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Oldest recorded in situ tracheids

Edwards, Dianne and Davies, E. C. W. 1976. Oldest recorded in situ tracheids. Nature 263 (5577) , pp. 494-495. 10.1038/263494a0

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RECENT critical reviews1 have suggested that evidence from microfossils2 (that is spores with triradiate marks, sheets of “cells” or tubes with tracheid-like thickenings) should not be considered sufficient to demonstrate the existence of vascular plants in Silurian times; the only acceptable evidence being megafossils with tracheids in situ. Such was the evidence presented by Lang3 when he described smooth axes from the Downton Series (Pridolian εβ 2) of the Welsh Borderland. These vascularised axes were found in association with two species of Cooksonia, very simple plants with smooth forking axes terminating in globose sporangia which contained spores bearing trilete marks. Megafossils morphologically similar to Cooksonia have been described from strata of similar age throughout the world, but the Lang specimens are the only ones with unequivocal tracheids and thus have hitherto been considered the earliest vascular plants. We report here the occurrence of a vascular plant in the slightly older Whitcliffian strata (Ludlow Series) of South Wales.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QK Botany
Publisher: NPG
ISSN: 0028-0836
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:10

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