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Interpretation of “fungal spikes” in Permian-Triassic boundary sections


Hochuli, Peter A (2016). Interpretation of “fungal spikes” in Permian-Triassic boundary sections. Global and Planetary Change, 144:48-50.

Abstract

Abundant occurrences of the palynomorph Reduviasporonites have been described as “fungal spike” from several Permian/Triassic boundary sections and related to the supposed destruction of woody vegetation by fungal pathogens during the Permian/Triassic extinction event. The biological affinity of this taxa considered by some authors of fungal origin is still controversially discussed since there is geochemical evidence that it is most probably related to algae. The abundance peak of this species is used by some authors as a stratigraphic marker, notably in terrestrial Permian/Triassic boundary sections from South China. Illustrations of the reported fungal remains however show potentially erroneous taxonomic identification of Reduviasporonites, and, based on differences in thermal maturation, they may represent recent contamination. Here Reduviasporonites chalastus of Early Triassic age is illustrated together with recent fungal remains originating from a strongly weathered and otherwise barren sample from a Middle Triassic section.

Abstract

Abundant occurrences of the palynomorph Reduviasporonites have been described as “fungal spike” from several Permian/Triassic boundary sections and related to the supposed destruction of woody vegetation by fungal pathogens during the Permian/Triassic extinction event. The biological affinity of this taxa considered by some authors of fungal origin is still controversially discussed since there is geochemical evidence that it is most probably related to algae. The abundance peak of this species is used by some authors as a stratigraphic marker, notably in terrestrial Permian/Triassic boundary sections from South China. Illustrations of the reported fungal remains however show potentially erroneous taxonomic identification of Reduviasporonites, and, based on differences in thermal maturation, they may represent recent contamination. Here Reduviasporonites chalastus of Early Triassic age is illustrated together with recent fungal remains originating from a strongly weathered and otherwise barren sample from a Middle Triassic section.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:Permian/Triassic extinction event; “Fungal event”; “Fungal spike”; Reduviasporonites; Recent contamination
Date:16 May 2016
Deposited On:26 May 2016 16:07
Last Modified:31 Aug 2016 07:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0921-8181
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.05.002

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