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How did Devonian cladoxylopsids grow?

Berry, Christopher ORCID:, Xu, Honghe and Stein, William E 2015. How did Devonian cladoxylopsids grow? Presented at: Linnean Society Palaeobotany Specialist Group, Linnean Society, Burlington House, London, 23 November 2015.

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Devonian cladoxylopsids are widely regarded as the earliest tree in the fossil record. Yet how they achieved a tree size is still a mystery, although it has provoked debate. Cladoxylopsid trunks consist of a ring of radially-oriented plates of xylem (cauline strands) connected to an internal ring of anastamosing xylem strands (medullary strands), some with an exterior root mantle, all embedded in a parenchymatous ground mass. The centre of large specimens may be entirely hollow. This is one of the most complex stem anatomies known. While some well-preserved cladoxylopsids show clearly that they were largely formed by primary growth, others display aligned files of xylem cells around individual xylem strands, which might be interpreted as secondary. Using pyrite permineralizations from Eospermatopteris (Middle Devonian of New York State) and new silicified material from China, we will suggest new ideas about how some cladoxylopsids might have grown using secondary growth.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Q Science > QK Botany
Funders: NERC NE/J007897/1
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:16

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