Taphonomy and palaeoecology of mid-Cretaceous amber-preserved microorganisms from southwestern France

Vincent GIRARD, Alexander R. SCHMIDT, Steffi STRUWE, Vincent PERRICHOT, Gérard BRETON & Didier NÉRAUDEAU

en Geodiversitas 31 (1) - Pages 152-163

Published on 27 March 2009

This article is a part of the thematic issue Cretaceous ambers from southwestern France: geology, taphonomy, and palaeontology

The investigation of microorganisms preserved in amber from Charente-Maritime (southwestern France) provides new insights into the mid-Cretaceous amber forest ecology. Amber from the localities of Archingeay-Les Nouillers and Cadeuil is unique due to the plethora of microinclusions and macroinclusions as well as the preservation of litter organisms. Soil microorganisms such as actinomycetes, sheathed prokaryotes, carnivorous fungi (Ascomycota), algae, testate amoebae and nematodes indicate that the resin solidified in terrestrial or limnetic-terrestrial microhabitats on the forest floor. Furthermore, arboreal and even marine microorganisms are preserved in the amber. This micro-assemblage suggests that the amber forest was located close to the sea shore or was at least temporarily under marine influence.


Palaeoecology, taphonomy, amber forests, microorganisms, Cretaceous, France

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