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Journal Articles Gondwana Research Year : 2018

Amber inclusions from New Zealand

Natalie Bleile
  • Function : Author
Art Borkent
  • Function : Author
Michael Engel
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1022193
Elina Kettunen
  • Function : Author
Anna Philie Kiecksee
  • Function : Author
Franziska Lengeling
  • Function : Author
Jon K Lindqvist
  • Function : Author
Vincent Perrichot
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 903635
Eva-Maria Sadowski
  • Function : Author
Frauke Stebner
  • Function : Author
Jacek Szwedo
Philipp Ulbrich
  • Function : Author
Daphne E. Lee
  • Function : Correspondent author


Terrestrial ecosystems of the long-isolated former Gondwanan landmass of New Zealand are hotspots of modern global biodiversity, based on the level of endemism and distinctiveness of the biota. However, little is known of the evolutionary history of the rarely-preserved but diverse, distinctive, fragile, mainly soft-bodied organisms such as arthropods and fungi that comprise 95% of biodiversity in forest ecosystems. Our discovery of fossils preserved in Oligocene/Miocene amber of araucarian origin reveals a diverse invertebrate and fungal biota and complex ecological networks. These fossils comprise 10 orders and approximately 20 families of terrestrial arthropods and include representatives of Pseudoscorpiones, Acari, Araneae, Collembola, Hemiptera, Psocoptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera, together with nematodes, mold fungi and araucarian wood. Ecologically the fossils encompass predators such as spiders with web remains, soil and bark mites, detritivores, parasites, fungivores and decomposers, fungi that grew on solidified resin flows, as well as predatory fungi. This is the first major amber deposit with an abundance of biological inclusions from the Southern Hemisphere and the only Cenozoic one of verified araucarian origin. These fossils expand the global record and evolutionary history of many arthropod and fungal groups, providing insights into mid-Cenozoic araucarian forest ecosystems and resolving controversial issues around the antecedents of the modern New Zealand terrestrial biota.


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insu-01674519 , version 1 (03-01-2018)



Alexander Schmidt, Uwe Kaulfuss, Jennifer M. Bannister, Viktor Baranov, Christina Beimforde, et al.. Amber inclusions from New Zealand. Gondwana Research, 2018, 56, pp.135-146. ⟨10.1016/⟩. ⟨insu-01674519⟩
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