The fungal ecology of the Brassington Formation (Middle Miocene) of Derbyshire, United Kingdom, and a new method for palaeoclimate reconstruction

Pound, Matthew, Otaño, Noelia B. Nuñez, Romero, Ingrid, Lim, Michael, Riding, James B. and O'Keefe, Jennifer M. K. (2022) The fungal ecology of the Brassington Formation (Middle Miocene) of Derbyshire, United Kingdom, and a new method for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 10. p. 1947623. ISSN 2296-701X

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Fossil fungi from periods warmer than modern climates provide unique insights into the future impacts of anthropogenic climate change. Here we report the fossil fungal assemblage from the late Middle Miocene Kenslow Member of central England, associated with climatic conditions even warmer than the present day. The identification of 110 morphotypes, which primarily relate to moist environments and the presence of wood, have been used to develop a new nearest living relative palaeoclimate reconstruction. The fungal assemblage indicates a Köppen-Geiger climate class, represented by temperate conditions, no dry season, and warm summers. This new fungal-based reconstruction technique holds exciting potential to explore critically important but poorly understood palaeoenvironments, and the resulting qualitative inferences align well with previously published palaeobotanical quantitative estimates of palaeoclimate. These findings show that diverse fungal assemblages can successfully be used to reconstruct past climates for the first time.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This study was funded by a Geological Society of London William George Fearnsides and Elspeth Matthews funds. NN was in-part supported through a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award. MP acknowledges funding from The Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State University, which facilitated the writing of this manuscript. Final data analyses and manuscript revision were completed in the course of work on the joint NSF/Geo- NERC funded project “Fungi in a Warmer World (FiaWW)” (NSF award #2015813 to JO’K and NERC award identifier NE/V01501X/1 to MP).
Uncontrolled Keywords: wetlands, Fungi, Biodiversity, Nearest living relative, palynology, Climate Change
Subjects: C100 Biology
F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2022 10:13
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 08:01

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