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Brachiopod Synecology in a Time of Crisis (Late Ordovician-Early Silurian)

Peter M. Sheehan
Paleobiology
Vol. 1, No. 2 (Spring, 1975), pp. 205-212
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2400274
Page Count: 8
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Brachiopod Synecology in a Time of Crisis (Late Ordovician-Early Silurian)
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Abstract

The extinction of endemic brachiopods in North America at the end of the Ordovician and recolonization by European species has been related to glacio-eustatic lowering of sea level which disrupted conditions in epicontinental seas. North American species may have been narrowly adapted to relatively stable conditions of broad, tropical shallow seas. European invaders may have been less specialized because they were adapted to conditions in both the open ocean and in narrow European epicontinental seas. Being less narrowly adapted, European species probably were better able to cope with changing environmental conditions than were North American species. During the Lower and Middle Llandovery, shallow water, low diversity communities of Pentamerus Community depth were unstable and characterized by repeated extinctions and invasions. Following the crisis at the Ordovician-Silurian boundary 3 to 5 million years were needed to reestablish communities that were persistent in geologic time.

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