Original Research

Intimations on the Tertiary vegetation of southern Africa

J. A. Coetzee
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 3/4 | a1179 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i3/4.1179 | © 1983 J. A. Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 1983 | Published: 06 November 1983

About the author(s)

J. A. Coetzee, Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of the Orange Free State, South Africa

Full Text:


Share this article

Bookmark and Share


Fossil pollen sequences from the Cape Peninsula and the Saldanha region indicate that sub tropical vegetation and climates existed in these regions during the Miocene. The pollen record from the Cape Peninsula may point to the extinction of some taxa by the terminal Miocene/Early Pliocene with the subsequent strong development of macchia. This major change can probably be related to the maximum build-up of the Antarctic ice-cap in the latest Miocene and the accompanying profound palaeoceanographic changes such as the major cooling of the Benguela current with its effect on the aridification of the Namib desert, and the global glacio-eustatic sea level drop.Parallel palynological and lithological studies in the Saldanha region show that prominent Miocene vegetation shifts were linked to profound local changes in the palaeoenvironment associated with the northward migration of the Miocene Berg River. Such studies are of paramount importance for the possible assessment of the causes of changes in the palaeoenvironment and should first be carried out at many more sites over a wide region. It is to some extent premature to draw firm conclusions as to the origin and migration of some taxa in southern Africa. The record of very primitive angiosperms such as the ClavatipolleniteslAscarina complex and Winteraceae is of considerable phytogeographic interest.


No related keywords in the metadata.


Total abstract views: 1714
Total article views: 2271

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.