Abstract

A small but diverse assemblage of pollen, spores and marine phytoplankton recovered from a single, lignitic clay sample of the lower to middle Eocene strata from a deep injection well on Pine Island, Florida represents the oldest land flora described from the state. The assemblage contains 17 terrestrial forms and four to five brackish to marine forms of dinoflagellate cysts or algal taxa. Angiosperm pollen forms are comparable to extant taxa including the palms, Bombacacidites (Bombacaceae), Corsinipollenites (Onagraceae), Milfordia (Restioniaceae), Tiliaepollenites (Tiliaceae), and Retitricolporites sp. (Lisianthius Gentianaceae). These suggested affinities point to a mild, warm-temperate to subtropical, probably lowland, environment. No new pollen taxa are described. This is the earliest report of terrestrial vegetation and near marine vegetation of Florida and documents the presence of a Florida landmass during the early Eocene.

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