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Revisiting the spore assemblages from the Lower Devonian Posongchong Formation of Wenshan, Yunnan Province, southwestern China

  • B. Cascales-Miñana (a1), J. Z. Xue (a2), G. Rial (a1), P. Gerrienne (a1), P. Huang (a2) and P. Steemans (a1)...

Abstract

The Lower Devonian Posongchong Formation (Wenshan, Yunnan Province, southwestern China) consists of a series of continental deposits with an outstanding plant megafossil diversity. More than 20 years ago, this formation was interpreted as ‘Siegenian' (∼Pragian) in age based on palynology. However, such interpretation needs further evidence because of the known differences between the dispersed spore assemblages from South China and Euramerica/northwestern Gondwana. Here, we present new dispersed spore assemblages recently recovered from the Posongchong Formation. The isolated spore diversity is highly diverse, with 18 genera and 32 species. The recognised taxa include, among others, Ambitisporites avitus, Aneurospora conica, Aneurospora posongchongensis sp. nov., Aneurospora xujiachongensis, Apiculiretusispora plicata, Archaeozonotriletes chulus, Concentricosisporites agradabilis, Dibolisporites echinaceus, Emphanisporites rotatus, Gneudnaspora divellomedia, Latosporites ovalis, Retusotriletes triangulatus, Tetrahedraletes medinensis and Verrucosporites polygonalis, with Aneurospora and Retusotriletes being the most abundant forms. The known Posongchong palynoflora (previous spore data included) suggests that the Posongchong Formation assemblages can be correlated with the Pragian interval of the polygonalis–wetteldorfensis Oppel Zone (PoW). This age determination is supported by the presence of index species of PoW, such as Verrucosporites polygonalis, Dictyotriletes subgranifer and Camarozonotriletes parvus (sensu Steemans, 1989), the latter being known only from the Pragian of Belgium and Germany. Recent advances in the study of the marine faunas in the overlying sequences also indicate a Pragian age for the Posongchong Formation. This new investigation of the Posongchong palynoflora highlights differences of abundance at species level between the Gondwanan–Laurussian floras during the Early Devonian.

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*Corresponding author
Current address: Evo-Eco-Paleo, UMR 8198, CNRS, University of Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq F-59655, France.

References

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