Neogene flora and vegetation development of the Pannonian domain in relation to palaeoclimate and palaeogeography

Boglárka Erdei, Lilla Hably, Miklós Kázmér, Torsten Utescher, Angela A. Bruch

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Abstract

A survey of the Neogene flora and vegetation pattern of the Pannonian domain based on selected fossil plant assemblages is given. The paper aims to reveal the complex interrelation of tectonic-palaeogeographic evolution, climate, flora and vegetation development through the Neogene of the Pannonian domain. Flora and vegetation patterns are based on well-documented and studied fossil plant assemblages (macrofloras, primarily leaves). There are time intervals well-represented in the fossil record, e.g. the Pannonian or the Sarmatian and others with relatively few localities, e.g. the Badenian. A general but slow cooling trend is definitely observable after the Early Miocene as reflected by both quantitative climate reconstructions and floristic change, i.e. decrease of diversity, slow disappearance of thermophilous and exotic elements, as well as decrease in the variety of vegetation types. A significant decline of coldest month temperatures (as compared to warmest month temperatures) must have played a defining role in forming flora and vegetation through the Neogene. As compared to climate estimates for the Middle/Late Miocene fossil floras, warmer climate conditions are indicated by the Ipolytarnóc flora and vegetation comprising an extremely high number of thermophilous taxa as well as complex vegetation structure. The Early and Middle Miocene fossil assemblages bear a significant relevance to the tectonic pattern of the Pannonian domain. A transitional character in both flora and vegetation is indicated by the Karpatian Magyaregregy locality. Knowledge of the Badenian flora and vegetation is limited to the Middle Badenian Nógrádszakál assemblage indicating cooler climate conditions which contrasts with global climate change. In contrast to the relatively poor azonal vegetation of Nógrádszakál and most Pannonian localities, the more diverse Sarmatian and Pliocene floras display a strong relation to each other - attributable to palaeogeographic constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-140
Number of pages26
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume253
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 2007

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Keywords

  • Fossil flora and vegetation
  • Hungary
  • Neogene
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Palaeogeography
  • Pannonian domain
  • Tectonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology

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