Abstract

A recovery brachiopod fauna occurs in the lower Niuchang Formation (upper Rhuddanian – lower Aeronian, Llandovery) of the Xinglongchang section, Meitan County, northern Guizhou Province, South China. Nine collections were made at the section, all of which are dominated by brachiopods, and three associations are recognized here and their paleoecology is discussed. Paleoenvironmental analysis shows a shallowing upward trend for the lower Niuchang Formation, although a global transgression was happening at that time. The balance between the global transgression and the regional Qianzhong Uplift guaranteed a stable environment for the formation of the Niuchang Formation and the recovery of brachiopods in South China after the end-Ordovician mass extinction. In addition to the traditional methods of principal component analysis and cluster analysis, a relatively new technique to paleontology, “network analysis”, is applied successfully in this study. It is suggested that network analysis could be used as one of the supporting methods in investigating brachiopod paleoecology.

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