new wood fossil record of taxodioxylon reported from chuxiong, yunnan
(A–E) Different wood fossils preserved in Lühe coal mine section, A and B is embedded in a lignite layer, C is embedded in a siltstone layer. D and E represent lignified and coalified wood. (F–G) Some of the fossil wood that contains tunnel like ichnofossils. Credit: Deng Weiyudong

Based on an early geochronological study, the Lvhe coal mine strata were identified as late Miocene and belonging to the Xiaolongtan Formation. Previous research on the Lvhe sediments has led to the discovery of numerous fossils, such as woods, leaves, and fruits. Yet no fossil insects had been discovered so far from the succession.

In a study published in Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences presented the first report of extensive arthropod and fungal traces in the Oligocene Lvhe flora and showed a new wood fossil record of Taxodioxylon in this region.

The Cupressaceae fossil tree stumps from the early Oligocene Lvhe coal mine in southwestern China contain abundant quartz-petrified damage traces. The researchers assigned the wood fossils to Taxodioxylon sp., an affinity to extant Taxodiaceae (now in Cupressaceae) as it contains all listed characters of this family. It shows little resemblance to Cryptomeria, Cunninghamia, Sequoia, Metasequoia, Taiwania, and the other listed fossil species.

The Taxodium-like deciduous Cupressaceae fossil wood in the coal mine, together with other reported fossil Cupressaceae genera in Yunnan Province, represent relict plants that once dominated the Northern Hemisphere during the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene.

“This first-ever report of Taxodium-like fossil from the Oligocene of southwestern China points to Yunnan serving as a refugium for some lineage of gymnosperms at that time,” said Su Tao of XTBG.

“Our work provides new insights into the sedimentary environment and herbivorous activities within the Oligocene Lvhe flora,” said Su Tao. More information: Weiyudong Deng et al, Plant–insect and –fungal interactions in Taxodium-like wood fossils from the Oligocene of southwestern China, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2022.104669 Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences Citation: New wood fossil record of taxodioxylon reported from Chuxiong, Yunnan (2022, May 25) retrieved 25 May 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-wood-fossil-taxodioxylon-chuxiong-yunnan.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Keyword: New wood fossil record of taxodioxylon reported from Chuxiong, Yunnan

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