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We present a phylogenetic dating of asterids, based on a 111-taxon tree representing all major groups and orders and 83 of the 102 families of asterids, with an underlying data set comprising six chloroplast DNA markers totaling 9914 positions. Phylogenetic dating was done with semiparametric rate smoothing by penalized likelihood. Confidence intervals were(More)
With molecular analyses indicating that angiosperms are not closely related to any other extant seed plant group, information from fossils might provide the only basis for reconstructing their origin. Therefore the description of a new Early Cretaceous angiosperm, Archaefructus, placed as the sister of all extant angiosperms, has created much debate and(More)
Phylogenetic analyses have identified the water lilies (Nymphaeales: Cabombaceae and Nymphaeaceae), together with four other small groups of flowering plants (the 'ANITA clades': Amborellaceae, Illiciales, Trimeniaceae, Austrobaileyaceae), as the first diverging lineages from the main branch of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree, but evidence of these groups(More)
Recent palaeobotanical studies have greatly increased the quantity and quality of information available about the structure and relationships of Cretaceous angiosperms. Discoveries of extremely well preserved Cretaceous flowers have been especially informative and, combined with results from phylogenetic analyses of extant angiosperms (based mainly on(More)
Over the past 25 years the discovery and study of Cretaceous plant mesofossils has yielded diverse and exquisitely preserved fossil flowers that have revolutionized our knowledge of early angiosperms, but remains of other seed plants in the same mesofossil assemblages have so far received little attention. These fossils, typically only a few millimetres(More)
A molecular dating of the phylogenetically basal eudicots (Ranunculales, Proteales, Sabiales, Buxales and Trochodendrales sensu Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II) has been performed using several fossils as minimum age constraints. All rbcL sequences available in GenBank were sampled for the taxa in focus. Dating was performed using penalized likelihood, and(More)
A new species (Mayoa portugallica genus novum species novum) of highly characteristic inaperturate, striate fossil pollen is described from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian-Aptian) of Torres Vedras in the Western Portuguese Basin. Based on comparison with extant taxa, Mayoa is assigned to the tribe Spathiphylleae (subfamily Monsteroideae) of the extant(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS The extant species of the seed plant group Gnetales (Ephedra, Gnetum and Welwitschia) have been considered a remnant of a much greater, now extinct, diversity due to the pronounced differences in form and ecology among the genera. Until recently, this hypothesis has not been supported by evidence from the fossil record. This paper adds(More)
BACKGROUND Knowledge on fossil and evolutionary history of the Gnetales has expanded rapidly; Ephedra and ephedroids as well as the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade are now well documented in the Early Cretaceous. However, hypotheses on evolutionary relationships among living and fossil species are hampered by restricted knowledge of morphological variation in(More)
Developing a detailed estimate of plant phylogeny is the key first step toward a more sophisticated and particularized understanding of plant evolution. At many levels in the hierarchy of plant life, it will be impossible to develop an adequate understanding of plant phylogeny without taking into account the additional diversity provided by fossil plants.(More)