A re-examination of the angiosperm wood record from the early and middle Miocene of Turkey, and new species descriptions
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İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Forestry Faculty, Forest Botany Department, 34473 Bahceköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Online publication date: 2021-06-30
Publication date: 2021-06-30
Acta Palaeobotanica 2021; 61(1): 42–94
  • The early and middle Miocene of Turkey shows a wide variety of woody plants.
  • Sixteen woody plant species, twelve of which are new species, were identified.
  • The woody plant assemblage indicates an environment of well-drained lowland with riparian and swamp conditions.
  • The climate during the lifetime of the fossil woods may have been warm subtropical and rainy.
  • Distinct growth ring boundaries indicate seasonality in the early and middle Miocene.
The early and middle Miocene in Turkey was characterised by a warm climate and a diversified and rich vegetation. Many fossil angiosperm genera have been identified from this period. The present study re-examined previously identified genera and identifed new samples of angiosperm wood remains. The studied material included thin sections housed at the Department of Forest Botany, Division of Forest Engineering, Faculty of Forestry, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, and also new ones. Twelve new species are described: Liquidambaroxylon efeae Akkemik sp. nov., Eucarpinoxylon kayacikii Akkemik sp. nov., Ostryoxylon gokceadaense Akkemik sp. nov., Quercoxylon yaltirikii Akkemik sp. nov., Cryptocaryoxylon grandoleaceum Akkemik sp. nov., Fraxinoxylon beypazariense Akkemik sp. nov., Prunoidoxylon prunoides Akkemik sp. nov., Populoxylon sebenense Akkemik sp. nov., Salicoxylon galatianum Akkemik sp. nov. Aceroxylon aceroides Akkemik sp. nov., Ulmoxylon kasapligilii Akkemik sp. nov. and Zelkovoxylon crystalliferum Akkemik sp. nov. In addition, four previously described species are documented for the early and middle Miocene: Pistacioxylon ufukii Akkemik and I. Poole, Fagoxylon radiatum Süss, Laurinoxylon litseoides Süss and Platanoxylon catenatum Süss and Müller-Stoll. In addition to the species descriptions, identification keys are given for all the genera recognised in this study, including all currently known fossil species of the respective fossil genera. These keys hold important new information, as they place the fossil species from Turkey in a wider taxonomic and biogeographic context. The results show that in the early and early-middle Miocene of Turkey a rich woody flora existed in well-drained upland or lowland and riparian areas. This flora comprised subtropical taxa along with warm-temperate taxa indicative of seasonality of rainfall as well as transitions to xeric conditions in the early Miocene.
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