Acacia heterophylla

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Acacia heterophylla
Acacia heterophylla 3.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. heterophylla
Binomial name
Acacia heterophylla
(Lam.) Willd.
Synonyms

Acacia brevipes A.Cunn.
Acacia xiphoclada Baker
Mimosa heterophylla Lam.[1]

Acacia heterophylla, the highland tamarind,[2] is a tree (or shrub in its higher places) endemic to Réunion island where it is commonly named Tamarin des Hauts[1] The tree has a juvenile stage where its leaves have a pinnate arrangement, but in the adult stage the leaves diminish and the phyllode becomes the dominant photosynthetic structure.

It has been introduced into Madagascar[3] where it grows in a subhumid climate at an altitude of about 500–1000 m above sea level.[3]

Genetic sequence analysis has shown its closest relative is Acacia koa of Hawaii; the estimated time of divergence is about 1.4 million years ago.[4][5] A. heterophylla sequences nest within those of the more diverse A. koa, making the latter species paraphyletic.[5] Both species are descended from an ancestral species in Australia, presumably their sister species, Acacia melanoxylon; the means of dispersal to Hawaii and then to Réunion (the latter trip a distance of 18,000 km) is thought to have been seed-carrying by birds such as petrels (the seeds of these species are not adapted for prolonged immersion in seawater).[5] Both species also have very similar ecological niches, which differ from that of A. melanoxylon.[5]

Acacia heterophylla flowers
A. heterophylla wood

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Catalogue of Life : 2007 Annual Checklist : Acacia heterophylla (Lam.)Willd.
  2. ^ Forestry Abstracts, University of Oxford Commonwealth Forestry Bureau, p.327, 1939
  3. ^ a b Acacia heterophylla in A Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar @ efloras.org
  4. ^ Marris, E. (2014-06-19). "Tree hitched a ride to island". Nature 510 (7505): 320–321. doi:10.1038/510320a.  edit
  5. ^ a b c d Le Roux, J. J.; Strasberg, D.; Rouget, M.; Morden, C. W.; Koordom, M.; Richardson, D. M. (2014-06-18). "Relatedness defies biogeography: The tale of two island endemics (Acacia heterophyllaandA. Koa)". New Phytologist: n/a. doi:10.1111/nph.12900.  edit

External links[edit]

Media related to Acacia heterophylla at Wikimedia Commons