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Late Devonian and early carboniferous alpha diversity, ecospace occupation, vertebrate assemblages and bio-events of southeastern Morocco


Frey, Linda; Rücklin, Martin; Korn, Dieter; Klug, Christian (2018). Late Devonian and early carboniferous alpha diversity, ecospace occupation, vertebrate assemblages and bio-events of southeastern Morocco. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 496:1-17.

Abstract

The Late Devonian was a time of dramatic environmental perturbations affecting marine ecosystems. Both the Kellwasser (latest Frasnian) and the Hangenberg crises (latest Famennian) are primarily reported as phases of drastic decreases in marine diversity while the Hangenberg Crisis is also described as a bottleneck in vertebrate evolution. Fossil-bearing localities with Upper Devonian strata are of great interest to assess variations in the effects of environmental perturbations on biodiversity. For this purpose, we examined changes in alpha diversity and ecospace utilization of 21 Famennian (Late Devonian) and early Tournaisian (Early Carboniferous) invertebrate associations containing 9828 specimens from Madène el Mrakib and Aguelmous (southern Maïder Basin, northeastern Anti-Atlas, Morocco), where some layers yield exceptionally preserved gnathostome remains. Both the invertebrate and vertebrate associations contain predominantly opportunistic and pelagic taxa indicating oxygen depletion near the seafloor in this region. Nevertheless, the ecospace extension was fluctuating and correlated with regional and/or global sea-level changes and oxygenation of bottom waters. In the Maïder Basin, the ecospace was depleted after and during several bioevents such as the Kellwasser and Hangenberg crises, the Annulata event (middle Famennian) as well as during the early Tournaisian. Abiotic as well as biotic changes (instability of the invertebrate ecosystem) are considered to have influenced Famennian vertebrate diversity because they were more or less directly dependent on invertebrates as a food source.
Key words: Fossillagerstätte, Famennian, gnathostomes, invertebrates, palaeoecology, sea level

Abstract

The Late Devonian was a time of dramatic environmental perturbations affecting marine ecosystems. Both the Kellwasser (latest Frasnian) and the Hangenberg crises (latest Famennian) are primarily reported as phases of drastic decreases in marine diversity while the Hangenberg Crisis is also described as a bottleneck in vertebrate evolution. Fossil-bearing localities with Upper Devonian strata are of great interest to assess variations in the effects of environmental perturbations on biodiversity. For this purpose, we examined changes in alpha diversity and ecospace utilization of 21 Famennian (Late Devonian) and early Tournaisian (Early Carboniferous) invertebrate associations containing 9828 specimens from Madène el Mrakib and Aguelmous (southern Maïder Basin, northeastern Anti-Atlas, Morocco), where some layers yield exceptionally preserved gnathostome remains. Both the invertebrate and vertebrate associations contain predominantly opportunistic and pelagic taxa indicating oxygen depletion near the seafloor in this region. Nevertheless, the ecospace extension was fluctuating and correlated with regional and/or global sea-level changes and oxygenation of bottom waters. In the Maïder Basin, the ecospace was depleted after and during several bioevents such as the Kellwasser and Hangenberg crises, the Annulata event (middle Famennian) as well as during the early Tournaisian. Abiotic as well as biotic changes (instability of the invertebrate ecosystem) are considered to have influenced Famennian vertebrate diversity because they were more or less directly dependent on invertebrates as a food source.
Key words: Fossillagerstätte, Famennian, gnathostomes, invertebrates, palaeoecology, sea level

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:20 Feb 2018 13:41
Last Modified:04 Apr 2018 15:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0031-0182
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.12.028

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