Probable root structures and associated trace fossils from the Lower Pleistocene calcarenites of Favignana Island, southern Italy: dilemmas of interpretation

Alfred Uchman, Andrzej Ślączka, Pietro Renda

Abstract


Two types of large, branched structures from the Lower Pleistocene (Calabrian) high-energy calcarenites of Favignana Island are described: Faviradixus robustus gen. et sp. nov. and Egadiradixus rectibrachiatus gen. et sp. nov. They may be interpreted as root structures of large plants, trees and trees or shrubs, respectively. The former taxon co-occurs with the marine animal trace fossils Ophiomorpha nodosa, Ophiomorpha isp., Thalassinoides isp. and Beaconites isp. The interpretation as root structures although tentative is probable and can be related to short emergence episodes for the formation of E. rectibrachiatus or to longer emergence, responsible for the discontinuity at the base of the overlying Tyrrhenian deposits, for F. robustus. Calcified root mats of smaller plants associated with the Tyrrhenian or younger emergence surfaces are common.

 


Keywords


ichnology; root structures; burrows; carbonates; Quaternary; Mediterranean Sea

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