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Abstract Detail


Nowak, Hendrik [1], Kustatscher, Evelyn [1].

In situ spores of marattialean and leptosporangiate ferns from the Triassic in Europe.

Spores and pollen are produced in large numbers by plants and distributed by wind, water or animals up to tens of thousands of kilometers away from the source area. Thanks to this and their high preservation potential, they are particularly useful for the reconstruction of environments and biotic responses to the climate of the past. However, in order to reconstruct the botanical affinity of these dispersed sporomorphs, we have to identify the original plant, and in particular the corresponding reproductive organs. Spores or pollen from a single plant species or even an individual plant or sporangium may vary in shape to a point that equivalent forms that were found dispersed in the sediment have been described as different species or even genera. In addition, not all these organs were ripe at the moment of the burial, and therefore they do not always contain completely developed microspores. In order to better understand these variations, we studied the intraspecific and interspecific morphological variability of in situ spores of ferns (belonging to the Marattiales, Osmundales, Gleicheniales, and Schizaeales) from the Triassic of Europe. The material mainly comes from the Kühwisenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca flora (Dont Formation, Anisian) of Italy, the Lettenkeuper (Erfurt Formation, Ladinian) of Germany, and the Lunz flora (Lunz Formation, Carnian) of Austria. Our analysis is aimed at distinguishing characters that can serve to identify specific taxa from those that fall into the normal range of variability, differentiating developmental stages, and determining the frequency of malformed grains, which may provide evidence for environmental disturbances affecting plant reproduction.

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1 - Museum of Nature South Tyrol, Paleontology, Bindergasse/Via Bottai 1, Bozen/Bolzano, BZ, 39100, Italy


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PL1, Paleobotany: Cookson Student Presentations - Session I
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 10:15 AM(EDT)
Number: PL1002
Abstract ID:735
Candidate for Awards:Isabel Cookson Award

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