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NEW MIDDLE MIOCENE FOSSIL WOOD OF WATARIA (MALVACEAE) FROM SOUTHWEST CHINA

In: IAWA Journal
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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China
  • | 2 University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100049, China
  • | 3 Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg 197376, Russia
  • | 4 Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • | 5 Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China
  • | 6 Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China
  • | 7 Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, Chinazhouzk@xtbg.ac.cn
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This paper describes a new species of fossil wood, Wataria yunnanica Li et Oskolski, from the Dajie Formation of the middle Miocene in southern Yunnan province, China. This species shows the greatest similarity to the modern genus Reevesia Lindl. from the subfamily Helicteroideae of Malvaceae. The fossil specimen is ascribed to the genus Wataria Terada & Suzuki based on its combination of ring-porous wood and the presence of tile cells. It differs from other Wataria species because vessel groups are common in its latewood. This is the first record of Wataria in China. Other species of this genus have been reported from Oligocene and Miocene deposits in Japan, and from Miocene deposits in Korea. The occurrence of ring-porous wood in the Dajie Formation suggests that there may have been a seasonal (probably monsoonal) climate in southern Yunnan during the middle Miocene.

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