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Early Oligocene riparian and swamp forests with a mass occurrence of Zingiberoideophyllum (extinct Zingiberales) from Saxony, central Germany

Lutz Kunzmann
Early Oligocene riparian and swamp forests with a mass occurrence of Zingiberoideophyllum (extinct Zingiberales) from Saxony, central Germany (in Special issue commemorating the 20th anniversary meeting of the International workshop on Plant taphonomy, Carole T. Gee (editor) and Lutz Kunzmann (editor))
Palaios (November 2012) 27 (11): 765-778

Abstract

A remarkable fossil plant assemblage from the lowermost Oligocene Haselbach horizon (Grobers Member, Bohlen Formation) was excavated at the Vereinigtes Schleenhain opencast mine (northwestern Saxony, Germany) and is described herein. The lower unit of the Haselbach horizon represents abandoned channel deposits that contain masses of Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense leaves. Species identification of the leaves is based on morphological characters and micromorphological features of the cuticle. Other plant organs of the previously described whole plant Spirematospermum wetzleri-Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense, such as fruits, seeds, rhizomes, and rootlets, were also observed on associated bedding planes, which supports this whole-plant reconstruction. The other megafossil remains in this taphocoenosis, mostly leaves, are identified taxonomically and interpreted as being derived from a mixed softwood and hardwood riparian forest of Acer haselbachense, Apocynophyllum neriifolium, Carpinus grandis, Engelhardia orsbergensis, Populus germanica, Rosa lignitum, Taxodium dubium, and from a Nyssa-Taxodium swamp. Based on the plant taphonomy and the paleoecology of the plants, this plant assemblage was likely deposited in still water and therefore mainly parautochthonous. Vertical changes in the composition of the plant assemblage, in particular the disappearance of the Zingiberoideophyllum liblarence leaves, are attributed to changes in habitat, such as alterations in the soil substrate and/or rising water levels. Taphonomic and paleophytosociological aspects of the assemblage confirm the previously published autecological reconstruction of the Spirematospermum wetzleri-Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense whole plant as an aquatic subshrub growing in shallow standing water, most likely in monotypic dense stands or in association with the Apocynophyllum neriifolium-Microdiptera whole plant. Nomenclatural and taxonomic problems of the family assignment of Zingiberoideophyllum liblarense are discussed briefly. The presence of transverse veins, also called cross veins, suggests an assignment to Zingiberaceae and excludes it from Musaceae.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 27
Serial Issue: 11
Title: Early Oligocene riparian and swamp forests with a mass occurrence of Zingiberoideophyllum (extinct Zingiberales) from Saxony, central Germany
Title: Special issue commemorating the 20th anniversary meeting of the International workshop on Plant taphonomy
Author(s): Kunzmann, Lutz
Author(s): Gee, Carole T.editor
Author(s): Kunzmann, Lutzeditor
Affiliation: Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, Museum of Mineralogy and Geology, Dresden, Germany
Affiliation: University of Bonn, Division of Paleontology, Bonn, Germany
Pages: 765-778
Published: 201211
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
Meeting name: 20th international workshop on Plant taphonomy
Meeting location: Dresden, DEU, Germany
Meeting date: 20110325March 25-27, 2011
References: 38
Accession Number: 2013-011015
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., strat. col., 1 table, sketch map
N51°07'00" - N51°07'00", E12°19'60" - E12°19'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, DEU, Germany
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201308
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