ASGP (2022), vol. 92: 201–218


Elżbieta WOROBIEC (1*), Marek WIDERA (2) & Grzegorz WOROBIEC (1)

1) W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz 46, 31-512 Kraków, Poland, e-mails:,
2) Institute of Geology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Krygowskiego 12, 61-680 Poznań, Poland, e-mail:
*) Corresponding author

Worobiec, E., Widera, M. & Worobiec, G., 2022. Palaeoenvironment of the middle Miocene wetlands at Drzewce, Konin region, central Poland. Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, 92: 201–218.

Abstract: Palynological analysis of the 1st mid-Polish lignite seam (MPLS-1) of the Drzewce deposit (Konin region, central Poland) was used as the data source for palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic interpretations. Lignites of the 1st group developed in the middle Miocene, during and shortly after the last peak of the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum, over a large area of Poland, and they are the youngest of the main Neogene lignite seams in Poland. In the Konin region, these lignites have a relatively significant thickness (up to 20 m) and therefore they are (or were in the past) exploited in several open-pit mines. A total of 36 palynological samples from the 6.3-m-thick seam of the Drzewce opencast mine was studied in detail. Palynological analysis of the lignite seam indicates that the area was overgrown by palustrine wetland communities, similar in composition to modern pocosins. The most characteristic elements of them were shrubs in the Ericaceae family. The climate at that time was warm temperate and humid. The estimated mean annual temperature (MAT) for the lignite seam at Drzewce is 15.7–17.8 °C. Comparison with other palynofloras from the MPLS-1 shows that the climate during the formation of the group of seams was more or less homogenous across the entire Polish Lowlands. Sedimentological data and results of palynological studies (including NPPs) at Drzewce indicate that the palaeomires were relatively distant from the channels of the river system in the Konin Basin. The fossil fungal assemblage indicates dense vegetation on damp, swampy soils and the presence of small, shallow-water bodies, with a variable water level or even periodic reservoirs, existing only during the wet season or after floods. In small, flooded depressions, such as the pools in bogs, filamentous green algae occurred. The presence of zygospores of the desmids Desmidiaceaesporites cosmarioformis most probably indicates relatively nutrient-poor (ombrotrophic) conditions. Fluctuations in the frequency of individual plant taxa (including Sequoia and Sciadopitys) are likely to reflect changes in water level and trophic conditions.

Manuscript received 6 March 2022, accepted 12 May 2022