Systematics and Paleoecology of a New Peltaspermalean Seed Fern From the Triassic Polar Vegetation of Gondwana
Taylor, Edith L.
Taylor, Thomas N.
University of Chicago Press
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
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A new Triassic seed fern is described on the basis of a large collection of well-preserved plant compressions from the Upper Triassic of Mt. Falla, Queen Alexandra Range, central Transantarctic Mountains. The foliage is simple entire-margined to pinnatifid to partly pinnate and is assigned to Dejerseya lobata (Jones et de Jersey) Herbst emend. nov. Associated with these leaves occur two new reproductive structures. The ovulate organ Matatiella dejerseyi sp. nov. is a lax, conelike structure with primarily shield-shaped megasporophylls that are dissected into three to four narrow lobes, each bearing a single recurved, naked ovule. The pollen organ Townrovia polaris sp. nov. consists of a slender axis arising from a covered reproductive bud, bearing pinnately arranged, stalked, elongate receptacles each with ;20 unilocular, clavate pollen sacs; the pollen is bisaccate nontaeniate with an irregular longitudinal sulcus and coarse saccus endoreticulations, corresponding to the dispersed pollen Falcisporites australis. Similar pollen grains occur in the micropylar canals of seed cuticles of M. dejerseyi. Co-occurrence data indicate that the three taxa are probably different organs from one plant species. This new seed fern is assigned to the Matatiellaceae, which we place into the Peltaspermales because of structural similarities with vegetative and reproductive organs of other peltaspermalean seed ferns. It appears that several Triassic Gondwanan plant fossil taxa of currently uncertain affinities—such as Pachydermophyllum, Linguifolium, Carpolithus mackayi, and Andersonia—may belong to the Matatiellaceae as well. We suggest that the matatiellacean peltasperms were opportunistic, early successional plants that were particularly successful in colonizing stressed wetland environments in polar latitudes during the Triassic.
This is the publisher's version, which has been shared with permission. The original version may be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954102011000241
Bomfleur, B., Taylor, E., Taylor, T., Serbet, R., Krings, M., and Kerp, H. 2011. Systematics and Paleoecology of a New Peltaspermalean Seed Fern From the Triassic Polar Vegetation of Gondwana. International Journal of Plant Sciences 172(6): 807-835.
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