Palaeobotanical experiences of plant diversity in deep time. 1: How well can we identify past plant diversity in the fossil record?

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Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 594 words

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Keywords Palaeobotany; Palynology; Biodiversity; Taxonomy; Taphonomy; Vegetation Abstract Palaeobotany and palynology are the main direct sources of evidence for studying vegetation diversity dynamics through geological time. However, plant fossil diversity is affected by various factors other than vegetation diversity, which need to be taken into account in such studies. The use of fossil-taxa will potentially inflate perceived plant diversities, requiring taxonomic lists to be normalised. Autochthonous floras provide the most direct evidence of vegetation diversity but these are rare; most plant beds are allochthonous with plant remains that have been subjected to varying levels of fragmentation, transportation and time averaging. Local-scale vegetation diversity is especially difficult to determine from the fossil record, even with rigorous sampling protocols and detailed sedimentological analysis. Landscape-scale and regional-scale vegetation diversities are more reliably determined but usually at the rank of family. Macrofossil and palynological data tend to reveal evidence of different aspects of plant diversity, and the best results are obtained if the two diversity signals are integrated. Despite the inherent difficulties, the plant fossil record provides clear evidence of the dynamic history of vegetation through geological times, including the effects of major processes such as climate changes and mass extinctions. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Natural Sciences, National Museum Wales, Cardiff CF10 3NP, UK (b) School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK (c) CNRS, Univ. Lille, UMR 8198, Evo-Eco-Paleo, F-59000 Lille, France (d) Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics IDYST, University of Lausanne, Bâtiment Géopolis, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland (e) Department of Marine Geosciences and Land Management, Universidade de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain (f) Varna Regional Museum of History, 41 Maria Louisa Boulevard, 9000 Varna, Bulgaria (g) Palaeoecology, Department of Physical Geography, University of Utrecht, P.O. Box 80115, 3508, TC, Utrecht, the Netherlands (h) School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK (i) Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev Street, 23, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria (j) Museum of Nature South Tyrol, Bindergasse/Via Bottai 1, Bozen / Bolzano 39100, Italy (k) Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture, LAMPEA, UMR 7269, 5 rue du Château de l'Horloge, 13094 Aix-en-Provence, France (l) School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, L69 3GP, Liverpool, UK (m) School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Ireland (n) Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic (o) Southwest Petroleum University, School of Geosciences and Technology, 8, Xindu Ave., 610500 Xindu, Chengdu, China (p) University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Department of Geology and Doctoral School of Geology, Laboratory of Palaeontology, 1, N. Balcescu Ave., 010041 Bucharest, Romania (q) Department of Palaeontology, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria (r) *EP Research, 59320 Ennigerloh-Westkirchen, Germany (s) Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth SY23 1NL, UK (t) Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 4 February 2020; Revised 15 February 2021; Accepted 13 May 2021 (miscellaneous) Editor: Thomas Algeo Byline: Christopher Cleal [christopher.cleal@gmail.com] (a,*), Heather S. Pardoe [heather.pardoe@museumwales.ac.uk] (a), Christopher M. Berry [berrycm@cardiff.ac.uk] (b), Borja Cascales-Miñana [borja.cascales-minana@univ-lille.fr] (c), Basil A.S. Davis [basil.davis@unil.ch] (d), Jose B. Diez [jbdiez@uvigo.es] (e), Mariana V. Filipova-Marinova (f), Thomas Giesecke [t.giesecke@uu.nl] (g), Jason Hilton [j.m.hilton@bham.ac.uk] (h), Dimiter Ivanov [dimiter@gbg.bg] (i), Evelyn Kustatscher [evelyn.kustatscher@naturmuseum.it] (j), Suzanne A.G. Leroy [suzleroy@hotmail.com] (k,l), Jennifer C. McElwain (m), Stanislav Oplustil [stanislav.oplustil@natur.cuni.cz] (n), Mihai Emilian Popa [mihai@mepopa.com] (o,p), Leyla J. Seyfullah [leyla.seyfullah@univie.ac.at] (q), Ellen Stolle [e.stolle.research@mail.de] (r), Barry A. Thomas [bat@aber.ac.uk] (s), Dieter Uhl [dieter.uhl@senckenberg.de] (t)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A666875206