Icacinaceae from the eocene of Western North America

Sarah E. Allen, Gregory W. Stull, Steven R. Manchester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The Icacinaceae are a pantropical family of trees, shrubs, and climbers with an extensive Paleogene fossil record. Our improved understanding of phylogenetic relationships within the family provides an excellent context for investigating new fossil fruit and leaf material from the Eocene of western North America.

METHODS: We examined fossils from early and middle Eocene sediments of western Wyoming, northeastern Utah, northwestern Colorado, and Oregon and compared them with extant species of Iodes and other icacinaceous genera as well as previously described fossils of the family.

KEY RESULTS: Three new fossil species are described, including two based on endocarps (Iodes occidentalis sp. nov. and Icacinicaryites lottii sp. nov.) and one based on leaves (Goweria bluerimensis sp. nov.). The co-occurrence of I. occidentalis and G. bluerimensis suggests these might represent detached organs of a single species. A new genus, Biceratocarpum, is also established for morphologically distinct fossil fruits of Icacinaceae previously placed in Carpolithus. Biceratocarpum brownii gen. et comb. nov. resembles the London Clay species "Iodes" corniculata in possessing a pair of subapical protrusions.

CONCLUSIONS: These fossils increase our knowledge of Icacinaceae in the Paleogene of North America and highlight the importance of the Northern Hemisphere in the early diversification of the family. They also document interchange with the Eocene flora of Europe and biogeographic connections with modern floras of Africa and Asia, where Icacinaceae are diverse today. The present-day restriction of this family to tropical regions offers ecological implications for the Eocene floras in which they occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-744
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican journal of botany
Volume102
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Fingerprint

Icacinaceae
North America
Fruit
Eocene
fossils
fossil
Comb and Wattles
Pedigree
flora
Paleogene
fruit
new species
London Clay
endocarp
tropical region
fruits
fossil record
new genus
Northern Hemisphere
shrub

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Allen, Sarah E. ; Stull, Gregory W. ; Manchester, Steven R. / Icacinaceae from the eocene of Western North America. In: American journal of botany. 2015 ; Vol. 102, No. 5. pp. 725-744.
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Icacinaceae from the eocene of Western North America. / Allen, Sarah E.; Stull, Gregory W.; Manchester, Steven R.

In: American journal of botany, Vol. 102, No. 5, 01.05.2015, p. 725-744.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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