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The architecture of Permian glossopterid ovuliferous reproductive organs
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6723-239X
Department of Earth Sciences, Albany Museum, 40 Somerset Street, Makhanda, 6139, Eastern Cape, South Africa, and Department of Botany, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Makhanda, 6140, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
2019 (English)In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, E-ISSN 1752-0754, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 480-510Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A historical account of research on glossopterid ovuliferous reproductive structures reveals starkly contrasting interpretations of their architecture and homologies from the earliest investigations. The diversity of interpretations has led to the establishment of a multitude of genera for these fossil organs, many of the taxa being synonymous. We identify a need for taxonomic revision of these genera to clearly demarcate taxa before they can be used effectively as palaeobiogeographic or biostratigraphic indices. Our assessment of fructification features based on extensive studies of adpression and permineralized fossils reveals that many of the character states for glossopterids used in previous phylogenetic analyses are erroneous. We interpret glossopterid fertiligers to have been borne in loose strobili in which individual polysperms represent fertile cladodes of diverse morphologies subtended by a vegetative leaf or bract. Polysperms within the group are variously branched or condensed with ovule placement ranging from marginal to abaxial, in some cases occurring on recurved branchlets or in cupule-like structures. Glossopterid polysperms of all types are fringed by one or two ranks of wing-like structures that may represent the remnants of megasporophylls that were, ancestrally, developed on the fertile axillary shoot. Glossopterid fertiligers have similarities to the condensed bract/ovuliferous scale complexes of conifer cones, but comparisons with Mesozoic seed-ferns are hindered by insufficient data on the arrangement and homologies of the ovulebearing organs of the latter group. Nevertheless, glossopterid polysperms differ from the ovuliferous organs of Mesozoic seed-ferns by longitudinal versus transverse folding, respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Melbourne: Taylor & Francis, 2019. Vol. 43, no 4, p. 480-510
Keywords [en]
Glossopteris, fructifications, reproductive biology, Gondwana, plant anatomy, phylogeny
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history; The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3571DOI: 10.1080/03115518.2019.1659852OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3571DiVA, id: diva2:1375335
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-5234Swedish Research Council, 2018-04527
Note

Also funded by the National Science Foundation [project #1636625]; University of the Witwatersrand; Rhodes University; the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences and the NRF African Origins Platform [UID: 98822]

Available from: 2019-12-03 Created: 2019-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03115518.2019.1659852

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