Abstract

Microfossils released by the action of acids from the Cambrian Valdemiedes Formation (Iberian Chains, NE Spain) contain evidence that encrusting microepifauna (foraminifers and serpulid tube worms) infested shelled hard substrates in nonreefal environments. They appear to have exploited parasitic and/or commensal ecological niches under medium- to low-energy bottom conditions. Despite the gregariousness character of the epifauna, skeletal overgrowths are rare, reflecting low-patterns on competitive interactions for space. Cambrian psammosphaerids (agglutinated foraminifers) were able to dissolve partly calcareous shells: although no evidence of pitting is observed, distinct depressed scars occur on the internal sides of host shells. The serpulids experienced a population bloom during the ecosystem recovery interval after the community turnover represented by the Valdemiedes event, and sharply disappeared during the ensuing return to background conditions. By contrast, the psammosphaerids are relatively abundant across the event, increasing in abundance during the same bloom of opportunistic taxa.

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