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Palaeoenvironment of the Late Triassic (Rhaetian) and Early Jurassic (Hettangian) Mecsek Coal Formation (south Hungary): implications from macro- and microfloral assemblages

Abstract

The changes in early Mesozoic land plant communities, their vegetation patterns and vegetation dynamics are still only poorly understood, mainly because of the lack of integrated studies on fossil plant macroremains and palynomorphs. The Early Jurassic represents a major recovery phase of marine and terrestrial ecosystems after one of the biggest mass extinction events in Earth’s history at the end of the Triassic period. The present study focuses on the southern Hungarian Mecsek Coal Formation of Late Triassic (Upper Rhaetian) to Early Jurassic (Hettangian) age, which has yielded unique plant fossils and diverse palynomorph assemblages which are used to study floral changes within a phase of ecological recovering. The Hungarian coal-bearing series of the Mecsek Mountains are seen to represent key sections for analysing regional changes in land plant communities and also to detect the influence of global climatic change. Furthermore, the cyclic sedimentation of the Mecsek Coal Formation enables a high time resolution of the processes, thus leading to a better understanding of the “beat” in floral changes.

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Acknowledgements

This study is part of a project on microfloral changes within the Triassic/Jurassic boundary interval of key sections of the NW Tethyan realm (Hungary, Slovakia) supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG project GO 761/2-1). Additional financial support was provided by an EU-funded SYNTHESYS grant to A.E.G. and by the Hungarian National Science Found (OTKA T 049226). The very thorough reviews by Dieter Uhl (Frankfurt) and Carmen Heunisch (Hannover) are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Annette E. Götz.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 2  List of macro- and micro-remains examined

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Götz, A.E., Ruckwied, K. & Barbacka, M. Palaeoenvironment of the Late Triassic (Rhaetian) and Early Jurassic (Hettangian) Mecsek Coal Formation (south Hungary): implications from macro- and microfloral assemblages. Palaeobio Palaeoenv 91, 75–88 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-010-0048-7

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Keywords

  • Palaeoflora
  • Palaeoenvironment
  • Rhaetian
  • Hettangian
  • Mecsek Coal Formation
  • South Hungary