The Petrified forest PDF Print E-mail
Remains of fossil plants are found in many locations of the western part of Lesvos Island. They cover an area of about 37.50 acres which are included in the boundaries of the municipality of Eressos and the communities of Antissa and Sigri and form the famous petrified d Forest of Lesvos. Major exposures of the fossilised forest are located in the districts of Sigri, Megalonissi, Palia Alhonia and the greater area of Antissa and Eressos. Isolated exposures exist in the districts of Polichnitos, Rougada, Molyvos, Akrasi, Plomari etc. According to a special Presidential Decree (443/1985), which has been issued by the Greek Government were declared that this Petrified Forest is a “Monument to Natural Protection” in order to conserve and protect.
The Petrified Forest of Lesvos represents a complete, autochonous forest ecosystem. This can be inferred from the high proportion of upright petrified tree trunks with well preserved roots in the fossilised soil. Besides petrified trunks, petrified organs such as roots, fruits, leaves and wood are preserved perfectly.
The fossilised forest was developed during the time period of the end of the Late Oligocene to Lower-Middle Miocene. During this period of intense volcanic activity, lava, pyroclastic materials and volcanic ash covered the vegetation of the area. Along with the volcanic activity hot solutions of silicon dioxide covered the tree trunks. The fossilisation was perfect, so the morphological characteristics of the tree trunks such as the annual rings, barkers, as well as the internal structure of the wood, are all preserved in excellent condition.
The composition of the fossil flora is characterised by the high proportion of angiosperms (flowering plants) such as Alnus, Carpinus, Populus, Quercus, Platanus, Laurus, Cinnamomum, Palmoxylon, etc., gymnosperms (conifers) such as Pinus, Taxodioxylon gypsaceum, Pinoxylon, Cedroxylon lesbium and the low proportion of Pteridophytes (ferns). The paleoflora developed during subtropical climate conditions, which abruptly changed into continental-tropical climate conditions.
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