Naiadita lanceolata (Marchantiophyta) from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of Germany: a new reconstruction attempt and considerations on taphonomy

Abstract

The fossil liverwort Naiadita lanceolata is described here from lacustrine deposits occurring intercalated in the Albertibank complex of the Lower Keuper, Erfurt Formation (Ladinian, Middle Triassic) of Schleerieth, northern Bavaria, Germany. The specimens represent the stratigraphically oldest records of this taxon so far. Leafy gametophytic plants are preserved as impression-compression fossils and include four specimens also showing the terminal or subterminal sporophyte in situ, as well as four leafy stems bearing conical gemma cups with lobed margins. Based on the new material, a refined reconstruction of N. lanceolata is proposed. The new found specimens also shed light on some plant taphonomic processes. The monospecific N. lanceolata assemblages comprise mostly leafy gametophytic stems, often still showing the three-dimensional orientation of the foliage. Another peculiar characteristic is the mass accumulation of isolated sporophyte capsules, which are partially surrounded by perianth leaves, probably a useful propagule mechanism for the cleistocarpous capsules.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Jürgen Sell, Museum Terra Triassica, Euerdorf, Germany, whose diligent fossil collecting has made this study possible. Many thanks to Gerd Geyer, Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Würzburg, for taking the photographs in Fig. 2b, c. I am also grateful to Gerd Vogg, Botanical Garden and Department of Botany 2, Julius-von-Sachs-Institute for Bioscience, University of Würzburg, who granted access to the photomicroscope. This manuscript was greatly improved by reviews from Benjamin Bomfleur, Michael Krings, Mihai Tomescu, an anonymous reviewer and the Editor-in-chief Mike Reich.

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Kelber, K. Naiadita lanceolata (Marchantiophyta) from the Middle Triassic (Ladinian) of Germany: a new reconstruction attempt and considerations on taphonomy. PalZ 93, 499–515 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-019-00484-9

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Keywords

  • Naiadita
  • Marchantiophyta
  • Fossil bryophyte
  • Plant taphonomy
  • Keuper
  • Albertibank
  • Germanotype Triassic