Palaeobiogeographic and metric analysis of the Mesozoic fern Weichselia

Abstract : Eighty-three publications have been examined to recover information on the palaeogeography, the chronostratigraphy and the presence of the fossil fern genus Weichselia Stiehler in different depositional environments. This fossil fern foliage was reported in 72 localities worldwide. Its fossil record ranges from the Bathonian to the Cenomanian, predominating from the Berriasian to the Barremian, but still common during the Aptian to Cenomanian. Weichselia mostly occurred in continental depositional environments in Europe, whereas it has been mostly related to marginal marine depositional environments in Africa, North America, and India. Three species have been described: W. reticulata, W. peruviana, and W. negevensis. We analyse the measurements on specimens collected from sixteen localities as well as published data from twelve others. Our results suggest that: (i) the climate changes during the Aptian might have affected the pinnule size of Weichselia, as the Aptian-Cenomanian pinnules are larger than those from the Berriasian-Barremian; (ii) some differences might be explained by the metric variation of the frond parts: (iii) there are no clear differences in size between remains collected from different depositional environments; (iv) there is no sufficient evidence to determine how many species of Weichselia have existed. (C) 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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Candela Blanco-Moreno, Bernard Gomez, Angela Buscalioni. Palaeobiogeographic and metric analysis of the Mesozoic fern Weichselia. GEOBIOS, 2018, 51 (6), pp.571--578. ⟨10.1016/j.geobios.2018.05.001⟩. ⟨hal-02326528⟩

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