Fungal remains in cordaite (Cordaitales) leaves from the Upper Pennsylvanian of central France

 

Authors: Krings M, Taylor TN, Dotzler N, Galtier J

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 86, issue 4; pages: 777 - 784; Received 12 April 2011; Accepted in revised form 28 July 2011; Online 5 August 2011

Keywords: bundle sheath, Carboniferous, chert, fossil fungi, Grand-Croix, spongy parenchyma,

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Abstract

Little is known to date regarding the organisms that colonized the leaves of Carboniferous plants. This is due to a number of factors, including how the leaves were preserved, prepared for examination, and analyzed. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that Carboniferous leaves were habitats for a wide variety of fungi. This paper describes fungal remains in cordaite leaves from the Upper Pennsylvanian Grand-Croix cherts in France. Within the intercellular system of the mesophyll occur intercalary and terminal swellings produced from an elaborate system of tenuous hyphae/filaments, as well as isolated putative (zoo-)sporangia and clusters of small unicells. Other fungal remains occur in bundle sheath cells. Although the systematic affinities of the fungi currently remain unknown, documenting their existence contributes to our understanding of the multiple levels of biological association and interaction that shaped the Carboniferous terrestrial ecosystems.

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