Journal Article

<i>Guadua zuloagae</i> sp. nov., the First Petrified Bamboo Culm Record from the Ituzaingó Formation (Pliocene), Paraná Basin, Argentina

Mariana Brea and Alejandro F. Zucol

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 100, issue 4, pages 711-723
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcm175
Guadua zuloagae sp. nov., the First Petrified Bamboo Culm Record from the Ituzaingó Formation (Pliocene), Paraná Basin, Argentina

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
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Background and Aims

The anatomical characterization and morphology of Guadua zuloagae nov. sp. (Poaceae–Bambusoideae) culm was determined. This material was collected at the Toma Vieja fossil locality, Paraná basin, Argentina. This fossil culm is the first record of Bambusoideae in sediments of the Pliocene from the Ituzaingó Formation. The studied specimen was compared with the taxa of the Bambusoideae sub-family, especially with the American woody bamboos and others taxa that have woody culms, including Arundo, Thysalonaena and Gynerium.

Methods

The material was preserved by siliceous cellular permineralization, and it was prepared for microscopic examination by surface polishing and thin sections. The morphology and anatomy of this new species were described. The estimated height, critical buckling height and safety factor were calculated on the basis of the fossil bamboo diameter using the formula of Niklas. The relationship and comparison with the nearest living relatives (NLRs) are discussed.

Key Results

Well-preserved petrified culm with internodes and nodes from the Pliocene of Argentina provides the basis for the description of a new fossil bamboo, Guadua zuloagae. The results of the anatomical analysis of the fossil bamboo showed a great affinity with the extant species Guadua angustifolia and constitute the first evidence of petrified bamboo culm.

Conclusions

The new fossil bamboo culm constitutes the only fossil record, preserved as permineralized by silicification, in the world. This fossil record indicates that the genus Guadua was more widespread in the past than today. Discovery of G. zuloagae allows the presence of a Bambusoideae understorey in the mixed forests described for the Ituzaingó Formation to be inferred. The climatic conditions inferred from fossil bamboo and sedimentary deposits indicate a temperate-warm, humid climate.

Keywords: Paleobotany; petrified culm; morpho-anatomical description; Poaceae; Bambusoideae; Bamboo; Guadua zuloagae; Pliocene; Argentina

Journal Article.  6599 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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