A riparian plant community from the upper Maastrichtian of the Pyrenees (Catalonia, NE Spain)

Josep Marmi, Carles Martín-Closas, M. Teresa Fernández-Marrón, Víctor Fondevilla, Bernard Gomez

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12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Angiosperms began to colonise riparian habitats very soon in their evolutionary history, probably already in the Aptian, but it is still poorly known when flowering plants finally dominated entirely these kind of communities as they do in the present. A new fossil plant locality (Molí del Baró-1) from the upper Maastrichtian of the Southern Pyrenees is described in which meandering river facies represent one of the first riparian communities formed only by angiosperms. The fossil assemblage consists of abundant leaves, seeds, logs and sporomorphs. Angiosperms remains dominate in all these cases and the leaf sample is mostly composed of a new eudicot willow-like species, Saliciphyllum gaetei sp. nov., the palm Sabalites longirhachis and an helophytic monocot. Pollen remains suggest that the later belonged to Typhaceae. Most of these plant remains were parautochthonous and deposited in a pond formed in the accretional part of a meander loop. The locality of Molí del Baró-1 represents an unique plant fossil assemblage in the uppermost Cretaceous of southern Europe. It clearly differs from those reported in other Maastrichtian localities of the Pyrenees (Fumanya and South Isona) and from the Campanian-Maastrichtian of Austria and Romania. In addition, it reflects a surprisingly modern physiognomy for a Late Cretaceous riverine plant assemblage that was built up with willow-like plants, palms and reeds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-529
JournalCretaceous Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Angiosperms
  • Maastrichtian
  • Pollen
  • Riparian community
  • Spores
  • Tremp Syncline


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