Abstract

Late Triassic coniferous species of silicified woods are described from the Tronquimalal Group, Llantenes Depocenter of the Neuquén Basin, southern Mendoza Province, Argentina. The new species Agathoxylon cozzoi and Agathoxylon lamaibandianus Crisafulli and Herbst, 2011 described in this study were found in proximal volcaniclastic facies deposited in alluvial fans and proximal braided river plains of the Chihuido Formation, which is the basal unit of the Group. The species A. lamaibandianus Crisafulli and Herbst, Protojuniperoxylon ischigualastense (Bonetti, 1966) Bodnar and Artabe, 2007, and the new species Cupressinoxylon llantenesense also described in this study were collected from the upper fluvio-deltaic plain and delta-plain deposits that prograded into a large, meromictic and wedge-shaped lake of the overlying Llantenes Formation. The Tronquimalal Group yields abundant and well-known Triassic plant remains of the Southern Gondwana “Dicroidium Flora,” although it also contains typical early Jurassic taxa displaying age affinities with other Argentinean “Florian Stage” communities of Late Triassic (Norian–?Rhaetian). The lignotaxa described from both units of the Tronquimalal Group may all together represent coniferous forests of the extratropical area of the Southwestern Province of Gondwana. Deciduous conifer forests associated with herbaceous and shrub communities dominated by ferns and smaller corystosperms, and other taxa including the Linguifolium leaves within the Llantenes Depocenter environments, were developed on the western margin of the continent under seasonal temperate-warm and humid to sub-humid climate with a marine influence from the west.

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