Subir Bera

Subir Bera
University of Calcutta · Department of Botany

M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph. D.

About

210
Publications
55,954
Reads
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2,262
Citations
Introduction
Currently my research group is working on Cenozoic vegetation history and climate change in Eastern Himalaya using multi-proxy approaches.
Additional affiliations
November 2000 - present
University of Calcutta
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Professor of Botany Palaeobotany and Palynology Laboratory Dept. of Botany University of Calcutta
November 2000 - present
University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • I joined West Bengal Education Service in 1989 as Assistant Professor of Botany at Darjeeling Govt. College and then served Presidency College, Kolkata from 1995 -2000. I teach/ taught Palaeobotany, Palynology, Pteridology, Geymnosperms and Anatomy.
Education
July 1990 - January 1995
University of Calcutta
Field of study
  • Palaeobiology of Bengal Basin, India
July 1986 - June 1987
University of Calcutta
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
July 1983 - June 1985
University of Calcutta
Field of study
  • Botany

Publications

Publications (210)
Article
Full-text available
The intra-seasonal variation in precipitation isotopes shows a characteristic declining trend over northeast India. As of now, no mechanism offers a consistent explanation of this trend. We have performed the isotopic analysis of precipitation (rain) and estimated net ecosystem exchange and latent heat fluxes using an eddy-covariance system in nort...
Article
Here, we report the in-situ occurrence of a new fossil-species of Meliolinites (fossil Meliolaceae), Meliolinites bhutanensis sp. nov. on the cuticle fragments of a compressed angiosperm dicot leaf recovered from the middle Siwalik (Formation II: latest Miocene to Pliocene) of Bhutan, eastern Himalaya. This unique foliicolous new fossil fungal spec...
Article
Full-text available
Lamiaceae Martinov, is the sixth largest angiosperm family and the largest within the order Lamiales, comprising of over 230 genera and more than 7000 species worldwide (Harley et al., 2004; Olmstead, 2016; APG IV, 2016). In flora of India, the family is one of the ten largest families represented by 67 genera and 399 species (Sampath Kumar et al.,...
Article
Plants and insects are essential components of terrestrial ecosystems and insect herbivory is the most important type of biotic interaction in these ecosystems alongside the role of insects as pollinators. Insect damaged fossil leaves are the only direct sources of documenting the historical effect of folivorous arthropods on once living foliar tis...
Article
Ten palm leaf impressions are documented from the latest Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous) to early Danian (earliest Paleocene) sediments (K-Pg, c. 66–64 Ma) of the Mandla Lobe of the Deccan Inter-trappean Beds, Madhya Pradesh, central India. The palmate leaf shape along with a definite well-preserved costa support their placement in the subfamily Co...
Article
Due to several overlaps of the primary pollen morphological attributes (viz., aperture type and exine sculpturing) throughout the subfamilies and tribes of Rubiaceae, they are of less importance in delineating majority of the taxa at the subfamilial and tribal levels than at generic and specific levels. This in turn renders difficulties in the iden...
Chapter
The present study reports in situ occurrence of species of Phomites, a fossil epiphyllous fungus (comparable to cosmopolitan filamentous modern plant pathogen Phoma Sacc.), on the cuticular surface of fossilized leaf fragments of different compressed angiosperm leaf remains recovered from the Siwalik sediments (middle Miocene to early Pleistocene)...
Article
Although dicot megafossils are well-known from Siwalik sediments of India, the record of monocot fossils during the Siwalik period is rather poor. The present study highlights, for the first time, the recovery of a large number of monocot leaf remains from the middle Siwalik sediments (late Miocene) of Himachal Pradesh, western Himalaya. The diagno...
Article
Plant–insect interactions in the fossil record are, as yet, sparsely known and understudied. Here, we document evidence of a new type of insect skeletonization on Abroma augustum (L.) L. f. (Malvaceae) leaf remains from the latest Neogene (Pliocene) sediments of Chotanagpur plateau, Jharkhand, eastern India. This unique skeletonization feeding trac...
Preprint
Indian Cenozoic deposits contain well-preserved diverse angiosperm leaf assemblages, but galling, a common form of angiosperm leaf damage in modern tropical forests, has not been well-documented. Here we report insect herbivory on diverse angiosperm fossil leaf specimens from Pliocene (Rajdanda Formation) sediments of the Chotanagpur Plateau, easte...
Article
Reliability of grass phytoliths for discriminating different deltaic sub-environments has been assessed on the modern surface sediments collected along the salinity gradient of the Sunderbans delta, India. It has been observed that grass phytolith assemblages can successfully distinguish different deltaic sub-environments especially the true mangro...
Article
Indian Cenozoic deposits contain well-preserved diverse angiosperm leaf assemblages, but galling, a common form of angiosperm leaf damage in modern tropical forests, has not been well-documented. Here we report insect herbivory on diverse angiosperm fossil leaf specimens from Pliocene (Rajdanda Formation) sediments of the Chotanagpur Plateau, easte...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence of predatory marks on fossil leaf remains provides a unique window into ecological and evolutionary associations of the past, but finding both damage and the phytophagous insects causing that damage pattern in the same fossil specimen is a very rare phenomenon. Normally, caterpillars have little fossilization potential because of their del...
Article
We report for the first time well-preserved leaflets of Hylodesmum palaeoglutinosum from the latest Neogene sediments (Rajdanda Formation: Pliocene) of Jharkhand, eastern India. Macromorphological features show that the fossil leaflet remains are identical to those of modern endemic taxon H. glutinosum (Muhl. ex Wild.) Ohashi & Mill (tribe: Desmodi...
Article
Phytolith assemblages of Shorea robusta Gaertn. (Dipterocarpaceae), an important constituent of tropical deciduous/semi-evergreen forests were studied from six different districts of West Bengal, the western margin of the Bengal Basin. Since S. robusta grows in the tropical mixed dry to wet deciduous and semi-evergreen forests and can tolerate a wi...
Article
Peltophorum (Caesalpinioideae: Fabaceae) is a well-known extant legume genus characterized by marginally bi-winged fruits. No reliable fossils of Peltophorum have been reported previously. Here, we report for the first time well-substantiated fossil fruits of Peltophorum exhibiting an oblong to narrowly elliptic fruit body with longitudinal wings a...
Article
Porteresia coarctata (Roxb.) Tateoka is a true halophytic perennial wild grass that grows profusely along newly formed, highly saline landmasses and mudflats in the coastal mangroves of the Indian subcontinent and acts as a pioneer species in mangrove succession. Comprehensive phytolith analyses on sixteen P. coarctata samples collected from differ...
Article
Full-text available
Integration of palaeobotanical (spores, pollen, phytoliths and non-pollen palynomorphs) and organic geochemical proxies, such as stable isotopes of organic carbon (δ ¹³ C) and n-alkanes, for studying the evolution and palaeoenvironmental conditions of an archaeological site are rare in India. The evolution of a protohistoric-historic site at Erenda...
Article
Although Asia shows moderate species richness of mulberry (Morus L.) today, unfortunately no mulberry fossil has been reported from the Cenozoic sediments of this continent to date. Here, we report for the first time the occurrence of leaf remains (both impression and compression) having similarity with modern leaves of Morus from the early Eocene...
Article
Fabaceae, presently a significant dominant taxon of the tropical vegetation of India, has been recognized as the most widespread and common component of Indian Cenozoic flora and known from numerous fossil woods, leaflets, pollen, and fruits. However, unfortunately no fossil legume flower has been reported from the Cenozoic sediments of India so fa...
Article
Albizia, a diverse tree genus, occupies monsoonal warm, humid rain forests in tropical and subtropical regions. We recovered a well-preserved compound fossil leaf and two fossil fruits of Albizia (Fabaceae) from the latest Neogene (Rajdanda Formation: Pliocene) sediments of Jharkhand of Chotanagpur Plateau, eastern India. On the basis of the archit...
Article
Although presently indigenous to eastern Himalaya in India, no Engelhardioideae have been reported from the Cenozoic sediments of India till date. Here, we report the first Indian occurrence of a characteristic engelhardioid winged samaroid fruit having a tri‐lobed wing (oblong‐ovate shaped median lobe and two lateral lobes) and a globose nut from...
Article
Full-text available
Detailed pollen morphological account of four species of Maesa Forssk. (Primulaceae) [M. chisia, M. indica, M. macrophylla, M. rugosa] from Darjeeling Himalaya and its possible taxonomic implications have been investigated using light (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The pollen grains are 3-zonocolporate with reticulate exine having pro...
Article
After India separated from Gondwana, its 9000 km northward voyage from the Southern Hemisphere to its modern position joined with Eurasia took 160 million years. During that journey, India experienced a range of climatic conditions due to secular climate variations and its changing latitudinal position. Documenting India's climate during its trans-...
Article
To assess the pattern of climatic evolution during the late Miocene to early Pleistocene in the largest fluvio-deltaic sedimentary system on the Earth, the Bengal Basin (BB), a quantitative palaeoclimatic reconstruction was made, based on 20 fossil wood floras. Those floras show that moisture-loving taxa have decreased considerably since the Miocen...
Article
Full-text available
Dipterocarpaceae, a tropical plant family that forms a major component of low-lying rainforests in Southeast Asia, is represented by a large number of fossils from the Cenozoic sedimentary successions of India, but the origin and antiquity of this family has been actively debated. The earliest reliable dipterocarp megafossils so far reported in Ind...
Article
Here, we describe a new impressed palm frond from the latest Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous)-earliest Danian (early Palaeocene) sediments of the Deccan Intertrappean beds of Madhya Pradesh, Central India. The diagnostic characters of the recovered fossil specimen are large palmate fan-shaped leaf with well-preserved long costa (costapalmate), plica...
Article
Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn., a large evergreen tree, shows massive flowering during spring season (March–April). The floral characteristics with deep seated nectar having high sugar concentration serve this plant as an important pollen and nectar source for Apis bees. The inflorescences with clusters of flowers of this plant provide an e...
Article
Full-text available
A well-preserved fossil dragonfly (Odonata: Anisoptera) recovered from the late Neogene sediments of the Chotanagpur plateau, Jharkhand, eastern India.
Article
Past climate reconstructions from palaeoecological records require an understanding of relationships between modern vegetation and climate. Phytoliths are being used widely to reconstruct variations in C3/C4 grasses in the past vegetation and corresponding climate. However, little understanding is available on their relationships with the climate d...
Article
Past climate reconstructions from palaeoecological records require an understanding of relationships between modern vegetation and climate. Phytoliths are being used widely to reconstruct variations in C3/C4 grasses in the past vegetation and corresponding climate. However, little understanding is available on their relationships with the climate d...
Article
Here we study a well-preserved petrified palm stem from the latest Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous) to earliest Danian (early Paleocene) sediments (c. 66-65 Ma old) of the Deccan Intertrappean Beds of Madhya Pradesh, Central India. We infer its systematic relationships and relevance to palm evolution. The significant anatomical attributes of the fos...
Article
A compressed fossil fish bearing close resemblance to sub-family Leuciscinae (family: Cyprinidae) is reported from latest Neogene (?Pliocene) sediments of Chotanagpur plateau, eastern India. The recovered fossil fish contains exceptionally well-preserved skeleton. It is characterized by compressed belly, medium-sized head, well-preserved skull, ten...
Article
Silicified fossil legume woods of Cynometroxylon Chowdhury & Ghosh collected from the Neogene (late Miocene) sediments of the Bengal Basin, eastern India, exhibit fungal decay seldom found in the fossil record. The wood possesses numerous perforate areas on the surface that seem to be the result of extensive fungal activity. In transverse section,...
Article
Silicified fossil legume woods of Cynometroxylon Chowdhury & Ghosh collected from the Neogene (late Miocene) sediments of the Bengal Basin, eastern India, exhibit fungal decay seldom found in the fossil record. The wood possesses numerous perforate areas on the surface that seem to be the result of extensive fungal activity. In transverse section,...
Article
Full-text available
In situ preservation of fossil insect damage in plant fossils is an excellent tool to study the coevolution of flora and fauna through geological time, but finding both damage and the insect causing that damage in the same specimen is a very rare phenomenon. Galling is a common form of angiosperm leaf damage, which can be regarded as a kind of exte...
Article
Full-text available
A unique kind of fern-insect interaction in the paddy fields of West Bengal, India is described. The interaction was recorded between the floating fern Azolla pinnata R. Br. and a lepidopteran Elophila obliteralis Walker. Azolla balls were found to be floated in the paddy field. Larval phases of the insect made oval 'case' like structures primarily...
Chapter
The collision between the Indian and Asian plates during Cenozoic resulted in the creation of a peripheral foreland basin occurring all along the southern flank of the Himalaya. In this chapter, the broad tectonic framework, chronostratigraphy, climate, dispersal pattern, depositional systems and large-scale paleogeography of the foreland basin are...
Article
A fossil leaf assemblage from latest Neogene (Pliocene) sediments exposed in Jharkhand of Chotonagpur Plateau, eastern India, is subjected to a CLAMP (Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program) analysis using a new high spatial resolution (~1 km2) WorldClim2 gridded climate data and PhysgAsia2 calibration. The CLAMP analysis of 80 different morpho...
Article
Full-text available
Collagens are the most abundant proteins in the animal kingdom. They form the structural framework of connective tissues such as bones, tendons and skin, and play important biomechanical role in supporting tissue functions. The preservation of collagen in deep time is a topic of intense debate. Here we provide indisputable evidence for the presence...
Article
A new petrified palm stem Palmoxylon dindoriensis Khan, Roy et Bera, sp. nov. from the latest Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous)-earliest Danian (early Paleocene) sediments of the Deccan Intertrappean beds of Madhya Pradesh, central India is reported. Sections from different parts of the recovered stem were prepared by using standard thin section tech...
Article
Polar transport of the phytohormone auxin is a well-known physiological phenomenon recorded in different extant plant groups including bryophytes and pteridophytes. Earlier, this phenomenon has been recorded in an Upper Devonian (375 million-year) arborescent progymnosperm, Archaeopteris. Since then further record of such occurrence of polar auxin...
Article
Two hitherto unexplored settlements at Karim Shahi and Vigakot are reported from the uninhabited hyper-arid region of the western Great Rann of Kachchh (GRK), located near southern fringe of Thar Desert, Gujarat, NW India. The archaeological evidence, supported by radiocarbon and optical chronology indicate presence of settlement from the Early Iro...
Article
We report here the occurrence of petrified wood resembling the modern dipterocarp Dryobalanops from the Neogene (late Miocene) of the Bengal Basin, India. We have determined the taxonomic position by comparing its anatomical features with similar extant and fossil specimens and have finally identified this late Miocene wood as Dryobalanoxylon neosu...
Chapter
CenozoicHimalayan foreland basin: an overview and regional perspective of the evolving sedimentary succession Tapan Chakraborty1*, Suchana Taral1, Sandip More2, Subir Bera2 1Geological Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata 700108 2Center of Advanced Study, Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, 700019 *corresponding au...
Article
The pollen morphology of seven species of the genus Bauhinia L. (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioidae) namely Bauhinia acuminate L., B. malabarica Roxb., B. purpurea L., B. scandens L., B. tomentosa L., B. vahlii Wight & Arn. and B. variegata L. from the sub-Himalayan Terai-Duars region of West Bengal was examined with light and scanning electron microscop...
Article
We report the in situ occurrence of a new species of Meliolinites (fossil Meliolaceae, Ascomycota), Meliolinites pliocenicus, on the lower epidermal surface of fossilized angiosperm leaf of Shorea siwalika (Dipterocarpaceae) recovered from the middle Siwalik stratum (Subansiri Formation: Pliocene) of Arunachal sub-Himalaya. This fungal morph is cha...
Article
We report in this article, the in situ occurrence of a new species of Meliolinites (fossil Meliolaceae), Meliolinites neogenicus sp. nov. on the abaxial cuticular surface of fossilized leaf cuticle fragments of the angiosperm Litsea cf. salicifolia Khan et al. (Lauraceae) recovered from the upper part of the Siwalik succession of Neogene sediments...
Article
A new species of permineralized palm stem, Palmoxylon deoriensis Khan, Mandal et Bera, sp. nov. is described from the Late Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous) – Danian (early Paleocene) sediments of the Deccan Intertrappean Beds of Deori village in Dindori District, Madhya Pradesh, Central India. The fossil specimen is a stem, characterized by the pres...
Article
Full-text available
To study the atmospheric moisture transport processes from the source to a receiver region, isotopic analysis of rainwater from Port Blair (as source region), the Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal has been carried out. In addition to the island site, rainwater collected at three sites on the Indian mainland (as receiver region) namely Nagpur, Kolkata,...
Article
A comprehensive morphotaxonomical evaluation of diverse angiospermic dicotyledonous leaf impressions recovered from the middle part of the Siwalik succession (Subansiri Formation: Pliocene) of Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya, India, shows that the leaf remains are comparable to modern Glochidion J. R. Forst. and G. Forst. (Phyllanthaceae), Bauh...
Article
The present article reports the in situ occurrence of a new fossil epiphyllous fungus Vizellopsidites siwalika gen. et sp. nov. on the abaxial cuticular surface of fossilized leaf fragments of the angiosperm Dysoxylum raptiensis Prasad & Awasthi (Meliaceae) from the upper Siwalik sediments (Kimin Formation, late Pliocene to early Pleistocene) of Ar...
Article
Full-text available
The present study reports in situ occurrence of two new fossil epiphyllous fungal species of Phomites (comparable to modern plant pathogen Phoma Sacc.) on different compressed angiospermic leaf remains recovered from the Siwalik sediments (middle Miocene to early Pleistocene) of Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya. Here, we describe two new fungal...
Book
Full-text available
The book entitled Plant Diversity in the Himalaya Hotspot Region (A Volume to Celebrate the Completion of University Service of Dr. Abhaya Prasad Das), edited by two eminent teachers of Plant Science, Prof. Abhaya Prasad Das and Prof. Subir Bera, is an attempt to review the works on flora and vegetation all along the Himalaya Hotspot region and ext...
Article
Information on whether tyloses in fossil angiospermic plants form specifically in response to infestation with pathogenic fungi has been lacking so far, and thus the evolutionary history of tylosis formation as a physical restraint strategy against the advancing fungi remains unresolved. Our study addresses this knowledge lacuna. Carbonized woods w...
Article
Fossil leaf floras, from the latest Miocene-Pliocene Siwalik Group exposed in Bhutan, sub-Himalaya, are subjected to a CLAMP (Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program) analysis using a high-resolution gridded climate calibration. The CLAMP analysis of 27 different morphotypes of fossil leaves indicates a mean annual temperature (MAT) of 24.1 °C ±...
Article
To understand the relationship of phytolith production patterns in regional pteridophytes with elevation dependent climatic variables, and their potential to differentiate vegetation zones of the eastern Himalayan Mountain, we have studied phytolith spectra of 58 pteridophytic species of 22 families from tropical–temperate vegetation belts of Darje...