Asclepiadospermum gen. nov., the earliest fossil record of Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae) from the early Eocene of central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and its biogeographic implications

Del Rio, Cédric; Wang, Teng-Xiang; Liu, Jia; Liang, Shui-Qing; Spicer, Robert A.; Wu, Fei-Xiang; Zhou, Zhe-Kun and Su, Tao (2020). Asclepiadospermum gen. nov., the earliest fossil record of Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae) from the early Eocene of central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and its biogeographic implications. American Journal of Botany, 107(1) pp. 126–138.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1418

Abstract

Premise: Apocynaceae is common in the fossil record, especially as seed remains from the Neogene of Europe and North America, but rare in Asia. Intrafamilial assignment is difficult due to the lack of diagnostic characters, and new fossil and modern data are needed to understand the paleobiogeography of this group.

Methods: We studied three Apocynaceae seed impressions from the Lower Eocene Niubao Formation, Jianglang village, Bangor County, central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Morphological data from living and fossil species were phylogenetically mapped to enable systematic assignment.

Results: We describe a new genus, Asclepiadospermum gen. nov., and two new species, A. marginatum sp. nov. and A. ellipticum sp. nov. These species are characterized by an elliptical seed, a margin surrounding the central part of the seed, and polygonal, irregular, and small epidermal cells, and differ mainly in terms of the size of the margin and the shape of the apex. All these characters indicate that this new genus belongs to the subfamily Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae).

Conclusions: These fossils represent the earliest fossil seed records of Asclepiadoideae. Asclepiadospermum indicates a humid tropical to subtropical flora during the early Eocene in central Tibet. Moreover, our discoveries indicate a close floristic connection between Eurasia and Africa during the early Eocene, which expands our knowledge of the floristic linkage between Tibet and other regions at that time.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 69209
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1537-2197
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not Set41922010NSFC National Natural Science Foundation of China
    Not SetNE/P013805/1NERC Natural Environment Research Council
    Not Set41661134049NSFC National Natural Science Foundation of China
    Strategic Priority Research ProgramXDA20070301CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Strategic Priority Research ProgramXDB26000000CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition2019QZKK0705Not Set
    Key Research Program of Frontier SciencesQYZDB-SSW-SMC016CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Youth Innovation Promotion Association2017439CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences
    135 program2017XTBG-F01CAS Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Keywords
  • Asclepiadoideae; biodiversity; biogeography; fossil; paleobotany; paleoenvironment; phylogeny; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; seed
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2020 Botanical Society of America
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  • Jisc Publications-Router
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  • Jisc Publications-Router

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