A new Quercus species from the upper Miocene of southwestern China and its ecological significance

Yaowu Xing, Jinjin Hu, Frédéric M.B. Jacques, Li Wang, Tao Su, Yongjiang Huang, Yu-Sheng (Christopher) Liu, Zhekun Zhou

Quercus praedelavayi Xing Y.W. et Zhou Z.K. sp. nov. is reported from the upper Miocene of the Xianfeng flora in central Yunnan, southwestern China. The fossil species is identified based on the detailed leaf morphological and cuticular examinations. The primary venation is pinnate and the major secondary venation is craspedodromous with regular spacing. Stomata arePlate1 anomocytic and occur on abaxial epidermis. Trichome bases are unicellular and multicellular. The new fossil species shows the closest affinity with Quercus delavayi, an extant species distributing in southwestern China. The responses of the functional leaf traits to the climate change were studied by comparing the leaf characters of fossil species and its nearest living relative. The stomatal density of Q. praedelavayi is higher than Q. delavayi, which suggests a lower palaeoatmospheric CO2 concentration during the late Miocene. The trichome base density of Q. praedelavayi is higher than the extant Q. delavayi. Considering the palaeoclimatic reconstruction of Xianfeng flora, it rejected the hypothesis that increase in trichome density is an adaptation to the drier environment.


link to the paper:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034666713000407



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