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Keywords:

  • Climatic fluctuations;
  • conifers;
  • dicotyledons;
  • Korean Peninsula;
  • macrofossils;
  • pollen;
  • Quaternary period;
  • Tertiary period;
  • vegetational and environmental history

Abstract

1 The vegetational and environmental history of the Korean Peninsula has been reconstructed by the use of both macrofossils and pollen data. These data were analysed within the time-frame between the Permian and the present day.

2 The continuous appearances of presently occurring conifers and dicotyledons since the Cretaceous indicate both the absence of catastrophic environmental changes in the past, and a degree of long-term climatic continuity. There were, however, climatic fluctuations occurring within the full time-frame considered.

3 The presence of a relatively rich flora in both the Oligocene and Miocene suggests the existence of a warm climate. The removal of the Tertiary and Quaternary conifers from the Holocene deposits and the continued survival of cryophilous conifers since the later Pleistocene may be due to climatic deterioration.

4 Overall, an analysis on the vegetational history seems to provide information for the better understanding of the present vegetation as well as providing data on environmental change in the region.