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Gondwanan or global? A commentary on: 'Fossil evidence from South America for the diversification of Cunoniaceae by the earliest Palaeocene'
journal contributionposted on 2022-06-27, 03:58 authored by Raymond J Carpenter, Andrew RozefeldsAndrew Rozefelds
Over the past few decades there has been a surge of interest in fossilized reproductive structures as evidence of the angiosperm radiation and the evolutionary chronology of modern clades. In this issue of the Annals of Botany, Jud and Gandolfo 2020) describe the flower Cunoniantha bicarpellata (Cunoniaceae) from the earliest Palaeocene of Patagonia, a species that co-occurs with another cunoniaceous flower, Lacinipetalum spectabilum, which belongs to a different clade, and thus suggests that the diversification of crowngroup Cunoniaceae dates to at least the latest Cretaceous. These flowers here invite an update on the history of this and closely related families, which are also wholly or largely confined to the Southern Hemisphere, and consideration of whether the status of Cunoniaceae as exemplar Gondwanan (Raven and Axelrod, 1974) should be extended both geographically and temporally.
Number of Pages3
External Author AffiliationsUniversity of Adelaide