The Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory
Online ISSN : 2432-8944
Print ISSN : 0073-0912
FOSSIL MOSSES IN HOLOCENE ALLUVIUM: A CASE STUDY FROM NEW YORK STATE AND PROSPECTS
NORTON G. MILLER
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1997 Volume 82 Pages 171-180

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Abstract

  Fossils of leafy branch and stem fragments representing 21 moss species (and seven others identified only to genus) were recovered from flood plain sediment in a terrace along the Wood Creek valley, Washington County, eastern New York State. Three deposits, 4000, 3500, and 2800 radiocarbon years old, contained similar assemblages, indicating that the paleobryofloras did not differ greatly during the 1200 years separating these late Holocene deposits. Represented were species of wet or mesic, streamside habitats, and epiphytic and epilithic mosses were present also. Species of calcareous and acidic substrata were identified. Likely source areas for the mosses were habitats on the flood plain and valley slopes close to the site of burial. While alluvial sediment has been neglected as a source of fossil mosses, it is likely that alluvium in both glaciated and nonglaciated regions will yield fossils that may prove revealing phytogeographically as well as in studies of Quaternary paleoecology. Such deposits contain samples of the upland bryoflora, about which little is known for much of the Holocene.

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© 1997 Hattori Botanical Laboratory
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