J Syst Evol ›› 2015, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (4): 297-307.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12133

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Late Eocene leaves of Nageia (section Dammaroideae) from Maoming Basin, South China and their implications on phytogeography

Xiao-Yan Liu1,2, Qi Gao1,2, and Jian-Hua Jin1,2*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
  • Received:2014-08-17 Published:2015-01-30

Abstract: A new species of Nageia, Nageia maomingensis sp. nov., is described from the Late Eocene of Maoming Basin, Guangdong Province, South China. According to its cuticular characteristics, the present fossil species is assigned to N. sect. Dammaroideae, showing the most resemblance to the extant species N. motleyi (Parl.) de Laub. At present, this section is mainly distributed in the Pacific islands region from South Asia to New Guinea. The discovery of N. maomingensis demonstrates that plants of this section inhabited South China at least by the Eocene. The distribution and living habitat of extant N. sect. Dammaroideae imply that South China was warmer during the Late Eocene than today, and may represent one of the centers for early diversification of Nageia and its section Dammaroideae during the Eocene. In addition, we postulate that plants of sect. Dammaroideae migrated southward in response to climate cooling after the Eocene.

Key words: Late Eocene, Maoming Basin, Nageia sect. Dammaroideae, phytogeography, South China