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Data from: Oligocene–Neogene fossil history of Asian endemic conifer genera in Japan and Korea

Cite this dataset

Yabe, Atsushi; Jeong, Eunkyoung; Kim, Kyungsik; Uemura, Kazuhiko (2018). Data from: Oligocene–Neogene fossil history of Asian endemic conifer genera in Japan and Korea [Dataset]. Dryad.


Temporal and spatial changes of ten conifer genera that are endemic to East Asia were analyzed based on fossil data from humid temperate forests in the Japanese Islands and Korean Peninsula to elucidate the phytogeographic history, and to understand differences between those genera eliminated from the Japanese Islands and those remained extant. All these genera, except for Thujopsis, have existed in the area since the Paleogene and remained in the Japanese islands after initial separation from the continent at the early–middle Miocene. Those locally extinct six genera have tendencies to adapt to wider ranges of climatic conditions than their modern relatives. Metasequoia, Glyptostrobus, and Taiwania began to change their distributions since the late Miocene possibly through habitat partitioning. Keteleeria, Pseudolarix, and Cunninghamia appeared to have expanded their habitat toward warmer conditions during the mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum and then became restricted to warmer forest vegetation by the end of Pliocene. Overall changes in their distribution can be explained by climatic effects. On the contrary, three genera endemic to Japan (Sciadopitys, Cryptomeria, and Thujopsis) followed clearly different trends from the others. Cryptomeria and Thujopsis were especially adapted to cooler-temperate climate and they retained their habitat areas in the northern part of Japan. During the late Miocene–Pliocene, the islands connected with the Eurasian continent again, which probably acted as a corridor for warm-adapted genera to disperse southwest. Current data suggest that ecological requirements of each genus might be essential to decide whether they could survive on the Japanese Islands.

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Korean Peninsula
East Asia
circum-Japan Sea area
Japanese Islands