J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1973, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

On the Discovery of a Quercus semicarpifolia Bed in Mount Shisha Pangma and its Significance in Botany and Geology

Hsü Jen, Tao Jun-rong and Sun Xiang-jun   

Abstract: Mount Shisha Pangma, one of the high peaks of the central Himalayas, is about 8,012 m in height above the sea level. At the foot of its northern slope, there is aseries of grayish yellow sandstones. Its exposed thickness is about 1,000 m. In the lower part of this sandstone series, a plant-bearing bed was discovered, inwhich were preserved leaves of evergreen oaks, Quercus semicarpifolia Sm., Qu. cf.pannosa Hand.-Mzt. and Qu. cf. senecens ttand.-Mzt.,, and a leaf of Cyperaceae(?). Under palynological investigation, a large amount of pollen grains of Cedrus (mostlyof C. deodara Loud.) and Quercus has been observed, counted about 59.1% and 72.2%of the sporo-pollen contents of the upper and lower parts respectively. Besides, pollenof Abies, Picea, Pinus, Tsuga, Betula, Ericaceae, Labiatae and Cyperaceae and sporesof Pteris, Polypodium and Selaginella were also observed. The sporo-pollen assemblagesof the upper and lower parts of this series are quite similar. Owing to the incrementof the amount of Abies pollen and the appearance of pollen grains of Picea, Pinus and some shrubby and herbaceous plants and spore of Selaginella, the flora of the laterstage is more complex than that of the earlier, and the floral development of the laterstage is more close to that in temperate climate rather than in subtropical. Anyway, the vegetation of that time is, as a whole, mainly represented by evergreen oak andCedrus forests. The climate then seems to be rather mild and rainy. The flora is more close to the late Pliocene flora of Northwestern Yunnan, themiddlelate Pliocene flora of south-eastern Europe and the early Pleistocene flora of Kashmir. The floral development of the said flora is quite identical with that of the Pliocene flora of Ebene (Sofia) of Bulgaria and that of the middle Pliocene flora of Cantal, southern France. The geological age of the present sandstone series is not earlier than the middle-late Pliocene. The climate of the fossil locality at present is very severe. The altitude is 5,700–5,900 m, above the sea level. Plants can no longer live even in mid-summer. Both the macro- and micro-plant fossils indicate that the climate then was rather warm and the altitude was only 2,500 m above the sea level. Evidently, Mt. Shisha Pangma has up-lifted about 3,000 m. since late Pliocene.

Editorial Office, Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Institute of Botany, CAS
No. 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China
Tel: +86 10 6283 6133 Fax: +86 10 8259 2636 E-mail: jipb@ibcas.ac.cn
Copyright © 2022 by the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Online ISSN: 1744-7909 Print ISSN: 1672-9072 CN: 11-5067/Q