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GEOREF RECORD

Ecological fidelity of Pleistocene-Holocene land snail shell assemblages preserved in carbonate-rich paleosols

Yurena Yanes, Julio Aguirre, Maria R. Alonso, Miguel Ibanez and Antonio Delgado
Ecological fidelity of Pleistocene-Holocene land snail shell assemblages preserved in carbonate-rich paleosols
Palaios (July 2011) 26 (7): 406-419

Abstract

Studies that assess the ecological fidelity--preservation of the original community--of terrestrial shell accumulations are uncommon but essential to infer accurate changes in past ecosystems. When live-dead comparisons are unavailable, the taxonomic agreement between differing taphofacies may be used to evaluate the fidelity of ancient shelly assemblages. This approach was used to approximate the fidelity of Quaternary land snails preserved in carbonate-rich paleosols from the northeastern islets of the Canary Archipelago. Such macroscopic alteration as fragmentation, corrosion, carbonate coating, and color loss affected shells, however, microscopic analyses concluded substantial diagenetic alterations unlikely. The shell abundance negatively correlated with fragmentation, suggesting that a higher proportion of shells may be a consequence of higher shell input rate and lower shell destruction rate rather than lower sedimentation rate, as predicted by taphonomic models. Strongly and weakly altered taphofacies significantly differed in species abundances. Substantial taphonomic bias was improbable, however, because both taphofacies contained taxa with comparable durability. Temporal fluctuations in taphonomy and ecology suggest variable environmental conditions operated through time. The overall decline in shell abundance from the last glacial to interglacial paleosols may be explained by a decline in humidity and reduced island surface area resulting in lowered snail proliferation, and in turn, a decreased net shell input rate. This study emphasizes that the original community is preserved within the studied terrestrial shell accumulations regardless of the degree of taphonomic alteration. Measures of past taxonomic richness and diversity, therefore, may be used as a reliable measure of the original snail community.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 26
Serial Issue: 7
Title: Ecological fidelity of Pleistocene-Holocene land snail shell assemblages preserved in carbonate-rich paleosols
Affiliation: Universidad de Granada, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, Armilla, Spain
Pages: 406-419
Published: 201107
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 52
Accession Number: 2011-064950
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, sketch map
N29°00'00" - N29°00'00", W13°37'60" - W13°37'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Universidad de La Laguna, ESP, Spain
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 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201136
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