Abstract

A detailed account of assemblages of megaspores and large pollen grains from the mid-Bolsovian to late Asturian Warwickshire Group (Winterbourne, Pennant Sandstone and Grovesend formations) of the Bristol Coalfield is presented. The megaspore assemblages show certain similarities to those from the well-documented, and partly coeval, sequence in the nearby Forest of Dean Coalfield. However, the Bristol Coalfield megaspore assemblages are generally less diverse. We consider the palaeoecological implications of the megaspore assemblages and conclude that differing depositional settings had different vegetational successions (including differences in the composition and diversity of megaspore-producing plants). A consideration of megaspore biostratigraphy suggests that the uppermost Pennant Sandstone Formation may be of early Asturian age, suggesting that the postulated gap between the Pennant Sandstone Formation and overlying Grovesend Formation is smaller than previously suggested. We also report the first European occurrence of the large enigmatic pteridosperm pollen grain Parasporites maccabei Schopf, 1938.

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