Early Flowers and Angiosperm Evolution

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Aug 18, 2011 - Science
The recent discovery of diverse fossil flowers and floral organs in Cretaceous strata has revealed astonishing details about the structural and systematic diversity of early angiosperms. Exploring the rich fossil record that has accumulated over the last three decades, this is a unique study of the evolutionary history of flowering plants from their earliest phases in obscurity to their dominance in modern vegetation. The discussion provides comprehensive biological and geological background information, before moving on to summarise the fossil record in detail. Including previously unpublished results based on research into Early and Late Cretaceous fossil floras from Europe and North America, the authors draw on direct palaeontological evidence of the pattern of angiosperm evolution through time. Synthesising palaeobotanical data with information from living plants, this unique book explores the latest research in the field, highlighting connections with phylogenetic systematics, structure and the biology of extant angiosperms.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction to angiosperms
1
2 The nature of the angiosperm fossil record
23
3 The environmental context of early angiosperm evolution
39
4 Stratigraphic framework and key areas for Cretaceous angiosperms
55
extant and fossil seed plants
101
6 Origin and age of angiosperms
141
7 Phylogenetic framework and the assignment of fossils to extant groups
163
8 Fossils near the base of the angiosperm tree
169
basal lineages
311
rosids
327
asterids
361
16 Patterns of structural diversification in angiosperm reproductive organs
387
17 History and evolution of pollination in angiosperms
415
18 History and evolution of dispersal in angiosperms
445
19 Vegetational context of early angiosperm diversification
461
20 The accumulation of angiosperm diversity
475

9 Early fossil angiosperms of uncertain relationships
189
10 Early fossils of eumagnoliids
219
11 Fossils of monocots
249
earlydiverging groups
275
References
501
Index
573
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About the author (2011)

Else Marie Friis is Professor and Head of Department at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Her research interests include Cretaceous flowers and other reproductive structures with particular focus on the origin and early diversification of angiosperms and related seed plants.

Peter R. Crane is Professor and Carl W. Knobloch, Jr, Dean at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University. His research interests include large-scale patterns and processes of plant evolution, integrated palaeobotanical and neobotanical studies of plant diversity, and evolution.

Kaj Raunsgaard Pedersen is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Geology, University of Aarhus. His research interests include integrated palynological and palaeobotanical studies of Mesozoic seed plants with particular focus on Cretaceous reproductive structures and flowering plant evolution.

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