Spores of the dung fungus Sporormiella: Increased abundance in historic sediments and before Pleistocene megafaunal extinction

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Abstract

Spores of the dung fungus Sporormiella become abundant following the historic introduction of grazing herbivores at seven sites in the western United States. During the Holocene they are generally rare, but at six sites Sporormiella spores are abundant before the extinction of Pleistocene megaherbivores ca. 11,000 yr B.P. Sporormiella spores are directly linked to extinct megaherbivores by their presence in mammoth dung preserved in Bechan Cave, Southern Utah. Their abundance in late-glacial sediments may reflect the abundance of megaherbivores during Quaternary, thereby indicating the age of Pleistocene extinctions where other indicators are absent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-294
Number of pages5
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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