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Miocene sediments in the western Amazonas region record a unique mega-wetland ecosystem known as the Pebas System. This system existed under wetter and warmer than present conditions, prior to the final Andean uplift. Though the palynological record in the region has been studied extensively, fungal diversity remains poorly explored. Fungal remains from the Brazilian Amazonas have been identified to form-taxa only, without providing ecological or paleoclimatic information. We examine fossil-rich sediments from northeastern Peru that were deposited ca. 16.5 Ma, and therefore document the Miocene Climate Optimum warming. Here, the Fungi in a Warmer World (FIAWW) team applies the nearest living relative method to analyze preserved fungal remains, aiming to develop, for the first time, a fungi-based paleoclimatic reconstruction to be compared with existing plant-based counterparts. We further enhance the understanding of tropical fungal paleoecology, providing new insights to refine existing reconstructions for continental to marginal marine forested areas.

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Higher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Miocene Fungi from the Amazonas Region of Peru: Preliminary Paleoclimatic and Paleoecological reconstructions



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