Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 301, Issue 9, pp 2203–2218 | Cite as

First fossil record of Staphylea L. (Staphyleaceae) from North America, and its biogeographic implications

Original Article

Abstract

The occurrences of Staphylea L. (Staphyleaceae) fossils have been abundantly documented from the Cenozoic of Eurasia, but none has been confirmed from North America to date. In this study, we describe Staphylealevisemia sp. nov. on the basis of seed remains from the latest Miocene to earliest Pliocene of northeastern Tennessee, southeastern USA. The seeds are characterized by a smoothly inflated body, a large hilar scar perforated by several vascular traces and bordered by a distinctive lip-like rim, a cuticle coating the seed coat interior, and seed coat section containing weakly developed tiny lumina. According to the paleogeographic distribution of the genus, it is hypothesized that Staphylea originated from western Eurasia no later than the late Oligocene, and arrived in eastern North America no later than the late Neogene, most possibly through the North Atlantic land bridges like many other seed plants.

Keywords

Fossil seed Gray Fossil Site Late Neogene North America Staphylea 

Supplementary material

606_2015_1224_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.5 mb)
Online Resource 1 A taxon-characteristic matrix that includes eight taxa, i.e., the new fossil taxon plus seven extant species of Staphylea, and 23 characteristics (PDF 3549 kb) (PDF 3549 kb)
606_2015_1224_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (822 kb)
Online Resource 2 Seeds of Turpinia occidentalis from the United States National Herbarium (US), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA, with the voucher specimen from St. Elizabeth Parish, P. Arevedo-Rdgz 9532 (US) (PDF 821 kb) (PDF 821 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Plant Biodiversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  3. 3.Department of Botany, MRC 166, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashington, D.C.USA
  4. 4.Research Center of Paleontology and StratigraphyJilin UniversityChangchunChina

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