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Paleobotanical Section

Chen, Iju [1], Manchester, Steven R. [2].

Fossil seeds of Ampelocissus (Vitaceae) from North and South America.

A survey of seed morphology in extant Vitaceae has been conducted to facilitate fossil identification and provide phylogenetic information. Seeds of the family are readily recognized by their paired ventral infolds and a chalazal knot, but there is considerable overlap among genera in seed morphological characters, such that it can be difficult to distinguish some of the genera. However, certain seed morphological characters appear to be confined to a particular genus, and may be useful for the recognition of particular genera in the fossil record. Seeds with large, cup-shaped ventral infolds and a circular to oval chalazal knot are known only in the genus Ampelocissus. Although some extant species currently placed in this genus have narrow infolds that of the kind more typical of the family, the distinctive cuplike infolds have been confirmed in several extant species of Ampelocissus from different geographic regions, including the type species, A. latifolia. Fossil seeds with this same morphology are now recognized from the Paleocene and Eocene of North America, and from the Early Eocene of South America. The North American occurrences include Paleocene of North Dakota, Middle Eocene of Utah, and Oregon. We also reinvestigated the holotype of Ampelocissus bravoi Berry from the Eocene of Peru, and agree with its assignment to this genus. Today Ampelocissus is confined to Southern Asia, Africa, and Central America, yet these fossil occurrences indicate that the genus was distributed outside these regions in the early Tertiary.

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1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-7800, US
2 - Florida Museum of Natural History, Dickinson Hall, P.O. Box 117800, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 26-6
Location: Salon G - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 9:15 AM
Abstract ID:402

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