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Prelude of benthic community collapse during the end-Permian mass extinction in siliciclastic offshore sub-basin: Brachiopod evidence from South China
journal contributionposted on 2018-04-01, 00:00 authored by H Wu, W He, Liz WeldonLiz Weldon
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Analysis of the Permian–Triassic palaeocommunities from basinal facies in South China provides an insight into the environmental deterioration occurring in the prelude to the mass extinction event. Quantitative and multivariate analyses on three brachiopod palaeocommunities from the Changhsingian to the earliest Triassic in basinal facies in South China have been undertaken in this study. Although the end-Permian extinction has been proved to be a one-stepped event, ecological warning signals appeared in the palaeocommunities long before the main pulse of the event. A brachiopod palaeocommunity turnover occurred in the upper part of the Clarkina changxingensis Zone, associated with a significant decrease of palaeocommunity diversity and brachiopod body size. During this turnover the dominant genera changed from Fusichonetes and Crurithyris (or/and Paracrurithyris) to the more competitive genus Crurithyris (or/and Paracrurithyris). The brachiopod palaeocommunity turnover was supposed to be triggered by the decreased marine primary productivity and increased volcanic activity. Moreover, such early warning signals are found not only in the deep-water siliceous facies, but also in the shallow-water clastic facies and carbonate rock facies in South China.