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The Fungi in a Warmer World Project (FiaWW) is a multi-national project focused on developing a fossil fungal proxy for ecological and climatological change that can then be applied to future forecast behaviors of global fungas (fungal assemblages within an ecosystem). It is focusing on the Miocene Climate Optimum (MCO), 18-13 million years ago, because it is the SSP2-4.5 best-analog for end-21st century warming and Koppen-Geiger climate class distributions (IPCC, 2021; Beck et al., 2023). To develop a robust proxy, fungi are being examined from global MCO sites, including many lagerstatten, such as the Fotan Fm:s Zhangpu Biota, as fossil fungi have not been previously studied from many of these sites. Study of samples from the Fotan Fm. in southeastern China not only help to constrain funga distribution in southeastern Asia (Romero et al., 2021, Pilie, 2023), but increases our understanding of ecosystems present during sediment deposition. The Zhangpu biota contains the fossilized remnants of dipterocarp tree-dominated tropical rain forests that were present in southeastern China approximately ~ 14.7 million years ago (Wang et al., 2021; Yang et al., 2024). Palynomorph-based ecological reconstructions suggest that the forest composition was similar to that of modern subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests in SE Asia in the early part of the depositional succession and shows steady development of tropical montane rain forests through the middle part of the section, before loss of rain forest taxa in favor of cool- and drought-adapted taxa in the upper part of the section (Yang et al., 2024). Fossil fungal distributions through the section have not ever been previously examined, although fungi were noted in studies of amber recovered from the sediments (Wang et al., 2021 ). Here we present a first overview of fossil fungal members of the Zhangpu biota.

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Higher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Fungi in a Warmer World: Preliminary findings on the Zhangpu Biota of Southeastern China



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