2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM

The End-Permian Biotic Crisis: A Botanical Perspective of the Recovery

LOOY, Cindy V., Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, NHB, MRC-121, Washington, DC 20013-7012, looyc@si.edu

The Mesozoic biosphere had a rough start as the end-Permian biotic crisis (~250 mya) profoundly altered terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. In widely separated areas, irrespective of floral province and climatic zone, the abundance of pollen types reflects a strong decline of woody gymnospermous vegetation. The paleobotanical record indicates that the dieback of dominant gymnosperms was a global event that dramatically affected terrestrial ecosystems. Several typical Late Permian taxa, such as the Glossopteridales of Gondwanaland, the Cordaites of Angaraland, as well as a variety of Euramerican, Cathaysian and Angaran conifers, became extinct. A period of lycopsid and seedfern domination followed. In Europe, ecosystem recovery to precrisis levels of structure and function took 4 to 5 million years. Based on recent literature, the floral sequence of events following the end-Permian biotic crisis will be described using palynological and paleobotanical records.