Boucher, Lisa .
Paleoenvironmental signals and biodiversity of permineralized wood from the Campanian Menefee Formation.
Although plant fossils have been previously noted in the Menefee Formation, this is the first detailed description of fossil wood from exposures within Chaco Canyon National Historical Park in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. In situ trunks, logs, and wood debris were collected from the early Campanian Allison Member of the Menefee Formation. Wood assemblages are important elements of fossil floras because they can contribute taxonomic and paleoenvironmental information that may not be preserved in other types of fossil remains. Furthermore, fossil wood provides valuable information confirming the types of plants with secondary growth comprising the plant community along the coastal plain at this paleolatitude. Approximately eighteen angiosperm and twenty-seven gymnosperm specimens were analyzed using thin-section and cellulose-acetate peel technique with light and scanning electron microscopy. Several xylotypes were identified for each major group including Araucarioxylon and some with possible lauraceous affinities. In addition, several other notable features will be described including insect burrowing with one conifer preserving possible termite coprolites, and growth ring and interruptions in some specimens. Mean sensitivity and vulnerability indices will be presented to support interpretations of the paleoenvironment that are consistent with other evidence. Furthermore, the wood assemblage will be compared to other Late Cretaceous wood in North America as well as globally.
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1 - University of Nebraska Omaha, Department of Biology, 114 Allwine Hall, Omaha, Nebraska, 68182-0040, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Superior A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 11:30 AM