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Integrating Early Cretaceous Fossils into the Phylogeny of Living Angiosperms: ANITA Lines and Relatives of Chloranthaceae

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      Mammal population losses and the extinction crisis.

      The disappearance of populations is a prelude to species extinction. No geographically explicit estimates have been made of current population losses of major indicator taxa. Here we compare historic and present distributions of 173 declining mammal species from six continents. These species have collectively lost over 50% of their historic range area, mostly where human activities are intensive. This implies a serious loss of ecosystem services and goods. It also signals a substantial threat to species diversity.
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        Establishing a time-scale for plant evolution.

        • Plants have utterly transformed the planet, but testing hypotheses of causality requires a reliable time-scale for plant evolution. While clock methods have been extensively developed, less attention has been paid to the correct interpretation and appropriate implementation of fossil data. • We constructed 17 calibrations, consisting of minimum constraints and soft maximum constraints, for divergences between model representatives of the major land plant lineages. Using a data set of seven plastid genes, we performed a cross-validation analysis to determine the consistency of the calibrations. Six molecular clock analyses were then conducted, one with the original calibrations, and others exploring the impact on divergence estimates of changing maxima at basal nodes, and prior probability densities within calibrations. • Cross-validation highlighted Tracheophyta and Euphyllophyta calibrations as inconsistent, either because their soft maxima were overly conservative or because of undetected rate variation. Molecular clock analyses yielded estimates ranging from 568-815 million yr before present (Ma) for crown embryophytes and from 175-240 Ma for crown angiosperms. • We reject both a post-Jurassic origin of angiosperms and a post-Cambrian origin of land plants. Our analyses also suggest that the establishment of the major embryophyte lineages occurred at a much slower tempo than suggested in most previous studies. These conclusions are entirely compatible with current palaeobotanical data, although not necessarily with their interpretation by palaeobotanists. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.
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          Early cretaceous fossil evidence for angiosperm evolution

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            International Journal of Plant Sciences
            International Journal of Plant Sciences
            University of Chicago Press
            1058-5893
            1537-5315
            June 2014
            June 2014
            : 175
            : 5
            : 555-600
            10.1086/675935
            © 2014
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