Abstract

The distribution of coralliferous facies and the degrees of endemism and generic similarities of Mississippian coral faunas permit recognition of five zoogeographic provinces and five zoogeographic sub-provinces in North America: Alaskan province, Pacific Coast province (including Northern and Southern sub-provinces), Western Interior province (including Northern, Central, and Southern sub-provinces), Southeastern province, and Maritime province. Analysis of indices of endemism and similarity suggest the following major conclusions: (1) Zoogeographic regions on the periphery of the North American continent (Alaskan, Pacific Coast, and Maritime provinces) had favorable connections for migration to other coralliferous areas of the world, which permitted maximum gene flow; (2) zoogeographic regions in the interior of the North American Continent (Western Interior and Southeastern provinces) were relatively isolated genetically and were characterized by coral faunas having low to high endemism throughout Mississippian time; (3) gene flow was highest along continuous shallow-water carbonate shelves and was impeded by areas of terrigenous sedimentation and areas of deeper water; and (4) similarities between faunas of different zoogeographic regions generally tend to vary inversely with the migration-route distance between these regions, but other factors that affected gene flow modified the distribution patterns significantly.

You do not currently have access to this article.