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Rellimia thomsonii from the Givetian of New York: Secondary Growth in Three Orders of Branching

Joanne M. Dannenhoffer and Patricia M. Bonamo
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 76, No. 9 (Sep., 1989), pp. 1312-1325
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2444557
Page Count: 14
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Rellimia thomsonii from the Givetian of New York: Secondary Growth in Three Orders of Branching
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Abstract

Pyritized axes of the vegetative branching system of Rellimia thomsonii, from the Givetian of New York were described with emphasis on the presence and position of the secondary tissues in relation to the known axis orders. The morphology and anatomy of four axis orders (N, N+1, N+2, N+3) was described using two well-preserved specimens. One specimen showed the largest known (N) axis order, with spirally attached N+1 axes. The other specimen, from a more distal portion of the plant, showed the N+2 axis order with spirally arranged N+3 axes. The shape of the primary xylem, discernible in three of the axis orders (N+1, N+2, N+3), was a three-lobed protostele with mesarch maturation of the primary xylem. The protostele of the N+3 axis order, with only primary growth, was identical to that of fertile N+3 axes. The other axis orders (N+2, N+1, N) had wood surrounding the primary xylem. The wood of the N+2 axis was limited, and occurred only in the basal portion of the axis, but that of the N+1 and N axes was extensively developed with two and three growth layers, respectively. This wood was pycnoxylic with narrow rays similar to other aneurophytalean progymnosperms. Surrounding the secondary xylem was secondary phloem indicating the vascular cambium in Rellimia was bifacial. The presence of growth layers was discussed in relation to the climatic interpretation placed on their presence and how it correlates with paleogeographic reconstructions of the Devonian.

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