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TitleA reconstruction of the early Paleocene palaeovegetation of Turtle Mountain, southwestern Manitoba, Canada
AuthorPatel, N; Greenwood, D R; Greenwood, C L; Galloway, J MORCID logo; Desautels, M
SourcePalynology 2022 p. 1-16,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210401
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaTurtle Mountain
Lat/Long WENS-100.2478 -100.2472 49.0008 49.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; Paleocene; coal; microfossils; Cretaceous - Tertiary Boundary
Illustrationslocation maps; stratigraphic correlations; photographs; tables; diagrams
ProgramGEM-GeoNorth: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals GEM Program Coordination
Released2022 04 12
AbstractThe lower Goodlands Member of the Turtle Mountain Formation is exposed in a streambank outcrop on the western flank of Turtle Mountain, south-western Manitoba, Canada (49°0'2''N, 100°14'51''W). This outcrop was sampled for a 1.5m section of microfossil-rich non-marine clay and coal-rich sediments deposited in a coastal plain environment during the early Palaeocene. These sediments were deposited 65.4-65Ma and thus offer an opportunity to reconstruct terrestrial palaeoecology 0.6 to 1 Ma after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (K-Pg) extinction event. We use quantitative palynology to reconstruct terrestrial plant ecology and explore ecological patterns of recovery and succession of these communities on a millennial time scale. Quantitative palynological analyses shows that at the time of deposition of the Goodlands Member the landscape on the coastal plain of the Western Interior Seaway - in what is now south-western Manitoba - was covered in a forested canopied swamp with tall standing swamp cypress and other conifers, Juglandaceae (walnut family), birch, alder, elms and other angiosperms, with an understory of ferns and ground cover of Sphagnum moss. Notably, palms were present but scarce, indicating a relatively warm climate. No successional pattern of diversity and community composition is evident in the samples; all samples showed high plant diversity (33-54 taxa/ sample, H' 2-3). Vegetation in Manitoba recovered within 0.6 to 1 Ma following the K-Pg extinction event or was predominantly influenced by local environmental patterns independent of time.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This paper presents a reconstruction of vegetation in the first million years following the Cretaceous-Paleogene event at Turtle Mountain, southwestern Manitoba. Pollen and spore analysis shows that the coastal plain of the Western Interior Seaway was covered with a forested swampland with tall standing swamp cypress and other conifers, walnut, birch, alder, elm, and an understory of ferns and mosses. Scarce palms indicate a relatively warm climate. No successional patterns are evident, suggesting that community composition was controlled by edaphic factors.

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