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Wielandiella villosa comb. nov. from the Middle Jurassic of Daohugou, China: More evidence for divaricate plant architecture in Williamsoniaceae
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
Linyi University, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Linyi, Shandong, 276005, China.
Shandong Tianyu Museum of Natural History, Pingyi, Shandong, 273300, China.
2015 (English)In: Botanica Pacifica, ISSN 2226-4701, Vol. 4, no 2, 137-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recently discovered fossils yielding branched axes with attached foliage are described from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou beds, Inner Mongolia, China. The leaves of the plant were earlier described as isolated and disarticulated foliage and assigned to Anomozamites villosus; the plant architecture, however, necessitates the re-assignment of the fossils under study to Wielandiella, a bennettitalean whole-plant fossil taxon that includes stems, leaves and unisexual ovuliferous repro-ductive structures. Wielandiella villosa is the second known species attributable to Wielandiella and extends the taxon’s range from the Rhaetian into the Middle Jurassic. Wielandiella villosa is interpreted to encompass specialised shrubs that are regarded to have thrived in swampy settings but also potentially extended to other lowland habitats, especially where conditions of physiological drought prevailed; conditions that, in modern vegetation, are considered to favour the development of divaricate plant growth forms. The foliage and reproductive organs of these medium-sized shrubs would have been of suitable size for ground-based animals to browse, potentially also stimulating a divaricate growth form in Wielandiella villosa. The ecological pressures promoting indumentum development and the protruding hairs on the leaves of Wielandiella villosa are interpreted as predominant-ly an adaptation for passive defence against herbivores rather than xeromorphic features. The latter add to ongoing investigations of the depositional setting of the fossils in order to unravel the plant’s habitat and micro-climate at Daohugou.

Abstract [ru]

Недавно обнаруженные окаменелости побегов, несущих разветвленные оси с прикрепленными листьями, описаны из среднеюрских отложений Даохугоу, Внутренняя Монголия, Китай. По листьям растение идентифицировано как Anomozamites villosus, ранее описанный по изолиро­ванным и расчлененным листьям. Архитектура растения однако требует от­несения фоссилий к Wielandiella, описанному на основе целого экземпляра таксона беннеттита, который включает стебли, листья и однополые семен-ные репродуктивные структуры. Wielandiella villosa – второй вид из ныне из-вестных в роде, что расширяет временной диапазон существования таксо-на от рэта до средней юры. Реконструированное растение сравнивается с Wielandiella angustifolia из европейского рэта, обсуждаются его экологические характеристики, которые дают представление о жизненном цикле и адапта-циях к факторам среды, а также информацию об особенностях осадконако-пления в Даохугоу в существовавших климатических условиях

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vladivostok, 2015. Vol. 4, no 2, 137-148 p.
Keyword [en]
Bennettitales, Anomozamites, Middle Jurassic, Inner Mongolia, Daohugou Biota, whole-plant fossil taxon
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Diversity of life
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-1448DOI: 10.17581/bp.2015.04115OAI: diva2:875856
Swedish Research Council, 621-2012-4375
Available from: 2015-12-02 Created: 2015-12-02 Last updated: 2015-12-02Bibliographically approved

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