Amber inclusions from New Zealand

Alexander Schmidt, Uwe Kaulfuss, Jennifer Bannister, Victor Baronov, Christina Beimforde, Natalie Bleile, Art Borkent, Ariane Busch, John Conran, Michael Engel, Mark Harvey, Elisabeth Kennedy, Peter Kerr, Elina Johanna Kettunen, Anna Kiecksee, Franziska Lengeling, Jon Lindqvist, Mark Maraun, Dallas Mildenhall, Vincent PerrichotJouko Rikkinen, Eva-Maria Sadowski, Leyla Seyfullah, Frauke Stebner, Jacek Szwedo, Philipp Ulbrich, Daphne Lee

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Terrestrial ecosystems of the long-isolated former Gondwanan landmass of New Zealand are hotspots of modern global biodiversity, based on the level of endemism and distinctiveness of the biota. However, little is known of the evolutionary history of the rarely preserved but diverse, distinctive, fragile, mainly soft-bodied organisms such as arthropods and fungi that comprise 95% of biodiversity in forest ecosystems. Our discovery of fossils preserved in Oligocene/Miocene amber of araucarian origin reveals a diverse invertebrate and fungal biota and complex ecological networks. These fossils comprise 10 orders and approximately 20 families of terrestrial arthropods and include representatives of Pseudoscorpiones, Acari, Araneae, Collembola, Hemiptera, Psocoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera, together with nematodes, mold fungi and araucarian wood. Ecologically the fossils encompass predators such as spiders with web remains, soil and bark mites, detritivores, parasites, fungivores and decomposers, fungi that grew on solidified resin flows, as well as predatory fungi. This study reports the first major amber deposit with an abundance of biological inclusions from the Southern Hemisphere and the only Cenozoic one of verified araucarian origin. These fossils expand the global record and evolutionary history of many arthropod and fungal groups, providing insights into mid-Cenozoic araucarian forest ecosystems and resolving controversial issues around the antecedents of the modem New Zealand terrestrial biota. (C) 2017 International Association for Gondwana Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

TidskriftGondwana Research
Sidor (från-till)135-146
Antal sidor12
StatusPublicerad - apr. 2018
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi
  • 1183 Växtbiologi, mikrobiologi, virologi

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