Article: A new anatomically preserved ginkgoalean genus from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of the Czech Republic
Howard J. Falcon-Lang
A new genus of ginkgoalean woody branch, Pecinovicladus kvaceki gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Upper Cretaceous (mid to late Cenomanian) Peruc-Korycany Formation at Pecinov Quarry, near Prague, Czech Republic. Eighteen branch specimens, anatomically preserved as charcoal, the product of wildfire, occur as allochthonous assemblages in intertidal facies and as parauthochthonous assemblages in supratidal salt marsh facies. Primary branches range from 7-13 mm in diameter, and are composed of a central, parenchymatous pith, a medial pycnoxylic xylem layer, and an outer periderm layer. Closely spaced, helically arranged leaf bases and rare secondary branch scars characterize the exterior. The branches are confidently referred to the Ginkgoales on the basis of a variety of diagnostic xylem features, most notably the presence of inflated axial parenchyma containing moulds of crystals, and by the precise anatomical correspondence of the leaf bases to those of detached, but facies-associated Nehvizdya obtusa leaves of known ginkgoalean affinity. The newly described ginkgoalean, together with cheirolepidiaceous conifers, formed fire-prone vegetation in halophytic salt marsh environments under a seasonal, subtropical climate.