Study of plant macro-remains from the Upper Miocene–Lower Pliocene lignite deposits of Kalavrita basin

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Λιάπη, Ελένη
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In the framework of the present study, the description and systematic classification of plant macro-remains from the lignite deposits of the Kalavrita basin (Peloponnese) was carried out. The purpose of this study is the vegetation reconstruction and generally the reconstruction of the palaeoenvironment of the broader study area during the Late Miocene – Early Pliocene. A significant number of specimens (more than 1000 plant macro-remains) from the fossiliferous sites of Drosato and Paleochori were collected. The fossil plant material was prepared mechanically, studied macroscopically and stereoscopically and identified where possible to the species, genus or family level. More specifically, plant macrofossils from the following taxa were identified: Ceratophyllum sp., Daphnogene polymorpha, ?Alnus sp., Liquidambar europaea, Ulmus sp., Quercus pseudocastanea, Quercus cf. kubinyii, Quercus roburoides, Quercus aff. mediterranea, ?Quercus drymeja, Craigia bronnii, ?Salix sp., ?Acer tricuspidatum, Acer pseudomonspessulanum, Platanus academiae, Carya sp., Fraxinus sp. and probably Zelkova zelkovifolia. In addition, Glyptostrobus europaeus probably dominated the swampy areas of Paleochori. Based on the fossil record in Drosato, the presence of Ceratophyllum indicates the existence of aquatic vegetation. Several riparian elements seem to prevail nearby a shallow stream, while a mesophytic forest with many deciduous oaks dominated the hinterland. In Paleochori, a diverse riparian forest occurred around a lake and in the surrounding lowland a mesic forest was possibly formed. On drier substrates of both studied areas, possibly evergreen oaks and conifers seem to have formed a sclerophyllous woodland. The presence of a water system has played an essential role in the taphonomical evolution and preservation of plant macro-remains.
Plant macro-remains, Late Miocene – Early Pliocene, Palaeoflora, Palaeoenvironment, Oak leaves, Lignite deposits, Kalavrita