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Flora ecologies in the Cretaceous



Stan Friesen wrote:

>There is no reason to suspect substantial differences between Montana and
>the Dakotas at that time.  I would certainly be surprised if the common
>species were not present throughout the area.  In the absence of intensive,
>focused collecting of plants in Montana, absence of a species from Montana
>sites really means little.

Well, it would certainly simplify list-making!  :-)

However, my "logic" for hypothesizing different Cretaceous flora
in the Dakotas (compared to flora in Montana) is the presence
of the inland sea.  The Montana Hell Creek forests may have
only been, at most, 100 feet above sea level, but they were
further away from the moderating effects of such a warm
sea than was the H. Cr. Fm. in the Dakotas.

Up here in coastal Washington state, there is a very discernable
change in plant species as one leaves the bay and heads inland only 5
miles.
But that may not be the best analog.
Undoubtably, the change in flora (if any) between coastal Louisiana and
inland Louisiana would make a better Maastrichtian approximation.
                        <pb>