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Biases in assessing the evolutionary history of the angiosperm flora of China
- Qian, Hong
- Journal of biogeography 2019 v.46 no.5 pp. 1096-1099
- Angiospermae, Miocene epoch, flora, fossils, phylogeny, China
- In their recent paper published in Nature (2018, 554, 234‐238), Lu et al. use phylogenetic approaches to determine the proportion of the Chinese angiosperm genera that originated during the Miocene or later, and contrast divergence times and phylogenetic dispersion between eastern and western China. One of their key conclusions is that 66% of the angiosperm genera in China originated in the Miocene or later. However, an analysis of 300 angiosperm genera shows that 139 (76.8%) of the 181 genera considered as originating in the Miocene or later by Lu et al. have fossil records before the Miocene. Thus, the evolutionary history of Chinese angiosperm flora has been substantially underestimated in Lu et al. In addition, the results of Lu et al. have been biased by using an incomplete phylogeny.