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Late-Pleistocene Anthelia (Hepaticae), an arctic-alpine, snow-bed indicator at a low elevation site in Massachusetts, U.S.A.

TitleLate-Pleistocene Anthelia (Hepaticae), an arctic-alpine, snow-bed indicator at a low elevation site in Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsMiller, NG
JournalJournal of Bryology
Volume15
Pagination583-588
Keywordsbiology paleontology
Abstract

A fossil of Anthelia from late-Pleistocene sediments at Tom Swamp, Massachusetts, consisted of a portion of a plant bearing the characteristic three rows of isomorphic, deeply bifid leaves. The fossil Anthelia indicates the existence of areas of late-lying snow in an essentially treeless, late-Pleistocene landscape. Associated bryophyte (mainly moss) and tracheophyte fossils establish the presence of additional hygric and mesic habitat types.

The occurrence of Anthelia and other leafy liverwort fossils in the basal inorganic sediments at Tom Swamp is unusual. Features of these fossils suggest that the translucent quality of some of the fragments and their small size (1 mm or smaller), which relates to fragmentation during transport, diagenesis and extraction (the breakage resulting from a weak middle lamella between the cells), may be reasons for the rarity of Pleistocene and Holocene fossils of liverworts.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1179/jbr.1989.15.3.583
DOI10.1179/jbr.1989.15.3.583