Wildfires in the Early Triassic of Northeastern Pangaea: Evidence from Fossil Charcoal in the Bogda Mountains, Northwestern China
Fires are an integral part of modern and ancient ecosystems, serving as friends for renewal or foes for complete destruction and extinction. Indicators of palaeowildfire were so far absent from the Lower Triassic. Lack of plants in the Early Triassic due to the end-Permian mass extinction event and low atmospheric oxygen levels were proposed as the major reasons for the scarcity of wildfires. We present macroscopic charcoals from the Olenekian (Lower Triassic) in northwestern China, indicating probable ground/smoldering fires occurred on landscapes in mid-latitudes of northeastern Pangaea. Atmospheric oxygen concentration during the Olenekian would have been above 18.5%. These findings demonstrate that wildfires continued to be a source of disturbance of terrestrial ecosystems in Bogda Mountains after the end-Permian marine biotic crisis. There were adequate supplies of fuels and oxygen during this critical time period in the Earth history.
M. L. Wan et al., "Wildfires in the Early Triassic of Northeastern Pangaea: Evidence from Fossil Charcoal in the Bogda Mountains, Northwestern China," Palaeoworld, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 593 - 601, Elsevier, Dec 2021.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2021.07.002
Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Charcoal; Extinction; Oxygen Level; Palaeoecology; Wood
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Journal
© 2021 Elsevier, All rights reserved.
01 Dec 2021