Permian floras Southern Alps
Permian plant megafossils are long since known from various parts of the Italian Southern Alps (fig. 1). Initially, these fossils were mainly used for age estimates of continental formations. Later, plants with well-preserved cuticles (fig. 2) were used to recognise natural species, genera and families. This taxonomical work contributed towards a much better understanding of late Palaeozoic gymnosperms. Compression floras have been described from the late Artkinsian- ?Ufiminian Collio Formation (Brescia) and the slightly younger the Tregiovo Formation (Trento-Bolzano). Rare megafossils, and numerous cuticle fragments are known from the overlying Upper Permian Val Gardena red beds (Adaga Valley).
A short introduction and an updated synthesis of the plant fossils discovered until now in the region can be found in:
Visscher H., Kerp J.H.F., Clement-Westerhof J.A. and Looy, C.V., 1999. Permian vegetation in the Southern Alps. In: Cassinis G., Cortesogno L., Gaggero L., Massari F., Neri C., Nicosia U. and Pittau P. (Eds). Stratigraphy and facies of the Permian deposits between eastern Lombardy and the western Dolomites, Earth Science Department Pavia, p. 139-147.
Visscher H., Kerp J.H.F., Clement-Westerhof J.A. and Looy, C.V., 2001. Permian floras of the Southern Alps. Natura Bresciana 25: 117-123.