The origin and early evolution of plants on land

  title={The origin and early evolution of plants on land},
  author={Paul Kenrick and Peter R. Crane},
The origin and early evolution of land plants in the mid-Palaeozoic era, between about 480 and 360 million years ago, was an important event in the history of life, with far-reaching consequences for the evolution of terrestrial organisms and global environments. A recent surge of interest, catalysed by palaeobotanical discoveries and advances in the systematics of living plants, provides a revised perspective on the evolution of early land plants and suggests new directions for future research… 

Origin and early evolution of land plants

  • A. Bennici
  • Biology
    Communicative & integrative biology
  • 2008
The origin of the sporophyte in land plants represents a fundamental phase in plant evolution and the evolution of bryophytes from algae and the transition from these first land plants to the pteridophytes is discussed on the basis of the phyletic gradualistic neo-Darwinian theory and other genetic evolutionary mechanisms.

EARLY EVOLUTION OF LAND PLANTS: Phylogeny, Physiology, and Ecology of the Primary Terrestrial Radiation

The Siluro-Devonian primary radiation of land biotas is the terrestrial equivalent of the much-debated Cambrian “explosion” of marine faunas, which ended with the formation of evolutionary and ecological frameworks analogous to those of modern ecosystems.

Molecular adaptation and the origin of land plants.

  • E. Waters
  • Biology, Medicine
    Molecular phylogenetics and evolution
  • 2003

Morphological evolution in land plants: new designs with old genes

  • N. PiresL. Dolan
  • Environmental Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2012
Recent studies indicate that many of the gene families which control development in extant plants were already present in the earliest land plants, suggesting that the evolution of novel morphologies was to a large degree driven by the reassembly and reuse of pre-existing genetic mechanisms.

Molecular Evidence for the Early Colonization of Land by Fungi and Plants

Protein sequence analyses indicate that green algae and major lineages of fungi were present 1000 Ma and that land plants appeared by 700 Ma, possibly affecting Earth's atmosphere, climate, and evolution of animals in the Precambrian.

The origin and evolution of model organisms

The phylogeny and timescale of life are becoming better understood as the analysis of genomic data from model organisms continues to grow and the emphasis on historical patterns is helping to bridge barriers among organism-based research communities.

The Origin and Early Evolution of Roots1

Remarkably well-preserved fossils prove that mycorrhizal symbionts were diverse in simple rhizoid-based systems and the broader impact of root evolution on the geochemical carbon cycle is a developing area and one in which the interests of the plant physiologist intersect with those of the geochemist.

The Earliest Land Plants

  • P. Gensel
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2008
The considerable information about the possible source of cryptospores and trilete spores especially from the well-preserved mesofossils of the Late Silurian and Early Devonian is summarized.



Early life on earth

This study is organized around three themes: the origin and early diversification of life during the Archean Eon; the maturation of life and the Earth during the long Proterozoic Eon; and the

Early Vascular Land Plants: Proof and Conjecture

The invasion of the land surface by plants, particularly vascular plants, occurred in Late Silurian and Early Devonian time, approximately 405 to 370 million years ago (Table 1). During more than a

Origin of land plants

This book discusses early Silurian and Late Ordovician Environments, the Origin of Plant Signal Transduction Systems, Phytohormones, Photomorphogenesis, and Secondary Metabolism, and the Evolution of Plant Sexual Reproduction.


The discovery of new fossil plant remains, together with new interpretations of previously described forms, suggests that some ideas regarding the origin of land plants need to be modified and the current classification of early land plants be re-examined.

The microfossil record of early land plants: advances in understanding of early terrestrialization, 1970-1984

  • J. Gray
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1985
The interval from the mid Ordovician to the mid-late Early Silurian is hypothesized on the basis of the abundant and widespread spore records to be one of rapid colonization by founder populations with limited genetic diversity and with life-history strategies that included an ecophysiological tolerance to desiccation and a short vegetative life cycle.

Major Paleozoic land plant evolutionary bio-events

  • J. Gray
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1993


New data indicate that a significant elaboration of both gametophyte and sporophyte occurred early in the tracheophyte lineage, and that thegametophytes of extant ‘pteridophytes’ are highly reduced compared to those of some of the earliest ‘protracheophyts’.

The early evolution of eukaryotes: a geological perspective.

Polecular phylogenies of eukaryotic organisms imply patterns of biological and environmental history that can be tested against the geological record, and Precambrian rocks show evidence of episodic increases in biological diversity and atmospheric oxygen concentrations.

Character diversification and patterns of evolution in early vascular plants

Available data on the stratigraphic ranges of latest Silurian and Devonian vascular plant macro-fossils (sporophytes) and spores provide insights into the tempo and mode of early tracheophyte evolution, and can be used to document mosaic evolution in early vascular plant history.