Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Economically valuable sweet-gum trees: Taxonomy and nine new combinations

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Trees in the sweet-gum family Altingiaceae are well-known for their quality timber, use as ornamentals, the source of styrax, and from Chinese medicine. The three previously recognized genera Liquidambar, Altingia and Semiliquidambar have been puzzling botanists for a while due to the morphological similarities between the different genera, which makes their separation and description a challenge. A new taxonomic synopsis provides a new analysis including nine new combinations.

A researcher climbs to harvest inflorescences of Liquidambar siamensis in Bokor National Park, Cambodia. The inset image shows the prominent drip tips on the leaves of L. siamensis and the obconical fruits.
Credit: Richard Bond; CC-BY 4.0

The sweet-gum family Altingiaceae is a small group of wind-pollinated trees that produce hard, woody fruits that contain numerous seeds. This widespread tree family has been puzzling botanists for a while, due to its complicated taxonomic structure, and the morphological similarities between the different genera which makes their separation and description a challenge. Best known for their biogeographic intercontinental disjunction between E Asia and E North America, recent molecular analysis have shown that Altingia and Semiliquidambar are nested within Liquidambar.

A new taxonomic synopsis, published in the open access journal PhytoKeys, formally transfers all Altingia and Semiliquidambar taxa to Liquidambar, which has nomenclatural priority and provides a new analysis including nine new combinations.

Traditionally classified into members with a predominantly temperate distribution (Liquidambar), those with a largely tropical to subtropical distribution (Altingia) are also presented in the new study, including the taxonomic enumeration and distribution of 15 recognized species based on studies of 1,500 specimens from 24 herbaria throughout the distributional range of the taxa.

Despite the difficulties in their taxonomy, sweet gum trees are in fact widely distributed and well known, due to their varied uses by people. They are valued for their high quality timber and they produce fragrant resin (styrax). Some species are also cultivated as ornamentals, while others are locally highly prized for the roots and bark used in traditional Chinese medicine. Some species are local endemics and Liquidambar chingii is listed as near-threatened by the IUCN.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stefanie Ickert-Bond, Jun Wen. A taxonomic synopsis of Altingiaceae with nine new combinations. PhytoKeys, 2013; 31: 21 DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.31.6251

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "Economically valuable sweet-gum trees: Taxonomy and nine new combinations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217123905.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, December 17). Economically valuable sweet-gum trees: Taxonomy and nine new combinations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217123905.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "Economically valuable sweet-gum trees: Taxonomy and nine new combinations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217123905.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins