Abstract

An important compendium of fossil fungi is now publicly available through a searchable online database. The original compendium was the work of Kalgutkar and Jansonius, who combed through 238 references and collated and annotated published descriptions for 1783 taxa of fungal fossils. By translating these data to a FileMaker Pro database and to the Web, we increase options for searching, sorting, annotating and updating this information. Database search results provide lists of names, ages and thumbnail images of palynomorphs. An individual record from the results list can be expanded in a new browser window to show a complete description for a taxon. The database is timely because developments in molecular systematics are helping to place spore characters in a phylogenetic framework. Some of the previously ambiguous fossil fungi can now be placed into phylogenetic lineages. We anticipate that the Web version of the data will serve as a convenient entry point into the fungal fossil record, leading to integration of more information from fossils into fungal phylogenies.

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