MS (Master of Science)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Timothy D. McDowell, Michael S. Zavada
This study focuses on the morphometric and systematic studies of fossil vitaceous seeds recently recovered from the Gray Fossil Site (7-4.5 Ma, latest Miocene-earliest Pliocene) northeastern Tennessee. Morphologically, all fossil seeds correspond to the extant subgenus Vitis (genus Vitis) of the Vitaceae based on the smooth dorsal surface with a centrally positioned chalaza connected with a conspicuous chalaza-apex groove and short linear ventral infolds that are slightly diverged apically. A multivariate analysis based on 11 measured characters from 76 complete seeds identified three types of seeds, each representing a distinct morphotaxon. Based on comparison with modern and fossil vitaceous specimens, three new species were recognized: Vitis grayana sp. nov., Vitis lanatoides sp. nov., and Vitis latisulcata sp.nov. The close resemblance between the first two fossil grapes (Vitis grayana and Vitis lanatoides) with extant eastern Asian Vitis provides further evidence that the eastern Asian floristic elements existing in the southeastern North American flora continued to as late as late Neogene.
Thesis - Open Access
Gong, Fade, "Vitis Seeds (Vitaceae) from the Late Neogene Gray Fossil Site, Northeastern Tennessee, USA." (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1819. http://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1819
Copyright by the authors.