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Reinvestigation of the type specimen of Ginkgophyllum grassetii Saporta 1875 using Reflectance Transforming Imaging

Abstract : Reflectance Transforming Imaging (RTI) produces photographs in which the angle of the light can be changed at will, allowing to investigate remotely minute details of the 3D structure of sub-planar objects. Here we apply this technique to the type specimen of Gingkophyllum grassetii, a vegetative shoot with putative ginkgophyte affinities from the early Permian of Lodève (France). Gingkophyllum grassetii, the type species of the genus, was originally described by Saporta in 1875 and has never been illustrated other than by drawings representing only portions of the shoot. Using RTI, we describe and illustrate the specimen and discuss some key features, such as the arrangement of the leaves on the shoot or the presence of abundant secretory structures. Through an historical account, we show how the lack of illustration led to confusion about the morphology of Ginkgophyllum and we discuss the importance of reinvestigating type specimens of Paleozoic ginkgophyte taxa in order to clarify their taxonomy and better understand their evolutionary history. The sharing of RTI files is one example of approaches that can be further developed to improve remote access to specimens.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03342057
Contributor : Yannick Brohard <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 13, 2021 - 10:42:50 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 7:14:31 PM

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Anne-Laure Decombeix, Ignacio Escapa, Dario De Franceschi, Olivier Bethoux. Reinvestigation of the type specimen of Ginkgophyllum grassetii Saporta 1875 using Reflectance Transforming Imaging. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Elsevier, 2021, 295 (104526), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1016/j.revpalbo.2021.104526⟩. ⟨hal-03342057⟩

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