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Re: Permian Plant Pompeii (free pdf!)
From: Ben Creisler
The article is now online and the pdf is FREE!
Jun Wang, Hermann W. Pfefferkorn, Yi Zhang, and Zhuo Feng (2012)
Permian vegetational Pompeii from Inner Mongolia and its implications
for landscape paleoecology and paleobiogeography of Cathaysia.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (advance online publication)
Plant communities of the geologic past can be reconstructed with high
fidelity only if they were preserved in place in an instant in time.
Here we report such a flora from an early Permian (ca. 298 Ma)
ash-fall tuff in Inner Mongolia, a time interval and area where such
information is filling a large gap of knowledge. About 1,000 m2 of
forest growing on peat could be reconstructed based on the actual
location of individual plants. Tree ferns formed a lower canopy and
either Cordaites, a coniferophyte, or Sigillaria, a lycopsid, were
present as taller trees. Noeggerathiales, an enigmatic and extinct
spore-bearing plant group of small trees, is represented by three
species that have been found as nearly complete specimens and are
presented in reconstructions in their plant community. Landscape
heterogenity is apparent, including one site where Noeggerathiales are
dominant. This peat-forming flora is also taxonomically distinct from
those growing on clastic soils in the same area and during the same
time interval. This Permian flora demonstrates both similarities and
differences to floras of the same age in Europe and North America and
confirms the distinct character of the Cathaysian floral realm.
Therefore, this flora will serve as a baseline for the study of other
fossil floras in East Asia and the early Permian globally that will be
needed for a better understanding of paleoclimate evolution through
Not strictly about dinosaurs, but a story that may be of interest. The
official paper has not been posted yet on the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences website yet.