Vegetational composition of the Early Cretaceous Chicalhão flora (Lusitanian Basin, western Portugal) based on palynological and mesofossil assemblages

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Abstract

A newEarly Cretaceous flora is described fromthe Lusitanian Basin in the Estremadura region (western Portugal) based on a combined study ofmesofossils and palynomorphs. The fossil specimenswere extracted from samples collected in the Chicalhão clay pit complex, near the village of Juncal fromsediments belonging to the Figueira da Foz Formation. The plant bearing sequence is considered to be of Late Aptian–EarlyAlbian age. Palynomorphs and mesofossils are generally well-preserved and include about 63 taxa. The palynoflora is dominated by conifer pollen and fern spores. Angiospermpollen is also present, but subordinate among the palynomorphs. In contrast, angiosperms completely dominate themesofossil flora and aremainly represented by fruits and seeds. Four taxa of angiosperm flowers were also identified. The combined palaeobotanical and sedimentological evidence indicates seasonally dry climate and an open vegetation consisting of a mixed conifer forest with an understorey and ground cover of ferns and angiosperms and with patchy occurrences of lycophytes and plants of the Bennettitales–Erdtmanithecales–Gnetales (BEG) group. Angiosperms probably inhabited moister areas bordering rivers and lakes
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)65-81
JournalReview Of Palaeobotany And Palynology
Volume200
Issue numberNA
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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