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GEOREF RECORD

Plant paleoecology of the Late Devonian Red Hill locality, north-central Pennsylvania, an Archaeopteris-dominated wetland plant community and early tetrapod site

Walter L. Cressler
Plant paleoecology of the Late Devonian Red Hill locality, north-central Pennsylvania, an Archaeopteris-dominated wetland plant community and early tetrapod site (in Wetlands through time, Stephen F. Greb (editor) and William A. DiMichele (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2006) 399: 79-102

Abstract

The Late Devonian Red Hill locality in north-central Pennsylvania contains an Archaeopteris-dominated plant fossil assemblage, a diverse fossil fauna, and an extensive sedimentary sequence ideal for investigating the landscapes and biotic associations of the earliest forest ecosystems. Sedimentological analysis of the main plant-fossil bearing layer at Red Hill indicates that it was a flood-pain pond. A seasonal wet-and-dry climate is indicated by well-developed paleovertisols. The presence of charcoal interspersed with plant fossils indicates that fires occurred in this landscape. Fires appear to have primarily affected the fern Rhacophyton. The specificity of the fires, the distribution profile of the plant remains deposited in the pond, and additional taphonomic evidence all support a model of niche partitioning of the Late Devonian landscape by plants at a high taxonomic level. At Red Hill, Archaeopteris was growing on the well-drained areas; Rhacophyton was growing in widespread monotypic stands; cormose lycopsids grew along the pond edge; and gymnosperms and Gillespiea were possibly opportunists following disturbances. Tetrapod fossils have been described from Red Hill-therefore, this paleoecological analysis is the first systematic interpretation of a specific site that reflects the type of wetland environment within which the earliest tetrapods evolved.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 399
Title: Plant paleoecology of the Late Devonian Red Hill locality, north-central Pennsylvania, an Archaeopteris-dominated wetland plant community and early tetrapod site
Title: Wetlands through time
Author(s): Cressler, Walter L., III
Author(s): Greb, Stephen F.editor
Author(s): DiMichele, William A.editor
Affiliation: West Chester University, Francis Harvey Green Library, West Chester, PA, United States
Affiliation: University of Kentucky, Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington, KY, United States
Pages: 79-102
Published: 2006
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 0-8137-2399-X
References: 120
Accession Number: 2006-069424
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. col., 1 table, sketch map
N41°20'30" - N41°20'30", W77°40'30" - W77°40'30"
Secondary Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200640
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