Evolution and comparison of the Gondwana flora and the Cathaysia flora
Keywords:Evolution, Gondwana flora, Cathaysia flora
By the Late Palaeozoic, during the Late Carboniferous and Permian, the global vegetation was distinguishable into four main geobotanical provinces: Euramerican, Angara, Gondwana and Cathaysia. The largest of these four provinces was the Gondwana Supercontinent comprising two segments- (i) Western Gondwana consisting of South America and Africa possibly Iran-Afghanistan, and (ii) Eastern Gondwana consisting of Antarctica, Australia and India. The Cathaysia flora is the main flora of the Carboniferous and the Permian mainly distributed in present-day China, Korea, Japan, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. It is generally accepted that a typical Gondwana flora is of Early Permian to Late Triassic in age. India and China are the most important and significant and well-studied regions for Gondwana and Cathaysia floras in Asia. A comparative account of the Gondwana and Cathaysia flora, their origin, development and extinction are reviewed and discussed in the foregoing pages. Mixed floras of Cathaysian and Gondwanian affinities from Qinghai-Xizang Plateau (Tibet) and Kashmir are also reviewed and discussed.