Bear River Walnut Ranch/Gilbert Group Walnuts

Wheatland, CA >forms and labels Employee resources Equipment DB: Add New Incident All Incident Log  Equipment List  BRWR Hop Ranch Map   BRWR North Map

Bear River Walnut Ranch is situated in the fertile alluvial fan of the Bear River. The area has a historic link to both the Gold Rush, in that much of the ranch's soil is the product of hydraulic mining, and to some of the earliest large-scale agriculture in California, the Durst Hop Farms. Below you will find information about walnuts: their evolutionary history, their domestication, and their currently known health benefits. Walnuts have a very low ecological profile and tend to be perceived as improving the ambiance of an agricultural area, much like grapes or apples, due to the shade they provide, the local summertime temperature reduction they promote via broad-leaf evapotranspiration, and the aromatic oils they emit around harvest time.

Walnuts evolved to be mammal food, and this likely explains their high nutritive value. Explore the links below to learn about the evolutionary origins of walnuts and how they came to be one of the world's healthiest purely natural food supplements.

Genus Juglans, the Walnut species of the world
Fruits, Seeds, & Nectar

©2022 the Gilbert Family

map

Figure 1.Wild Juglans world distribution. Light blue is the projected distribution of walnuts prior to the time of the Persian and Greek empires, although it is uncertain if the actual pre-empire native distribution is more to the east, closer to that of Juglans sigilata (dark blue). ©Bear River Walnut Ranch

Rosids

The ‘rosids’

More than a quarter of all angiosperms and are 'rosids' (Wang et. al, 2009). Because of the rapidity of the rosid radiation in the Middle and Late Cretaceous, many of the deep evolutionary relationships of the group are difficult to precisely reconstruct. In other words, new groups of rosids were arising, proliferating, changing form, competing, and sometimes going extinct at a very rapid pace in the Cretaceous as evolution tinkered with the manifold new possibilities allowed by flowers, fruit, and pollen. Rosids are thus very diverse in form, and the group includes trees, vines, aquatic plants, parasitic plants, and small plants including all varieties of fruits, from legumes, to vegetables, to sweet fruit and nut crops. Many rosids have root nodules where symbiotic relationships with soil bacteria that promote nitrogen fixation occur, a feature that appears to be related to a major adaptive radiation (Soltis, 1999).

 

The rosid radiation is associated with the rise of angiosperm-dominated forests and also with the proliferation of modern ant lineages and other herbivorous or otherwise plant-dependent insect groups. Although amphibians have a very deep evolutionary history that extends into the Permian, the vast majority of amphibian species live in trees, and angiosperm forests appear to have driven several adaptive radiations of amphibians in the Cretaceous and Cenozoic (Wang et. al, 2009).

 

Fagales

Fagales appears to have originated during the major rosid radiation in the middle Cretaceous. Fagales is characterized by dry fruit/nuts, flowers that occur in compact clusters, and roots that promote ectomycorrhizal relationships between roots and fungi which allows for incorporation of nitrogen and growth in poor soils. Often fagales forms produce flavonol compounds related to isoflavonoids and flavonoids and other complex molecules associated with mitigating a multitude of specific fungus-root relationships in the ‘rhizosphere’ (Hause, 2009); these compounds have diverse biochemical and antioxidant qualities that can provide health benefits to animals and humans.

 

juglandaceae

Figure 4. Evolutionary history of Juglans ©Bear River Walnut Ranch

 

Juglandaceae

Juglandaceae is the walnut family, and is a closely-related clade (evolutionary group) that includes walnuts, pecans, and hickory. The fruit of Juglandacaea is technically a ‘drupe’ (drupaceous nuts), not a true nut. In a drupe an outer fleshy part and flesh surrounds a shell (pit) with a seed inside. True nuts, like hazel nuts, do not have an outer fruit layer (husk). Juglandaceae have unisexual flowers and wind dispersed pollen. Juglandaceae includes the subfamilies Engelhardioideae and Juglandoideae

 

Engelhardioideae

Engelhardoidea, which includes Engelhardia, Oreomunnea, and Alfaroa (Blokhina, 2004), differs from Juglandoideae in the way it flowers, by pollen morphology, and by wood anatomy (Iljinskaja, 1990). Alfaroa is a non-deciduous tree from the tropical rain forest highlands of Central America. Wood retains a solid pith. Alfaroa bears small, one-chambered nuts. Engelhardia is composed of a number of species of trees across southeast Eurasia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Oreomunnea is a genus of large trees native to Mesoamerican hihgland rainforest. Oreomunnea leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, differentiating it from most members of Juglandaceae. The fruit is a small nut with a three-lobed wing.

 

Juglandoideae

Juglandoidea is composed of two tribes: Platycaryeae and Juglandeae. Platycaryeae comprises a single species Platycarya strobilacea, though one to two additional species are accepted by some authors. It is native to eastern Asia in China, Korea, and Japan.

References cited

 

Aradhya, M. K. (2006). Cladistic Biogeography of Juglans (Juglandaceae) Based on Chloroplast DNA Intergenic Spacer Sequences. Darwin's harvest: new approaches to the origins, evolution, and conservation of crops, 143.

Aradhya, M. K., Potter, D., Gao, F., & Simon, C. J. (2007). Molecular phylogeny of Juglans (Juglandaceae): a biogeographic perspective. Tree Genetics & Genomes, 3(4), 363-378.

Bailey, V., & United States. Bureau of Biological, S. (1931). Mammals of New Mexico (Vol. 53): US Govt. print. off.

Blokhina, N. I. (2004). On some aspects of the systematics and evolution of the Engelhardioidea (Juglandaceae) by wood anatomy. ACTA PALAEONTOLOGICA ROMANIAE, 4, 13-21.

Baughman, M. J. and Vogt, C. (2002). Growing Black Walnut. Regents of the University of Minnesota. Downloaded from http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/dd0505.html

Brady, S. G., Sipes, S., Pearson, A., & Danforth, B. N. (2006). Recent and simultaneous origins of eusociality in halictid bees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273(1594), 1643.

Chase, M. W., Fay, M. F., Reveal, J. L., Soltis, D. E., Soltis, P. S., Anderberg, A. A., et al. (2009). An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161(2), 105-121.

Chaw, S. M., Chang, C. C., Chen, H. L., & Li, W. H. (2004). Dating the monocot‚ dicot divergence and the origin of core eudicots using whole chloroplast genomes. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 58(4), 424-441.

Edelman, A. J., Koprowski, J. L., & Edwards, C. W. (2005). Diet and tree use of Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti) in a mixed-conifer forest. The Southwestern Naturalist, 50(4), 461-465.

Friis, E. M., Pedersen, K. R., & Schönenberger, J. (2006). Normapolles plants: a prominent component of the Cretaceous rosid diversification. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 260(2), 107-140.

Hafner, D. J., & Kirkland, G. L. (1998). North American rodents: status survey and conservation action plan (Vol. 42): World Conservation Union.

Harvey, P. H., Clutton-Brock, T. H., & Mace, G. M. (1980). Brain size and ecology in small mammals and primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 77(7), 4387.

Hause, B., & Schaarschmidt, S. (2009). The role of jasmonates in mutualistic symbioses between plants and soil-born microorganisms. Phytochemistry, 70(13-14), 1589-1599.

Iljinskaja, I. A. I. i. I. (1990). On the taxonomy and phylogeny of the Juglandaceae family. Bot. Zh. SSSR, 75(792-803).

Kruska, D. C. T. (2005). On the evolutionary significance of encephalization in some eutherian mammals: effects of adaptive radiation, domestication, and feralization. Brain, Behavior and Evolution, 65(2), 73-108.

Manchester, S. R., & Dilcher, D. L. (1982). Pterocaryoid fruits (Juglandaceae) in the Paleogene of North America and their evolutionary and biogeographic significance. American Journal of Botany, 275-286.

Manos, P. S., & Stone, D. E. (2001). Evolution, phylogeny, and systematics of the Juglandaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 231-269.

Maser, Z., & Maser, C. (1987). Notes on mycophagy of the yellow-pine chipmunk (Eutamias amoenus) in northeastern Oregon. The Murrelet, 68(1), 24-27.

Meier, P. T. (1983). Relative brain size within the North American Sciuridae. Journal of mammalogy, 642-647.

Moller, H. (1983). Foods and foraging behaviour of red (Sciurus vulgaris) and grey (Sciurus carolinensis) squirrels. Mammal Review, 13(2‚Äê4), 81-98.

Molyneux, R. J., Mahoney, N., Kim, J. H., Campbell, B. C., & Hagerman, A. E. (2008). Antioxidant Constituents in Tree Nuts: Health Implications and Aflatoxin Inhibition.

Smith, S. A., Beaulieu, J. M., & Donoghue, M. J. (2010). An uncorrelated relaxed-clock analysis suggests an earlier origin for flowering plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(13), 5897.

Soltis, P. S., Soltis, D. E., & Chase, M. W. (1999). Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from multiple genes as a tool for comparative biology. Nature, 402(6760), 402-404.

Stanford, A. M., Harden, R., & Parks, C. R. (2000). Phylogeny and biogeography of Juglans (Juglandaceae) based on matK and ITS sequence data. American Journal of Botany, 87(6), 872-882.

Stapanian, M. A., & Smith, C. C. (1978). A model for seed scatterhoarding: coevolution of fox squirrels and black walnuts. Ecology, 884-896.

Steemans, P., Hérissé, A. L., Melvin, J., Miller, M. A., Paris, F., Verniers, J., et al. (2009). Origin and radiation of the earliest vascular land plants. Science, 324(5925), 353.

Steppan, S. J., Storz, B. L., & Hoffmann, R. S. (2004). Nuclear DNA phylogeny of the squirrels (Mammalia: Rodentia) and the evolution of arboreality from c-myc and RAG1. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 30(3), 703-719.

Stone, D. E. (2010). Review of New World Alfaroa and Old World Alfaropsis (Juglandaceae). Novon: A Journal for Botanical Nomenclature, 20(2), 215-224.

Taylor, M. D. W. (2010). Cyclocarya brownii from the Paleocene of North Dakota, USA. ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY.

Wang, H., Moore, M. J., Soltis, P. S., Bell, C. D., Brockington, S. F., Alexandre, R., et al. (2009). Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(10), 3853.

Weber, A. P. M., & Osteryoung, K. W. (2010). From endosymbiosis to synthetic photosynthetic life. Plant physiology, 154(2), 593-597.

Weigl, P. D., & Hanson, E. V. (1980). Observational learning and the feeding behavior of the red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus: the ontogeny of optimization. Ecology, 214-218.

Wible, J. R., Rougier, G. W., Novacek, M. J., & Asher, R. J. (2007). Cretaceous eutherians and Laurasian origin for placental mammals near the K/T boundary. Nature, 447(7147), 1003-1006.

Wrazen, J. A., & Svendsen, G. E. (1978). Feeding ecology of a population of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) in southeast Ohio. American Midland Naturalist, 190-201.

Yoon, H. S., Hackett, J. D., Ciniglia, C., Pinto, G., & Bhattacharya, D. (2004). A molecular timeline for the origin of photosynthetic eukaryotes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 21(5), 809-818.