The Critical Role of Plant Fossils in Divergence Dating Studies
Crepet, William , Nixon, Kevin .
Accuracy and Effect: Fossil identification and understanding evolutionary history.
The fossil record is replete with imperfections, yet it has had enormous impact on our understanding of diversity; the development of evolutionary thought; the establishment of evolutionary relationships; the history of evolution in particular lineages; our understanding of biogeographical patterns; and also, directly or indirectly, upon our understanding of timing in the evolution of specific taxa and characters. The value of a particular fossil in contributing to our knowledge in any of these areas depends upon the accuracy of determination of its age; its precise geographical location; and an adequate description of sufficient characters including synapomorphies, necessary for the accurate identification of its affinities or precise phylogenetic placement. Without the latter, an interpretation of a particular, perhaps potentially essential, fossil taxon may be misleading to a degree proportional to its potential significance in any of the above applications and particularly for pinpointing divergences from established lineages. We will review first appearances and revisit identifications of key, sometimes controversial angiosperm and appropriate non angiosperm fossils that are relevant to any mode of addressing timing. We will proceed by assessing the quality of the characters used to identify these fossils and touch upon the implications of some of these findings.
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1 - Cornell University, Department Of Plant Biology, 413 Mann Library, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
2 - Cornell University, L. H. BAILEY HORTORIUM, 408 MANN LIBRARY, ITHACA, NY, 14853-4301, USA
impact of the fossil record
precise fossil identification.
Presentation Type: Array
Location: Belle-Chasse/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 10:15 AM
Candidate for Awards:None