High diversity of Lauraceae from the Oligocene of Ningming, South China

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2014
Authors:G. - Le Shi, Xie, Z. - M., Li, H. - M.
Start Page:336
Date Published:09/2014
Keywords:Biogeography, Cladistic analysis, cuticle, High diversity, Lauraceae, Oligocene

Lauraceae is among the largest and floristically most important woody plant families in subtropical and tropical zones. However, the Cenozoic fossil records of Lauraceae are mostly from mid-latitude regions. Here we described eight lauraceous species from the Oligocene of Ningming, Guangxi, South China on the basis of leaf compressions with cuticular structure, providing new evidence for high diversity of Lauraceae in the low latitude region of the northern hemisphere during the late Paleogene. The extant genera to which the Ningming Oligocene fossils are possibly closely related include Cinnamomum, Neolitsea, Litsea, Alseodaphne, Laurus, and Beilschmiedia. All of these extant genera except Laurus still exist in Guangxi today, whereas Laurus is currently distributed in the Mediterranean and adjacent regions. A cladistic analysis based on leaf architectural and leaf cuticular characters for Paleogene Lauraceae species in the world indicated a possible relationship between European and East Asian Paleogene species.

Alternate Journal:Palaeoworld
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