Abstract

The Asteridium–Heliosphaeridium–Comasphaeridium (AHC) acritarch assemblage is composed of common organic-walled microfossils in the basal Cambrian chert–phosphorite units in South China, indicating that the AHC assemblage can be a useful biostratigraphic tool for the EdiacaranCambrian boundary successions in the Yangtze Platform. To test the validity of the AHC acritarch assemblage as a biostratigraphic tool, the stratigraphic range of the AHC acritarch assemblage was confirmed, and its spatial and temporal relationships to other bio- and chemostratigraphic tools were analysed in the Yanjiahe Formation, Yangtze Gorges area, South China. The result shows that the AHC assemblage temporally correlates to the Anabarites trisulcatus–Protohertzina anabarica Assemblage Zone, and spatially correlates to the large negative carbon isotope anomaly of the lowermost Cambrian (BACE) in the Yanjiahe Formation. This implies that the radiation of phytoplankton occurred slightly before the radiation of the small shelly fossils, and the AHC acritarch assemblage can be another important chronological reference to the lowermost Cambrian successions in South China, and potentially to global correlations.

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