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GEOREF RECORD

Biases in the frequency of fruits and seeds in modern fluvial sediments in northwestern Italy; the key to interpreting analogous fossil assemblages

Elena Vassio and Edoardo Martinetto
Biases in the frequency of fruits and seeds in modern fluvial sediments in northwestern Italy; the key to interpreting analogous fossil assemblages (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): 779-797

Abstract

Quantitative taphonomic analyses of recent fruit and seed assemblages (carpological assemblages or carpodeposits) are essential to allow for more accurate interpretation of fossil carpodeposits. To this end, extensive taphonomic analyses were undertaken in two modern, small, fluvial catchment basins (Ca' Viettone and Valtorta-Rivara) in northwestern Italy that are characterized by different vegetation types. Quantitative data from vegetational surveys and carpodeposit analyses were compared using a standardized graphic representation (Plant Community Scenario, PCS). The contents of the carpodeposits clearly differentiate the different types of vegetation in each basin. Moreover, carpological assemblages from the same basin have a similar signature. Comparison of all samples indicates a relationship between the standing vegetation and the PCS reconstruction based on carpological analysis. The bedload carpodeposits studied seem to characterize, at least qualitatively, the vegetation of the entire basin rather than just the area adjacent to the sample site. When differences in taxonomic frequency in the standing vegetation and in the carpological assemblages are evaluated, patterns in the over- and underrepresentation of certain types of fruits and seeds become apparent. Such patterns are quantified by a bias index for diaspores of each taxon, derived from empirical observations and applicable to bedload carpodeposits. Factors biasing representation in an assemblage include disseminule size and woodiness. In addition, the mode of dispersal seems to be very important: anemochorous (wind dispersed), endozoochorous (animal dispersal via excrement), and myrmecochorous (ant dispersed) diaspores are clearly overrepresented.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 27
Serial Issue: 11
Title: Biases in the frequency of fruits and seeds in modern fluvial sediments in northwestern Italy; the key to interpreting analogous fossil assemblages
Title: Special issue commemorating the 20th anniversary meeting of the International workshop on Plant taphonomy
Author(s): Vassio, ElenaMartinetto, Edoardo
Author(s): Gee, Carole T.editor
Author(s): Kunzmann, Lutzeditor
Affiliation: Universita degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Turin, Italy
Affiliation: University of Bonn, Division of Paleontology, Bonn, Germany
Pages: 779-797
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: 39
Accession Number: 2013-011016
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 5 tables, geol. sketch map
N45°21'00" - N45°21'00", E07°34'60" - E07°34'60"
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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