Comparative morphological studies of fossil and living plane trees (Platanaceae) and oaks (Quercus): taxonomy, ecology, evolution
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Morphological characters are essential for flowering plant identification, but also provide information about diversity patterns and ecological adaptation. In woody plant species, characters of the leaf are among the most useful and can be examined on fossils as well. In this thesis, I studied leaf architecture, epidermal anatomy and reproductive structures of some fossil Platanaceae (plane trees) and an extant group of Quercus (oak) both qualitatively and quantitatively. The aim of this study was to understand past and present patterns of distribution in these taxa, their morphological variability and possible species delimitations. Platanaceae constitute today a relict taxon with a disjunct distribution, but were a taxonomically and morphologically diverse group in the geological past. The presence of the modern genus Platanus in the Late Cretaceous of Central Germany could be demonstrated through the combined analysis of leaves, flowers, fruits and pollen. The extinct genus Credneria is only represented by leaf fossils, but a unique combination of characters proved its affinity with the Platanaceae. Although several species had been described previously, a statistical analysis showed that the observed leaf polymorphism is due to environmental constraints, pointing towards a single species, Credneria denticulata. Quercus subsection Galliferae is a small group of white oaks with a disjunct distribution in the Mediterranean region, which show a high morphological variability within and low differentiation between the species. Samples from the entire distribution range were subjected to a morphological and quantitative analysis. The results demonstrated that the established species, except for Q. canariensis, are linked by clinal variation, which in turn corresponds to geographical gradients. An evaluation of epidermal characters revealed them to be of restricted use for taxon delimitation in the group. Instead, leaf and epidermal morphology provide extensive information about the ecology and biogeographic history of oaks.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Botany, Stockholm University , 2011. , 53 p.
Platanaceae, Platanus, Credneria, Quercus, Galliferae, leaf architecture, epidermal anatomy, comparative morphology, character variation, variability, sample size, diversity patterns, species concepts, ecology, biogeography, evolution, plant fossils
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62707ISBN: 978-91-7447-369-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-62707DiVA: diva2:444097
2011-10-28, Föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Ståhl, Bertil, Prof.
Denk, Thomas, Förste intendent Dr.Eriksson, Ove, Prof.
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3. Manuscript. Paper 4. Manuscript. 2011-10-062011-09-272011-10-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers