Abstract

Systematic and statistical study of brachiopods from the Dawan Formation of the Yichang area, western Hubei Province, central China, indicates that, at generic and specific levels, the α diversity of Early to Mid Ordovician brachiopods in the study area reached the first acme at the beginning of the Corymbograptus deflexus Biozone, marked by the diverse Sinorthis typica Community. This diversity maximum of brachiopods occurred approximately one biozone later than that of the Upper Yangtze Platform. In taxonomic constituents, the main contributors to the diversity maximum were orthoids, which experienced a major increase in the number of genera in the upper Didymograptellus eobifidus Biozone and the lower C. deflexus Biozone. In brachiopod communities or associations, orthoids and pentameroids were the dominant elements. Analyses of Early–Mid Ordovician brachiopods from the Upper Yangtze Platform indicate that a high level of brachiopod community organization, with temporal and spatial stability, was achieved by the Sinorthis Community, which persisted from the D. eobifidus to the Azygograptus suecicus biozones (early Arenig). In the D. eobifidus Biozone, the Sinorthis Community thrived across a wide ecological range (BA3 to upper BA4) in the siliciclastic facies of the central part of the Upper Yangtze Platform and, by the latest D. eobifidus interval, invaded more carbonate-rich substrates in more offshore settings in the northeastern part of the platform (the present Yichang area).

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