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Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 271–278 | Cite as

Wildfires in the late Palaeozoic and Mesozoic of the Southern Alps—the Anisian and Ladinian (Mid Triassic) of the Dolomites (Northern Italy)

  • Dieter UhlEmail author
  • Christoph Hartkopf-Fröder
  • Ralf Littke
  • Evelyn Kustatscher
Original Paper

Abstract

Based on anatomical studies of fossil charcoal fragments the first evidence for palaeo-wildfires is presented for the Anisian and Ladinian of the Dolomites (Northern Italy). These charcoals are from the localities Kühwiesenkopf/Monte Prà della Vacca (middle-upper Pelsonian, upper Anisian) and Ritberg/Ju Rit (Longobardian, upper Ladinian), and they help to fill a gap in our current scientific knowledge on the fossil record of Triassic wildfires worldwide. Charcoal reflectance values from Kühwiesenkopf are surprisingly high, indicating a palaeo-wildfire temperature of approximately 650 °C.

Keywords

Mid Triassic Anisian Ladinian Palaeo-wildfire Charcoal gap 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article is dedicated to Johanna HA van Konijnenburg-van Cittert on the occasion of her 70th birthday. The work on this paper started in 2005 when one of the authors (DU) worked at the former Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology of the University of Utrecht and Han was involved in a study (with EK) of the Mid Triassic floras of the Dolomites. We thank Claudia Franz, Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt, for technical assistance with SEM facilities, as well as Guido Roghi (Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse, Padova) and Sarah Brown (Royal Holloway, University of London; Egham) for their most constructive reviews, which helped to improve the manuscript. This paper is part of the project “The Permian-Triassic ecological crisis in the Dolomites: extinction and recovery dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems” funded by the Promotion of Educational Policies, University and Research Department of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano–South Tyrol. EK acknowledges financial support from the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (3.3-ITA/1141759STP).

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Uhl
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Christoph Hartkopf-Fröder
    • 3
  • Ralf Littke
    • 4
  • Evelyn Kustatscher
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und NaturmuseumFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, Institut für GeowissenschaftenUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Geological Survey North Rhine–WestphaliaKrefeldGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, Energy and Mineral Resources Group (EMR)RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  5. 5.Naturmuseum SüdtirolBozenItaly
  6. 6.Department für Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften, Paläontologie und GeobiologieLudwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMunichGermany

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