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Morphology of Protosalvinia from the Upper Devonian of Ohio and Kentucky

Karl J. Niklas and Tom L. Phillips
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 63, No. 1 (Jan., 1976), pp. 9-29
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2441665
Page Count: 21
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Morphology of Protosalvinia from the Upper Devonian of Ohio and Kentucky
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Abstract

Protosalvinia has a large thallus on which P. arnoldii and P. ravenna forms develop. Light and scanning electron microscopy of Upper Devonian compression forms of Protosalvinia arnoldii, P. ravenna and P. furcata from the Ohio Shale of Kentucky and Ohio, statistical analyses of their cellular dimensions and patterns, and mathematical constructs of thallus shapes and sizes indicate that P. ravenna and P. furcata forms could be ontogenetically derived from a P. arnoldii stage. Tetrads, interpreted as the meiotic sporangial products, are morphologically identical for the three forms; tetrads contain a sporopollenin fraction and occur singly in closed, hypodermal conceptacles. Solitary, multicellular, stalked clavate structures occur in similar closed chambers. Fossil thalli are composed of hydrocarbons with some lignin-like compounds interpretable as cuticular in nature. P. ravenna and P. furcata are morphological forms of a single species showing phenotypic plasticity within an onshore-offshore paleoecological gradient. The form of thallus and the resistant spores are interpreted as adaptations to a littoral environment. The morphology and mode of reproduction of Protosalvinia suggest a heteromorphic diplobiontic life-cycle, similar to the Heterogeneratae (Phaeophyta).

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