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From wetlands to wet spots: Environmental tracking and the fate of carboniferous elements in early permian tropical fl oras

Special Paper of the Geological Society of America

By:
, , , and
DOI: 10.1130/2006.2399(11)

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Abstract

Diverse wetland vegetation flourished at the margins of the Midland Basin in north-central Texas during the Pennsylvanian Period. Extensive coastal swamps and an ever-wet, tropical climate supported lush growth of pteridosperm, marattialean fern, lycopsid, and calamite trees, and a wide array of ground cover and vines. As the Pennsylvanian passed into the Permian, the climate of the area became drier and more seasonal, the great swamps disappeared regionally, and aridity spread. The climatic inferences are based on changes in sedimentary patterns and paleosols as well as the general paleobotanical trends. The lithological patterns include a change from a diverse array of paleosols, including Histosols (ever-wet waterlogged soils), in the late Pennsylvanian to greatly diminished paleosol diversity with poorly developed Vertisols by the Early-Middle Permian transition. In addition, coal seams were present with wide areal distribution in the late Pennsylvanian whereas beds of evaporates were common by the end of the Early Permian. During this climatic transition, wetland plants were confi ned to shrinking "wet spots" found along permanent streams where the vegetation they constituted remained distinct if increasingly depauperate in terms of species richness. By Leonardian (late Early Permian) time, most of the landscape was dominated by plants adapted to seasonal drought and a deep water table. Wetland elements were reduced to scattered pockets, dominated primarily by weedy forms and riparian specialists tolerant of flooding and burial. By the Middle Permian, even these small wetland pockets had disappeared from the region. ?? 2006 Geological Society of America.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
From wetlands to wet spots: Environmental tracking and the fate of carboniferous elements in early permian tropical fl oras
Series title:
Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
DOI:
10.1130/2006.2399(11)
Issue:
399
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
First page:
223
Last page:
248
Number of Pages:
26