The occurrences of Pinus L. (family Pinaceae) megafossils (cones and leaf remains) have been abundantly documented from the Cenozoic sediments of eastern Asia (Japan and China), but none has been confirmed from the Indian Cenozoic till date. Here, we describe Pinus arunachalensis Khan and Bera, sp. nov. on the basis of seed remains from the middle to late Miocene Siwalik sediments of the Dafla Formation exposed around West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya. Seeds are winged, broadly oblong to oval in outline, 1.3–1.5 cm long and 0.4–0.6 cm broad (in the middle part), located basipetally and symmetrically to wing, cellular pattern of wing is seemingly undulatory and parallel with the long axis of the wing. So far, this report provides the first ever fossil record of Pinus winged seeds from India. This record suggests that Pinus was an important component of tropical-subtropical evergreen forest in the area during the Miocene and this group subsequently declined from the local vegetation probably because of the gradual intensification of MSI (monsoon index) from the Miocene to the present. We also review the historical phytogeography and highlight the phytogeographic implication of this genus.
Volume 129, 2020
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