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Abstract Detail


Hahn, Zachary [1], Ryberg, Patricia Elizabeth [2].

Foliar Herbivory from the early Middle Triassic Fremouw Formation, Antarctica.

In the wake of Earth’s largest mass extinction event, the Triassic Period (199–252 Ma) was tasked with the responsibility of restoring the planet’s biodiversity and facilitating the evolution of the small percentage of species that survived the Permian extinction. For many years, varieties of paleontologists have dedicated their efforts to finding clues and links that can shine light on how species changed and adapted to the warmer, drier Triassic environment. The early Middle Triassic Fremouw Formation, located within the Transantarctic Mountains, may offer some of those desired clues as it was a riparian forest. The significance behind the ecosystem is that it would have offered ideal conditions for the growth of the dominant plant group of the Triassic of Gondwana, the Corystospermales. The leaf genus of this group, Dicroidium, has been reconstructed as basally bifurcated, pinnate fronds that grew on woody shrubs and trees. The widespread distribution and dominant element of local floras suggests that Dicroidium should be a focal point of any study aiming to foster connections between Triassic floras and herbivores. These connections can be made by identifying plant damage on fossilized remains and then analyzing how herbivory played a role in the evolution of both the herbivore and the plant and how the herbivore fit into and affected its ecosystem. The goal of this study is to look through Dicroidium specimens from the Mt. Falla locality in the Fremouw Formation for evidence of herbivory. Initial examination of the foliage has illustrated marginal and hole feeding traces as well as oviposition. Continuing examination will determine what types of herbivores may have formed these traces as well as whether specific traces are associated with specific Dicroidium species and what affect these may have one the ecosystem.

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1 - Park University, Department of Natural & Physical Sciences, Parkville, MO, 64152, USA
2 - Park University, Department of Natural & Physical Sciences, 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO, 64152, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 12, Cookson/Moseley award presentations
Location: Sundance 4/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 12003
Abstract ID:278
Candidate for Awards:Isabel Cookson Award

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