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Abstract Detail

Deep Time: Integrating Paleobotany and Phylogenetics

Pryer, Kathleen M. [1], Schuettpelz, Eric [1].

Ancient Origins and Recent Radiations in the Evolutionary History of Ferns.

Ferns, like their sister group—seed plants, have a long evolutionary history. The fossil record indicates that both originated in the Devonian, and analyses integrating molecular phylogenetic data with fossil constraints reveal that all five extant fern lineages—ophioglossoids, whisk ferns, marattioids, horsetails, and leptosporangiates—were present by the end of the Carboniferous. The Permian and Triassic witnessed the establishment of most major leptosporangiate clades, including the gleichenioids, filmy ferns, schizaeoids, heterosporous ferns, tree ferns, and polypods. But despite their ancient origins, our three-gene, 400-taxon data set, calibrated by 24 fossil constraints, reveals that the bulk of fern diversification was much more recent. Several successive radiations in the Cretaceous and Tertiary generated most of modern fern diversity, suggesting an ecological opportunistic response to the rise of angiosperms.

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1 - Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, 27708, USA

divergence time estimates
fossil record

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY08
Location: Stevens 4/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 1:00 PM
Number: SY08001
Abstract ID:2184

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