The Fossil Fungi of the Princeton Chert.

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The middle Eocene Princeton chert locality in southern British Columbia, Canada, contains one of the best-preserved permineralized Tertiary floral assemblages known in North America. The quality of pres- ervation of the vascular plant and fungal remains is exquisite because anatomical and morphological features have been preserved at the cellular level. Past studies indicate the vascular flora is rich in species diversity and abundance and includes the in situ remains of semiaquatic and aquatic plant communities. Our initial assessment of the fungi in this assemblage indicates a diverse fungal community had developed and that many of the component species are comparable to modern taxa. Fossil fungi include unilocular and multilocular stromatoid fructifications on leaves and fruits. These are comparable to three extant representatives of the Dothideales or eustromatic Coelomycetes of the Fungi Imperfecti. Two of these contain septate conidia but no ascospores. The third lacks spores but resembles the loculoascomycete genus Mycosphaerella in size and structure of the uniloculate stromata. Fossil representatives of the Hyphomycetes include a seed-borne sclerotic fungus similar to Alternaria and, in the rhizomes of an aquatic plant, Cercospora-like conidia along with moniliform cells that resemble those formed by the genus Rhizoctonia. The teliospores of an anthericolous smut are present in the anthers of an unidentified flower. This fungus is most similar to Microbotryum violaceum, a smut fungus that occurs in the anthers of Caryophyllaceae. The continuing study of the Princeton Chert is allowing us to better understand the role of these, and other. fungal constituents in early Tertiary semiaauatic/aauatic Dlant communities.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    Copyright 1994 by The University of Chicago
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Lepage, B. A., Currah, R. S., & Stockey, R. A. (1994). The Fossil Fungi of the Princeton Chert. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 155(6), 828-836.