Comparative pollen morphology of Brachylena, Tarchananthus and two species of Tubulifloridites (Asteraceae) from the Eocene, Knysna Lignite of South Africa

Michael S. Zavada, Timothy K. Lowrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two fossil taxa Tubulifloridites antipodica and T. viteauensis recovered from the Eocene Knysna Lignite of South Africa were examined with scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The details of their sculpturing and wall structure are similar to the same species of fossil dispersed pollen taxa recovered from southwestern Africa and South America. Fifteen species of the woody South African taxa, Brachylaena (9 species) and Tarchonanthus (6 species) were investigated with SEM and TEM. All of the taxa are tricolporate, spherical to slightly prolate, microechinate to echinate and have a bilayered columellate infrastructure, except B. ilicifolia, which has a single columellate infrastructural level with the "granularization" of the outer portion of the infrastructural layer or the inner layer of the tectum. There is a similar distribution of plesiomorphic and derived pollen characters in a number of aster subfamilies and tribes suggesting a similar evolutionary progression of pollen, and pollen wall character evolution was occurring synchronously in a variety of aster subfamilies during the middle Tertiary and that these unique pollen features may be important to the evolution and diversification of the Asteraceae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Volume162
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank the foreman at the Makhulu Quarry (Derby Materials) for giving us access to their quarry to collect samples from the exposed Knysna Lignite. This project was supported by grants from the American Philosophical Society and the National Geographic Society grant 6961-01 .

Keywords

  • Asteraceae
  • Brachylena
  • Eocene
  • South Africa
  • Tarchananthus
  • Tubulifloridites

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative pollen morphology of Brachylena, Tarchananthus and two species of Tubulifloridites (Asteraceae) from the Eocene, Knysna Lignite of South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this