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Home / Preservation & Taphonomy / Wood Decay

Taphonomy in General
Plant Fossil Preservation and Plant Taphonomy
Collecting Bias: Our Incomplete Picture of the Past Vegetation
Pith Cast and "in situ" Preservation
Three-Dimensionally Preserved Plant Compression Fossils
Permineralized Plants and the Process of Permineralization
Petrified Forests
Bacterial Biofilms (Microbial Mats)
Molecular Palaeobotany
Pyrite Preservation
Upland and Hinterland Floras
Abscission and Tissue Separation in Fossil and Extant Plants
Leaf Litter and Plant Debris
Log Jams and Driftwood Accumulations

! Coprolites (Feacal Pellets) in Fossil Wood@
! Trees@
! Fungi@
! The Pros and Cons of Pre-Neogene Growth Rings@
Teaching Documents about Wood Anatomy and Tree-Ring Research@

Fungal Wood Decay: Evidence from the Fossil Record

! M. Bardet and A. Pournou (2017): NMR Studies of Fossilized Wood. Abstract, Annual Reports on NMR Spectroscopy, 90: 41–83. See also here and there (Google books).

The Museum of Paleontology (UCMP), University of California at Berkeley: Introduction to the Fungi, and Fungi: Fossil Record.

D. Biello (2012), Scientific American: White Rot Fungi Slowed Coal Formation.

! Robert A. Blanchette (2000): A review of microbial deterioration found in archaeological wood from different environments. PDF file, International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 46: 189-204.

O. Cambra-Moo et al. (2013): Exceptionally well-preserved vegetal remains from the Upper Cretaceous of "Lo Hueco", Cuenca, Spain. In PDF, Lethaia, 46: 127–140.

S.N. Césari et al. (2010): Nurse logs: An ecological strategy in a late Paleozoic forest from the southern Andean region. Abstract, Geology, 38: 295-298. See also here (in PDF).

! C.A. Clausen: Biodeterioration of Wood. In PDF.

W.K. Cornwell et al. (2009): Plant traits and wood fates across the globe: rotted, burned, or consumed? PDF file, Global Change Biology, 15: 2431-2449.
Still available via Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Carmen Diéguez and José López-Gómez (2005): Fungus-plant interaction in a Thuringian (Late Permian) Dadoxylon sp. in the SE Iberian Ranges, eastern Spain. Abstract, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 229: 69-82.

N.L. Dotzler (2009): Microbial life in the late Paleozoic: new discoveries from the Early Devonian and Carboniferous. In PDF, Thesis, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

! D.C. Eastwood et al. (2011): The plant cell wall–decomposing machinery underlies the functional diversity of forest fungi. In PDF, Science 333. See also here. Supporting Online Material can be found here.

K. Fackler and M. Schwanninger (2012): How spectroscopy and microspectroscopy of degraded wood contribute to understand fungal wood decay. In PDF, Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 96: 587-599.

Zhuo Feng et al. (2013): Complete tylosis formation in a latest Permian conifer stem. Annals of Botany, 111: 1075-1081.

L.C. Fermé et al. (2015): Tracing driftwood in archaeological contexts: experimental data and anthracological studies at the Orejas De Burro 1 Site (Patagonia, Argentina). Abstract, Archaeometry, 57: 175–193. See also here (in PDF).

! D. Floudas et al. (2012): The Paleozoic origin of enzymatic lignin decomposition reconstructed from 31 fungal genomes. Abstract.

! J. Garcia-Guinea et al. (1998): Cell-Hosted Pyrite Framboids in Fossil Woods. In PDF, Naturwissenschaften 85, 78–81.

C.J. Harper et al. (2017): Fungal decay in Permian Glossopteridalean stem and root wood from Antarctica. Abstract, IAWA Journal, 38: 29-48. See also here (in PDF).

! J. Hartman and B. Eshenaur: Wounds and Wood Decay of Trees. In PDF, Plant Pathology Fact Sheet, Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky.

D. Hibbett et al. (2016): Climate, decay, and the death of the coal forests. In PDF, Current Biology, 26. See also here.
Please note Figure 1: Characteristics of fungal wood degradation.

D. Hibbett et al. (1997): Fossil mushrooms from Miocene and Cretaceous ambers and the evolution of Homobasidiomycetes. In PDF, American Journal of Botany, 84: 981-991.

T.H. Jefferson (1987): The preservation of conifer wood: examples from the Lower Cretaceous of Antarctica. In PDF, Palaeontology, 30. With instructive line drawings.

R.K. Kar et al. (2003): Occurrence of fossil-wood rotters (polyporales) from the Lameta Formation (Maastrichtian), India. In PDF, Current Science.

K.-P. Kelber, Würzburg (2007): Die Erhaltung und paläobiologische Bedeutung der fossilen Hölzer aus dem süddeutschen Keuper (Trias, Ladinium bis Rhätium). PDF file (33 MB), in German. In: Schüßler, H. & Simon, T. (eds.): Aus Holz wird Stein.
! PDF page 28: Permineralized wood from the Upper Triassic of Germany showing fungal wood decay.
! PDF page 35: Permineralized wood from the Upper Triassic of Germany with an attached fruiting body.

S. Kiel et al. (2012): Fossilized digestive systems in 23 million-year-old wood-boring bivalves. In PDF.

A.A. Klymiuk (2015): Paleomycology of the Princeton Chert. III. Dictyosporic microfungi, Monodictysporites princetonensis gen. et sp. nov., associated with decayed rhizomes of an Eocene semi-aquatic fern. Abstract, Mycologia, 108: 882-890.

M. Krings et al. (2017): Fungi in a Psaronius root mantle from the Rotliegend (Asselian, Lower Permian/Cisuralian) of Thuringia, Germany. Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 239: 4–30. See also here (in PDF).

! M. Krings et al. (2010): A fungal community in plant tissue from the Lower Coal Measures (Langsettian, Lower Pennsylvanian) of Great Britain. PDF file, Bulletin of Geosciences, 85.

! K. J. Lang, Fachgebiet Pathologie der Waldbäume, Technische Universität München (TUM): Gehölzkrankheiten in Wort und Bild, and Fäuleerreger in Wort und Bild (in German).
Now provided by the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.

V. Lechien et al. (2006): Physicochemical and biochemical characterization of non-biodegradable cellulose in Miocene gymnosperm wood from the Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse, Southern Belgium. Abstract, Organic Geochemistry, 37: 1465-1476. See also here (in PDF).

! L. Marynowski et al. (2013): Perylene as an indicator of conifer fossil wood degradation by wood-degrading fungi. In PDF, Organic Geochemistry, 59: 143-151.

N.P. Maslova et al. (2016): Phytopathology in fossil plants: New data, questions of classification. In PDF, Paleontological Journal, 50: 202–208.

S. McLoughlin and B. Bomfleur (2016): Biotic interactions in an exceptionally well preserved osmundaceous fern rhizome from the Early Jurassic of Sweden. Abstract, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

S. McLoughlin and C. Strullu-Derrien (2015): Biota and palaeoenvironment of a high middle-latitude Late Triassic peat-forming ecosystem from Hopen, Svalbard archipelago. In PDF.

! I.P. Montañeza (2016): A Late Paleozoic climate window of opportunity. In PDF, PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113. See also here (abstract).

! P.I. Morris: Understanding Biodeterioration of Wood in Structures. In PDF.

M. Moskal-del Hoyo et al. (2010): Preservation of fungi in archaeological charcoal. PDF file, Journal of Archaeological Science, 37: 2106-2116.

! G.E. Mustoe (2018): Non-Mineralized Fossil Wood. Open access, Geosciences, 8.
Note fig. 23: Silification of charred wood.

L.G. Nagy et al. (2011): Understanding the Evolutionary Processes of Fungal Fruiting Bodies: Correlated Evolution and Divergence Times in the Psathyrellaceae. Syst. Biol., 60: 303-317.

! M.P. Nelsen et al. (2016): Delayed fungal evolution did not cause the Paleozoic peak in coal production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113: 2442-2447. See also here.

J.R. Obst et al. (1991): Characterization of Canadian Arctic fossil woods. In PDF.

R.R. Pujana et al. (2011): Evidence of fungal activity in silicified gymnosperm wood from the Eocene of southern Patagonia (Argentina). Abstract.

! M.R. Rampino and Y. Eshet (2017): The fungal and acritarch events as time markers for the latest Permian mass extinction: An update. In PDF, Geoscience Frontiers. Open Access funded by China University of Geosciences (Beijing).
"The fungal event, evidenced by a thin zone with >95% fungal cells (Reduviasporonites) and woody debris, found in terrestrial and marine sediments, and the acritarch event, marked by the sudden flood of unusual phytoplankton in the marine realm. These two events represent the global temporary explosive spread of stress-tolerant and opportunistic organisms on land and in the sea just after the latest Permian disaster".

! J.M. Robinson (1990): Lignin, land plants, and fungi: Biological evolution affecting Phanerozoic oxygen balance. Abstract, Geology, 18:607-610.

! F.W.M.R. Schwarze (2007): Wood decay under the microscope. In PDF, Fungal Biology Reviews, 21: 133-170. See also here.

! W.C. Shortle and K.R. Dudzik (2012), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Northern Research Station: Wood Decay in Living and Dead Trees: A Pictorial Overview. In PDF.

Smithsonian Science: Fungi still visible in wood charcoal centuries after burning.

! J. N. Stokland, J. Siitonen and B. G. Jonsson (2012): Biodiversity in Dead Wood. Google books. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012, 524 pages. See also here.
Also worth to read: Book review, International Forestry Review Vol.14(3), 2012.

! C. Strullu-Derrien et al. (2018): The origin and evolution of mycorrhizal symbioses: from palaeomycology to phylogenomics. In PDF, New Phytologist. See also here.

C. Strullu-Derrien et al. (2011): Evidence of parasitic Oomycetes (Peronosporomycetes) infecting the stem cortex of the Carboniferous seed fern Lyginopteris oldhamia. IN PDF, Proc. R. Soc. B, 278: 675-680.

S.P. Stubblefield and T.N. Taylor (1986): Wood decay in silicified gymnosperms from Antarctica. Abstract, Botanical Gazette.
See also here (in PDF).

S.P. Stubblefield et al. (1985): Studies of paleozoic fungi. IV. Wood-decaying fungi in Callixylon newberryi from the upper Devonian. Abstract, American Journal of Botany.

L.H. Tanner and S.G. Lucas (2013): Degraded wood in the Upper Triassic Petrified Forest Formation (Chinle Group), northern Arizona: Differentiating fungal rot from arthropod boring. In PDF, p. 582-588; in: Tanner, L.H., Spielmann, J.A. and Lucas, S.G. (eds.): The Triassic System. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin 61.

! T.N. Taylor and M. Krings (2010): Paleomycology: the re-discovery of the obvious. Abstract, PALAIOS, 25: 283-286.

! Thomas N. Taylor and Michael Krings (2005): Fossil microorganisms and land plants: Associations and interactions. PDF file, Symbiosis, 40: 119-135.

T.N. Taylor and J.M. Osborn (1996): The importance of fungi in shaping the paleoecosystem. Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. This expired link is available through the Internet Archive´s Wayback Machine.
See also here (in PDF).

T.N. Taylor and J.M. Osborn (1992): The Role of Wood in Understanding Saprophytism in the Fossil Record. PDF file.

T.N. Taylor and E.L. Taylor (1997): The distribution and interactions of some Paleozoic fungi. PDF file, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Wood Rots and Decays. In PDF.

! M. Viney et al. (2017): The Bruneau Woodpile: A Miocene Phosphatized Fossil Wood Locality in Southwestern Idaho, USA. Open access, Geosciences, 7.
Note fig. 14: Streambank exposure reveals three successive lahar wood mats containing rough-surfaced fragments of mummified wood.

! A.C. Wiedenhoeft et al. (2005): Structure and function of wood. In PDF, Handbook of wood chemistry and wood composites, Boca Raton, Fla. (CRC Press), pages 9-33. See also here. (abstract).

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
! Wood-decay fungus.
Bracket fungus.
Coarse woody debris.
Totholz (in German).
Compartmentalization Of Decay In Trees (CODIT).
Tylosis (botany).

T.M. Wong (2007): Biodeterioration Of Wood. In PDF.

J.J. Worrall et al. (1997): Comparison of wood decay among diverse lignicolous fungi. PDF file, Mycologia.

WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature): Deadwood - living forests. In PDF. Published in October 2004 by WWFWorld Wide Fund For Nature, Gland, Switzerland. See also here.

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This index is compiled and maintained by Klaus-Peter Kelber, Würzburg,
Last updated September 22, 2017

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