Article: First record of Nilssoniopteris (Gymnospermophyta, Bennettitales) from the Carnian (Upper Triassic) of Lunz, Lower Austria
Christian Pott, Michael Krings and Hans Kerp
The Carnian (Late Triassic) flora of Lunz in Lower Austria is famous for an abundance of well-preserved bennettitalean and cycadalean foliage and reproductive structures. However, only the fertile remains have been studied in detail to date. Recently completed systematic macromorphological and cuticular analyses of leaf fossils from Lunz revealed that several forms previously accommodated in the genus Macrotaeniopteris do not represent ferns but rather Bennettitales assignable to the genus Nilssoniopteris. We describe three species of Nilssoniopteris, which represent the first records for this genus from Lunz, and one of the earliest accounts of Nilssoniopteris in the Northern Hemisphere. The following new combinations are introduced: Nilssoniopteris haidingeri (Stur ex Krasser, 1909a) comb. nov., N. angustior (Stur ex Krasser, 1909a) comb. nov. and N. lunzensis (Stur ex Krasser, 1909a) comb. nov. The discovery of Nilssoniopteris further substantiates the significance of the Lunz flora as one of the richest and most diverse early Late Triassic floras from the Northern Hemisphere.