Camellia nanningensis sp. nov.: the earliest fossil wood record of the genus Camellia (Theaceae) from East Asia

Abstract

A new species Camellia nanningensis was described on the basis of well-preserved mummified wood from the upper Oligocene Yongning Formation of Nanning Basin in Guangxi Province, South China. This represents the most ancient fossil wood assigned to Camellia, and the earliest fossil record of the family Theaceae in China. This fossil material shows that Camellia occurred in China as early as the late Oligocene, suggesting more ancient radiation of this genus than estimated by molecular dating.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41210001, 41528201, 41572011, 41372002), the joint Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant Nos. 41611130044, 16-55-53007), the Scientific Research Fund, Hongda Zhang, Sun Yat-sen University, and the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2012CB822003). We thank the University of Johannesburg and the Komarov Botanical Institute (institutional research Project No. 01201456545) for financial support for A.A.O. We thank graduate students majoring in plant science at Sun Yat-sen University for participating in the field collection of the fossils. We are grateful to Prof. Robert A. Spicer (The Open University, UK) for English improvements.

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Correspondence to Jian-Hua Jin or Cheng Quan.

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Huang, LL., Jin, JH., Quan, C. et al. Camellia nanningensis sp. nov.: the earliest fossil wood record of the genus Camellia (Theaceae) from East Asia. J Plant Res 129, 823–831 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-016-0846-8

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Keywords

  • Camellia
  • Theaceae
  • Mummified wood
  • Late Oligocene
  • Nanning Basin
  • South China