Diversity of lichen-associated filamentous fungi preserved in European Paleogene amber

Elina Johanna Kettunen, Alexander Schmidt, Paul Diederich, Heinrich Grabenhorst, Jouko Rikkinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A diversity of filamentous microfungi was discovered from thallus surfaces of epiphytic lichens preserved in Bitterfeld and Baltic amber. We report seven distinct morphologies of dematiaceous hyphomycetes, some of which closely resemble species of the extant genera Sporidesmium, Taeniolella s. lat. and Taeniolina. Both the placement of the fungi on their substrates and the exquisite preservation of delicate structures indicate that the fungi were fully developed before they were engulfed by fresh resin. The lichens probably grew on the trunks of resin producing trees and became embedded in resin flows together with their fungal associates. The findings demonstrate that a wide range of presumably specialised fungi have lived on living and decomposing lichen thalli at least since the Paleogene. The findings add an interesting new component to the as yet poorly known mycota of the ancient European amber forests.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Volume107
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
ISSN1755-6910
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • Ascomycota
  • hyphomycetes
  • lichenicolous fungi
  • Metacapnodiaceae
  • sooty moulds
  • Sporidesmium
  • Taeniolella
  • LICHENICOLOUS FUNGI
  • TERTIARY AMBER
  • BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES
  • SECONDARY METABOLITES
  • FORMING ASCOMYCOTA
  • SOOTY MOLDS
  • HOST
  • SPORIDESMIUM
  • LECANORALES
  • MICROBIOME

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