Fern spikes in pollen sequences represent the initial colonization by pioneer species following massive destruction of vegetation. Here, two fern spikes were recognized in the palynological sequences of MP-1 and HK sections from the Miocene Fotan Formation in Zhangpu County, Fujian Province, Southeast China. Based on the occurrences of fern spikes and the law of vegetation succession, we found that at least two catastrophic events occurred in the study area during the Miocene. The contemporaneous flood basalt volcanism in this region is considered to be the main cause for the devastation of terrestrial plant ecosystem, which was followed by the increased runoff as well as the bloom of Concentricystes (algae) as a result of enhanced nutrient inputs after disturbances. Besides, in comparison with MP-1 section, the fern spike in HK section is characteristic of 1) the higher abundance and diversity in terms of the composition of fern spores, 2) the appearance of fungal spike, 3) the longer time of duration, and 4) the much higher abundance of Concentricystes, suggesting that the catastrophic event occurred during the deposition of HK section is more severe than that recorded by MP-1 section.
Nihewan Basin in North China is endowed with “the Olduvai Gorge in East Asia”. Both basins have a similar geological evolution with well-developed fluvial and lacustrine deposits, rich fossils and a large number of remains of early humans. Undoubtedly, it is a key area to study the changes of habitats of early humans in East Asia .Compiling the literatures, we sketched the changes in vegetation, climate and early human habitats in the Nihewan Basin since the late Pliocene and noticed that the first vegetation shift from broad-leaved forest to coniferous forest occurred at ~2.6 Ma (Mega annum); the second important change of vegetation succession occurred at about 1.92 Ma. After that time, the vegetation was mainly temperate forest-steppe (covering Pinus, Artemisia, Chenopodiaceae) / temperate steppe (mainly Artemisia and Poaceae). By comparison, it is found that the vegetation change from forest to forest-steppe appeared gradually from west to central throughout northern China since the late Pliocene. In addition, at least 13 cold-warm cycles and 15 dry-wet cycles were recorded. Significant cold-dry events occurred at 2.8 Ma, 2.6 Ma, 1.92 Ma and 143.8 ka (kilo annum), while humid events took place at 43 ka, 32 ka and 6.6 ka. We believe that reconstructing the habitat changes of early humans in Nihewan is not a dream with the discovery of more and more anthropological remains with the quantitative data of paleoclimate under a refined chronological framework in the future
Artemisia, along with Chenopodiaceae is the dominant component growing in the desert and dry grassland of the Northern Hemisphere. Artemisia pollen with its high productivity, wide distribution, and easy identification, is usually regarded as an eco-indicator for assessing aridity and distinguishing grassland from desert vegetation in terms of the pollen relative abundance ratio of Chenopodiaceae/Artemisia (C/A). Nevertheless, divergent opinions on the degree of aridity evaluated by Artemisia pollen have been circulating in the palynological community for a long time. To solve the conclusion, we first selected 36 species from 9 clades and 3 outgroups of Artemisia based on the phylogenetic framework, which attempts to cover the maximum range of pollen morphological variation. Then, sampling, experiments, photography, and measurements were taken using standard methods. Here, we present pollen datasets containing 4018 original pollen photographs, 7200 statistical pollen morphological traits, information on 30858 source plant occurrences, and corresponding environmental factors. Hierarchical cluster analysis on pollen morphological traits was carried out to subdivide Artemisia pollen into three types. When plotting the three pollen types of Artemisia onto the global terrestrial ecoregions, different pollen types of Artemisia were found to have different habitat ranges. These findings change the traditional concept of Artemisia being restricted to arid and semi-arid environments. The data framework that we designed is open and expandable for new pollen data of Artemisia worldwide. In the future, linking pollen morphology with habitat via these pollen datasets will create additional knowledge that will increase the resolution of the ecological environment in the geological past. The Artemisia pollen datasets are freely available at Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5842909; Lu and Jiao, 2022).
Establishing the relationship between surface pollen assemblages and related modern vegetation provides a bridge for reconstructing the palaeo-vegetation succession and related climate changes. Numerous contributions have demonstrated an inconsistency between the relative abundance values of surface pollen assemblages and corresponding modern vegetation for some taxa, which is attributed to differences in their pollen production, dispersal mode and preservation potential. Consequently, the concept of R-value was introduced as a correction coefficient to counterbalance this discrepancy. Unlike most of the complex forest and grassland ecosystems, desert vegetation with fewer dominant taxa provides a simpler model to demonstrate how to use the R-value to correct this deviation. Here, we propose a scheme of R rel median values from modern desert vegetation types based on calculated R and R rel adjustment coefficients of the dominant taxa using surface pollen and related modern vegetation data from 145 sample plots along an east-west desert transect in the eastern arid central Asia (ACA). These data revealed that 1) taking Nitraria as a reference, Chenopodiaceae, Artemisia and Ephedra are highly represented, while Tamaricaceae, Zygophyllaceae, Asteraceae (excluding Artemisia), Calligonum and Poaceae are poorly represented. 2) the pollen representation was constrained by their pollination strategies. For example, anemophilous plants (e.g., Ephedra, Artemisia and Chenopodiaceae) are mostly over-represented, while those of entomophilous taxa (e.g., Nitraria, Tamaricaceae, Zygophyllaceae and Calligonum) are under-represented. The scheme and findings mentioned above cast a new light on the future of quantitative reconstruction of palaeo-vegetation succession in the ACA.
This paper presents a biostratigraphic study of upper Miocene to lower Pliocene sedimentary successions from SE Romania based on palynological and micropalaeontological analyses integrated with geophysical wireline log profiles. The data derive from five wells drilled in an area of the Dacian Basin where no previous biostratigraphic data are available. A detailed correlative framework of palynological datums for the studied interval is proposed, which complements and supplements the ostracod and mollusc-based biostratigraphy traditionally used for age determination in the Neogene of the Dacian Basin. Interpretation of the microfossil assemblages in terms of depositional environments enables correlation of the recorded bioevents with regional palaeoenvironmental changes recognised in more marginal areas of the Dacian Basin. Two major marine incursions into the basin are represented by influxes of the benthonic foraminifer Ammonia beccarii and used to define the Khersonian - Meotian and the Meotian - Pontian boundaries. Between these two transgressions, the Meotian is interpreted as a period with at least a certain degree of marine influence. The occurrence of dinocyst taxa usually found in Mediterranean and Atlantic records suggests a connection between Paratethys and the Mediterranean, which probably occurred via the Black Sea. After the Meotian - Pontian marine flooding, a diverse endemic microflora derived from the Pannonian Basin is first recorded in the lower Pontian succession. The signature of a reduction in water level during the middle Pontian within the study area is interpreted to be represented in the successions by an interval dominated by distinctive sand units. The endemic Pannonian dinocysts experienced a significant increase in abundance in the late Pontian, indicating the development of brackish conditions and a water level rise during this period. Due to the absence of foraminifera, or any other indicator of marine conditions, it is probable that this water level rise was related to a positive hydrological balance, as suggested in the Focşani region. The Pontian-Dacian boundary is determined by a transition from brackish to fresh depositional environments, which is associated with a change in the microfloras and the first occurrence of coal layers.
The deposits of the As Pontes Basin in north-west Spain yield extraordinarily well-preserved microfloral assemblages that have unmatched diversity within the European Oligocene. The comprehensive examination of 300 miospore taxa has led to the discovery of two new fossil pollen genera, Eucommiopsispollenites gen. nov. and Pistaciapollenites gen. nov., as well as seven new species: Eucommiopsispollenites compactus sp. nov., Eucommiopsispollenites gracilis sp. nov., Nymphaeapollenites asponticus sp. nov., Nymphaeapollenites perforatus sp. nov., Pistaciapollenites heteroporatus sp. nov., Punctilongisulcites cryptornatus sp. nov. and Symplocoipollenites diktyotos sp. nov. Moreover, the botanical affinity and geographic distribution of 13 additional species of particular interest are discussed in detail, because these are either recorded for the first time anywhere within the Paleogene (Lythraceaepollenites bavaricus, Myrtaceidites myrtiformis, Punctilongisulcites punctiechinatus, Rhuspollenites ornatus and Vitispollenites tener), in the Iberian Peninsula (Aglaoreidia pristina, Diospyrospollenites ovalis, Pseudospinaepollis pseudospinosus, Reevesiapollis reticulatus and Tricolporopollenites vancampoae), or are studied for the first time using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (Pentapollenites regulatius, Polycolpites helmstedtensis and Triporopollenites robustus). SEM analysis has enabled the conclusive botanical assignment of two species: Polycolpites helmstedtensis, with affinity to the extant tropical genus Eriandra, and Triporopollenites robustus, related to Myricaceae. In view of these affinities, new combinations are proposed accordingly: Polygalacidites helmstedtensis comb. nov. and Myricipites robustus comb. nov. The results of this study carry significant biostratigraphic and palaeobiogeographic implications at a regional and wider, continental scale. Firstly, the similarities of the As Pontes microflora with other Oligocene assemblages located various thousands of kilometres apart indicates the spread of a relatively homogenous broadleaved evergreen flora in Europe and allows for the recognition of Myricipites robustus and the genus Pentapollenites as key biostratigraphic index taxa across the continent. Secondly, the last occurrence datums of thermophilous taxa that became extinct in the Eocene in more northern latitudes indicates that the Iberian Peninsula functioned as a refuge area for thermic vegetation at least since the early Oligocene.
In this paper we review the fragmentary fossil pollen record of Hamamelidaceae which extends back to the middle Eocene until the Early Pleistocene in the Iberian Peninsula. Records of fossil palynomorphs related to Hamamelidaceae are very scarce in the European Cenozoic, in part due to difficulty in confident identification at a generic or even familial rank. The present review contributes to improving the accuracy of identification of Cenozoic Hamamelidaceae in standard palynological studies, which should help trace its poorly understood fossil and evolutionary history. The review of all published Iberian records indicates a considerable generic diversity. At least four genera can be confidently identified. The examination of new material from the Oligocene of north-west Spain has led to the formal description of three new fossil pollen genera that are related to extant genera currently restricted geographically to Asia: Disanthuspollenites, Embolantherapollenites and Parrotiapollenites. Based on SEM analysis, a new combination of the fossil species Tricolpopollenites indeterminatus, traditionally used to designate fossil pollen related to Hamamelidaceae in Europe, is proposed. Additionally, we discuss the occurrence of pollen forms that can be tentatively attributed to Corylopsis and Fothergilla.
Download a free copy using this link: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/SC2RXGHW88QRFGJVE9AB/full?target=10.1080/01916122.2021.2023057 Abstract A palynological investigation was carried out on 24 samples from the Oligocene Dabaa Formation, which cuts across the Amana-1X well, located in the Abu El Gharadig Basin, north Western Desert, Egypt. Palynological evidence presented here suggests an early Oligocene age for the studied Dabaa Formation. In addition, the palynological assemblages provide supplementary evidence for depositional environments. They are generally indicative of outer-shelf to upper slope environment under oxic to anoxic conditions for the lower part of the studied Dabaa Formation, but infrequent occurrences of more diverse assemblages suggest an inner neritic marine environment for strata at some levels in the upper part of the studied section. It was during the Oligocene that marked floral changes leading to the development of modern plant associations began such as temperate deciduous forests (with e.g., Acer and Betulaceae) which expanded greatly in the mid latitudes. A distinctive vegetational pattern could be outlined within the deposition of the Dabaa Formation. This pattern includes mangroves represented by taxa such as Zonocostites ramonae, Psilatricolporites crassus and Verrucatosporites usmensis. Another considerably different association with plenty of the freshwater algae Botryococcus and Pediastrum spp. at this level or tropical forests at slightly elevated altitudes (ever wet climate) are dominated by a variety of tropical forest taxa including Malvaceae and Striatricolpites, together with Retitricolporites irregularis, Psilatricolporites operculatus, Retibrevitricolporites ibadanensis, Retitricolporites spp. and Psilamonocolpites spp. in addition to ferns and tree ferns where tropical floras dominate. Also recognized are elements of savanna or open woodland (less humid climate) taxa like Poaceae pollen (grass) such as Monoporopollenites annulatus associated with Amaranthaceae (e.g., Chenopodipollis multiplex), Cyperaceae spp., Echiperiporites estelae, Proteacidites cooksonii, Cicatricosisporites dorogensis and Pteris. Finally, the montane ecosystems may have occurred at the slopes of mountains including rare pollen assigned to Sapotaceae (Psilastephanocolporites spp.) and Anacardiaceae (Retitricolpites simplex) which are probably part of the palynoflora due to long-distance transport.
Charcoal remains and bulk lignites collected from the late Pliocene Jinsuo Basin in Yunnan, southwestern China, have been studied to reveal changes in the wildfire regime related to changes of the palaeoenvironment, palaeoclimate, and paleobotany. Different types of wildfire occurred in this paleomire with a predominance of low-temperature surface fires, as indicated by mean inertinite reflectance (Ro) values ranging from 1% to 2% in most samples. High-temperature fires are less recorded and occurred more frequently in dark layers compared with pale layers and charcoal layers, as deduced from the elevated proportion of high Ro values (>3%) produced by crown fires or high-temperature surface fires. Wildfire distribution in pale and dark layers was probably influenced by, changes of both plant community and of the depositional environment during their formation. Charcoal layers represent in situ surface and ground fires, whereas pale and dark layers probably record both in situ and remote fire events inside and/or around the basin. PAH were detected in all samples throughout the whole lignite seam, indicating that burning temperatures were low (<400 °C) in most cases in the peatland. Evidence of pre-charring decay observed in some macro-charcoal fragments and pyrogenic inertinite, along with the relatively high content of perylene, shows that decaying wood materials could be a part of the source fuel for the combustion during ground or surface fires. The occurrence and spread of wildfires in the basin during the formation of pale layers probably owe to the drought conditions driven by climate, whereas seasonality of precipitation and temperature was probably the major factor for the occurrence of wildfires recorded from dark layers. The distribution of wildfires within the profile may be relate to climate changes during the mid-Piacenzian.
Macro-charcoal from late Eocene–late Oligocene deposits of the Neuwied Basin in W-Germany provides evidence for the occurrence of palaeo-wildfires in three different time-slices in this region. (Par-)Autochthonous macro-charcoal from lignites of the late Eocene Bubenheim Formation of the locality Koblenz-Metternich can best be compared to the genus Doliostroboxylon Dolezych, the wood of the extinct conifer genus Doliostrobus Marion. Small, unidentifiable charcoal fragments from the early Oligocene Maifeld Formation of the locality Kärlich have been discovered in limnic/brackish deposits. Due to the small size of the fragments, as well as their general bad preservation it is not possible to provide any meaningful interpretation of the source vegetation. Macro-charcoal from a lignitic lens within the late Oligocene Kärlich Formation of the locality Koblenz-Schmidtenhöhe can be assigned to taxodioid? Cupressaceae. Like other late Oligocene charcoals assigned to this plant group from the nearby Westerwald region, these remains exhibit marked growth rings, pointing to some kind of seasonality. These findings, together with previous records of charcoal from adjacent areas, demonstrate that wildfires, an important source of disturbance in terrestrial ecosystems since the late Silurian, were part of late Eocene to late Oligocene ecosystems in the Neuwied Basin and/or its direct vicinity.
The aim of this work is to study the palynology of deposits attributed to the Pliocene in the Portuguese Atlantic Occidental margin; characterize the history of vegetation; obtain information about the evolution of climatic conditions and contribute to the chronostragraphic knowledge of the different units. Ten different geographical localities were selected, 186 samples were collected and studied: S. Pedro da Torre, Anadia, Monsarros, Barracão, Vale do Freixo, Praia da Vitória, Óbidos, Rio Maior, Belverde and Apostiça. A total of 76 535 palynomorphs were counted. The palynological analysis shows a complex flora comprising 189 taxa, including 22 types of spores, 12 types of pollens of gymnosperms, 144 forms of angiosperms and 11 forms of dinoflagellate cysts. When possible, all the forms were identified until the genus level. Most of the same pollen grain were observed under optical and electronic microscopy. Consequently it was possible, for the first time, to identify new important climatic and environmental indicators taxa such as Craigia, Trigonobalanopsis (extinct in Zanclean in various regions of the Meditterarean), Diplopanax (extinct in diverse places in Central Europe in the upper Miocene), Leitneria and Zanthoxylum, amongst others and never before found in the Pliocene of Portugal. For all the places afore mentioned, the floristic association was characterised and the evolution of the palynological content was studied. The analysis of the sedimentological, litostratigraphy, paleomagnetostratigraphy, geochemical and climatic data, allows us to propose a new cronostragraphic framework for the deposits. A new cronostragraphic proposal is possible for the Rio Maior diatomites which are assigned to Piacenzian, and to the Gelasian top. The palynological content allows us to establish correlations between the differente localities, mainly corresponding to the upper Pliocene. The obtained data allows us to discern the climatic and paleoenvironmental taxa which paramount in the north western Portuguese margins during the Pliocene. It was also observed that the Piacenzian flora contained relatively warm and humid climate taxa developed in subtropical–warm temperatures and wet climates. On the top, the thermophile elements became rare and disappeared progressively, having been substituted by temperate elements. These results suggest that there was a climatic deterioration in the Upper Pliocene. It was not possible to clearly understand the development of the Mediterranean vegetation or to register the development of the Artemisia prairies. This may be due to the fact that the Atlantic Ocean has always had a very important role in the vegetation of the western margin, as is still observed nowadays. http://hdl.handle.net/1822/9190
The section of São Pedro da Torre (NW Portugal) is relevant because its rich pollen content, chronologically correlated to the late Pliocene assemblages of the reference section of Rio Maior. The purpose of this study was to carry out, for the first time in the area, a taxonomic analysis of the carpological remains and integrate the results with those of the previous palynological studies. Our carpological analysis pointed out several taxa not recorded previously in the area, mostly belonging to genera extirpated from Europe, such as Azolla cf. aspera, Hypericum tertiaerum, Itea europaea, Eurya stigmosa, Proserpinaca reticulata, Symplocos casparyi, Symplocos germanica and Tetraclinis salicornioides. This taxonomic composition was only detected in Piacenzian deposits from Italy, the area of southern Europe where the chronological sequence of fruit and seed assemblages is less discontinuous. For most of these taxa the occurrence at São Pedro da Torre constitutes a westward extension of the distribution during Neogene. Symplocos germanica occurs for the first time in the Pliocene and is recorded much more westwards and southwards than previously known. The integrated plant record shades light on the vegetation, paleoenvironments and plant extirpation patterns throughout the Pliocene in the Iberian Peninsula. Although limited, the results from this contribution are intended to stimulate the search for fruit and seed assemblages in Portugal as well as in similar poorly studied areas, where Pliocene successions keep a future potentiality in documenting further the late occurrences in Europe of extirpated plant taxa, which are relevant for paleoclimatic and biogeographic reconstructions.
The paper presents results of a palaeobotanical investigation of the borehole core Komorniki 97/72 from the Ruja lignite deposit, Lower Silesia. In the deposit lignites of three (2nd Lusatian, 2nd A Lubin, and 1st mid-Polish) middle Miocene groups of seams are present. The lignites of the 1st and 2nd groups are important correlation horizons throughout much of the Polish Lowlands and eastern Germany. The results of the palynological studies (spore–pollen, algae and fungi) and plant macroremains studies show that during the mid-Miocene mires' development, the vegetation was characteristic of wetlands (i.e., swamp and riparian forests, shrub bogs, and reed marshes) as well as mesophytic forests. The results were also used for palaeoclimatic investigation. The mean annual temperature (MAT), for each of the three sections, based on the coexistence approach (CA) method, was estimated in the range of 15.7–17.8 °C. Nevertheless, the frequency of thermophilous (palaeotropical and palaeotropical/warm-temperate) taxa indicate climate changes during the formation of the studied sediments. Composition of the spore–pollen spectra from the 2nd Lusatian seam (i.e., the presence of Meliaceae and Sapotaceae, which currently have pantropical distribution) show that the climate was humid and warm, close to subtropical. Later, many palaeotropical taxa disappeared, and the composition of the spore–pollen spectra indicates a warm temperate climate with slight fluctuations. Above the 1st mid-Polish seam, the climatic conditions changed in a way that did not favor the further formation of lignite deposits. These results correspond with the current understanding of climate change in the middle Miocene in Europe.
The Hengduan Mountains region (HMR) on southeastern Tibetan Plateau, supports a high diversity of herbs, particularly in its subalpine to alpine ecosystems due to high altitude and cool temperate climate. Current understandings on the formation of such herbaceous richness is based chiefly on molecular phylogenies, while direct geological evidence is lacking because herbs are rarely preserved as macroscopic fossils. In this study, we present abundant fossil fruits and seeds of herbs from the late Pliocene Heqing Basin in the southern HMR. Our systematic analysis shows the presence of at least 18 species belonging to 11 genera, i.e., Ranunculus, Corydalis, Rumex, Polygonum, Chenopodium, Stellaria, Fragaria, Astragalus, Aster, Carex and Schoenoplectus, of which Polygonum is most abundant followed by Astragalus. This finding throws the first light from fossil evidence on the rise of herbaceous diversity in the region. We interpret the local assembly of these herbs as resulting from rapid pre‐Pliocene species diversifications of many herbaceous groups in HMR. As nowadays most of these herbs grow primarily in meadows and a few occur as subaquatic plants, we suggest an open meadow hosting some scattered shrubs in the vicinity of a vegetated wetland in the Heqing Basin during the late Pliocene. This provides the first direct evidence of past treeless open vegetation within the HMR and thus improves our knowledge of vegetation evolution in the region. We suggest that the uplift‐induced climate cooling and monsoon‐associated precipitation seasonality are potentially the key driving forces for the opening of meadow vegetation in the HMR. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Sambucus L. (Adoxaceae) has a rich fossil record with a major concentration in Europe and North Asia but a scarcity in relatively low latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Herein, we report fossil endocarps of the genus from the late Pliocene Heqing Basin of northwestern Yunnan, South China, which are assigned to two species, namely S. alveolatisemina and S. heqingensis Huang et Zhou sp. nov. Sambucus alveolatisemina has been formerly described from the similar geological horizon of the nearby Lanping Basin in northwestern Yunnan and possibly represents the fossil equivalent of S. adnata, an extant species commonly seen in this and neighboring regions. Sambucus heqingensis is newly erected due to its exceptionally slender endocarp shape together with the irregularly ridged endocarp surface and straight lateral margins. Our fossil discovery, in combination with the two fossil taxa from the late Pliocene Lanping Basin, suggests that the diversity of Sambucus might have risen in South China by the late Pliocene. We conclude that, as compared to Europe and North Asia, the distribution and diversification of the genus in South China with much lower latitudes is likely to be a recent event. This can be properly explained by the fact that Sambucus is generally a temperate element while the climate in South China in prior to the Pliocene might be too warm for its inhabitation. We propose a hypothesis that the colonization and diversification of the genus in other low-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere might have been similarly late in time.
West Georgia is part of the Caucasus biodiversity hotspot and hosts the Colchic vegetation, a ‘Tertiary’ refuge, with many endemic and relic species. Based on fossil pollen records from 21 localities in west Georgia quantitative climate reconstruction has been carried out covering the Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene periods. Further, major shifts in vegetation have been unraveled using the biomization procedure. The obtained results were compared to global climate patterns and generally matched the late Neogene cooling trend as well as the subsequent cooling during the Pleistocene. However, the decrease in temperature in west Georgia was not accompanied by an increase in seasonality during the Mio- and Pliocene and no significant decrease in precipitation was observed. Climate stayed overall humid and mean annual temperatures never dropped significantly beneath modern values. These findings show that regional influences, like the buffering effect of the presence of the Paratethys and its remnants, modulated the climate in west Georgia. Even more importantly, since the Early Pleistocene the uplift of the Caucasus mountain range counteracts global climatic changes. This unique interplay of global climate and regional tectonic effects led to favorable climatic conditions for the development of the Colchic vegetation refuge.
In der vorliegenden Arbeit beschreiben wir das Sekundär xylem eines fossilen Holzes aus den pliozänen Schichten, die in einem Krater see in Ruppach-Gold hausen im Wester wald (Rhein land-Pfalz, SW-Deutsch land) ab ge lagert wur-den. Das Exemplar ist lignitisiert und wurde auf grund seiner anatomischen Merk male als cf. Cupressin oxylon klas-sifiziert. Dies ist die erste Be schrei bung eines fossilen Holzes aus den Schichten dieses Paläo sees, welches uns neue In for ma tionen über die Paläo vegetation in der Umgebung des Sees während des Pliozäns liefert. Abstract Fossil Cupressacean wood from the Pliocene crater lake at Ruppach-Goldhausen (Westerwald, Rhineland-Palatinate, SW Germany) Here we describe the secondary xylem of a wood fossil, which was recovered from the Pliocene strata deposited within a crater lake at Ruppach-Gold hausen in the Wester wald (Rhine land-Palatinate, south western Germany). The lignified specimen was assigned to cf. Cupressinoxylon based on its set of anatomical characteristics. This is the first description of a wood fossil from the strata deposited in this palaeo-lake, providing new information about the palaeo-vegetation that grew in this region during the Pliocene.
The rise of the Himalayas governed the Indian Summer Monsoon in Karewa basin during Plio-Pleistocene. A palynological study is presented to delineate the climate-vegetation relationship using an 8.5-m thick fluvio-lacustrine sequence of the Hirpur Formation (2.4–2.1 Ma). Our results suggest that the sediment sequence is mainly comprised of two units, namely, Unit 1 and Unit 2. Unit 1 shows the dominance of sub-tropical to broad-leaf temperate vegetation when mean annual temperature (MAT) was ~17°C and mean annual precipitation (MAP) was 1025 mm. The subsequent increase in sand followed by a thin lignite layer with Trapa megafossil (fruits) demarcates fluvial adjustments, suggesting a low altitude fluvio-lacustrine ecosystem. Conversely, Unit 2 shows a decline in rainforest pollen with a steady increase in conifers. The abrupt dominance of diatom species Tetracyclus lacustris and related species with MAT and MAP reducing to 10°C and 770 mm reveal a colder climate with the lacustrine ecosystem. This change of tropical to cool temperate vegetation could be attributed to the altitudinal rise of the Pir Panjal Mountains and consequent obstruction of the south-west monsoon, which resulted in lower precipitation and temperature during ~2.4–2.1 Ma. Hence, the relic tropical flora of Palaeogene/Neogene transformed to Himalayan temperate flora sometime ~2.1 Ma.
New fossil material from the Pernik Coal Basin (W Bulgaria) has been investigated. The flora-bearing sediments of this Basin are dated as late Oligocene-early Miocene. The macro-fossil material, which represents mainly leaf imprints , was collected from the three open-cast mines in the territory of Pernik-Bela Voda, Republika and Teva. Thirty-seven taxa have been identified, 17 of which are new to the Pernik Coal Basin. The taxa Celtis trachytica, Cyperus aff. glaber, Viburnum aff. rhytidophyllum are new for the Bulgarian fossil flora. The total number of taxa identified by macrofossils that are known so far and that we have determined reaches fifty-four. Palynological samples originate from Teva open-cast mine. Of these, 74 taxa have been identified and 53 of them are new to the site. The highest taxonomic diversity is due to the families Juglandaceae, Fagaceae, Betulaceae, Pinaceae. Taxodioid pollen is most common in pollen spectra with highest quantitative values, followed by Alnus, Myricaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae, Pinaceae. The palaeoflora from the Pernik Basin reflects the period of transition and transformation of the flora of the Balkan Peninsula from palaeotropical to the arctotertiary type. The reduction of palaeotropic elements and preserving 1562 some of them in refugia was a main tendency, together with the simultaneous increasing of the role of arctotertiary species in the structure of the vegetation. The climate of the late Oligocene could be described as humid warm temperate one.
The present paper provides new data about genus Carpinus in Cenozoic sediments in Bulgaria. A summary of the available data is also presented. We focus our study on the macro-remains recorded as bract imprints. The available data for fossil bract imprints are very limited and cover a short interval of time: from the Middle Miocene to the Late Pliocene. Since the taxonomic information from these fossils is more accurate, it is worth paying more attention to it. The evidence for this genus is in the state of fossilised nutlets and it is quite limited. Both previously known and new data from the site located nearby the village of Satovcha were presented and discussed. New taxon for the Bulgarian fossil flora was determined, namely Carpinus aff. pubescens. In addition, a taxonomic revision of the bracts previously assigned to genus Carpinus was completed. The revised material was referred to the fern of genus Rumohra (Dryopteridaceae). The leaf imprints of the genus Carpinus are widespread in the local Ceno-zoic palaeofloras of Bulgaria. Their stratigraphic distribution ranges from the Lower Oligocene to the Upper Pliocene. Only two species have been identified by carpoids and they have a common Middle-Upper Miocene stratigraphic range. Thus the new data provides an additional information on the fossil history of the Carpinus in the Cenozoic of Bulgaria. This study is a contribution to the NECLIME programme. Our gratitude goes to the bilateral projects DNTS-Slovakia 01/13, NSF, Bulgaria/SRDA SK-BG-2013-0028 Slovak Republic, and SRDA/APVV-15-0575 project for the provided financial support.
The collision between India and Eurasia in the mid‐Palaeogene facilitated terrestrial floristic exchange. However, due to the complexity of this geological event and scarcity of fossil record, the plant migration patterns between the two plates are still highly debated. In this study, we focus on the Oligocene floristic exchange between India and Pan‐Indochina mainly based on a carpological study of Annonaceae, an emblematic family unique in its pantropical distribution and frugivore‐based dispersal strategy. A new seed species, Anonaspermum orientalis sp. nov., is described from the upper Oligocene Yongning Formation of Guangxi, southern China. The species represents the earliest known occurrence of this family in Pan‐Indochina. The specimens are characterized by ovate–elliptic seed shape, thicker seed testa, two‐lobed organization, lamelliform rumination and an obvious cone‐like plug. The palaeobiogeographical reconstruction of Annonaceae indicates that the most parsimonious dispersal scenario for the annonaceous taxon from the late Oligocene of China is the Out‐of‐India route, in parallel with other plant genera inferred to have migrated between India and Pan‐Indochina during that period.
Pollen micromorphology provides one of the only morphological features characterising the phylogenetic lineages in oaks; therefore it is of great potential in understanding oak diversity in the geological past. In the present study, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations were made on the late Neogene pollen flora recovered from the well-known Gray Fossil Site in Tennessee, southeast United States. Four pollen types were recognised in the light of details of pollen tectum sculpturing, which are assigned to the white or the red oaks. These taxa were morphologically compared with those of modern oaks in the region. The presence of at least four pollen types of oaks further confirms the diverse and dynamic oak-hickory forest in southern Appalachian during the late Neogene. Furthermore, such a high diversity of oak pollen types indicates that the ancient oak-hickory forest must have sustained a late Neogene biota highly comparable to that of the modern ecosystem in southeast United States.
The study of pollen spectra mirrors the evolution of landscape and climatic changes in the northwestern part of Central Paratethys domain during the regional stages Karpatian–Badenian (Late Burdigalian–Langhian to Early Serravalian; NN4‐NN6 biozone). This interval includes the Miocene climatic optimum (MCO) and the Miocene climatic transition (MCT) at 14.8–12.0 Ma. Here we study the pollen record from marine strata in eight wells and sections (Hevlín, Slup, Medlov, Iváň, Lomnice, Židlochovice, Baden Soos, and Devínska Nová Ves) including a total of 92 samples. The standard pollen diagrams are simultaneously analysed using the Palaeotropical/Arctotertiary concept (P/A), synthesized diagrams, coexistence approach, and a technique allowing to reconstruct diversity of plant functional types in order to unravel climate changes and their impact on the biosphere. Warmest climate conditions supporting a diverse, thermophilous mixed mesophytic forest vegetation with a high proportion of broadleaved evergreen PFTs persisted in the neighbouring continental parts during the Karpatian to Early Badenian (NN4‐NN5 biozone) representing the MCO. Evidence for the MTC and subsequent cooling (NN5 and NN6 at ca. 14 Ma) comes from lower percentages of thermophilous and evergreen elements and higher diversity of deciduous PFTs in the ecospectra (Devínska Nová Ves, NN6 biozone). Inferred annual precipitation rates above 800 mm and the almost continuous presence subtropical swamp tree pollen point to the persistence of overall humid climate conditions in the study area. Reconstructed precipitation data and the presence of drought‐tolerant plant functional types (PFTs) point to a seasonal climate. The studied records partly show shorter term cyclic changes in climate and plant diversity related to glacial events in the Langhian. Using the proportion of broadleaved evergreen versus broadleaved deciduous tree diversity as indicator for temperature changes, several alternations of warmer and cooler phases are obvious from the record. Moreover, sedimentary facies plays an important role for quality and resolution of terrestrial signals in marine strata.
The Hengduan Mountains of Southwest China are considered the most biologically diverse temperate ecosystem in the world. Here, we present a ~ 10,000-year pollen record from Shuanghaizi Lake, northwestern Yunnan, which we use to reconstruct vegetation dynamics, climatic fluctuations and variability in the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM). The results suggest that, between 10,000 and 7900 cal. yr BP, vegetation comprised mainly mixed needle-and broad-leaved forest (mostly Abies, Pinus, Quercus, and Salix), indicating a warm and humid climate, corresponding to a strong ISM. From 7900 to 6900 cal. yr BP, the mixed needle-and broad-leaved forest persisted, while an increase in Abies pollen and decrease in pollen of Pinus and Salix implies a reduction in temperature and precipitation, suggesting a slightly weaker ISM than in the preceding phase. Between 6900 and 2400 cal. yr BP, an expansion of Pinus and Quercus in mixed needle-and broad-leaved forest, together with the first occurrence of the aquatic Potamogeton, suggest a warmer and more humid climate, likely due to the strengthening monsoon, consistent with the Holocene climatic optimum. From 2400 to 970 cal. yr BP, the vegetation shifted to needle-leaved forest with sparse patches of broad-leaved forest, concurrent with a weakening ISM through the middle of this period. During the first half of the period covering 970 to 470 cal. yr BP, Abies and Picea increased and we inferred the lowest temperature and precipitation of the whole study, implying the weakest ISM. In the middle of this period, an expansion of broad-leaved trees including Quercus, Alnus, Betula and Castanopsis plus diverse herbaceous plants suggests that the climate developed towards warmer and more humid conditions, in agreement with a gradual intensification of the ISM. After 470 cal. yr BP, the vegetation became dominated by needle-leaved forest and most broad-leaved elements became intermittent. Although the climate was generally cool and dry in this period, temperature and precipitation gradually increased compared with the previous stage, indicating a slight intensification of the ISM. These findings provide a more detailed understanding of Holocene vegetation dynamics, climatic change, and the evolution of the palaeomonsoon in the Hengduan Mountains biodiversity hotspot, southwestern China.
added a research item
The Vallès-Penedès Basin in Catalonia (NE Spain) forms a biogeographically important connection between central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. Whereas this is well documented for the late middle and early late Miocene, the early Miocene sequence has received far less attention. New excavations yielded micromammal assemblages from the Ramblian and early Aragonian. Among the euliphotyhplans and metatherian studied, we recognize seven non-soricid species (Amphiperatherium frequens von Meyer, 1846, Galerix symeonidisi Doukas, 1986 and Galerix remmerti van den Hoek Ostende, 2003, Desmanodon daamsi van den Hoek Ostende, 1997, Heterosorex neumayrianus Schlosser, 1887, Chainodus sp., Plesiodimylus sp.) and six species of shrews (Paenelimnoecus sp., Miosorex sp., cf. Clapasorex, cf. Oligosorex, cf. Florinia sp. and Soricinae indet.). They confirm the intermediate position of the Vallès-Penedès also at the time of the older faunas, but show that differences with the Iberian inland were less pronounced. These differences can be explained by higher humidity in the coastal region, as indicated by the presence of dimylids. The differences between this coastal area and inland basin confirm the potential of coastal regions as migration corridors.
In the present article, the establishment of the species Castanopsis: C. bulgarica Man- tzouka, Ivanov, and Bozukov is proposed after the study of a new fagaceous fossil wood stem discovered in 2016 from a new Late Miocene to Early Pliocene plant fos- siliferous locality east of Boboshevo town, south-west Bulgaria. A detailed pal- aeoxylotomical study of the fossil wood revealed characteristics of the ‘evergreen Quercus type’ (e.g. the gradual porosity of the vessels, the existence of two types of rays: uniseriate and multiseriate aggregate, the oval shape of the solitary vessels out- line, the occurrence of tracheids) as well as heterocellular compound-aggregate rays, typical for Castanopsis. Similarities and differences of the anatomical characteristics/ features of the studied specimen with the descriptions of the fossil representatives of Fagaceae (Quercoxylon, Lithocarpoxylon, and Castanopsis) along with its botanical affinities are discussed. A taxonomic list of the Bulgarian fossil fagaceous record of the same age and their nearest living relatives is provided. Emended xylotomical keys with the addition of Castanopsis have been created. Moreover, the presence of ever- green Castanopsis species with heterocellular rays of two distinct sizes in the fossil record of the ‘evergreen oak woods’ is supported.
The palynomorphology of 19 modern species of the genus Quercus L. native to Armenia and adjacent regions, including the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, the Mediterranean region (especially Turkey), as well as Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, was studied using light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The work revealed two main types of apertures (3-zonocolpate, 3-zonocolp-porate) as well as six morphological types of pollen based on three main types of exine ornamentation (tuberculate, verrucate, rugulate). We suggest that two main groups of exine ornamentation developed from a common initial type. The first group covers all species of the subgenus Quercus and also Q. suber and Q. alnifolia of the subgenus Heterobalanus. The second group is limited to the morphological type Q. ilex (species Q. ilex, Q. coccifera, subgenus Heterobalanus). On the other hand, the presence of widespread interspecific and introgressive hybridization within the genus Quercus indicates an ongoing process of speciation. This also has an effect on pollen features, which are very similar in a number of species but also vary in individual samples even within the same species. The morphological uniformity of the pollen surface (especially for the subgenus Quercus), the presence of islets of secondary sporopollenin on the surface of pollen grains, as well as orbicules in anthers, do not indicate general primitiveness of representatives of this genus but most likely denote a relatively high degree of speciation activity within this group.
The paper provides a list of published post-Miocene flora found in the territory of former Yugoslavia, presenting Pliocene, Pleistocene and sub-recent paleoflora from Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro. The author has listed all the localities and papers she has been able to access. Most of these paleofloras had been researched and published by Pavle Ivanovič Černjavski, formerly a curator of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade. Consequently, a large number of paleofloras discussed in this paper is still kept at this Museum.
Brown coal deposits of the Lower Rhine Basin, northwest Germany, cover the late Burdigalian to Serravallian and most of the Tortonian enabling access to observations of vegetation dynamics during the Miocene Climatic Optimum and Late Miocene Cooling. Based on a total of 500 microfloras sampled from brown coal seams in the Bergheim and Inden open cast mines, structural changes in the vegetation are studied in comparatively stable environments of persisting coastal mires. In order to minimize the impact of local edaphic conditions in the peat bog, the palynomorph record is characterized as diversity using plant functional types (PFTs). In total, 41 herbaceous and arboreal PFTs are assigned to pollen and spores types based on their botanical affinity.The diversity spectra reveal a variable proportion of herbaceous and shrubby PFTs attaining a mean of 30%, in both the middle and late Miocene sample sets. With ca. 70% of the total diversity attributable to arboreal functional types, the peat-forming vegetation of the studied Miocene strata classifies as a swamp forest. The composition of the arboreal fraction shows a long-term declining trend in the proportions of thermophilous evergreen types among broadleaved PFTs following the overall climate cooling throughout the studied time. Conifers became more diverse during the Langhian (ca. 15%, at a mean) and attained a high diversity level of ca. 20% of the total PFT diversity in the Tortonian. The diversity proportions of conifer PFTs among other arboreal components and the composition of the broadleaved angiosperm PFT fraction display a pointed short-term variability that could probably be related to eccentricity cycles when considering the available independent stratigraphic framework. Our results suggest a distinct coupling of the structure of the peat-forming vegetation and continental climate variability in the study area.
Paleogene vegetation changes in Primorye (Far East of Russia) are studied using the Plant Functional Types (PFT) Approach, for the first time applied on the large palaeobotanical records of this region. The palaeobotanical data for this reconstruction are based on the analysis of 30 palynofloras and 24 leaf floras covering the Early Palaeocene to Late Oligocene. The vegetation reconstruction at the level of PFTs in general points to the presence of mesophytic forest vegetation in Primorye throughout the Paleogene. While in the Palaeocene vegetation of Primorye was of temperate deciduous type, warm temperate-mixed evergreen-deciduous forests dominated in the Eocene and Early Oligocene. In the Late Oligocene, the vegetation of Primorye was again primarily deciduous, mixed evergreen-deciduous forests persisted at places. The observed vegetation patterns and their changes through time in many cases can be correlated with spatial climate patterns and the overall continental palaeoclimate evolution, as recently reconstructed from the same palaeobotanical record. The higher-than-present spatial homogeneity of Paleogene vegetation coincides with shallow temperature gradients and a significantly more humid regional rainfall pattern over Primorye during the Paleogene.
Interesting fungal remains were encountered during palynological investigation of the Neogene deposits at the Gray Fossil Site, Washington County, Tennessee, USA. Both Cephalothecoidomyces neogenicus and Trichothyrites cf. padappakarensis are new for the Neogene of North America, while remains of cephalothecoid fungus Cephalothecoidomyces neogenicus G. Worobiec, Neumann & E. Worobiec, fragments of mantle tissue of mycorrhizal Cenococcum and sporocarp of epiphyllous Trichothyrites cf. padappakarensis (Jain & Gupta) Kalgutkar & Jansonius were reported. Remains of mantle tissue of Cenococcum for the fossil state are reported for the first time. The presence of Cephalothecoidomyces, Trichothyrites, and other fungal remains previously reported from the Gray Fossil Site suggest warm and humid palaeoclimatic conditions in the southeast USA during the late Neogene, which is in accordance with data previously obtained from other palaeontological analyses at the Gray Fossil Site.
Integration of isolated parts of fossil plants into one plant is one of the most important goals in the whole-plant reconstruction concept in paleobotany. Three fossil-species, Laria rueminiana (Heer) G. Worobiec & Kvaček (leaves), Reevesia hurnikii Kvaček (the capsule valve of fruit), and Reevesiapollis triangulus (Mamczar) Krutzsch (pollen grains), related to the extant genus Reevesia Lindl, were found in one fossil assemblage in the upper Miocene deposits of the Bełchatów Lignite Mine (central Poland). In early Miocene locality of Bílina, Czech Republic the listed taxa were also accompanied by fossil seeds of Saportaspermum Meyer & Manchester. The co-occurrence of them suggests that they might represent vegetative and reproductive organs of a single biological species. Besides the co-occurrence of these fossil-taxa, the affiliation of the discussed detached fossil plant organs in the whole-plant reconstruction of the Reevesia plant could be indirectly proven using their similar systematic affinities (recent relatives), and the discovery of ex situ pollen aggregations (clumps) of Reevesiapollis triangulus in one of the cuticular slides of leaves of Laria rueminiana. These clumps surely were attached to the surface of the Laria leaf. Similar to the nearest living extant relatives, the Reevesia plant thrived in a warm temperate and humid climate with mild winters (a Cfa climate type according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification) and was usually a component of riparian vegetation also growing in drier, mesophytic plant communities.
The problem of paleoclimate reconstruction is an extremely interesting issue, which has been repeatedly discussed in many publications. This topic engages the attention of numerous specialists in many and various scientific disciplines. Fossil plants have vast potential as a source of information about past climatic conditions in the terrestrial realm. Various methods have been developed for the extraction of climate information from fossil land plants, but only few of these methods have provided quantitative data, e.g. Leaf Margin Analysis, Leaf Area Index, CLAMP and Coexistence Approach (CA). In this study we analyzed Middle Miocene floras from Bulgaria aiming to compare the results from different methods. The fossil floras are located in the southernmost part of the Forecarpathian Basin (NW Bulgaria). Two types of models were used to obtain quantitative data about the paleoclimate characteristics in the studied area-Simple Linear Regression (SLR) and Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) model. Furthermore, CLAMP and CA were applied. The obtained results evidence overlapping of CLAMP and CA data for diverse floras, while CLAMP data tend to produce cooler estimates than those obtained with the CA. The temperatures calculated by the SLR and MLR models are more or less consistent, but only when the standard deviations are considered. Moreover, the SLR and MLR intervals have strong correlation with those obtained from the CA. This corroborates statements by other authors, that under favorable circumstances (high diversity of the fossil flora and good taxonomic resolution) the climatic resolution of the CA can be twice as high compared to Leaf Physiognomy Approaches. The results obtained from the CA have less variability, consistently with data obtained from the MLR model. A great advantage of the CA method is that the width of coexistence intervals does not depend on species richness.
From the Early Miocene clay of the Kaolin and Clay Pit Hohnstädt near Grimma in Saxony, a piece of wood is described, which is mine-ralized with marcasite and pyrite. The kaoli-nized Tertiary clay is formed by siallitic weathering on the volcanic rocks of the Northwest Saxon Region to the Early Oligocene and was relocated to the Early Miocene with the simultaneous formation of a lignite seam. Under anaerobic conditions, the wood substance was then mineralized with marcasite and pyrite in the kaolinitic tertiary clay. A xylitic wood remains of inside the fossil is described as the wood of Sciadopityoxylon wettsteinii Jurasky with affinity to the recent Sciadopitys verticillata Siebold & Zuccarini. The tree of S. verticillata (Japanese umbrella pine) possesses a coal-building character in the European Miocene. In Rhenish and Lusatian coal seams, Sciadopitys occurred as a prominent plant in nutrient-poor coastal swamps. Relating to this finding in the Clay Pit Hohn-städt and its stratigraphic classification into the Early Miocene, the stratigraphic relevance of Sciadopitys is confirmed.
Tropical rainforests have strongly influenced Earth systems throughout their evolutionary history. Plant taxa found in the Fotan Group of Fujian Province indicate that an Asian tropical rainforest prevailed in southeastern China during the Miocene. Abundant insect-bearing ambers co-occur with diagnostic plant fossils in outcrop. Fotan Group fossils demonstrate that highly diverse tropical ecosystems existed during the early Neogene in southeastern China. This study reports a robust ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar age of 14.7 ± 0.4 Ma for the Fotan fossils. This age constrains interpretations of 1) when tropical rainforest ecosystems developed in China, 2) whether the Fotan flora temporally overlapped with the Asian tropical forest in India, and 3) whether the Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum triggered expansion of tropical rainforests in Asia. A precise age for Fotan units provides important constraints on the biogeographic history of the field area and paleographic models linking Asian and Indian biota.
The second NECLIME Symposium in Asia was held in Nanjing on May 27-29, 2012. It was co-organized by the Department of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (in conjunction with Palynological Society of China and Palaeobotanical Subcommittee of PSC), and NECLIME – the Neogene Climate Evolution in Eurasia Program with the support of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Scientific Program Palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental evolution in the Neogene of Eastern Eurasia, interactions between climate, biosphere, and palaeogeography. Variability and seasonality of precipitation, including monsoonal patterns and the aridification of Central Asia. Identification of palaeoaltitude from the palaeobotanical record. Palaeoclimate and vegetation modeling. Floristic exchange between Europe and Asia. Stratigraphical concepts for E Eurasia
The Holocene (11,500 cal. a B.P. to the present) is marked by the beginning of the Neolithic Age and origin of agriculture. The Holocene climatic changes no doubt influenced vegetation successions and human living conditions. However, few studies have attempted to link the palaeo-ecological data with archaeological evidence in order to understand Holocene human-environmental interactions. Beijing, as an early human settlement, ancient and modern capital of China, is a hotspot for studying human activities and the development of civilization in Eastern Asia. The enormous Holocene literature on vegetation and climatic changes, together with the uninterrupted archaeological records in this region provide an excellent opportunity to explore how the climatic changes influenced the vegetation successions and human living conditions since 12,000 cal a B.P. Here we treat Beijing as a case study, reconstructing the Holocene climatic change quantitatively and depicting the dynamic landscapes and human living conditions on the Beijing Plain based on compiled pollen data and the archaeological literature. The results show that the mean annual temperature curve for Beijing was similar to that in 90-30 ºN during the early Holocene, but the very opposite since the middle to late Holocene. The mean annual precipitation curve is consistent with those of other monsoon regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Rising mean maximum monthly precipitation since 3,330 cal a B.P. indicates more rainstorms in summer, which should remind the Beijing city government of the necessity of dealing with more frequent heavy rainfalls and related geological disasters. At the same time, the records from archaeological sites in Beijing show how human settlements first occurred in montane regions during the early Holocene, before spreading onto the plain during the middle Holocene. The warmer and wetter climate suitable for farming probably acted as the driving force for this human migration. This contribution is an example of how to use the past climatic data to understand today’s weather and the potential changes in human living environment under the current global warming trend. Keywords: Beijing, climatic change, East Asian monsoon region, Holocene, human living environments, North China
Multi-proxy study of a 240 cm deep Lashoda Tal (lake) sediment profile, located adjacent to an archaeological mound in Central Ganga Plain, highlights the climate induced changes in the vegetation, ecology and culture since ∼25500 cal BP. Between ∼25500 and 22200 cal BP, the region shows grassland, incipient drainage and small ponds formed seasonally with moisture loving terrestrial thecamoeba suggesting supply of moisture in short spells under the winter monsoon regime. The sediment became sandy and invaded by trees during ∼22200 to 14300 cal BP indicating an increase in lake levels with more aquatic pollen and algal forms portraying the strengthened monsoon and high energy fluvial system. This observation is further supported by low percentage of thecamoeba. Subsequently, the climate became increasingly supportive showing low seasonality and formation of meandering channels, which favoured aquatic weeds and meadew-cutoffs with marshy areas and dense vegetation in the vicinity during ∼14300 to 7100 cal BP. High arboreal and non-arboreals pollen and thecamoebian diversity with, change in nature of sediment (increasing clay content) suggest the expansion of Lashoda lake ecosystem ∼7100 cal BP. Since the last 2 millennium and until ∼1550 AD the studied site was under immense human pressure of Kushana, Gupta and Mughal cultures, which is evident by the artifacts recovered from the mound situated near the study site. The palynological study revealed reduced monsoon, fragmentation or desiccation of lake ecosystem ∼1550 AD, which is attributed to geomorphological changes caused by the ameliorating climate. The records of Cerealia pollen ∼1300 cal BP indicate expansion of agricultural activities that might have affected the lake ecosystem.
The extant woody family Altingiaceae, consisting of only one genus Liquidambar L. with ca. 15 species, demonstrates a typical disjunctive distribution among East Asia, North America, and the Mediterranean. However, the fossil record throughout the Cenozoic indicates that Altingiaceae was once widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. After studying the abundant Altingiaceae fossil leaf collections, we revised the easily-confused fossil leaves and corrected the misidentifications. Consequently, we proposed an evolutionary history of Altingiaceae leaf morphology in consulting the modern leaf characteristics. It is revealed that the trilobated leaf morphology is the ancestral character state, whereas both the pentalobated and the undivided, pinnate-veined lineages evolved separately. The latter diverged from the trilobated ancestor in South China in Eocene. The lobed and undivided lineages represent the deciduous and evergreen, respectively. An extensive fossil database of Altingiaceae was built to reconstruct its biogeographical history. We reconfirmed that Altingiaceae developed into a temperate and a subtropical-tropical patterns and migrated across both the Bering and North Atlantic land bridges since Cretaceous, independently. It was widespread in the early Neogene of North America and Eurasia, and became extinct in the high latitude triggered by the global cooling and aridification. The modern disjunctive distribution was finally formed, with southeast Asia as its modern diversity center. This study provides new fossil evidence for understanding the morphology and biogeography of the family Altingiaceae. © 2018 Elsevier Ireland Ltd Elsevier B.V. and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS
The Neogene Shengxian Formation is a set of strata consisting of basaltic rocks with sedimentary layers distributing in eastern Zhejiang Province, southeast coastal of China. New sporopollen data from three profiles were discovered as two palynological assemblages were recognized, i.e., Quercus E.–Liquidambar–Carya assemblage and Quercus E.–Fagus–Artemisia assemblage. By compiling the published sporopollen data, a Miocene palynological succession was established, including the late Early–early Middle Miocene Quercus E.–Liquidambar–Carya assemblage, the late Middle–early Late Miocene Quercus E.–Pinus–(Poaceae)–Trapa assemblage and the late Late Miocene Quercus E.–Fagus–Artemisia assemblage. Combining with megafossil plant records, palaeovegetation and palaeoenvironment of this period were reconstructed. It reveals that the zonal vegetation during the depositional period was similar to its modern counterpart but with more distinct altitudinal zonality because of the occurrence of Larix. It's also evident that thermophilous arbors dominated the vegetation during the late Early–early Middle Miocene, and conifers increased and aquatic plants Trapa thrived during the late Middle–early Late Miocene, while forests shrunk and grassland expanded during the late Late Miocene. The Miocene palynological succession in this study was well corresponding to the global climate changes during this period.
Late Neogene floras of North America are mainly represented by sites located along the east coast Piedmont and the Great Plains. To date, there are only two upper Neogene inland localities in the eastern half of North America, the Pipe Creek Sinkhole (Indiana) and the Gray Fossil Site (Tennessee). At both sites, a lacustrine environment was formed from sinkholes that preserve fossil assemblages including invertebrates, vertebrates, and plant remains. We reviewed the floristic record (micro and macrofossils) of each site to determine the late Neogene composition of the flora, its vertical stratification, and to provide insight into the changes associated with warmer and drier conditions in the eastern deciduous forest. The Pipe Creek Sinkhole flora when compared to extant pollen floras of the eastern US is nested within the Beach-Maple-Basswood forest type of Dyer; however, the Miocene forest is dominated by a pine-hickory or pine-hickory-cottonwood association. The Gray Fossil Site flora when compared to extant pollen floras of the eastern US is nested within the Mesophytic Forest and is dominated by an oak-hickory-pine assemblage. The Pipe Creek Flora and the Gray Fossil Site Flora lack the common sub story and understory taxa and are dominated by specific woody taxa and an array of herbaceous taxa that have high light requirements and indicate some disturbance. The lack of vertical forest structure indicates that at both sites, woodland to woodland savanna to prairie-like habitats may have prevailed. The common occurrence of charcoals in the lacustrine sediments indicates that fire was a frequent disturbance factor, which may have suppressed the development of a structured forest with a closed canopy at both localities. This was further exacerbated by the impact of large herbivores. Both fossil floras, despite changes in the vegetation composition and vertical stratification when compared to the extant indigenous deciduous forest, include the major elements from their respective extant mesophytic C3 floristic associations that currently exist at these locations, i.e. the Beech-Maple-Basswood (Pipe Creek Sinkhole) and the Hickory-Oak-Pine Mesophytic Forest (Gray Fossil Site). The Miocene-Pliocene climate, in comparison to the extant climate, affected the vegetation in eastern North America by the selective elimination of those taxa that could not tolerate the warmer and drier conditions; the concomitant increase in fire frequency and the impact of large herbivores further contributed to maintaining woodland/savanna communities at both localities. © 2016 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
The evolution of plant ecosystems during the Cenophytic was complex and influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors. Among abiotic forces were tectonics, the distribution of continents and seas, climate, and fires; of biotic factors were herbivores, pests, and intra- and interspecific competition. The genus QuercusL. (Quercoideae, Fagaceae) evolved in this context to become an established member of the plant communities of the Northern Hemisphere, commencing in the Paleogene and spreading to a diverse range of environments in the later Cenozoic. Its palaeontological record, dominated by leaves and pollen, but also including wood, fruits and flowers, is widespread in Eurasia and North America. Consequently, a great number of species have been described, from the 19th century to the present day. Although Quercus is currently an ecologically and economically important component of the forests in many places of the Northern Hemisphere and Southeastern Asia, no comprehensive summary of its fossil record exists. The present work, written by an international team of palaeobotanists, provides the first synthesis of the fossil history of the oaks from their appearance in the early Paleogene to the Quaternary.
We present a multi-proxy study of an upper Paleocene-lower Eocene succession from the paleo-equatorial region. The study is carried out on a coal-bearing, shallow-marine succession exposed at Jathang, east Khasi hills, Meghalaya, northeastern India. The succession was deposited in a low-energy, coastal marsh-bay complex. Dinoflagellate cyst biostratigraphy yields a late Paleocene to early Eocene age for the section. The deposits of the lower part of the succession represent a transgressive systems tract (TST) defined by seven parasequences, each starting with bay sediments deposited during transgression, followed by a shallowing-upward bay fill-marsh deposit. In the vertical succession, each parasequence acquires an increasingly marine character, culminating in a maximum flooding surface at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. It is followed by four shallowing upward parasequences deposited in a highstand systems tract (HST). Enhanced chemical weathering and high terrestrial supply are testified by raised SiO2 and Al2O3 contents and high percentages of terrestrial palynomorphs. The pollen flora recovered from the Jathang section was used for quantitative paleoclimate and vegetation reconstructions. The Coexistence Approach was applied based on Nearest Living Relatives (NLRs) of sixty fossil species recorded at different stratigraphic levels. Seven climate variables were determined for the fossil assemblages, and, as a measure of the seasonality of climate, the number of dry months was estimated. Our study shows that during the Paleocene there existed warm, seasonally dry tropical climate conditions with mean annual temperature at ca. 24–26 °C and mean annual precipitation at ca. 700–1800 mm, and with a dry season of 5–6 months. Particularly warm and wet, perhumid climate conditions with 26–27 °C and 2200–3200 mm mean annual precipitation with a dry period of 2–3 months were reconstructed for the latest Paleocene-earliest Eocene interval. The study shows a distinct vegetational turnover from palm-dominated, seasonally dry tropical forest during the Paleocene to highly diversified dicotyledonous megathermal rainforest during the latest Paleocene-early Eocene. The present study demonstrates that the reduced duration of the dry period during the latest Paleocene-earliest Eocene, due to a more active hydrological cycle, played a major role in determining the climate and shaping the vegetation cover in the paleo-equatorial region. There is evidence from our data that seasonality of rainfall is the determining factor for the tropical forest vegetation pattern of the equatorial region rather than mean annual rainfall condition. As the main trigger for the observed step-wise changes of the hydrology along the studied succession, the fast northward movement of the Indian Plate is inferred.
The first detailed reconstruction of the continental palaeoclimate evolution of the Northwest German Tertiary (Late Oligocene to Pliocene) is presented. The paleoclimate data are derived from the paleobotanical record using the coexistence approach, a method recently introduced that employs climatic requirements of the Nearest Living Relatives of a fossil flora. Twenty six megafloras (fruits and seeds, leaves, woods) from the Tertiary succession of the Lower Rhine Basin and neighboring areas are analyzed with respect to ten meteorological parameters. Additionally, two sample sets from Late Miocene to Early Pliocene sediments comprising 396 palynofloras are analyzed by the same method providing a higher temporal resolution. The temperature curves show a comparatively cooler phase in the Late Oligocene, a warm interval the Middle Miocene, and a cooling starting at 14 Ma. The cooling trend persisted until Late Pliocene with a few higher frequency temperature variations observed. From the beginning of Late Miocene to the present, the seasonality increases and climate appears to have been less stable. As indicated by the precipitation data, a Cfa climate with wet summers persisted in NW Germany from Late Oligocene to Late Pliocene. The results obtained are well in accordance with regional and global isotope curves derived from the marine record, and allow for a refined correlation of the Tertiary succession in the Lower Rhine Basin with the international standard. It is shown that the reconstructed data are largely consistent with the continental climate record for the Northern Hemisphere, as reported by various authors. Discrepancies with previous reconstructions are discussed in detail.
The first detailed reconstruction of the continental paleoclimate evolution of the Northwest German Tertiary (Late Oligocene to Pliocene) is presented. The paleoclimate data are derived from the paleobotanical record using the coexistence approach, a method recently introduced that employs climatic requirements of the Nearest Living Relatives of a fossil flora. Twenty six megafloras (fruits and seeds, leaves, woods) from the Tertiary succession of the Lower Rhine Basin. and neighboring areas are analyzed with respect to ten meteorological parameters. Additionally two sample sets from Late Miocene to Early Pliocene sediments comprising 396 palynofloras are analyzed by the same method providing a higher temporal resolution. The temperature curves show a comparatively cooler phase in the Late Oligocene, a warm interval the Middle Miocene, and a cooling starting at 14 Ma. The cooling trend persisted until Late Pliocene with a few higher frequency temperature variations observed. From the beginning of Late Miocene to the present, the seasonality increases and climate appears to have been less stable. As indicated by the precipitation data, a Cfa climate with wet summers persisted in NW Germany from Late Oligocene to Late Pliocene. The results obtained are well in accordance with regional and global isotope curves derived from the marine record, and allow for a refined correlation of the Tertiary succession in the Lower Rhine Basin with the international standard. It is shown that the reconstructed data are largely consistent with the continental climate record for the Northern Hemisphere, as reported by various authors. Discrepancies with previous reconstructions are discussed in detail.
In the present study, 14 published megafloras from the Serbian Cenozoic are analyzed with respect to vegetation type, palaeoclimate, and palaeogeographic settings. The floras cover a time-span from the Oligocene to the late Miocene. The results obtained are compared with continental climate records from other parts of Europe and discussed in the context of global climate change. To obtain a quantitative palaeoclimate record a total of seven different climate variables is calculated for each of the floras using the Coexistence Approach. It is shown that basic patterns of vegetation change, such as the immigration of arcto-tertiary, deciduous floristic elements during the early Miocene and the decreasing diversity of laurophyllous taxa during the late Miocene, are ruled by climate change and a changing palaeogeography. The Serbian Cenozoic climate record shows a steep cooling gradient during the Oligocene that is most probably is connected to a northward movement of tectonic plates. The globally observed Middle Miocene Climate Optimum and the Late Miocene Cooling are well reflected. According to the palaeotemperatures calculated a warm temperate climate existed in Serbia throughout the time-span examined. The Late Miocene Cooling is most pronounced in winter temperatures and is connected to increasing seasonality. Precipitation rates obtained for the Serbian Cenozoic, especially those of the warmest and wettest months, tend to be lower when compared to the Central European Cenozoic. According to climate analysis and the interpretation of vegetational data there is evidence for regionally drier conditions and increased seasonality of precipitation in the time-span from the late Badenian to the early Sarmatian.
We present new chronological constraints for a reference European palaeoflora based on integrated stratigraphic, palaeobotanical, palaeomagnetic and micropalaeontological analysis carried out on the Pliocene section of Ca' Viettone, northwestern Italy. This site is characterized by rich fossil plant records of high taxonomic diversity, good preservation, and varied taphonomic mode. Palaeofloral analysis shows that the Ca' Viettone assemblage reflects a chronologically delimited and distinguishable stage of vegetation development in northern Italy (called Ca' Viettone Florenkomplex). Palaeomagnetic analyses show a dominant normal polarity that, however, seems to be the result of a remagnetization process due to secondary oxidation. Layers with no evidence of oxidation have registered a reverse polarity, which likely represents the original magnetization of the sediments. These results, in combination with biochronological indications, suggest that deposition of the succession preceded the Gilbert-Gauss reversal and took place during the final part of the Gilbert chron. This confirms a late Zanclean age for the rich Ca' Viettone palaeoflora and allows us to propose this locality both as reference for a regional Florenkomplex and as a representative example of terrestrial vegetation in Europe during the early Pliocene warm interval.
The present article re-evaluates the record of Early Miocene plant megafossils in the upper part of the Most Formation (Libkovice and Lom Members) according to current taxonomy, and applies the results to phytostratigraphical correlation.The characteristics of the floras have been studied, and palaeovegetation has been reconstructed based on leaf, fruit, and seed assemblages for the sites studied within the basin. New methods based on foliar physiognomy (CLAMP) have been used for obtaining palaeoclimatic estimates, and are correlated with additional studies of CO2 concentration. Climatic fluctuations are indicated by changing plant spectra during the deposition of the Libkovice Member. The position of the Miocene climatic optimum has been located in the upper part of the Libkovice Member, and is shown to be of late Early Miocene age. On that basis, this level has been correlated with adjacent regions (e.g., the Cypris Formation of the Cheb Basin, the Upper Coal Seam of the Hrádek part of the Žitava/Zittau Basin).
Only 37 incomplete endocarps and fragments of Potamogeton wiesaensis Kirchheimer from the Nástup-Tušimice Mine and cores of KU 115 and MR 59, and one incomplete leaf assigned as Potamogeton praenatans Knoll from the Bílina Mine (horizon No. 1) are described from the Most Basin. These samples studied here stratigraphically belong to the Holešice, Libkovice and Lom members of the Most Formation. According to the analysis of Potamogeton autecology and the floristic composition of the horizon No. 1, the fossil taxa can be interpreted as elements of an aquatic and reed vegetation.
A multidisciplinary study was carried out in order to define the paleoenvironmental evolution in the Pliocene succession of Val Chiusella, cropping out at the foothills of the Western Alps. The succession, about 80 m thick, was divided into three informal sedimentary units. The lower unit, referable to the uppermost Zanclean, provides foraminiferal and mollusc assemblages indicating an infralittoral environment. Sedimentological analysis of the second unit confirms its deposition on a tidal sandy flat. Its upper part shows a coarsening-upward sequence, interpreted as the progradation of an estuary closed by a fluvial body (6-8 m thick) forming the top of the second unit. The bulk of the third unit (47 m thick) is made up of sands and muds deposited under variable subtidal, intertidal and supratidal conditions. The paleoenvironment periodically supported woody and herbaceous plant communities, growing in hypohaline or freshwater conditions. Plant macrofossils indicate that the whole succession was deposited under a warm temperate climate, before 3 Ma.
Palaeocarpological analyses were carried out in two neighbouring successions of NW Italy: Ca' Viettone and Sento (province of Turin). The succession of Sento shows a vertical transition from marine to freshwater sediments. Fossil fruit and seed assemblages have been found at several layers in both types of sediments. In sandy-gravelly marine layers two rich mollusc assemblages have been studied: they can be chronologically referred to the lower part of the Pliocene (Zanclean or early Piacenzian). The outcropping part of the Ca'Viettone succession is made up by freshwater sediments only; they provided pollen assemblages in which the Taxodiaceae-group and tropical/subtropical elements are well represented. They can be assigned to the 'Macrian local vegetational zone', dated Early Pliocene. This same succession yielded more than 100 fruit and seed taxa. The high degree of floristic affinity between the fruit and seed assemblages of Sento and Ca'Viettone permits to group the carpofloras from the two successions in a single 'Florenkomplex'. The interplay between mollusc (Sento) and pollen (Ca'Viettone) data allows to fix the age of this 'Ca'Viettone Florenkomplex' to the Early Pliocene. The results provided by palaeocarpological analyses are surprising with regard to the 'Miocene' character of the fossil assemblages and their richness in exotic and subtropical elements. In the Ca'Viettone flora, and also in the Sento one, many subtropical taxa typical of the 'jungeren Mastixioideen-Floren' occur. Besides these elements, the whole composition of the Ca'Viettone flora agrees very well with that of the 'Mastixioideen-Floren' of Wiesa and Wackersdorf in Germany (Miocene). It may be differentiated from the last ones by lacking any member of the Mastixioideae and by including a few taxa which are not found in Western Europe earlier than the Pliocene. The Ca'Viettone and Sento floras testify either a Pliocene vegetational phase which is not clearly documented by carpofloras North of the Alps or a latitudinal differentiation of the vegetation during Early Pliocene.
In the present study, published Miocene mega- and microfloral records compiled from a total of 92 localities in Western Eurasia are analysed with respect to diversity of different plant functional types (PFTs). To study spatial diversity patterns and their evolution three time-intervals are selected corresponding to the Langhian (16.3–13.6 Ma), the Serravallian (13.6–11.6), and the earlier part of the Tortonian (11.6–8.5 Ma). First all arboreal species occurring in the floras are classified using a total of 13 different PFTs (functional types of trees and climatically defined subtypes). In a next step, diversity spectra with respect to these PFTs are generated for each site. Cluster analysis is then performed in order to obtain groups of floras with similar spectra that are interpreted in terms of vegetation type. Their spatial distribution in each time-interval is shown in maps. According to these results, zonally arranged patterns are obtained. Broadleaved Deciduous Forests are most important in the higher latitudes while Mixed Mesophytic Forests dominate the mid-latitudes in Western Eurasia. Broadleaved Evergreen Forests are of minor importance in the area of interest. The observed diversity patterns and their changes in time are correlated with spatial climate patterns and the continental palaeoclimate evolution. During the late Miocene cooling, Broadleaved Evergreen Forests completely disappear from the mid-latitudes of Western Eurasia, and Mixed Mesophytic Forests of the mid-latitudes are mostly replaced by broadleaved deciduous vegetation types. In the context of this cooling, a drier season became established in Western Europe during the Tortonian, as is evident from reconstructed arboreal diversity data and precipitation data. In Central Europe, vegetation types indicating permanently humid conditions persisted throughout all the three time-intervals analysed.
A late Miocene paludal to lacustrine sequence from a carbonate basin in NW Bulgaria (Staniantsi Basin) is analysed displaying up to 27 rhythmically bedded sedimentary cycles. In the lower part of the sequence, the cycles consist of alternating autochthonous brown coal and marls containing diverse mollusc assemblages. The upper part of the sequence is characterized by alternating dark to light grey clays and calcareous silts. A palynomorph record comprising 163 samples is analysed by statistical means to reconstruct vegetation changes. The Coexistence Approach is used to calculate quantitative palaeoclimate records for 6 parameters.
A palynological and palynofacies investigation conducted on Oligocene bituminous rocks of the Tarcău Nappe (Eastern Carpathians) has allowed recovery of marine palynomorphs (dinoflagellate cysts), spores and pollen, associated with an abundant amorphous organic matter. The dinoflagellate cyst taxa (e.g., Rhombodinium draco, Wetzeliella gochtii, W. symmetrica) identified in the top of the Lower Dysodilic Shale Formation and in the mid part of the Kliwa Sandstone Formation support the Rupelian-early Chattian age for these deposits. The palynofacies analysis in the lower part of the section (Lower Menilite and Bituminous Marls formations) show an abundance of marine organic matter, deposited mainly in a distal suboxic-anoxic environment. In contrast, the top of the Lower Dysodilic Shale and Kliwa Sandstone formations contain a large amount of terrestrial organic particles, suggesting a more proximal shelf environment for this interval. The occurrences in the Kliwa Sandstone Formation of some dinocyst taxa such as Deflandrea, Wetzeliella and Rhombodinium indicate the same depositional environment for this geological formation.
A comprehensive " model " of the semi-closed Central Paratethys Sea history was proposed for the entire time span of 25 Ma. Publications and datasets of the last decades were compiled and reviewed in the light of the Western Carpathian basins record, reflecting its changing palaeogeography, palaeoenvironment, and water circulation regimes. Moreover, a set of modified palinspastic palaeogeographic maps were reconstructed taking into account the enormous changes in depo-sitional systems and sedimentary facies, reflecting the tectonic events from the Oligocene to Miocene. The study discusses possible gateways/straits assuming two way circulations, where the surface and deep water can be exchanged between the Mediterranean, Central Paratethys, and the Eastern Paratethys. It is suggested, that a good correlation between the regional