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The Pliocene flora of Frankfurt am Main, Germany: taxonomy,palaeoenvironments and biogeographic affinities
2019 (English)In: Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, p. 1-57, article id https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-019-00391-6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Pliocene flora of Frankfurt amMain described by Karl Mädler during the first half of the twentieth century is a key flora forthe European Pliocene. In the present study, we revised the leaf fossil taxa described by Mädler and investigated plant materialcollected after Mädler’s publication. The revised and augmented floral list comprises seven new species and some new combinationsof taxa described by Mädler. In total, 16 gymnosperm species in 15 genera and 73 angiospermspecies (of which 15 couldnot be assigned to a genus) in 40 genera are recognised in the leaf record.Main characteristics of the flora are the high diversity ofconifers, the diverse assemblage of exclusively deciduous Fagaceae, including six species of oaks, and the high diversity ofRosaceae. These features indicate cool temperate climatic conditions (comparable to Lugano in southern Switzerland).Angiosperm genera that are today confined to North America and/or East Asia (Eucommia, Magnolia and Sassafras) also aredeciduous, whereas evergreen taxa are shrubs typical of the understorey (Buxus, Ilex, Pachysandra, Prunus lusitanica type) andViscum. Eighteen taxa recorded in the Pliocene of Frankfurt am Main are today absent from western Eurasia and eastern NorthAmerica, and 25 taxa are absent from western North America. This shows (i) a strong biogeographic link of the Pliocene flora ofFrankfurt amMain with East Asia, (ii) surprisingly high levels of speciation (Pliocene endemisms) and (iii) that the Europeanflora was more diverse in woody species shortly before the onset of major Pleistocene glaciations than today.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. p. 1-57, article id https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-019-00391-6
Keywords [en]
flora, relict taxa, speciation, biogeography, Pliocene, Europe
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3443DOI: 10.1007/s12549-019-00391-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3443DiVA, id: diva2:1374035
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-03986Available from: 2019-11-28 Created: 2019-11-28 Last updated: 2019-11-28

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Denk, Thomas
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