Pennsylvanian floras from Italy: an overview of the main sites and historical collections

Ausonio Ronchi, Evelyn Kustatscher, Paola Pittau & Giuseppe Santi

The paper provides an overview of the main Pennsylvanian sites in Italy yielding associations rich in plants and/or palynomorphs. So far in Italy, the principal outcrops are located in the Southern Alps, Tuscany and Sardinia. In the Western Southern Alps and bordering Switzerland, Westphalian outcrops are small and scattered. Nevertheless, they yielded an abundant fossil flora, stored at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale of Milan-, (Venzo and Maglia Collection). In the Carnic Alps, (Eastern Southern Alps), continental deposits of Moscovian to Gzhelian age also occur near the border with Austria. They have produced a high number of preserved plant fossils, presently stored in the Museo Friulano di Storia Naturale of Udine. In Tuscany, the two main sections yielding Westphalian to Autunian floras are those of the Iano and Pisani Mountains. A rich collection of plant fossils from those sites is hosted at the Museo di Storia Naturale of Florence University and at the Museum of Natural History of Pisa University. In Sardinia, plant fossil sites are located in the south west and central east parts of the island. The San Giorgio Basin (Iglesiente subregion) and the Tuppa Niedda section (Arburese subregion) are late Westphalian – early Stephanian in age. In the Barbagia at Seui-Seulo and the Gerrei subregions, other continental basins yielded transitional “Stephanian- Autunian” fossil plant associations. The slabs are stored as part of the Lovisato Collection at the Lovisato Museum of the Chemical and Geoscience Department of Cagliari University. Smaller historical outcrops of Carboniferous age are also known from other Italian regions, such as Liguria


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