Paleovegetation and paleoclimate inferences of the early late Sarmatian palynoflora from the Gleisdorf Fm. at Gratkorn, Styria, Austria

Christian Geier, Johannes M. Bouchal, Silvia Ulrich, Martin Gross, Reinhard Zetter, Thomas Denk, Fridgeir Grimsson

The Gleisdorf Formation (Fm.) deposits in the clay pit at Gratkorn, Styria, Austria, are dated to 12.2–12 Ma, and are of late Middle Miocene age (late Serravallian or Sarmatian). To reconstruct the paleovegetation and estimate the paleoclimate at this important vertebrate site, the palynoflora close to the boundary between the vertebrate-bearing layers of the Gratkorn Fm. and the overlying limnic clay deposits of the Gleisdorf Fm. was investigated. Using the single-grain method, 140 palynomorphs were identified. The palynoflora suggests that the paleovegetation was characterised by well-drained lowland and upland forests, riparian forest, and swamp forests. Depending on the dominating tree species, lowland and upland forests might have had closed or more open canopies. Open habitats included wet meadows and shrublands. In addition, conifers were present in the swampy lowlands and the forested uplands. The most prominent paleoclimatic signatures of the palynoflora indicate a fully humid warm temperate climate, with hot to warm summers and cool winters (Cfa-, Cfb-climate), and a seasonal climate with cool and drier winters and hot to warm and wetter summers (Cwa-, Cwb-climate). Our results align with existing studies bordering the Styrian Basin and support the presence of subtropical to warm-temperate vegetation around Gratkorn during the Sarmatian.

Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung, Institut für Paläontologie
Externe Organisation(en)
Universalmuseum Joanneum, Swedish Museum of Natural History
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology
ÖFOS 2012
105117 Paläobotanik, 106008 Botanik
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Palaeontology
Link zum Portal