A new Early Miocene (Ottnangian) flora of the “Rzehakia Beds” from Brno-Líšeň


The fossil flora from brackish late Burdigalian (Ottnangian) sediments in Brno-Líšeň (the Czech Republic) contributes to our knowledge of floristic evolution and palaeoclimatic changes in the Western Carpathians. The fossil material investigated for this study comprises fragmentary leaf imprints, few fruits/seeds, and dispersed pollen from a single palynomorph-rich sample. Macro remains include 3 ferns (Osmunda parschlugiana, Salvinia reussii, ?Polypodiaceae gen. et sp. indet.) and 17 angiosperms (e.g., Daphnogene polymorpha, “Parrotia” pristina, Leguminophyllum spp., Podocarpium podocarpum, cf. Engelhardia orsbergensis, Ulmus sp., Schoenoplectiella cf. ragozinii). The palynospectrum comprises 106 taxa, including abundant palaeotropical elements of zonal evergreen forest, i.e., Sapotaceae, Palmae, Engelhardia, Platycarya, Fagaceae, Araliaceae and Cornus-Mastixia, accompanied by arctotertiary elements of deciduous zonal forest (Quercus, Carpinus, Fagus, Carya, Juglans, Tilia, Betula, Parrotia) and deciduous azonal (riparian) forest (e.g., Alnus, Salix, Ulmus). Aquatic plants, algae (Prasinophyceae, Botryococcus) and marine dinoflagellates indicate a marine environment with freshwater impact. Plant taxa possibly representing open areas such as Olea, Celtis, Buxus, Ephedra, Rosaceae and Poaceae are sporadic, as well as conifers of extrazonal forest such as Cedrus, Tsuga, Picea. The studied palynospectrum contains abundant thermophilic elements and does not point to a cooling event, as reported by previous authors from the Polish part of the Carpathian Foredeep.

Key words

fossil flora, leaves, fruits, pollen, palaeoenvironment, Early Miocene, Carpathian Foredeep, Paratethys