Budapest 1986 - Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum

Budapest 1986 - Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum


Tomus 78. Budapest, 1986 p. 31-40-

The macroflora of the borehole Kiscell-1 in Budapest

by L. HABLY, Budapest

Abstract — The macroflora of the borehole Kiscell-1 has been studied. It became clear during the

complex geological investigation that the age of the flora is Late Oligocène and belongs to the

NP-23 nannoplankton zone. The flora is typically palaeotropical. Most of the species are thermophilous

elements and a lot of them show xerophilous characteristics. With 1 figure and 3 photoplates.

The age of the flora

Analysis of several exposures and cores were initiated in Hungary durind the investiga­

tion of the Eocene-Oligocene boundary problem (BÁLDI, HORVÁTH, NAGYMAROSY & VARGA

1984). The analysis was based on the results of biostratigraphy (nannoplanktons, dino-

flagellates, pollens, macroflora, foraminiferids, large foraminiferids, ostracods, molluscs),

magnetostratigraphy, sedimentology (SEM-records, mineralogy, gcochcmical O and C

isotopic and sedimentological analyses) and the K-Ar method of radiometrical datind.

Among the numerous exposures and cores only the borehole Kiscell-1 contained some

macroflora. The geological section can be seen in Fig. 1. The last presence of Discoaster

saipanensis and D. barbadiensis and the abundance of Zygrhablitus bijugatus, Lanternitus

minutus at a depth of 28 m indicates the boundary of the NP 20/21 zone. The planctonic

foraminiferids, that is, the disappearance of Subbotina linaperta and the rare appearance

of ,,small globigerinoides" indicate the Eocene-Oligocene boundary at the same depth.

The boundary of the NP 21/22 zone is at 78 m and that of the NP 22/23 zone is at 55.5 m.

The transitional planktonic foraminiferid zone can be estimated as between 98-84 m.

The P 18 zone is marked with the abundance of Globigerina linerovskae, Globorotalia post-

cretacea, Globorotalia mundo and Globorotalia brevispira specimens. There is practically

no foraminiferid fauna above 55 m.

However, macroflora appears just above this level, the first leaf remains were found

at a depth of 48.1 m. It seems probable that this is in connection with the petrological change

that occurs at about 51.3 m where slightly laminated Tard Clay is replaced by strongly la­

minated Tard Clay.

Thus we can assume the NP 23 nannoplankton zone to be probable for the age of the

flora. This zone contains the euxin layers of the Upper Tard Clay.


Relatively well-preserved macroflora could be found in borehole Kiscell-1. Most of the remains

are leaf fragments, there is only one fruit and there are some flower imprints. Not only the imprints

of the leaves have been preserved but also their texture, so they can also be used in the analysis of the



Pinus sp. (PI. II: Fig. 4)

Two needle fragments — both of them double needles — were found between 34.7-48.4 m

in the core. Their entire length cannot be measured but their maximum length is 5 cm. Such double

needles are not rare in Tard Clay Formation. They were found in boreholes marked H and in brick

factories in Óbuda and in Kiseged at Eger.

Since cone remains were not found in borehole Kiscell-1 the precise identification of the needles

is not possible. As the genus Pinus is ecologically widespread today, its climatological value is small

and rather it indicates altitude above sea level.


Doliostrobus hungaricus (RÁSKY) BŰZEK, HOLY & KVAÖEK

(Pl. II: Fig. 3)

Doliostrobus is abundant in Tard Clay. On the basis of this the Doliostrobus level can be marked

out in the Late Oligocène (Hably 1979). This correlates well with the data from the Czech Mountains

where this genus also marks the Late and the Middle Oligocène. There were several sprout remains

but no cone scales were found in borehole Kiscell-1. RÁSKY (1943) mentioned it earlier under the

names of Araucaria hungarica and Sequoia sternbergii from the "Kiscell Clay". NOVAK 1950 also

published it under the name of Sequoia sternbergii from the flora of Kiseged.


Platanus neptuni (ETT.) BÛZEK, HOLY & KVAÖEK

(Pl. II: Fig. 1)

This species was first described as identified from its epidermis in Tard Clay (HABLY 1979, 1980).

Some apical and basal fragments and better preserved fragmented leaf were found in borehole Kiscell-1.

The leaf is about 8 cm long and about 2.2 cm wide so it is of a smallish medium size, similarly

to the Platanus neptuni leaves found in the boreholes marked H, in Tard Clay. The leaf is oblonged

ovate, the apex is missing. Its margin is entire at the base and from one third of the lamina upwards

is specifically toothed. As the camptodromous venation is entirely covered by remains of organic

matter, only the main vein can be observed.

Its earliest appearance in the Eocene is known from Haselbach, Germany (MAI & WALTHER

1978). It is often present in the Oligocène of Europe and can also be found in the Carpatian stage

of the Miocene. Several Oligocène localities have been found both in the Late and Early Oligocène in

Trans-Danubia and in the northern part of Hungary. Its latest and most abundant locality in Hungary

is in the Late Miocene of Ipolytarnóc (HABLY 1985a). This species seems to be predominant in the

Oligocène. Its shape in the Egerian is substantially different from that in the Kiscellian. In the Kiscellian

it became smaller in size indicating that it became acclimatized to aridity. Almost all the

species have large leaves in the Egerian, therefore we can conclude that their ecological diversification

took place not in space but in time.

Platanus neptuni is a paleotropical element. KNOBLOCH (1973) thinks that its presence is connect

with warm periods. This plant lived relatively far from water-sides, mainly on hilly or slopy regions.

It was a thermophilous and xerophilous plant in the Kiscellian. Due to the changing conditions it lost

its xerophilous characteristics in the Egerian. Since it is very frequent and is almost always present

in the regions under investigation, we can assume that Platanus neptuni had been a basic element in

the association of Tard Clay.


Dryophyllum furcinerve (Ross.) SCHMALH.

It is predominant in the flora of Tard Clay. It was largely found in boreholes marked H at

Óbuda and they are also frequent in Kiseged. As the shape of the lamina varies enormously, it has a

large number of synonyms. In Hungary KOVÁCS (1958) reported it under the name of Castanopsis

furcinervis from the Eocene locality at Lábatlan. ANDREÁNSZKY also published it under the name of

Castanopsis furcinervis from several Oligocène localities eg. Kiseged at Eger, Csillaghegy in Budapest,

Novaj—Vécsey valley, the sorroundings of Nagyimány and the Wind brickyard in Eger (RÜFFLE et al.

1967). Considering all the European localities of this species we can observe that the lamina of the

3 Term. Tud. Muz. Évk. 1986.

plant in the Late Oligocène of Hungary is smaller than that anywhere else. Both ANDREÁNSZKY and

some German authors (RÜFFLE et al. 1967) assume that this difference is due to the presence of an

arid-atlantic climate. This was supported by the analysis of the materials from boreholes maiked

H and from borehole Kiscell-1.

Two specimens of D. furcinerve were found at a depth of 17.4 and 19.3 in the borehole. The

findings are small leaf-fragments with some well preserved morphological marks on them. The

structure of the epidermis can also be easily analysed.


Palaeocarya orsbergensis (WESS. et WEB.) JÄHNICHEN, WALTHER et TAKAC

(Pl. III: Figs 1-4)

No large leaf fragments or fruit remains were found in the borehole, only a piece of lamina

(1 cm 2

), the taxonomical identity of which could only be defined by the analysis of the epidermis.

The character of its texture is quite different from those already published (KVACEK 1972, KNOBLOCH

& KVACEK 1976, JÄHNICHEN et al. 1977).

Similarly to the specimens found in the localities of the Tertiary of Europe, it has very characteristic

large umbrella-like glands. These are all strongly cutinized, they have round shapes and

slightly waved outlines. There are basic differences in the outlines of the cells and their rate of cutinization.

The cell wall of this specimen is usually slightly cutinized and wavy. The polygonal cells of the

epidermis of P. orsbergensis found in borehole Kiscell-1 have heavily cutinized, straight cell walls.

JÄHNICHEN (1977) mentioned a remain from the locality of Haselbach-Lucka where the cell outlines

are straight and heavily cutinized at the margin of the leaf. Therefore it seems certain that our remain

also belongs to the margin area of the lamina.

Stomata are frequent on the lower part of the epidermis and are positioned asymmetrically.

The structure of the stomata is anomocytic, the pores are usually narrow and the guard cells have a

kidney-shaped figure. Both the upper and lower parts of the epidermis are heavily cutinized.

This species has been described under several names in Hungary. The species of the same age

from Kiseged is referred to Schinus oligocaenicum by ANDREÁNSZKY & NOVAK (1957) and by ANDRE­

ÁNSZKY (1963). It was mentioned under name Myrica lignitum (RÁSKY 1959) from the Ottnangian

flora of Ipolytarnóc and Schinus molle (ANDREÁNSZKY 1959) from the sarmatian flora of Erdőbénye.

Localities of this species are known from the Miocene in Hungary as well as in other parts of Europe.

As regards its specific marks, we can arrive at interesting conclusions concerning its ecology and

climatology. ANDREÁNSZKY (1963) allocated it to the genus Schinus and beleived it to be a xerophilous

element. Though the morphology of the leaf suggests that it is a xerophilous genus, according to

KVACEK the slightly cutinized epidermis and the wavy cell wall are inconsistent with that theory.

The recent Engelhardtia live in subtropical-tropical rain forests mainly in South-East Asia, Malaysia

and Eastern Himalayas. Concerning the localities of this species in Europe, JÄHNICHEN also concluded

that it could have formed the association of the ancient subtropical-tropical rain forests. However,

its surprisingly small leaves in some floras and its simultaneous occurrence with the Myrtaceae and

Leguminosae indicate that it was at least partly meso-xerophilous.

On the basis of both the plant communities and the morphological or anatomical marks, we

classify this Kiscellian species as a xerophilous element. This is supported by the straight, heavily

cutinized cell-walls, the small leaves of the Kiseged flora and the xerophilous associations found in

borehole Kiscell-1. It seems therefore, that P. orsbergensis was euryecious within wide boundaries.

On the basis of this we could even presume that it was eurythermous, but the detailed analysis of its

localities show that it always appeared in warm periods and in thermophilous associations. As regards

water requirements, it was also euryecious since it is present in both the tropical and meso-xerophilous



Dalbergia beila HEER (Pl. I: Fig. 1)

Only a small leaf remain of this species was found at a depth of 31.5 m in the core. It is 2.3 cm

long and 1 cm wide. The shape of the lamina is ovate and slightly asymmetrical, its base is acute and

the margin is entire, the apex is chipped out. The main veins are stout. Other parts of the venation

cannot be seen because of the presence of organic matters.

This plant is common in the localities of Tard Clay around Budapest, for example, in borehole

marked H (HABLY 1979) and in the exposures of Szépvölgy and Csillaghegy in Budapest (RÁSKY

1943). Similarly small remains also occurred in boreholes marked H, where the largest remain was

4.5 cm long ang 2 cm wide, while one of the D. bella remains described by RÁSKY was 7.5 cm long

and 4 cm wide.

Cercis hungarica RÁSKY (Pl. II : Fig. 4)

Two specimens appeared from borehole Kiscell-1, one of them together with its ipmprint. The

remains are very fragmented. On one of the remains apical part of a leaf can be observed and on the

other one the middle part of a leaf can be seen with the venation on it. The proper size of the leaves

cannot be measured but on the basis of the space and the angle between the veins a leaf of about

10 cm can be reconstructed. Two pairs of prominant veins branch out of the midrib from a single point

at the base. The lower veins are almost horizontal, that is, they form an angle of 90° with the midrib

while the upper veins enclose an angle of 45°. After a distance of about 3 cm secondary veins brach

out of the midrib from different points, the distance of which is 0.1 cm. Other parts of the venation

are covered by fine, mosaic-like fragments of organic matter in all remains. The margin of the leaf

is entire. The apex at one of the specimen is obtuse.

RÁSKY (1943) described the species from the Late Oligocène of Csillaghegy in Budapest, also

based on leaf fragments. The size of the holotype is larger but their morphological features are the

same. RÁSKY considered it to be closely related to the recent species Cercis canadensis.

Cercis parvifolia LESQU.

A 6 cm long and 4 cm wide specimen occurred at a depth of 30.9 m in borehole Kiscell-1.

The margin of the leaf is entire, the apex is missing. The basal part is very fragmented but its dissimilarities

from the C. hungarica can clearly be observed. While the base of C. hungarica is cordate, no

such projection can be observed for C. parvifolia. Thus the base is nearly acute. Its venation is similar

to that of C. hungarica but it has no horizontal veins running to the projection at the base of the

lamina. Newertheless we can see the predominant veins forming an angle of 45° with the midrib and

the secondary veins branching out of the midrib after larger species. The secondary veins are camptodromous.

The size of the space between the veins is smaller towards the axis. RÁSKY also mentions

it from the Late Oligocène from Csillaghegy, together with C. hungarica. The remains which were

found at Csillaghegy are a bit larger than those under investigation, but the typical specimens are

considerably smaller than the remains from Csillaghegy. Though the epidermis is preserved in the

specimen, it is so thin and fragmented that further preparation is impossible.


Zizyphus zizyphoidcs (TJNG.) WLD. (Pl. I: Fig. 2)

Only one specimen was found at a depth of 35.5 m in the core. It become clear studying the other

localities that it is more common in Tard Clay (HABLY 1979). The entire length of the leaf is 6.5 cm,

its width is 2 cm. The lamina is asymmetrical, the margin is irregularly indented and wavy. The lamina

is oblong and its widest part is somewhat above the medial line. The apex is missing. Two stout

secondary veins appear along the midrib, running somewhat closer to the margin than to the midrib.

Other parts of the venation cannot be observed because of the presence of organic materials.

The species can be found either in the Middle Eocene of Trans-Danubia (HABLY 1985b), or in

several Late Oligocène localities (RÁSKY 1956, HABLY 1979). Accordingly it survived trough the

Eocene-Oligocene boundary, and became extinct only in the Late Oligocène. The plant occurs in the

Late Oligocène of Méra in a similar association than in the Tard Clay.


Abelia quadrialata REID. et CHANDL. (Pl. I: Fig. 3, Pl. II: Fig. 2)

ANDREÁNSZKY (1959) mentions this genus from several localities in Tard Clay, eg. Budaújlak

and Kiseged. REID & CHANDLER (1926) also described it from the Late Oligocène from Bembridge

flora, under the name of Abelia quadrialata. It was found in the boreholes marked H in Óbuda, also

from Late Oligocène (HABLY 1979). Two very well preserved imprints were found at depths of 20.4

and 48.4 m in borehole Kiscell-1. In its main characters the one found at 48.4 m is very similar to the

remains found earlier. It consists of four heavily oblonged, obovate petals, two of them close together,

and the other two are far from each other, thus showing zygomorph symmetry. The maximum width

of the petals is 0.3 cm. On the earlier remains radial symmetry can be observed, moreover, ANDRE-

ÁNSZKY actually considered them to have actinomorph symmetry. In the remains that were found

some 20 m above the others the features of zigomorph symmetry can even better be recognized. This

can be seen not only from the distance between the petioles but also because of their distinctness.

The upper petioles that are most distantly placed are much wider (0.5 cm) than the lower ones (0.3 cm)

and their apex is chipped out. So we can see that there are obvious differences between the two

remains. It is conceivable that these imprints represent different stages of development since there

is a time-gap of about half a million years between the dates of their fossilization, according to the

spead of sedimentation in Tard Clay. Considering this the symmetry of the flower became more and

more zygomorph and their petiols which became wider and had their apex chipped out, subdivided

again, but we have no evidence to support this.

The borehole Kiscell-1 contains a flora typical of Tard Clay. There were not enough

remains in the core so that we could find all the characteristic species, but we found some

genera that were not present in the borehole marked H, and the most common and charac­

teristic species were present. Though, unlike the boreholes H the few remains of borehole

Kiscell-1 are not sufficient for giving an overall description of the flora in the Tard Clay

Formation, valuable information about the range and characteristics of the Kiscellian flora

can be extracted.

Ecological and palaeoclimatological evaluation

No quantitative information can be gained about the predominant species from the

few remains. Nevertheless, the species that are considered to be predominant on the basis

of the flora from Tard Clay are also represented here. The occurrence of Platanus neptuni

makes it certain that it was a very common and predominant element in the Late Oligocène

of Hungary. The presence of Palaeocarya orsbergensis that could be identified by its epider­

mis, as only some of its larger leaffragments have been preserved, is very interesting. The

presence of the flower imprints of Abelia quadrialata in Tard Clay is not much interest, as

it occurs in every such locality. Flower imprints in the floras of other ages are very rare

either in Hungary or in other parts of the world.

The flora in borehole Kiscell-1 is paleotropical. Only an uncertain fruit of Acer can

be mentioned from among the Arcrotertiary elements. The climate can be characterized

very well on the basis of the flora. Most of the species are thermophilous or meso-thermo-

philous, that is, subtropical elements. Some of the remains have xerophilous features. The

conclusion that the climate changed for less moist is supported by the presence of xerophilous

features even on non-xerophilous species. This can be seen either in their morphological

structure or in their texture, like eg. on Palaeocarya orsbergensis.

17.4 m

19.3 m

20.4 m

23.2 m

24.7 m

25.5 m

28.1-28.3 m

Dryophyllum furcinerve

Dryophyllum furcinerve

Abelia quadrialata

Doliostrobus hungaricus


(see also Fig. 1)

30.9 m

31.5 m

34.7 m

Platanus neptuni 35.5 m

Doliostrobus hungaricus

Platanus neptuni

Palaeocarya orsbergensis


37.4 m

46.0 m

48.4 m

Cercis parvifolia

Dalbergia bella

Pinus sp.

Cercis hungarica

Zizyphus zizyphoides

Cercis hungarica

Acer sp.?

Pinus sp.

Abelia quadrialata


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Hungary. The Kiscellian stage. — Acta geol. hung. 27 (1-2): 41-65.

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hist.-nat. Mus. natn. hung. 71: 33-53.

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europäischen Tertiär. — Feddles Reperotorium 88 (5-6): 323-363.

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24(7-8): 281-285.

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Author's address: DR. LILLA HABLY

Botanical Department

Hungarian Natural History Museum

Budapest, pf. 222


Annls hist.-nat. Mus. natn. hung., 78, 1986

Plate I.

rialata (81.3.2.) X4

Plate II.

hungaricus (81.5.3.) Xl.3 — 4 = Cercis hungarica (81.14.2.) Xl.3; Pinus sp. (81.14.2.) Xl.3

Plate III.

Palaeocaryas orbergensis (81.8.2.): 1, 2, 3 — upper epidermis, 4=1 ower epidermis

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