The Podocarpaceae are the second largest conifer family with 18 genera and 178 species (Appendix 1). Despite being the most diverse family of conifers morphologically and ecologically, Kelch (1998) has shown the family to be monophyletic. Most genera contain only a few species, but Podocarpus has more than 90 species spanning warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions. Dacrydium is the only other large genus, with 25 species. Although there are some fossil records of Podocarpaceae in the northern hemisphere beyond those areas where they still occur, the family has an overwhelmingly southern hemispheric distribution, past and present (Enright and Hill 1995). Despite the fact that Podocarpus and other genera of Podocarpaceae produce terpenoid resin, the family has not been analyzed chemically in detail. Resin occurs notably in leaves but not in sufficient quantity in stem tissues to have been used commercially, nor has it been studied ecologically.
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