Phyllocladus


Phyllocladus
Phyllocladus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Phyllocladaceae
Genus: Phyllocladus
Species

Five; see text

Phyllocladus is a small genus of conifers, now usually treated in the family Podocarpaceae. [1] They are morphologically very distinct from the other genera in that family, and some botanists treat them in a family of their own, the Phyllocladaceae. [2] One molecular phylogenetic analysis found Phyllocladus to be sister to Podocarpus sensu stricto. [3] Another was equivocal on its position relative to Podocarpaceae s.s.. [4]

Phyllocladus is mainly a southern hemisphere genus, occurring in New Zealand, Tasmania and Malesia, where one species crosses a short way north of the equator in the Philippines.

The five species are genetically distinct, and probably arose between 5 and 7 million years ago. [4]

Contents

Description

They are small to medium-size trees, reaching 10-30 m tall, or sometimes small shrubs. The main structural shoots are green for 2-3 years, then turn brown as the bark thickens. The leaves are sparse, tiny, scale-like, 2-3 mm long, and only green (photosynthetic) for a short time, soon turning brown. Most photosynthesis is performed by highly modified, leaf-like short shoots called phylloclades; these develop in the axils of the scale leaves, and are simple or compound (depending on species). Simple phylloclades are rhombic, 2-5 cm long, and compound phylloclades are up to 20 cm long and subdivided into 5-15 'leaflet'-like phylloclades 1-3 cm long. The seed cones are berry-like, similar to those of several other Podocarpaceae genera, notably Halocarpus and Prumnopitys, with a fleshy white aril; the seeds are dispersed by birds, which digest the soft fleshy aril as they pass the hard seeds in their droppings.

Species

Phyllocladus trichomanoides

References

  1. ^ James E. Eckenwalder. 2009. Conifers of the World. Timber Press: Portland, OR, USA. ISBN 978-0-88192-974-4.
  2. ^ Christopher N. Page. 1990. "Phyllocladaceae" pages 317-319. In: Klaus Kubitzki (general editor); Karl U. Kramer and Peter S. Green (volume editors) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume I. Springer-Verlag: Berlin;Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-0-387-51794-0
  3. ^ William T. Sinclair, R. R. Mill, M. F. Gardner, P. Woltz, T. Jaffré, J. Preston, M. L. Hollingsworth, A. Ponge, and M. Möller. 2002. "Evolutionary relationships of the New Caledonian heterotrophic conifer, Parasitaxis usta (Podocarpaceae), inferred from chloroplast trnL-F intron/spacer and nuclear rDNA ITS2 sequences". Plant Systematics and Evolution 233(1-2):79-104. doi:10.1007/s00606-002-0199-8
  4. ^ a b Steven J. Wagstaff. 2004. "Evolution and biogeography of the austral genus Phyllocladus (Podocarpaceae)". Journal of Biogeography 31(10):1569-1577.

Sources

  • Quinn, C. J. & Price, R. A. 2003. Phylogeny of the Southern Hemisphere Conifers. Proc. Fourth International Conifer Conference: 129-136.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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