Palynology from “The Jurassic Dinosaur Coast” of Asturias (Lastres Fm., Northwestern Spain): palynostratigraphical and palaeoecological insights
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/4150
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2416.04 Paleontología de las Plantas ; 2416.03 Palinología ; 2416 Paleontología
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Abundant fossils of vertebrates (mainly footprints and bones of dinosaurs) and numerous invertebrates occur in the Upper Jurassic deposits of the Lastres Formation in the Asturias region, North of Spain. However, no palynological study has been published from this geological formation; therefore, much palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological information is still unknown. In this study, a total of 62 morphospecies, belonging to 49 different morphogenera were identified, including pollen, spores, algae remains, fungi spores, dinoflagellates, foraminifera, and scolecodonts from four different locations on the Asturian coast. Spores are the dominant group of palynomorphs, both in diversity and abundance, contrasting with the minor diversity of pollen grains. The age of some key taxa indicates that the palynological assemblage cannot be older than the Kimmeridgian, suggesting a Kimmeridgian-Tithonian age. The botanical and environmental affinities of the pollen and spores indicate the presence of different plant assemblages, including plant communities from humid areas such as the margin of rivers and small freshwater ponds that were dominated by bryophytes and ferns, and a coastal plant community that would inhabit arid areas and would be dominated by gymnosperms and some pteridophytes. The SEM analyses of wood remains show the abundance of charcoalified remains suggesting that wildfires were usual in The Dinosaur Coast of Asturias during the Kimmeridgian.
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