Early Cenomanian palynofloras and inferred resiniferous forests and vegetation types in Charentes (southwestern France)

Abstract : A palynological analysis of 45 samples from six mid-Cretaceous amber-bearing outcrops from Charentes has been carried out. A total of 227 taxa have been recorded in the studied palynofloras. The palynological evidence suggests an early Cenomanian age for the assemblages. The heterogeneous compositions of the palynofloral assemblages indicate the existence of different coastal depositional settings with a variable but usually weak marine influence. The local vegetation was subdivided in various types including herbaceous formations integrating ferns and eudicots which may have colonised frequently-disturbed, fluvial, open environments and xeric arboreal communities dominated by Cheirolepidiaceae and probably integrating drought- and/or salt-tolerant angiosperms and ferns (Anemiaceae and Gleicheniaceae) and other gymnosperms (Araucariaceae, Ginkgoales and scarce Cycadales and Gnetales). The existence of riparian and freshwater wetland communities integrating taxodioids, aquatic and/or hygrophilous angiosperms, ferns, lycopods, mosses and clubmosses is proposed. Coastal/?lagoonal counterparts including plants tolerant to periodical floods by saline or brackish waters is suggested by palynological evidence. Conifer forests mainly integrating Pinaceae and Podocarpaceae in raised hinterlands may also be interpreted on the basis of taphonomical considerations. The wide variety of depositional settings inferred by the palynological data support enhanced transport capabilities for amber and/or a widespread occurrence of producers in local vegetation during the early Cenomanian.
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Daniel Peyrot, Eduardo Barron, France Polette, David Batten, Didier Néraudeau. Early Cenomanian palynofloras and inferred resiniferous forests and vegetation types in Charentes (southwestern France). Cretaceous Research, Elsevier, 2019, 94, pp.168-189. ⟨10.1016/j.cretres.2018.10.011⟩. ⟨insu-01897273⟩

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