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Correlation between miospores and depositional environments of the dakota formation mid cretaceous of north central kansas and adjacent nebraska usa



Correlation between miospores and depositional environments of the dakota formation mid cretaceous of north central kansas and adjacent nebraska usa



Palynology 10: 117-134



Analysis of the miospore content of four coeval depositional environments-levee swale, swamp, marshy lakeside, and distributary margin-of the Dakota Formation (mid-Cretaceous) of north-central Kansas and adjacent Nebraska implies that each environment has a distinctive miospore flora, as indicated by multinomial homogeneity tests and cluster analysis of Spearman rank-order correlation coefficients. Diversity measures such as Simpson's Index and species richness indicate that the swamp and distributary margin depositional environments are less diverse than the levee swale and lakeside depositional environments. Bisaccate (gymnospermous) pollen is most diverse and abundant in the lakeside environment: angiospermous pollen is most diverse in the lakeside and distributary margin. The diversities found in the Dakota Formation are higher than those found by Nichols and Traverse (1971) for similar environments in the early Tertiary of Texas. We believe these differences are, in part, a result of the absence of prolific anemophilous angiosperm pollen producers when the mid-Cretaceous sediments were deposited. The cluster analysis implies that certain taxa are restricted in environmental distribution: bisaccate pollen occurs primarily in the levee swale and lakeside environments, Densoisporites aff. D. perinatus and Perinopollenites elatoides in the lakeside, Gleicheniidites confossus in the levee swale and swamp, and ?Equisetosporites sp. in the distributary margin. Other taxa occur in all environments but have markedly greater abundance in some environments. These data suggest that abundance-based stratigraphic zonations in nonmarine sediments can be in part environmental zonations. Further, these data may allow inference of depositional environments from miospore assemblages in the future and may contribute to our understanding of the paleoecology of the parent plants.

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