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Gnetales – ett litet fönster mot en svunnen värld
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3347-7820
2018 (Swedish)In: Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-646X, Vol. 112, no 1, p. 4-21Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Gnetales – a small window onto a lost world

The Gnetales share a number of similarities with angiosperms and were, based on their morphology, viewed as the angiosperms’ closest living relatives. Molecular data refute this hypothesis and indicate instead that the Gnetales are misunderstood conifers. Regardless, the Gnetales are immensely interesting survivors of an ancient past. They radiated during the Early Cretaceous and extant species constitute only a small fraction of a much greater historical diversity. Structure and function of extant species are often considered odd, enigmatic and difficult to understand. Among the oddities of the Gnetales are the morphologically unique Welwitschia, with close relatives only known as fossils of the Early Cretaceous, and the discovery of moonlight pollination in Ephedra foeminea. The Gnetales continue to attract scientists’ attention, decade after decade, perhaps because they form a tiny window through which we are allowed a glimpse of long gone ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 112, no 1, p. 4-21
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Biological Systematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170424OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170424DiVA, id: diva2:1333307
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2019-07-01 Created: 2019-07-01 Last updated: 2019-07-01Bibliographically approved

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