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Data from: An endemic flora of dispersed spores from the Middle Devonian of Iberia

Cite this dataset

Askew, Alexander J.; Wellman, Charles H. (2018). Data from: An endemic flora of dispersed spores from the Middle Devonian of Iberia [Dataset]. Dryad.


Diverse assemblages of dispersed spores have been recovered from Middle Devonian rocks in northern Spain, revealing a significant endemism in the flora. Middle Devonian Iberia was part of a relatively isolated island complex (Armorican Terrane Assemblage), separated by considerable tracts of ocean from Laurussia to the northwest and Gondwana to the southeast. The Middle Devonian deposits of the Cantabrian Zone of northern Spain are entirely marine and comprise a thick clastic unit sandwiched between extensive carbonate units. The clastic unit, the laterally equivalent Naranco, Huergas and Gustalapiedra formations of Asturias, León and Palencia Provinces, represents a nearshore-offshore transect across a marine shelf. This unit is also believed to encompass the Kačák Event, an important global extinction event. The recovered palynomorphs include marine (acritarchs, chitinozoans, scolecodonts) and terrestrial (spores) assemblages. These are abundant and well preserved, although of variable thermal maturity. Here, we describe the dispersed spores and consider their significance as regards biostratigraphy, palaeophytogeography and Kačák Event interpretation. The dispersed spores represent a single assemblage assignable to the lemurata-langii Assemblage Zone (lemurata Subzone) indicating a probable early (but not earliest) Givetian age. Signs of endemism include various taxa known only from this region, some taxa appearing to have discordant ranges compared with elsewhere, and the absence from Iberia of certain prominent taxa characteristic of coeval assemblages elsewhere, such as those with grapnel-tipped processes. The abrupt interruption of carbonate deposition, with a change to rapid deposition of thick clastic deposits, provides support for a monsoonal cause of the Kačák Event.

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