Sporophytes of polysporangiate land plants from the early Silurian period may have been photosynthetically autonomous

  title={Sporophytes of polysporangiate land plants from the early Silurian period may have been photosynthetically autonomous},
  author={Milan Libert{\'i}n and Jiř{\'i} Kva{\vc}ek and Jiř{\'i} Bek and Viktor Ž{\'a}rsk{\'y} and Petr {\vS}torch},
  journal={Nature Plants},
The colonization of land by vascular plants is an extremely important phase in Earth’s life history. This key evolutionary process is thought to have begun during the Middle Cambrian1 period and culminated in the Silurian/Early Devonian period (interval about 509–393 million years ago (Ma)), and is documented primarily by microfossils (that is, by dispersed spores, phytodebris including fragments of algae, tissues, sporangia and cuticles), tubes and rare megafossils2. A newly recognized fossil… 

Early land plant phytodebris

Abstract Historically, phytodebris (often considered a type of non-pollen palynomorph – NPP) has played a prominent role in research into the fossil record of early land plants. This phytodebris

Dynamics of Silurian Plants as Response to Climate Changes

This work attempts to correlate Silurian floral development with environmental dynamics based on data from the Prague Basin, but also to compile known data on a global scale to indicate highly terrestrialized, advancedSilurian land-plant assemblage/flora types with obviously great ability to resist different dry-land stress conditions.

Virgatasporites and Attritasporites: the oldest land plant derived spores, cryptospores or acritarchs?

ABSTRACT The oldest reported occurrence of cryptospores supposed to derive from land plants (embryophytes) is currently considered to be in the Middle Ordovician. The two genera Virgatasporites and

A fossil record of land plant origins from charophyte algae

A Tremadocian assemblage with elements of both Cambrian and younger embryophyte spores that provides a new level of evolutionary continuity between embryophytes and their algal ancestors is described, suggesting that the molecular phylogenetic signal retains a latent evolutionary history of the acquisition of the embryophytic developmental genome.

An alternative model for the earliest evolution of vascular plants

Land plants comprise the bryophytes and the polysporangiophytes. All extant polysporangiophytes are vascular plants (tracheophytes), but to date, some basalmost polysporangiophytes (also called

Initial plant diversification and dispersal event in upper Silurian of the Prague Basin

Back to the Beginnings: The Silurian-Devonian as a Time of Major Innovation in Plants and Their Communities

Massive changes in terrestrial paleoecology occurred during the Devonian. This period saw the evolution of both seed plants (e.g., Elkinsia and Moresnetia), fully laminate∗ leaves and wood. Wood

Plant Diversity of The Mid Silurian (Lower Wenlock, Sheinwoodian) Terrestrial Vegetation Preserved in Marine Sediments from The Barrandian Area, The Czech Republic

Abstract Plant mega- and microfossils are described from the middle Sheinwoodian of the Barrandian area. The material comes from the Loděnice locality and the same horizon as the earliest unequivocal



The microfossil record of early land plants.

  • C. WellmanJ. Gray
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 2000
It is only from the Late Silurian onwards that the microfossil/ megafossil record can be integrated and utilized in interpretation of the flora.

Did Multicellular Plants Invade the Land?

The invasion of the land coincided with and depended upon the evolution of the diploid sporophyte from the haploid gametophyte, and the two generations are almost indistinguishable from each other except for the kinds of reproductive cells.

Cells and tissues in the vegetative sporophytes of early land plants.

  • D. Edwards
  • Environmental Science
    The New phytologist
  • 1993
Remarkable preservation in coalified and pennineralized fossils from Upper Silurian and Lower Devonian sediments provides insight into the major anatomical innovations associated with the early stages in the colonization of the land by higher plants.

Changing expressions: a hypothesis for the origin of the vascular plant life cycle

  • P. Kenrick
  • Environmental Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2017
Fossils from the 407-Ma Rhynie chert reveal unanticipated diversity, including new variants of meiotic cell division and leafless gametophytes with mycorrhizal-like symbioses, rhizoids, vascular tissues and stomata, putting in place the critical components that regulate transpiration and forming a physiological platform of primary importance to the diversification of vascular plants.

Conflicting Phylogenies for Early Land Plants are Caused by Composition Biases among Synonymous Substitutions

Despite the similarity among land–plant life cycles, they differ in one significant aspect: in the three bryophyte groups, the haploid gametophytic stage is the dominant vegetative stage, whereas in vascular plants the diploid sporophyte dominates.

The terrestrial biota prior to the origin of land plants (embryophytes): a review of the evidence

It is often assumed that life originated and diversified in the oceans prior to colonizing the land. However, environmental constraints in chemical evolution models point towards critical steps

How green was Cooksonia? The importance of size in understanding the early evolution of physiology in the vascular plant lineage

  • C. Boyce
  • Environmental Science
  • 2008
Several Cooksonia-like taxa lump fossils with axial widths spanning over an order of magnitude are informing understanding of the evolution of an independent sporophyte and the phylogenetic relationships of early vascular plants.

Early Middle Ordovician evidence for land plants in Argentina (eastern Gondwana).

• The advent of embryophytes (land plants) is among the most important evolutionary breakthroughs in Earth history. It irreversibly changed climates and biogeochemical processes on a global scale; it

Cryptospores and cryptophytes reveal hidden diversity in early land floras.

Cryptophytes encompass a pool of diversity from which modern bryophytes and vascular plants emerged, but were competitively replaced by early tracheophytes, and the long-held consensus that tetrads were the archetypal condition in land plants is challenged.

Development and genetics in the evolution of land plant body plans

  • C. Jill Harrison
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2017
The data place plant evo-devo research at the cusp of discovering the developmental and genetic changes driving the radiation of land plant body plans, and the origins of morphological diversity.