University of Tasmania
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The Macrofossil Record of Proteaceae in Tasmania: a Review with New Species

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Version 2 2023-06-23, 11:02
Version 1 2023-05-25, 23:40
journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-23, 11:02 authored by Gregory JordanGregory Jordan, RJ Carpenter, Robert HillRobert Hill
About 10 taxa of Proteaceae are known from the Early Eocene in Tasmania, one from a Late Eocene site, 22 from four Early Oligocene sites, one from a Late Oligocene-Early Miocene site, 12 or 13 from two Early Pleistocene sites, and five or six from the Middle and Late Pleistocene. Most of the Tertiary fossils are of extinct species, but the extant species Lomatia fraxinifolia and Telopea truncata as well as apparent close relatives of the subalpine rainforest species Orites milliganii, and the subtropical rainforest species O. excelsa have been recorded from the Early Oligocene. None of the Early Oligocene species are known from more than one site, implying very high regional diversity, and floristic differentiation among the sites. High diversity of Proteaceae at some sites may be associated with oligotrophic soils. There is no evidence of any of the modern species-rich scleromorphic groups of Proteaceae except Banksiinae. Scleromorphy was well established in Oriteae, Embothrieae and Banksiinae by the Early Oligocene. The Early Eocene fossils have very small stomata, sparsely distributed on the leaf, which may have been due to elevated atmospheric CO2. All extant Tasmanian genera and many extant species as well as some extinct species were present by the Early Pleistocene. The specific diversity within the region was probably higher than it is now. In order to resolve a nomenclatural problem within the genus Proteaciphyllum, Euproteaciphyllum G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp and R.S.HilI, gen. nov. is proposed and this name is applied to 10 previously described species, The Tasmanian fossil taxa include three new records, and nine new species: Euproteaciphyllum brookerensis G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.HilI, sp. nov., and E. tasmanicum G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.Hill, sp. nov. from Early Eocene sediments; and Orites milliganoides G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.Hill, sp. nov., O. scleromorpha G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.Hill, sp. nov., E. papillosum G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.Hill, sp. nov., E. polymorphum G.J.Jord., R.J. Carp. and R.S,HilI, sp. nov., E. microlobium G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.Hill, sp. nov., E. falcatum G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.HilI, sp. nov., and E. serratum G.J.Jord., R.J.Carp. and R.S.Hill, sp. nov. from Early Oligocene sediments.


Publication title

Australian Systematic Botany





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Biological Sciences



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280111 Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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