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Rapid expansion of meso-megathermal rain forests into the southern high latitudes at the onset of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Rapid expansion of meso-megathermal rain forests into the southern high latitudes at the onset of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
Rapid expansion of meso-megathermal rain forests into the southern high latitudes at the onset of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
Current knowledge of terrestrial ecosystem response to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ca. 56 Ma) is largely based on the midlatitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. To more fully reconstruct global terrestrial ecosystem response to the PETM, we generated vegetation and biomarker proxy records from an outcrop section on the southern coast of Australia (~60°S paleolatitude). We documented a rapid, massive, and sustained vegetation turnover as a response to regional PETM warming of ~1–4 °C, abruptly transitioning from a warm temperate to a meso-megathermal rain forest similar to that of present-day northeastern Queensland, Australia. The onset of this vegetation change preceded the characteristic PETM carbon-isotope excursion (CIE) by several thousand years. The reconstructed ecosystem change is much stronger than in other Southern Hemisphere records, highlighting the need for consideration of regional paleoceanographic, paleogeographic, and biogeographic characteristics to fully understand the global terrestrial ecosystem response to PETM climate forcing.
0091-7613
40-44
Huurdeman, E.P.
e2bbfb77-e6bf-48a7-8cf0-3a169871844c
Frieling, J.
76c2d878-65e9-4945-bc6b-1ab1daf7cb4d
Reichgelt, T.
345976c1-7187-4ab2-85e8-56fca4b79513
Bijl, P.K.
fe283896-4066-490e-81b5-3212d00ef810
Bohaty, S.M.
af9dbe78-8b9f-44f2-ba1d-20795837d2d1
Holdgate, G.R.
627b8d68-701d-4601-a4f7-229f32e9b358
Gallagher, S.J.
86c54557-ea8f-4082-910d-114a0720addf
Peterse, F.
471cf1d7-57d4-4954-ae8d-14fa03f0278b
Greenwood, D.R.
ffedca4d-e1f5-4a74-8a22-6b587a528157
Pross, J.
e6953dba-20e4-4abd-8b01-4e1ac8d1e14a
Huurdeman, E.P.
e2bbfb77-e6bf-48a7-8cf0-3a169871844c
Frieling, J.
76c2d878-65e9-4945-bc6b-1ab1daf7cb4d
Reichgelt, T.
345976c1-7187-4ab2-85e8-56fca4b79513
Bijl, P.K.
fe283896-4066-490e-81b5-3212d00ef810
Bohaty, S.M.
af9dbe78-8b9f-44f2-ba1d-20795837d2d1
Holdgate, G.R.
627b8d68-701d-4601-a4f7-229f32e9b358
Gallagher, S.J.
86c54557-ea8f-4082-910d-114a0720addf
Peterse, F.
471cf1d7-57d4-4954-ae8d-14fa03f0278b
Greenwood, D.R.
ffedca4d-e1f5-4a74-8a22-6b587a528157
Pross, J.
e6953dba-20e4-4abd-8b01-4e1ac8d1e14a

Huurdeman, E.P., Frieling, J., Reichgelt, T., Bijl, P.K., Bohaty, S.M., Holdgate, G.R., Gallagher, S.J., Peterse, F., Greenwood, D.R. and Pross, J. (2021) Rapid expansion of meso-megathermal rain forests into the southern high latitudes at the onset of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Geology, 49 (1), 40-44. (doi:10.1130/G47343.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Current knowledge of terrestrial ecosystem response to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ca. 56 Ma) is largely based on the midlatitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. To more fully reconstruct global terrestrial ecosystem response to the PETM, we generated vegetation and biomarker proxy records from an outcrop section on the southern coast of Australia (~60°S paleolatitude). We documented a rapid, massive, and sustained vegetation turnover as a response to regional PETM warming of ~1–4 °C, abruptly transitioning from a warm temperate to a meso-megathermal rain forest similar to that of present-day northeastern Queensland, Australia. The onset of this vegetation change preceded the characteristic PETM carbon-isotope excursion (CIE) by several thousand years. The reconstructed ecosystem change is much stronger than in other Southern Hemisphere records, highlighting the need for consideration of regional paleoceanographic, paleogeographic, and biogeographic characteristics to fully understand the global terrestrial ecosystem response to PETM climate forcing.

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Huurdeman_et_al_2020_accepted - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 20 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 August 2020
Published date: January 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446232
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446232
ISSN: 0091-7613
PURE UUID: 8b31d59e-34db-4472-883c-cebab207e6c7
ORCID for S.M. Bohaty: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1193-7398

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Jan 2021 17:32
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:51

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Contributors

Author: E.P. Huurdeman
Author: J. Frieling
Author: T. Reichgelt
Author: P.K. Bijl
Author: S.M. Bohaty ORCID iD
Author: G.R. Holdgate
Author: S.J. Gallagher
Author: F. Peterse
Author: D.R. Greenwood
Author: J. Pross

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