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A Middle-Late Eocene inflorescence of Caryophyllaceae from Tasmania, Australia


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Jordan, GJ and Macphail, MK 2003 , 'A Middle-Late Eocene inflorescence of Caryophyllaceae from Tasmania, Australia' , American Journal of Botany, vol. 90, no. 5 , pp. 761-768 .

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A new genus and species (Caryophylloflora paleogenica genus & species nova G.J.Jord. & Macphail) are proposed for a fossil inflorescence found in Middle-Late Eocene sediments at Locharbour, north-eastern Tasmania, Australia. A parsimony analysis of 75 extant species of the order Caryophyllales and five outgroups placed the fossil within Caryophyllaceae, either subfamily Alsinoideae or Caryophylloideae. The analysis used molecular (rbcL and/or matK), morphological and anatomical data for the extant species, and morphological data for the fossil. Tests on extant species imply that the placement of the fossil should be convincing. The fossil appears to be of a lineage distinct from any extant Australian Caryophyllaceae. In situ pollen are consistent with the form species, Periporopollenites polyoratus. This relatively simple pollen type first appears in Australia and New Zealand in the Late Cretaceous, the oldest known record of the Caryophyllaceae. The last appearance of P. polyoratus in Australia is in the Oligocene, and extant Australian members of the Caryophyllaceae may have evolved from species that dispersed from elsewhere during the Neogene or Quaternary.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Jordan, GJ and Macphail, MK
Keywords: Antarctica; Australia; Caryophyllaceae; Centrospermae; Eocene; fossil; Paleogene; phylogeny; pollen
Journal or Publication Title: American Journal of Botany
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