Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 353–366 | Cite as

Distribution and palaeoecology of charophyte floras in Devonian coastal environments of the Central Taurides (Turkey)

  • Monique FeistEmail author
  • Atike Nazik
  • Eberhard Schindler
  • Achim Wehrmann
  • M. Namık Yalçın
Original Paper


Pinnoputamen erikfluegeli and Sycidium aff. volborthi magnum from Akkuyu (Southern Taurides) are the first Palaeozoic charophytes reported from Turkey, and their presence emphasises the world-wide distribution of Sycidiales during the Middle and Upper Devonian. Both species occur in the upper part of the Akkuyu Section of late Givetian through early Frasnian age, based on combined biostratigraphical data. The sedimentary sequence mainly consists of reefal limestones and silt-/sandstones, partly intercalated with shales. In these nearshore deposits, charophytes and open marine fossils, notably brachiopods and conodonts, are found associated. With reference to identical primordial structures of vegetative and reproductive organs both in extant and Palaeozoic forms, and account taken of the prerequisite environmental conditions (such as salinity, light intensity, and nature of substratum), the mode of life in Palaeozoic charophytes was certainly similar to that of modern ones. By a critical review of other fossil occurrences interpreted as marine, we conclude that an allochthonous origin is most probable for the charophytes of the Akkuyu Section.


Charophyta Givetian-Frasnian Saline habitats Nearshore environments Taphonomy North Gondwana 



The following colleagues are thanked for age assignments by results of fossil groups for which they are specialists: Rainer Brocke (palynomorphs), Ulrich Jansen (brachiopods), Karsten Weddige (conodonts), all Senckenberg Frankfurt; Recep Özkan (foraminifers), TPAO Ankara; and Helga Groos-Uffenorde (some comments on ostracods), Göttingen. The Turkish-German research team is acknowledged for joint fieldwork in 2012 (Nihat Bozdoğan, Rainer Brocke, Ulrich Jansen, Ulf Linnemann, Recep Özkan, İsak Yılmaz). Michael Ricker, Jana Anger (both Senckenberg Frankfurt) and Torsten Janssen (Senckenberg am Meer Wilhelmshaven) are thanked for preparation of thin sections, assistance in photography, and conducting XRD samples, respectively. This study contributes to the project “Sedimentary cycles and signatures of global events in the Devonian at the Northern margin of Gondwana, Southern Turkey (DECENT)”, supported by TÜBİTAK (project DECENT 111Y179) and the International Bureau of the BMBF (project DECENT 01DL12036). We are grateful to Hans Martin Weber (Bergisch-Gladbach) for loan of specimens from the Refrath Formation. We acknowledge Brigitte Meyer-Berthaud (CIRAD Montpellier) for assistance in transmission microscopy and Chantal Cazevieille for her support in SEM. Thanks are also due to Richard Mc Court (Drexel University, Philadelphia) who linguistically improved parts of an early version of the manuscript. The reviewers Carlton Brett (Cincinatti) and Grzegorz Racki (Sosnowiec) are acknowledged for their helpful comments. This is a contribution to IGCP Project 499 “Devonian Land-Sea Interactions: Evolution of Ecosystems and Climate (DEVEC)”. Contribution ISEM 20188-278.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest:

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Blindow, I., & Langangen, A. (1995). Kransalgen Lamprothamnium papulosum i Sverige. (The charophyte Lamprothamnium papulosum in Sweden). Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift, 89, 171–174.Google Scholar
  2. Burne, R. V. J., Bauld J. & De Deckker, P. (1980). Saline lake charophytes and their geological significance. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 50, 281–293.Google Scholar
  3. Casanova, M. T., & Nicol, J. M. (2009). Chara canescens (Characeae, Charophyceae) in the Southern Hemisphere. Charophyts, 1(2), 55–60.Google Scholar
  4. Chlupáč, I. (1992). Middle Devonian trilobites from Celechovice in Moravia (Czechoslovakia). Sbornik geologickych ved, Paleontologie, 32, 123–161.Google Scholar
  5. Choubert, B. (1932). Sur la présence d’algues dévoniennes dans le niveau du “Calcaire rose” du système du Kundelungu du Katanga. Bulletin de l’Académie Royale de Belgique, cl. Science, 5(17), 1421–1431.Google Scholar
  6. Conkin, J. E., Sawa, T., Coy, T. G., & Salman, A. M. (1972). The charophyte genus Sycidium in the Upper Devonian of Iowa. Micropaleontology, 18(1), 74–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Corillion, R. (1982). Les Characées des îles Kerguelen (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises). Bulletin de la Société des Etudes Scientifiques d’Anjou, 11, 47–64.Google Scholar
  8. De Deckker, P. (1988) Biological and sedimentary facies of Australian salt lakes. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 62(1-4), 237–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Demirtaşlı, E. (1984). Stratigraphy and tectonics of the area between Silifke and Anamur, Central Taurus Mountains. In O. Tekeli, & M. C. Göncüoğlu (Eds.), Geology of the Taurus Belt, Proceedings of the International Symposium 26-29 September 1983 (pp. 101-119). MTA, Ankara.Google Scholar
  10. Ducreux, G. (1975). Corrélations et morphogenèse chez le Chara vulgaris L. cultivé in vitro. Revue générale de Botanique, 82, 215–357.Google Scholar
  11. Edgell, H. S. (2003). Upper Devonian Charophyta of Western Australia. Micropaleontology, 49(4), 359–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Feist, M., & Crônier, C. (2011). First Sycidium (Charophyta) from the Upper Devonian of Thuringia (Germany). Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 85, 163–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Feist, M., & Feist, R. (1997). Oldest record of a bisexual plant. Nature, 385, 401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Feist, M., Feist, R., Mawson, R., & Talent, J. A. (2000). First record of fossil charophytes in Australia: the Sycidiales from the Late Devonian Mytton Formation of Queensland. Records Western Australian Museum Supplement, 59, 249–253.Google Scholar
  15. Feist, M., Feist, R., & Warne, M. (2006). Early Devonian Charophyta from Gondwana. Cryptogamie, Algologie, 27(4), 381–389.Google Scholar
  16. Feist, M. & Grambast-Fessard, N. (1985). Questions sur la nature et l’habitat des Charophytes paléozoïques. Actes du 110 ème Congrès national des Sociétés savantes, Sciences, fasc 5, 65–75.Google Scholar
  17. Feist, M., & Grambast-Fessard, N. (2005). Systematic descriptions. In R. L. Kaesler (Ed.), Treatise on invertebrate paleontology, part B, Protoctista, vol. 1: Charophyta (pp. 92–145). The Geological Society of America & The University of Kansas. Boulder & Lawrence.Google Scholar
  18. Feist, M., & Guerlesquin, M. (2005). Ecology and paleoecology. In R. L. Kaesler (Ed.), Treatise on invertebrate paleontology, part B, Protocista 1, vol. 1: Charophyta (pp. 29–35). The Geological Society of America & The University of Kansas, Boulder & Lawrence .Google Scholar
  19. Feist, M., & Hernick, L. (2014). Monoecious Sycidium, and other charophytes, from the middle Devonian of eastern New York State, USA, with an update on the oldest bisexual plant. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 200, 188–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Feist, M., Liu, J., & Tafforeau, P. (2005). New insights into Paleozoic charophyte mophology and phylogeny. American Journal of Botany, 92(7), 1152–1160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Flügel, E. (2004). Microfacies of carbonate rocks. Analysis, interpretation and application. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York. 976 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Gess, R. W., & Hiller, N. (1995). A preliminary catalogue of fossil algae, plant, arthropod and fish remains from a late Devonian black shale near Grahamstown, South Africa. Annals of the Cape Province Museums, Natural History, 19, 225–304.Google Scholar
  23. Grambast, L. (1974). Phylogeny of the Charophyta. Taxon, 23, 463–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Golonka, J., & Gaweda, A. (2012). Plate tectonic evolution of the southern margin of Laurussia in the Palaeozoic. Tectonics-Recent Advances, 10, 261–282.Google Scholar
  25. Groves, J. (1933). Charophyta. In W. Jongmans, (Ed.) - Fossilium catalogus, II: Plantae. Pars 19. W. Junk, Berlin. 74 pp.Google Scholar
  26. Guerlesquin, M., & Feist, M. (2005). Morphology. In R. L. Kaesler (Ed.), Treatise on invertebrate paleontology, part B, Protoctista, vol. 1: Charophyta (pp. 1–25). The Geological Society of America & The University of Kansas. Boulder & Lawrence.Google Scholar
  27. Hart, B. T., Bailey, P., Edwards, R., Hartle, K., James, K., McMahon, A., Meredith, C., & Swadling, K. (1991). A review of the salt sensitivity of the Australian freshwater biota. Hydrobiologia, 210(1-2), 105–144.Google Scholar
  28. Hartkopf-Fröder, C., & Weber, H. M. (2016). From Emsian coastal to Famennian marine environments: palaeogeographic evolution and biofacies in the Bergisch Gladbach-Paffrath Syncline area (Rhenish Massif, Germany). Münstersche Forschungen zur Geologie und Paläontologie, 108, 46–75.Google Scholar
  29. Heckel, P. H. (1972). Recognition of ancient sedimentary environments. Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Special Publication, 16, 226–286.Google Scholar
  30. Ishchenko, T. A. & Ishchenko, A. A. (1982). New findings of Charophytes in the Upper Silurian of Podolia. In Y. V. Teslenko (Ed.), Systematics and evolution of fossil plants of Ukrain (pp. 21–32). Naukova Dumka, Kiev. [in Russian].Google Scholar
  31. Kalvoda, J. (2002). Late Devonian–Early Carboniferous foraminiferal fauna: zonations, evolutionary events, paleobiogeography and tectonic implications. Folia Facultatis scientiarium naturalium Universitatis Masarykianeae Brunensis, Geologie, 39, 1–213.Google Scholar
  32. Karpinsky, A. P. (1906). Die Trochilisken. Mémoires Comité Géologique St. Pétersbourg, n. s. 27, 1–86 [in Russian], 87–166 [in German].Google Scholar
  33. Kelman, R., Feist, M., Trewin, N. H., & Hass, H. (2004). Charophyte algae from the Rhynie Chert. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Earth Sciences, 94, 325–339.Google Scholar
  34. Kidston, R., & Lang, H. (1921). On Old Red sandstone plants showing structure from the Rhynie Chert Bed, Aberdeenshire. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 52(5), 855–902.Google Scholar
  35. Langenstrassen, F., Becker, G., & Groos-Uffenorde, H. (1979). Zur Fazies und Fauna der Brandenberg-Schichten bei Lasbeck (Eifel-Stufe, Rechtsrheinisches Schiefergebirge). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen, 158(1), 64–99.Google Scholar
  36. Langer, W. (1976). Neufunde von Sycidium G. Sandberger (nova class., Charophyta ?) aus dem Devon der Eifel. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 50, 209–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Langer, W. (1991). Über Charophyta und einige Foraminiferen aus dem westdeutschen Mitteldevon. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontolologie Monatshefte, 1991(Heft 5), 307–218.Google Scholar
  38. Langer, W. (1997). Neue oder wenig bekannte Mikrofossilien aus dem europäischen Devon. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontolologie Abhandlungen, 205, 129–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Li, Z., & Zhou, X. (1982). Charophytes du Devonien du Nord Est du Guangxi. Journal Wuhan Collection Geology Earth Science, 16, 49–60 [in Chinese].Google Scholar
  40. Loboziak, S. (2000). Middle to early Late Devonian Miospore Biostratigraphy of Saudi Arabia. In S. Al-Hajri, & B. Owens (Eds.), Stratigraphic palynology of the Palaeozoic of Saudi Arabia. GeoArabia Special Publication, 1, 134–145.Google Scholar
  41. Loboziak, S., & Streel, M. (1989). Middle-Upper Devonian miospores from the Ghadamis Basin (Tunisia-Libya): Systematics and strati-graphy. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 58, 173–196.Google Scholar
  42. Lu, H. (1997). On charophyte genera named by Chinese authors. Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, 14(4), 391–404.Google Scholar
  43. Lu, H., Soulié-Märsche, I., & Wang, Q. (1996). Evolution and classification of Palaeozoic Charophytes. Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, 13, 1–12.Google Scholar
  44. Mädler, K., & Staesche, U. (1979). Fossile Charophyten aus dem Känozoikum (Tertiär und Quartär) der Türkei. Geologisches Jahrbuch, B33, 81–157.Google Scholar
  45. Magniez, G., Rat, P., & Tintant, H. (1960). Découverte d’oogones de charophytes dans le Bathonien marin près de Dijon. Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris, D, 250, 1692–1694.Google Scholar
  46. Malec, J., Racki, G., & Racka, M. (1987). The leperditiid-charophyte assemblage from the Givetian of Debnik, and its stratigraphic value. Acta Geologica Polonica, 27, 51–59.Google Scholar
  47. Maslov, V.P. (1961). (Are not Sycidium and Chovanella the utricles of charophytes?). Doklady Akademia. Nauk SSSR 138 (1–6), 677–680. Proceedings of the Academy of Science of the SSSR, 138(1–6), 669–672. [in Russian, English translation].Google Scholar
  48. Mazzini, I., Hudáčková, N., Joniak, P., Kováčová, M., Mikes, T., Mulch, A., Rojay, F. B., Lucifora, S., Esu, D., & Soulié-Märsche, I. (2013). Palaeoenvironmental and chronological constraints on the Tuǧlu Formation (Cankırı Basin, Central Anatolia, Turkey). Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, 22, 747–777.Google Scholar
  49. Mistiaen, B., Gholamalian, H., Gourvennec, R., Plusquellec, Y., Bigey, F., Brice, D., Feist, M., Feist, R., Ghobadipour, M., Kebriaei, M.-R., Milhiau, B., Nicollin, J.-P., Rohart, J.-C., Vachard, D., & Yazdi, M. (2000). Preliminary data on the Upper Devonian (Frasnian, Famennian) and Permian fauna and flora from the Chahriseh area (Esfahan Province, Center Iran). Annales de la Societé Géollogique du Nord, 8, 2éme Série, 93–102.Google Scholar
  50. Narkiewicz, K., & Bultynck, P. (2010). The Upper Givetian (Middle Devonian) subterminus Conodont Zone in North America, Europe and North Africa. Journal of Paleontology, 84(4), 588–625.Google Scholar
  51. Özkan, R. (2011). Frasnian (Late Devonian) foraminiferal biostratigraphy from Taurides, southern Turkey. Stratigraphy, 8, 281–292.Google Scholar
  52. Peck, R. E. (1934). The North American Trochiliscids, Paleozoic Charophyta. Journal of Paleontology, 8(2), 83–119.Google Scholar
  53. Piecha, M. (2004). Late Famennian conodonts from the Refrath 1 borehole (Bergisch Gladbach-Paffrath syncline; Ardennes-Rhenish Massif, Germany). Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 251, 253–265.Google Scholar
  54. Racheboeuf, P., Ta Hoa, P., Nguyen Huu, H., Feist, M., & Janvier, P. (2006). Brachiopods, crustaceans, vertebrates and charophytes from the Devonian Ly Hoa, Nam Can and Dong two formations of Central Vietnam. Geodiversitas, 28(1), 5–36.Google Scholar
  55. Racki, G., (1982). Ecology of the primitive charophyte algae: a critical review. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen, 162, 388–399.Google Scholar
  56. Racki, G. & Racka, M. (1981). Ecology of the Devonian charophyte algae from the Holy Cross Mts. Acta Geologica Polonica, 31(3-4), 213–232.Google Scholar
  57. Racki, G., & Sobon-Podkorska, J. (1992). Givetian and Frasnian calcareous microbiotas of the Holy Cross Mountains. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 37(2/4), 255–289.Google Scholar
  58. Riveline, J., Gocken, N., & Nazik, A. (1990). Étude de la charoflore de la Kurtulmus Tepe Formation, bassin d'Ulukisla (Turquie). Revue de Micropaléontologie, 33, 40–53.Google Scholar
  59. Samoilova, R. B. (1955). Ob Ozrsko-Khovanskikh Trokhiliskak. Doklay Akademiya Nauk SSSR, 103(5), 909–911 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  60. Sandberger, G. (1849). Eine neue Polypengattung Sycidium aus der Eifel. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie und Petrefaktenkunde, 20, 671–672.Google Scholar
  61. Sartenaer, P. (2017). Spirifer disjunctus (Sowerby, J. de C. in Sedgewick & Murchison, 1840) and S. verneuili Murchison, 1840 (Brachiopoda, Spiriferida): 175 years of confusion. Geologica Belgica, 20(3-4), 181–188.Google Scholar
  62. Streel, M., & Loboziak, S. (1996). Palaeozoic spores and pollen. Chapter 18B. Middle and Upper Devonian miospores. In J. Jansonius, & D. C. McGregor (Eds.), Palynology: principles and applications. American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists Foundation, 2, 575–587.Google Scholar
  63. Wang, Z. (1976). (Middle Devonian Sycidium and Chovanella from Southwest China). Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 15, 175–186 [in Chinese, English summary].Google Scholar
  64. Wang, Z., & Lu, H. (1980). New discovery of Devonian charophytes from southern China with special reference to classification and gyrogonite orientation of Trochiliscales and Sycidiales. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 19(3), 90-200 [in Chinese, English abstract].Google Scholar
  65. Wehrmann, A., Yılmaz, I., Yalçın, M. N., Wilde, V., Schindler, E., Weddige, K., Saydam Demiray, G., Özkan, R., Nazik, A., Nalcıoğlu, G., Kozlu, H., Karslıoğlu, Ö., Jansen, U., Ertuğ, K., Brocke, R., & Bozdoğan, N. (2010). Devonian shallow-water sequences from the North Gondwana coastal margin (Central and Eastern Taurides, Turkey): Sedimentology, facies and global events. Gondwana Research, 17, 546–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Winter, U., Soulié-Märsche, I., & Kirst, G. O. (1996). Effects of salinity on turgor pressure and fertility in Tolypella (Characeae). Plant, Cell and Environment, 19, 869–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yalçın, M. N., & Yılmaz, I. (2010). Devonian in Turkey – a review. Geologica Carpathica, 6(3), 235–253.Google Scholar
  68. Zeneli, V., & Kashta, L. (2016). Some Charophyta (Charales) from coastal temporary ponds in Velipoja area. Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering B, 5, 69–77.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique Feist
    • 1
    Email author
  • Atike Nazik
    • 2
  • Eberhard Schindler
    • 3
  • Achim Wehrmann
    • 4
  • M. Namık Yalçın
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratoire de PaléontologieUniversité Montpellier 2MontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Engineering Faculty, Department of Geological EngineeringÇukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Palaeontology and Historical GeologySenckenberg Forschungsinstitut und NaturmuseumFrankfurtGermany
  4. 4.Department of Marine ResearchSenckenberg am MeerWilhelmshavenGermany
  5. 5.Engineering Faculty, Department of Geological EngineeringIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations