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Conifers from the Cenomanian amber of Fouras (Charente-Maritime, western France)

Abstract : Fossil inclusions of arthropods and microorganisms are abundant in the Cretaceous amber from western France, but plant meso- or macroremains are scarce. Preserved remains are mostly tiny, very fragmented, and indeterminable. Only one amber locality in the Charente department has already provided conifer remains. Here, we report the first plant mesoremains ensnared in Cenomanian amber from Fouras - Bois Vert, in the Charente-Maritime department. They consist of three well-preserved leafy axes and one cone of Cheirolepidiacean conifers. Based on the helical arrangement of rhomboidal, longer than wide, and highly adpressed leaves, leafy axes are ascribed to the genus Pagiophyllum. The ovoid cone bears more than 15 imbricate, helically arranged, scale-like leaves and is ascribed to Classostrobus sp. Although Cretaceous flora is abundant in lignitic clay from the Charentes region, Pagiophyllum is reported for the first time in Albian-Cenomanian deposits from this area. Xerophytic features of Pagiophyllum further support a harsh and instable coastal environment seasonally exposed to hot, dry conditions during the mid-Cretaceous in the Charentes region.
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Jean-David Moreau, Didier Néraudeau, Vincent Perrichot. Conifers from the Cenomanian amber of Fouras (Charente-Maritime, western France). BSGF earth sciences bulletin, Société géologique de France, 2020, 191, pp.16. ⟨10.1051/bsgf/2020017⟩. ⟨insu-02569743⟩

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