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Article: Early Cretaceous ferns from lacustrine limestone at Las Hoyas, Cuenca Province, Spain

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 43
Part: 6
Publication Date: December 2000
Page(s): 1113 1141
Author(s): Carmen Diéguez and Nieves Meléndez
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DIÉGUEZ, C., MELÉNDEZ, N. 2000. Early Cretaceous ferns from lacustrine limestone at Las Hoyas, Cuenca Province, Spain. Palaeontology43, 6, 1113–1141.

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A brief outline is presented of the geological conditions prevailing in the hard-water lake that produced the Las Hoyas fossiliferous site in the Serrania de Cuenca (north-east central Spain). The corresponding Barremian laminated limestones contain varied fossil remains including plants. The fern component of the assemblage is described in the present paper. Ten taxa are referable to the families Matoniaceae. Dicksoniaceae and Schizaeaceae, whilst eight are unclassified. A new species of Dicksoniaceae is described: Coniopteris laciniata. Three species, Pelletixia valdensis, Cladophlebis albertsii, and Sphenopteris fontainei, are recorded here for the first time outside the English Wealden; one species, Acrostichopteris foliosa, is new to the Barremian of Europe. The fern assemblage from the Las Hoyas site is most similar to that of the English Wealden. The xeromorph character of some species is noted.Although the specimens from Las Hoyas are generally small, even tiny, most are still identifiable leaf fragments preserved as imprints on platy limestone. Epidermal detail has been obtained from a few impressions. Some rather delicate remains, such as indusia, a crozier with pinnules, and fragments of Pelletixia valdensis occur, thus suggesting limited residence time in water.
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