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Land and freshwater microflora in a sparnacian amber from the corbiere (south france) : first observations

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BRETON, Gérard; GAUTHIER, Céline; VIZCAINO, Daniel
Qualité de l'auteur: 
Museum d'histoire naturelle du Havre; Museum d'histoire naturelle du Havre; biologiste - Carcassone
Date de publication: 

Red amber was collected at the base of a transgressive deposition sequence of Sparnacian age, in the vicinity of Douzens (Aude, France). The peripheric layer of the amber fragments yields at least three morphological types of bacteria. filaments of fungi, several types of algae, spores (some of them seem to bear elaters). and Pinus-like pollen grains. Amongst the algae, some specimens are morphologically : very close to living Trentepohlia sp. filaments. Or to filaments evoking the Chaetophorale Chaetonemopsis sp; One unicellular alga or sporte type is very puzzling : it bears two flagellas with pseudofossils which look like unipennate mastigonemas.
All thse microfossils can be closely compared with whether terrestrial or freshwater living taxa : this is coherent with th taphonomy. The organisms living in freshwater or on the ground being embedded in the peripheric layer of amber. The amber has then been reworked in a marine or brakisch environnement where it was definitely deposited. The transport was short because :
1) some "tears" are entire though this amber is very britle
2) the thin peripheric layer (less than 0.5mm) was not eroded.

We have not yet found insecs. Tje absence of diatoms is an other striking feature, still unexprained.

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