Silurian Trilete Spores and Spore Tetrads from Gotland: Their Implications for Land Plant Evolution

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  19 Jul 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4147, pp. 260-263
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4147.260


Land-plant type spores occur in argillaceous limestones and platform graptolitic mudstones of Wenlock-Ludlow age in Sweden. Analysis of the stratal sequence demonstrates that occurrence of abundant spores is a function of depositional ecology, particularly water depth and shoreline proximity. This ecological analysis and the seeming absence of any correlation between the first appearances of abundant spores and megafossils of land-plant type raise the possibility that land plants evolved far earlier than the megafossil record suggests.