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Herrera, Fabiany [1], Testo, Weston [2], Field, Ashley [3], Clark, Elizabeth [4], Herendeen, Patrick [5], Crane, Peter [6], Shi, Gongle [7].

An early Cretaceous homosporous lycopod from China and the evolution of crown clubmosses.

Today, the homosporous Lycopodiaceae is the most morphologically and ecologically diverse lineage within Lycopodiopsida, with approximately 400–500 species grouped in sixteen extant genera and three subfamilies (Huperzioideae, Lycopodioideae, and Lycopodielloideae). Lycopodiaceae crown–group age has been estimated to be from middle Jurassic to late Devonian based on time–calibrated phylogenies. Although it is evident that Lycopodiaceae had a long evolutionary history, crown–group fossils are remarkably scarce, and many of them have been placed in the fossil genus Lycopodites. In many cases, those fossils are poorly preserved and are of uncertain affinity. Here, we report the first crown–group Lycopodiaceae fossil based on dozens of small, exquisitely preserved, and permineralized dichotomizing leafy axes. The fossils come from a recently discovered chert deposit in eastern Inner Mongolia (China). The age of the locality is 125.6 ± 1.0 Ma (late Barremian–earliest Aptian) based on recent U–Pb zircon dating and associated palynological assemblages. We performed extensive anatomical and morphological comparisons with extant Lycopodiaceae and generated a 3D reconstruction from a micro–CT scan of the fossil holotype. We also updated a combined DNA and morphological matrix to elucidate the phylogenetic placement of the new fossil. Our preliminary results support the recognition of a new fossil genus within the subfamily Lycopodioideae. Based on the anatomical features of the fossil, we reconstruct it as a small erect, herbaceous plant that grew near peat deposits.

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1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, USA
2 - University Of Gothenburg, Biological And Environmental Sciences, Carl Skottbergs Gata 22b, Gothenburg, Q, 41319, Sweden
3 - Queensland Herbarium , Department of Environment and Science, Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Qld 4870, Australia
4 - Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
5 - Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL, 60022, United States
6 - Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Oak Spring, Upperville, VA, 20184, United States
7 - Nanjing Institute Of Geology And Palaeontology, Chinese Academy Of Sci, 39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing, 32, 210008, China


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PL6, Paleobotany: Paleozoic/Mesozoic Paleobotany
Location: /
Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
Time: 11:30 AM(EDT)
Number: PL6007
Abstract ID:561
Candidate for Awards:None

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