Eocene Fagaceae from Patagonia and Gondwanan legacy in Asian rainforests

Peter Wilf, Kevin C. Nixon, Maria A. Gandolfo, N. Rubén Cúneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The beech-oak family Fagaceae dominates forests from the northern temperate zone to tropical Asia and Malesia, where it reaches its southern limit.We report early Eocene infructescences of Castanopsis, a diverse and abundant fagaceous genus of Southeast Asia, and co-occurring leaves from the 52-million-year-old Laguna del Hunco flora of southern Argentina.The fossil assemblage notably includes many plant taxa that associate with Castanopsis today. The discovery reveals novel Gondwanan history in Fagaceae and the characteristic tree communities of Southeast Asian lower-montane rainforests. The living diaspora associations persisted through Cenozoic climate change and plate movements as the constituent lineages tracked post-Gondwanan mesic biomes over thousands of kilometers, underscoring their current vulnerability to rapid climate change and habitat loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaaw5139
JournalScience
Volume364
Issue number6444
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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