Just out | Gradualistic characean lineages in the Upper Cretaceous–Palaeocene of southern Europe @ Historical Biology

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Gradualistic characean lineages in the Upper Cretaceous–Palaeocene of southern Europe


Alba Vicente & Carles Martín-Closas


Two charophyte lineages from the Upper Cretaceous–Palaeocene of southern Europe are described here, constituting a useful biostratigraphic tool for correlating non-marine stratigraphic sequences. The Peckichara pectinata lineage, ranging from the middle Campanian to the middle–upper Maastrichtian, consists of four successive gyrogonite morphotypes that displayed progressively more complex gyrogonite ornamentation and increasingly smaller gyrogonites with time. The Peckichara sertulatalineage, ranging from the middle Campanian to the Danian, consists of three morphotypes that followed a more common evolutionary trend, developing progressively larger gyrogonites without any changes in ornamentation. Intermediate forms between the successive morphotypes suggest that they corresponded to anagenetic varieties of the same evolutionary species rather than to separate species. The different trends observed appear to be palaeoenvironmentally controlled. The grades of the P. pectinata lineage first occurred in permanent lakes that later shifted to fluvial influenced floodplain ponds, this shift accounting for the reduction in gyrogonite size. By contrast, the P. sertulata lineage mainly occurred in permanent lakes, where stable palaeoenvironmental conditions enabled a steady rise in gyrogonite size to increase the space available for the zygote.



Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)
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