Plant Diversity ›› 2022, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (04): 406-416.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2021.08.003

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Leaf fossils of Sabalites (Arecaceae) from the Oligocene of northern Vietnam and their paleoclimatic implications

Ai Songa,b, Jia Liub, Shui-Qing Liangb, Truong Van Doc,d, Hung Ba Nguyenc, Wei-Yu-Dong Dengb, Lin-Bo Jiae, Cédric Del Riob, Gaurav Srivastavaf, Zhuo Fenga, Zhe-Kun Zhoub, Jian Huangb, Tao Sub   

  1. a Institute of Palaeontology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Palaeobiology, MEC International Joint Laboratory for Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironment, Yunnan Key Laboratory of Earth System Science, Yunnan University, Kunming, 650500, China;
    b CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, 666303, China;
    c Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Hanoi, Viet Nam;
    d Graduate Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Hanoi, Viet Nam;
    e CAS Key Laboratory of Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650204, China;
    f Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow, 226 007, India
  • Received:2021-05-14 Revised:2021-08-09 Online:2022-07-25 Published:2022-08-13
  • Contact: Jian Huang,;Tao Su,
  • Supported by:
    We thank members of Paleoecology Research Group (PRG) in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences for field trips in northern Vietnam; People's Committee of Hoanh Bo District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam and Vietnam National Museum of Nature (VNMN), Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology for field permission and assistance; the Public Technology Service Center in XTBG for imaging assistance. We thank Mrs. Teresa Spicer for polishing English which makes our manuscript a great improve. GS thanks to Dr. Vandana Prasad (Director), Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow for providing necessary facilities during the research work. This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (31800183, 41922010, 42002020, 41661134049), Yunnan Basic Research Projects (202001AU070137, 2019FB026), Chinese Academy of Sciences "Light of West China" Program (2020000023), the CAS 135 program (2017XTBG-T03), and Project "Study, collection of fossil woods in Vietnam for exhibition in System of Vietnam National Museum of Nature" (CT0000.01/19-21).

Abstract: Recent paleobotanical investigations in Vietnam provide a good opportunity to improve our understanding of the biodiversity and paleoclimatic conditions in the geological past of Southeast Asia. Palms (Arecaceae) are a diverse family of typical thermophilous plants with a relatively low tolerance for freezing. In this study, we describe well-preserved fossil palm leaves from the Oligocene Dong Ho Formation of Hoanh Bo Basin, northern Vietnam. Characters of the fossil leaves, such as a fan-shaped costapalmate lamina, an unarmed petiole, a costa slightly enlarged at the base that then tapers distally into the blade, and well-preserved amphistomatic leaves with cuticles, suggest that they represent a new fossil species, which we herein designate Sabalites colaniae A. Song, T. Su, T. V. Do et Z.K. Zhou sp. nov. Together with other paleontological and palaeoclimatic evidence, we conclude that a warm climate prevailed in northern Vietnam and nearby areas during the Oligocene.

Key words: Fossil, Leaf, Oligocene, Paleoclimate, Palm, Vietnam