Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 129, Issue 2, pp 209–223 | Cite as

The oldest Mahonia (Berberidaceae) fossil from East Asia and its biogeographic implications

  • Jian Huang
  • Tao Su
  • Julie Lebereton-Anberrée
  • Shi-Tao Zhang
  • Zhe-Kun Zhou
Regular Paper

Abstract

Interpretation of the biogeography of the genus Mahonia (Berberidaceae) is limited by the lack of fossil records in East Asia. Compressed fossil foliage, described here as Mahonia mioasiatica sp. nov., were collected from the Upper Miocene Xiaolongtan Formation in Wenshan, Yunnan, southwest China. These specimens represent the oldest reliable fossil record of Mahonia in East Asia. This new fossil species shows a general similarity to Group Orientales and is most similar to the extant eastern Asian Mahonia conferta. Considering other fossil evidence of Mahonia, we propose a migration route of this genus to Asia over the North Atlantic Land Bridge rather than the Bering Land Bridge. Our results also suggest that North America, Europe and East Asia have been successive centers of diversity for the genus, as a consequence of diversification in Group Orientales potentially related to historical climate change.

Keywords

Berberidaceae Biogeography East Asia Miocene Mahonia Southwestern China 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank members from the Paleoecology Research Group, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (XTBG, CAS) for fossil collection; thank Professor Steven Manchester from Florida Museum of Natural History for the suggestions of fossil identification. The authors also thank Mr. B. Pan from XTBG for extant plants sample collecting, thanks to Central Lab of XTBG for microscope photographing of fossils. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41372035, No. U1502231) and the National Key Basic Research Project (“973” Project, No. 2012CB821900).

Supplementary material

10265_2015_775_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 14 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tao Su
    • 1
  • Julie Lebereton-Anberrée
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shi-Tao Zhang
    • 4
  • Zhe-Kun Zhou
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesMenglunChina
  2. 2.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  4. 4.Kunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina

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