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  • 1.
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Güner, Tuncay H.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Botany, Istanbul University Cerrahpa¸sa, 34473 Bahçeköy, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Denk, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Middle Miocene climate of southwestern Anatolia from multiple botanical proxies2018In: Climate of the Past Discussions, ISSN 1814-9340, E-ISSN 1814-9359, Vol. 14, p. 1427-1440Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The middle Miocene climate transition (MMCT) was a phase of global cooling possibly linked to decreasing levels of atmospheric CO2. The MMCT coincided with the European  Mammal Faunal Zone MN6. From this time, important biogeographic links between Anatolia  and eastern Africa include the hominid Kenyapithecus. Vertebrate fossils suggested mixed  open and forested landscapes under (sub)tropical seasonal climates for Anatolia. Here, we  infer the palaeoclimate during the MMCT and the succeeding cooling phase for a middle Miocene (14.8–13.2 Ma) of an intramontane basin in southwestern Anatolia using three2palaeobotanical proxies: (i) Köppen signatures based on the nearest-living-relative principle. (ii) Leaf physiognomy analysed with the Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program (CLAMP). (iii) Genus-level biogeographic affinities of fossil floras with modern regions. The three proxies reject tropical climates for the MMCT of southwestern Anatolia and instead infer warm temperate C climates. Köppen signatures reject summer-dry Cs climates but cannot discriminate between fully humid Cf and winter-dry Cw; CLAMP reconstructs Cf climate based on the low X3.wet/X3.dry ratio. Additionally, we assess whether the palaeobotanical record does resolve transitions from the warm Miocene Climatic Optimum (MCO, 16.8–14.7 Ma) into the MMCT (14.7–13.9 Ma), and a more pronounced cooling at 13.9–13.8 Ma, as reconstructed from benthic stable isotope data. For southwestern Anatolia, we find that arboreal taxa predominate in MCO floras (MN5), whereas in MMCT floras (MN6) abundances of arboreal and non-arboreal elements strongly fluctuate indicating higher structural complexity of the vegetation. Our data show a distinct pollen zone between MN6 and MN7+8 dominated by herbaceous taxa. The boundary MN6 and MN7+8, roughly corresponding to a first abrupt cooling at 13.9–13.8 Ma, possibly might be associated with this herb-rich pollen zone.

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  • 2.
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Güner, Tuncay H.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Botany, Istanbul University Cerrahpa¸sa, 34473 Bahçeköy, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Velitzelos, Dimitrios
    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
    Velitzelos, Evangelos
    National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
    Denk, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Messinian vegetation and climate of the intermontane Florina–Ptolemais–Servia Basin, NW Greece inferred from palaeobotanical data: how well do plant fossils reflect past environments?2020In: Royal Society Open Science, E-ISSN 2054-5703, Vol. 7, p. 1-30, article id 192067Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The late Miocene is marked by pronounced environmentalchanges and the appearance of strong temperature andprecipitation seasonality. Although environmental heterogeneityis to be expected during this time, it is challenging to reconstructpalaeoenvironments using plant fossils. We investigated leavesand dispersed spores/pollen from 6.4 to 6 Ma strata inthe intermontane Florina–Ptolemais–Servia Basin (FPS) ofnorthwestern Greece. To assess how well plant fossils reflectthe actual vegetation of the FPS, we assigned fossil taxa tobiomes providing a measure for environmental heterogeneity.Additionally, the palynological assemblage was compared withpollen spectra from modern lake sediments to assess biases inspore/pollen representation in the pollen record. We found aclose match of the Vegora assemblage with modern Fagus–Abiesforests of Turkey. Using taxonomic affinities of leaf fossils, wefurther established close similarities of the Vegora assemblage with modern laurophyllous oak forests of Afghanistan. Finally, using information from sedimentaryenvironment and taphonomy, we distinguished local and distantly growing vegetation types.We thensubjected the plant assemblage of Vegora to different methods of climate reconstruction and discussedtheir potentials and limitations. Leaf and spore/pollen records allow accurate reconstructions ofpalaeoenvironments in the FPS, whereas extra-regional vegetation from coastal lowlands isprobably not captured.

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    Bouchal et al 2020 Vegora
  • 3.
    Denk, Thomas
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Department of Palaeobiology Swedish Museum of Natural History Box 50007 10405 Stockholm Sweden.
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research University of Vienna 1030 Vienna Austria.
    Güner, H. Tuncay
    Department of Forest Botany, Faculty of Forestry Istanbul University‐Cerrahpaşa 34473 Bahçeköy Istanbul Turkey.
    Coiro, Mario
    Department of Palaeontology University of Vienna 1090 Vienna Austria;Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship Montclair NJ 07043-2314 USA.
    Butzmann, Rainer
    Independent Researcher Fuggerstraße 8 81373 Munich Germany.
    Pigg, Kathleen B.
    School of Life Sciences and Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center Arizona State University Box 874501 Tempe AZ 85287‐4501 USA.
    Tiffney, Bruce H.
    Department of Earth Science and College of Creative Studies University of California Santa Barbara CA 93106 USA.
    Cenozoic migration of a desert plant lineage across the North Atlantic2023In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 238, no 6, p. 2668-2684Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous paleobotanical work concluded that Paleogene elements of the sclerophyllous subhumid vegetation of western Eurasia and western North America were endemic to these disjunct regions, suggesting that the southern areas of the Holarctic flora were isolated at that time. Consequently, molecular studies invoked either parallel adaptation to dry climates from related ancestors, or long-distance dispersal in explaining disjunctions between the two regions, dismissing the contemporaneous migration of dry-adapted lineages via land bridges as unlikely.

    We report Vauquelinia (Rosaceae), currently endemic to western North America, in Cenozoic strata of western Eurasia. Revision of North American fossils previously assigned to Vauquelinia confirmed a single fossil-species of Vauquelinia and one of its close relative Kageneckia.

    We established taxonomic relationships of fossil-taxa using diagnostic character combinations shared with modern species and constructed a time-calibrated phylogeny.

    The fossil record suggests that Vauquelinia, currently endemic to arid and subdesert environments, originated under seasonally arid climates in the Eocene of western North America and subsequently crossed the Paleogene North Atlantic land bridge (NALB) to Europe. This pattern is replicated by other sclerophyllous, dry-adapted and warmth-loving plants, suggesting that several of these taxa potentially crossed the North Atlantic via the NALB during Eocene times.

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    Denk et al 2023 Vauquelinia
  • 4.
    Güner, Tuncay H.
    et al.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology. Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Botany, Istanbul University Cerrahpa¸sa, 34473 Bahçeköy, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Bouchal, Johannes M.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Köse, Nesibe
    University of Istanbul, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest Botany, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Göktaş, Fikret
    Mayda, Serdar
    Denk, Thomas
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Landscape heterogeneity in the Yatağan Basin (southwestern Turkey) during the middle Miocene inferred from plant macro fossils2017In: Palaeontographica. Abteilung B, Palaophytologie, ISSN 0375-0299, Vol. 296, p. 113-171Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plant macro fossils from the lignite mines of Eskihisar, Tınaz, and Salihpaşalar (Yatağan Basin, southwestern Anatolia) were investigated. The fossils were collected from marls overlying the exploited lignite seams and represent three subbasins within the main Yatağan Basin. The age of the Eskihisar lignite seam is well constrained by vertebrate fossils (MN 6, middle Miocene). Further, lithological and palynological correlation suggests that the lignite seams and overlying marls in the three lignite mines were formed at the same time. Three distinct zonal vegetation types are reflected in the local plant assemblages: (i) In Eskihisar, Fagus and evergreen Quercus mediterranea-Q. sosnowskyi communities formed important parts of the zonal vegetation along with the deciduous Quercus kubinyii; (ii) in Tınaz, Quercus sosnowskyi-Q. mediterranea-Q. drymeja communities occurred, while Fagus is rarely encountered in the macrofossil record. (iii) In Salihpaşalar, Quercus mediterranea and Q. drymeja are the most abundant elements, while Fagus and Q. sosnowskyi are absent or nearly so. This demonstrates that local environmental conditions within a geographically restricted region varied and probably were controlled by slope aspects, edaphic conditions, and river drainage. Overall, the zonal vegetation is characterized by a high diversity of evergreen and deciduous oaks belonging to Quercus subgen. Cerris sect. Ilex and sect, Cerris and the local dominance of Fagus. The riparian vegetation was dominated by Populus, Salix and Acer, whereas Alnus and taxodiaceous Cupressaceae and ferns were very rare or absent. The mass occurrence of Quercus sosnowskyi in the Yatağan Basin floras is biogeographically interesting, as this distinct sclerophyllous oak has previously been known to occur only in late Miocene sediments of northern Greece and Abkhasia (Georgia). 

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