Divaricate growth habit in Williamsoniaceae (Bennettitales): unravelling the ecology of a key Mesozoic plant group

  title={Divaricate growth habit in Williamsoniaceae (Bennettitales): unravelling the ecology of a key Mesozoic plant group},
  author={C. Pott and S. McLoughlin},
  journal={Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments},
Representatives of Williamsoniacae (Bennettitales) are usually restored as small-leafed shrubs or low-growing trees with densely interlaced stems bifurcating or trifurcating at broad angles—a growth form referred to as divaricating. A divaricate plant architecture has evolved independently in at least 18 modern plant families, of which the majority occur in New Zealand, where they constitute more than 10 % of the flora. Botanists favour two or three hypotheses on the benefits of a divaricating… Expand

Figures from this paper

Bennettitales in the Rhaetian flora of Wüstenwelsberg, Bavaria, Germany
Comparison of the flora from Wustenwelsberg with adjacent Rhaetian floras revealed distinct local differences in the bennettitalean constitution, which are discussed in the light of palaeogeography and plant dispersal patterns. Expand
The Rhaetian flora of Wüstenwelsberg, Bavaria, Germany: Description of selected gymnosperms (Ginkgoales, Cycadales, Coniferales) together with an ecological assessment of the locally prevailing vegetation
Abstract This paper describes the ginkgoaleans (Ginkgoites) and conifers (Palissya, Stachyotaxus, Schizolepis) of the Rhaetian flora from Wustenwelsberg, as well as a new species of the cycadExpand
Weltrichia xochitetlii sp. nov. (Bennettitales) from the Middle Jurassic of northwestern oaxaca, Mexico: First paleobotanical evidence from the Tecomazúchil Formation
Abstract The Jurassic flora of southern Mexico represents a key phytogeographic element in North America, where vegetative organs (leaves) of Bennettitales are the most abundant and best preserved.Expand
Jurassic Flora in Southern Mexico: Anomozamites Schimper, 1870 Emend. Pott et McLoughlin, 2009 from Mixteco Terrane, Phytogeographical Implications of Williamsoniaceae Family (Bennettitales)
Anomozamites is a fossil-genus of leaf attributed to the Bennettitales, with a distribution mainly in the Kingdom of Laurasia and a stratigraphic range of the Upper Triassic to the Lower Cretaceous.Expand
Exceptionally well-preserved Early Cretaceous leaves of Nilssoniopteris from central Mongolia
Abstract Two new Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) species of fossil bennettitalean leaves are described from central Mongolia and assigned to the genus Nilssoniopteris. Nilssoniopteris tomentosaExpand
Biota and palaeoenvironment of a high middle-latitude Late Triassic peat-forming ecosystem from Hopen, Svalbard archipelago
Abstract A siliceous permineralized peat block recovered from Hopen in the Svalbard archipelago hosts a low-diversity Late Triassic flora dominated by autochthonous roots and stems of bennettitaleansExpand
The diversity of Australian Mesozoic bennettitopsid reproductive organs
The extremely low representation of reproductive organs vis-à-vis foliage is interpreted to reflect a combination of physical disintegration of the seed-bearing units while attached to the host axis and, potentially, extensive vegetative reproduction in bennettopsids growing at high southern latitudes during the Mesozoic. Expand
Eobowenia gen. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of Patagonia: indication for an early divergence of Bowenia?
Fossil foliage Almargemia incrassata from the Lower Cretaceous Anfiteatro de Ticó Formation in Patagonia, Argentina is re-examine in the light of a comparative cuticular analysis of extant Zamiaceae, and phylogenetic analyses indicate that a newly erected genus could be related to extant Bowenia. Expand
New fossil records of Ceratozamia ( Zamiaceae , Cycadales ) from the European Oligocene and lower Miocene
New compression leaf material of Ceratozamia (Zamiaceae) has been recognised in the European Cenozoic. A leaflet of Ceratozamia floersheimensis (Engelhardt) Kvaček was recovered among unidentifiedExpand
New fossil records of Ceratozamia (Zamiaceae, Cycadales) from the European Oligocene and lower Miocene
Abstract New compression leaf material of Ceratozamia (Zamiaceae) has been recognised in the European Cenozoic. A leaflet of Ceratozamia floersheimensis (Engelhardt) Kvaček was recovered amongExpand


Trichomes on the leaves of Anomozamites villosus sp. nov. (Bennettitales) from the Daohugou beds (Middle Jurassic), Inner Mongolia, China: Mechanical defence against herbivorous arthropods
The abaxial leaf surfaces of Anomozamites villosus sp. nov., a new species of bennettitalean foliage from the Middle Jurassic Daohugou beds of Inner Mongolia, China, are covered with soft, shaggyExpand
A Revision of Wielandiella angustifolia, a Shrub-Sized Bennettite from the Rhaetian-Hettangian of Scania, Sweden, and Jameson Land, Greenland
  • C. Pott
  • Biology
  • International Journal of Plant Sciences
  • 2014
Wielandiella definitely forms a separate genus within the Williamsoniaceae that is distinct from Williamsoniella and Williamsonia and circumscribes a whole-plant concept that includes branched axes bearing leaves, immature seed cones, and monosporangiate, flowerlike reproductive structures. Expand
Bennettitalean foliage in the Rhaetian-Bajocian (latest Triassic-Middle Jurassic) floras of Scania, southern Sweden.
Cuticular analysis, associated fossils and sedimentological indices suggest that the Scanian Triassic–Jurassic bennettitaleans occupied relatively moist habitats but probably experienced physiological drought via growth on low-nutrient and low-pH substrates. Expand
Divaricating plants evolved in New Zealand as one of the responses of a sub-tropical flora, isolated from sources of artic-, alpine-, and desert-adapted plants, to the onset of harsh glacial climates. Expand
On Williamsoniella, a New Type of Bennettitalean Flower
It is now generally recognised that the Benettitales occupied a dominant position in the vegetation during part of the Mesozoic period, and the elucidation of their reproductive structures isExpand
The Rhaetian flora of Rögla, northern Scania, Sweden
Rogla is the northernmost locality yielding Meso- zoic plant fossils in Scania, southern Sweden, and is one of the northernmost Rhaetian assemblages in Europe. The assemblage consists of over 500Expand
Revision of the Pterophyllum species (Cycadophytina: Bennettitales) in the Carnian (Late Triassic) flora from Lunz, Lower Austria
A revision of the genus Pterophyllum in the famous Late Triassic flora of Lunz, Lower Austria, based on macromorphology, biometry, and epidermal anatomy suggests that certain Bennettitales locally became significant elements of the vegetation relatively early in their evolutionary history. Expand
Reconstruction of a bennettitalean flower from the Carnian (Upper Triassic) of Lunz, Lower Austria
This study reconstructs a bennettitalean flower from isolated parts from the Carnian (Upper Triassic) of Lunz in Lower Austria, including Cycadolepis wettsteinii scale leaves, Haitingeria krasseri pollen organs, and Bennetticarpus wetsteinii ovulate organs/seed cones, based on correspondences in gross morphology and epidermal anatomy. Expand
The Carnian (Late Triassic) flora from Lunz in Lower Austria: Paleoecological considerations
Abstract A recently completed systematic macromorphological and cuticular analysis of compressed gymnosperm foliage from the famous Carnian (Late Triassic) flora from Lunz in Lower Austria hasExpand
Arthropod interactions with bennettitalean roots in a Triassic permineralized peat from Hopen, Svalbard Archipelago (Arctic)
Abstract Multiple thin-sections of a Late Triassic (Carnian) siliceous permineralized peat block likely derived from the De Geerdalen Formation on Hopen Island, Svalbard Archipelago, show a denseExpand