Alternative biofacies model for dysaerobic communities.

J. B. Thompson, H. T. Mullins, Cathryn R Newton, T. L. Vercoutere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An abundant calcareous fauna has been discovered in the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ:<0.5 ml/l O 2) off central California at oxygen concentrations considerably less than those predicted by previous ecological models. Analysis reveals a distinct depth zonation of echinoderms. Asteroids and ophiuroids are most abundant along the upper and lower edges of the OMZ, respectively, whereas echinoids are found near the core of this zone where oxygen levels are as low as 0.3 ml/l O 2. As these heart urchins are very abundant (14/m 2), they represent a potentially significant component of the fossil record of OMZ's. Locally these urchins are capable of disturbing >90% of near surface sediment. The core of the OMZ is inhabited by hermit crabs that actively transport and recycle gastropod shells. This 'biotransport' results in an accumulation of potentially preservable, non-endemic, hard-bodied organisms which may lead to misinterpretation of paleo-oxygenation conditions. A new biofacies model for open-ocean dysaerobic environments consists of: 1) a zone devoid of macroinvertebrates, characterized by laminated sediments (<0.1 ml/l O 2); 2) a zone dominated by small (1-2 mm) soft-bodied infauna which exhibits moderate disturbance of laminae due to bioturbation (0.1-0.3 ml/l O 2); and 3) a zone inhabited by an abundant calcareous fauna characterized by highly bioturbated sediments (>0.3 ml/l O 2). -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
JournalLethaia
Volume18
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985

Fingerprint

biofacies
oxygen
sediments
fauna
bioturbation
shell (molluscs)
laminae (animals)
Echinodermata
Echinoidea
macroinvertebrates
Gastropoda
crabs
sediment
fossils
oceans
echinoderm
oxygenation
open ocean
fossil record
asteroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology

Cite this

Thompson, J. B., Mullins, H. T., Newton, C. R., & Vercoutere, T. L. (1985). Alternative biofacies model for dysaerobic communities. Lethaia, 18(2), 167-179.

Alternative biofacies model for dysaerobic communities. / Thompson, J. B.; Mullins, H. T.; Newton, Cathryn R; Vercoutere, T. L.

In: Lethaia, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1985, p. 167-179.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thompson, JB, Mullins, HT, Newton, CR & Vercoutere, TL 1985, 'Alternative biofacies model for dysaerobic communities.', Lethaia, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 167-179.
Thompson JB, Mullins HT, Newton CR, Vercoutere TL. Alternative biofacies model for dysaerobic communities. Lethaia. 1985;18(2):167-179.
Thompson, J. B. ; Mullins, H. T. ; Newton, Cathryn R ; Vercoutere, T. L. / Alternative biofacies model for dysaerobic communities. In: Lethaia. 1985 ; Vol. 18, No. 2. pp. 167-179.
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