Journal article

Evidence of fire in Australian Cenozoic rainforests

Vera A Korasidis, Malcolm W Wallace, Barbara E Wagstaff, Robert S Hill



New palynological analysis of the Middle Eocene to Middle Miocene Latrobe Group coals of the Gippsland Basin in Australia sheds new light on fire adaptation in Australia's modern flora. The distribution of charcoal and fire-prone flora within brown coals is entirely controlled by facies and the paleoenvironments within the peatland, and does not result from drier climates as has been previously suggested. There is therefore, no evidence of climatic drying from this Cenozoic peatland record. Charcoal and fire-prone floras are associated with emergent and meadow marsh environments that produce darker coal lithotypes. Counter-intuitively, the low-nutrient and fire-prone environments that fringe..

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Funding Acknowledgements

AGL Loy Yang and GHD are gratefully acknowledged for enabling the sampling of the M2A, MlB and MIA seams from the Loy Yang Open Cut Mine. Energy Australia is also gratefully acknowledged for enabling the sampling of the Yallourn seam from the Yallourn Open Cut Mine. We are also grateful to Dr. Alan Partridge for his insights into the identification of palynomorphs. The contributions of John Korasidis to the processing of colourimetry samples are also appreciated. This work was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and the Albert Shimmins Fund.