The Choshi Group, which crops out in the Outer Zone of south-west Japan, has been extensively studied for its rich macroflora by Makoto and Harufumi Nishida, among others, and was attributed to the Ryoseki-type Floristic Province by Kimura (1987). New microfloras were discovered in muddy, very fine-grained sandstones and mudstones of the marine Ashikajima and Kimigahama formations, representing the base of the Choshi Group. The authors provide a palynological inventory for these lithological units, which have been dated as Barremian on the basis of the ammonites recorded from them, and compare them with the paleofloristic associations of the South-Laurasian Province (Brenner 1976) and Euro-Sinian Region (Vakhrameev 1991). The studied assemblages yielded 53 genera and 89 species of spores and gymnosperm pollen grains, and also marine or freshwater algae and some epiphyllous fungi. No angiosperm pollen grain was observed. Four new species are described: Manumia japonica n. sp., Foveosporites ryosekiensis n. sp., Nodosisporites choshiensis n. sp. and N. makotoi n. sp. Other forms, probably new species, are described here in detail, but the scarcity of the specimens has led us to place them temporarily in open nomenclature. The spatio-temporal distributions of the genus Manumia Pocock, reported for the first time in Asia, and Cicatricosisporites sinuosus Hunt, 1985 are plotted on paleogeographical maps. With this palynological study, we add new data to the present knowledge of Barremian floras. This assemblage probably corresponds to a taphocenose. The authors suggest that the climate indicated had marked dry and more humid seasons, in accordance with the hypothesis of a moderate migration of the oceanic islands of the Outer Zone before their collision with the Eurasian continent, or moderate climatic change during the Early Cretaceous in Japan.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1