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The Fossil Record of the Epacridaceae


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Jordan, GJ and Hill, RS 1996 , 'The Fossil Record of the Epacridaceae' , Annals of Botany, vol. 77, no. 4 , pp. 341-346 , doi: 10.1006/anbo.1996.0041.

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Fossil pollen and macrofossils of Epacridaceae are uncommon and are mainly known from Tasmania and other parts of south-eastern Australia. Most epacrids have generalised ericalean pollen although the pollen of some genera is distinctive. Ericalean pollen is known from the late Cretaceous. The first occurrence of Paripollis orchesis pollen, which is consistent with some extant Epacris species, probably means that Epacridaceae, and possibly the tribe Epacrideae, had differentiated by the Middle Eocene.
The fossil record at present provides minimum ages of the first occurrences of major subfamilial taxa. Macrofossils of subfamily Richeoideae and of several morphotypes of the tribe Epacrideae are known from the Early Oligocene. Tribe Cosmelieae pollen and macrofossils are known from the Early Pleistocene, and are probably Sprengelia. The oldest Australasian fossils of tribe Styphelieae are leaves in latest Oligocene-Early Miocene parts of the Latrobe Valley coal. Endocarps identified as Epacridaceae from the Eocene of England need further investigation. Pollen of Monotoca, or a close relative, is known from the mid-Miocene. Possible Trochocarpa leaves occur in Late Oligocene/Early Miocene sediments, and fossil leaves indistinguishable from the extant Tasmanian rainforest species, T. gunnii and T. cunninghamii, are known from the Early Pleistocene in Tasmania.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Jordan, GJ and Hill, RS
Keywords: Epacridaceae, macrofossils, microfossils, Cretaceous, Cainozoic
Journal or Publication Title: Annals of Botany
DOI / ID Number: 10.1006/anbo.1996.0041
Additional Information:

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Annals of Botany following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version of Jordan, Gregory J and Hill, Robert S (1996) The Fossil Record of the Epacridaceae. Annals of Botany, 77 (4). pp. 341-346 is available online at:

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