Ordovician land plants and fungi from Douglas Dam, Tennessee


  • Gregory J. Retallack Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA




Bryophyta, Fungi, Mycorrhizae, Darriwilian, Lenoir Limestone


Ordovician land plants have long been suspected from indirect evidence of fossil spores, plant fragments, carbon isotopic studies, and paleosols, but now can be visualized from plant compressions in a Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian or 460 Ma) sinkhole at Douglas Dam, Tennessee, U. S. A. Five bryophyte clades and two fungal clades are represented: hornwort (Casterlorum crispum, new form genus and species), liverwort (Cestites mirabilis Caster & Brooks), balloonwort (Janegraya sibylla, new form genus and species), peat moss (Dollyphyton boucotii, new form genus and species), harsh moss (Edwardsiphyton ovatum, new form genus and species), endomycorrhiza (Palaeoglomus strotheri, new species) and lichen (Prototaxites honeggeri, new species). The Douglas Dam Lagerstätte is a benchmark assemblage of early plants and fungi on land. Ordovician plant diversity now supports the idea that life on land had increased terrestrial weathering to induce the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event in the sea and latest Ordovician (Hirnantian) glaciation.


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How to Cite

Retallack, G. J. (2019). Ordovician land plants and fungi from Douglas Dam, Tennessee. Journal of Palaeosciences, 68((1-2), 173–205. https://doi.org/10.54991/jop.2019.43



Research Articles