Landscape heterogeneity in the Yatagan Basin (southwestern Turkey) during the middle Miocene inferred from plant macrofossils

Guner T. H. , Bouchal J. M. , Kose N. , Goktas F., MAYDA S., Denk T.

PALAEONTOGRAPHICA ABTEILUNG B-PALAEOPHYTOLOGIE PALAEOBOTANY-PALAEOPHYTOLOGY, cilt.296, ss.113-171, 2017 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 296
  • Basım Tarihi: 2017
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1127/palb/2017/0057
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.113-171


Plant macrofossils from the lignite mines of Eskihisar, Tinaz, and Salihpasalar (Yatagan Basin, southwestern Anatolia) were investigated. The fossils were collected from marls overlying the exploited lignite seams and represent three subbasins within the main Yatagan Basin. The age of the Eskihisar lignite seam is well constrained by vertebrate fossils (MN 6, middle Miocene). Further, lithological and palynological correlation suggests that the lignite seams and overlying marls in the three lignite mines were formed at the same time. Three distinct zonal vegetation types are reflected in the local plant assemblages: (i) In Eskihisar, Fagus and evergreen Quercus mediterranea-Q. sosnowskyi communities formed important parts of the zonal vegetation along with the deciduous Quercus kubinyii; (ii) in Tinaz, Quercus sosnowskyi-Q. mediterranea-Q. drymeja communities occurred, while Fagus is rarely encountered in the macrofossil record. (iii) In Salihpasalar, Quercus mediterranea and Q. drymeja are the most abundant elements, while Fagus and Q. sosnowskyi are absent or nearly so. This demonstrates that local environmental conditions within a geographically restricted region varied and probably were controlled by slope aspects, edaphic conditions, and river drainage. Overall, the zonal vegetation is characterized by a high diversity of evergreen and deciduous oaks belonging to Quercus subgen. Cerris sect. Ilex and sect. Cerris and the local dominance of Fagus. The riparian vegetation was dominated by Populus, Salix and Acer, whereas Alnus and taxodiaceous Cupressaceae and ferns were very rare or absent. The mass occurrence of Quercus sosnowskyi in the Yatagan Basin floras is biogeographically interesting, as this distinct sclerophyllous oak has previously been known to occur only in late Miocene sediments of northern Greece and Abkhasia (Georgia).