Modern Phytomorphology

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Putative forest glacial refugia in the Western and Eastern Carpathians

Abstract

Józef Mitka, Wojciech Bąba, Kazimierz Szczepanek

An examination of thermophilous species pollen deposits found in the Plenivistulian river alluvial terraces in the Polish Western Carpathians was conducted. Of the 16 palaeobotanical sites evaluated, most often noted were Alnus and Betula t. alba; Abies, Carpinus and Corylus occurred less frequently, and Quercus, Tilia and Ulmus were rare. Fagus and Fraxinus pollen were absent. Abies and Carpinus were relatively overrepresented, because their frequency of occurrence was similar to Corylus avellana, i.e. one of the most cold-resistant species. Based on a literature survey of phylogeographic studies and data regarding the forest species Aconitum moldavicum, A. variegatum, Bromus benekenii, Carpinus betulus, Lathyrus vernus, Lonicera nigra, and the moderately thermophilous Rosa pendulina, 47 cryptic refugial areas of temperate plant species are postulated. The combined analysis indicates that they could have survived the last glaciation in the W & E Carpathian microrefugia close to 650 m a.s.l., and in Podolia (north of the Eastern Carpathians) along a contour of 300 m a.s.l.

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