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Dr Alan Channing

Hot spring environments and ecosystems through time
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Jan 2012 - I just realised that I am an Associate Editor of Alcheringa (Australian Palaeontology Journal)........


January 2012 issue of PALAIOS Volume 27, Number 1 - Contains a report of the fungi preserved in the Jurassic San Agustin Chert....

First report of fungi and fungus-like organisms from Mesozoic Hot Springs
     Juan García Massini, Alan Channing, Diego M. Guido, and Alba B. Zamuner

Keywords: fungus-like fossil, hot spring paleoecosystem, Deseado Massif, Patagonia, Argentina
ABSTRACT
Herein we provide the first report of the diversity of fungi and fungus-like organisms
within a Mesozoic hot spring ecosystem. The Jurassic San Agustín hot spring deposit
(Patagonia, Argentina), represents only the second known Phanerozoic hot spring
ecosystem with an associated microflora and contains diverse, exceptionally preserved
microorganisms. Preserved propagules include flask-shaped pycnidia produced by extant
coelomycetes, shield-like and nearly round thyriothecia of extant Microthyriales in the
ascomycetes, variously shaped spore-like bodies representing chytrid and chytrid-like
zoosporangia and other life cycle forms, and additional fungal and fungus-like remains
(spores, hyphal fragments, reproductive structures) of uncertain affinity. Many of these
microorganisms are associated with variously decayed organic remains, most commonly
of horsetails. This expands the fungal fossil record and provides a unique opportunity to
learn about the biology of Mesozoic microorganisms.