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Significance of Two New Pleistocene Plant Records from Western Europe

  • Michael H. Field (a1), Felix Y. Velichkevich (a2), Valerie Andrieu-Ponel (a3) and Phillipe Woltz (a4)

Abstract

The first records of extinct Caulinia goretskyi (Dorofeev) Dorofeev (synonym Najas goretskyi Dorofeev) in western Europe and of Potamogeton occidentalis M.H. Field sp. nov. were obtained from plant macrofossil analyses of Middle Pleistocene temperate stage deposits exposed at Trez Rouz, Brittany, France. Palynological assemblages recovered suggest correlation with the Holsteinian Stage. This discovery greatly expands the western limit of the paleogeographical distribution of Caulinia goretskyi. The record of Potamogeton occidentalis indicates an affinity with the eastern Asiatic flora, as the fruits resemble those of the extant Potamogeton maackianus A. Bennett. Other extinct Pleistocene species related to P. maackianus have been described, and it is possible to follow the development of this group through the Pleistocene in the European fossil record. These new finds illustrate the importance of a complete paleobotanical approach (both plant macrofossil and palynological analyses). The plant macrofossil assemblages not only provide detailed insight into local vegetation and environment, because they are often not transported long distances (in temperate areas) and can frequently be identified to species level; they can also offer the opportunity to investigate Pleistocene evolutionary trends.

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Significance of Two New Pleistocene Plant Records from Western Europe

  • Michael H. Field (a1), Felix Y. Velichkevich (a2), Valerie Andrieu-Ponel (a3) and Phillipe Woltz (a4)

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