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  • Huvudmeny

Early Evolution of Flowering Plants and Cretaceous Vegetation

Image: Else Marie Friis

Caliciflora mauldinensis E.M.Friis, K.R.Pedersen & P.R.Crane from the earliest Cenomanian of Maryland, USA; virtual sections through flower bud based on synchrotron radiation microtomography data made at the Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland.


The research focuses on the early evolution of angiosperms (flowering plants) and aims to elucidate the evolutionary history of the group and the vegetational context of their radiation during the Cretaceous period.

The research is based mainly on small, reproductive structures (mesofossils) from Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and North America. The fossils mostly have their three-dimensional form and a wealth of cellular details preserved. Application of synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to the mesofossils has enabled the accumulation of large, high-resolution datasets of internal structures in digital form.

The research is a long term effort carried out in close collaboration with other researchers.

This research is funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR)

External Project Participants

Kaj Pedersen (researcher), University of Aarhus, Denmark

Peter Crane (researcher), Yale University, Connecticut and Oak Spring Garden, Virginia, U.S.A.

Selected Publications

Friis EM, Pedersen KR, Crane PR. 2016 The emergence of core eudicots: new floral evidence from the earliest Late Cretaceous. Proc. R. Soc. B 283: 20161325. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.1325external link