Talk:Glyptostrobus europaeus

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Disputed author name and year of publication[edit]

Fossilworks claims the author to be Unger, 1850 rather than Heer, 1855 as now stated on the Wikispecies page. Their reference for that is Manchester (2014) "Revisions to Roland Brown's North American Paleocene Flora". Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae 70(3–4): 153–210. (Fossilworks link.)

English Wikipedia adds the third possibility (Brongn.) Heer, 1855 to the list, citing Hickey (1977) "Stratigraphy and paleobotany of the Golden Valley Formation (Early Tertiary) of western North Dakota". The Geological Society of America Memoir 150: 1–183. (enWP link.)

The Wikispecies page currently does not include any references whatsoever, and Encyclopedia of Life (linked in the above thread) lists Newberry as a fourth alternative. Personally I haven't got access to any relevant and/or verifiable sources to sort this out, so therefore I reach out to those of you who do. Thanks for your good work and efforts! –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 23:34, 23 July 2017 (UTC).

Thanks for bringing this point up! I just did a Google Scholar search with mixed results:
  1. "Mummified foliage, seeds and cones of Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongniart) Unger (Taxodiaceae, or Cupressaceae sl) are very common within muddy sediments embedding large arboreal stumps in several Pliocene localities of northern and central Italy."[1]
  2. "A slab composed mainly of gymnospermous twigs (Glyptostrobus europaeus) from the lignitic layers underlying the stumps."[2]
  3. "Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongniart 1833) Unger 1850"[3]
  4. "In this flora the conifers Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongn.) Heer and Metasequoia cuneata (Newb.) Chaney are very abundant."[4]
  5. "Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongniart) Heer"[5]
  6. "This is in agreement with the common evidence of Glyptostrobus europaeus macroremains in the Upper Neogene of the region (Kasaplıgil, 1977, Gemici et al., 1991, Ţicleanu, 1992 and İnci, 2002)."[6]
  7. "Glyptostrobus europaeus Heer"[7]
It seems to depend on what country the flora are in! Numbers 3 and 7 above are the same first author, and 7 appears to be in the same journal as the Fossilworks reference only more recent. I will happily go along with whatever is decided. --Marshallsumter (talk) 02:27, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
The trouble is we can't really "decide" by ourselves, since that may be considered (or in this case at least borders to) original research ("OR") which is very out of scope for the Wikispecies project. A minute ago I made a note at the Village Pump in order to perhaps get some more input from other contributors. However please note that by Wikispecies' praxis the discussion will most likely continue here, rather than at the VP. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:42, 24 July 2017 (UTC).
See here for a sort of taxonomic overview, resulting in Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongn.) Unger, derived from the basionym Taxodium europaeum Brongn.. --RLJ (talk) 12:22, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Subsequent to Le Page's review just above (2008-2017), Google Scholar shows 31 sources Glyptostrobus europaeus (B.) U, 12 Glyptostrobus europaeus (B.) H, Glyptostrobus europaeus 47 B. (includes the first two), 7 Glyptostrobus europaeus H, 2 Glyptostrobus europaeus U, and 188 Glyptostrobus europaeus none (132) + the others (56). Le Page writes "the spatially and temporally representative sample of the fossils considered here indicates that most of the fossils conform morphologically to the living species G. pensilis and that, according to a detailed taxonomic assessment of the fossil remains, Glyptostrobus seems to be another spectacular example of morphological stasis over a geologically long period." and "It was not until Unger (1850b) was able to compare the existing fossil material with the newly described living species Glyptostrobus heterophyllus (Brongniart) Endlicher (= G. pensilis) described by Endlicher (1847) that Unger recognized the fossils described by Brongniart were indeed those of Glyptostrobus. He created the new combination, Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongniart) Unger, which is the correct epithet despite the wide-spread use of G. europaeus (Brongniart) Heer in the literature." further "Since then, hundreds of reports of Glyptostrobus fossils have been published (Appendix A; Jongmans and Dijkstra 1973). The lack of significant morphological diversification observed between living and fossil Glyptostrobus foliage and seed cones leaves little doubt of the accuracy of most of the fossil identifications, especially when the foliage is associated with seed cones. More importantly though, the fossil record of Glyptostrobus indicates that many of the species described are synonyms and that there are considerably fewer than the more than 30 species of fossil Glyptostrobus described to date. In fact, most of the fossils described in the literature are reported by several of the authors as being more or less identical to living G. pensilis. This review of the literature did not show significant differences between many of the fossil species that were erected and existing fossils and G. pensilis. The creation of new species was commonly based on slight differences in the size and shape of the fossil remains or the geologic age of the fossils." But, "Brown (1936) and Christophel (1976) point out that Glyptostrobus has cupressoid, cryptomeroid and taxodioid foliage with intermediates of the three prominent leaf morphologies. This together with a complicated taxonomic history has made interpretation of the evolutionary history of Glyptostrobus difficult. Reassessment of the taxonomy of the genus is in progress and, despite being incomplete, the data suggest the number of fossil Glyptostrobus species is smaller than that reported in the literature. [...] While the gross morphological features of the leaves and seed cones at present seem to provide little useful phylogenetic information for species level segregation, hopefully further detailed anatomical and morphological study of existing and new fossil Glyptostrobus remains, as well as living G. pensilis, will reveal that the genus had a more speciose fossil history than that indicated in the fossil record." and "The difficulties associated with providing a reliable and meaningful assessment of the number of species throughout the fossil record of the genus limits the usefulness of interpreting the biogeographic history of the genus at the species level. Therefore, the biogeographic history of the genus is best seen as that of a single entity." --Marshallsumter (talk) 17:51, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
The place, where the combination Glyptostrobus europaeus was validly established by Unger: Sitzungsber. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss., Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. 5: 435. 1850. --Franz Xaver (talk) 18:39, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

@Tommy Kronkvist: @Marshallsumter: and @RLJ: Whatever way you look at it, this is a paleospecies and hence, as circumscribed, the name and taxon page is totally incorrect. It should be †Glyptostrobus europaeus according to WS guidelines and taxonomic conventions. I suggest somebody gets it edited correctly. Andyboorman (talk) 17:54, 24 July 2017 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done --Marshallsumter (talk) 18:42, 24 July 2017 (UTC) ┌─────────────────────────────────┘

I've checked on Google Scholar for any gene studies on G. pensilis and found none, although there may be some out there somewhere. Without such information to assess species, and my money's on their all variations of G. pensilis, it appears the best answer for now is "Glyptostrobus europaeus (Brongniart 1833) Unger 1850." The majority of primary authors not designating any Glyptostrobus europaeus authors may be waiting for gene studies. --Marshallsumter (talk) 00:49, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Just FYI, I picked Glyptostrobus europaeus Heer, probably for the same reason that V. Teodoridis (2015) did, i.e., Heer (1855) did the more recent genus-species reassessment. --Marshallsumter (talk) 00:57, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
Now I have added the relevant names and their nomenclatural references. It is obvious, that the short communication by Unger simply was overlooked, whereas the elaborated description including illustrations by Heer was very well known. Anyway, the nomenclatural rules value priority higher than thoroughness. I added both, Unger (1850) and Heer (1855), the latter combination given as an isonym. So, having all the primary references at disposal, the question about the correct name should be clear now. --Franz Xaver (talk) 11:15, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
However, if the fossil species should be lumped with the extant Glyptostrobus pensilis ([1]), the epithet pensilis from 1828 has priority over europaeus from 1833. --Franz Xaver (talk) 11:40, 25 July 2017 (UTC)
  • This matter seems to have been successfully resolved for now! If there are no objections, I'll remove the dispute tag unless we should leave it on longer for possible further comments. --Marshallsumter (talk) 03:09, 26 July 2017 (UTC)


  1. E.Vassio, E.Martinetto, M.Dolezych and J.Van der Burgh September 2008. Wood anatomy of the Glyptostrobus europaeus “whole-plant” from a Pliocene fossil forest of Italy. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 151(3–4): 81–89. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2008.02.006. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  2. B.Erdei, M.Dolezych and L.Hably May 2009. The buried Miocene forest at Bükkábrány, Hungary (PDF). Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 155(1–2): 69–79. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2008.02.006.,%20Hungary.pdf. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  3. V. Teodoridis 2003. Tertiary flora and vegetation of the locality Záhoří near Žatec (Most Basin, Czech Republic) (PDF). Bulletin of Geosciences. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  4. J. Hsu 1983. Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic vegetation in China, emphasizing their connections with North America. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 70(3): 490–508. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  5. A. Momohara (2005). in Ben A. LePage, Christopher J. Williams, Hong Yang: Paleoecology and history of Metasequoia in Japan, with reference to its extinction and survival in East Asia, In: The Geobiology and Ecology of Metasequoia'. Springer, 115–136. ISBN 978-1-4020-2631-7. Retrieved on July 23, 2017. 
  6. Speranta-Maria Popescu, Demet Biltekin, Hanna Winter, Jean-Pierre Suc, Mihaela Carmen Melinte-Dobrinescue, Stefan Klotzf, Marina Rabineaua, Nathalie Combourieu-Nebout 1 June 2010. Pliocene and Lower Pleistocene vegetation and climate changes at the European scale: Long pollen records and climatostratigraphy. Quaternary International, 219(1–2): 152–167. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2010.03.013. Retrieved July 23, 2017. 
  7. V. Teodoridis, Z. Kvaček, M. Sami 2015. Palaeoenvironmental analysis of the Messinian macrofossil floras of Tossignano and Monte Tondo (Vena del Gesso Basin… (PDF). Acta Mus. Nat.. Retrieved July 23, 2017.