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Harper, Carla J.; Decombeix, Anne-Laure; Taylor, Edith L.; Taylor, Thomas N.; Krings, Michael (2017): Fungal decay in Permian Glossopteridalean stem and root wood from Antarctica. In: Iawa Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1: pp. 29-48
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Evidence of fungal decay is frequently encountered in silicified wood. However, studies focusing on fossil fungal wood degradation remain rare. A characteristic pattern of degradation and decay symptoms congruent with present-day white pocket rot occur in Late Permian silicified glossopteridalean stem and root wood (Australoxylon sp.) from Skaar Ridge, Antarctica. Co-occurring with the decay symptoms are fungal hyphae with clamp connections. Hyphae usually progress through the pit apertures, but some may also penetrate tracheid walls. The individual wall layers in some of the infected tracheids are separated from each other, apparently forming appositions. Small, opaque bodies (? arthropod coprolites) occur in some of the decay pockets. The abundance of infected specimens among the silicified woods from Skaar Ridge suggests that white pocket rot fungi were important decomposers in late Paleozoic high-latitude forest ecosystems.