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The Botanical Review

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 321–364 | Cite as

Carboniferous lepidodendraceae and lepidocarpaceae

  • Barry A. Thomas
Article

Summary

The Carboniferous arborescent lycopods were the largest and most specialized members of this group, having developed from the simpler Devonian forms described asLepidodendropsis. The changes of external morphology and internal anatomy show that the plants belonging to the Lepidodendraceae had determinate growth patterns. Mature trees had tall trunks with crowns of dichotomously branched shoots. Their shallow, dichotomizing rooting systems are rhizophores calledStigmaria. The plants were heterosporous, having terminal cones on their ultimate branches. These cones are either included within the Lepidodendraceae, or referred to the Lepidocarpaceae if they possessed only one functional megaspore within each megasporangium. The Lepidocarpaceae therefore is a family of megasporangiate cones which were most probably borne on shoots belonging to the Lepidodendraceae. The two families were most common in the Upper Carboniferous of the equatorial Euramerican province, although they also lived in the Cathaysian flora of China and Southeast Asia. Plant compression and dispersed spore assemblages indicate that the Lepidodendraceae grew in the coal basin swamps although in more than one type of plant community.

Keywords

Coal Seam Botanical Review Stem Genus Leafy Shoot Leaf Scar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Résumé

Dans cette catégorie, les lycopodes arborescent Carbonifères étaient les plantes les plus grandes et les plus évoluées, s’étant développés à partir de simples formes Dévoniennes que l’on appelleLepidodendropsis. Les changements de leur morphologie externe et de leur anatomie interne montrent que les plantes appartenant au groupe des Lepidodendraceae avaient un système de croissance défini. Parvenus à leur maturité les arbres présentaient un long tronc et une couronne de branches dichotomes. Leurs systèmes de racines dichotomes, peu profonds, étaient des rhizophores appelésStigmaria. Les plantes étaient hétérospores. A l’extrèmité de leurs branches les plus hautes se trouvaient des cônes qui faisaient partie soit du groupe des Lepidodendraceae soit du group des Lepidocarpaceae s’ils ne possédaient qu’une seule mégaspore fonctionnelle dans chaque mégasporange. Les Lepidocarpaceae sont donc une famille de cônes mégasporanges qui proviennent très probablement de pousses appartenant aux Lepidodendraceae. On trouvait les deux familles très fréquemment dans la période des Carbonifère Supérieurs dans la région équatoriale Euroaméricaine bien qu’on puisse aussi les trouver dans la flore de la Chine et de l’Asie du Sud Est. Les assemblages de compressions et de spores dispersées indiquent que les Lepidodendraceae poussaient dans les bassins charbon des marais bien que probablement repartis dans differentes communautis.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry A. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of London Goldsmiths’ CollegeNew Cross

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