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Cretaceous and Eocene Poroid Hymenophores from Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Selena Y. Smith, Randolph S. Currah and Ruth A. Stockey
Vol. 96, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 2004), pp. 180-186
Published by: Mycological Society of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3762001
Page Count: 7
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Two fossil poroid hymenophore fragments, one from the Cretaceous Period and the other from the Eocene Epoch, are described. The permineralized specimens were obtained from marine calcareous concretions on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and were studied using the cellulose acetate peel technique. Size and distribution of pores in the hymenophores, as well as the hyphal anatomy of the dissepiments and some hymenial elements, were examined. In the Cretaceous specimen, Quatsinoporites cranhamii sp. nov., pores are round to elliptical, three per mm, and 130-540 μm diam. Dissepiments consist of narrow, simple septate, hyphae. Neither basidia nor basidiospores are present, but acuminate hymenial cystidia, up to 54 μm in length, are common. The Eocene specimen, Appianoporites vancouverensis sp. nov., has a pore density of six per mm and pores are 130-163 μm in diam. Dissepiments consist of narrow, simple septate, thin-walled hyphae. Neither basidia nor basidiospores are present, but acuminate, thick-walled hymenial cystidia, up to 32 μm in length, are common. The poroid hymenophore is a characteristic of a number of extant basidiomycete taxa, including the Boletales, Polyporales and Hymenochaetales. It is unlikely that the fleshy, ephemeral, terrestrial basidiomata of the Boletales would be preserved in a marine environment, and thus the specimens are interpreted as belonging to basidiomycete lineages, with persistent, leathery or corky basidiomata. The simple septate hyphae, the minute pores and presence of cystidia most closely resemble taxa of the Hymenochaetales. These fossils unequivocally push back the minimum age of homobasidiomycetes and extend their paleogeographical range.
Mycologia © 2004 Mycological Society of America