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Pennsylvanian tropical floras from the United States as a record of changing climate

Hermann W. Pfefferkorn, Robert A. Gastaldo, William A. DiMichele and Tom L. Phillips
Pennsylvanian tropical floras from the United States as a record of changing climate (in Resolving the late Paleozoic ice age in time and space, Christopher R. Fielding (editor), Tracy D. Frank (editor) and John L. Isbell (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2008) 441: 305-316

Abstract

Late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) fossil floras from the United States are well studied as adpression, permineralization. and palynomorph assemblages throughout the stratigraphic column. These data represent an intrabiomic record that can serve as a proxy for climate change in the Carboniferous tropics. The short-term climatic changes that accompanied the alternations between glacial and interglacial intervals did not alter the persistence of the ecological structure of the landscape. Even after floras had been extirpated over large parts of the North American continent in response to marine transgressions, the same plants and plant communities repeatedly returned when the sea receded. However, at the Westphalian-Stephanian boundary (approximately Desmoinesian-Missourian; Moscovian-Kasimovian boundary), major vegetational changes occurred that suggest a significant environmental threshold had been exceeded. Entire clades (most tree lycopsids and medullosans with very large seeds) became extinct, and tree ferns became dominant, changing the aspect of the ecological landscape. This change reflects the overall warming of Earth's climate, greater seasonality, and shorter periods of wet conditions in the tropics of the late Pennsylvanian.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 441
Title: Pennsylvanian tropical floras from the United States as a record of changing climate
Title: Resolving the late Paleozoic ice age in time and space
Author(s): Pfefferkorn, Hermann W.Gastaldo, Robert A.DiMichele, William A.Phillips, Tom L.
Author(s): Fielding, Christopher R.editor
Author(s): Frank, Tracy D.editor
Author(s): Isbell, John L.editor
Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Affiliation: University of Nebraska Lincoln, Department of Geosciences, Lincoln, NE, United States
Pages: 305-316
Published: 2008
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 978-0-8137-2441-6
Meeting name: Late Paleozoic ice age; toward a more refined understanding of timing, duration, and character
Meeting location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA, United States
Meeting date: 20050821Oct. 21, 2005
References: 83
Accession Number: 2008-123139
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: NSF grants EAR-0207848 and EAR-0207359
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, USA, United StatesColby College, USA, United StatesSmithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, United StatesUniversity of Illinois, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200847
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