Abstract

The five Llandovery brachiopod communities have equivalents in the Wenlock and Ludlow; in addition the brachiopods spread into deeper environments where a sixth (Visbyella) community is described. Size, density and 'biomass' of brachiopods are shown to decrease with depth, while the diversity of the communities increases with depth. Comparison with modern analogues suggests that the deepest Wenlock and Ludlow communities inhabited depths as great as 1000 to 1500 m. In the Wenlock of Wales, the Visbyella community extends to the deepest parts of the basin, and there is no clear distinction between shelf and basin areas.

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