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Root suckering in a Triassic conifer from Antarctica: Paleoecological and evolutionary implications

Abstract : Premise of the study: Although root suckering and other types of sprouting are well studied in extant woody plants, little is known about the distribution of these traits at a macroevolutionary scale. Anatomically preserved fossil plants represent an excellent but understudied source of information of the distribution of sprouting behavior through time and across taxa. Methods: A block of silicified peat collected in the Middle Triassic Fremouw Formation at the Fremouw Peak locality, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica, contains a group of anatomically preserved roots of the fossil conifer Notophytum krauselii that bear young shoots. The specimen was prepared using the standard acetate peel technique and studied in reflected and transmitted light. Key results: Young sucker shoots bearing well-preserved leaves are produced in groups in some areas of the Notophytum roots. Conclusions: The production of root suckers in Notophytum indicates that some of the trees growing in polar forests during the Triassic could respond to environmental stresses by regenerating their vegetative structures and had the potential to reproduce vegetatively. The specimens also represent the first anatomical evidence of root suckering in any fossil seed plant, and its occurrence in an early putative podocarp supports the idea that this trait might be ancestral in at least some extant conifer families.
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Contributeur : Anne-Laure Decombeix Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : mardi 12 octobre 2021 - 15:44:22
Dernière modification le : jeudi 14 octobre 2021 - 10:22:25


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Anne-Laure Decombeix, Edith L. Taylor, Thomas N. Taylor. Root suckering in a Triassic conifer from Antarctica: Paleoecological and evolutionary implications. American Journal of Botany, Botanical Society of America, 2011, 98 (7), pp.1222-1225. ⟨10.3732/ajb.1100028⟩. ⟨hal-03037329⟩



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