groups in the face of environmental change.

  • 3.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Decombeix, Anne-Laure
    Schwendemann, Andrew
    Escapa, Ignacio
    Taylor, Edith
    Taylor, Thomas
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Habit and Ecology of the Petriellales, an Unusual Group of Seed Plants from the Triassic of Gondwana2014In: International journal of plant sciences, ISSN 1058-5893, E-ISSN 1537-5315, Vol. 175, no 9, p. 1062-1075Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Premise of research. Well-preserved Triassic plant fossils from Antarctica yield insights into the physiology of plant growth under the seasonal light regimes of warm polar forests, a type of ecosystem without any modern analogue. Among the many well-known Triassic plants from Antarctica is the enigmatic Petriellaea triangulata, a dispersed seedpod structure that is considered a possible homologue of the angiosperm carpel. However, the morphology and physiology of the plants that produced these seedpods have so far remained largely elusive.

    Methodology. Here, we describe petriellalean stems and leaves in compression and anatomical preservation that enable a detailed interpretation of the physiology and ecology of these plants.

    Pivotal results. Our results indicate that the Petriellales were diminutive, evergreen, shade-adapted perennial shrubs that colonized the understory of the deciduous forest biome of polar Gondwana. This life form is very unlike that of any other known seed-plant group of that time. By contrast, it fits remarkably well into the “dark and disturbed” niche that some authors considered to have sheltered the rise of the flowering plants some 100 Myr later.

    Conclusions. The hitherto enigmatic Petriellales are now among the most comprehensively reconstructed groups of extinct seed plants and emerge as promising candidates for elucidating the mysterious origin of the angiosperms.

  • 4.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Grimm, Guido
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Osmunda pulchella sp. nov. from the Jurassic of Sweden--reconciling molecular and fossil evidence in the phylogeny of modern royal ferns (Osmundaceae)2015In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1471-2148, E-ISSN 1471-2148, Vol. 15, no 126, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The classification of royal ferns (Osmundaceae) has long remained controversial. Recent molecular phylogenies indicate that Osmunda is paraphyletic and needs to be separated into Osmundastrum and Osmunda s.str. Here, however, we describe an exquisitely preserved Jurassic Osmunda rhizome (O. pulchella sp. nov.) that combines diagnostic features of both Osmundastrum and Osmunda, calling molecular evidence for paraphyly into question. We assembled a new morphological matrix based on rhizome anatomy, and used network analyses to establish phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant members of modern Osmundaceae. We re-analysed the original molecular data to evaluate root-placement support. Finally, we integrated morphological and molecular data-sets using the evolutionary placement algorithm.

    Results: Osmunda pulchella and five additional Jurassic rhizome species show anatomical character suites intermediate between Osmundastrum and Osmunda. Molecular evidence for paraphyly is ambiguous: a previously unrecognized signal from spacer sequences favours an alternative root placement that would resolve Osmunda s.l. as monophyletic. Our evolutionary placement analysis identifies fossil species as probable ancestral members of modern genera and subgenera, which accords with recent evidence from Bayesian dating.

    Conclusions: Osmunda pulchella is likely a precursor of the Osmundastrum lineage. The recently proposed root placement in Osmundaceae—based solely on molecular data—stems from possibly misinformative outgroup signals in rbcL and atpA genes. We conclude that the seemingly conflicting evidence from morphological, anatomical, molecular, and palaeontological data can instead be elegantly reconciled under the assumption that Osmunda is indeed monophyletic.

  • 5.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.
    Grimm, Guido
    Department fu¨r Pala¨ontologie, Universita¨t Wien, Wien, Austria.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    The fossil Osmundales (Royal Ferns)—a phylogenetic network analysis, revised taxonomy, and evolutionary classification of anatomically preserved trunks and rhizomes2017In: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, E-ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 5, article id e3433Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Osmundales (Royal Fern order) originated in the late Paleozoic and is the most ancient surviving lineage of leptosporangiate ferns. In contrast to its low diversity today (less than 20 species in six genera), it has the richest fossil record of any extant group of ferns. The structurally preserved trunks and rhizomes alone are referable to more than 100 fossil species that are classified in up to 20 genera, four subfamilies, and two families. This diverse fossil record constitutes an exceptional source of information on the evolutionary history of the group from the Permian to the present. However, inconsistent terminology, varying formats of description, and the general lack of a uniform taxonomic concept renders this wealth of information poorly accessible. To this end, we provide a comprehensive review of the diversity of structural features of osmundalean axes under a standardized, descriptive terminology. A novel morphological character matrix with 45 anatomical characters scored for 15 extant species and for 114 fossil operational units (species or specimens) is analysed using networks in order to establish systematic relationships among fossil and extant Osmundales rooted in axis anatomy. The results lead us to propose an evolutionary classification for fossil Osmundales and a revised, standardized taxonomy for all taxa down to the rank of (sub)genus. We introduce several nomenclatural novelties: (1) a new subfamily Itopsidemoideae (Guaireaceae) is established to contain Itopsidema, Donwelliacaulis, and Tiania; (2) the thamnopteroid genera Zalesskya, Iegosigopteris, and Petcheropteris are all considered synonymous with Thamnopteris; (3) 12 species of Millerocaulis and Ashicaulis are assigned to modern genera (tribe Osmundeae); (4) the hitherto enigmatic Aurealcaulis is identified as an extinct subgenus of Plenasium; and (5) the poorly known Osmundites tuhajkulensis is assigned to Millerocaulis. In addition, we consider Millerocaulis stipabonettiorum a possible member of Palaeosmunda and Millerocaulis estipularis as probably constituting the earliest representative of the (Todea-)Leptopteris lineage (subtribe Todeinae) of modern Osmundoideae.

  • 6.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Vajda, Vivi
    Lund University.
    Fossilized nuclei and chromosomes reveal 180 millionyears of genomic stasis in Royal Ferns2014In: Science, ISSN ISSN 0036-8075, Vol. 343, p. 1376-1377Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rapidly permineralized fossils can provide exceptional insights into the evolution of life over geological time. Here, we present an exquisitely preserved, calcified stem of a royal fern (Osmundaceae) from Early Jurassic lahar deposits of Sweden in which authigenic mineral precipitation from hydrothermal brines occurred so rapidly that it preserved cytoplasm, cytosol granules, nuclei, and even chromosomes in various stages of cell division. Morphometric parameters of interphase nuclei match those of extant Osmundaceae, indicating that the genome size of these reputed “living fossils” has remained unchanged over at least 180 million years—a paramount example of evolutionary stasis.

  • 7.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Mörs, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Ferraguti, Marco
    Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Universita` degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Reguero, Marcelo
    Divisio´n Paleontologı´a de Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Fossilized spermatozoa preserved in a 50-myr-old annelid cocoon from Antarctica2015In: Biology Letters, ISSN 1744-9561, E-ISSN 1744-957X, Vol. 11, no 20150431, p. 1-5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The origin and evolution of clitellate annelids—earthworms, leeches and their relatives—is poorly understood, partly because body fossils of these delicate organisms are exceedingly rare. The distinctive egg cases (cocoons) of Clitellata, however, are relatively common in the fossil record, although their potential for phylogenetic studies has remained largely unexplored. Here, we report the remarkable discovery of fossilized spermatozoa preserved within the secreted wall layers of a 50-Myr-old clitellate cocoon from Antarctica, representing the oldest fossil animal sperm yet known. Sperm characters are highly informative for the classification of extant Annelida. The Antarctic fossil spermatozoa have several features that point to affinities with the peculiar, leech-like ‘crayfish worms’ (Branchiobdellida). We anticipate that systematic surveys of cocoon fossils coupled with advances in non-destructive analytical methods may open a new window into the evolution of minute, soft-bodied life forms that are otherwise only rarely observed in the fossil record.

  • 8.
    CARPENTER, RAYMOND
    et al.
    University of Tasmania.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    HILL, ROBERT
    University of Adelaide.
    McNAMARA, KENNETH
    University of Cambridge.
    JORDAN, GREGORY
    University of Tasmania.
    EARLY EVIDENCE OF XEROMORPHY IN ANGIOSPERMS: STOMATAL ENCRYPTION IN A NEW EOCENE SPECIES OF BANKSIA (PROTEACEAE) FROM WESTERN AUSTRALIA2014In: American Journal of Botany, ISSN 0002-9122, E-ISSN 1537-2197, Vol. 101, no 9, p. 1486-1497Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Premise of the study: Globally, the origins of xeromorphic traits in modern angiosperm lineages are obscure but are thought to be linked to the early Neogene onset of seasonally arid climates. Stomatal encryption is a xeromorphic trait that is prominent in Banksia , an archetypal genus centered in one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, the ancient infertile landscape of Mediterranean-climate southwestern Australia.

    Methods: We describe Banksia paleocrypta , a sclerophyllous species with encrypted stomata from silcretes of the Walebing and Kojonup regions of southwestern Australia dated as Late Eocene.

    Key results: Banksia paleocrypta shows evidence of foliar xeromorphy ~20 Ma before the widely accepted timing for the onset of aridity in Australia. Species of Banksia subgenus Banksia with very similar leaves are extant in southwestern Australia. The conditions required for silcrete formation infer fl uctuating water tables and climatic seasonality in southwestern Australia in the Eocene, and seasonality is supported by the paucity of angiosperm closed-forest elements among the fossil taxa preserved with B. paleocrypta. However, climates in the region during the Eocene are unlikely to have experienced seasons as hot and dry as present-day summers.

    Conclusions: The presence of B. paleocrypta within the center of diversity of subgenus Banksia in edaphically ancient southwestern Australia is consistent with the continuous presence of this lineage in the region for ≥ 40 Ma, a testament to the success of increasingly xeromorphic traits in Banksia over an interval in which numerous other lineages became extinct.

  • 9.
    Decombeix, Anne-Laure
    et al.
    AMAP, Univ Montpellier.
    Galtier, Jean
    AMAP, Univ Montpellier.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Meyer-Berthaud, Brigitte
    AMAP, Univ Montpellier.
    Webb, Gregory E.
    School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland.
    Blake, Paul R.
    Geological Survey of Queensland.
    Early Carboniferous lignophyte tree diversity in Australia: Woods fromthe Drummond and Yarrol basins, Queensland2019In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, ISSN 0034-6667, E-ISSN 1879-0615, Vol. 263, p. 47-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Early Carboniferous (Mississippian) permineralized woods from Australia with multiseriate rays have been customarily assigned or compared to the European genus Pitus, despite the absence of information on their primary vascular anatomy. In the context of continuing work on the diversity of Late Devonian andMississippian floras of Gondwana, we studied new silicified woods with secondary xylem similar to that of Pitus (multiseriate rays, araucarioid radial pitting) from two sedimentary basins of Queensland, Australia. In the Drummond Basin, three morphotypes of wood of Viséan age can be distinguished based on ray size in tangential section. Although this variation is similar to that observed between the various European species of Pitus, information on the primary vascular anatomy of the trees provided by three incomplete specimens excludes an affinity with Pitus for at least two taxa. In the Yarrol Basin, two well-preserved late Viséan trunks also have characters similar to Pitus but can be distinguished from that genus and other previously described Mississippian trees, in particular by the anatomy of their primary vascular system and departing leaf traces. They are assigned to a new genus, Ninsaria. Collectively, the new specimens from Queensland show that wood traditionally referred to “Pitus” from Australia actually belongs to several other types of trees that are not known from Europe or North America, indicating probable floristic provincialism between the Northern and Southern hemisphere floras at this time. These new fossils corroborate the existence of a global Mississippian diversification of (pro)gymnosperm trees already noted in Laurussia. They also indicate that the Mississippian floras of Australia were more diverse and complex than traditionally inferred.

  • 10. Dyer, Adrian G
    et al.
    Boyd-Gerny, Skye
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Rosa, Marcello G P
    Simonov, Vera
    Wong, Bob B M
    Parallel evolution of angiosperm colour signals: common evolutionary pressures linked to hymenopteran vision.2012In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 279, no 1742, p. 3606-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Flowering plants in Australia have been geographically isolated for more than 34 million years. In the Northern Hemisphere, previous work has revealed a close fit between the optimal discrimination capabilities of hymenopteran pollinators and the flower colours that have most frequently evolved. We collected spectral data from 111 Australian native flowers and tested signal appearance considering the colour discrimination capabilities of potentially important pollinators. The highest frequency of flower reflectance curves is consistent with data reported for the Northern Hemisphere. The subsequent mapping of Australian flower reflectances into a bee colour space reveals a very similar distribution of flower colour evolution to the Northern Hemisphere. Thus, flowering plants in Australia are likely to have independently evolved spectral signals that maximize colour discrimination by hymenoptera. Moreover, we found that the degree of variability in flower coloration for particular angiosperm species matched the range of reflectance colours that can only be discriminated by bees that have experienced differential conditioning. This observation suggests a requirement for plasticity in the nervous systems of pollinators to allow generalization of flowers of the same species while overcoming the possible presence of non-rewarding flower mimics.

  • 11.
    Edirisooriya, Geetha
    et al.
    Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
    Dharmagunawardhane, H.A.
    Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    The first record of the Permian Glossopteris flora from Sri Lanka: implications for hydrocarbon source rocks in the Mannar Basin2018In: Geological Magazine, ISSN 0016-7568, E-ISSN 1469-5081, Vol. 155, p. 907-920Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Strata exposed near Tabbowa Tank, Tabbowa Basin, western Sri Lanka have yielded the

    first representatives of the distinctive Permian Glossopteris flora from that country. The assemblage

    includes gymnosperm foliage attributable to Glossopteris raniganjensis, roots referable to Vertebraria

    australis, seeds assigned to Samaropsis sp., sphenophyte axes (Paracalamites australis) and

    foliage (Sphenophyllum emarginatum), and fern foliage (Dichotomopteris lindleyi). This small macroflora

    is interpreted to be of probable Lopingian (late Permian) age based on comparisons with the

    fossil floras of Peninsula India. Several Glossopteris leaves in the assemblage bear evidence of terrestrial

    arthropod interactions including hole feeding, margin feeding, possible lamina skeletonization,

    piercing-and-sucking damage and oviposition scarring. The newly identified onshore Permian strata

    necessitate re-evaluation of current models explaining the evolution of the adjacent offshore Mannar

    Basin. Previously considered to have begun subsiding and accumulating sediment during Jurassic

    time, we propose that the Mannar Basin may have initiated as part of a pan-Gondwanan extensional

    phase during late Palaeozoic – Triassic time. We interpret the basal, as yet unsampled, seismically

    reflective strata of this basin to be probable organic-rich continental strata of Lopingian age, equivalent

    to those recorded in the Tabbowa Basin, and similar to the Permian coal-bearing successions

    in the rift basins of eastern India and Antarctica. Such continental fossiliferous strata are particularly

    significant as potential source rocks for recently identified natural gas resources in the Mannar

    Basin.

  • 12.
    Fielding, Christopher
    et al.
    University of Nebraska.
    Frank, Tracy
    University of Nebraska.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Vajda, Vivi
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden.
    Mays, Chris
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Tevyaw, Allen
    University of Nebraska.
    Winguth, Arne
    University of Texas at Arlington.
    Winguth, Cornelia
    University of Texas at Arlington.
    Nicoll, Robert
    Geoscience Australia.
    Bocking, Malcolm
    Bocking Associates.
    Crowley, James
    Boise State University.
    Age and pattern of the southern high-latitude continental end-Permian extinction constrained by multiproxy analysis2019In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 10, no 385, p. 1-12Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Past studies of the end-Permian extinction (EPE), the largest biotic crisis of the Phanerozoic, have not resolved the timing of events in southern high-latitudes. Here we use palynology coupled with high-precision CA-ID-TIMS dating of euhedral zircons from continental sequences of the Sydney Basin, Australia, to show that the collapse of the austral Permian Glossopteris flora occurred prior to 252.3 Ma (~370 kyrs before the main marine extinction). Weathering proxies indicate that floristic changes occurred during a brief climate perturbation in a regional alluvial landscape that otherwise experienced insubstantial change in fluvial style, insignificant reorganization of the depositional surface, and no abrupt aridification. Palaeoclimate modelling suggests a moderate shift to warmer summer temperatures and amplified seasonality in temperature across the EPE, and warmer and wetter conditions for all seasons into the Early Triassic. The terrestrial EPE and a succeeding peak in Ni concentration in the Sydney Basin correlate, respectively, to the onset of the primary extrusive and intrusive phases of the Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province.

  • 13.
    Gouramanis, Chris
    et al.
    Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 639798.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Siluro-Devonian trace fossils from the Mereenie Sandstone, Kings Canyon, Watarrka National Park, Amadeus Basin, Northern Territory, Australia2016In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 40, p. 118-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nine trackways referable to the ichnogenus Diplichnites are preserved in the upper Silurian to Lower Devonian Mereenie Sandstone at Kings Canyon, Watarrka National Park, Northern Territory, Australia. Eight trackways are consistent with earlier descriptions of D. gouldi, and one trackway could not be assigned to an ichnospecies. The trackways are co-preserved with a range of sub-horizontal burrows referable to Beaconites and Taenidium, and several vertical burrows, surficial circular traces and a horizontal trail of uncertain identities. The ichnofossil assemblage highlights the diversity of animals present in the late Silurian to Lower Devonian paralic to fluvial environments of central Australia at the time of early colonization of the land’s surface. The assemblage is similar to ichnofaunas from coeval strata elsewhere in Australia and throughout Gondwana, and it highlights the potential of this region for further ichnological studies to elucidate the early stages of terrestrialization in the palaeoequatorial belt.

  • 14.
    Grimm, Guido
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Kapli, Paschalia
    3Natural History Museum of Crete and Biology Department, University of Crete, PO Box 2208, 71409 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Renner, Susanne
    Using more than the oldest fossils: Dating Osmundaceae with three Bayesian clock approaches2015In: Systematic Biology, ISSN 1063-5157, E-ISSN 1076-836X, Vol. 64, no 3, p. 396-405Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A major concern in molecular clock dating is how to use information from the fossil record to calibrate genetic distances from DNA sequences. Here we apply three Bayesian dating methods that differ in how calibration is achieved—“node dating” (ND) inBEAST, “total evidence” (TE) dating in MrBayes, and the “fossilized birth–death” (FBD) in FDPPDiv—to infer divergence times in the royal ferns. Osmundaceae have 16–17 species in four genera, two mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and two in South Africa and Australasia; they are the sister clade to the remaining leptosporangiate ferns. Their fossil record consists of at least 150 species in ∼17 genera. For ND, we used the five oldest fossils, whereas for TE and FBD dating, which do not require forcing fossils to nodes and thus can use more fossils,we included up to 36 rhizomes and frond compression/impression fossils, which for TE datingwere scored for 33morphological characters.We also subsampled 10%, 25%, and 50% of the 36 fossils to assess model sensitivity. FBD-derived divergence ages were generally greater than those inferred from ND; two of seven TE-derived ages agreed with FBD-obtained ages, the others were much younger or much older than ND or FBD ages. We prefer the FBD-derived ages because they best fit the Osmundales fossil record (including Triassic fossils not used in our study). Under the preferred model, the clade encompassing extant Osmundaceae (and many fossils) dates to the latest Paleozoic to Early Triassic; divergences of the extant species occurred during the Neogene. Under the assumption of constant speciation and extinction rates, the FBD approach yielded speciation and extinction rates that overlapped those obtained from just neontological data. However, FBD estimates of speciation and extinction are sensitive to violations in the assumption of continuous fossil sampling; therefore, these estimates should be treated with caution.

  • 15.
    Kalthoff, Daniela C.
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Zoology.
    Schulz-Kornas, Ellen
    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
    Corfe, Ian
    University of Helsinki.
    Martin, Thomas
    Universität Bonn.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Schultz, Julia A.
    Universität Bonn.
    Complementary approaches to tooth wear analysisin Tritylodontidae (Synapsida, Mammaliamorpha)reveal a generalist diet.2019In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 7, p. 1-24, article id e0220188Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Stereoscopic microwear and 3D surface texture analyses on the cheek teeth of ten Upper Triassic to Lower Cretaceous tritylodontid (Mammaliamorpha) taxa of small/medium to large body size suggest that all were generalist feeders and none was a dietary specialist adapted to herbivory. There was no correspondence between body size and food choice. Stereomicroscopic microwear analysis revealed predominantly fine wear features with numerous small pits and less abundant fine scratches as principal components. Almost all analyzed facets bear some coarser microwear features, such as coarse scratches, large pits, puncture pits and gouges pointing to episodic feeding on harder food items or exogenous effects (contamination of food with soil grit and/or dust), or both. 3D surface texture analysis indicates predominantly fine features with large void volume, low peak densities, and various stages of roundness of the peaks. We interpret these features to indicate consumption of food items with low to moderate intrinsic abrasiveness and can exclude regular rooting, digging or caching behavior. Possible food items include plant vegetative parts, plant reproductive structures (seeds and seed-bearing organs), and invertebrates (i.e., insects). Although the tritylodontid tooth morphology and auto-occlusion suggest plants as the primary food resource, our results imply a wider dietary range including animal matter.

  • 16.
    Kustatscher, Evelyn
    et al.
    Museum of Nature South Tyrol, Bindergasse 1, 39100 Bozen/Bolzano, Italy.
    Ash, Sidney
    Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northrop Hall, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.
    Karasev, Eugeny
    Borissiak Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya 123, Moscow 117647, Russia.
    Pott, Christian
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Vajda, Vivi
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden.
    Yu, Jianxin
    State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, P.O.Box 430074, P.R. China.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Flora of The Late Triassic2017In: The Late Triassic World: Earth in a Time of Transition / [ed] Tanner, L.H., New York: Springer International Publishing , 2017, 1, p. 545-622Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Triassic was a crucial period of botanical evolutionary innovations and plant diversification. Key plant groups (Bennettitales, Czekanowskiales, Gnetales and several modern fern and conifer families) originated during this span of time, together with some taxa putatively related to angiosperms. The composition of the various plant assemblages shows a more homogeneous flora globally than during the Permian. Nonetheless two major floristic provinces are distinguishable during the Late Triassic (Gondwana and Laurussia) together with several subprovinces (two within Gondwana, nine within Laurussia), based on palyno- and macro-floras.The latter are differentiated by contrasting taxonomic composition and group abundances related to different climatic and regional environmental conditions. Many plant families and genera are widely distributed in the Late Triassic, at least in the respective hemispheres. Based on the array of preserved damage types on leaves and wood, insect faunas appear to have recovered from the end-Permian mass extinction by the Late Triassic, with a major expansion of herbivory in Gondwana. All modern functional feeding groups (FFG) were present by the Triassic, including external foliage feeding, piercing-and-sucking, galling, leaf mining and seed predation, with some evidence for the development of very specialized feeding traits and egg-laying strategies.

  • 17.
    Laurie, John
    et al.
    Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Mary Elizabeth White AM:5 January 1926 – 5 August 2018: Obituary2018Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Mary White was born in South Africa to an entomologist father and a botanist mother, but spent most of her early years in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where her father was First Director of Agriculture and Professor of Entomology. She attended the University of Cape Town, where she studied botany and zoology. When looking for a subject for her Masters' thesis, Alexander du Toit recommended a paleobotanical subject, as there was no paleobotanist in Africa but it had Gondwanan fossil flora awaiting study. This eventually led to Mary's lifetime interest in Gondwana and the evolution of its biota.

  • 18.
    Li, Jianguo
    et al.
    Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.
    Sha, Jingeng
    Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Wang, Xiaoming
    Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
    Mesozoic and Cenozoic palaeogeography, palaeoclimate and palaeoecology in theeastern Tethys2019In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 515, p. 1-5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is now more than 100years since Suess advanced the concept of the Tethys Ocean in 1893. Since the 1960s when the theory of plate tectonics became established, the Tethys region has attracted the attention of many geologists because it has experienced a complex evolution involving numerous continental fragments drifting in several discrete stages from the Gondwanan margin in the Southern Hemisphere northward to amalgamate with Eurasia in the Northern Hemisphere. The subsequent orogenies associated with consecutive microplate collisions caused great changes to the regional topography and environments, which researchers now realize had global impacts on climate, biotic evolution, and biogeography.

  • 19.
    Mays, Chris
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Caught between mass extinctions - the rise and fall of Dicroidium2019In: Deposits Magazine, Vol. 59, p. 43-47Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    In the aftermath of Earth’s greatest biotic crisis 251.9 million years ago - the end-Permian mass extinction - a group of plants arose that would come to dominate the flora of the Southern Hemisphere. Recovery of the vegetation from the end-Permian crisis was slow; but steadily, one group of seed plants, typified by the leaf fossil Dicroidium, began to diversify and fill the dominant canopy-plant niches left vacant by the demise of the Permian glossopterid forests.

  • 20.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    A new genus of glossopterid fructifications from the Artinskian–Changhsingian of eastern Australia2016In: Ameghiniana, ISSN 0002-7014, E-ISSN 1851-8044, Vol. 53, p. 586-598Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A new genus, Karingbalia is established to accommodate certain eastern Australian glossopterid fertile organs previously assigned to Ottokaria Zeiller emend. Pant et Nautiyal. Karingbalia differs from Ottokaria mainly by the sub-parallel rather than perpendicular orientation of basal peripheral lobes with respect to the receptacle margin. Moreover, Karingbalia ranges from the Artinskian to Changhsingian, whereas Ottokaria sensu stricto is probably confined to the Cisuralian. Two Karingbalia species are recognized: K. inglisensis McLoughlin comb. nov. from the Lopingian of the Bowen and Sydney basins; and K. nychumensis sp. nov. from Artinskian–lower Kungurian strata on the Georgetown Inlier. Several additional species of Ottokaria from across Gondwana do not conform precisely to the diagnosis of that genus and their taxonomic reappraisal is proposed.

  • 21.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Antarctica’s Glossopteris forests2017In: 52 More Things You Should Know About Palaeontology / [ed] Cullum, A.; Martinius, A.W., Nova Scotia: Agile Libre , 2017, p. 22-23Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Prince Charles Mountains (PCMs) of East Antarctica were first spotted

    from the air during The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program

    'Operation Highjump' in 1946-47. but first visited nearly a decade later by

    Australian explorers. In the austral summer of 1994-95. Andrew Drinnan (University

    of Melbourne) and I ventured to the PCMs to search for fossil plants.

    Most of the rocks there are ancient - Archaean and Proterozoic granites and

    metamorphics - but one small area. the Amery Oasis. hosts Permian coal-rich

    strata and Triassic red-beds.

  • 22.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Australia's Permian vertebrates: where have they gone?2017In: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Magazine, ISSN 1448-4420, Vol. 14, p. 70-75Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    The Permian period (299–252 Million years old) is that time interval immediately before the rise of the dinosaurs. It began with an ice age and ended with the largest mass extinction event in Earth’s history. Australia’s Permian strata contain a rather meagre record of vertebrate fossils. Vertebrates are those animals with a backbone. In the modern world, that includes everything from fish to birds and mammals but, in the Permian, the vertebrate groups present were fish, amphibians and reptiles. Australia’s sparse vertebrate record stands in contrast to some other parts of the world, such as the Karoo Basin in South Africa, which is endowed with a rich record of bones and teeth, particularly from early mammal-like reptiles.

  • 23.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Exceptional fossils and biotas of Gondwana: the fortieth anniversary issue of Alcheringa2016In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 40, p. 399-406Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Alcheringa is now a truly international palaeontological journal. Although the early issues had a strong focus on Australasian fossil material, recent issues have published papers on material from all parts of the globe. As part of Alcheringa’s continuing editorial initiatives, and in light of the prominent role the journal has played in promoting the palaeontology of the Southern Hemisphere, we devote the final issue of volume 40 to the theme of ‘Exceptional fossils and biotas of Gondwana’. This issue includes a selection of invited papers dealing with a broad geographic and stratigraphic array of Southern Hemisphere fossils that have special historical, biostratigraphical, palaeoecogical or biogeographical significance. This theme extends to the documentation of exceptionally preserved ‘whole biotas’ from Gondwana.

  • 24.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Homonymy of genera2015In: Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter, ISSN 2204-910X, no 162-163, p. 8-11Article, review/survey (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Philip Short recently faced the problem of having established a plant genus that turned out to be a homonym of an earliernamed genus. In 2014, he erected the name Roebuckia for a range of daisy species in his review of Brachyscome. However, Roebuckia had already been established as a name for a fossil (Early Cretaceous) plant from Western Australia by myself (McLoughlin, 1996). Because homonyms are illegitimate according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants (McNeill et al., 2012), Philip was obliged to establish a new name (Roebuckiella) for those species he had previously assigned to Roebuckia (see Short, 2015). How, then, can one be sure that when establishing a new genus, the chosen name has not been used before?

  • 25.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    The Landsborough Sandstone: the Sunshine Coast’s Jurassic park2015In: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Journal, ISSN 1448-4420, Vol. 12, p. 78-82Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Formed by lava thrusting up through sandstone bedrock 25 million years ago, the Glasshouse Mountains form an imposing backdrop to farming country in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Deposited in the Early Jurassic Period, this rock formation—known as the Landsborough Sandstone—forms the bedrock for most of the coastal plain from Brisbane’s northern suburbs to Coolum and hosts a range of fossil plants including ferns, seed-ferns and conifers.

  • 26.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Biotic interactions in an exceptionallywell preserved osmundaceous fern rhizome from the Early Jurassic of Sweden2016In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 464, p. 86-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A remarkably well permineralized osmundaceous rhizome from the Early Jurassic of southern Sweden yields evidence of an array of interactions with other organisms in its immediate environment. These include epiphytism by a herbaceous heterosporous lycopsid; putative oribatid mite herbivory and detritivory (petiole and detritus borings and coprolites); potential pathogenic, saprotrophic or mycorrhizal interactions between fungi and the host plant and its epiphytes; parasitism or saprotrophy by putative peronosporomycetes; and opportunistic or passivemycophagy by oribatid mites evidenced by fungal spores in coprolites. A combination of abrupt burial by lahar deposits and exceedingly rapid permineralization by precipitation of calcite from hydrothermal brines facilitated the exquisite preservation of the rhizome and its component community of epiphytes, herbivores, saprotrophs and parasites. Ancient ferns with a rhizome cloaked by a thick mantle of persistent leaf bases and adventitious roots have a high potential for preserving macro-epiphytes and associated micro-organisms, and are especially promising targets for understanding the evolution of biotic interactions in forest understorey ecosystems.

  • 27.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany.
    Drinnan, Andrew N.
    School of Biosciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
    Pachytestopsis tayloriorum gen. et sp. nov., an anatomically preserved glossopterid seed from the Lopingian of Queensland, Australia2018In: Transformative Paleobotany: Papers to Commemorate the Life and Legacy of Thomas N. Taylor / [ed] Krings, M., Harper, C.J., Cúneo, N.R., Rothwell, G.W., Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2018, p. 155-178Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A permineralized seed, Pachytestopsistayloriorum gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Changhsingian (upper Permian) Fort Cooper Coal Measures at the Homevale locality in the northern Bowen Basin, Queensland,Australia. This largest permineralized seed species yet recorded from Permian deposits of Gondwana conforms to a size accommodated by either Rigbyaceae or Lidgettoniaceae (glossopterid) fructifications recorded elsewhere in the Sydney-Bowen basin complex. The seeds are characterized by a thin endotesta of longitudinally orientated cells, thick mesotesta incorporating an inner band of very thick walled sclereids and an outer layer of thin-walled parenchymatous cells, and an exotesta that comprises a well-developed epidermis and several layers of thick-walled hypodermal cells. Vascular supply to the base of the seed passes through the integument and bifurcates into the nucellar pad. Taeniate bisaccate pollen of Protohaploxypinus-type occurs in the pollen chamber of the seed. A comparison of the characters of P. tayloriorum with other permineralized seeds from the Permian of Gondwana indicates that several of the characters used in previous phylogenetic analyses incorporating glossopterids are wrongly scored or ambiguous in their definition.

  • 28.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Mörs, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Reguero, Marcelo
    División Paleontología de Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, B1900FWA La Plata, Argentina.
    Fossil clitellate annelid cocoons and their microbiological inclusions from the Eocene of Seymour Island, Antarctica2016In: Palaeontologia Electronica, ISSN 1935-3952, E-ISSN 1094-8074, Vol. 19, no 1.11A, p. 1-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Clitellate annelids have a meagre body fossil record but they secrete proteinaceous

    cocoons for the protection of eggs that, after hardening, are readily fossilized

    and offer a largely untapped resource for assessing the evolutionary history of this

    group. We describe three species of clitellate cocoons (viz., Burejospermum seymourense

    sp. nov., B. punctatum sp. nov. and Pegmatothylakos manumii gen. et sp. nov.)

    from the lower Eocene La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctica. The

    cocoons probably derive from continental settings and were transported to, and preserved

    within, nearshore marine to estuarine environments. The cocoons provide the

    first evidence of commensal or parasitic relationships in the Eocene continental ecosystems

    of Antarctica. Moreover, numerous micro-organisms and the oldest fossilized

    examples of animal spermatozoa are preserved as moulds within the consolidated

    walls of the cocoons. Fossil annelid cocoons offer potential for enhanced palaeoenvironmental

    interpretation of sediments, correlation between continental and shallowmarine

    strata, and improved understanding of the development of clitellate annelid

    reproductive traits and the evolutionary history of soft-bodied micro-organisms in general.

  • 29.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Thomas, Mörs
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    The wierd world of fossil worm cocoons2016In: Deposits Magazine, ISSN ISSN 1744-9588, Vol. 46, p. 399-406Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Curious fossils in continental sedimentary strata that range from about a millimetre in diameter up to the size of a fingernail and appear to have a net-like coating on the surface have reported for over 150 years and have been variously interpreted as the eggs of insects, parts of lichens, the food-catching devices of ancient invertebrates, the membranous coatings of seeds, or the linings of clubmoss sporangia. Many early palaeobiologists simply labelled them as ‘red eggs’ and avoided assigning them to any particular biological group. However, these fossils match the characteristics of the egg-bearing cocoons of modern leeches and their relatives. During cocoon secretion, micro-organisms from the surrounding environment can become entrapped and entombed in the sticky threads of the cocoon wall, thus escaping decay, and ultimately becoming part of the fossil record.

  • 30.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bomfleur, Benjamin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Vajda, Vivi
    Lund University.
    A phenomenal fossil fern, forgotten for forty years2014In: Deposits Magazine, ISSN 17749588, Vol. 40, p. 16-21Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    On some occasions, it is the hard sweat and toil of palaeontologists labouring in the field at carefully planned excavation sites that yields the prize specimen on which careers are built. On other occasions, it is the chance discovery by an amateur collector that may yield that special fossil. We present an account of one such remarkable fossil discovery by an eccentric farmer in southern Sweden. However, more remarkable is that this exceptional fossil remained unstudied and largely unnoticed in a major museum for almost 40 years, before its true significance was realised.

  • 31.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Carpenter, Raymond J
    Jordan, Gregory J
    Hill, Robert S
    Seed ferns survived the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in Tasmania.2008In: American Journal of Botany, ISSN 0002-9122, E-ISSN 1537-2197, Vol. 95, no 4, p. 465-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seed ferns, dominant elements of the vegetation in many parts of the world from the Triassic to Cretaceous, were considered to have disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous together with several other groups that had occupied key positions in terrestrial and marine ecosystems such as dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, and ammonoids. Seed-fern demise is generally correlated with competition from diversifying flowering plants through the Cretaceous and the global environmental crisis related to the Chicxulub impact event in the paleotropics at the end of the period. New fossils from Tasmania show that one seed-fern lineage survived into the Cenozoic by at least 13 million years. These fossils are described here as a new species, Komlopteris cenozoicus. Komlopteris is a genus of seed ferns attributed to Corystospermaceae and until now was not known from sediments younger than the Early Cretaceous. Discovery of this "Lazarus taxon," together with the presence of a range of other relictual fossil and extant organisms in Tasmania, other southern Gondwanan provinces, and some regions of northern North America and Asia, underscores high-latitude regions as biodiversity refugia during global environmental crises and highlights their importance as sources of postextinction radiations.

  • 32.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Drinnan, Andrew
    School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.
    Slater, Ben
    School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
    Hilton, Jason
    School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
    Paurodendron stellatum: a new Permian permineralized herbaceous lycopsid from the Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica2015In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, ISSN 0034-6667, E-ISSN 1879-0615, Vol. 220, p. 1-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Diminutive, silica-permineralized lycopsid axes, from a Guadalupian (Middle Permian) silicified peat in the Bainmedart Coal Measures of East Antarctica are described and assigned to Paurodendron stellatum sp. nov. Axes consist only of primary-growth tissues with a vascular system characterized by an exarch actinostele with 6–20 protoxylem points. Stems have a relatively narrow cortex of thin-walled cells that are commonly degraded, but the root cortex typically contains more robust, thick-walled cells. The stems bear helically inserted, elliptical–rhombic, ligulate microphylls. Roots possess an eccentrically positioned monarch vascular strand. Paurodendron stellatum is one of a very small number of anatomically preserved lycopsid axes described from the Gondwanan Permian and represents the first post-Carboniferous record of this genus. Based on dispersed vegetative remains, megaspores and microspores, herbaceous lycopsids, such as P. stellatum, appear to have been important understorey components of both low- and high-latitude mire forests of the late Palaeozoic.

  • 33.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Haig, David W.
    Centre for Energy Geoscience, School of Earth Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth 6009, Australia.
    Siversson, Mikael
    Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Western Australian Museum, Welshpool, WA 6106, Australia.
    Einarsson, Elisabeth
    Department of Geology, Lund University, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden.
    Did mangrove communities exist in the Late Cretaceous of the Kristianstad Basin, Sweden?2018In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 498, p. 99-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous inferences of oyster-dominated communities occupying mangrove-like depositional settings in the Kristianstad Basin, Sweden, during the late early Campanian are reassessed. A significant percentage of oysters (Acutostrea incurva) from the Belemnellocamax mammillatus zone in Bed 3 at Åsen bear indentations on their left valves indicating attachment to plant axes. Many of these axes bear morphological features characteristic of the distal subaerial portions of woody plant branches and appear to have been rafted into the marine environment rather than representing in situ mangrove stems and roots. Foraminiferal assemblages recovered from sediment within the oyster body cavities differ from modern mangrove-community associations by the absence of siliceous agglutinated Foraminifera, the presence of diverse and relatively abundant Lagenida, relatively common triserial Buliminida, and a notable percentage of planktonic taxa. Chondrichthyan teeth assemblages from the same beds are similarly incompatible with the interpretation of a mangrove depositional environment based on comparisons with the distribution of related extant taxa. Apart from oyster shells and belemnite rostra, these beds are notably depauperate in diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrate remains compared with coeval carbonate shoal and rocky shoreline assemblages from the same basin. The collective palaeontological and sedimentological evidence favours an inner neritic sandy-substrate setting, but not nearshore or mangrove-like depositional environment for the oyster-rich Bed 3 at Åsen. The absence of mangrove-like assemblages at Åsen is consistent with the development of modern mangrove ecosystems much later (during the Maastrichtian and Cenozoic) based on the global palynological record.

  • 34.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Jansson, Ida-Maria
    Lund University.
    Vajda, Vivi
    Lund University.
    Megaspore and microfossil assemblages reveal diverse herbaceous lycophytes in the Australian Early Jurassic flora2014In: Grana, ISSN 0017-3134, Vol. 53, p. 22-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Here, we describe and illustrate by transmitted light and scanning electron microscopy the first Australian Jurassic megaspore assemblages. The megaspores and other mesofossils were isolated from terrestrial deposits of the Marburg Subgroup (late Pliensbachian) at Inverleigh Quarry, Clarence-Moreton Basin, eastern Australia. Nine megaspore taxa are identified including one new species: Paxillitriletes rainei. Miospore assemblages recovered from the same samples at Inverleigh reveal a slightly higher diversity of lycophyte microspores. The collective megaspore suite from Inverleigh shares several genera with mid-Mesozoic assemblages from widely distributed parts of the world, but most of the Inverleigh species have subtle morphological differences from congeneric forms elsewhere. The megaspores accumulated in fluvial floodplain facies and are associated with mostly dissociated isoetalean leaf debris. Other mesofossils in the sampled interval include annelid egg cases, dispersed seeds and charcoal. Invertebrate burrows and possible vertebrate tracks also occur in this succession. Lycophyte macrofossils are otherwise known from only two other Australian Jurassic deposits. The richness of the megaspore and microspore suites attest to a significant diversity of lycophytes in the Australian Jurassic floras not hitherto appreciated from described macrofloras

  • 35.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Maksimenko, Anton
    Australian Synchrotron.
    Mays, Chris
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    A new high-paleolatitude late Permian permineralized peat flora from the Sydney Basin, Australia2019In: International journal of plant sciences, ISSN 1058-5893, E-ISSN 1537-5315, Vol. 180, p. 513-539Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Premise of research. Permineralized peats are prized for hosting three-dimensionally preserved plant remains that provide insights into fossil plant anatomy and the composition of coal-forming ecosystems. A new record of siliceous permineralized peat is documented from a Lopingian-aged (upper Permian) strata from the southern Sydney Basin. It represents the fifth Permian permineralized peat identified from eastern Australia.

    Methodology. The single permineralized peat block was cut into smaller blocks, and both cellulose acetate peels and standard thin sections were prepared for study using transmitted light microscopy. Quantitative analysis of the peat was carried out using point counts perpendicular to bedding. One block examined using synchrotron X-ray computed tomography (CT) revealed the three-dimensional anatomy of abundant fossil seeds.

    Pivotal results. The peat contains a plant assemblage dominated by glossopterid leaves, seeds, and axes; although degraded, probable pteridophyte remains represent a significant subsidiary component of the assemblage. A new leaf form (Glossopteris thirroulensis McLoughlin et Mays sp. nov.) and a new type of seed (Illawarraspermum ovatum McLoughlin et Mays gen. et sp. nov.) are described. Leaf-, wood/seed-, and fine detritus-rich organic microfacies with gradational boundaries are evident within the peat.

    Conclusions. Regular growth rings in the small permineralized axes, together with the occurrence of autumnal mats of glossopterid leaves, signify a strongly seasonal climate. The presence of abundant charcoal in the peat indicates that fire was a significant influence on the high-paleolatitude mire ecosystem. Differentiation of organic microfacies within the peat profile indicates subtle variation in the contribution of plant components to the peat through time. The absence of mineral grains in thin section and CT, together with the presence of authigenic sulfides, indicates accumulation of organic matter in a stagnant mire away from the influence of clastic input.

  • 36.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Martin, Sarah
    Geological Survey of Western Australia, Department of Mines and Petroleum.
    The record of Australian Jurassic plant-arthropod interactions2015In: Gondwana Research, ISSN 1342-937X, E-ISSN 1878-0571, Vol. 27, p. 940-959Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A survey of Australian Jurassic plant fossil assemblages reveals examples of foliar andwood damage generated by terrestrial arthropods attributed to leaf-margin feeding, surface feeding, lamina hole feeding, galling, piercingand-sucking, leaf-mining, boring and oviposition. These types of damage are spread across a wide range of fern and gymnosperm taxa, but are particularly well represented on derived gymnosperm clades, such as Pentoxylales and Bennettitales. Several Australian Jurassic plants show morphological adaptations in the form of minute marginal and apical spines on leaves and bracts, and scales on rachises that likely represent physical defences against arthropod herbivory. Only two entomofaunal assemblages are presently known from the Australian Jurassic but these reveal a moderate range of taxa, particularly among the Orthoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Odonata, all of which are candidates for the dominant feeding traits evidenced by the fossil leaf and axis damage. The survey reveals that plant–arthropod interactions in the Jurassic at middle to high southern latitudes of southeastern Gondwana incorporated a similar diversity of feeding strategies to those represented in coeval communities from other provinces. Further, the range of arthropod damage types is similar between Late Triassic and Jurassic assemblages from Gondwana despite substantial differences in the major plant taxa, implying that terrestrial invertebrate herbivoreswere able to successfully transfer to alternative plant hosts during the floristic turnovers at the Triassic–Jurassic transition.

  • 37.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Pott, Christian
    LWL-Museum of Natural History, Münster, Germany.
    Plant mobility in the Mesozoic: Disseminule dispersal strategies of Chineseand Australian Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous plants2019In: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182, E-ISSN 1872-616X, Vol. 515, p. 47-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Four upper Middle Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous lacustrine Lagerstätten in China and Australia (the Daohugou, Talbragar, Jehol, and Koonwarra biotas) offer glimpses into the representation of plant disseminule strategies during that phase of Earth history in which flowering plants, birds, mammals, and modern insect faunas began to diversify. No seed or foliage species is shared between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere fossil sites and only a few species are shared between the Jurassic and Cretaceous assemblages in the respective regions. Freesporing plants, including a broad range of bryophytes, are major components of the studied assemblages and attest to similar moist growth habitats adjacent to all four preservational sites. Both simple unadorned seeds and winged seeds constitute significant proportions of the disseminule diversity in each assemblage. Anemochory, evidenced by the development of seed wings or a pappus, remained a key seed dispersal strategy through the studied interval. Despite the rise of feathered birds and fur-covered mammals, evidence for epizoochory is minimal in the studied assemblages. Those Early Cretaceous seeds or detached reproductive structures bearing spines were probably adapted for anchoring to aquatic debris or to soft lacustrine substrates. Several relatively featureless seeds in all assemblages were potentially adapted to barochory or to endozoochory—the latter evidenced especially by the presence of smooth seeds in vertebrate gut contents and regurgitant or coprolitic masses. Hydrochory is inferred for several aquatic plants that notably bear small featureless seeds, particularly aggregated into detachable pods.

  • 38.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Pott, Christian
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Museum für Naturkunde Paläontologische Bodendenkmalpflege Sentruper Straße 285 48161 Münster.
    Sobbe, Ian H.
    Ancient Environments, Queensland Museum, PO Box 3300, South Brisbane, 4101 Qld, Australia, and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland, St Lucia 4072, Australia.
    The diversity of Australian Mesozoic bennettitopsid reproductive organs2018In: Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, ISSN 1867-1594, E-ISSN 1867-1608, Vol. 98, p. 71-95Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several dispersed reproductive organs of bennettitopsid gymnosperms are described and illustrated from Triassic to Cretaceous strata of Australia: Williamsonia eskensis sp. nov. (Middle Triassic), Williamsonia ipsvicensis sp. nov. (Upper Triassic), Williamsonia durikaiensis sp. nov. (Lower Jurassic), Williamsonia sp. (Lower Jurassic), Williamsonia rugosa sp. nov. (Middle Jurassic), Williamsonia gracilis sp. nov. (Lower Cretaceous), Cycadolepis ferrugineus sp. nov. (Lower Jurassic), Cycadolepis sp. (Lower Cretaceous), and Fredlindia moretonensis Shirley 1898 comb. nov. (Upper Triassic). Among these, W. eskensis appears to represent the oldest bennettitalean reproductive structure yet identified. Although global floras expressed less provincialism during the Mesozoic and many genera are cosmopolitan, Australian bennettopsid species appear to have been endemic based on the morphological characters of the reproductive structures. Bennettopsids have a stratigraphic range of around 210 million years in Australia and are widely and abundantly represented by leaf fossils, but only around 20 specimens of reproductive structures, of which half are attributed to Fredlindia, have been recovered from that continent’s geological archive. The extremely low representation of reproductive organs vis-à-vis foliage is interpreted to reflect a combination of physical disintegration of the seed-bearing units while attached to the host axis and, potentially, extensive vegetative reproduction in bennettopsids growing at high southern latitudes during the Mesozoic.

  • 39.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Prevec, Rose
    Department of Earth Sciences, Albany Museum, 40 Somerset Street, Makhanda, 6139, Eastern Cape, South Africa, and Department of Botany, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Makhanda, 6140, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
    The architecture of Permian glossopterid ovuliferous reproductive organs2019In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 480-510Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A historical account of research on glossopterid ovuliferous reproductive structures reveals starkly contrasting interpretations of their architecture and homologies from the earliest investigations. The diversity of interpretations has led to the establishment of a multitude of genera for these fossil organs, many of the taxa being synonymous. We identify a need for taxonomic revision of these genera to clearly demarcate taxa before they can be used effectively as palaeobiogeographic or biostratigraphic indices. Our assessment of fructification features based on extensive studies of adpression and permineralized fossils reveals that many of the character states for glossopterids used in previous phylogenetic analyses are erroneous. We interpret glossopterid fertiligers to have been borne in loose strobili in which individual polysperms represent fertile cladodes of diverse morphologies subtended by a vegetative leaf or bract. Polysperms within the group are variously branched or condensed with ovule placement ranging from marginal to abaxial, in some cases occurring on recurved branchlets or in cupule-like structures. Glossopterid polysperms of all types are fringed by one or two ranks of wing-like structures that may represent the remnants of megasporophylls that were, ancestrally, developed on the fertile axillary shoot. Glossopterid fertiligers have similarities to the condensed bract/ovuliferous scale complexes of conifer cones, but comparisons with Mesozoic seed-ferns are hindered by insufficient data on the arrangement and homologies of the ovulebearing organs of the latter group. Nevertheless, glossopterid polysperms differ from the ovuliferous organs of Mesozoic seed-ferns by longitudinal versus transverse folding, respectively.

  • 40.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Strullu-Derrien, Christine
    Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.
    Biota and palaeoenvironment of a high middle-latitude Late Triassic peat-forming ecosystem from Hopen, Svalbard archipelago2016In: Geological Society, London, Special Publications, ISSN 0305-8719, Vol. 434, p. 87-112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A siliceous permineralized peat block recovered from Hopen in the Svalbard archipelago hosts a low-diversity Late Triassic flora dominated by autochthonous roots and stems of bennettitaleans and lycophytes, and parautochthonous leaves, sporangia, spores and pollen from a small range of pteridophytes and gymnosperms. Some parenchymatous bennettitalean root cells show interactions with chytrid fungi and bacteria; the remains of other fungi and fungi-like organisms are dispersed within the peat’s detrital matrix. Cavities excavated through some roots and compacted detritus contain abundant coprolites probably derived from sapro-xylophagous oribatid mites, although no body fossils have yet been identified. Sparse larger coprolites containing leaf fragments attest to the presence of invertebrate folivores in the ancient ecosystem. The low diversity flora, relatively few trophic levels and simple nutritional web, together with sedimentological aspects of the host formation and the peat structure, collectively favour accumulation of the organic mass as a fibric (root-dominated) peat within a temperate (high middle-latitude), well aerated mire.

  • 41.
    Peyrot, Daniel
    et al.
    The University of Western Australia.
    Playford, Geoffrey
    The University of Queensland.
    Mantle, Daniel J.
    MGPalaeo, 1/5 Arvida St Malaga, Western Australia.
    Backhouse, John
    The University of Western Australia.
    Milne, Lynne A.
    Curtin University.
    Carpenter, Raymond J.
    University of Adelaide.
    Foster, Clinton
    The University of Western Australia; Australian National University.
    Mory, Arthur, J.
    Geological Survey and Resource Strategy, 100 Plain Street, East Perth WA.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Vitacca, Jesse
    The University of Western Australia.
    Scibiorski, Joe
    The University of Western Australia.
    Mack, Charlotte L.
    Curtin University.
    Bevan, Jenny
    The University of Western Australia.
    The greening of Western Australian landscapes: the Phanerozoic plant record2019In: Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, ISSN 0035922X, Vol. 102, p. 52-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Western Australian terrestrial floras first appeared in the Middle Ordovician (c. 460 Ma) and developed Gondwanan affinities in the Permian. During the Mesozoic, these floras transitioned to acquire a distinctly austral character in response to further changes in the continent’s palaeolatitude and its increasing isolation from other parts of Gondwana. This synthesis of landscape evolution is based on palaeobotanical and palynological evidence mostly assembled during the last 60 years. The composition of the plant communities and the structure of vegetation changed markedly through the Phanerozoic. The Middle Ordovician –Middle Devonian was characterised by diminutive vegetation in low-diversity communities. An increase in plant size is inferred from the Devonian record, particularly from that of the Late Devonian when a significant part of the flora was arborescent. Changes in plant growth-forms accompanied a major expansion of vegetation cover to episodically or permanently flooded lowland settings and, from the latest Mississippian onwards, to dry hinterland environments. Wetter conditions during the Permian yielded waterlogged environments with complex swamp communities dominated by Glossopteris. In response to the Permian–Triassic extinction event, a transitional vegetation characterised by herbaceous lycopsids became dominant but was largely replaced by the Middle Triassic with seed ferns and shrubs or trees attributed to Dicroidium. Another floristic turnover at the Triassic–Jurassic boundary introduced precursors of Australia’s modern vegetation and other southern hemisphere regions. Most importantly, flowering plants gained ascendancy during the Late Cretaceous. Characteristics of the state’s modern vegetation, such as sclerophylly and xeromorphy, arose during the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene. The vegetation progressively developed its present-day structure and composition in response to the increasing aridity during the Neogene–Quaternary.

  • 42.
    Pole, Mike
    et al.
    Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Mt Coot-tha Rd, Toowong QLD 4066, Australia.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    The first Cenozoic Equisetum from New Zealand2017In: Geobios, ISSN 0016-6995, E-ISSN 1777-5728, Vol. 50, p. 259-265Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Equisetum is described for the first time from Cenozoic deposits of New Zealand. The fossils derive from two early to earliest middle Miocene assemblages in South Island, New Zealand. The fossils are ascribed tentatively to subgenus Equisetum based on their possession of whorled branch scars, but they cannot be assigned with confidence to a formal species. The decline of equisetaleans, otherwise unknown from the Cenozoic of the New Zealand-Australian-Antarctic domain, was possibly a consequence of severe environmental changes – particularly, abrupt shifts in the temperature and soil moisture regime – experienced by this region in the Neogene, coupled with competition from opportunistic angiosperms.

  • 43.
    Pott, Christian
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Divaricate growth habit in Williamsoniaceae (Bennettitales): Unravelling the ecology of a key Mesozoic plant group2014In: Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, ISSN 1867-1594, Vol. 94, no 2, p. 307-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Representatives of Williamsoniacae (Bennettitales) are usually restored as small-leafed shrubs or low-growing trees with densely interlaced stems bifurcating or trifurcating at broad angles —a growth form referred to as divaricating. A divaricate plant architecture has evolved independently in at least 18 modern plant families, of which the majority occur in New Zealand, where they constitute more than 10 % of the flora. Botanists favour two or three hypotheses on the benefits of a divaricating habit for modern plants. One hypothesis favours the evolution of this habit to protect the foliage and reproductive structures from browsing by large mammals or large flightless birds, such as the recently extinct moa or other ratites. Another argues that this habit evolved in response to a dry, windy or frosty climate, whereas a third regards divarication as having evolved to optimise foliar light harvesting. Our evaluation of these hypotheses with respect to the ecological pressures known to have been experienced by Williamsoniaceae in the mid-Mesozoic reveals that although defence against browsing tetrapods cannot be excluded as a selective pressure that promoted divarication in Williamsoniaceae, many of the anatomical and morphological features of this family appear to represent responses to local environmental conditions. In this context, representatives of Williamsoniaceae have many characters that are convergent with members of Banksiinae (Proteaceae), suggesting adaptation to open vegetation communities on nutrient-deficient soils.

  • 44. Rößler, Rössler
    et al.
    Philippe, Marc
    van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, Han
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Sakala, Jakub
    Zijlstra, Gea
    Which name(s) should be used for Araucaria-likefossil wood? – Results of a poll2014In: Taxon, ISSN 0040-0262, E-ISSN 1996-8175, Vol. 63, p. 177-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Araucarioxylon Kraus is a widely known fossil-genus generally applied to woods similar to that of the extant Araucariaceae. However, since 1905, several researchers have pointed out that this name is an illegitimate junior nomenclatural synonym. At least four generic names are in current use for fossil wood of this type: Agathoxylon Hartig, Araucarioxylon, Dadoxylon Endl. and Dammaroxylon J.Schultze-Motel. This problem of inconsistent nomenclatural application is compounded by the fact that woods of this type represent a wide range of plants including basal pteridosperms, cordaitaleans, glossopterids, primitive conifers, and araucarian conifers, with a fossil record that extends from the Devonian to Holocene. Conservation of Araucarioxylon has been repeatedly suggested but never officially proposed. Since general use is a strong argument for conservation, a poll was conducted amongst fossil wood anatomists in order to canvass current and preferred usage. It was found that the community is divided, with about one-fifth recommending retention of the well-known Araucarioxylon, whereas the majority of others advocated use of the legitimate Agathoxylon. The arguments of the various colleagues who answered the poll are synthesized and discussed. There is clearly little support for conservation of Araucarioxylon. A secondary aspect of the poll tackled the issue as to whether Araucaria-like fossil woods should be either gathered into a unique fossil-genus, or whether two fossil-genera should be recognized, based on the respective presence or absence of axial parenchyma. A majority of colleagues favoured having one fossil-genus only. Agathoxylon can be used legitimately and appears to be the most appropriate name for such woods. However, its original diagnosis must be expanded if those woods lacking axial parenchyma are to be included.

  • 45. Slater, Ben J
    et al.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Hilton, Jason
    Peronosporomycetes (Oomycota) from a Middle Permian permineralised peat within the Bainmedart Coal Measures, Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica.2013In: PloS one, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 8, p. e70707-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The fossil record of Peronosporomycetes (water moulds) is rather sparse, though their distinctive ornamentation means they are probably better reported than some true fungal groups. Here we describe a rare Palaeozoic occurrence of this group from a Guadalupian (Middle Permian) silicified peat deposit in the Bainmedart Coal Measures, Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. Specimens are numerous and comprise two morphologically distinct kinds of ornamented oogonia, of which some are attached to hyphae by a septum. Combresomyces caespitosus sp. nov. consists of spherical oogonia bearing densely spaced, long, hollow, slender, conical papillae with multiple sharply pointed, strongly divergent, apical branches that commonly form a pseudoreticulate pattern under optical microscopy. The oogonia are attached to a parental hypha by a short truncated stalk with a single septum. Combresomyces rarus sp. nov. consists of spherical oogonia bearing widely spaced, hollow, broad, conical papillae that terminate in a single bifurcation producing a pair of acutely divergent sharply pointed branches. The oogonium bears a short truncate extension where it attaches to the parental hypha. We propose that similarities in oogonium shape, size, spine morphology and hyphal attachment between the Permian forms from the Prince Charles Mountains and other reported Peronosporomycetes from Devonian to Triassic strata at widely separated localities elsewhere in the world delimit an extinct but once cosmopolitan Palaeozoic to early Mesozoic branch of the peronosporomycete clade. We name this order Combresomycetales and note that it played an important role in late Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic peatland ecosystems worldwide.

  • 46.
    Slater, Ben
    et al.
    School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Hilton, Jason
    School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
    A high-latitude Gondwanan lagerstätte: The Permian permineralised peat biota of the Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica2015In: Gondwana Research, ISSN 1342-937X, E-ISSN 1878-0571, Vol. 27, p. 1446-1473Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Toploje Member chert is a Roadian to Wordian autochthonous–parautochthonous silicified peat preserved within the Lambert Graben, East Antarctica. It preserves a remarkable sample of terrestrial life from highlatitude central Gondwana prior to the Capitanian mass extinction event from both mega- and microfossil evidence that includes cryptic components rarely seen in other fossil assemblages. The peat layer is dominated by glossopterid and cordaitalean gymnosperms and containsmoderately common herbaceous lycophytes, together with a broad array of dispersed organs of ferns and other gymnosperms. Rare arthropod–plant and fungal–plant interactions are preserved in detail, together with a plethora of fungal morphotypes, Peronosporomycetes, arthropod remains and a diverse coprolite assemblage. Comparisons to other Palaeozoic ecosystems show that the macro flora is of low diversity. The fungal and invertebrate–plant associations demonstrate that a multitude of ecological interactions were well developed by the Middle Permian in high-latitude forest mires that contributed to the dominant coal deposits of the Southern Hemisphere. Quantitative analysis of the constituents of the silicified peat and of macerals within adjacent coal seams reveals that whilst silicified peats provide an unparalleled sample of the organisms forming Permian coals, they do not necessarily reflect the volumetric proportions of constituents within the derived coal. The Toploje Member chert Lagerstätte provides a snapshot of a rapidly entombed mire climax ecosystem in the closing stages of the Palaeozoic, but prior to the onset of the protracted crisis that engulfed and overthrew these ecosystems at the close of the Permian.

  • 47.
    Swenson, Ulf
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany.
    Havran, J. Christopher
    Campbell University, North Carolina.
    Munzinger, Jerome
    Université Montpellier.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Nylinder, Stephan
    Gothenburg University.
    Metapopulation vicariance, age of island taxa and dispersal: A case study using the Pacific plant genus Planchonella (Sapotaceae)2019In: Systematic Biology, ISSN 1063-5157, E-ISSN 1076-836X, Vol. 68, no 6, p. 1020-1033Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Oceanic islands originate fromvolcanism or tectonic activity without connections to continental landmasses, are colonized by organisms, and eventually vanish due to erosion and subsidence. Colonization of oceanic islands occurs through long-distance dispersals (LDDs) or metapopulation vicariance, the latter resulting in lineages being older than the islands they inhabit. If metapopulation vicariance is valid, island ages cannot be reliably used to provide maximum age constraints for molecular dating.We explore the relationships between the ages of members of a widespread plant genus (Planchonella, Sapotaceae) and their host islands across the Pacific to test various assumptions of dispersal and metapopulation vicariance. We sampled three nuclear DNA markers from 156 accessions representing some 100 Sapotaceae taxa, and analyzed these in BEAST with a relaxed clock to estimate divergence times and with a phylogeographic diffusion model to estimate range expansions over time. The phylogeny was calibrated with a secondary point (the root) and fossils from New Zealand. The dated phylogeny reveals that the ages of Planchonella species are, in most cases, consistent with the ages of the islands they inhabit. Planchonella is inferred to have originated in the Sahul Shelf region, to which it back-dispersed multiple times. Fiji has been an important source for range expansion in the Pacific for the past 23 myr. Our analyses reject metapopulation vicariance in all cases tested, including between oceanic islands, evolution of an endemic Fiji–Vanuatu flora, and westward rollback vicariance between Vanuatu and the Loyalty Islands. Repeated dispersal is the only mechanism able to explain the empirical data. The longest (8900 km) identified dispersal is between Palau in the Pacific and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, estimated at 2.2 Ma (0.4–4.8 Ma). The first split in a Hawaiian lineage (P. sandwicensis) matches the age of Necker Island (11.0Ma), when its ancestor diverged into two species that are distinguished by purple and yellowfruits. Subsequent establishment across the Hawaiian archipelago supports, in part, progression rule colonization. In summary, we found no explanatory power in metapopulation vicariance and conclude that Planchonella has expanded its range across the Pacific by LDD.We contend that this will be seen in many other groups when analyzed in detail.

  • 48.
    Tewari, Rajni
    et al.
    Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow-226007, India.
    Ram- Awatar, Ram-
    Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow-226007, India.
    Pandita, Sundeep
    Department of Geology, University of Jammu, Jammu-180006, India.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Agnihotri, Deepa
    Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow-226007, India.
    Pillai, Suresh
    Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow-226007, India.
    Singh, Vartika
    Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow-226007, India.
    Kumar, Kamlesh
    Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53 University Road, Lucknow-226007, India.
    Bhat, Ghulam
    Directorate of Geology and Mining, Jammu and Kashmir Government, Srinagar, India.
    The Permian-Triassic palynological transition in the Guryul Ravine section, Kashmir, India: implications for Tethyan – Gondwanan correlations2015In: Earth-Science Reviews, ISSN 0012-8252, E-ISSN 1872-6828, Vol. 149, p. 53-66Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This first palynological study of the Permian–Triassic succession in the Guryul Ravine, Kashmir, India, reveals impoverished latest Permian spore-pollen assemblages in the uppermost Zewan Formation, a rich palynoassemblage from the basal Khunamuh Formation characteristic of the Permian–Triassic transition zone and depleted Triassic assemblages from higher in the Khunamuh Formation. The collective assemblages can be broadly correlated to the Densipollenites magnicorpus and Klausipollenites decipiens palynozones of peninsular India and to palynofloras spanning the Permian–Triassic boundary elsewhere in Gondwana. Generally, low spore-pollen yields and poor preservational quality of the studied assemblages hinder more precise correlations and are inferred to be a function of an offshore marine depositional setting on the margin of the Neotethys Ocean, and thermal alteration associated with Cenozoic collisional tectonism between India and Asia.

  • 49.
    Tosolini, Anne-Marie
    et al.
    School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Wagstaff, Barbara
    School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
    Cantrill, David
    National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia.
    Galagher, Stephen
    School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
    Cheirolepidiacean foliage and pollen from Cretaceous high-latitudes of southeastern Australia2015In: Gondwana Research, ISSN 1342-937X, E-ISSN 1878-0571, Vol. 27, p. 960-977Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cheirolepidiaceae leaves and pollen are recorded from Valanginian–Albian strata of southeastern Australia that were deposited at high-latitudes under cool, moist climates in contrast to the semi-arid or coastal habitats preferred by many northern Gondwanan and Laurasian representatives of this group. Leaves of this family are characterized by thick cuticles and cyclocytic stomata with randomly oriented apertures, arranged in scattered or longitudinal rows or bands. Stomata are deeply sunken and surrounded by four to six subsidiary cells that bear one or two ranks of prominent overarching papillae, which may constrict the mouth of the pit. Three new taxa (Otwayia denticulata Tosolini, Cheirolepidiaceae cuticle sp. A and sp. B) are distinguished based on cuticular features, adding to several previously documented cheirolepid conifers in the Early Cretaceous of eastern Australia. Cheirolepidiaceae foliage is preserved predominantly in fluvial floodbasin settings and is interpreted to be derived from small trees occupying disturbed or low-nutrient sites. The foliage is associated with Classopollis/Corollina pollen and roots characterized by prominent mycorrhizal nodules. A Cenomanian Classopollis type recognised from Bathurst Island, Northern Australia, is recorded for the first time from the Early Cretaceous Eumeralla Formation, Otway Basin. Classopollis locally is rare in Valanginian–Barremian strata of Boola Boola, Gippsland, but constitutes up to 14% of the palynomorph assemblage in Albian strata. This indicates that the family was locally abundant in cool southern high-latitude climates of the Mesozoic, contrary to previous reports of its rarity in this region.

  • 50.
    Vajda, Vivi
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Geology, Lund University, Sweden.
    Linderson, Hans
    Geology Department, University of Lund.
    McLoughlin, Stephen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Disrupted vegetation as a response to Jurassic volcanism in southern Sweden2016In: Geological Society of London Special Publications, ISSN ISSN 0305-8719, Vol. 434, p. 127-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Central Skåne (Scania) in southern Sweden hosts evidence of extensive Jurassic volcanism in the form of mafic volcanic plugs and associated volcaniclastic deposits that entomb well preserved macro-plant and spore–pollen assemblages. Palynological assemblages recovered from the Höör Sandstone are of Hettangian–Pliensbachian age and those from the overlying lahar deposits are dated as Pliensbachian–early Toarcian (?). Palynomorph assemblages from these units reveal significantly different ecosystems, particularly with respect to the gymnospermous components that represented the main canopy plants. Both palynofloras are dominated by osmundacean, marattiacean and cyatheacean fern spore taxa but, whereas the Höör Sandstone hosts abundant Chasmatosporites spp. pollen produced by plants related to cycadophytes, the volcanogenic deposits are dominated by cypress family pollen (Perinopollenites) with an understorey component rich in putative Erdtmanithecales (or possibly Gnetales), and collectively representing vegetation of disturbed habitats. Permineralized conifer wood attributed to Protophyllocladoxylon sp., belonging to plants that probably produced the abundant Perinopollenites grains, is abundant in the volcanigenic strata, and shows sporadic intraseasonal and multi-year episodes of growth disruption. Together with the relatively narrow but marked annual growth rings, and the annual and mean sensitivity values that span the complacent–sensitive domains, these features suggest growth within Mediterranean-type biomes subject to episodic disturbance.

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