Forest-Tundra Neighbouring the North Pole: Plant and Insect Remains from the Plio-Pleistocene Kap København Formation, North Greenland


  • O. Bennike
  • J. Böcher



Plio-Pleistocene, North Greenland, palaeoecology, forest-tundra


The Kap Kobenhavn Formation in northeast Peary Land, Greenland, is believed to be 2.0-2.5 million years old, i.e., from the Plio-Pleistocene transition. The dating is primarily based on biostratigraphical correlation of lower marine fauna and a few fragments of terrestrial mammals. Although deposited in marine and coastal environments, the sediments contain abundant remains of terrestrial and limnic organisms. This paper examines macroscopic plant and insect remains. About 60 taxa of vascular plants and 120 insect taxa have so far been identified. Nearly all of the named insect species are extant, extralimital forms, generally of a recent subarctic/boreal and more or less circumpolar distribution. The species composition shows that upland areas were covered with forest-tundra and heathland and that mesotrophic, well-vegetated lakes and a number of other wetland localties existed in the area. The presence of arctic plants in the formation puts some time constraints on their origin.