Abstract

Tufas bearing plant macroremains are uncommon in the Causses Basin (southern France). Here, we report a new fossiliferous tufa deposits at Mende, in Lozère. This palaeontological site is the first Quaternary tufa from the northern part of the Causses Basin that yields such an abundance of plant macroremains. The radiocarbon dating shows that these Holocene deposits are related to the Atlantic period. Geomorphology and mineralogy show that the plant-bearing deposit is a calcareous tufa only composed by calcite, deposited near to an outlet of cool water, linked to the karstic hydrological system of the Causse de Mende. The flora exposed in this article is dominated by angiosperms. Leaves and reproductive structures were assigned to Acer platanoides, Corylus sp., Hedera sp., Salix cf. cinerea, and Tilia cordata. This new palaeobotanical data complements our scarcely knowledge of the Atlantic floras from the Causses Basin. During the Atlantic period, and in the northern part of the basin, whereas Pinus-dominated forests and oak groves were probably well-developed, valleys were locally inhabited by diversified wet angiosperm-dominated forests.

You do not currently have access to this article.