One of the objectives of systematists is to discover a phylogenetic system of classification. The evolutionary history of gymnosperms extends far back in geological time (Figs. 1.1, 1.2); its fossil record begins in the Upper Devonian and spreads over nearly 350 my B.P. (million years Before Present) (Beck 1985). Most branches of the phylogenetic tree are extinct or have left only fragmentary palaeobotanical records. Several presumed gymnospermous remains have been described from the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous. It is, therefore, natural that there will be diversity of opinion on the phylogenetic relationships and classification of plants. However, it is felt that classification schemes should be flexible, and should be continuously revised in the light of growing knowledge (Arnold 1948). The evolutionary relationships of fossil plants are, in most instances, not completely known (Miller 1985). Until reproductive organs are discovered in organic connection with the vegetative parts, their taxonomic. placement is entirely optional (Sporne 1965).


Fossil Record Secondary Xylem Fossil Plant Leaf Trace Phylogenetic System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gargi CollegeUniversity of Delhi South CampusNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Central Reference LibraryUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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