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Paleobotanical Section

Frankel, David [1], Rothwell, Gar W. [1].

Sporangial dehiscence and spore morphology of an enigmatic Mississippian plant.

Abundant material of Chlidanophyton dublinensis Gensel has been found at a new Lower Mississippian locality at Alta, (Greenbrier Co.) West Virginia. As originally described, C. dublinensis has three orders of terete branches, each with a pair of vegetative appendages at its base. The ultimate branching systems are composed of equally dichotomizing axes that can be either vegetative or fertile. Numerous new specimens have been collected that consist of branching coalified axes with vegetative and fertile ultimate appendages. Fertile axes are terminated by recurved sporangia. Sporangia are oval, with a distinct epidermal pattern, and measure ca. 2 x 1 mm. The pattern of dehiscence is longitudinal, splitting the sporangium in half, and with no evidence of an annulus. Sporangia have been macerated for spores using hydrofluoric acid and Schulze's solution. Scanning electron microscopy has revealed surface ornamentation. Spores are subspheroidal, trilete, and average 29 μm. They are basically similar to those of trimerophytes, Calamophyton, Rhacophyton, and other ancient fern-like plants.


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1 - Ohio University, Department of Environmental & Plant Biology, Porter Hall, Richland Avenue, Athens, Ohio, 45701-2979, USA

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 10-6
Location: 404/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 11:30 AM
Abstract ID:496


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