Peter R. Crane

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Many efforts to date evolutionary divergences by using a molecular clock have yielded age estimates that are grossly inconsistent with the paleontological evidence. Such discrepancies often are attributed to the inadequacy of the fossil record, but many potential sources of error can affect molecular-based estimates. In this study, we minimize the potential(More)
The Siluro-Devonian primary radiation of land biotas is the terrestrial equivalent of the much-debated Cambrian "explosion" of marine faunas. Both show the hallmarks of novelty radiations (phenotypic diversity increases much more rapidly than species diversity across an ecologically undersaturated and thus low-competition landscape), and both ended with the(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)
Fundamental differences in the distribution of oceans and landmasses in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres potentially impact patterns of biological diversity in the two areas. The evolutionary history of conifers provides an opportunity to explore these dynamics, because the majority of extant conifer species belong to lineages that have been broadly(More)
In the second half of the nineteenth century, pioneering discoveries of rich assemblages of fossil plants from the Cretaceous resulted in considerable interest in the first appearance of angiosperms in the geological record. Darwin's famous comment, which labelled the 'rapid development' of angiosperms an 'abominable mystery', dates from this time. Darwin(More)
*Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma 73072, U.S.A.; †Department of Botany, Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, U.S.A.; ‡Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago,(More)
Paleobotanical studies indicate that several isolated and systematically depauperate groups of extant woody dicotyledons originated in the Mid Cretaceous. TheChloranthaceae had probably differentiated into insect-pollinated (Chloranthus andSarcandra) and wind-pollinated (Ascarina andHedyosmum) forms by the end of the Albian, and leaves referable to(More)
The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. We provide the first spatially continuous map of forest tree density at a global scale. This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion, an order of magnitude higher than the previous estimate. Of these trees,(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)