Cast your vote
You can rate an item by clicking the amount of stars they wish to award to
When enough users have cast their vote on this item, the average rating will also be shown.
Your vote was cast
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback
MetadataShow full item record
AuthorsMorris, JL, Puttick, MN, Clark, JW, Edwards, D, Kenrick, P, Pressel, S, Wellman, CH, Yang, Z, Schneider, H, Donoghue, PCJ
AbstractEstablishing the timescale of early land plant evolution is essential for testing hypotheses on the coevolution of land plants and Earth’s System. The sparseness of early land plant megafossils and stratigraphic controls on their distribution make the fossil record an unreliable guide, leaving only the molecular clock. However, the application of molecular clock methodology is challenged by the current impasse in attempts to resolve the evolutionary relationships among the living bryophytes and tracheophytes. Here, we establish a timescale for early land plant evolution that integrates over topological uncertainty by exploring the impact of competing hypotheses on bryophyte−tracheophyte relationships, among other variables, on divergence time estimation. We codify 37 fossil calibrations for Viridiplantae following best practice. We apply these calibrations in a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock analysis of a phylogenomic dataset encompassing the diversity of Embryophyta and their relatives within Viridiplantae. Topology and dataset sizes have little impact on age estimates, with greater differences among alternative clock models and calibration strategies. For all analyses, a Cambrian origin of Embryophyta is recovered with highest probability. The estimated ages for crown tracheophytes range from Late Ordovician to late Silurian. This timescale implies an early establishment of terrestrial ecosystems by land plants that is in close accord with recent estimates for the origin of terrestrial animal lineages. Biogeochemical models that are constrained by the fossil record of early land plants, or attempt to explain their impact, must consider the implications of a much earlier, middle Cambrian–Early Ordovician, origin.
CitationMorris, J.L., Puttick, M.N., Clark, J.W., Edwards, D., Kenrick, P., Pressel, S., Wellman, C.H., Yang, Z., Schneider, H., Donoghue, P.C.J. (2018). The timescale of early land plant evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2018, 115 (10) E2274-E2283; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1719588115
Item DescriptionCopyright © 2018 the Author(s). This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND). The attached file is the published version of the article.