Secular Variations in the Phanerozoic Reef Ecosystem
Published:January 01, 2002
Quantitative attributes of more than 3000 pre-Quaternary Phanerozoic reefs areevaluated numerically based on a comprehensive computer database. The complex reef ecosystem is subdivided into several components, which are analyzed separately at different stratigraphic resolutions (stages, supersequences). The evolution of geometrical, environmental, paleontological, and petrographical reef attributes is tested for systematic temporal trends and correlations, and potential controls on reef evolution are evaluated by comparing changes in reef parameters with changing earth system parameters such as paleoclimate, sea level, and chemical evolution of the oceans.
While there is no significant secular trend in the number of reef per unit time...
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Phanerozoic Reef Patterns
Detecting patterns and processes of ecosystem evolution is among the main challenges of an integrated earth system science in the 21st century. The evolution of reefs reflects changes triggered by evolutionary innovations and variations in global and regional controls at different scales. The prime fossil record of Phanerozoic reefs offers the opportunity to trace these patterns through space and time. Phanerozoic Reef Patterns presents a comprehensive and up-to-date review on the history of reef building in the last 540 million years. A selection of internationally respected reef specialists presents a database on ancient reefs that is hardly available for any other ecosystem. The thoroughly documented patterns are analyzed with respect to global change, whose impact on living reefs is intensely discussed today. Phanerozoic Reef Patterns stands out from recent reviews on reef evolution by its careful qualitative and quantitative approach based on a comprehensive and multifaceted databank, by the strong focus on data, by a complete and unified coverage of the Phanerozoic from the Early Cambrian to the late Neogene, by emphasizing paleogeographic reef distributions presented on 32 newly developed color maps, and by a detailed index that makes the book a valuable research tool.