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Angiosperm Origins: Morphological and Ecological Aspects by V. A. Krassilov

By V. A. Krassilov

This article includes a description of the morphological grades and their linking types; a dialogue of seed plant evolution; an outline of early angiosperms and their environments; and a n research of morphological tendencies in separate organs and their implications for angiosperm phylogeny.

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Far East, Russia (Krassilov, 1990): (1) stem armoured with persistent leaf petioles, x,l/3, (2) ramenta of multicellular trichomes, x2()0, (3, 4) leaf trace, cross-section, x l 5 and 80. perhaps attractively coloured (Harris, 1973), covering young gynoecia and sometimes even mature gynoecia, as in the cleistocarpous flowers (Gupta, 1958). Occasional bracts proliferated in miniature pinnate blades betraying their phyllodic origin (Harris, 1969; Krassilov, 1982b). T h e sporangiophores were basically pinnate, circinnately coiled or bent, with conduplicate pinnae, often proximally connate and then forming a cup-like structure, sometimes apically connate in a massive dome-like structure that prevented their unfolding at maturity (such structures would suggest self-pollination unless they were shed as a whole).

T h e pollen organs w e r e catkin-like strobili, with the lateral s p o r a n g i o p h o r e s arranged spirally or p s e u d o w h o r l e d , consisting of a slender, apically reflexed stalk bearing an adaxial s y n a n g i u m . T h e latter w a s 4-lobed, spreading at d e h i s c e n c e , each lobe vascularized by a branch of a single pedicellar bun­ dle. T h e g y n o c l a d e s w e r e terminal on short shoots, with scale leaves at base, loose, branching spirally, with the lateral ovuliphores distant or o v e r l a p p i n g , consisting of a stalk and a terminal bivalved cupule (Harris, 1951b; Krassilov, 1969).

T h e cotyledons are normally two, as in c y c a d s . T h e extinct M e s o z o i c forms were either similar to the extant species or differing in the lanceolate parallel-veined or palmately dissected leaves with or without petioles as well as in t h e d i s t i n c t l y s t r o b i l a t e o v u l i p h o r e s b e a r i n g e r e c t or i n c u r v e d o v u l e s (Atchangelsky, 1965), the latter with free cutinized nucelli and the early e m b r y o g e n e s i s accomplished before shedding the seeds (Krassilov, 1969).

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