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Cheirolepidiacean foliage and pollen from Cretaceous high-latitudes of southeastern Australia
School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6723-239X
School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia.
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2015 (English)In: Gondwana Research, ISSN 1342-937X, E-ISSN 1878-0571, Vol. 27, 960-977 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cheirolepidiaceae leaves and pollen are recorded from Valanginian–Albian strata of southeastern Australia that were deposited at high-latitudes under cool, moist climates in contrast to the semi-arid or coastal habitats preferred by many northern Gondwanan and Laurasian representatives of this group. Leaves of this family are characterized by thick cuticles and cyclocytic stomata with randomly oriented apertures, arranged in scattered or longitudinal rows or bands. Stomata are deeply sunken and surrounded by four to six subsidiary cells that bear one or two ranks of prominent overarching papillae, which may constrict the mouth of the pit. Three new taxa (Otwayia denticulata Tosolini, Cheirolepidiaceae cuticle sp. A and sp. B) are distinguished based on cuticular features, adding to several previously documented cheirolepid conifers in the Early Cretaceous of eastern Australia. Cheirolepidiaceae foliage is preserved predominantly in fluvial floodbasin settings and is interpreted to be derived from small trees occupying disturbed or low-nutrient sites. The foliage is associated with Classopollis/Corollina pollen and roots characterized by prominent mycorrhizal nodules. A Cenomanian Classopollis type recognised from Bathurst Island, Northern Australia, is recorded for the first time from the Early Cretaceous Eumeralla Formation, Otway Basin. Classopollis locally is rare in Valanginian–Barremian strata of Boola Boola, Gippsland, but constitutes up to 14% of the palynomorph assemblage in Albian strata. This indicates that the family was locally abundant in cool southern high-latitude climates of the Mesozoic, contrary to previous reports of its rarity in this region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 27, 960-977 p.
Keyword [en]
Cretaceous, Australia, Conifer, Cheirolepidiaceae, Classopollis
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Diversity of life
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-1342DOI: 10.1016/ diva2:862056
Reconstructing the lost forests of Antarctica: the palaeoecology, anatomy and phylogeny of the iconic Glossopteris floraExceptional permineralized biotas - windows into the evolution and functional diversity of terrestrial ecosystems through time
Swedish Research Council, VR 2010-3931Swedish Research Council, VR 2014-5234
Available from: 2015-05-31 Created: 2015-10-20 Last updated: 2015-12-02Bibliographically approved

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