Fern thickets from the Cretaceous of Alexander Island, Antarctica containing Alamatus bifarius Douglas and Aculea acicularis sp. nov
Within the Albian Fossil Bluff Group of Alexander Island, Antarctica, sheet flood deposits have preserved palaeosols within situfernsAlamatus bifariusDouglas andAculea acicularissp. nov. Reconstructed as upright ferns, with fronds arising from a creeping subterranean rhizome, they formed thickets up to 80 cm high. Analyses of the leaf litter suggest that the fern thickets developed between a patchy araucarian overstorey. Interspersed within the thickets there were rare podocarp shrubs and beneath this overstorey a ground layer of thalloid liverworts.