Distribution of Cenozoic plant relicts in China explained by drought in dry season

Yong-Jiang Huang, Frédéric M.B. Jacques, Tao Su, David-Kay Ferguson, Hui Tang, Wen-Yun Chen, Zen-Kun Zhou

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Cenozoic plant relicts are those groups that were once widespread in the Northern Hemisphere but are now restricted to some small isolated areas as a result of drastic climatic changes. They are good proxies to study how plants respond to climatic changes since their modern climatic requirements are known. Herein we look at the modern distribution of 65 palaeoendemic genera in China and compare it with the Chinese climatic pattern, in order to find a link between the plant distribution and climate. Central China and Taiwan Island are shown to be diversity centres of Cenozoic relict genera, consistent with the fact that these two regions have a shorter dry season with comparatively humid autumn and spring in China. Species distribution models indicate that the precipitation parameters are the most important variables to explain the distribution of relict genera. The Cenozoic wide-scale distribution of relict plants in the Northern Hemisphere is therefore considered to be linked to the widespread humid climate at that time, and the subsequent contraction of their distributional ranges was probably caused by the drying trend along with global cooling.

FachzeitschriftScientific Reports
Frühes Online-Datum15 Sep. 2015
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 15 Sep. 2015

ÖFOS 2012

  • 105117 Paläobotanik