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Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 162, Issue 1–4, pp 193–211 | Cite as

Aspects of evolutionary differentiation of theHamamelidaceae and the LowerHamamelididae

  • Peter K. Endress
Article

Abstract

New investigations on the flower and fruit structure of extantHamamelidaceae and other LowerHamamelididae together with new finds of fossil flowers and seeds from the Upper and Lower Cretaceous provide the outline of an increasingly more differentiated picture of the early evolution of the subclass. Three patterns of valvate anther dehiscence are recognized in the subfamilyHamamelidoideae (and the subclassHamamelididae). The basic (plesiomorphic) type within theHamamelididae has 2 valves per theca. The type with 1 valve but 2 pollen sacs per theca is both consistent and exclusive for the 5 southern genera of theHamamelidaceae. They seem to be the remnants of a homogeneous group that originated before the Upper Cretaceous. This is supported by fossil hamamelidaceous flowers from the Upper Cretaceous that have thecae with 1 valve. Since several-seededHamamelidaceae predate one-seeded forms in the fossil seed record (in Europe) and the systematic structure of the one-seeded group is relatively more homogeneous, several-seeded groups are considered to be more ancient. Several parallel evolutionary trends are recognized within theHamamelidaceae as well as within the LowerHamamelididae: anther dehiscence with 2 valves per theca → 1 slit or 1 valve; pollen sacs per theca 2 → 1; pollen tricolpate → polyforate; exine coarsely reticulate → finely reticulate; loss of perianth (tepals or petals and sepals) and concomitant loss of fixed number of floral organs; differentiation of exposed nectaries.

Key words

Angiosperms Hamamelididae Trochodendrales Hamamelidales Hamamelidaceae Hamamelideae fossilHamamelidaceae Floral structure fruit seed valvate anther dehiscence Floral evolution 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter K. Endress
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Systematische Botanik der UniversitätZürichSwitzerland

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