Systematics, taphonomy and palaeoecology of resin-preserved microorganisms I


The term amber fossils is largely associated with inclusions of insects, spiders and plant remnants. However, bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoans may also be preserved in fossil resins. Frequently these soft-bodied microorganisms are lacking otherwise in the fossil record. Because of the sometimes excellent mode of preservation of cells and cell organelles they become of increasing interest in palaeontology. This is especially because they give new insights into higher-level phylogeny.



Within the project "Systematics, taphonomy and palaeoecology of resin-preserved microorganisms" (supported by the German Research Foundation, project no. SCHM 2152/1-1) amber of several geological epochs is investigated for microinclusions. Rare fossils, for example fungi, are not only preserved in the ca 40 million year old Baltic amber. Numerous microbes are also found in ca 100 million year old Cretaceous resins. Many of the algae, fungi, ciliates and amoebae are identical to extant species. Others, however, are archaic representatives which are not known from modern ecosystems. The microorganisms preserved in amber lived at wet tree bark and in small aquatic habitats at the resin-bearing trees or in wet forest soil. They became preserved as the liquid resin entered their microhabitats. Often several species are associated in a single piece of amber. Conclusions regarding the ancient biocoenoses of the amber forests are therefore possible. Actualistic studies, previously only carried out under laboratory conditions, are done in the field to comprehend the taphonomy of microorganisms in resins. The consideration of microinclusions in amber research therefore allows to do a holistic research on the biota of Mesozoic and Cenozoic forests.


Principal Investigators
Schmidt, Alxander Dr. (Details) (Outside Custodies)

Duration of Project
Start date: 05/2005
End date: 04/2007

Publications

Schmidt, A. R., Dörfelt, H. & Perrichot, V. 2007. Carnivorous fungi from Cretaceous amber. Science 318, 1743.



Dörfelt, H. & Schmidt, A. R. 2007. A conifer seedling with two herbicolous fungi from the Baltic amber forest. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 155, 449-456.



Schmidt, A. R. & Dilcher, D. L. 2007. Aquatic organisms as amber inclusions and examples from a modern swamp forest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104, 16581-16585.



Schmidt, A. R. & Dörfelt, H. 2007. Evidence of Cenozoic Matoniaceae from Baltic and Bitterfeld amber. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 144, 145-156.



Schmidt, A. R., Ragazzi, E., Coppellotti, O. & Roghi, G. 2006. A microworld in Triassic amber. Nature 444, 835.



Tagungsbeiträge



Schmidt, A. R., Ragazzi, E., Coppellotti, O. & Roghi, G. 2007. Der triassische Bernsteinwald von Cortina d'Ampezzo und sein mikrobielles Leben. In Elicki, O. & Schneider, J. W. (eds) "Fossile Ökosysteme" - 77. Jahrestagung der Paläontologischen Gesellschaft, Freiberg, 17.-19.9.2007. Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Institutes für Geologie der TU Bergakademie Freiberg 36, 123.



Struwe, S., Perrichot, V. & Schmidt, A. R. 2007. Mikroinklusen und die Paläoökologie der kretazischen Bernsteinwälder von Charente-Maritime (Frankreich). In Elicki, O. & Schneider, J. W. (eds) "Fossile Ökosysteme" - 77. Jahrestagung der Paläontologischen Gesellschaft, Freiberg, 17.-19.9.2007. Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen des Institutes für Geologie der TU Bergakademie Freiberg 36, 150.



Coppellotti, O., Schmidt, A. R., Ragazzi, E., Guidolin, L. & Roghi, G. 2007. Protistan microfossils in Triassic amber from the Dolomites (Italy). V European Congress of Protistology and XI European Conference on Ciliate Biology, St. Petersburg, Russia, July 23-27, 2007. Protistology 5, 20-21.



Schmidt, A. R. 2007. The microbial life of the amber forests. Third World Congress on the Amber Inclusions, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, May 4-9, 2007.



Schmidt, A. R., Ragazzi, E., Coppellotti, O. & Roghi, G. 2007. Microorganisms in Triassic amber from Italy. Third World Congress on the Amber Inclusions, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, May 4-9, 2007.



Perrichot, V., Girard, V., Lak, M., Nel, A., Néraudeau, D., Saint-Martin, S. & Schmidt, A. R. 2007. Terrestrial and marine inclusions from French Cretaceous amber and their palaeoecological implications. Third World Congress on the Amber Inclusions, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, May 4-9, 2007.



Girard, V., Saint-Martin, S., Breton, G., Néraudeau, D., Perrichot, V., Saint-Martin, J.-P. & Schmidt, A. R. 2007. An exceptional preservation of marine diatoms in Late Albian French amber. Third World Congress on the Amber Inclusions, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, May 4-9, 2007.



Schmidt, A. R., Coppellotti, O., Schönborn, W., Ragazzi, E. & Roghi, G. 2006. Mesozoic testate amoebae from European amber. International Symposium on Testate Amoebae, Antwerp, Belgium, September 12-14, 2006.



Schmidt, A. R. 2006. Resin-preserved microorganisms of Mesozoic and Cenozoic amber forests, their taphonomy and palaeoecology. 7th European Paleobotany-Palynology Conference, Prague, Czech, September 6-11, 2006, Abstracts, 126.



Schmidt, A. R. & Dörfelt, H. 2006. Cenozoic Matoniaceae from European amber. 7th European Paleobotany-Palynology Conference, Prague, Czech, September 6-11, 2006, Abstracts, 127.



Schmidt, A. R. 2006. Microorganisms and microcoenoses of Cretaceous forests new insights from amber. 110-113. In Barrett, P. M. & Evans, S. E. (eds) Ninth International Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biota. Natural History Museum, London, UK.



Schmidt, A. R. 2005. Harzkonservierte Mikroorganismen und Mikrozönosen meso- und känozoischer "Bernsteinwälder". 75. Jahrestagung der Paläontologischen Gesellschaft, Graz, Österreich, 27. August bis 2. September 2005. Berichte des Institutes für Erdwissenschaften Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz 10, 115.


Last updated on 2020-09-03 at 17:05