Abstract

Residues from Hirnantian (Upper Ordovician) and Aeronian (Lower Silurian) strata of Anticosti Island, Quebec, Canada, have yielded the oldest occurrence of terrestrial-based palynomorphs (cryptospores) from eastern North America. A low-abundance, low-diversity cryptospore assemblage containing specimens of Pseudodyadospora, Velatitetras, and alete monads has been recovered from the Velleda Member of the Ellis Bay Formation (Upper Ordovician, Hirnantian). The Gun River Formation (Lower Silurian, Aeronian) contains a low-abundance, low-diversity assemblage composed of specimens of Velatitetras, Laevolcancis, and alete monads. The occurrence of these assemblages provides evidence for early land plants in this part of North America during the Late Ordovician and Early Silurian, and documents the existence of a terrestrial-based flora during and after the Saharan (Late Ordovician) glaciation.

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