Comptes rendus de l Académie bulgare des Sciences Tome 61, No 5, 2008

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1 Доклади на Българската академия на науките Comptes rendus de l Académie bulgare des Sciences Tome 61, No 5, 2008 GEOLOGIE Stratigraphie et volcanologie PALAEOECOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT WOOD GENUS XENOXYLON DISCOVERED IN THE EAST STARA PLANINA MTS. (EAST BULGARIA) BALABAN FORMATION (TOARCIAN, EARLY JURASSIC) Marc Philippe, Platon Tchoumatchenco (Submitted by Academician T. Nikolov on February 22, 2008) Abstract In the Toarcian (Lower Jurassic) Tethyan rocks of the Mator Basin wood fragments were discovered for the first time in Bulgaria. They were determined as Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan, a biomarker for a cold and/or humid palaeoclimate. Key words: Tethyan Lower Jurassic, Balaban Formation, East Stara planina Mts., Xenoxylon, palaeoclimate Introduction. Triassic and Jurassic Tethyan basin type sediments take part in the structure of Eastern Stara Planina Mts. (East Bulgaria) [ 1, 2 ]. They have been sedimented in an east-west primary oriented basin Mator Basin, situated south of the contemporaneous exposures of these rocks. Later these rocks were thrusted northward and took part to the composition of large nappe structures. These tectonically allochtonous Triassic-Jurassic siliciclastic rocks in Eastern Stara Planina Mts. are subdivided upwards into the trilogy of Sinivir flysch alternation (Middle Norian-Early Toarcian), Balaban sandstones (Toarcian?) and Kotel Formations black shales (Middle Jurassic). To the south the Mator Basin was limited by a shelf on which an uplifted area existed the Zlatarski Exotic Range. Probably in the piedmont of it grew the forest wood Xenoxylon phyllocladoides, described in the present paper. The fragments of this fossil wood had been transported into the basin and sedimented together with the sandstones of the Balaban Formation (Plate II, figs. 1, 2). The aim of this paper is the documentation of the first find in Bulgaria of the important wood species Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan. P. Tchoumatchenco The field researches in Bulgaria were made under the Project NZ 1310/03 of the National Science Fund of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science. 633

2 Fig. 1. Lithological log of the Balaban Formation Toarcian (Lower Jurassic), Balaban River valley, south of Dobromir Village, Burgas district made the field study and collected the palaeontological material; M. Philippe executed the laboratory researches and the palaeontological determination and description of the studied species. Systematic palaeontology: Morphogenus Xenoxylon Gothan, 1906 Types-species: Xenoxylon latiporosum (Cramer) Gothan (Pinites latiporosus Cramer) (vide Philippe & Cantrill) [ 3 ]. Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan, 1906 (Plate I, figs A D) Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan [ 4 ], Verh. Russ.-Kais. Mineral. Gesell. 44: 454, text-fig. 4. Note. The species was first described by Gothan [ 4 ], but the protologue included only a sketch of the tracheid radial wall pitting as an illustration. We have not been able to locate the type material yet, despite long researches in Poland with the help of Michal Zaton. Near Czentoschaw (Southern Poland), however, we found several topotypes which we illustrated (Philippe et al., [ 5 ], Fig. 4 C & D). Material. Samples No MP 1266, MP 1267, to the south of the Village of Dobromir, Balaban Dere River, 634 M. Philippe, P. Tchoumatchenco

3 Burgas district, East Bulgaria. Studied with SEM and Parlodion casts (see Philippe [ 6 ] for the methods). This material was briefly mentioned in Philippe et al. [ 5 ], under the name of Circoporoxylon grandiporosum Schultze-Motel ex Müller-Stoll et Schultze-Motel, but was not described nor discussed. We give here a full nomenclatural and taxonomical treatment. Description. A piece of homoxylous secondary xylem, without resin channels; growth-rings sharply marked, late wood narrow but strongly differentiated; rays uniseriate, mostly (2) 3 7 (11) cells in height; tracheid radial walls with variable but always uniseriate pitting; areolate pits mostly contiguous and round (circa 85%, n = 152), sometimes distant and round or rarely contiguous and strongly flattened (xenoxylean); ray cell walls thin and unpitted, except for crossfields which display a large circular oopore occupying the whole field, occasionally slightly bordered, axial parenchyma not observed. Determination. Co-occurrence of xenoxylean radial pitting and large window-like oopores is typical (Philippe and Bramford [ 7 ]) for the form-genus Xenoxylon Gothan. Among Xenoxylon species, a group with mixed type of radial pitting is clearly distinct (Philippe and Thévenard [ 8 ], the so-called phyllocladoides-group. Several species have been described within this group, based on features of discussed value (occurrence of tangential pitting, shape of cross-field, Sanio s Rim, etc.). The Bulgarian samples fit well with the Polish topotypes. Thus we assigned them to Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan. Taxonomical note. In a first attempt to determine these samples we did not manage to observe xenoxylean radial pitting, despite that we had observed more than 60 individual pits. Samples were thus determined as Circoporoxylon grandiporosum. This species was first described in Schultze-Motel ex Müller-Stoll et Schultze-Motel ( grandiporosum ) [ 10 ]: 65, text-fig. 2a c, Pl. 1 figs 5 7, Pl. 2 fig. 8. The species was first described in Schultze-Motel s thesis [ 9 ], but this was not a nomenclaturally valid publication. That name was validly published much later by Müller-Stoll and Schultze-Motel [ 10 ], with a cacography ( grandiporosum ). It is only recently, while preparing microphotographs of MP 1266, that we eventually came across much flattened radial pits. The taxa X. phyllocladoides and C. grandiporosum are very similar. Only the absence of xenoxylean radial pitting distinguishes the former, and as usual negative features always are delicate to deal with. These two species are commonly found associated, for example in Lower Toarcien Posidonien-Schiefer of Braunschweig area, in Mid-Bajocian Humphresianum zone clays of Osnabruck area (Northern Germany unpublished data, based on samples kindly sent by Frank Wittler), or in three levels, dated respectively as Late Pliensbachian, Early Toarcian and Early Bajocian, of Jameson Land (Eastern Greenland, unpublished data based on a review of material deposited in Copenhagen Geology Museum). Despite that we have not yet revised C. grandiporosum type, this could be a taxonomical synonym of X. phyllocladoides. Compt. rend. Acad. bulg. Sci., 61, No 5,

4 Distribution. In Europe Xenoxylon phyllocladoides was found in strata dated from the most earliest Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (Philippe and Thévenard, [ 8 ]). Albeit it was quite commonly found in the Lower and Middle Jurassic, it was rarely encountered in rocks younger than the Callovian, except in the Arctic. During the Liassic (Table 1), and especially during Spinatum and Serpentinus zones, it was widespread, with data to as much south as 30 N (palaeolatitude). During the beginning of the Aalenian (Opalinum Zone) it still occurred in Western Europe, however, subsequently its south-western limit moved north-eastward and stretched from Yorkshire to Poland through Northern Germany. T a b l e 1 Xenoxylon phyllocladoides data for the Liassic of Europe (Data given as unpublished are personal data not yet published) Stage Locality Source Toarcian Rhône, France Jameson Land, Greenland Lower Saxony, Germany unpublished data unpublished data Müller-Stoll & Schultze- Motel [ 11 ], 1988 Domerian (Late Yorkshire, UK Morgans [ 12 ], 1999 Pliensbachian Alsace, France unpublished Franche-Comté, France Philippe [ 6 ], 1995 Carixian (Early Jameson Land, Greenland unpublished data Pliensbachian) Lower Saxony, Germany Müller-Stoll & Schultze- Motel [ 11 ], 1988 Sinemurian no data Hettangian Württemberg, Germany Müller-Stoll & Schultze- Motel [ 11 ], 1988 Discussion. Fossil wood can be interpreted in palaeoclimatological terms in various ways. Most commonly unifortarism was used, although it is based on Plate I A. Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan. Radial view, mixed type of radial pitting, pits either round and spaced, round and contiguous or compressed. SEM B. Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan. Radial view, xenoxylean pitting on the right hand tracheid. SEM C. Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan. Radial view, mixed type of radial pitting, some opposite pairs in the middle part. SEM D. Xenoxylon phyllocladoides Gothan. Radial view, late wood with one (rarely two) unbordered oopore per cross field and small round spaced radial pits on tracheid walls. SEM 636 M. Philippe, P. Tchoumatchenco

5

6

7 two strong hypotheses. First the fossil wood is put in relationship with a modern systematic relative or a modern equivalent. Then the ecological requirements of this modern taxon are considered to be similar to those of the fossil. This double hypothesis strongly limits the interest of uniformitarism, especially for taxa without close modern relatives, which is the case for Xenoxylon phyllocladoides. If a large database is available, with data well distributed over time and space, another approach is possible based on geographical distribution analysis and its variations in time (palaeobiogeography) and concomitant analysis of the sediments which yielded corresponding specimens. European fossil wood record for the Liassic is quite complete and well distributed over time and space, and we have a fairly good image of Liassic wood flora distribution in Europe (Philippe, [ 6 ]; Philippe et al., [ 5 ]). From the distribution data given above it can be noticed that: 1) X. phyllocladoides is known in Europe from the Planorbis (Hettangian) to the Retrocostatum (Bathonian) ammonite zone; in southern Europe (France, Southern Germany) it is found mostly in Late Pliensbachian Early Toarcian interval (two thirds of the data synthesized in Table 1) and in the Opalinum Zone (Early Aalenian); this fits with available stratigraphical information for Balaban Formation and corroborates its dating as Toarcian; 2) The frequency of X. phyllocladoides among European Liassic wood assemblages is increasing northward, and the species is common only in the Arctic; 3) X. phyllocladoides is commonly found within thick clay levels deposited in anoxic environment. Xenoxylon is known as an indicator of cool/wet temperate climate (Philippe and Thévenard, [ 6 ]. It was hypothesized that Xenoxylon occurrences in Southern Europe were driven by cold and/or wet climatic snaps. This was confirmed for the Late-Callovian Early Oxfordian occurrences (Dromart et al., [ 13 ]). It is difficult, however, to be more accurate on how cold and how wet. In the Early Cretaceous Xenoxylon is supposedly bound to mean annual temperatures (MAT) in the range of 10 C 15 C (Philippe and Thévenard, [ 8 ]). Xenoxylon stumps usually reached 1 m to 1.5 m in diameter, with growth-ring width often exceeding 8 mm, sometimes 1 cm (personal observations on a collection of five stumps of Xenoxylon latiporosum (Cramer) Gothan in Liaoning, PR China). Such quick growth and massive trunks cannot occur in dry environments, and indicate either an amount of annual precipitations above 1 m, or growth in environment well supplied in phreatic water. For the Jurassic of Eastern Greenland, where Xenoxylon phyllocladoides was commonly found (Gothan, rn4; our observations), Plate II Fig. 1. Balaban Formation sandstones, lower part of the holostratotype section, Toarcian (Lower Jurassic), Balaban Dere River valley, south of Dobromir Village, Burgas district Fig. 2. Xenolylon phyllocladoides Gothan. Negative traces of the stems on the upper surface of sandstone bed, Balaban Dere River valley, south of Dobromir Village, Burgas district Fig. 3. Location of the Tethyan Mator sediments in East Stara planina on the geological panorama of the South-east Europe (after Zagorchev [ 16 ] Compt. rend. Acad. bulg. Sci., 61, No 5,

8 palaeoenvironments have been interpreted as wet temperate (Surlyk [ 14 ]; Arias [ 15 ]). Acknowledgements. Frank Wittler is thanked for the opportunity to study material from Germany, and Gilles Cuny for his help while revising collections in Copenhagen. Visit to Copenhagen Geology Museum was made possible by the Synthesis programme. Guillaume Suan and Baptiste Sucheras contributed with valuable discussions. This publication is UMR XXX of the French CNRS. We greatly appreciated the constructive notes of the two reviewers. REFERENCES [ 1 ] Tchoumatchenco P., S. Černiavska. Geologica Balc., 19, 1989, No 4, [ 2 ] Tchoumatchenco P., S. Černiavska. Geologica Balc., 20, 1990, No 4, [ 3 ] Filippe M., D. Cantriel. Taxon, 51, 2007, [ 4 ] Gothan W. Verh. Russ.-Kais. Mineral. Gesell., 44, 1906, [ 5 ] Philippe M., M. Barbacka, E. Gradinaru, E. Iamandei, S. Iamandei, M. Kázmér, M. Popa, G. Szakmány, P. Tchoumatchenco, M. Zaton. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 142, 2006, [ 6 ] Philippe M. Palaeontographica, Abt. B, 23, 1995, No 1 3, [ 7 ] Philippe M., M. Bamford. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 148, 2008, [ 8 ] Philippe M., F. Thevenard. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 91, 1996, [ 9 ] Schultze-Motel J. PhD thesis, Pädagogische Hochsule, Postdam, 1960, 156 p. [ 10 ] Müller-Stoll W. R., J. Schultze-Motel. Zeitschrift deutsche geologische Gesellschaft, 141, 1990, [ 11 ] Müller-Stoll W. R., J. Schultze-Motel. Zeitschrift deutsche geologische Gesellschaft, 139, 1988, [ 12 ] Morgans H. S. Palaeontology, 42, 1999, [ 13 ] Dromart G., J.-P. Garcia, S. Picard, F. Atrops, C. Lecuyer, S. Sheppard. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 213, 2003, [ 14 ] Surlyk F. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin, 1, 2003, [ 15 ] Arias C. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 25, 2007, [ 16 ] Zagorchev I. Mitt. Osterreich. Geol. Geselschaft, 86, 1994, UMR 5125 (PEPS) CNRS, France Université de Lyon Lyon, F-69003, France Geological Institute Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Acad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl Sofia, Bulgaria M. Philippe, P. Tchoumatchenco

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