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Tertiary Palaeobotany


A. Andruchow-Colombo et al. (2019): Oldest record of the scale-leaved clade of Podocarpaceae, early Paleocene of Patagonia, Argentina. In PDF, Alcheringa, 43. See also here.

A. Andruchow-Colombo et al. (2019): A South American fossil relative of Phyllocladus: Huncocladus laubenfelsii gen. et sp. nov.(Podocarpaceae), from the early Eocene of Laguna del Hunco, Patagonia, Argentina. Australian Systematic Botany, 32: 290–309. See also here (in PDF).

! Arctic Plant Fossils (hosted by the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences).
This interactive illustrated catalogue of Cretaceous and Paleogene Arctic plant fossils is the outcome of a project from the United States Geological Survey and administered through the University of Oxford, UK, and the Imperial College, London.
Images of the fossils and information on where they were found can be accessed through interactive maps,
or navigating the site by means of tables of taxonomic names (if known), museum collections or the collectors and researchers who worked on them. Excellent!

A.T. Aung et al. (2020): Three new fossil records of Equisetum (Equisetaceae) from the Neogene of south-western China and northern Vietnam. In PDF, PhytoKeys, 138: 3–15.

H.J.B. Birks and W. Tinner (2016): Past forests of Europe. In PDF, European Atlas of Forest Tree Species.

J. Blanchard et al. (2016): Fruits, seeds and flowers from the Bovay and Bolden clay pits (early Eocene Tallahatta Formation, Claiborne Group), northern Mississippi, USA. In PDF, Palaeontologia Electronica. See also here.

J.M. Bouchal et al. (2020): 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? Open access, R. Soc. Open Sci. 7: 192067.

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO: Web-based instruction. Annotated links to information on using the web to teach. Go to: CzPaleobotany. Go to: Cenozoic Elevation of the Rocky Mountains, Paleobotanical Methods. About fossil classification (nearest living relative, physiognomy and CLAMP) and climate and elevation analysis.
These expired links are now available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

M. Brea et al. (2015): Reconstruction of a fossil forest reveals details of the palaeoecology, palaeoenvironments and climatic conditions in the late Oligocene of South America. In PDF, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 418: 19-42.

G.E. Budd et al. (2021): The use of geological and paleontological evidence in evaluating plant phylogeographic hypotheses in the Northern Hemisphere Tertiary. Free access. See also here (in PDF).

R.J. Burnham and K.R. Johnson (2004): South American palaeobotany and the origins of neotropical rainforests. In PDF, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B 359: 1595-1610.

H.Y. Chen et al. (2020): The Oligocene Equisetum from Qaidam Basin, Northeastern Tibetan Plateau in China and its implications. In PDF, Historical Biology, DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2020.1830280.

Y.-S. Chen et al. (2018): Is the East Asian flora ancient or not? In PDF, National Science Review, 0: 1–13. See also here

C.J. Cleal et al. (2001):
Geological Conservation Review Series (GCR), Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC): Mesozoic and Tertiary Palaeobotany of Great Britain (2001). PDF files, GCR Volume No. 22.
This expired link is now available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
In chapter 1 a brief explanation is given of how plant fossils are formed, and how palaeobotanists study and name them.

! M.E. Collinson (2002): The ecology of Cainozoic ferns. In PDF, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 119: 51-68.
See also here.
! Note table 1: Summary of key conclusions concerning the ecology of Cenozoic ferns.

Thomas Denk et al. (2019): Comment on "Eocene Fagaceae from Patagonia and Gondwanan legacy in Asian rainforests". Free access, Science, 366. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz2189.
"... extensive paleobotanical records of Antarctica and Australia lack evidence of any Fagaceae, and molecular patterns indicate shared biogeographic histories of Castanopsis, Castanea, Lithocarpus, and Quercus subgenus Cerris, making the southern route unlikely."

! Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado: DMNS Paleobotany Collection. This website contains over 1000 images of fossil plants spanning the late Cretaceous through early Eocene from the Western Interior of North America. Go to: Identification Flow Chart, or start with Morphotype a Flora. A guide to morphotyping (or binning) a fossil flora step-by-step.

! Digiphyll (State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart).
Digiphyll is designed as an educational portal to provide effective assistance in identifying fossil plant material. Excellent! Please note:
Manual: How to use this portal (in PDF).
Glossary: Leaf morphology (in PDF).
! Worth to check out: The fact sheets (PDF files, 36 taxa). Click the button "Downloads".

W.N. Ding et al. (2018): A new fossil species of Cryptomeria (Cupressaceae) from the Rupelian of the Lühe Basin, Yunnan, East Asia: Implications for palaeobiogeography and palaeoecology. Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 248: 41-51.
Also of interest in this context:
Pflanzliche Botschaften aus der Urzeit (by Tamara Worzewski, November 08, 2022, Spektrum.de, in German).

M. Dolezych and W. Schneider (2006): Inkohlte Hölzer und Cuticulae dispersae aus dem 2. Miozänen Flözhorizont im Tagebau Welzow (Lausitz)–Taxonomie und vergleichende feinstratigraphisch-fazielle Zuordnung. PDF file, in German. Zeitschrift für geologische Wiss. See also here.
Note photographs of tree stumps on plate 2.

M. Dolezych (2005): Koniferenhölzer im Lausitzer Flöz und ihre ökologische Position. PDF file, thesis, in German, with English summary (starting on PDF page 27). LLP Contributions Series, 19.

M. Eberlein (2015): Bestimmungs- und Verbreitungsatlas der Tertiärflora Sachsens – Angiospermenblätter und Ginkgo. PDF file (in German). Thesis, University of Dresden (in German). First part of a reference book of the Tertiary flora of Saxony.
See also here.
Please take notice:
! Starting on PDF page 30: "Kurzer Abriss der tertiärpaläobotanischen Forschung in Sachsen". The history of saxonian tertiary palaeobotany in brief.

Beth Ellis et al. (2009): Manual of Leaf Architecture. Book announcement. The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
! See also here and there.

B. Erdei et al. (2019): First cycad seedling foliage from the fossil record and inferences for the Cenozoic evolution of cycads. In PDF, Biol. Lett., 15: 20190114. See also here.

B. Erdei and S.R. Manchester (2015): Ctenis clarnoensis sp. n., an Unusual Cycadalean Foliage from the Eocene Clarno Formation, Oregon. In PDF, Int. J. Plant Sci., 176: 1–43.

Eurekalert.org: Evidence is weak for tropical rainforest 65 million years ago in Africa´s low-latitudes. Results of Bonnie F. Jacobs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. See also: here (the scarcity of paleobotanical sites in Africa), and there.

David K. Ferguson et al. (2009): The taphonomy of a remarkable leaf bed assemblage from the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Gore Lignite Measures, southern New Zealand. PDF file, International Journal of Coal Geology.
Snapshot taken by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

Jane E. Francis and Imogen Poole (2002): Cretaceous and early Tertiary climates of Antarctica: evidence from fossil wood. PDF file, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 182: 47-64.

M.K. Futey et al. (2012): Arecaceae Fossil Fruits from the Paleocene of Patagonia, Argentina. In PDF, The Botanical Review, 78: 205–234.
See also here.

Maria A. Gandolfo-Nixon, The Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Herbarium (BH) at Cornell University: Patagonian Paleofloras.

R.S. Hill et al. (2018): The vegetation history of South Australia. In PDF, Swainsona, 30: 9–16.

G.L. Hoffman (2002): Paleobotany and paleoecology of the Joffre Bridge Roadcut locality (Paleocene), Red Deer, Alberta. 2nd edition. M.Sc. thesis (in PDF), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.

Y. Huang et al. (2015): Distribution of Cenozoic plant relicts in China explained by drought in dry season. Open access, Scientific Reports, 5.

P. Jardine (2011): The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. In PDF, Palaeontology Online. See also here.

Kenneth G. Karol, Richard M. McCourt, Matthew T. Cimino, and Charles F. Delwiche, Science Magazine: The Closest Living Relatives of Land Plants. This analysis supports the hypothesis that the land plants are placed phylogenetically within the Charophyta, identifies the Charales (stoneworts) as the closest living relatives of plants.

A.A. Klymiuk et al. (2016): Mesozoic and Cenozoic plant evolution and biotic change: Introduction and dedication. In PDF, Botany, 94. See also here and there (table of contents).

V.A. Korasidis et al. (2022): Global Changes in Terrestrial Vegetation and Continental Climate During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Free access, Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 37: e2021PA004325.
Note figure 1: Global paleogeographic reconstruction for 56 Ma illustrating the positions and general depositional settings of PETM palynofloral sites.

J. Kovar-Eder and V. Teodoridis (2018): The Middle Miocene Central European plant record revisited; widespread subhumid sclerophyllous forests indicated. In PDF, Fossil Imprint, 74: 115–134.

S. Kundu et al. (2023): Evidence of the oldest extant vascular plant (horsetails) from the Indian Cenozoic. Free access, Plant Diversity.

! E. Kustatscher et al. (2022): A whole-plant specimen of the marine macroalga Pterigophycos from the Eocene of Bolca (Veneto, N-Italy). Open access, Fossil Imprint, 78: 145–156.
Note text-figure 5: Reconstruction drawing of Pterigophycos sp. thallus growing on a rock surface.

S.A. Little et al. (2004): Duabanga-like leaves from the Middle Eocene Princeton chert and comparative leaf histology of Lythraceae sensu lato. Open access, American Journal of Botany, 91: 1126-1139.

! S. Magallón (2009): Flowering plants (Magnoliophyta). PDF file, In: S.B. Hedges and S. Kumar (eds.): The Timetree of Life (see here).

D.H. Mai (2007): The floral change in the Tertiary of the Rhön mountains (Germany). In PDF, Acta Palaeobotanica, 47: 135–143.

E. Martinetto and L. Macaluso (2018): Quantitative application of the Whole-Plant Concept to the Messinian – Piacenzian flora of Italy. In PDF, Fossil Imprint, 74: 77–100.

J. McCoy et al. (2022): Middle Miocene (Serravallian) wetland development on the northwest edge of Europe based on palynological analysis of the uppermost Brassington Formation of Derbyshire, United Kingdom. In PDF, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,Palaeoecology, 603.
See also here.

! V. Mosbrugger et al. (2005): Cenozoic continental climatic evolution of Central Europe. PDF file, PNAS, 102: 14964-14969. See also here.

G.E. Mustoe et al. (2020): Neogene Tree Trunk Fossils from the Meshgin Shahr Area, Northwest Iran. In PDF, Geosciences, 10.
"... Mineralogic variations occur among different fossil trees and within a single trunk. These silica polymorphs resulted from a combination of processes: silica minerals precipitated in multiple episodes under differing geochemical conditions and the diagenetic transformation of an opaline parent material. ..."

N.R. O'Brien et al. (2002): Microbial taphonomic processes in the fossilization of insects and plants in the late Eocene Florissant Formation, Colorado. Rocky Mountain Geology, 37: 1-11.
The link is to a version archived by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
See also here.

T.A. Ohsawa et al. (2016): Araucarian leaves and cone scales from the Loreto Formation of Río de Las Minas, Magellan Region, Chile. In PDF, Botany, 94: 805–815. See also here.

K.P. Pigg and M.L. DeVore (2010): Floristic composition and variation in late Paleocene to early Eocene floras in North America. Bulletin of Geosciences, 85: 135-154.

M.W. Rasser et al. (2013): The Randeck Maar: Palaeoenvironment and habitat differentiation of a Miocene lacustrine system. In PDF, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 392: 426–453. See also here.

T. Reichgelt et al. (2022): Plant Proxy Evidence for High Rainfall and Productivity in the Eocene of Australia. Abstract, Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 37. See also:
Palms at the Poles: Fossil Plants Reveal Lush Southern Hemisphere Forests in Ancient Hothouse Climate (by E. Hancock, UConn Communications, May 31, 2022).
Ancient Plants Provide Clues About Life on Earth in a Warmer Climate (by A. Smith, AZO Cleanteach, June 01, 2022):

Bill Rember, Jesse Garnett White and Susan Butts, Tertiary Research Center, Department of Geological Sciences University of Idaho, Moscow, ID: The Clarkia Flora of northern Idaho. Fossil plants from the Miocene.
Still available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

J. Sakala (2004): The "Whole-Plant" concept in palaeobotany with examples from the Tertiary of northwestern Bohemia, Czech Republic with particular reference to fossil wood. PDF file (12.8 MB), Doctoral Thesis. Further papers included:
Starting on PDF page 17: J. Sakala (2003): Podocarpoxylon helmstedtianum GOTTWALD from Kuklin (Late Eocene, Czech Republic) reinterpreted as Tetraclinoxylon vulcanense PRIVÉ Feddes Repertorium, 114: 25-29.
Starting on PDF page 25: J. Sakala and Catherine Privé-Gill(2004): Oligocene angiosperm woods from Northwestern Bohemia, Czech Republic. IAWA Journal, 25: 369-380.
Starting on PDF page 56: Z. Kvacek and J. Sakala (1999): Twig with attached leaves, fruits and seeds of Decodon (Lythraceae) from the Lower Miocene of northern Bohemia, and implications for the identification of detached leaves and seeds. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 107: 201-222.

! C.S. Shi et al. (2013): Characterization of the stem anatomy of the Eocene fern Dennstaedtiopsis aerenchymata (Dennstaedtiaceae) by use of confocal laser scanning microscopy. Free access, American Journal of Botany, 100: 1626–1640.

K.T. Smith et al. (2018, eds.): Messel - An Ancient Greenhouse Ecosystem. Book announcement. See also here (Table of contents, some exemplary pages). See also:
S.F.K. Schaal et al. (2018, eds.): Messel - Ein fossiles Tropenökosystem. Book announcement (in German). See also here (Table of contents, some exemplary pages).

E. Stiles et al. (2020): Cretaceous–Paleogene plant extinction and recovery in Patagonia. Free access, Paleobiology, 46: 445–469.

! B.H. Tiffney and S.R. Manchester (2001): The Use of Geological and Paleontological Evidence in Evaluating Plant Phylogeographic Hypotheses in the Northern Hemisphere Tertiary. Abstract, International Journal of Plant Sciences, 162. See also here (in PDF).

D. Uhl et al. (2021): Menatanthus mosbruggeri gen. nov. et sp. nov. – A flower with in situ pollen tetrads from the Paleocene maar lake of Menat (Puy-de-Dôme, France). Free access, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 101: 51–58.

S.W. Veatch and H.W. Meyer (2008); Start on PDF-page 12: History of paleontology at the Florissant fossil beds, Colorado. PDF file, In: Meyer, H.W., and Smith, D.M., eds., Paleontology of the Upper Eocene Florissant Formation, Colorado. The Geological Society of America, Special Paper 435: 1-18.
See also here.

H. Wang et al. (2013): Fruits, seeds, and flowers from the Warman clay pit (middle Eocene Claiborne Group), western Tennessee, USA. In PDF, Palaeontologia Electronica. See also here.

V. Wilde and W. Riegel (2022): A middle Eocene treefall pit and its filling: a microenvironmental study from the onset of a forest mire in the Geiseltal (Germany). Open access, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 102: 237–251.
Note figure 10: Resin particles in palynological residue.

V. Wilde et al. (2021): A myricaceous male inflorescence with pollen in situ from the middle Eocene of Europe Open access, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 101: 873–883.

P. Wilf et al. (2019): Response to Comment on “Eocene Fagaceae from Patagonia and Gondwanan legacy in Asian rainforests”. Free access, Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz2297

P. Wilf et al. (2019): Eocene Fagaceae from Patagonia and Gondwanan legacy in Asian rainforests. Abstract, Science, 364. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw5139. See also here.

! J.A. Wolfe and G.R. Upchurch (1987): Leaf assemblages across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the Raton Basin, New Mexico and Colorado. Free access, Proc. National Academy of Sciences USA, 84: 5096-5100.

G. Worobiec and E. Worobiec 2019): Wetland vegetation from the Miocene deposits of the Belchatów Lignite Mine (central Poland). In PDF, Palaeontologia Electronica, https://doi.org/10.26879/871.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Connecticut:
! Compendium Index of North American Paleobotany. The Compendium Index presently covers fossil floras from North America, including Greenland, starting in the Triassic Period and extending to Pleistocene. This is a digitized version of a card-file index of approximately 20,000 images and text of descriptions of fossil plant species, maintained at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History as a classification and identification tool.

M.C. Zamaloa et al. (2022): The first fossil record of a giant horsetail (Equisetum, Equisetaceae) is from the Miocene of Patagonia, Argentina. In PDF, Andean Geology, 49: 273-287.
See also here.

! A.E. Zanne et al. (2014): Three keys to the radiation of angiosperms into freezing environments. In PDF, Nature. Provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.










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This index is compiled and maintained by Klaus-Peter Kelber, Würzburg,
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Last updated January 24, 2023