J Syst Evol ›› 2001, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (2): 105-115.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Early Tertiary fossil plants and paleoclimate of Lanzhou Basin

GENG Bao-Yin, TA0 Jun-Rong, XIE Guang-Pu   

  • Published:2001-03-10

Abstract: Fossil plants from the lower part of Xianshuihe Formation in the Lanzhou Basin, Gansu Province were studied. The flora contains 29 species, representing 20 genera and 12 families, which include Lauraceae ( Daphnogene ), Lardizabalaceae ( Akebia ), Berberidaceae ( Berberis ), Ulmaceae ( Planera, Ulmus, Zelkova ), Betulaceae ( Alnus, Carpinus ), Myricaceae( Myrica ), Salicaceae ( Populus, Salix), Myrsinaceae(Ardisia), Rosaceae ( Prunus, Sorbus, Sorbaria, Spiraea ), Leguminosae ( Gleditsia, Sophora), Anacardiaceae (Rhus), Caprifoliaceae(Viburnum). An analysis of the floristic elements and their foliar physiognomy shows that most members of the flora are deciduous broad-leaved trees or shrubs with a few evergreen shrubs. The most noteworthy species is Rhus turcomanica which was present in the Middle Eocene to Late Eocene of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan). Generally, Rhus turcomanica occurred at the same beds as Palibinia, an extinct fossil plant whose presence indicates a subtropical dry climate. Another species, Sorbaria callicomifolia Kornilova was present from the Early Oligocene to Early Miocene of Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan). According to an analysis of spores and pollen, this flora contains over 20 species. It is predominated by the angiosperm pollen. There appeared Ephedripites and Nitrariadites which were important elements in the dry area. Ephedripites was found from the Upper Cretaceous to Early Tertiary. Nitrariadites occurred in the Late Miocene, whereas Rhus turcomanica and Sorbaria callicomifolia were both reported in the subtropical dry area from the Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene. The latest record of Rhus turcomanica is from the Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene of Central Asia. The presence of this element in the lower part of Xianshuihe Formation may indicate that itsage is the latest stage of the Early Oligocene.

Key words: Oligocene, Fossil plants, Paleoclimate, Lanzhou Basin