Pollen morphology of extant Winteraceae: a study allowing SEM-based affiliation of its fossil representatives
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University of Vienna, Department of Palaeontology, Althanstraße 14 (UZA II), 1090 Vienna, Austria
University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Carbis Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa
University of the Free State, Department of Plant Sciences, Nelson Mandela Drive, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
Online publication date: 2017-12-19
Publication date: 2017-12-19
Acta Palaeobotanica 2017; 57(2): 339–396
When applying high-resolution microscopy, the pollen morphology of extant taxa can be used to classify fossil pollen, that is, to address the latter in the established systematic-phylogenetic framework. Here we investigate tetrads and pollen features of 20 different Winteraceae species, most of them belonging to the early-diverging generic lineages Tasmannia, Drimys and Pseudowintera. The tetrads and pollen are grouped into eleven pollen types based on diagnostic features observed by both light and scanning electron microscopy. The high-resolution scanning electron micrographs of recent material allow detailed comparison with fossil material, resulting in a more accurate affiliation of fossil tetrads/pollen to extant lineages. As a case study, early Miocene Winteraceae tetrads from South Africa are re-examined and formally described. The systematic placement of the African fossils is discussed in light of the pollen types presented here.
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