CORRESPONDENCE analysis of dicot leaf physiognomy of modern vegetational samples from a wide range of environments indicates that >70% of physiognomic variation corresponds to water or temperature factors, or both. Despite wide variation in single physiognomic characters, overall trends can be used to distinguish between samples from different climates. Some climate parameters are well correlated with changes in physiognomy, so that climate characteristics can be inferred from physiognomic analyses. Here I apply this climate-leaf analysis multivariate program (CLAMP) to leaf assemblages from the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. The results indicate a fourfold increase in precipitation at the boundary and an increase in mean annual temperature of 10??C. These levels persisted for 0.5-1.0 Myr, after which precipitation decreased to about three times the values for the latest Cretaceous, and the mean annual temperature decreased to 5-6??C above latest Cretaceous values.
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Palaeobotanical evidence for a marked temperature increase following the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary