Wildfires in the Campanian of James Ross Island: a new macro-charcoal record for the Antarctic Peninsula

  • Flaviana Jorge de Lima Laboratório de Paleobiologia e Microestruturas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Centro Acadêmico de Vitória, Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8602-6508
  • Juliana Manso Sayão Laboratory of Antarctic Paleobiology and Paleogeography, National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3619-0323
  • Luiza C. M. de Oliveira Ponciano Laboratory of Applied Taphonomy and Paleoecology, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6700-2391
  • Luiz C. Weinschütz Paleontological Center, University of Contestado, Campus Mafra, Santa Catarina, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8978-6120
  • Rodrigo Figueiredo Department of Biology, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Alegre, Espírito Santo, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4304-6434
  • Taissa Marques Rodrigues Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7918-1358
  • Renan Alfredo Machado Bantim Universidade Regional do Cariri https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-0989
  • Antonio Álamo Feitosa Saraiva Laboratory of Paleontology, Regional University of Cariri, Crato, Ceará, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0127-8912
  • André Jasper Postgraduate Program in Environment and Development, University of Vale do Taquari, Lajeado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8143-9733
  • Dieter Uhl Postgraduate Program in Environment and Development, University of Vale do Taquari, Lajeado, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; and Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9938-5339
  • Alexander W.A. Kellner Laboratory of Antarctic Paleobiology and Paleogeography, National Museum, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7174-9447
Keywords: Charcoal, Palaeo-wildfires, Cretaceous, Southern Hemisphere, Gondwana, Cretaceous high-fire


The Cretaceous “high-fire” period was a global event that reached almost all continental masses during that period in Earth’s history. The extensive wildfires directly affected plant communities. Significant palaeobotanical records in the Antarctic Peninsula have been studied from the James Ross Sub-Basin, especially from the Santa Marta Formation. However, there is no described evidence for palaeo-wildfires in the area so far. Here, we present the first occurrence of fossilized macro-charcoal coming from James Ross Island, confirming that palaeo-wildfires occurred in the Campanian vegetation preserved in the Santa Marta Formation. The new charcoal material has a gymnospermous taxonomic affinity, more specifically with the Araucariaceae, which is in accordance with previous palaeobotanical records from James Ross Island. This occurrence adds new information to the construction of the palaeo-wildfire scenario for Gondwana.


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How to Cite
Lima F. J. de, Sayão J. M., Ponciano L. C. M. de O., Weinschütz L. C., Figueiredo R. G., Rodrigues T. M., Bantim R. A. M., Saraiva A. Álamo F., Jasper A., Uhl D., & Kellner A. W. (2021). Wildfires in the Campanian of James Ross Island: a new macro-charcoal record for the Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Research, 40. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v40.5487
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