Clevelandodendron ohioensis Chitaley & Pigg gen. et sp. nov. is an almost entire lycopsid plant known from a single compressed specimen from the Cleveland Shale member of the Upper Devonian Ohio Shale. This unique specimen is 125 cm long, consisting of an unbranched, slender, monopodial axis with a partially preserved plant base bearing thick appendages at one end, and a compact, terminal ovoid bisporangiate strobilus at the other. The stem is 2 cm wide for most of its length. Visible on the decorticated stem surface are helically arranged, elongate leaf traces and laterally compressed, slender leaves along the stem margin. The plant base bears 4-6 thick appendages. The terminal strobilus is compact, ovoid, 9 cm long and up to 6 cm wide, morphologically similar to those of some Lepidodendrales, and bears helically arranged sporophyll/sporangium complexes with narrow bases and distal laminae up to 18 mm long, turned upward. Megaspores are 320-360 μm, trilete and laevigate, lacking a gula; microspores are 30-42 μm, trilete, indistinctly punctate and possibly assignable to Calamospora or Punctatisporites. Clevelandodendron demonstrates that slender unbranched lycopsids with an isoetalean plant habit similar to the Carboniferous genera Chaloneria and Sporangiostrobus and Triassic Pleuromeia-like forms were present as early as the Late Devonian. The early occurrence of this unique habit suggests that diversification within the isoetalean clade sensu Rothwell and Erwin (including both Isoetales and Lepidodendrales) was well established prior to the Carboniferous.
- Late Devonian
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science