Valdivian ecosystems in the Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary of Antarctica: further evidence from myrtaceous and eucryphiaceous fossil wood
Cool temperate rainforests growing on the flanks of the Andes and along the Coastal Range in Valdivia (Chile) today provide the closest analogue for the fossil floras of Antarctica during the Eocene. This paper records key Valdivian elements in a Maastrichtian to Eocene wood flora that extends the evidence for a Valdivian analogue back as far as possibly the Late Cretaceous. Here we record the first occurrences of myrtaceous and eucryphiaceous wood taxa from the Maastrichtian-Palaeocene sediments of the James Ross Basin. In addition, a previously unrecorded morphotype is described and assigned to the form genus Antarctoxylon which Poole and Cantrill erected for fossil angiosperm woods of Antarctica with uncertain taxonomic affinities. This increases the number and range of the described morphotypes from the Antarctic Peninsula and helps further our understanding of the southern high latitude angiosperm dominated floras.
Authors: Poole, Imogen, Mennega, Alberta M.W., Cantrill, David J.