The Open UniversitySkip to content

Chemical consitution of a Permian-Triassic disaster species

Sephton, Mark A.; Visscher, Henk; Looy, Cindy V.; Verchovsky, Alexander B. and Watson, Jonathan S. (2009). Chemical consitution of a Permian-Triassic disaster species. Geology, 37(10) pp. 875–878.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


One of the most controversial biological proxies of environmental crisis at the close of the Permian is the organic microfossil Reduviasporonites. The proliferation of this disaster species coincides with the mass extinction and numerous geochemical disturbances. Originally Reduviasporonites was assigned to fungi, opportunistically exploiting dying end-Permian forests, but subsequent geochemical data have been used to suggest an algal origin. We have used high-sensitivity equipment, partly designed to detect interstellar grains in meteorites, to reexamine the geochemical signature of Reduviasporonites. Organic chemistry, carbon and nitrogen isotopes, and carbon/nitrogen ratios are consistent with a fungal origin. The use of this microfossil as a marker of terrestrial ecosystem collapse should not be merely discounted. Unequivocally diagnostic data, however, may have been precluded by post-burial replacement of its organic constituents.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2009 Geological Society of America
ISSN: 0091-7613
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 18003
Depositing User: Jonathan Watson
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2009 16:04
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:27
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU