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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Wang, Qi [1], Dilcher, David [2].

Fossil history and biogeography of Pueraria (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Phaseoleae).

PUERARIA DC.1825 includes kudzu, tropical kudzu, and their relatives, which is the largest legume genus in the subtribe Glycininae. It contains about 15-20 species, which are climbers, lianas, or rarely shrubs distributed in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Pueraria can be used as an ornamental, for food, medicine, pasture, and cover crop, and therefore was introduced into other places. Pueraria has become a pest as an invasive species in the USA. Pueraria fossil provides an historical perspective for its biogeography and paleoecology, which may be useful in understanding the ecology and invasive process of modern kudzu. Pueraria leaflets have been recognized in Mio-Pliocene sediments from Shandong and Yunnan of China, Sikhote-Alin of Russian Far East, Inkyoyama of Japan, and Seldovia Point of Alaska, demonstrating Pueraria with a more northern distribution in the Neogene than today. Pueraria population exchanges between Asia and North America once existed, at least during the Miocene, via the Bering land bridge (and possibly during a periodic Aleutian land bridge as well). Paleoecological studies show that the earliest known Pueraria fossils and associated floras lived in temperate and/or subtropical climate conditions during the Mio-Pliocene. With the onsets of global climatic deterioration and extensive glaciation in southern Alaska respectively since the Oligocene and the late Miocene, floristic exchanges including Pueraria between Asia and North America have been greatly restricted or ceased. As a result, those temperate and subtropical elements like Pueraria have to retreat and migrated south. The fossil history and biogeography of Pueraria elucidates the fact that temperature is one of the most fundamental ecological factors to control its invasively dispersal potential and that modern distribution of Pueraria in tropical Asia and Oceania might have been secondarily dispersed from an initial center of diversification in temperate and subtropical Asia since the Mio-Pliocene onwards. -DU

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1 - Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Haidian District, 20 Nanxincun, Xiangshan, Beijing, 100093, China
2 - Laboratory of Paleobotany and Palynology,, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA


kudzu fossil.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: 48-101
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:24

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