A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers

A geochemical approach

B. Artur Stankiewicz, Maria Mastalerz, Michael Kruge, Pim F. Van Bergen, Anna Sadowska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modern cone scales and seeds of Pinus strobus and Sequoia sempervirens, and their fossil (Upper Miocene, c. 6 Mar) counterparts Pinus leitzii and Sequoia langsdorfi have been studied using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), electron-microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic observations revealed only minor microbial activity and high-quality structural preservation of the fossil material. The pyrolysates of both modern genera showed the presence of ligno-cellulose characteristic of conifers. However, the abundance of (alkylated)phenols and 1,2-benzenediols in modern S. sempervirens suggests the presence of non-hydrolysable tannins or abundant polyphenolic moieties not previously reported in modern conifers. The marked differences between the pyrolysis products of both modern genera are suggested to be of chemosystematic significance. The fossil samples also contained ligno-cellulose which exhibited only partial degradation, primarily of the carbohydrate constituents. Comparison between the fossil cone scale and seed pyrolysates indicated that the ligno-cellulose complex present in the seeds is chemically more resistant than that in the cone scales. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the pyrolysis data allowed for the determination of the discriminant functions used to assess the extent of degradation and the chemosystematic differences between both genera and between cone scales and seeds. Elemental composition (C, O, S), obtained using electron-microprobe, corroborated the pyrolysis results. Overall, the combination of chemical, microscopic and statistical methods allowed for a detailed characterization and chemosystematic interpretations of modern and fossil conifer cone scales and seeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-393
Number of pages19
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume135
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1997

Fingerprint

Coniferophyta
seed cones
conifers
pyrolysis
Seeds
fossils
chemotaxonomy
Sequoia
Cellulose
Sequoia sempervirens
seeds
Pinus
cellulose
electrons
Electrons
Mars
Pinus strobus
degradation
Tannins
Phenols

Keywords

  • Chemosystematics
  • Conifers
  • Ligno-cellulose
  • Principal component analysis
  • Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

Cite this

Artur Stankiewicz, B. ; Mastalerz, Maria ; Kruge, Michael ; Van Bergen, Pim F. ; Sadowska, Anna. / A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers : A geochemical approach. In: New Phytologist. 1997 ; Vol. 135, No. 2. pp. 375-393.
@article{9706661794af4287a577e34740979243,
title = "A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers: A geochemical approach",
abstract = "Modern cone scales and seeds of Pinus strobus and Sequoia sempervirens, and their fossil (Upper Miocene, c. 6 Mar) counterparts Pinus leitzii and Sequoia langsdorfi have been studied using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), electron-microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic observations revealed only minor microbial activity and high-quality structural preservation of the fossil material. The pyrolysates of both modern genera showed the presence of ligno-cellulose characteristic of conifers. However, the abundance of (alkylated)phenols and 1,2-benzenediols in modern S. sempervirens suggests the presence of non-hydrolysable tannins or abundant polyphenolic moieties not previously reported in modern conifers. The marked differences between the pyrolysis products of both modern genera are suggested to be of chemosystematic significance. The fossil samples also contained ligno-cellulose which exhibited only partial degradation, primarily of the carbohydrate constituents. Comparison between the fossil cone scale and seed pyrolysates indicated that the ligno-cellulose complex present in the seeds is chemically more resistant than that in the cone scales. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the pyrolysis data allowed for the determination of the discriminant functions used to assess the extent of degradation and the chemosystematic differences between both genera and between cone scales and seeds. Elemental composition (C, O, S), obtained using electron-microprobe, corroborated the pyrolysis results. Overall, the combination of chemical, microscopic and statistical methods allowed for a detailed characterization and chemosystematic interpretations of modern and fossil conifer cone scales and seeds.",
keywords = "Chemosystematics, Conifers, Ligno-cellulose, Principal component analysis, Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry",
author = "{Artur Stankiewicz}, B. and Maria Mastalerz and Michael Kruge and {Van Bergen}, {Pim F.} and Anna Sadowska",
year = "1997",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1046/j.1469-8137.1997.00638.x",
language = "English",
volume = "135",
pages = "375--393",
journal = "New Phytologist",
issn = "0028-646X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd",
number = "2",

}

A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers : A geochemical approach. / Artur Stankiewicz, B.; Mastalerz, Maria; Kruge, Michael; Van Bergen, Pim F.; Sadowska, Anna.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 135, No. 2, 01.12.1997, p. 375-393.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers

T2 - A geochemical approach

AU - Artur Stankiewicz, B.

AU - Mastalerz, Maria

AU - Kruge, Michael

AU - Van Bergen, Pim F.

AU - Sadowska, Anna

PY - 1997/12/1

Y1 - 1997/12/1

N2 - Modern cone scales and seeds of Pinus strobus and Sequoia sempervirens, and their fossil (Upper Miocene, c. 6 Mar) counterparts Pinus leitzii and Sequoia langsdorfi have been studied using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), electron-microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic observations revealed only minor microbial activity and high-quality structural preservation of the fossil material. The pyrolysates of both modern genera showed the presence of ligno-cellulose characteristic of conifers. However, the abundance of (alkylated)phenols and 1,2-benzenediols in modern S. sempervirens suggests the presence of non-hydrolysable tannins or abundant polyphenolic moieties not previously reported in modern conifers. The marked differences between the pyrolysis products of both modern genera are suggested to be of chemosystematic significance. The fossil samples also contained ligno-cellulose which exhibited only partial degradation, primarily of the carbohydrate constituents. Comparison between the fossil cone scale and seed pyrolysates indicated that the ligno-cellulose complex present in the seeds is chemically more resistant than that in the cone scales. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the pyrolysis data allowed for the determination of the discriminant functions used to assess the extent of degradation and the chemosystematic differences between both genera and between cone scales and seeds. Elemental composition (C, O, S), obtained using electron-microprobe, corroborated the pyrolysis results. Overall, the combination of chemical, microscopic and statistical methods allowed for a detailed characterization and chemosystematic interpretations of modern and fossil conifer cone scales and seeds.

AB - Modern cone scales and seeds of Pinus strobus and Sequoia sempervirens, and their fossil (Upper Miocene, c. 6 Mar) counterparts Pinus leitzii and Sequoia langsdorfi have been studied using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), electron-microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic observations revealed only minor microbial activity and high-quality structural preservation of the fossil material. The pyrolysates of both modern genera showed the presence of ligno-cellulose characteristic of conifers. However, the abundance of (alkylated)phenols and 1,2-benzenediols in modern S. sempervirens suggests the presence of non-hydrolysable tannins or abundant polyphenolic moieties not previously reported in modern conifers. The marked differences between the pyrolysis products of both modern genera are suggested to be of chemosystematic significance. The fossil samples also contained ligno-cellulose which exhibited only partial degradation, primarily of the carbohydrate constituents. Comparison between the fossil cone scale and seed pyrolysates indicated that the ligno-cellulose complex present in the seeds is chemically more resistant than that in the cone scales. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the pyrolysis data allowed for the determination of the discriminant functions used to assess the extent of degradation and the chemosystematic differences between both genera and between cone scales and seeds. Elemental composition (C, O, S), obtained using electron-microprobe, corroborated the pyrolysis results. Overall, the combination of chemical, microscopic and statistical methods allowed for a detailed characterization and chemosystematic interpretations of modern and fossil conifer cone scales and seeds.

KW - Chemosystematics

KW - Conifers

KW - Ligno-cellulose

KW - Principal component analysis

KW - Pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0031285075&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1046/j.1469-8137.1997.00638.x

DO - 10.1046/j.1469-8137.1997.00638.x

M3 - Article

VL - 135

SP - 375

EP - 393

JO - New Phytologist

JF - New Phytologist

SN - 0028-646X

IS - 2

ER -