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Abstract Detail



Elucidating foliar features for identifying Urticaceae in the fossil record.

The latest Early Eocene Okanagon Highland sites in British Columbia and Washington, US, provide a record of high elevation floras with temperate elements. Well represented in these fossil floras are the Betulaceae, Rosaceae, Ulmaceae that today are predominately distributed in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. During the past year, we have considered the floras of the Northern Andes and the Virunga Mountains of central eastern Africa to be the most feasible analogues for interpreting taxonomic diversity within fossil angiosperms of the high elevation floras of the Pacific Northwest. While treating leaves tentatively attributed to Rosaceae, we found trichomes and assigned the leaves to Rubus. During investigations of trichome anatomy and distribution patterns of stinging species of nettles (Urticaceae) from the Virungas (Girardinia, Laportea, and Urtica), it was clear that the fossil leaves assigned to Rubus belong to Urticaceae. The Urticaceae is a large family (45 genera over 2000 species; Friis, 1989) and it is surprising that it lacks a robust fossil record since it contains taxa with varied life forms. In this presentation, we will describe key foliar features enabling the identification of Urticaceae taxa from fossil leaf floras.

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1 - University of Rwanda, Department of Biology, Rwanda
2 - Georgia College, 1834 Tanglewood Road, Milledgeville, Georgia, 31061, United States
3 - Arizona State University, SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES FACULTY & ADMIN, BOX 874501, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4501, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 25, Cretaceous/Cenozoic/collections paleobotany
Location: Sundance 3/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 25002
Abstract ID:383
Candidate for Awards:None

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