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Polar wildfires and conifer serotiny during the Cretaceous globalhothouse
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Monash University.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Private Bag 2000, South Yarra, VIC 3141, Australia.
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Lucas Heights, NSW 2234, Australia.
2017 (English)In: Geology, ISSN 0091-7613, E-ISSN 1943-2682, Vol. 45, no 12, p. 1119-1122Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several highly effective fire-adaptive traits first evolved among modern plants duringthe mid-Cretaceous, in response to the widespread wildfires promoted by anomalously highatmospheric oxygen (O2) and extreme temperatures. Serotiny, or long-term canopy seedstorage, is a fire-adaptive strategy common among plants living in fire-prone areas today,but evidence of this strategy has been lacking from the fossil record. Deposits of abundantfossil charcoal from sedimentary successions of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, recordwildfires in the south polar regions (75°–80°S) during the mid-Cretaceous (ca. 99–90 Ma).Newly discovered fossil conifer reproductive structures were consistently associated withthese charcoal-rich deposits. The morphology and internal anatomy as revealed by neutrontomography exhibit a range of serotiny-associated characters. Numerous related fossils fromsimilar, contemporaneous deposits of the Northern Hemisphere suggest that serotiny was akey adaptive strategy during the high-fire world of the Cretaceous.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boulder: Geological Society of America, 2017. Vol. 45, no 12, p. 1119-1122
Keyword [en]
Fossil plants, palaeobotany, fire adaptation, charcoal, hothouse Earth, oxygen, Gondwana
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history; The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2741DOI: 10.1130/G39453.1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2741DiVA, id: diva2:1173069
Note

Research was supported by the National Geographic Society (9761–15) and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (P5524); additional financial support was from the Paleontological Society and Monash University

Available from: 2018-01-11 Created: 2018-01-11 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://gsw.silverchair-cdn.com/gsw/Content_public/Journal/geology/45/12/10.1130_G39453.1/2/1119.pdf?Expires=1515774940&Signature=bq9XdwolAu3GBpFdZWNCDBw4MAxbd8sPMuvrpIAXQ2ZvQjTT3FfxraLQp8TWKcCzqLV0Dy7iqv254kes0fYXv6aMdwjfH0lJUNL6ZxdQ5Dogayx61mCCUTbh-E-nrLMoK4Zuw7~5uKxRQcSeraZ~ruVMMj7r0L9Xgw1VTWrY7U8QwNPYeaAP6Jl5v0dcy5SiVIhb2m~etLpNjTRxZO1IqNqsM6qH8nBRj-eNUZEF~5pEwyyRVLkvBx63V1KON1YYjTV~Jg7BhgiPyuK91UthP2ZStC2dtIku71zp62YbDW3PSbxiOhGsvQultDMyeZzJGiRa4c6LPWiGI3~gAM1s6A__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAIUCZBIA4LVPAVW3Q

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