Floral diversity during Plio-Pleistocene Siwalik sedimentation (Kimin Formation) in Arunachal Pradesh, India, and its palaeoclimatic significance

Khan, Mahasin Ali; Ghosh, Ruby; Bera, Subir; Spicer, Robert A. and Spicer, T. E. V. (2011). Floral diversity during Plio-Pleistocene Siwalik sedimentation (Kimin Formation) in Arunachal Pradesh, India, and its palaeoclimatic significance. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 91(4) pp. 237–255.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-011-0059-z

Abstract

A morpho-taxonomic study of leaf remains from the upper part of the Siwalik succession of sediments (Kimin Formation; upper Pliocene to lower Pleistocene) of Papumpare district, Arunachal Pradesh, India, revealed 23 species representing 20 genera belonging to 15 angiosperm families. The recovered fossil leaves are comparable to modern Bambusa tulda Roxb. (Poaceae), Mangifera indica Linn., Dracontomelum mangiferum Blume (Anacardiaceae); Chonemorpha macrophylla G. Don (Apocynaceae); Pongamia pinnata (L) Pierre., Millettia pachycarpa Benth., Dalbergia rimosa Roxb., Millettia extensa (Fabaceae); Macaranga denticulate Muell. Arg., Croton caudatus Geisel. (Euphorbiaceae); Combretum decandrum Roxb. (Combretaceae); Dysoxylum procerum Hiern. (Meliaceae); Dipterocarpus sp. Gaertn.f. (Dipterocarpaceae); Actinodaphne angustifolia Nees., Actinodaphne obovata Blume., Lindera pulcherrima Benth., Litsea salicifolia Roxb. (Lauraceae); Calophyllum polyanthum Wall. (Clusiaceae); Knema glaucescens Hook.f. (Myristaceae); Canarium bengalense Roxb. (Burseraceae); Quercus lamellose Smith; Quercus semicarpifolia Smith (Fagaceae); and Berchemia floribunda Wall. (Rhamnaceae). Among these taxa, 11 species are recorded as new to the Neogene flora of India. Analysis of the floral assemblage with respect to the distribution pattern of modern equivalent taxa and the physiognomic characters of the fossil leaves, suggests that a tropical evergreen forest was growing in a warm humid climate in the region at the time of deposition. This is in contrast to modern tropical semi-evergreen forests that occupy the area. Values of mean annual temperature (MAT) of 29.3°C and mean annual precipitation (MAP) of 290 mm have been calculated using leaf-margin characters and fossil leaf size.

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