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Home / Preservation & Taphonomy / Abscission and Tissue Separation in Fossil and Extant Plants

Taphonomy in General
Plant Fossil Preservation and Plant Taphonomy
Collecting Bias: Our Incomplete Picture of the Past Vegetation
Pith Cast and "in situ" Preservation
Three-Dimensionally Preserved Plant Compression Fossils
Permineralized Plants and the Process of Permineralization
Petrified Forests
Bacterial Biofilms (Microbial Mats)
Molecular Palaeobotany
Pyrite Preservation
Upland and Hinterland Floras
Log Jams and Driftwood Accumulations
Leaf Litter and Plant Debris
Wound Response in Trees
Fungal Wood Decay: Evidence from the Fossil Record

! Leaf Size and Shape and the Reconstruction of Past Climates@
! Overviews of Plant Fossil Lagerstätten and Their Palaeoenvironments@
X-ray and Tomography@
Teaching Documents about Plant Anatomy@
Plant Anatomy@

Abscission and Tissue Separation in Fossil and Extant Plants (Shedding)

Fredrick T. Addicott (1983): Abscission. Google books, limited preview. Abscission.

W. Arshad et al. (2020): Fracture of the dimorphic fruits of Aethionema arabicum (Brassicaceae). In PDF, Botany, NCR Research Press. See also here.

K.L. Bacon et al. (2015): Can atmospheric composition influence plant fossil preservation potential via changes in leaf mass per area? A new hypothesis based on simulated palaeoatmosphere experiments. Abstract, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. See also here (in PDF).

G. Bohrer et al. (2008): Effects of canopy heterogeneity, seed abscission and inertia on wind-driven dispersal kernels of tree seeds. In PDF, Journal of Ecology, 96: 569-580.
Website outdated. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

Plant Sciences, BookRags: Deciduous Plants.

Robyn J. Burnham (1992): The reflection of deciduous forest communities in leaf litter; implications for autochthonous litter assemblages from the fossil record. Abstract, Paleobiology, 18: 30-49. See also here.

Robyn J. Burnham (1993): Reconstructing Richness in the Plant Fossil Record. Abstract, Palaios, 8: 376-384.

G.E. Burrows et al. (2007): An Anatomical Assessment of Branch Abscission and Branch-base Hydraulic Architecture in the Endangered Wollemia nobilis. PDF file, Annals of Botany, 99: 609-623. See also here (abstract).

Christopher J. Cleal et al. (2009): A Revision of the Pennsylvanian-Aged Eremopteris-Bearing Seed Plant. Int. J. Plant Sci., 170: 666.698. Helically arranged compound leaves that show evidence they were actively abscissed from the plant.

John Dawson, Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants (Part of New Zealand Texts Collection): How do plants become fossils?

William (Bill) A. DiMichele (1998): Love´s labour lost? Or the tragic story of a young paleontologist who chooses fossil plants ... PDF file, Palaios 13. Scroll down to PDF page 3: "The problems of the parts".

B. Ellis and K.R. Johnson (2013): Comparison of leaf samples from mapped tropical and temperate forests: Implications for interpretations of the diversity of fossil assemblages. Abstract, Palaios.

! E.H. Estornell et al. (2013): Elucidating mechanisms underlying organ abscission. Abstract, Plant Science, 199–200: 48-60.
See also here (in PDF).

Robert A. Gastaldo, Colby College: Plants as keys to past climatic conditions.

C.T. Gee and R.A. Gastaldo (2005): Sticks and Mud, Fruits and Nuts, Leaves and Climate: Plant Taphonomy Comes of Age. PDF file, Palaios, 20: 415-418. "Necrology involves the death of a plant or the loss of a plant part, either by traumatic causes (wind, storm, animal damage) or by pre-programmed physiological changes on the part of the plant (abscission, dehiscence)".

! David R. Greenwood, Environmental Science Program, Brandon University: The Taphonomy of Plant Macrofossils. Ch. 7, pp. 141-169, In, Donovan, S.K. (Ed.) The Processes of Fossilization. Belhaven Press, London, 303 pp.
This expired link is available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

H. Gupta, Senescence and Abscission of Leaves.

Jody L. Haynes, The Cycad Society: Illustrated Glossary of Cycad Terms. Go to: abscission, abscission layer.

R. Heady (2012): The Wollemi Pine—16 years on. In PDF, Chapter 15: Australia’s Ever-changing Forests VI: Proceedings of the Eighth National Conference on Australian Forest History. Brett J. Stubbs et al. (ed.).

R.D. Heady and G.E. Burrows (2008): Features of the secondary xylem that facilitate branch abscission in juvenile Wollemia nobilis. In PDF, IAWA Journal, 29: 225-236.

Roger Highfield: Why leaves fall off trees is discovered. Telegraph, UK, September 22, 2008.
Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

K.-P. Kelber & J.H.A. van Konijnenburg-van Cittert (1998): Equisetites arenaceus from the Upper Triassic of Germany with evidence for reproductive strategies. Abstract, Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 100: 1-26. Actively abscissed strobili and branches with adventitious roots.

H. Kerp et al. (2013): Reproductive organs and in situ spores of Asteroxylon mackiei Kidston & Lang, the most complex plant from the lower Devonian Rhynie chert. In PDF, Int. J. Plant Sci., 174: 293-308.

Hans Kerp, Forschungsstelle für Paläobotanik, Münster: A History of Palaeozoic Forests. Go to:
Part 2: The Carboniferous coal swamp forests. See fig. 2, leaf scars on a a Lepidophloios stem.
Snapshots provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

T.T. Kozlowski (ed.), 1973: Shedding of Plants Parts. Abstracts. See also here (Google books).

V.A. Krassilov (2009): Diversity of Mesozoic Gnetophytes and the First Angiosperms. PDF file, Paleontological Journal, 43: 1272-1280. Order Heerales showing abscission scars.
Now provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

V.A. Krassilov et al. (1998): New ephedroid plant from the Lower Cretaceous Koonwarra Fossil Bed, Victoria, Australia. In PDF, Alcheringa.

! Cindy V. Looy (2013): Natural history of a plant trait: branch-system abscission in Paleozoic conifers and its environmental, autecological, and ecosystem implications in a fire-prone world. Abstract, Paleobiology, 39: 235-252. See also here (in PDF).

Keith H. Meldahl (2007): Autochthonous leaf assemblages as records of deciduous forest communities: an actualistic study. Abstract, Lethaia, 28: 383-394.

W.F. Millington and W.R. Chaney (1973): Shedding of shoots and branches. Google books.

R. Nathan et al. (2008): Mechanisms of long-distance seed dispersal. Abstract, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23: 638-647. See also here (in PDF).

Shirley A. Owens et al. (1998): DEGRADATION OF THE UPPER PULVINUS IN MODERN AND FOSSIL LEAVES OF CERCIS (FABACEAE). PDF file, American Journal of Botany, 85: 273-284.

O.R. Patharkar and J.C. Walker (2016): Core mechanisms regulating developmentally timed and environmentally triggered abscission. Abstract, Plant Physiology. See also here (in PDF).

Michael S. Reid: Ethylene and Abscission. PDF file.
Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

J.A. Roberts et. al. (2000): Cell Separation Processes in Plants - Models, Mechanisms and Manipulation. In PDF, Annals of Botany, 86: 223-235.

! B.A. Thomas (2014): In situ stems: preservation states and growth habits of the Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) calamitaleans based upon new studies of Calamites Sternberg, 1820 in the Duckmantian at Brymbo, North Wales, UK. Free access, Palaeontology, 57: 21–36.

B.A. Thomas et al. (2010): Leafy branches of Bothrodendron punctatum from the Westphalian D (Asturian) of Nova Scotia, Canada. PDF file, Atlantic Geology, 46: 1-6. Branch shedding and abscission scars.

! B.A. Thomas and C.J. Cleal (1999): Abscission in the fossil record. In PDF.

! B.A. Thomas and C.J. Cleal (1999): Abscission in the fossil record.- p. 183-203. In: Kurmann, M.H. and Hemsley, A.R. (eds.): The evolution of plant architecture. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Sorry, no online abstract currently available.

W.G. van Doom and A.D. Stead (1997): Abscission of flowers and floral parts. In PDF, Journal of Experimental Botany, 48: 821-837.

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Last updated March 25, 2020

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