Preservation & Taphonomy /
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
Bacterial Biofilms (Microbial Mats)
Upland and Hinterland Floras
Abscission and Tissue Separation in Fossil and Extant Plants
Leaf Litter and Plant Debris
Log Jams and Driftwood Accumulations
Wound Response in Trees
! Coprolites (Feacal Pellets) in Fossil Wood@
! The Pros and Cons of Pre-Neogene Growth Rings@
Teaching Documents about Wood Anatomy and Tree-Ring Research@
P. Baldrian (2017): Forest microbiome: diversity, complexity and dynamics. Free access, FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 41: 109–130.
A. Bani et al. (2018): The role of microbial community in the decomposition of leaf litter and deadwood. In PDF, Applied Soil Ecology, 126: 75-84. See also here.
! 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).
B. Berg and C. McClaugherty (2008): Plant Litter Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration. Book announcement (second edition), with table of contents, including 13 chapter abstracts.
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.
L. Boddy and S.C. Watkinson (1995): Wood decomposition, higher fungi, and their role in nutrient redistribution. Abstract, Canadian Journal of Botany, 73: 1377-1383.
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).
(by W. Claus, L. Franzke and U. Knoch; in German):
Kieselhölzer der Löwensteinformation.
Kieselholz aus dem Keuper von Nordfranken.
! C.A. Clausen: Biodeterioration of Wood. In PDF.
W.K. Cornwell et al. (2009):
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.
S. Dai et al. (2020):
of peat depositional environments in coal: A review. Free access,
International Journal of Coal Geology, 219.
! See especially fig. 5: Overview of the progression of plant and fungal tissues and burned material from the peat surface through peatification and coalification to produce the major maceral groups.
Note also fig. 10D: Fusinite in a Cretaceous coal.
Fig. 11C: Degraded inertinite in coal. Fusinite- and semifusinite-like reflectances indicating the charring of degraded material of woody origin.
A.-L. Decombeix et al. (2020): A Permian nurse log and evidence for facilitation in high-latitude Glossopteris forests. Abstract, Lethaia.
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.
H. El Atfy et al. (2019): Pre-Quaternary wood decay ‘caught in the act’ by fire – examples of plant-microbe-interactions preserved in charcoal from clastic sediments. Abstract, Historical Biology.
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.
E.L. Gulbranson et al. (2020):
does large woody debris influence ancient rivers? Dendrochronology applications in the
Permian and Triassic, Antarctica. Abstract,
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology,
See also here (in PDF).
Note figure 6C, D: In situ stumps.
C.J. Harper et al. (2018): Fungal sporulation in a Permian plant fragment from Antarctica. In PDF, Bulletin of Geosciences, 93: 13–26. Czech Geological Survey, Prague.
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).
Carla J. Harper (2015), Ameghiniana 52: Review of Fossil Fungi. Thomas N. Taylor, Michael Krings, Edith L. Taylor. 2015, 382 p. Academic Press, London, UK.
! 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.
! E.A. Heise et al. (2011): Wood taphonomy in a tropical marine carbonate environment: Experimental results from Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas. In PDF, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 312: 363–379. See also here, and there.
K. Heißig (2017): Bruthöhlen von Bartvögeln in einem fossilen Tropenholz aus Niederbayern. PDF file (in German), Zitteliana, 89: 23-27.D. Hibbett et al. (2016): Climate, decay, and the death of the coal forests. In PDF, Current Biology, 26. See also here.
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.
G. Janusz et al. (2017):
degradation: microorganisms, enzymes involved, genomes analysis and evolution. Free access,
FEMS Microbiol Rev., 41: 941–962.
"... For many years, white rot fungi were suggested to be the most efficient wood degraders. However, recent data suggest that Nature may have an alternative solution—brown rot fungi, which are capable of depolymerizing holocellulose and extensively modifying lignin. ..."
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):
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 (2018): Microbiological insights into ecology and taphonomy of prehistoric wetlands. In PDF, Dissertation, University of Alberta. See also here.
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):
in Wort und Bild, and
in Wort und Bild
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).
J.A. Luczaj et al. (2019): Comment on “Non-Mineralized Fossil Wood” by George E. Mustoe (Geosciences, 2018). Free access, Geosciences, 8.
! 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):
Fossil Wood. Open access,
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.
! F. Parisi et al.(2018): Linking deadwood traits with saproxylic invertebrates and fungi in European forests - a review. Free access, iForest 11: 423-436.
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):
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.
! A.J. Sagasti et al. (2019): Multitrophic interactions in a geothermal setting: Arthropod borings, actinomycetes, fungi and fungal-like microorganisms in a decomposing conifer wood from the Jurassic of Patagonia. In PDF, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 514: 31-44. See also here.
A.R. Schmidt et al. (2012):
in amber from the Triassic Period. Free access,
! F.W.M.R. Schwarze (2007): Wood decay under the microscope. In PDF, Fungal Biology Reviews, 21: 133-170. See also here.
F.H. Schweingruber and A. Börner (2018):
permineralization, coalification, carbonization and wet wood conservation. PDF file,
In: F.H. Schweingruber and A. Börner:
! The Plant Stem. A Microscopic Aspect. Open access!
! 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):
in Dead Wood.
Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012, 524 pages.
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):
decay in silicified gymnosperms from Antarctica. Abstract,
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):
importance of fungi in shaping the paleoecosystem.
Abstract, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology.
This expired link
is available through the Internet Archive´s
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.
N. Tian et al. (2020): White-rotting fungus with clamp-connections in a coniferous wood from the Lower Cretaceous of Heilongjiang Province, NE China. Free access, Cretaceous Research, 105.
S. Trümper et al. (2020):
Palaeozoic red beds elucidate fluvial architectures preserving large woody debris in
the seasonal tropics of central Pangaea. In PDF,
Sedimentology. Please take notice:
! The taphonomy and depositional environment of fossil wood, starting on PDF page 15: "Lithofacies associations containing abundant large woody debris".
S. Trümper et al. (2018): Deciphering silicification pathways of fossil forests: Case studies from the late Paleozoic of Central Europe. Open access, Minerals, 8.
D. Uhl and A. Jasper (2020): Wildfire during deposition of the “Illinger Flözzone” (Heusweiler-Formation, “Stephanian B”, Kasimovian–Ghzelian) in the Saar-Nahe Basin (SW-Germany). Open access, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments.
D. Uhl et al. (2020): Woody charcoal with traces of pre-charring decay from the Late Oligocene (Chattian) of Norken (Westerwald, Rhineland-Palatinate, W Germany). In PDF, Acta Palaeobotanica, 60: 43–50.
M.D. Ulyshen (2014): Wood decomposition as influenced by invertebrates. In PDF, Biol. Rev. See also here.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Wood Rots and Decays. In PDF.
M. Viney et al. (2017):
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.
H.-B. Wei et al. (2019): Fungi–plant–arthropods interactions in a new conifer wood from the uppermost Permian of China reveal complex ecological relationships and trophic networks. In PDF, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. See also here.
! 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.
Coarse woody debris.
Totholz (in German).
Compartmentalization Of Decay In Trees (CODIT).
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):
Published in October 2004 by WWFWorld
Wide Fund For
Nature, Gland, Switzerland. See also
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