Steenbock, Christopher M. , Stockey, Ruth A. , Beard, Graham , Tomescu, Alexandru MF .
Anatomically preserved fossil moss gametophytes from the Eocene of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Anatomically preserved gametophytes from the Eocene Appian Way fossil locality of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada represent one of the very few occurrences of permineralized fossil mosses reported from North America. More than a dozen specimens are preserved in marine carbonate nodules, embedded in a micritic mud matrix. Their anatomy and morphology are documented using the cellulose acetate peel technique. Caulidia branch frequently but irregularly at 0.5-1.5 mm intervals and their diameters range 160-190 um. Cells with the thickest walls are found in the outermost two to three cell layers. Cell wall thickness decreases gradually toward the center of the caulidium where the central cells are often poorly preserved; the absence of radial patterning consisting of well defined layers indicates an absence of specialized conducting tissues. Phyllidia measuring about 1.2 mm in width exhibit dense helical taxis, unistratose anatomy, and conspicuous alar cells at the base. They taper along the longitudinal axis coming to a point at the distal end. A four to five cell wide band consisting of larger globose cells can be followed along most of the longitudinal axis of the phyllidia; cell size and wall thickness decrease toward the margins. Phyllidia are folded longitudinally with the folding more pronounced toward the tip. These features are consistent with placement in the Bryidae. The plant fossil assemblages preserved in the Vancouver Island Eocene marine nodules includes plant parts usually found together in forest litter: angiosperm fruits, seeds and flowers, conifer cones and twigs, monocot roots, and moss gametophytes. This association has been interpreted as representing ripped up patches of forest floor buried rapidly in coastal deposits.
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1 - Humboldt State University, Department of Biological Sciences, Arcata, CA, 95521, USA
2 - University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences, Biological Sciences Centre, Cw 405, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E9, Canada
3 - Vancouver Island Paleontological Museum, 151 West Sunningdale, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, V9K 1K7, Canada
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Superior A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 11:00 AM