Invasion of Arcto-Tertiary Elements in the Palaeogene of Central Europe

  • H. Walther
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 27)


The Palaeogene vegetation of Central Europe is characterized by continuous changes in composition and physiognomy corresponding with stepwise climatic deterioration. The vegetation evolved from paratropical (Middle Eocene) to subtropical (Late Eocene) and warm-temperate (Early/Middle Oligocene) associations. Significant waves of ‘arcto-tertiary’ elements (in the sense of Engler) penetrate the primary evergreen laurophyllic vegetation of Europe on the Eocene — Oligocene boundary, most pronounced during the middle and upper Oligocene. Taxa such as Acer, Fagus, Carpinus can be recognized up to the rank of species. Others are systematically situated between known genera (e.g. Eotrigobalanus). As well as the alternations in palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic conditions, distinctive ecological adaptations must have played an important role (r-strategists) which was demonstrated by different species in the numerous megafloras from Central Europe (according to results of recent studies of Populus, Liquidambar, Platanus and other taxa). Some of these ‘pioneer forms’ (Acer, Ulmus, Fagus, Cyclocarya, Cercidiphyllum) demonstrate a transition from azonal to zonal distributions in the subsequent periods.


Riparian Forest Middle Eocene Late Eocene Fossil Flora Mesophytic Forest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Walther
    • 1
  1. 1.Staatliches Museum fue Mineralogie und GeologieLandesmuseum des Freistaates SachsenDresdenGermany

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