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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Ryberg , Patricia Elizabeth [1].

Flora Succession in a Carboniferous Deltaic Zone.

The Park University, Parkville campus is constructed on and within the Pennsylvanian marine Wyandotte Limestone with outcroppings of the Bonner Springs Shale (~306 Ma) on the campus grounds. The shale is finely laminated with marine transgressions and regressions indicating a costal habitat at this locality during the Late Carboniferous. The paleoflora is considered autochthonous as little to no degradation of plant and insect material occurred prior to diagenesis. The lower shale is dominated by stems of Calamites but also contains diverse floral elements representing both vegetative and reproductive material assigned to the sphenophytes, lycophytes, pteridophytes, and pteridosperms. A couple of studies conducted on the lower levels of the shale have identified the presence of at least two groups of pteridosperms; the Lyginopterids (Serbet et al., 2011) and the Medullosales (Krings et al., 2006). Higher up the strata the dominant element in the flora switches from Calamites to Cordaites as evidenced by the abundance of cordaite leaves and seeds in the shale.  Another common fossil present in the upper shale is the conifer Walchia.
The change in environment from a Calamites dominated landscape to Cordaites suggests that throughout the deposition of the Bonner Springs Shale, the Carboniferous ocean was regressing from this locality as supported by cyclothem studies (e.g., Heckel, 1986). Marine deposits of the Wyandotte Limestone are directly overlaid by plants associated with swampy environments such as Lepidodendrales and Sphenophylales indicating a costal habitat. The shift to a Cordaites dominated flora indicates a drier habit as the Carboniferous ocean retreated further from this locale. This presentation is to provide an introduction to the outstanding potential for future paleobotanical and paleoecological research on a Carboniferous flora found on the Park University campus.

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1 - Park University, Department of Natural & Physical Sciences, 8700 NW Riverpark Dr, Parkville, MO, 64152, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 37
Location: Pines North/Boise Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 37001
Abstract ID:100
Candidate for Awards:None

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