Original paper

Reinvestigation of the lycopsid Minarodendron cathaysiense from the Middle Devonian of South China

Liu, Le; Wang, De-Ming; Xue, Jin-Zhuang; Meng, Mei-Cen; Guo, Yun


Based on specimens from the Middle Devonian (Givetian) of Zhanyi County, Yunnan Province, China, we reinvestigate the morphology and anatomy of the protolepidodendralean lycopsid Minarodendron cathaysiense (Schweitzer & Cai) Li. New features of this plant include the stem up to 60 mm wide, axes dichotomizing as many as seven times, and microphylls with entire margins. Present anatomical characters conform to those known previously. The proportion of cortex area to stem (axis) area in cross section is proposed as an index to characterize the growth habit of the protolepidodendralean and isoëtalean lycopsids of the Middle Devonian to Carboniferous age. The thick stem and axes as well as high cortex proportion suggest that M. cathaysiense was probably a small tree. The Protolepidodendrales may have developed an arborescent habit in the late Middle Devonian.


minarodendron cathaysienseprotolepidodendralesarborescent lycopsidcortex proportionmiddle devoniansouth china