By Steven L. Stephenson
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Extra info for A Natural History of the Central Appalachians
This situation persisted until near the middle of the Cenozoic and resulted in a uniform flora throughout the northern hemisphere. This flora has been referred to as the Arcto-Tertiary Geoflora. During the second half of the Cenozoic the earth’s climate began to cool, the continents became more widely separated, and barriers to dispersal appeared. The most important of these in North America was the drying that occurred in the center of the continent as a consequence of the uplift of the Rocky Mountains.
Other common oaks (red, chestnut, and white), along with red maple, are of intermediate tolerance. Some species appear to change their degree of shade tolerance with age. For example, white pine and white ash are very tolerant when young but become intolerant with age. The assemblage of plants, including trees, present at any one locality is made of species with often very different dispersal potentials, and these differences can be of considerable ecological significance. , trees are blown over by high winds or felled by logging), the greatly increased level of light reaching the forest floor provides an opportunity for shade-intolerant species to become established.
If most of these trees released their spores at about the same time, they would have produced a “spore rain” that was probably quite spectacular. It is thought that Lepidodendron inhabited poorly drained areas of the coal swamp forests and thus was a true wetland plant, although this may not have been true for all tree-sized 0 2 HISTORY OF THE FLORA AND FAUNA 33 2" 1" 34 0 FIGURE 12 Fossils of the main stem axis (left) and leaf whorls (right) of Calamites lycopsids. Although Lepidodendron is by far the most extensively studied member of this group, there were other representatives present.
A Natural History of the Central Appalachians by Steven L. Stephenson