Serbet, Rudolph , Taylor, Thomas N. , Taylor, Edith L. .
Triassic ferns from Antarctica: an interesting dictyostelic type.
THE Fremouw Peak locality has a rich and diverse flora consisting of ferns, conifers, at least one cycad , and both vegetative and reproductive remains of corystosperms. The diversity of ferns at this locality suggests that during this time Antarctica possessed a warm, moist and generally hospitable climate. Several fern taxa have already been described from the Fremouw Formation; this report identifies a new rhizome with possible affinities within the Polypodiaceae. The incomplete rhizome is approximately 1.2 cm long and 1.0 cm in diameter. Organization of the stele includes up to 3-5 amphicribrial meristeles, each of which anastomose throughout the length of the rhizome. Some meristeles divide to produce root traces and vascular tissue for the leaves. Leaf traces consist of several small circular bundles, with no apparent pattern when viewed in transverse section. Ground tissue in the rhizome consists of thick-walled cells, many containing opaque contents and fungal hyphae. The dictyostelic nature of the rhizome from the Antarctic Triassic site appears to be unique relative to the vascular anatomy that is known to date from ferns of this age. The absence of additional vegetative features as well as information on the reproductive structures of this interesting fern obviously precludes a more specific association with modern groups. What is perhaps especially interesting, however, is the fact that the anatomy of this rhizome is modern in appearance and adds support to the hypothesis that filicalean fern families are much older than previously interpreted.
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1 - University of Kansas, Division of Paleobotany, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, 1200 Sunnyside Ave., Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA
2 - University of Kansas, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 8:30 AM