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Type: Article
Published: 2023-10-30
Page range: 482–495
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First fossil record of Trichosteleum (Bryophyta: Sematophyllaceae) from mid-Miocene Zhangpu amber in Asia

State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
Guangdong Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Ecology, Sun Yat‐sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Bryophyta Sematophyllaceae Miocene Moss Zhangpu amber China Trichosteleum


The evolutionary history of terrestrial moss in Asia during the Cenozoic is poorly interpreted in largely because of very limited fossil evidence. The middle Miocene Zhangpu amber is the sole resin source of moss fossils in China, which shows a diverse moss population during the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum. In this study, we reported the discovery of a gametophyte fragment of moss fossil in a well-preserved amber inclusion from the middle Miocene of Zhangpu, Southeast China. The observation methods involved light microscopy and synchrotron radiation–based X-ray microcomputed tomography analysis on the amber inclusions. The fossil has lanceolate leaves with involute margins, long linear laminal cells with unipapillae, well-developed and enlarged alar cells, and an absence of costae. The fossil is assigned to the extant Trichosteleum and represents the only known occurrence of a fossilized Trichosteleum member in Asia. This finding enhances our comprehension on the moss diversity within Zhangpu amber and establishes a first record of Trichosteleum in Asia.


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