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Fossil wood flora from the Siwalik Group of Arunachal Pradesh, India and its climatic and phytogeographic significance

Article

Abstract

The plant fossil records from the Siwalik Group of Arunachal Pradesh, India are far from satisfactory due to remoteness and dense vegetation of the area. We report seven fossil woods of which three belong to the Middle Siwalik (Subansiri Formation), while the rest are from the Upper Siwalik (Kimin Formation). The modern analogues of the fossils from the Middle Siwalik are Lophopetalum littorale (Celastraceae), Afzelia-Intsia and Sindora siamensis (Fabaceae) and from the Upper Siwalik are Miliusa velutina (Annonaceae), Calophyllum tomentosum and Kayea (Calophyllaceae) and Diospyros melanoxylon (Ebenaceae). The dominance of diffuse porosity in the fossil woods indicates a tropical climate with low seasonality (little variation) in temperature, while a high proportion of large vessels and simple perforation plates in the assemblage infer high precipitation during the deposition of the sediments. The aforesaid inference is in strong agreement with the previous quantitative reconstruction based on fossil leaves. Several modern analogues of the fossil taxa are now growing in low latitudes possibly due to an increase in seasonality (increased variation) in temperature caused by the rising Himalaya.

Keywords

Megaflora systematics Neogene northeast India palaeoclimate 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow for permission to publish the paper. They are grateful to Prof. Anäis Boura of UPMC, Paris and two anonymous reviewers for their fruitful suggestions to improve our manuscript.

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© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeosciencesLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Geological Survey of IndiaGandhinagarIndia

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