Schwendemann, Andrew B. , Taylor, Thomas N. , Taylor, Edith L. , Serbet, Rudolph , Hermsen, E. J. .
Permineralized Plants from the Jurassic of Antarctica.
The Jurassic marks a period of rapid diversification for many plant groups, including the ferns, conifers, cycads, and ginkgophytes. The majority of plant fossils from this period are known from compression/impression material. The Storm Peak and Carapace Nunatak localities in the Transantarctic Mountains contain permineralized and petrified organic material. A preliminary survey of the scant material from these sites shows a hint of the diversity present at this time and gives a glimpse into the ecology of the area. Petrified trunks of gymnosperm wood have been recovered and were most likely elements of an old growth forest. Pieces of fusinized wood are also spread throughout the permineralized material. The understory appears to be occupied by ferns, with three different species having been found between the two localities. The dipterid fern Polyphacelus stormensis, of Storm Peak, comprises the majority of the fossils found to date. Significant evidence of insect-plant interactions is also documented in this material. An abundance of coprolites can be found in the ground tissue of the ferns, the secondary xylem of some smaller axes, and dispersed throughout the matrix. Structures that have tentatively been described as permineralized insect parts have been found in both Antarctic localities. In addition, fragments of other woody axes, stems, and roots have also been discovered.
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1 - University of Kansas, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA
2 - University of Kansas, Division of Paleobotany, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, 1200 Sunnyside Ave., Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA
3 - University of Kansas, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Haworth Hall, 1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas, 66045-7534, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Williford A/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 9:15 AM