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An account of Pleistocene species of Lithophyllum (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) from Sicily (Southern Italy)

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Abstract:

The genus PHILIPPI, 1837 (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) includes several species which are common and widespread from the Cretaceous to the Recent. The oldest fossil record from Italy is referred to the Cretaceous; subsequent records are mostly from Oligo-Miocene sediments. Only two species of ( and ) were recorded from the Pleistocene of Italy. In the present work, Pleistocene Corallinales assemblages, from different outcrops of south-eastern Sicily (Italy), have been examined allowing four species () to be distinguished, all of them presently living in the Mediterranean Sea. Morphological and systematic accounts are provided for each species applying features which are used for living material. Moreover, the present-day geographical distribution and ecological interpretation of these species as well as their stratigraphic distribution are reported.

German
Die Gattung Lithophyllum PHILIPPI, 1837 (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta), ist mit verschiedenen Arten von der Kreidezeit bis Rezent weit verbreitet. Der früheste Nachweis aus Italien stammt aus der Kreide, jüngere Nachweise kommen vorwiegend aus oligo-miozänen Sedimenten. Die pleistozänen Vorkommen beinhalten nur zwei Arten, Lithophyllum racemus und Lithophyllum microcarpum.

In der vorliegenden Arbeit über Corallinaceen-Vergesellschaftungen, beprobt in verschiedenen Aufschlüssen Südost-Siziliens, wurden vier verschiedene Arten von Lithophyllum belegt (L. grandiusculum, L. nitorum, L. racemus, L. stictaeforme). Alle untersuchten Arten kommen rezent im Mittelmeer vor. Morphologische und systematische Beschreibungen für jede Art erfolgen auf der Basis von Merkmalen, die auch für rezentes Material angewendet werden. Darüber hinaus wird die heutige geografische Verbreitung und ökologische Bedeutung dieser Arten sowie ihre stratigrafische Reichweite mit einbezogen.

Keywords: CORALLINALES; LITHOPHYLLUM; PLEISTOCENE; SICILY; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2007/0244-0183

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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