Cenozoic migration of a desert plant lineage across the North Atlantic

Denk T., Bouchal J. M., GÜNER H., Coiro M., Butzmann R., Pigg K. B., ...More

New Phytologist, vol.238, no.6, pp.2668-2684, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 238 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/nph.18743
  • Journal Name: New Phytologist
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.2668-2684
  • Keywords: biogeography, Kageneckia, North Atlantic land bridge, paleobotany, Paleogene, sclerophyllous plants, Vauquelinia
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2023 New Phytologist Foundation.Previous paleobotanical work concluded that Paleogene elements of the sclerophyllous subhumid vegetation of western Eurasia and western North America were endemic to these disjunct regions, suggesting that the southern areas of the Holarctic flora were isolated at that time. Consequently, molecular studies invoked either parallel adaptation to dry climates from related ancestors, or long-distance dispersal in explaining disjunctions between the two regions, dismissing the contemporaneous migration of dry-adapted lineages via land bridges as unlikely. We report Vauquelinia (Rosaceae), currently endemic to western North America, in Cenozoic strata of western Eurasia. Revision of North American fossils previously assigned to Vauquelinia confirmed a single fossil-species of Vauquelinia and one of its close relative Kageneckia. We established taxonomic relationships of fossil-taxa using diagnostic character combinations shared with modern species and constructed a time-calibrated phylogeny. The fossil record suggests that Vauquelinia, currently endemic to arid and subdesert environments, originated under seasonally arid climates in the Eocene of western North America and subsequently crossed the Paleogene North Atlantic land bridge (NALB) to Europe. This pattern is replicated by other sclerophyllous, dry-adapted and warmth-loving plants, suggesting that several of these taxa potentially crossed the North Atlantic via the NALB during Eocene times.