New Ideas About the Early Differentiation of Angiosperms

  • Friedrich Ehrendorfer
Part of the Plant Systematics and Evolution / Entwicklungsgeschichte und Systematik der Pflanzen book series (SYSTEMATICS, volume 1)


Three premises are introduced: Origin of angiosperms from one common ancestral group, stamens and carpels as appendicular (phyllomic) sphorangiophores, and adaptive nature of basic angiosperm characters. The widely accepted assumptions that Magnoliidae link up directly to the Rosidae-Dilleniidae alliance, and that Hamamelididae are heterogeneous and have originated from several Rosidae-Dilleniidae groups are hardly tenable: There are drastic differences between the Magnoliidae and Rosidae-Dilleniidae, in the morphology of their functionally similar entomophilous flower types, and in many other respects; the Hamamelididae demonstrate considerable internal coherence together with ambivalent affinities to both, Magnoliidae and Rosidae-Dilleniidae. To solve this dilemma, the hypothesis is discussed that the extant Hamamelididae mark the remnants and descendants of an ancient “transitional field” from the Magnoliidae to the Rosidae-Dilleniidae (Fig. 1). The Hamamelididae would thereby correspond to an early phase of flower reduction and trends towards anemophily, the Rosidae-Dilleniidae to a subsequent phase of floral elaboration and intensified adaption towards zoophily.


Ellagic Acid Flower Type Early Differentiation Flower Reduction Early Angiosperm 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Friedrich Ehrendorfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der Universität WienWienAustria

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