Monday, October 12, 2015

A Conifer Woodland From Aptian/Albanian Cretaceous Patagonia

Aptian–Albian Cupressaceae (sensu stricto) woods from Cañadón Asfalto Basin, Patagonia Argentina


Brea et al


This paper describes the first macrofloristic record from Los Adobes Formation (Chubut Group) in Cañadón Asfalto Basin (Patagonia, Chubut Province, Argentina). The studied fossils were recovered from the Aptian–Albian Bardas Coloradas Member, and consist of silicified woods preserved in fluvial channel deposits. One wood shows homocellular rays with smooth radial and tangential walls, diffuse axial parenchyma, tracheid pitting of the abietinoid type and cross-field pitting cupressoid usually ordered in rows and columns indicating placement within Cupressinoxylon hallei Kräusel. This fossil tree resembles some members of the extant Cupressaceae s.s., as Austrocedrus chilensis (D. Don) Pic. Serm. & Bizzarri, Pilgerodendron uviferum (D. Don) Florin, Fitzroya cupressoide (Molina) I. M. Johnst. and Libocedrus plumosa (D. Don) Druce. Due to poor preservation the other fossil wood specimen was assigned to cf. Cupressinoxylon Göppert 1850 nom. cons. prop. This is the first unequivocal record of C. hallei from the Cretaceous of South America and the oldest reliable record of the Callitroideae, indicating that this subfamily was well established since the mid-Cretaceous in the Southern Hemisphere.

No comments: