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Book Chapter

Coral biogeography in the Late Ordovician (Cincinnatian) of Laurentia

By
Robert J. Elias
Robert J. Elias
Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 2N2
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Graham A. Young
Graham A. Young
The Manitoba Museum, 190 Rupert Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 0N2
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Dong-Jin Lee
Dong-Jin Lee
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Andong National University, Andong 760-749, Korea
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Boo-Young Bae
Boo-Young Bae
Seoul National Science Museum, 215 ChangKyungGung-Ro, Jongno-Gu, Seoul 110-360, Korea
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

During the Late Ordovician, Cincinnatian, the epicontinental seas and continental margin of Laurentia provided habitats that were suitable for corals. Biogeographical differentiation occurred within this equatorially placed continent, when corals were introduced to areas that had fundamentally different environments. There were four biogeographical divisions, characterized by distinctive faunas that included some endemic taxa: the Red River–Stony Mountain Province, Richmond Province, Edgewood Province and the less well understood, informal ‘Continental Margin’ Area. In each division, the potential for diversification and the capacity for diversity were determined by factors such as the duration and size of the division, the amount of immigration, the extent of evolution and biogeographical differentiation, faunal responses to changes in sea-level and climate, and the complexity of the ecological structure. The development of multiple biogeographical divisions, each contributing to overall diversity, enhanced the ‘Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event’. During the latest Ordovician mass extinction, there was a reduction of diversity and loss of biogeographical divisions within Laurentia. The divisions were terminated when their characteristic taxa disappeared, in response to major environmental changes associated with glaciation in Gondwana and subsequent global warming.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

Early Palaeozoic Biogeography and Palaeogeography

D. A. T. Harper
D. A. T. Harper
Durham University, UK
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T. Servais
T. Servais
CNRS–Université de Lille 1, France
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Geological Society of London
Volume
38
ISBN electronic:
9781862396425
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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