Premise of research. The ginkgophytes are an ancient group of gymnosperms with a long history starting during the late Paleozoic and reaching the present with the unique species Ginkgo biloba L. In order to better characterize the early and middle Eocene (ca. 52.2 and 47.7 Ma) leaf species Ginkgo patagonica Berry from northwest Patagonia, Argentina, new specimens were studied, focusing on their morphological and anatomical characters. Methodology. The specimens were studied with LM, epifluorescence, SEM, and TEM. Pivotal results. The diagnosis of the species Ginkgoites patagonica comb. nov. is enlarged to include anatomical and ultrastructural epidermal characters. Herein, the species Ginkgo patagonica is shown to have characteristics that clearly separate it from the genus Ginkgo L., and it is therefore recombined to the genus Ginkgoites Seward. Conclusions. Eocene Ginkgoites patagonica was present in plant communities, and it is the last representative of a still poorly understood southern ginkgophyte lineage that was distinct from the ancestors of G. biloba of the Northern Hemisphere.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science