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The cycadalean megasporophyll Dioonitocarpidium in the Carnian (Late Triassic) flora of Lunz am See, Austria

Abstract

Twenty-seven specimens from the Carnian flora of Lunz am See, Austria, belonging to Dioonitocarpidium, a genus to accommodate cycadalean megasporophylls, have been examined. In agreement with older reports, two clearly separable species have been identified, viz. Dioonitocarpidium titzei (Krasser 1917) Pott, comb. nov., and Dioonitocarpidium liliensternii Kräusel 1953, emend. Pott. Both species required a revision after examination of the original specimens and the related bibliography. For the first time, epidermal anatomy is described for a Dioonitocarpidium species from cuticle remains. The sterile foliage of the Dioonitocarpidium parent plant is discussed and giant cycad-like foliage assigned to Nilssonia is identified as the most plausible option. The putative assignment of the Dioonitocarpidium megasporophylls to the Cycadales is also discussed.

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Acknowledgements

The author greatly acknowledges the permission of the Museum of Natural History (NHMW), Vienna, Austria, and the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM), Stockholm, Sweden, to use some of the fossils for destructive sampling for isolation, preparation and maceration of cuticles, without which this study would not have been possible. Staff of the palaeontological departments of NHMW, especially Andreas Kroh, the Geological Survey of Austria, Vienna, Austria, especially Irene Zorn, and NRM, especially Ove Johansson, are thanked for permissions and all support provided. Johannes Bouchal, NRM, Stockholm, Sweden, is thanked for helping with providing literature and photography of specimens and slides. Johanna H.A. van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, and Klaus-Peter Kelber, Würzburg, Germany, are thanked for reviewing the manuscript. This study was performed during periods when the author received funding through the German Research Council (DFG, Bonn) under Grant number KR 2125/3 and from the Swedish Research Council (VR, Stockholm) under Grant number 2012-4375.

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Pott, C. The cycadalean megasporophyll Dioonitocarpidium in the Carnian (Late Triassic) flora of Lunz am See, Austria. PalZ 93, 517–530 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-019-00459-w

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Keywords

  • Cycadales
  • Cycads
  • Seeds
  • Taeniopteris
  • Nilssonia
  • Dioonites