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The impact of lithification on the diversity, size distribution, and recovery dynamics of marine invertebrate assemblages

Jocelyn A. Sessa, Mark E. Patzkowsky and Timothy J. Bralower
The impact of lithification on the diversity, size distribution, and recovery dynamics of marine invertebrate assemblages
Geology (Boulder) (February 2009) 37 (2): 115-118

Abstract

Lithified marine sediments are not equitably distributed through time, raising the possibility that lithification masks biological signals when data from unlithified and lithified sediments are compared or combined. Using mollusk-dominated assemblages from the early Cenozoic of the Gulf Coastal Plain, we find that lithification conceals small taxa, decreases taxonomic resolution, and exacerbates the undersampling of rare taxa. Lithified assemblages appear less diverse and have less even abundance distributions than coeval unlithified samples. These limitations cannot be overcome by standardization procedures, nor are they likely to be circumvented by collecting larger samples. The effects of this bias, however, can be mitigated by restricting analyses to a single lithification state or to specific size classes. Since lithification selectively obscures small taxa, the magnitude of this bias will be most severe when organisms are particularly small, such as in the aftermath of mass extinctions. In the study area, lithification artificially protracts the recovery period following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction by approximately 7 m.y.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 37
Serial Issue: 2
Title: The impact of lithification on the diversity, size distribution, and recovery dynamics of marine invertebrate assemblages
Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University, Department of Geosciences, University Park, PA, United States
Pages: 115-118
Published: 200902
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 29
Accession Number: 2009-031177
Categories: StratigraphyInvertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2009033
Illustration Description: illus.
N25°45'00" - N36°30'00", W106°30'00" - W93°30'00"
N30°00'00" - N35°00'00", W88°30'00" - W85°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200917
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