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Instant attraction: clay authigenesis in fossil fungal biofilms
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
2019 (English)In: Geosciences, Vol. 9, no 9, article id 369Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Clay authigenesis associated with the activity of microorganisms is an important process for biofilm preservation and may provide clues to the formation of biominerals on the ancient Earth. Fossilization of fungal biofilms attached to vesicles or cracks in igneous rock, is characterized by fungal-induced clay mineralization and can be tracked in deep rock and deep time, from late Paleoproterozoic (2.4 Ga), to the present. Here we briefly review the current data on clay mineralization by fossil fungal biofilms from oceanic and continental subsurface igneous rock. The aim of this study was to compare the nature of subsurface fungal clays from different igneous settings to evaluate the importance of host rock and ambient redox conditions for clay speciation related to fossil microorganisms. Our study suggests that the most common type of authigenic clay associated with pristine fossil fungal biofilms in both oxic (basaltic) and anoxic (granitic) settings are montmorillonite-like smectites and confirms a significant role of fungal biofilms in the cycling of elements between host rock, ocean and secondary precipitates. The presence of life in the deep subsurface may thus prove more significant than host rock geochemistry in directing the precipitation of authigenic clays in the igneous crust, the extent of which remains to be fully understood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel: MDPI, 2019. Vol. 9, no 9, article id 369
Keywords [en]
clay authigenesis, fossil fungi, igneous crust, cryptoendoliths, subseafloor habitats
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3390DOI: 10.3390/geosciences9090369OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3390DiVA, id: diva2:1371244
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-04129Available from: 2019-11-19 Created: 2019-11-19 Last updated: 2020-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090369

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Sallstedt, ThereseIvarsson, Magnus
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CiteExportLink to record
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