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Keywords:

  • Pinnatiramosus qianensis ;
  • Early Permian;
  • Early Silurian;
  • rooting system;
  • early land plant

Abstract

Pinnatiramosus qianensis Geng, 1986, is a plant with a complex, extensive pinnate branching system and pitted tracheids, collected from marine Lower Silurian (Llandovery; c. 430 Ma) rocks in Guizhou Province, China. It challenges long-held theories on the origin and early evolution of vascular plants in the Silurian and Devonian. However, there is a hypothesis that the fossils were not syngenetic with the entombing rock, but were the rooting systems of much younger plants, probably of Permian age. New sections and collections of P. qianensis have been subjected to detailed analyses, which indicate that P. qianensis belongs to an early Permian (c. 285 Ma) rooting system growing down into lower Silurian rocks.