MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Major vegetation trends in the Tertiary of Patagonia (Argentina): A qualitative paleoclimatic approach based on palynological evidence
PALAZZESI, LUIS; BARREDA, VIVIANA
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2007 vol. 202 p. 328 - 328
The patterns of Patagonian vegetation change suggest a strong relationship between the major thermal characters of the flora and the global paleoclimatic trends during Tertiary times. This conclusion was reached from the assessment of fossil pollen data from Patagonia throughout the Paleogene and Early Neogene periods and the subsequent comparison of palynological data to the global deep-sea oxygen isotope record. Four main time intervals were recognized based on the temporal distribution of selected angiosperm key taxa. (1) Paleocene to Early Eocene: presence of megatherm elements (e.g. Nypa, Pandanus), probably integrating mangrove communities in Patagonian lowlands. (2) Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene: rise to dominance of mesotherm and microtherm Nothofagus species. Megatherm taxa were well recorded at the beginning of this interval (e.g. Ilex) but were shown to disappear towards the end. (3) Late Oligocene to Middle Miocene: new increases of megatherm taxa such as palms, Cupania andAlchornea. First occurrences of mesotherm Asteraceae, represented by trailing Mutisieae, were reported. (4) Late Miocene: dispersal of meso-microtherm and arid adapted taxa (e.g. Ephedraceae and Asteraceae) across the non-Andean region of Patagonia. Microtherm Nothofagacean forests probably occurred on the higher rainfall regions of western Patagonia. The current vegetation was most likely reached during this last stage with the forest developmentunder wetter conditions on the Andean sectors, and the steppe throughout the non-Andean region of Patagonia.