New fossil data from two Early Triassic (Griesbachian to Dienerian) sections from South China show unusually high levels of both benthic and nektonic taxonomic richness occurring in the late Griesbachian. In total, 68 species (including 26 newly originated species) representing mollusks, brachiopods, foraminifers, conodonts, ostracods, and echinoderms occur in the late Griesbachian, indicating well-established and relatively complex marine communities. Furthermore, the nekton shows higher origination rates than the benthos. Analyses of the sedimentary facies and size distribution of pyrite framboids show that this high-diversity interval is associated with well-oxygenated environments. In contrast to the previously suggested scenario, which inferred that persistently harsh environmental conditions impeded the biotic recovery during the Early Triassic, our new findings, combined with recent work, indicate a fitful regional recovery pattern after the Permian-Triassic crisis, resulting in three main diversity highs: late Griesbachian–early Dienerian, early–middle Smithian, and Spathian. The transient rebound episodes were therefore influenced by both extrinsic local (e.g., redox condition, temperature) and intrinsic (e.g., biological tolerances, origination rates) parameters.

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