GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 77-23
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


WAN, Mingli1, YANG, Wan2, LIU, Lujun1 and WANG, Jun3, (1)Department of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, No. 39, East Beijing Road, Nanjing, 210008, China, (2)Geology and Geophysics Program, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65409, (3)Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing, 210008, China,

Several lines of evidence of plant-arthropod and plant-fungus interactions are documented from the Wuchiapingian Wutonggou low-order cycle (approximate equivalent to the Wutonggou Formation) in Tarlong valley, southern Bogda Mountains, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwestern China. Fossil wood, Septomedullopitys szei Wan, Yang et Wang, appears to contain differentially-damaged areas. Spindle-shaped pockets in the fossil wood occur in the secondary xylem are commonly free of organic remains. They are comparable in appearance to modern white-pocket rot caused by fungi. The tracheid walls around the decomposed areas are degraded from the middle lamellae to outer layers. Abundant branching and septate fungal hyphae in the decayed areas, ray parenchyma and tracheid lumens indicate that fungi are responsible for the wood decay. These fungi are partially regarded as basidiomycetes because of the occurrence of clamp connections. According to the characteristic damages they caused to the host, ascomycetes are also viable candidates of the fungi because large parts of hyphae are without certain clamp connections. The other damaged excavations are the branched and maze-like borings and galleries, which are filled with abundant fungal hyphae, cellular debris and spheroidal to ovoidal, dark-colored coprolites, ranging from 26-128 μm in diameter. The size, shape, surface texture of these coprolites indicates that the coprolites are the feces of ancient oribatid mites. The fungal hyphae, coprolites, and degraded excavations in the pith of the late Permian wood suggest that wood-rotting and -boring were not limited to the xylem. Results of this study provide important information about the co-occurrence of plant-arthropod and plant-fungus interactions in the late Permian, and demonstrate the complexity of the terrestrial ecosystems at the east coast of mid-latitude northeastern Pangea.