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Article: The dominant conifer of the Jurassic Purbeck Formation, England

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 26
Part: 2
Publication Date: May 1983
Page(s): 277 294
Author(s): Jane E. Francis
Addition Information

How to Cite

FRANCIS, J. E. 1983. The dominant conifer of the Jurassic Purbeck Formation, England. Palaeontology26, 2, 277–294.

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The Palaeontological Association (Free Access)


Fossil trees are preserved in situ in fossil soils in the Lower Purbeck (Upper Jurassic) strata of Dorset. Silicified tree stumps, still rooted in the soils, stand erect and protrude into the overlying limestones. Numerous trunks and branches lie on the soils, which also contain conifer shoots. The forests were dominated by one kind of conifer with wood, named here as Protocupressinoxylon purbeckensis sp. nov., foliage belonging to the species Cupressinocladus valdensis (Seward) Seward and with male cones yielding Classopollis pollen. A reconstruction of the anatomy and habit of the tree is given. The Lower Purbeck palaeoclimate is discussed using the evidence of tree growth rings and the character of the associated sediments.
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