The reengineering of reef habitats during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event

Björn Kröger, Desrochers André, Ernst Andrej

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Bryozoans, stromatoporoid sponges, and tabulate corals, all colonial metazoans with lamellar, encrusting growth forms, developed and simultaneously diversified during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event
(GOBE). After revisiting some classic Lower, Middle, and Upper Ordovician reef localities in Laurentia (Franklin Mountains, west Texas, Mingan Islands in eastern Canada, and Champlain Valley in northeastern United States) and
Baltica (northern Estonia) and reviewing the literature, we demonstrate that during the Ordovician a newly emerging consortium of sheet-like bryozoans, stromatoporoid sponges, and tabulate corals locally bound together by microbes,
automicrite, and cement and solidly rooted in sediment became the dominant reef-builders globally. The diversification of these sheet-like metazoans (SLM), however, clearly lagged behind the first appearance of their
respective skeletal ancestors. Their habitat expansion can be exemplified as a case of simultaneous ecological fitting and ecosystem engineering when the independently evolved shared traits were simultaneously co-opted and became
advantageous under globally different environmental conditions. This interaction led to the evolutionary diversification of colonial metazoans during the GOBE and to the expansion of novel reef habitats in previously soft-surface settings; a transformation that forever changed marine reefal ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPalaios
Volume32
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)584-599
Number of pages16
ISSN0883-1351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1171 Geosciences
  • MIDDLE-ORDOVICIAN
  • VASALEMMA FORMATION
  • SILICEOUS SPONGE
  • NORTHERN ESTONIA
  • CARBONATE MOUNDS
  • CENTRAL CHINA
  • SOUTH CHINA
  • BAHAMA BANK
  • MUD-MOUNDS
  • BRYOZOANS

Cite this

Kröger, Björn ; André, Desrochers ; Andrej, Ernst. / The reengineering of reef habitats during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. In: Palaios. 2017 ; Vol. 32, No. 9. pp. 584-599.
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The reengineering of reef habitats during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. / Kröger, Björn; André, Desrochers; Andrej, Ernst.

In: Palaios, Vol. 32, No. 9, 2017, p. 584-599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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