Some new plant finds from the Posongchong Formation of Yunnan, and consideration of a phytogeographic similarity between South China and Australia during the Early Devonian

  • Hao Shougang 
  • Patricia G. Gensel


The new plants documented here, including a representative of the trimerophytesPsilophyton primitiuum sp. nov., a questionable rhyniophyte or trimerophyteHedeia sinica sp. nov., a prelycopodBragwanathia sp. and two species of zosterophyllophytes,Zosterophyllum australianum Lang and Cookson 1930 and2. sp. 1, from the Posongchong Formation of southeastern Yunnan, China, add to the known floral diversity of the Early Devonian of this region. Two sections of the Posongchong Formation, Changputang section of Wenshan district and Gegu section of Mengzi district also are introduced. After comparing the plants with those of the coeval flora of Australia and considering the data of recent paleocontinental reconstructions, the authors suggest that there is a northeastern Gondwana phytogeographic unit during the early Devonian comprising Australia, South China Block and perhaps Shan-Thai Block. The similarity of the floral component between Australia and South China is discussed. Because both Australia and South China also have dominant or endemic taxa, each might be recognized as a subunit, separately characterized byHedeia for Australia andEophyllophyton for South China.


South China Australia early Devonian northeastern Gondwana phytogedgraphic unit 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hao Shougang, A new zosterophyll from the lower Devonian (Siegenian) of Yunnan, China,Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 1989, 57: 155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wang Yi, Lower Devonian miospores from Gumu in thc Wenshan district, southeastern Yunnan,Acta Micropalaeont. Sinica (in Chinese), 1994, 11: 319.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cookson, I. C., On plant-remains from the Silurian of Victoria, Australia, that extend and connect floras hitherto described,Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1935, B225: 127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cookson, I.C., Yeringian (Lower Devonian) plant remains from Lilydale, Victoria, with notes on a collection from a new locality in the Siluro-Devonian sequence,Memoris of the National Museum, Melbourne, 1949, 16: 117.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tims, J. D., Chambers, T. C., Rhyniophytina and Trimerophytina from the early land flora of Victoria, Australia,Palaeontology, 1984, 27: 265.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hueber, F. M., A new species ofBaragwnathia from the Sextant Formation (Emsian), Northern Ontario, Canada,Botanical Journal o,f the Linnean Society, 1983, 86: 57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hao Shou-gang, Some observations onZosterophyllum australiunum Lang and Cookson from the Lower Devonian of Yunnan, China,Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 1992, 109: 189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lang, W. H., Cookson, I. C., Some fossil plants of Early Devonian type from the Walhalla Series, Victoria, Australia,Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1930, B219: 133.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Halle, T. G., Lower Devonian plants from Roragen in Norway,K. svenska Vetensk Akad, Handl, 1916, 57: 1.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Garratt, M. J., Ncw evidence for a Silurian (Ludlow) age for the earliestBaragwanathia flora,Alcheringa, 1978, 2: 217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lang, W. H., Cookson, I. C., On a flora, including vascular land plants, associated withMonograptus, in rocks of Silurian age, from Victoria, Australia,Handl, 1935, 224: 421.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Grierson, J. D., Hueber, F. M., Devonian lycopods from northern New Brunswick,International Symposium on the Devonian System, Calgary, 1967, 11: 823.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Raymond, A., Parker, W. C., Barrett, S. F.,Early Devonian Phytogeography, Geological Factors and the Evolution of Plants, New Haven and London:Yale University Press, 1985, 129–167.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Raymond, A., Paleogeographic distribution of early Devonian plant traits,Palaios, 1987, 2: 113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Edwards, D., Constraints on Silurian and Early Devonian phytogeographic analysis based on megafossils,Palaeoroic Palaeogeography and Biogeography, Geological Society Memoir, 1990, 12: 233.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wunk, C., The development of floristic provinciality during the Middle and Late Paleozoic,Review of Palaeobotany and Palpology, 1996, 90: 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Edwards, D., Berry, C., Silurian and Devonian, plant fossils in geological investigation,The Palaeozoic, Chichester:Ellis Horwood, 1991, 117.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Scotese, C. R., McKerrow, W. S., Revised world maps and introduction,Plaeozoic Palaeogeography and Biogeography, Geological Society London Memoir, 1990, 12: 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Liu Chun, Liang Qizhou, Magnetostratigraphic research on the boundary line between Yulongsi Formation and Cuifengshan Group,Chinese Science Bulletin (in Chinese), 1984, 29(4): 232.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fang Wu, Van der Voo, R., Liang Qizhong, Devonian paleomagnetism of Yunnan province across the Shan Thai-South China suture,Tectonics, 1989, 8: 939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bai Zhiqiang, Bai Shunliang, Palaeogeographic position of the South China Plate during the Lower-Middle Devonian,Acta Geologica Sinica (in Chinese), 1990, 3: 199.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hao Shougang 
    • 1
  • Patricia G. Gensel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations