The Nossa Senhora da Luz flora from the Early Cretaceous (early Aptian-late Albian) of Juncal in the western Portuguese Basin
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CIMA – Centre for Marine and Environmental Research, Universidade do Algarve, Campus Universitário de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Department of Palaeobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden
Online publication date: 2018-12-24
Publication date: 2018-12-24
Acta Palaeobotanica 2018; 58(2): 159–174
A new fossil flora is described from the Early Cretaceous of the western Portuguese Basin, based on a combined palynological-mesofossil study. The fossil specimens were extracted from samples collected in the Nossa Senhora da Luz opencast clay pit complex near the village of Juncal in the Estremadura region. The plantbearing sediments belong to the Famalicão Member of the Figueira da Foz Formation, considered late Aptianearly Albian in age. The palynological assemblage is diverse, including 588 spores and pollen grains assigned to 30 genera and 48 species. The palynoflora is dominated by fern spores and conifer pollen. Angiosperm pollen is also present, but subordinate. The mesofossil flora is less diverse, including 175 specimens ascribed to 17 species, and is dominated by angiosperm fruits and seeds. The mesofossil flora also contains conifer seeds and twigs as well as fossils with selaginellaceous affinity. The fossil assemblage indicates a warm and seasonally dry climate for the Nossa Senhora da Luz flora.