A review of current knowledge of early fern evolution is presented including new data on age, morphology and anatomy with two diagrams summarising the early diversification of cauline and foliar anatomy and of the reproductive structures. The relationships and even the attribution of some Devonian taxa to the ferns is questioned whilst most of the Carboniferous coenopterids are considered indisputable ferns, some of them being related to modern filicaleans. The discovery, in the Lower Carboniferous of Scotland, of diverse annulate filicalean sporangia suggests an earlier (Tournaisian) radiation of true ferns than was previously assumed.
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh section B: Biological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 1985|