Abstract

Mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) floras are abundant and diverse on the North Slope of Alaska. The older floras consist of conifers, cycadophytes, ferns, ginkgophytes, and sphenophytes (horsetails). Angiosperms appeared in latest Albian time and rapidly diversified. The preserved floras consist entirely of deciduous plants, with the exception of a microphyllous conifer, ferns, and sphenophytes. Deciduousness is evidence for strong seasonality, which for these floras might be variations in either light or temperature or both. Cool temperatures are suggested by the prevalence of toothed leaves among the angiosperms and the presence of large-leaved conifers. The paleobotanical evidence points to a mid-Cretaceous climate that was no warmer than cool temperate on the North Slope of Alaska.

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