Document Detail

Rise to dominance of angiosperm pioneers in European Cretaceous environments.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23213256     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The majority of environments are dominated by flowering plants today, but it is uncertain how this dominance originated. This increase in angiosperm diversity happened during the Cretaceous period (ca. 145-65 Ma) and led to replacement and often extinction of gymnosperms and ferns. We propose a scenario for the rise to dominance of the angiosperms from the Barremian (ca. 130 Ma) to the Campanian (ca. 84 Ma) based on the European megafossil plant record. These megafossil data demonstrate that angiosperms migrated into new environments in three phases: (i) Barremian (ca. 130-125 Ma) freshwater lake-related wetlands; (ii) Aptian-Albian (ca. 125-100 Ma) understory floodplains (excluding levees and back swamps); and (iii) Cenomanian-Campanian (ca. 100-84 Ma) natural levees, back swamps, and coastal swamps. This scenario allows for the measured evolution of angiosperms in time and space synthesizing changes in the physical environment with concomitant changes in the biological environment. This view of angiosperm radiation in three phases reconciles previous scenarios based on the North American record. The Cretaceous plant record that can be observed in Europe is exceptional in many ways. (i) Angiosperms are well preserved from the Barremian to the Maastrichtian (ca. 65 Ma). (ii) Deposits are well constrained and dated stratigraphically. (iii) They encompass a full range of environments. (iv) European paleobotany provides many detailed studies of Cretaceous floras for analysis. These factors make a robust dataset for the study of angiosperm evolution from the Barremian to the Campanian that can be traced through various ecosystems and related to other plant groups occupying the same niches.
Clément Coiffard; Bernard Gomez; Véronique Daviero-Gomez; David L Dilcher
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-12-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2012 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-19     Completed Date:  2013-02-28     Revised Date:  2013-07-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  20955-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Institut für Evolutions und Biodiversitätsforschung, Invalidenstrasse 43, D-10115 Berlin, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Angiosperms / genetics*
Biological Evolution
Botany / methods
Ferns / genetics
Gymnosperms / genetics*
Paleontology / methods

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