Disentangling palaeodiversity signals from a biased sedimentary record: an example from the Early to Middle Miocene of Central Paratethys Sea
Published:January 01, 2011
Martin Zuschin, Mathias Harzhauser, Oleg Mandic, 2011. "Disentangling palaeodiversity signals from a biased sedimentary record: an example from the Early to Middle Miocene of Central Paratethys Sea", Comparing the Geological and Fossil Records: Implications for Biodiversity Studies, A. J. McGowan, A. B. Smith
Download citation file:
Changes in molluscan diversity across the 3rd order sequence boundary from the Lower to the Middle Miocene of the Paratethys were evaluated in the context of environmental bias. Taken at face value, quantitative data from nearshore and sublittoral shell beds suggest a transition from low-diversity Karpatian (Upper Burdigalian) to highly diverse Badenian (Langhian and Lower Serravallian) assemblages, but environmental affiliation of samples reveals a strong facies shift across the sequence boundary. Ordination methods show that benthic assemblages of the two stages, including 4 biozones and four 3rd order depositional sequences over less than four million years, are developed along the same depth-related environmental gradient. Almost all samples are from highstand systems tracts, but Karpatian faunas are mostly from nearshore settings, and Badenian faunas are strongly dominated by sublittoral assemblages. This study emphasizes the importance of highly resolved stratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental frameworks for deciphering palaeodiversity patterns at regional scales and highlights the effort required to reach the asymptote of the collector's curve. Abundance data facilitate the recognition of ecological changes in regional biota and it is suggested that in second and higher order sequences the facies covered within systems tracts will drive observed diversity patterns.
Figures & Tables
Comparing the Geological and Fossil Records: Implications for Biodiversity Studies
The past decade has witnessed a major revival in attempts to separate biodiversity signals from biases imposed by sampling and the architecture of the rock record. How large a problem this poses to our understanding of biodiversity patterns remains debatable, and new approaches are being developed to investigate this question. Here palaeobiologists with widely differing approaches and interests explore the problems of extracting reliable information on biodiversity change from an imperfect geological record. Topics covered range from the application of information-theoretic approaches that identify directional causal relationships to an in-depth study of how geological biases could influence our understanding of dinosaur evolution. A wide range of new insights into the links between the land, shallow-marine and deep-sea rock and fossil records are presented, making this volume invaluable to anyone in the Earth or life sciences who wishes to remain abreast of this dynamic and rapidly evolving research area.