Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (5): 393-402.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00393

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A panbiogeographical explanation of the disjunct distribution of Fagus (Fagaceae) in the northern temperate zone

WANG Li-Na1, JIANG Xiao-Long2, LEI Yun1*, and ZHANG Ming-Li2,3*   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China;

    2Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresources in Arid Land, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China;

    3Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
  • Received:2012-01-11 Revised:2012-04-06 Online:2012-05-04 Published:2012-05-01
  • Contact: ZHANG Ming-Li


Aims Fagus L. has a disjunct distribution in the northern temperate zone, and there is a rich collection of Tertiary fossils from East Asia, Europe and North America. A panbiogeographical analysis of Fagus was undertaken to analyze the distribution pattern and evolution of the genus.
Methods Distribution data of 581 records of 10 species were obtained from herbaria and monographs. Track analysis of panbiogeography and software MartiTrack were used for data analysis.
Important findings Results indicated that there was no generalized track linking the distributions among China, Japan, Europe and North America or even between China and Japan, two adjacent areas in East Asia. Two regional generalized tracks were only found within China and Japan. These facts imply that the Fagus distribution cannot be explained by dispersal. Dispersal probably only occurred in limited and/or local regions and not as dispersal across the northern temperate zone in the Tertiary. The disjunction most likely resulted from (1) geological historical events such as Tethys westward movement, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau uplift, and Asian monsoon action, (2) climate change since the Tertiary, especially climate fluctuation during Quaternary glaciation, and (3) Fagus biological characteristics with regard to humid and temperate climate and annual rainfall.

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