Transient Floral Change and Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary

  title={Transient Floral Change and Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary},
  author={Scott L. Wing and Guy J. Harrington and Francesca A. Smith and Jonathan I. Bloch and Doug M. Boyer and Katherine H. Freeman},
  pages={993 - 996}
Rapid global warming of 5° to 10°C during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) coincided with major turnover in vertebrate faunas, but previous studies have found little floral change. Plant fossils discovered in Wyoming, United States, show that PETM floras were a mixture of native and migrant lineages and that plant range shifts were large and rapid (occurring within 10,000 years). Floral composition and leaf shape and size suggest that climate warmed by ∼5°C during the PETM and that… 
Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation
Palynology shows that the tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.
Sharply increased insect herbivory during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
This study uses plant fossils from the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming to document the combined effects of temperature and pCO2 on insect herbivory, and suggests that increased insect Herbivory is likely to be a net long-term effect of anthropogenic p CO2 increase and warming temperatures.
Paratropical floral extinction in the Late Palaeocene–Early Eocene
The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at c. 55.8 Ma marks a transient (c. 100 ka duration) interval of rapid greenhouse warming that had profound effects on marine and terrestrial biota. Plant
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum: A Perturbation of Carbon Cycle, Climate, and Biosphere with Implications for the Future
During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), ∼56 Mya, thousands of petagrams of carbon were released into the ocean-atmosphere system with attendant changes in the carbon cycle, climate, ocean
Environment and evolution through the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum.
  • P. Gingerich
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 2006
Plant response to a global greenhouse event 56 million years ago.
Despite geologically rapid extirpation, colonization, and recolonization, little extinction was detected during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, suggesting the rate of climate change did not exceed the dispersal capacity of terrestrial plants.
Fossil insect folivory tracks paleotemperature for six million years
Insect damage richness appears to be more sensitive to past climate change than to plant diversity, although plant diversity in the authors' samples only ranges from 6 to 25 dicot species, and increased insect herbivory is likely to be a net long-term effect of anthropogenic warming.
Nannoplankton Extinction and Origination Across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was an interval of global warming and ocean acidification attributed to rapid release and oxidation of buried carbon that appears to have driven turnover, preferentially affecting rare taxa living close to their viable limits.
Perturbation to the nitrogen cycle during rapid Early Eocene global warming
Stable nitrogen isotope data from the Eastern Peri-Tethys Ocean reveal a dramatic change in the marine nitrogen cycle and the emergence of anoxic conditions.


Floral response to rapid warming in the earliest Eocene and implications for concurrent faunal change
Abstract During the first 10–20 Kyr of the Eocene temperatures warmed by 4–8°C in middle and high latitudes, then cooled again over the succeeding ∼200 Kyr. Major changes in the composition of marine
Palaeocene–Eocene paratropical floral change in North America: responses to climate change and plant immigration
The Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum (IETM) at c. 55 Ma represents a period of rapid global warming that lasted less than 200 ka. The response of vegetation to such an event, and particularly
A humid climate state during the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum
The authors' results provide evidence for a previously unrecognized discrete shift in the state of the climate system during the PETM, characterized by large increases in mid-latitude tropospheric humidity and enhanced cycling of carbon through terrestrial ecosystems.
Impact of Paleocene/Eocene Greenhouse Warming on North American Paratropical Forests
Abstract The Paleocene/Eocene boundary (c. 55.2 ma) represents transient greenhouse warming of <220 ky duration that had a critical impact upon North American mammals but an apparently limited impact
Late Paleocene–early Eocene climate changes in southwestern Wyoming: Paleobotanical analysis
  • P. Wilf
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2000
The warmest global temperatures of the Cenozoic Era occurred in early Eocene time, following a warming trend that started in late Paleocene time. The greater Green River Basin of southwestern Wyoming
A Transient Rise in Tropical Sea Surface Temperature During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum
Using mixed-layer foraminifera, it is found that the combined proxies imply a 4° to 5°C rise in Pacific SST during the PETM, which would necessitate a rise in atmospheric pCO2 to levels three to four times as high as those estimated for the late Paleocene.
Global dinoflagellate event associated with the late Paleocene thermal maximum
The late Paleocene thermal maximum, or LPTM (ca. 55 Ma), represents a geologically brief time interval (∼220 k.y.) characterized by profound global warming and associated environmental change. The