First record of fossil leaves from Siwalik (Upper Miocene) sediments of Mandi District, Himachal Pradesh, India: palaeoclimatic and phytogeographical implications
Keywords:Fossil leaves, Angiosperm, Morphotaxonomy, Palaeoclimate, Phytogeography, Siwalik (Upper Miocene), Sarkaghat, Himachal Pradesh
Six fossil leaf impressions comparable with extant taxa, Gynocardia odorata R.Br. (Flacourtiaceae), Millettia pachycarpa Benth. and Cynometra polyandra Roxb. (Fabaceae), Ventilago calyculata Tul. (Rhamnaceae), Terminalia tomentosa (Roxb.) W. & A. (Combretaceae) and Daemonorops calycarpus Mart. (Arecaceae) have been reported for the first time from Siwalik sediments exposed near Sarkaghat in Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh. All species are presently distributed in the tropical evergreen to moist deciduous forests of north-east India and south-east Asia. Their occurrence in the Siwalik sediments suggests that tropical humid climate with high precipitation prevailed in the area during Upper Miocene. The occurrence of palm leaf in the area is of ecologically importance as it indicates a characteristic feature of tropical vegetation where the temperature and humidity remain high throughout the year.