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Fossil Woods from the Miocene in the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan

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Eighty-two silicified fossil woods were collected from Miocene formations on the western coast of the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. Twenty-two taxa (5 conifers and 17 dicotyledons) were identified. Five new species (Chamaecyparis parathyoides, Pterocarya parvipora, Populus soyaensis, Schima protowallichii, Lagerstroemia odaniense) and two species not previously known from the Miocene of Yamagata are described. This brings the number of fossil wood taxa from the Miocene of Yamagata to 39. Warm temperate elements such as Keteleeria, Liquidambar, Distylium and Lagerstroemia were found in the formations studied. The fossil wood assemblages from four Miocene formations (except Onisakatoge Formation from which only one sample was collected) suggest that the woody flora changed gradually during the Miocene from a mixture of cool and warm temperate elements to a warm temperate assemblage. These changes agree well with the vegetation changes during the Miocene in Japan; from the Aniai type to the Daijima-type.


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