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Vegetational patterns in the Springfield Coal (Middle Pennsylvanian, Illinois Basin); comparison of miospore and coal-ball records

Debra A. Willard
Vegetational patterns in the Springfield Coal (Middle Pennsylvanian, Illinois Basin); comparison of miospore and coal-ball records (in Modern and ancient coal-forming environments, James C. Cobb (editor) and C. Blaine Cecil (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (1993) 286: 139-152

Abstract

Coal-ball peats and miospore floras were sampled quantitatively in profiles from the upper Middle Pennsylvanian Springfield Coal of the Illinois Basin. Coal profiles for miospore analysis were sampled at 13 sites, forming two transects across the Galatia paleochannel. Miospore assemblages near paleochannels differ from those near the coal margin. Near the Galatia paleochannel, four species of tree-fern spores (Laevigatosporites globosus, L. minimus, Punctatosporites minutus, Thymospora pseudothiessenii) share dominance throughout the profile, and Lycospora is subdominant. In profiles near the coal margin, T. pseudothiessenii dominates the lower three-fourths of the seam, and Laevigatosporites globosus dominates the upper one-fourth of the seam. Lycospora is at its most abundant in the lower one-fourth of the coal, and Anacanthotriletes spinosus is abundant in the middle of the seam. Three coal-ball profiles were collected in conjunction with miospore profiles to compare species abundance in the two records. Lycopods are the dominant biovolume producers in coal-ball floras, and tree ferns usually rank second. This differs from the miospore floras, in which tree-fern miospores are dominant over those of lycopods. Disparities between the two records were evaluated with R-values, ratios of percent abundance of species in the miospore record to that in the coal-ball record. In the Springfield Coal, tree ferns are 2 to 3 times and lepidodendrid lycopods 0.5 to 0.75 times as abundant in the miospore record as in the peat. Sigillaria and Diaphorodendron, however, are much more poorly represented by spores and have R-values less than 0.2. Although R-values are too variable among zones in profiles to accurately reconstruct the peat, they provide an estimate of how over- or underrepresented species are in the miospore record and should be considered when estimating vegetational biomass from percent miospore abundance.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 286
Title: Vegetational patterns in the Springfield Coal (Middle Pennsylvanian, Illinois Basin); comparison of miospore and coal-ball records
Title: Modern and ancient coal-forming environments
Author(s): Willard, Debra A.
Author(s): Cobb, James C.editor
Author(s): Cecil, C. Blaineeditor
Affiliation: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Plant Biology, Urbana, IL, United States
Affiliation: Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington, KY, United States
Pages: 139-152
Published: 1993
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 0-8137-2286-1
References: 50
Accession Number: 1994-011031
Categories: Petrology of coalPaleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables, sketch map
N36°30'00" - N41°30'00", W91°00'00" - W87°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 199405
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