Early Jurassic flora from the city of Mende (Lozère): Synthesis of the historical sites, new sedimentological, palaeontological, and palaeoenvironmental data


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 18 (2) - Pages 159-177

Published on 31 March 2019

During the 20th century, because of urbanization, most palaeontological sites yielding plants (Hettangian–Sinemurian in age) from the city of Mende have disappeared, or they have been forgotten. This article presents a synthesis of sites yielding plants, from their discoveries in the 19th century to recent prospecting. New lithostratigraphic and palaeobotanical data are brought for two historic sites (Ravin del Pouset and Petit Séminaire), as well as two new localities (Causse d’Auge road and Gardès road). This study reveals the diversity of plant-containing lithofacies (dolomudstone, marl, limestone/calcarenite and oo-bioclastic limestone) and the diversity of plant preservations (charcoalified compressions with or without cuticle, isolated cuticle, external casts/impressions). Microfaciological study of plant beds demonstrates the diversity of depositional environments. Protected, restricted and shallow environments with low wave exposure and probable euryhaline conditions are clearly the most favourable to the accumulation and the preservation of fossil plants. These early Liassic palaeofloras, among the southernmost yet reported for Laurasia, are of significance for the plant geography and global paleoecology at that time.


Conifères, Ptéridospermes, Hettangien, Sinémurien, Lozère, Bassin des Causses

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