[en] Palynological samples from two boreholes drilled in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia contain a rich assemblage of cryptospores and trilete spores. They are dated as most probably Lochkovian in age. Intriguingly, the cryptospores are very similar to those from a coeval continental palynomorph assemblage from the Old Red Sandstone Continent, whereas the trilete spores show a strong affinity with miospore assemblages from Western Gondwana. It is suggested that cryptospore-producing plants inhabited confined, damp biotopes and had a wide range of climatic tolerance. On the otherhand, trilete spore-producing plants inhabited a wider variety of biotopes but were more sensitive to climatic variations. The high degree of similarity between Old Red Sandstone and Saudi Arabian cryptospore assemblages favours palaeogeographic reconstructions where there is close proximity between Western Gondwana and Euramerica and/or a land connection between these palaeoplates. Climatic differences between the Old Red Sandstone Continent and the northern part of Western Gondwana can be invoked to explain the variations in the trilete spore assemblages. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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