Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 327–362 | Cite as

Early Jurassic bennettitalean reproductive structures of Romania

  • Mihai E. PopaEmail author
Original Paper


The Romanian Early Jurassic (Hettangian–Sinemurian) floras represent a key element of the Eurosinian Province in which the Williamsoniaceae (Bennettitales) are well represented by vegetative remains (leaves, stems, roots) and reproductive structures. Up to the present, Early Jurassic bennettitalean reproductive structures have been found at only two localities in Romania: Anina and Doman. These localities belong to the Reşiţa Basin, Getic Nappe, South Carpathians, Romania, with Anina considered to be the best Romanian Early Jurassic locality in terms of diversity and preservation of fossil plants and animals, i.e. a fossil Lagerstätte. This paper deals with all bennettitalean reproductive structures identified to date. These belong to the Steierdorf Formation, Valea Tereziei Member, and are Sinemurian in age. In total, 32 rare hand specimens (compressions and casts) have been studied and the following taxa identified: Williamsonia banatica Krasser, W. latecostata Semaka, Bennetticarpus sp. A and sp. B, Cycadolepis sp., Weltrichia alfredii Krasser, Weltrichia givulescui Popa, 2001, Weltrichia johannae sp. nov., Weltrichia antonii sp. nov., Weltrichia steierdorfensis sp. nov., Weltrichia sp. A and Weltrichia sp. B. The systematic affinities of these taxa are discussed, as well as aspects related to their stratigraphy and palaeocology.


Sinemurian Bennettitales Williamsoniaceae Reproductive structures Romania 



I wish to thank Johanna J.H.A. Van Konijnenburg–van Cittert (Naturalis and Utrecht University) for her generous professional help since 1993. This paper is dedicated to her and it deserves a better title such as “Flowers for Han” for her 70th birthday. Part of the material figured and described here was included in my unpublished PhD thesis (Popa 2000a) supervised by her and by Ovidiu N. Dragastan (University of Bucharest). Evelyn Kustatscher (Naturmuseum Südtirol, Bolzano) and Christian Pott (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm) are thanked for their constructive and thorough peer reviews. Lars van den Hoek Ostende (Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden) is thanked for kindly reviewing the English language of the manuscript. Dumitru Anescu, Chief Geologist (retired) of the Anina coal mine is thanked for gently donating to the University of Bucharest the hand specimen recorded as LPBU0566 with Williamsonia latecostata. Grigore Buia (University of Petroşani), Stela Uruioc (West University of Timişoara), Ioan I. Bucur, Liana Săsăran (Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca) and Valentin Paraschiv (National Museum of Geology, Geological Institute of Romania) are thanked for permitting access in the historical collections of their institutions. Andrei M-Kiss (Banat Museum, Timişoara) is thanked for advice and support regarding the Hans Humml Collection. Artur Kędzior (Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geological Sciences, Krakow) is thanked for his enthusiastic help in collecting fossils during field mapping together in the South Carpathians. I also wish to thank Irene Zorn (GBA, Vienna), for her help with Langer’s material, and Barbara Meller (Department of Palaeontology, Vienna University) for her help with the GBA collection from Anina in Vienna. Ion Francovschi (graduate student, University of Bucharest) is thanked for translating descriptions from Russian literature, Javad Saadat-Nejad (National Oil Company, Iran) and Ghazal Adib-Hashemy (undergraduate student, University of Bucharest) are thanked for translating Iranian literature. Sun Ge (Shenyang University), Yongdong Wang (Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Gar W. Rothwell (Ohio University, Athens), Elena Volynets (Institute of Biology and Soil Science FEB RAS, Vladivostok), Hideo Takimoto (Ibaraki Nature Museum), Maria Barbacka (Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest) and Christian Pott are thanked for their kind help in providing Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and German literature. Many thanks to my graduate students Dragoş Voiculeţ, Ciprian Florescu and Bogdan Săvescu, for their help in the field while collecting fossil plants in Anina, in 2010–2012. Sinje Weber (Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt) is thanked for her kind support and advice. Raluca M. Popa is warmly thanked for her continuous support and understanding, as well as for her enthusiastic help in the field. This work benefitted financially from the Romanian National University Research Council (NURC-CNCSIS) grant no. 436/2007 to the author (PI).


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© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Laboratory of PalaeontologyUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

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