Abstract

Permian floras of the Middle East often show a mixture of Euramerican, Cathaysian, and Gondwanan elements. We report several species of Dicroidium, a seed fern typical for the Triassic of Gondwana, from the Upper Permian of the Dead Sea region. This is the earliest unequivocal record and the most northerly occurrence of this genus, suggesting that it may have evolved during the Permian in the paleotropics. With the decline and eventual extinction of the typical Permian Glossopteris flora, Dicroidium may have migrated southward. As the climate ameliorated in the Triassic, Dicroidium could have spread farther, eventually colonizing all of Gondwana, where it became one of the dominant floral elements.

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