Abstract

We provide the first detailed systematic taxonomy and paleoecological investigation of late Paleozoic brachiopod faunas from Korea. Specifically, we focus on the brachiopods from the Geumcheon-Jangseong Formation, the lower part of the Pyeongan Supergroup in the Taebaeksan Basin. The formation yields a variety of marine invertebrate fossils, including brachiopods, molluscs, echinoderms, corals, fusulinids, and conodonts. Diverse brachiopods are described from six siliciclastic horizons of the formation at three localities, including 23 species belonging to 20 genera with two new species: Rhipidomella parva n. sp. and Stenoscisma wooi n. sp. Three brachiopod assemblages of the late Moscovian (Pennsylvanian) age are recognized based on their species compositions and stratigraphic distributions, namely the Choristites, Rhipidomella, and Hustedia assemblages. The brachiopod faunal composition varies within each assemblage as well as between the Assemblages, most likely reflecting local paleoenvironmental and hence paleoecological differences. The Choristites Assemblage includes relatively large brachiopods represented by Derbyia, Choristites, and Stenoscisma and may have inhabited open marine to partly restricted marine environments, whereas the Rhipidomella and Hustedia Assemblages consist of a small number of small-sized brachiopods living in lagoonal environments. The Choristites Assemblage shows a close affinity with Moscovian brachiopod assemblages in the eastern Paleo-Tethys regions, especially the Brachythyrina lataChoristites yanghukouensisEchinoconchus elegans Assemblage of North China, whereas the Rhipidomella and Hustedia assemblages both exhibit strong endemism.

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