Analiza nabłonkowa jako nowa samodzielna metoda badawcza w paleobotanice

Krystyna Juchniewicz



Cuticle analysis has already been widely accepted as a method auxiliary and supplementary in morphological analysis of fossil leaves. This method makes it possible to confirm or discard determinations made on the basis of morphology of leaves. Because of many difficulties the cuticle analysis has only occasionally been used as an independent method. These difficulties include: (1) insufficient knowledge of anatomy of peel of leaves of recent plants, (2) necessity of collecting recent comparative materials and preparing a collection of anatomic samples of peels from them, (3) difficulties in preparation of anatomic samples of fine and fragile fossil organic matter, (4) lack of detailed and unified terminology required for the description, and (5) difficulties in identifications. The advantages and possibilities of application of cuticle analysis are not sufficiently recognized. So far, only three paleobotanists (including the present author) have applied it as an independent method in studies on fossil leaf fragments. Among other advantages is its applicability to small fossil leaf fragments, undeterminable by other methods. Accuracy and reliability of determinations by the use of cuticle method are not lower than by other methods. In comparison with them the cuticle method makes possible identification of certain specially cumbersome systematic taxa, such as the families Lauraceae and Gramineae, and in this way it may supplement studies on fossil flora made by other methods. Further studies on the anatomy of leaf peel may contribute to the better knowledge of the systematics and phylogeny of plants. The knowledge of anatomy of cuticle of fossil plants allows us to draw some ecological conclusions regardless of the taxonomic position of a given plant. In stratigraphical studies cuticle analysis will make it possible to identify plants occurring “in situ” in deposits as well as these which underwent •transportation and redeposition. Such identifications may be of great value in recognition of coal-forming plants, and thus in reconstruction of the genesis of a coal, as well as in studies on lithotypes of brown coals.

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