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Abstract Detail

Paleobotanical Section

Garcia Massini, Juan L. [1], Falaschi, Paula [2], Zamuner, Alba [3].

Fungal-arthropod-plant interactions from the Jurassic petrified forest Monumento Natural Bosques Petrificados, Patagonia, Argentina.

Fungal-arthropod-plant interactions are described from the Middle Jurassic Monumento Natural Bosques Petrificados, Deseado Massif, Patagonia,Argentina. Fossils consist of silicified araucarian logs that appear differentially decayed and display systems of galleries bored in patterns resembling those produced by extant wood-boring beetles. Galleries are filled with frass that is reworked into smaller galleries containing circular to elliptical coprolites that are of possible mite origin and composed of fungal and plant remains. Fungi are also found growing from the walls of the galleries and from the coprolites. Identifiable fungal propagules include asexual structures typical of extant imperfect fungi. Comparison with modern wood with similar patterns suggests axilophagous role for the wood borer, whereas the narrower galleries and coprolites likely are products of a smaller xylophagous/fungivorous woodborer. Decay patterns in the silicified woods are like those produced by extant saprotrophic and pathogenic wood-rotting fungi in modern ecosystems. The fungus on the walls of the galleries and on the coprolites most likely played a saprotrophic role. However,additional indirect and direct interactions (i.e., phorisms) similar to those between conifers, mites, beetles, and fungi in modern ecosystems can be hypothesized. This report provides fossil evidence of multitrophic fungal-arthropod-plant interactions and suggests the possibility that complex interactions like those in modern conifers might have been in place by at least the Jurassic. These results underscore the importance of fungi as key elements of past ecosystems,acting as drivers of biological cycles and symbionts with a variety of organisms.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Centro Regional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Transferencia Tecnolo, Biologia, Entre Rios y Mendoza s/n, Anillaco, La Rioja, 5301, Argentina
2 - Universidad de Buenos Aires, Laboratorio de Paleobotanica, Intendente Güiraldes 2620, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, 1428, Argentina
3 - Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Division Paleobotanica, Paseo del Bosque s/n, La Plata, Buenos Aires, 1900, Argentina

Mesozoic ecosystems
multitrophic interactions
fossil fungi

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 40
Location: Forsyth Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 40002
Abstract ID:569

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