Testing the biases in the rich Cenozoic Angiosperm macrofossil record

Abstract

Premise of research: The Cenozoic fossil record is crucial for understanding the evolution of the remarkably high diversity of angiosperms. However, the quality and biases of the angiosperm fossil record remain unclear mainly due to the lack of a global database. Methodology: We introduce a new global occurrence-based database for Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossils, the Cenozoic Angiosperm Database. We test the temporal, spatial, and phylogenetic biases of the Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record and explore their causes. Pivotal results: The data presented here include 2478 assemblages from all Cenozoic epochs and 1961 sites from all continents, as well as representatives of 221 families (of 445 recognized) and 1859 genera, and show that the Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record is extraordinarily rich. However, this rich record is temporally, spatially, and phylogenetically biased: the Miocene is much better sampled than the rest of Cenozoic, the Northern Hemisphere is better sampled than the Southern Hemisphere, and the rosids are better sampled than the rest of the angiosperms. The sampling bias might be caused by collecting effort, geological history, or diverse features of the families, such as growth form and distribution. Conclusions: The Cenozoic macrofossil record of angiosperms is remarkably rich, especially of woody families found in the Northern Hemisphere. Even if there are numerous biases in these data, a judicious use of the database should be highly informative. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/685388 Posted at the Zurich Open Repository and Archive, University of Zurich ZORA URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-123709 Published Version Originally published at: Xing, Yaowu; Gandolfo, Maria A; Onstein, Renske E; Cantrill, David J; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Jordan, Gregory J; Lee, Daphne E; Popova, Svetlana; Srivastava, Rashmi; Su, Tao; Vikulin, Sergei V; Yabe, Atsushi; Linder, H Peter (2016). Testing the biases in the rich Cenozoic Angiosperm macrofossil record. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 177(4):371-388. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/685388 TESTING THE BIASES IN THE RICH CENOZOIC ANGIOSPERM MACROFOSSIL RECORD Yaowu Xing,* Maria A. Gandolfo,† Renske E. Onstein,* David J. Cantrill,‡ Bonnie F. Jacobs,§ Gregory J. Jordan,∥ Daphne E. Lee,# Svetlana Popova,** Rashmi Srivastava,†† Tao Su,‡‡ Sergei V. Vikulin,** Atsushi Yabe,§§ and H. Peter Linder* *Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland; †L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Plant Biology Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA; ‡Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Private Bag 2000, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia; §Environmental Science Program, Southern Methodist University, PO Box 750395, Dallas, Texas 75275-0395, USA; ∥School of Plant Sciences, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia; #Department of Geology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand; **Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, 197376 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation; ††Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow 226 007, India; and ‡‡Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China; and §§National Museum of Nature and Science, 4-1-1 Amakubo, Tsukuba 305-0005, Japan Editor: Maria von Balthazar Premise of research. The Cenozoic fossil record is crucial for understanding the evolution of the remarkably high diversity of angiosperms. However, the quality and biases of the angiosperm fossil record remain unclear mainly due to the lack of a global database. Methodology. We introduce a new global occurrence-based database for Cenozoic angiospermmacrofossils, the Cenozoic Angiosperm Database. We test the temporal, spatial, and phylogenetic biases of the Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record and explore their causes. Pivotal results. The data presented here include 2478 assemblages from all Cenozoic epochs and 1961 sites from all continents, as well as representatives of 221 families (of 445 recognized) and 1859 genera, and show that the Cenozoic angiosperm macrofossil record is extraordinarily rich. However, this rich record is temporally, spatially, and phylogenetically biased: the Miocene is much better sampled than the rest of Cenozoic, the Northern Hemisphere is better sampled than the Southern Hemisphere, and the rosids are better sampled than the rest of the angiosperms. The sampling bias might be caused by collecting effort, geological history, or diverse features of the families, such as growth form and distribution. Conclusions. The Cenozoic macrofossil record of angiosperms is remarkably rich, especially of woody families found in the Northern Hemisphere. Even if there are numerous biases in these data, a judicious use of the database should be highly informative.

10 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Xing2017TestingTB, title={Testing the biases in the rich Cenozoic Angiosperm macrofossil record}, author={Yaowu Xing and Maria Alejandra Gandolfo and Renske E Onstein and David Cantrill and Bonnie F. Jacobs and Gregory John Jordan and Daphne E. Lee and Svetlana R Popova and Rashmi S. Srivastava and Tao Su and Sergei V. Vikulin and Atsushi Yabe and Peter Linder}, year={2017} }