Biogeography of Ordovician and Silurian gastropods, monoplacophorans and mimospirids
Jan Ove R. Ebbestad, Jiří Frýda, Peter J. Wagner, Radvan J. Horný, Mare Isakar, Sarah Stewart, Ian G. Percival, Verònica Bertero, David M. Rohr, John S. Peel, Robert B. Blodgett, Anette E. S. Högström, 2013. "Biogeography of Ordovician and Silurian gastropods, monoplacophorans and mimospirids", Early Palaeozoic Biogeography and Palaeogeography, D. A. T. Harper, T. Servais
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The biogeographical distribution of Ordovician and Silurian gastropods, monoplacophorans and mimospirids has been analysed on a generic level. The dataset contains 334 genera and 2769 species, yielding 1231 records of genera with 2274 occurrences worldwide. There is a bias towards eastern Laurentia, Baltica and Perunica records. Some 53.1% of the records are Ordovician. The study demonstrates that these molluscs are well suited to being used to improve understanding of Ordovician and Silurian biogeographical provinciality. Specific points are that: a Lower Ordovician assemblage is evident in Laurentia; the fauna of the Argentinean Precordillera is Laurentian until the Darriwilian, when taxa are shared with North China; Late Silurian gastropods from the Alexander terrane (SE Alaska) are unknown in Laurentia, but support a rift origin of this terrane from NE Siberia; Perunica, Ibero-Armorica and Morocco cluster together throughout the Ordovician but Perunica and Morocco are closer; Darriwilian–Sandbian deep-water Bohemian taxa occur in Baltica; a Laurentian–Baltica proximity is unsupported until the Silurian; Siberia clusters with North China and eastern Laurentia during the Tremadocian–Darriwilian; during the Gorstian–Pridoli Siberia clusters with the Farewell and Alexander terranes; North China may have been close to Laurentia and the Argentinean margin of Gondwana; and the affinity of Tarim taxa is problematic.
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The Early Palaeozoic was a critical interval in the evolution of marine life on our planet. Through a window of some 120 million years, the Cambrian Explosion, Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, End Ordovician Extinction and the subsequent Silurian Recovery established a steep trajectory of increasing marine biodiversity that started in the Late Proterozoic and continued into the Devonian. Biogeography is a key property of virtually all organisms; their distributional ranges, mapped out on a mosaic of changing palaeogeography, have played important roles in modulating the diversity and evolution of marine life. This Memoir first introduces the content, some of the concepts involved in describing and interpreting palaeobiogeography, and the changing Early Palaeozoic geography is illustrated through a series of time slices. The subsequent 26 chapters, compiled by some 130 authors from over 20 countries, describe and analyse distributional and in many cases diversity data for all the major biotic groups plotted on current palaeogeographic maps. Nearly a quarter of a century after the publication of the ‘Green Book’ (Geological Society, London, Memoir 12, edited by McKerrow and Scotese), improved stratigraphic and taxonomic data together with more accurate, digitized palaeogeographic maps, have confirmed the central role of palaeobiogeography in understanding the evolution of Early Palaeozoic ecosystems and their biotas.