A Late Triassic vegetation record from the Huangshanjie Formation, Junggar Basin, China: possible evidence for the Carnian Pluvial Episode

Posted on 06.12.2021 - 09:52
The Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE; c. 234–232 million years ago) is characterized by an accelerated hydrological cycle, global warming and a period of elevated biotic turnover. Using spores and pollen, we reconstruct vegetation and climate changes through a Carnian–Norian (Upper Triassic) interval of the Huangshanjie Formation from the Junggar Basin, China. Four palynofloras were identified, representing distinct vegetation communities. Among these palynofloras, we observed a prominent shift from a conifer-dominated climax forest community, with common ginkgophytes and bennettites, to a fern-dominated community, suggestive of an environmental perturbation. We interpret this change as a regional shift in vegetation, likely caused by increased humidity, consistent with the CPE. Our records represent the first indication of a possible CPE-induced vegetation response in the Junggar Basin and highlight how this event likely affected floral communities of inland Laurasia.

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Peng, Jungang; Slater, Sam M.; Vajda, Vivi (2021): A Late Triassic vegetation record from the Huangshanjie Formation, Junggar Basin, China: possible evidence for the Carnian Pluvial Episode. Geological Society of London. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5738637.v1
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