A study of fusainized (charcoalified) angiosperm wood from Cretaceous sediments of North America and Europe has been undertaken to evaluate evolutionary patterns in the structure of early angiosperm wood. The scarce data currently available for Cretaceous angiosperm wood and the prospects and advantages for studies of fossil charcoal are discussed. Fossil material presented in this paper illustrates the extent of fine details that can be preserved in charcoalified wood and details of vessel member perforation plate structure, lateral pitting, tyloses, ray structure, axial parenchyma distribution and imperforate element structure are easily studied. Four wood types are illustrated in this paper as examples of Cretaceous angiosperm woods currently under investigation. All four types are similar in the occurrence of vessels with multiple perforation plates but they differ in details of perforation plate structure, lateral pitting, ray structure, axial parenchyma and development of growth rings. One wood type, the genus Icacinoxylon, appears to be particularly widespread and occurs in sediments from eastern North America and southern Sweden.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics