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Fossil Fungi - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123877314, 9780123877543

Fossil Fungi

1st Edition

Authors: Thomas N Taylor Michael Krings Edith Taylor
eBook ISBN: 9780123877543
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123877314
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 14th August 2014
Page Count: 398
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Fungi are ubiquitous in the world and responsible for driving the evolution and governing the sustainability of ecosystems now and in the past. Fossil Fungi is the first encyclopedic book devoted exclusively to fossil fungi and their activities through geologic time. The book begins with the historical context of research on fossil fungi (paleomycology), followed by how fungi are formed and studied as fossils, and their age. The next six chapters focus on the major lineages of fungi, arranging them in phylogenetic order and placing the fossils within a systematic framework. For each fossil the age and provenance are provided.

Each chapter provides a detailed introduction to the living members of the group and a discussion of the fossils that are believed to belong in this group. The extensive bibliography (~ 2700 entries) includes papers on both extant and fossil fungi. Additional chapters include lichens, fungal spores, and the interactions of fungi with plants, animals, and the geosphere. The final chapter includes a discussion of fossil bacteria and other organisms that are fungal-like in appearance, and known from the fossil record. The book includes more than 475 illustrations, almost all in color, of fossil fungi, line drawings, and portraits of people, as well as a glossary of more than 700 mycological and paleontological terms that will be useful to both biologists and geoscientists.

Key Features

  • First book devoted to the whole spectrum of the fossil record of fungi, ranging from Proterozoic fossils to the role of fungi in rock weathering
  • Detailed discussion of how fossil fungi are preserved and studied
  • Extensive bibliography with more than 2000 entries
  • Where possible, fungal fossils are placed in a modern systematic context
  • Each chapter within the systematic treatment of fungal lineages introduced with an easy-to-understand presentation of the main characters that define extant members
  • Extensive glossary of more than 700 entries that define both biological, geological, and mycological terminology


Mycologists; paleobotanists; plant pathologists; paleobiologists; fungal biologists; sedimentologists; geologists; plant biologists; research scientists studying mycology as it relates to: biology, biochemistry, agricultural sciences, plant pathology, forestry, earth sciences, evolution, and the evolutionary history of fungi; advanced undergraduate/graduate students studying these areas.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Authors
  • 1. Introduction
    • Scope of this Volume
    • What is Paleomycology?
    • History of Paleomycology
    • Naming Fossil Fungi
  • 2. How Fungal Fossils Are Formed and Studied
    • Preservation
  • 3. How Old are the Fungi?
    • Phylogenetic Systematics
    • Molecular Clocks
    • Early Fossil Evidence
    • Fungi and the First Land Plants
    • Symbiosis: A Critical Component of Life
  • 4. Chytridiomycota
    • Fossil Chytrids
    • Chytrid Summary
  • 5. Blastocladiomycota
    • Fossil Blastocladiomycota
  • 6. Zygomycetes
    • Precambrian Microfossils
    • Rhynie Chert
    • Zygosporangium-Gametangia Complexes and Sporocarps
    • Amber Fossils
    • Ichnotaxa
    • Conclusions: Zygomycetes
  • 7. Glomeromycota
    • Biology of Glomeromycotan Fungi
    • Glomeromycotan Characters
    • Glomeromycotan Reproduction
    • Fossil Glomeromycota
  • 8. Ascomycota
    • Geologic History of Ascomycota
    • Mesozoic and Cenozoic Ascomycetes
    • Fungal Endophytes and Epiphylls
  • 9. Basidiomycota
    • Fossil Basidiomycetes
    • Agaricomycotina
    • Pucciniomycotina
    • Ustilaginomycotina
    • Ectomycorrhizae
  • 10. Lichens
    • Thallus Morphology and Structure
    • Lichen Reproduction
    • Lichen Evolution
    • Precambrian Evidence of Lichens
    • Paleozoic Lichens
    • Mesozoic Lichens
    • Cenozoic Lichens
    • Fossils that Might Be Lichens
  • 11. Fungal Spores
    • Naming Fungal Spores
    • Fungal Spores in Stratigraphy
    • Fungal Spores in Paleoecology
    • Fungal Spore Taxa
    • Other Fungal Spores and Structures
  • 12. Fungal Interactions
    • Fungus–Animal Interactions
    • Fungi and Arthropods
    • Fungi in Eggs
    • Trace Fossils (Ichnofossils)
    • Fungus-Fungus Interactions
    • Fungus–Plant Interactions
    • Fungus–Geosphere Interactions
  • 13. Bacteria and Fungus-Like Organisms
    • Bacteria
    • Actinomycetes
    • Mycetozoa
    • Peronosporomycetes
    • Peronosporomycetes: Conclusions
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Index
  • Chart


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2014
14th August 2014
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Authors

Thomas N Taylor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Lawrence, KS USA

Michael Krings

Michael Krings is curator for fossil plants at the Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology (SNSB-BSPG) in Munich, Germany, and professor of plant paleobiology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. He also holds an affiliate faculty position in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. He received his PhD in botany from the University of Münster, Germany, and was an Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas. His research interests include Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic seed plants and the biology and ecology of microorganisms in late Paleozoic terrestrial ecosystems.

Affiliations and Expertise

Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology (SNSB-BSPG) , Munich, Germany and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany

Edith Taylor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Lawrence, KS USA


"...I profited much from the insights into the particular accomplishments and problems unique for paleomycology in this comprehensive pioneer book about fungal life through geological epochs. It is a unique reference for everyone interested in fungal phylogeny and paleoecology." --Nova Hedwigia

"...a comprehensive and wonderful review of the literature on fossil fungi. The authors are uniquely qualified to explain and interpret paleobotany and by extension, fossil fungi." --Inoculum

"I have never seen a scientific book so thoroughly illustrated with so many excellent pictures...highly recommended for mycologists, palaeontologists, botanists and other interested in fossils, fungi, or prehistoric life." --Nordic Journal of Botany, February 2015

"...the first book that attempts to synthesize the scattered literature on fossil fungi and thus become a standard, go to, text on the subject area. It succeeds admirably and I envisage that it will fill this role for years to come." --BSA Paleobotanical Section, December 2014

Ratings and Reviews