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Conodont community structure around the “Kellwasser mass extinction event” (Frasnian/Famennian boundary interval)

Author(s): Schulke I


Mass extinction events encompass three different intervals: extinction, survival, and recovery. While studies concerning extinction patterns of taxa have frequently been carried out, only a few studies focus on the recovery of faunas, especially at the Frasnian/Fammenian boundary (Kellwasser Event). This paper examines extinction and recovery fabric of conodonts, a nektonic group highly abundant within pelagic calcareous sediments of this stratigraphic interval throughout the world. On the basis of high-resolution stratigraphy and statistic analysis of species diversity, the above three intervals can be distinguished within extinction and recovery phases of conodonts at the Kellwasser Event. Additionally, conodont samples and lithology of the Sessacker Trench VI section allow to subdivide at least the conodont extinction within the Frasnian/Famennian boundary interval which was interpreted as merely single stepped into four different steps. Dependent on their niche’s position within the Late Frasnian ecosystem, the taxa of this fossil group reveal different evolutionary “strategies” or mechanisms to survive mass extinction.

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