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6. Phytogeography and systematics of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic plants

(SS21) Paleofloristic and paleoenvironmental changes in Asia throughout the Mesozoic : palynological and megafossil evidence

Organizers: Harufumi Nishida, Marc Philippe, Kazuo Terada & Julien Legrand

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Purpose: Paleobotany of the Mesozoic period is a rich and expanding field of research in Asia. Cross studies on macro- and microremains in various fields of research such as palynology, xylology or cuticular anatomy bring new advances in the understanding of past ecosystems and climates.

Several models of paleofloristic provinces have been suggested for Asia, and a variety of point of views allows discussion concerning its biogeography and the relations between its components, as well as a global comparison.

Moreover, Mesozoic also includes the key period of Angiosperm diversification and worldwide expansion, and Asia has important clues to discover what happened at the beginning of the "vegetational revolution".

(SS33) Southern Hemisphere floras: unique insights into the biology and ecology of Southern Hemisphere ecosystems

Organizers: David Cantrill & Stephen McLoughin

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Purpose: Palaeobotanical research has largely been focused on Northern Hemisphere sequences resulting in an unequal distribution in our knowledge of fossil biotas. Within the Southern Hemisphere are several key deposits, some better known than others, which reveal exquisitely preserved plants. With detailed investigation these deposits provide the opportunity to reveal information about the biology and ecology of Southern Hemisphere ecosystems through geological time. This symposium aims to raise awareness in particular to these deposits in order to stimulate further research.

(SS34) Evolutionary history of key taxa and phytogeography of the Jurassic and Cretaceous floras of Eurasia

Organizers: Lina Golovneva & Alexey Herman

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Purpose: This symposium is devoted to the latest achievements in researching of the diversity and distribution of key taxa which determined the evolution of the Jurassic and Cretaceous floras and phytogeographic differentiation of Eurasia during late Mesozoic. The main topics for discussion are:

1) dispersion of early angiosperms in Eurasia and their rise to dominance in different regions;

2) extinction in late Mesozoic, mesophytic relicts;

3) centers of origin and migration routes of key taxa;

4) location of paleofloristic boundaries depending on climatic, geographic taxonomical and other factors.

(SS36) Continents before vascular plants

Organizers: Dianne Edwards, Jennifer Morris & Charles Wellman

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Purpose: There is a growing body of evidence relating to both fresh water and terrestrial habitats that there were diverse communities of photosynthetic organisms growing on continents prior to the colonization of land by vascular plants. Participants include Cyanobacteria and algae, often associated in biofilms or crusts, and lichens, as well as the earliest embryophytes that show some of the characteristics of bryophytes. Evidence based on micro- meso- and megafossils, trace fossils as well as geochemical and isotopic signatures will be reviewed in the context of gradually changing lithosphere and atmosphere.

We welcome contributions involving all aspects of terrestrial landscapes and colonization before and during the early stages of the evolution of vascular plants.

(SS38) Triassic and Jurassic plants: systematics, diversity variation and environmental background

Organizers: Yongdong Wang, Mihai E.Popa, Maria Barbacka & Gaetan Guignard

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Purpose: The Late Triassic and Jurassic time intervals record the remarkable Mesophytic plant assemblages, characterized by a variety of plant groups, such as ferns, pteridophytes and domination of gymnosperm groups. Also, the Triassic-Jurassic boundary records one of the most severe mass extinctions of the Phanerozoic, a biotic turnover which is reflected in Late Triassic and Early Jurassic floral changes. The symposium proposes to address systematic aspects related to Triassic and Jurassic pteridophytes and gymnosperms of all types, but also phytobiogeographic and phytostratigraphic problems of these time intervals.

The symposium will organize oral presentations focusing on three aspects of the T-J plants: 1) to emphasis the systematics of the major plant groups during the Triassic and Jurassic period; 2) to report the progresses of biodivetsity change and turnovers across the Triassic and Jurassic boundary intervals, and to show the relationships of floral response to the T-J extinction events; 3) to report the update results on the environmental background of the Triassic and Jurassic periods based on fossil plant studies, including palaeo-CO2, greenhouse climate reconstruction, global warming,  palaeoecology and palaeoenvironment.

(SS39) Precambrian to Palaeozoic Palynology: the state of the art (CIMP-sponsored Symposium)

Organizers: Marco Vecoli & Charles Wellman

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Purpose: Recent Precambrian to Palaeozoic research have witnessed the application of organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs, miospores, chitinozoans) for the solving of fundamental palaeobiological problems and for a deeper understanding of global functioning of complex ecosystems and biosphere-geosphere interactions. The use of new analytical techniques on single either in situ or isolated specimens is now providing new insights into the nature of the enigmatic Palaeozoic palynomorphs. On the whole, these new developments have had an impact also on the fundamental use of palynomorphs in the classic field of biostratigraphy, greatly expanding the potential for refinement of existing biozonations.

This Symposium invites contributions on cutting-edge Precambrian and Palaeozoic palynomorph research and application to palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, evolution of oceanic microphytoplankton, early terrestrial ecosystems, high-resolution palynostratigraphy in application to oil exploration.