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Vegetation and climate of north anatolian and north aegean region since 7 Ma according to pollen analysis

Abstract : This study concerns a long marine section (DSDP Site 380: Late Miocene to Present) and onshore exposed sections from the Late Miocene and/or Early Pliocene. The main target of this study is to reconstruct vegetation and climate in the North Anatolia and North Aegean region for the last 7 Ma. Two vegetation types were alternately dominant: thermophilous forests and open vegetations including Artemisia steppes. During the Late Miocene, most of the tropical and subtropical plants declined because of the climatic deterioration. However, some of them survived during the Late Pliocene, such as those which constituted coastal swamp forests (Glyptostrobus, Engelhardia, Sapotaceae, Nyssa) or composed deciduous mixed forests with mesothermic trees. Simultaneously, herbaceous assemblages became a prevalent vegetation component despite steppe elements (Artemisia, Ephedra, Hippophae rhamnoides) did not significantly develop. At 2.6 Ma, as a response to the onset of Arctic glaciations, subtropical elements rarefied despite some taxa persisted (Glyptostrobus, Engelhardia, Sapotaceae, Nyssa). In parallel, deciduous mixed forest assemblages composed of mesothermic trees (deciduous Quercus, Betula, Alnus, Liquidambar, Fagus, Carpinus, Tilia, Acer, Ulmus, Zelkova, Carya, Pterocarya) almost disappeared too while steppe environments strongly enlarged. Then, Artemisia steppic phases developed during longer temporal intervals than mesophilous tree phases all along the glacial-interglacial cycles (first with a period of 41 kyrs, then 100 kyrs). Since 1.8 Ma, herbaceous ecosystems including Artemisia steppes still continuously enlarged up today. Such an expansion of Artemisia steppes in the Ponto-Euxinian region was observed at the earliest Pliocene but their earliest settlement in Anatolia seems to have occurred in the Early Miocene. The development of the Artemisa steppes in Anatolia might result from the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. Relictuous plants such as Carpinus orientalis, Pterocarya, Liquidambar orientalis, Zelkova persisted up today. This story can be explained by some influence of the Asian monsoon which reinforced as a result from the uplifted Tibetan Plateau.
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Demet Biltekin. Vegetation and climate of north anatolian and north aegean region since 7 Ma according to pollen analysis. Earth Sciences. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010LYO10298⟩. ⟨tel-00720892⟩

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