Critical review of research on the Lower Jurassic flora of Poland
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Department of Palaeobotany and Palaeoherbarium, Institute of Botany, Jagiellonian University, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, Poland
Online publication date: 2013-12-31
Publication date: 2013-12-31
Acta Palaeobotanica 2013; 53(2): 141–163
The Lower Jurassic plant macrofossils of Poland are poorly known. Relatively rich sources of fossils are found in only a few outcrops in the Holy Cross Mountains. Other described plant remains come from drill cores taken from most areas of Poland, but as a rule these are single specimens. The only professional descriptions of Lower Jurassic macroflora are papers by Raciborski, Makarewiczówna, and a team of researchers consisting of Reymanówna, Barbacka, Ziaja, and Wcisło-Luraniec. Raciborski’s fossil collection is still available for research and revision. Such work is in progress. The collection described by Makarewiczówna contained many interesting specimens but unfortunately the majority of them are now missing. Stratigraphic research by geologists has provided some new specimens from drill cores and outcrops in the Holy Cross Mountains but these have not been subjected to detailed palaeobotanical analysis. The palynology of the Lower Jurassic was focused on biostratigraphy from the outset of that research. As an outcome it provided spore-pollen and megaspore zonations for Lower Jurassic strata in Poland. The Polish Lower Jurassic flora is comprised of ferns (very numerous), lycopsids, sphenopsids, cycadaleans, bennettitaleans, gnetaleans, ginkgoaleans, and conifers. This flora is taxonomically poorer than the equally old and geographically close floras of Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. Macrofloristic data have been used by geologists as an important source of information for assessing the age of Lower Jurassic formations, particularly in the Holy Cross Mountains. Hence the need for the old collections to be taxonomically revised and for new material from outcrops and drill cores to be examined and described.