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Dynamic ecophenotypy in the Silurian Monograptidae (Graptolithina)

Dynamic ecophenotypy in the Silurian Monograptidae (Graptolithina) ABSTRACT The monograptids from the Wenlock and Ludlow (mid- to late Silurian) of the palaeotropical Baltic Basin exhibit thickened ring structures (sicular annuli) over their initial phase of growth. Appearing before the lundgreni extinction event, they persisted throughout the remainder of the Silurian, fluctuating in number over that period. To better understand the mechanisms controlling their development and variation, counts of sicular annuli were taken from three well cores in Lithuania, compared between species in each sample and compared with contemporaneous gamma ray data, accompanied by the stable isotope (δ13C), and acritarch diversity data. Mean counts of annuli fluctuated greatly over the studied interval, but showed negligible variation between species, indicating that the trait is ecophenotypic. The fluctuation in annulus presence aligned with variations in fourth- and fifth-order cycles derived from the gamma ray trends, which represent significant sea level fluctuations, δ13C ratios, and primary productivity, suggesting that annuli were more plentiful in high-stand states which are associated with the wetter climate and more productive conditions, whereas dryer, less productive conditions were not conducive to annulus development. In light of this evidence, we hypothesise that the action of upwelling as a result of intensified storm events during wetter periods would have encouraged phytoplankton blooms, increasing construction of annuli. These results show the potential utility of sicular annuli in the study of Silurian climate change and give new insights into graptolite palaeoecology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh Cambridge University Press

Dynamic ecophenotypy in the Silurian Monograptidae (Graptolithina)


Abstract

ABSTRACT The monograptids from the Wenlock and Ludlow (mid- to late Silurian) of the palaeotropical Baltic Basin exhibit thickened ring structures (sicular annuli) over their initial phase of growth. Appearing before the lundgreni extinction event, they persisted throughout the remainder of the Silurian, fluctuating in number over that period. To better understand the mechanisms controlling their development and variation, counts of sicular annuli were taken from three well cores in Lithuania, compared between species in each sample and compared with contemporaneous gamma ray data, accompanied by the stable isotope (δ13C), and acritarch diversity data. Mean counts of annuli fluctuated greatly over the studied interval, but showed negligible variation between species, indicating that the trait is ecophenotypic. The fluctuation in annulus presence aligned with variations in fourth- and fifth-order cycles derived from the gamma ray trends, which represent significant sea level fluctuations, δ13C ratios, and primary productivity, suggesting that annuli were more plentiful in high-stand states which are associated with the wetter climate and more productive conditions, whereas dryer, less productive conditions were not conducive to annulus development. In light of this evidence, we hypothesise that the action of upwelling as a result of intensified storm events during wetter periods would have encouraged phytoplankton blooms, increasing construction of annuli. These results show the potential utility of sicular annuli in the study of Silurian climate change and give new insights into graptolite palaeoecology.

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
ISSN
1755-6929
eISSN
1755-6910
DOI
10.1017/S1755691021000402
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT The monograptids from the Wenlock and Ludlow (mid- to late Silurian) of the palaeotropical Baltic Basin exhibit thickened ring structures (sicular annuli) over their initial phase of growth. Appearing before the lundgreni extinction event, they persisted throughout the remainder of the Silurian, fluctuating in number over that period. To better understand the mechanisms controlling their development and variation, counts of sicular annuli were taken from three well cores in Lithuania, compared between species in each sample and compared with contemporaneous gamma ray data, accompanied by the stable isotope (δ13C), and acritarch diversity data. Mean counts of annuli fluctuated greatly over the studied interval, but showed negligible variation between species, indicating that the trait is ecophenotypic. The fluctuation in annulus presence aligned with variations in fourth- and fifth-order cycles derived from the gamma ray trends, which represent significant sea level fluctuations, δ13C ratios, and primary productivity, suggesting that annuli were more plentiful in high-stand states which are associated with the wetter climate and more productive conditions, whereas dryer, less productive conditions were not conducive to annulus development. In light of this evidence, we hypothesise that the action of upwelling as a result of intensified storm events during wetter periods would have encouraged phytoplankton blooms, increasing construction of annuli. These results show the potential utility of sicular annuli in the study of Silurian climate change and give new insights into graptolite palaeoecology.

Journal

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of EdinburghCambridge University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

Keywords: climate change; graptolites; Mulde event; sicular annuli; ecology; zooplankton

References