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Pollen and spores of the uppermost Eocene Florissant Formation, Colorado: A combined light and scanning electron microscopy study
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4241-9075
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9535-1206
2016 (English)In: Grana, Vol. 55, no 3, 179-245 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The uppermost Eocene Florissant Formation, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, has yielded numerous insect, vertebrate, and plant fossils. Three previous comprehensive palynological studies investigated sections of lacustrine deposits of the Florissant Formation and documented the response of plant communities to volcanic eruptive phases but overall found little change in plant composition throughout the investigated sections. These studies reported up to 150 pollen and spore phenotypes. In the present paper we used a taxonomic approach to the investigation of dispersed pollen and spores of the Florissant Formation. Sediment samples from the shale units containing macrofossils were investigated using light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The general picture of the palynoflora is in agreement with previous studies. However, the combined LM and SEM investigation provides important complementary information to previous LM studies. While a fairly large amount of previous pollen determinations could be confirmed, the purported taxonomic affinities of several pollen phenotypes need to be revised. For example, pollen referred to as Podocarpus or Podocarpidites sp. belongs to the Pinaceae Cathaya, Malus/Pyrus actually belongs to Dryadoideae, pollen of the form genus Boehlensipollis referred to as Proteaceae/Sapindaceae/Elaeagnaceae or Cardiospermum belongs to Sapindaceae but not to Cardiospermum, and pollen of Persicarioipollis sp. B with previously assumed affinities to Polygonaceae actually belongs to Thymelaeaceae. Pandaniidites and one type of Malvacipollis cannot be linked with Pandanaceae and Malvaceae. A few taxa are new records for Florissant (Ebenaceae: Diospyros; Mernispermaceae; Trochodendraceae: Tetracentron). In general, SEM investigations complement the LM palynological studies and improve the identification of dispersed pollen and spores and enable integration of data from dispersed fossil pollen into a wide range of comparative morphological, taxonomic, evolutionary, biogeographic, and phylogenetic studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. Vol. 55, no 3, 179-245 p.
Keyword [en]
Eocene, pollen, paleo lake, Colorado, Florissant
National Category
Botany Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-1333DOI: 10.1080/00173134.2015.1108362OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-1333DiVA: diva2:876102
Projects
2009-4354
Available from: 2015-12-02 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2016-12-23Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00173134.2015.1108362 .

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Bouchal, Johannes M.Denk, ThomasZetter, Reinhard
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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