Microalgae from the Lower Devonian Rhynie chert: a new Cymatiosphaera

Evelyn Kustatscher, Nora Dotzler, Tomas N. Taylor & Michael Krings

Prasinophytes are an interesting group of organisms because they have the potential to shed light on the nature of the last common ancestor of all green plants, as well as on the origin of the advanced chlorophytes (Turmel et al. 2009). The phycomata described in this paper suggest that the diversity of prasinophytes in freshwater may have been extensive by the Early Devonian, and that these organisms may have played important roles in the functioning of early non-marine ecosystems, perhaps as primary producers in food webs.

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