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Terrestrial plants and marine algae from the Late Jurassic lithographic limestone of the Causse Méjean (Lozère, southern France)

Abstract : A new Late Jurassic flora was discovered in the fossiliferous lithographic limestone of the Causse Méjean, Lozère (southern France). It consists of the first Kimmeridgian/Tithonian plants from this area. Fossil plants are represented by megaremains preserved as impressions. This flora shows a co-occurrence of terrestrial plants and marine algae. The land plants include vegetative remains ascribed to bennettitaleans (Zamites Brongniart, 1828), conifers (Brachyphyllum Brongniart, 1828), and pteridosperms (Cycadopteris Zigno, 1853). Marine algae were ascribed to dasyclads (Goniolina D’Orbigny, 1850). Lithological and palaeontological features suggest preservation in a flat, homogeneous, protected environment, perhaps a brackish or marine lagoon, influenced by both continental and marine inputs. This discovery complements the few existing reports of European Late Jurassic floras, and indicates that coastal habitats were dominated by sub-arborescent vegetation, consisting of bennettitaleans and pteridosperms, and arborescent plants, such as conifers. Both the palaeoenvironmental context and certain xerophytic features suggest that these terrestrial plants from the Causse Méjean were well adapted to the hot, dry conditions of coastal areas.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 1:11:54 PM
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Jean-David Moreau, Louis Baret, Gérard Lafaurie, Carmela Chateau-Smith. Terrestrial plants and marine algae from the Late Jurassic lithographic limestone of the Causse Méjean (Lozère, southern France). BSGF earth sciences bulletin, Société géologique de France, 2016, 187 (2), pp.121-127. ⟨10.2113/gssgfbull.187.2.121⟩. ⟨insu-01318202⟩

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