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LATE-PERMIAN MONOCOLPATE AND SULCATE POLLEN FROM CHHIDRU FORMATION, SALT RANGE, PAKISTAN.

Byline: Muhammad Zia Ul Rehman, Farhat Masood And Tahira Malik

ABSTRACT

Rock Samples from selected localities of Chhidru Formation of late Permian age were processed for Palynological examination. Seven Monocolpate/Sulcate pollen form species viz, Paravittatina lucifer; Cycadopites follicularis; Cycadopites cymbatus; Gnetaceaepollenites sinuosus; Marsupipollenites triradiatus; Praecolpatites sinuosus were recovered and technically described. Careful comparison of these taxa with extinct and extant plant groups revealed the prevalence of following viz; Gymnosperm, Peltasperms, Gnetales, Medullosales and Ephedralels.

Keywords: Chhidru Formation, Palynomorphs, Monocolpate, Sulcate, Gymnosperms, Peltasperms, Gnetales, Medullosales and Ephedralels.

Running Title: Monocolpate and Sulcate Pollen from Chhidru Formation

INTRODUCTION

Chhidru Formation belonging to the Permian Group is widely distributed in Salt Range of Pakistan. It belongs to Zaluch Group of Late Permian age. It witnessed significant Geological and Biological cycles. Chhidru Formation has been thoroughly examined by P.J.R.G [1] and Mertmann [2] and four members viz Landu Member which predominantly contains sandstone with thin bedded alterations of black shale, Gulakhel Member with medium bedded Sandston, Thatti Member with sandstone intermixed with calcareous sandstones and Jallhar Member composed of weathered, soft, massive white sandstone. With the exception of Balme [3], no exclusive effort has been made to study the palynology of Chhidru Formation (Late Permian age) [2]. The present papers deals with only Monocolpate and Sulcate pollen. These pollen were technically described and their possible affinities were determined [4].

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Rock samples from two stratigraphically measured localities viz Nammal and Chhidru gorges were collected at a distance of one meter. Bulk maceration was achieved by treating samples (30g each) in a series with 50% analar Hydrochloric acid, Hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid respectively followed by 8-10 decantation with distilled water for complete neutralization. 1.5% KOH (analar grade) was used for removal of humic acid. The samples were processed using standard techniques [5,6,7,8]. After maceration palynomorphs were separated using ZnCl2 (1.97 sp.gravity) as medium. Permanent slides were prepared in Canada balsam. Palynomorphs were screened and photographed, coordinates of each sporomorph were noted using Kyowa Medilux Trinocular microscope.

SYSTEMATIC PALYNOLOGY

Pollen Recovered were described in technical terms and turmal system of classification was employed as per Balme [3].

Anteturma POLLENITES PAltonie, 1931

Turma SACCITES Erdtman, 1947

Sub turma MONOCOLPATES (Iverson and Troels) Smith,1967

Genus: PARAVITTATINA Balme, 1970

Type species: Paravittatina lucifer Bharadwaj, 1962

P. lucifer Bharadwaj, 1962

Pl. 1 Fig. 1

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, monosulcate, overall amb oval to subcircular or rounded quadrilateral. Exine with sharply defined, laevigate exoexinus ribs, individual ribs continuous and looped so that those near to periphery pass without interruption from the proximal to the distal face. However in highly compressed specimens, the ribs run transversely on the proximal face and longitudinally on distal face so that they appear to cross one another at right angles. Sulcus oval to subcircualr and free of exoexine.

Slide No.: ZGC 20, NGC 27, CGC 30.

Genus: CYCADOPITES Wodehouse, 1933

Type species: Cycadopites follicularis Wilson, 1944

C. follicularis Wilson, 1944

Pl. 1 Fig. 2

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, monosulcate, overall amb oval or oblong oval or may be fusiform if the specimens are not tightly compressed. Sulcus extending full length of grain, narrow near the distal pole, margins of sulcus may slightly or strongly overlap. Exine about 1m thick, laevigate to infragranulate.

Slide No.: ZGC 25, NGC 26, CGC 78.

C. cymbatus (Balme and Hennelly) Segroves, 1970

Pl. 1 Fig. 3

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, monocolpate, overall amb elongate oval to fusiform, colpus distinct, running entire length of grain with a tendency to become narrow in middle with slightly expanded extremities. Exine less than 1m thick, intragranulose.

Slide No.: ZGC 52, NGC 50, CGC 29.

Genus: GNETACEAEPOLLENITES Thiergart, 1938

Type species: Gnetaceaepollenites ellipticus Thiergart, 1938

G. sinuosus Balme and Hennelly, 1955

Pl. 1 Fig. 4

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, polyplicate, overall amb elongate oval, extremities sharply to broadly rounded, exine polyplicate with 3-5 or more massive folds on the proximal face running parallel to the long axis of grain and associated with fold is a narrow linear longitudinal cleft in the exoexine detectable under oil immersion. The clefts are arranged symmetrically around the major axis of the grain. The thickness of these clefts is highly variable. Exine infragranulate to intrapunctate.

Slide No.: ZGC 27, NGC 54, CGC 17.

Turma PLICATES (Naumova) PAltonie, 1962

Subturma PREACOLPATES (PAltonie) Kremp, 1965

Genus: MARSUPIPOLLENITES Balme and Hennelly, 1955

Type Species: Marsupipollenites triradiatus Balme and Hennelly, 1955

M. triradiatus Balme and Hennelly, 1955

Pl. 1 Fig. 5

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, monosulcate, overall amb longitudinally oval to subcircular, sulcus extending full length of the grain on the distal surface, slightly squeezed at pole with a marked oval or suboval outline. Proximal side bears a small triradiate mark with rays upto 12m long. Exine 2m thick consisting of very thin transparent intexine, which is only visible in extremely well preserved specimens, exoexine columellate.

Slide No.: ZGC 10, NGC 34, CGC 22.

Genus: PRAECOLPATITES Bharadwaj and Srivastava, 1973

Type species: Praecolpatites nudpurensis (Balme and Hennelly) Bharadwaj and Srivastava, 1973

P. sinuosus (Balme and Hennelly) Bharadwaj and Srivastava, 1973

Pl. 1 Fig. 6

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, polyplicate, overall amb oval or rounded oval, exine clearly differentiated into exoexine and intexine, exoexine infrapunctate to granulate or intrabaculate, 3-5m thick at equator appearing as a rim, intexine 1.0-1.5 m thick, laevigate, sulcus smooth running approximately parallel to the long axis of the grain. The proximal surface bear narrow grooves of variable dimensions that form an irregular reticulum.

Slide No.: ZGC 19, NGC 51, CGC 80.

P. ovatus (Anderson) Backhouse, 1991

Pl. 1 Fig. 7

Occurrence: cf. Table 1

Dimension: cf. Table 2

Description: Pollen grain, polyplicate, overall amb circular to subcircular or broadly oval, exine clearly differentiated into exoexine and intexine, exoexine intragranulate, 3-5m thick, laevigate. Sulcus smooth, running approximately parallel to the long axis of the grain. The proximal surface bear narrow grooves which are comparatively less in number and are curved and sinuous.

Slide No.: ZGC 34, NGC 45, CGC 39.

Table 1: Percentage occurrence of palynomorphs, Chhidru Formation, Western Salt Range, Pakistan.

LOCALITY/GORGE###ZALUCH###NAMMAL###CHHIDRU

MEMBERS###Landu Gulak- That- Jal-###Landu###Gulak- Thatti Jall-###Landu Gulak- That- Jal-

###hal###ti###lhar###hal###har###hal###ti###lhar

PALYNOMORPHS

Paravit-###15-25 10-15###-###-###-###greater than 25###-###-###10-15###15-25 -###-

tatina

lucifer

Bharadwaj

Cycadop-###5-10###less than 5###5-10###5-10###5-10###less than 5###10-15###15-25###5-10###less than 5###less than 5###5-10

ites cymb-

atus (Balme

and Hennelly)

Segroves

Cycadopites###less than 5###5-10###5-10###less than 5###less than 5###less than 5###5-10###5-10###less than 5###less than 5###5-10 5-10

follicularis

Wilson and

Webster

Gnetaceae-###less than 5###10-15###less than 5###5-10###15-25###10-15###less than 5###5-10###10-15###10-15 5-10 5-10

pollenites

sinuosus

Balme and

Hennelly

Marsupipo-###5-10###less than 5###-###-###less than 5###5-10###-###-###5-10###5-10###-###-

llenites

triradiatus

Balme and

Hennelly

Praecolpat-###less than 5###5-10###5-10###less than 5###5-10###less than 5###5-10###-###-###-###5-10 5-10

ites sinuosus

(Balme###and

Hennelly)

Bharadwaj

and Srivastava

Praecolpat-###15-25 5-10 5-10###10-15###10-15###10-15###15-25###15-25###-###-###5-10 10-15

ites ovatus

(Anderson)

Backhouse

Table.2: Palynomorph Dimensions (m) Monocolpate / Sulcate Pollen

###Figured###Total###Total length m###Total breadth m###Colpus / Sulcus m

Palynotaxon###specimen###specimens###Min###Max###Mean###Min###Max###Mean###Min###Max###Mean

###m###measured

Cycadopites###cymbatus

(Balme###and###Hennelly)###67A-38###20###65###77###68###27###40###36###70###-###-

Segroves

Cycadopites###follicularis

###42A-18###28###40###56###47###15###21###19###39###54###45

Wilson and Webster

Gnetaceaepollenites

sinuosus###Balme###and###58A-22###10###51###69###55###18###27###23###40###45###42

Hennelly

Marsupipollenites

###38A-36

triradiatus###Balme###and###14###32###39###34###29###35###30###-###-###-

###40A-38

Hennelly

Paravittatina###lucifer

###33A-30###24###34###44###38###29###39###32###22###28###24

Bharadwaj

Praecolpatites###sinuosus

(Balme###and###Hennelly)

###89A-47###38###81###115###92###39###56###40###78###101###90

Bharadwaj and Srivastava

Praecolpatites###ovatus

###68A-44###42###73###101###84###38###56###41###61###94###81

(Anderson) Backhouse

DISCUSSION

Of the recovered palynomorphs, genus Paravittatina differs from the genus Vittatina in the form and structure of its continuous looped ribs [3]. In Vittatina the ribs extend only a short distance on the distal face and then distal extensions are parallel to proximal ribbing. In the presently investigated Chhidru Formation, this palynospecies was observed in abundance, but unfortunately most of the specimens were poorly preserved and broken. Only few intact specimens were available. The affinity of Paravittatina is suggested to be Gymnospermous and is being referred for the first time in the Chhidru Formation. It is suggested to represent Peltasperms. The Cycadopites cymbatus from Chhidru, varied greatly in outline with the ends of the grain ranging from rather pointed to broadly round. In some specimens the distal furrow is obscured through folding or compression. It also suggested to represent Peltasperms.

Throughout Austalia Gnetaceaepollenites sinuosus is chiefly found in upper Permian sediments [9]. It is also known from the upper Permian of Antarctica [10]. It points towards existence of Gnetales. Marsupipollenites triradiatus is wide spread in the upper Permian sediments in almost all Gondwanaland countries. In Australia it ranges stratigraphically from Late Sakmarian to Dzulfian but is in general only common in Dzulfian [1]. It is also recorded from the Permian of Africa and Antarctica [10] and India in the Raniganj Coal Fields [11]. It shows affinities with Medullosales. Both Marsupipollenites triradiatus and Praecolpatites sinuosus are representative of Ephedrales. These miospores also exist in abundance in Indian [11] and Australian [12] late Permian sediments. The affinities of the pollen under discussion were determined in accordance with the scheme proposed by Balme [3] and Looy [4].

REFERENCES

[1]Pakistani-Japanese Research Group, (1985). Stratigraphy and correlation of the marine Permian- Lower Triassic in the Surghar Range and Salt Range, Pakistan. Kyoto Univ., 25 p.

[2]Mertmann, D. (2003). Evolution of marine Permian Carbonate platgorm in the Salt Range (Pakistan). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 191:373-384.

[3]Balme, B. E. (1970). Palynology of Permian and Triassic strata in the Salt Range and Surghar Range, West Pakistan. Stratigraphic boundary problems: Permian and Triassic of West Pakistan. Special Publication, 4:306-453.

[4]Looy, C.V., Collinson, M.E., van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A., Vissher, H. and Brain, A.P.R. (2005). The ultrastructure and botanical affinity of end-Permian spore tetrads. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 166: 875-887.

[5]Phipps, G. and Playford, G. (1984). Techniques for extraction of palynomorphs from sediments. Pap. Dept. Geol., Univ., Queensland, 11(1): 1-33.

[6]Doher, L.I. (1980). Palynomorphs preparation procedures currently used in palaeontology and stratigraphy Laboratories U.S. Geological Survey, U.S.G.S. Pub., 830: 1- 29.

[7]Traverse, A. (1988). Palaeopalynology, Unwin Hymen USA, pp. 580.

[8]Traverse, A. (2007). Palaeopalynology, Springer Science and Business Media, (2007) Science, pp. 813.

[9]Segroves, K.L. (1970). Permian spores and pollen grains from the Perth Basin, Western Australia. Grana, 10(1): 43-73.

[10]Balme, B.E. and Playford, G. (1967). Late Permian plant microfossils from the Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica; Review of Micropaleontology, 10(3):179-92.

[11]Bharadwaj, D.C. (1962). The Miospore genera in the coals of the Raniganj Stage (Upper Permian), India. Palaeobotanist, 9: 68-106.

[12]Backhouse, J. (1991). Permian palynostratigraphy of the Collie Basin, Western Australia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 67: 237-314.
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