Petr Mazouch

Flora, vegetation and climate assessment of the Early/Middle Miocene Parschlug flora indicates a distinctly seasonal climate


The late Early/early Middle Miocene flora from Parschlug (Styria, Austria) is famous for its numerous specimens and high diversity. Some taxa previously described are revised here and 42 new angiosperm leaf morphotypes/taxa are described. The Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program (CLAMP) is applied to assess the palaeoclimate. An update of the tool to assess the most suitable modern climate CLAMP calibration dataset is introduced. The Integrated Plant Record (IPR) vegetation analysis, assessing the most likely major vegetation type represented by a fossil flora, and similarity approaches Drudges 1 and 2, indicating the most similar modern vegetation proxies, had been previously applied to data from Parschlug. Both are again applied here on the enlarged floristic spectrum. The results indicate “sclerophyllous subhumid forest” as the most likely major zonal vegetation type for Parschlug and European vegetation, namely “Thermophilous mixed deciduous broadleaved forests”, distributed today in southern and southeastern Europe, as the most similar modern vegetation. The climate for Parschlug, inferred from CLAMP and the climate in the region of the modern vegetation proxies, indicates distinct seasonality in precipitation and temperature.

Key words

leaf flora, CLAMP, IPR vegetation analysis, Drudges, modern vegetation and palaeoclimate proxies, Neogene, Austria