Abstract

Permian fusulinaceans are diversified and widely distributed in South China. Three distinctive biogeographic provinces, representing distinctive ecological habitats, have been identified: the Yangzi, Southern China, and Taiwan fusulinacean provinces. The boundaries and faunal composition of each province changed progressively throughout the Permian Period; that is, from the beginning of the Chihsian Stage at the base of the Permian through the uppermost Changhsingian Stage. Fusulinaceans evolved rapidly during the Permian Period in South China and seven distinctive zones and two subzones have been identified. The oldest zone, the Misellina zone, occurs in the lower Chihsian Stage and the youngest zone, the Palaeofusulina zone, occurs in the Changhsingian. The Chihsian Stage is characterized by a remarkable proliferation of fusulinaceans, and the Misellina zone contains many new genera and species of Verbeekinidae, Neoschwagerinidae, Staffellidae, and Schwagerinidae. A mixed fusulinacean fauna, containing Carboniferous and Permian elements, occurs at the Carboniferous–Permian boundary, and this indicates a rather slow rate of evolutionary change in fusulinaceans across the boundary. The Palaeofusulina zone in the Changhsingian is probably the youngest fusulinacean zone in the world. The lower Changhsingian contains the Palaeofusulina minima-Gallowayinella subzone and the middle and upper Changhsingian contains the Palaeofusulina sinensis subzone.

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