Original Research

Vascular plants from the Devonian to Lower Cretaceous in southern Africa

J. M. Anderson, H. M. Anderson
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 3/4 | a1178 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i3/4.1178 | © 1983 J. M. Anderson, H. M. Anderson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 1983 | Published: 06 November 1983

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J. M. Anderson, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, South Africa
H. M. Anderson, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture, South Africa

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Abstract

The succession of pre-angiospermous megafloras in southern Africa from the Devonian to Lower Cretaceous is outlined. Interrelationships between continental drift, global climatic trends, and floral and faunal evolution are emphasized. Data are given on numbers of assemblages sampled; on species diversity; and on relative abundance of each genus per productive ‘formation’. A total of 79 genera and about 250 species are recognized in the 150 assemblages from the 11 horizons considered. Floras are unknown from the Carboniferous and are as yet undescribed from the Jurassic. Aside from these gaps, a good idea of the floral development is obtained. Diversity lows of around 5 to 10 species per ‘formation’ are witnessed in the Devonian, whereas a peak of 112 species is encountered in the Upper Triassic Molteno Formation. Diversity remains around 20 to 30 species for all other ‘formations’.


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