Fossil wood of Syzygium from the Miocene of Guangxi, South China: the earliest fossil evidence of the genus in eastern Asia

In: IAWA Journal
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  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, P.R. China
  • | 2 School of Earth Science and Resources, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, P.R. China
  • | 3 Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2006, South Africa
  • | 4 Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg 197376, Russia
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A new species, Syzygium guipingensis sp. nov. (Myrtaceae), is described based on mummified fossil wood from the Miocene Erzitang Formation of Guiping Basin, Guangxi, South China. This species represents the most ancient reliable fossil record of the genus Syzygium in eastern Asia, showing the greatest similarity to the extant species S. buxifolium Hook. et Arnott. Its occurrence in the Miocene is consistent with the diversification age of the Asian lineage within Syzygium as estimated by molecular dating (11.4 Ma). The fossil record of Syzygium suggests that this genus migrated from Australia to eastern Asia in the Miocene, coincidently with the formation of island chains between these continents.

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