A paleobiogeographical scenario for the Taxaceae based on a revised fossil wood record and embolism resistance

Abstract : Fossil Taxaceae are documented for the Cenozoic throughout most of the northern hemisphere, but the pre-Ce- nozoic history of this group is still poorly known. The fossil wood record is dif␣cult but can shed light on this his- tory. We critically evaluated the fossil woods assigned to Taxaceae and then compared the fossil record of taxaceous woods to the fossil record of taxaceous leaves and reproductive structures. We then considered the fossil record in the context of family's molecular phylogeny. More than half of the fossil woods attributed to Taxaceae lack diagnostic characters of the family (longitudinal tracheids with helical thickenings and abietoid pitting on radial walls). Fossil wood that can be attributed to the fossil genus Taxaceoxylon, as well as some spec- imens placed in the genus Protelicoxylon, which differ only in having mixed type of intertracheary radial pitting, probably belong to Taxaceae. The fossil wood record, as reappraised, is not informative about the history of individual genera within the family, but ␣ts that of leafy remains. Taxaceae wood shows remarkable resistance to em- bolism and subsequent increased risks of conduit implosion that might be prevented by the presence of tertiary helical thickenings. Our ␣ndings suggest a paleobiogeographical scenario for the Taxaceae, that involved a West- ern Europe Early Jurassic cradle and expansion to their Holarctic modern distribution.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 10:22:07 AM
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Marc Philippe, Maxim Afonin, Sylvain Delzon, Gregory Jordan, Kazuo Terada, et al.. A paleobiogeographical scenario for the Taxaceae based on a revised fossil wood record and embolism resistance. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Elsevier, 2019, 263, pp.147-158. ⟨10.1016/j.revpalbo.2019.01.003⟩. ⟨hal-02066036⟩

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