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The basis of modern fresh-water peatland (mire) classification, namely ground-water influence and source of ionic input, has been adopted in this study for ancient mire analysis. Trends that result from a modern mire’s evolution from a rheotrophic (ground-water influenced) planar to ombrotrophic (solely rain-fed), raised status, under decreasing influence of ground water, include decreasing pH levels, nutrient/ionic supply, ash content, species diversity, and ratio of arboreous to herbaceous vegetation. These attributes are inferred to give rise to the following upward trends within a coal seam: enhanced preservation and reduced biochemical geliflcation within similar tissues; decreasing abundance of liptinite macerals of...

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