Serbet, Rudolph , Taylor, Thomas N. .
Medullosan pollen organ diversity: An example from the Lower Pennsylvanian of Kentucky.
In recent years, improved understanding of the reproductive biology of fossil plants has made a major impact on studies of plant evolution. Especially important has been the value of structurally preserved reproductive organs. The medullosan pteridosperms represent a highly diverse group of Carboniferous seed plants that includes a large number of pollen organs and ovules. Here we report a permineralized pollen organ from the Lower Pennsylvanian of eastern Kentucky. It measures approximately 11 mm long and 2.5 mm in diameter, and is constructed of a small number of thin-walled, randomly arranged elongate sporangia. Vascular bundles appear to be peripheral in the ground tissue. Pollen grains are small (144-195µm long and 100-142µm in diameter) and of the Monoletes-type. Of all Monoletes-bearing pollen organs, irrespective of preservational mode, the specimen from Lewis Creek appears most similar to the simple morphotype Aulacotheca. This suggests that there is more pollen organ diversity among the simple Aulacotheca-types then has been previously understood based on impression-compression fossils. Floral elements from stratigraphically equivalent deposits in Europe suggest that this pollen organ may have been borne by Medullosa anglica.
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Paleobotany at the University of Kansas
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
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 11:15 AM