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Paleobotanical Section

Hernandez-Castillo, Genaro [2], Stockey, Ruth A. [2], Rothwell, Gar W. [1], Mapes, Gene [1].

Pollen cones from the Hamilton Quarry, Kansas.

Pollen cones of Upper Paleozoic walchian conifers have been documented from several localities throughout Europe and North America. Traditionally, pollen cones have been described as being simple with abaxial pollen sacs. However, most of these cones were recovered from localities where preservation is poor and/or only small numbers of specimens were available for study. Few localities in the world yield large numbers of conifer pollen cones. One of these localities is the Hamilton Quarry in southern Kansas, USA. This locality occurs in the uppermost part of the Pennsylvanian (Virgilian). Taxa from this locality include Barthelia furcata, Emporia lockardii, one long-needled conifer and two short-needled conifers that have yet to be described. Preservation of these specimens is exceptional, where morphology, internal anatomy and cuticles can be obtained. More than 344 pollen cones have been analyzed and many of them have been macerated and peeled. Internal anatomy of the cones confirms the adaxial position of pollen sacs in all specimens. Macerations yield five distinct types of sporophyll cuticles that can be correlated to B. furcata, E. lockardii, the two-short-needled conifers, and the long-needled conifer at the locality. Cuticular features, size of sporophylls, and cone shape and size can be used to identify individual cones and to recognize developmental stages of each cone type. This is the first time that pollen cones have been used to identify and correlate vegetative branches of walchian conifers in a multi-species fossil conifer assemblage. This is also the first study in which different developmental stages of fossil pollen cones have been characterized. This work serves as a benchmark for completing three whole plant reconstructions of Upper Paleozoic conifers from Euramerica.

1 - Ohio University, Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, Porter Hall, Richland Avenue, Athens, Ohio, 45701-2979, USA
2 - University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, CW 405 Biological Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada

pollen cone
Upper Paleozoic

Presentation Type: Paper
Session: 42-7
Location: Maybird (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2004
Time: 9:45 AM
Abstract ID:556

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