Michael Wachtler, Nicolas Wachtler
Permian Fossil Floras and Faunas from the Dolomites
Permo-Triassic climate catastrophes as basis for the birth of new life forms
With over 800 photos and drawings, 240 pages, Hardcover 29,7x21 cm
Several times in the course of Earth’s history, climate cataclysm has considerably changed the planet, at the same time offering the ecological niche for the emergence of new life-forms. One of the best ways to examine these changes are modifications in the plant world. In the Eastern Alps, especially in the Dolomites from the Carboniferous over the whole Permian and Triassic, we have a mainly uninterrupted succession of sediments that contain abundant plant fossils. In the Late Carboniferous, an immense cataclysm, probably the foothills of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age affecting the former Southern globe Gondwana continent, in particular changed the horsetail-fern dominated flora. In the early Permian period, the extremely cold climate reached its peak and created room for the evolution of conifers, such as the first Abietaceae, Pinoidea, Araucariaceae, all sub-tribes of the cycads and also the ginkgos. After a short blossoming in the Late Permian, another disaster, the Permo-Triassic catastrophe, transformed the whole plant kingdom once more.