Conclusions and Outlook

  • Felix Bärlocher
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 94)


The shedding of plant parts has a long history. Branch abscission was found among Lycopsida in the Paleozoic (Millingot and Chaney 1973). The earliest fossil record of deciduous leaves in members of the Glosslopteridae in the Southern Hemisphere dates to the Carboniferous, some 300 million years ago. They shed leaves in clusters on short shoots, much like needle clusters of present day Pinus are shed (Addicott and Lyon 1973). The deciduous habit of angiosperm trees of the Northern Hemisphere developed during the early Cretaceous, over 100 million years ago. In both hemispheres, the deciduous habit evolved in conjunction with the establishment of a strongly seasonal climate, indicating that ecological factors had a decisive influence on its evolution.


Early Cretaceous Aquatic Hyphomycetes Angiosperm Tree Deciduous Leaf Heterobasidium Annosum 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • Felix Bärlocher

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