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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2006 May;39(2):512-28. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Phylogeny and biogeography of Altingiaceae: evidence from combined analysis of five non-coding chloroplast regions.

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Field Museum, Department of Botany, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA.


The Altingiaceae consist of approximately 15 species that are disjunctly distributed in Asia and North America. The genus Liquidambar has been employed as a biogeographic model for studying the Northern Hemisphere intercontinental disjunctions. Parsimony and Bayesian analyses based on five non-coding chloroplast regions support that (1) Liquidambar is paraphyletic; (2) the temperate Liquidambar acalycina and Liquidambar formosana are nested within a large tropical to subtropical Asian clade; (3) Semiliquidambar is scattered in the eastern Asian clade and is of hybrid origin involving at least two maternal species: L. formosana and L. acalycina; and (4) the eastern North American Liquidambar styraciflua groups with the western Asian Liquidambar orientalis, but is highly distinct from other lineages. Biogeographically, our results demonstrate the complexity of biogeographic migrations throughout the history of Altingiaceae since the Cretaceous, with migration across both the Bering and the North Atlantic land bridges.

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