PalZ

, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 349–376 | Cite as

A new plant assemblage from the Middle Triassic volcanic tuffs of Pingchuan, Gansu, northwestern China and its paleoenvironmental significance

  • Fu-Jun Ma
  • Qiu-Jun Wang
  • Jun-Ling Dong
  • Hao-Fei Wang
  • Zi-Xi Wang
  • Feng-Tai Zhang
  • Bai-Nian Sun
Research Paper

Abstract

A new fossiliferous horizon from the Middle Triassic Dingjiayao Formation, Pingchuan District, Gansu Province, China is described. The plant assemblage preserves a diverse community of horsetails, ferns and seeds of unknown systematic affinity. Ferns are the most diverse elements of the assemblage and are also ecologically dominant, while horsetails contribute a smaller component to floristic diversity and have a lower abundance. Here, five fern taxa are assigned to Marantoidea, Symopteris, Neuropteridium, Cladophlebis and Sphenopteris. Also, six species belonging to three horsetail taxa are described from this assemblage, which are assigned to Equisetites, Echinostachys and Neocalamites. Additionally, remains of doubtful botanical attribution comprise Carpolithus seeds. Some of these groups are recorded from the Middle Triassic of China for the first time. The preservation of these fossils suggests that the assemblage was buried autochthonously or para-autochthonously by volcanic ash fall. Fossilization of these specimens occurred rapidly after the specimens embedded in the volcaniclastic sediments. Also the plant assemblage indicates a local riparian environment in a warm, humid climate.

Keywords

Horsetail Fern Middle Triassic Gansu province Northwestern China 

Kurzfassung

Eine neue fossilführende Schicht aus der mitteltriassischen Dingjiayao-Formation von Pingchuan in der Provinz Gansu (China) wird beschrieben. Die Pflanzengemeinschaft zeigt eine diverse Zusammensetzung aus Schachtelhalmen, Farnen und Samen (unbekannter systematischer Zuordnung). Farne sind das diverseste Element dieser Florengemeinschaft sowie auch in ökologischer Hinsicht dominierend, während Schachtelhalme zur floristischen Diversität nur einen kleinen Teil beisteuern und eine niedrige Abundanz aufweisen. Fünf Farne konnten als Marantoidea, Symopteris, Neuropteridium, Cladophlebis und Sphenopteris bestimmt werden. Desweiteren werden sechs Schachtelhalm-Arten, die Equisetites, Echinostachys und Neocalamites zugeordnet werden konnten, aus dieser Gemeinschaft beschrieben. Weitere Reste, fraglicher botanischer Zuordnung, werden vorerst als Carpolithus-Samen betrachtet. Einige dieser Gruppen werden erstmals aus der Mittleren Trias von China nachgewiesen. Die Erhaltung dieser Fossilien legt nahe, dass die Gemeinschaft autochthon oder para-autochthon durch vulkanische Asche begraben wurde. Die Fossilisation dieser, erfolgte sehr rasch nach Einbettung in vulkanoklastischen Sedimenten. Die Pflanzengemeinschaft weist auf eine lokale, ufernahe Umgebung in einem warmen, humiden Klima hin.

Schlüsselworte

Schachtelhalme Farne Mittlere Trias Gansu NW-China 

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Copyright information

© Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fu-Jun Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiu-Jun Wang
    • 1
  • Jun-Ling Dong
    • 1
  • Hao-Fei Wang
    • 1
  • Zi-Xi Wang
    • 1
  • Feng-Tai Zhang
    • 2
  • Bai-Nian Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and Key Laboratory of Mineral Resources in Western China (Gansu Province)Lanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Geography and TourismGuizhou Education UniversityGuiyangChina

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