Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Temporal dynamics of the geographic differentiation of Late Devonian Palmatolepis assemblages in the Prototethys

Catherine Girard, Ta Hoa Phuong, Norman Savage, and Sabrina Renaud

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55 (4), 2010: 675-687 doi:

Throughout their history, species had to face environmental variations spatially and temporally. How both levels of variation interact will be of key importance in conditioning their response to major perturbations. We addressed this question by focusing on a period in Earth’s history marked by dramatic environmental and faunal changes, the Late Devonian Frasnian/Famennian boundary. From a paleogeographic point of view, this period is characterized by a cosmopolitanism of the faunas across a large ocean, the Prototethys. We considered the biotic reaction at a seldom considered scale, namely within a single subgenus of conodont, Palmatolepis (Manticolepis). Patterns of spatial and temporal differentiation were quantified using morphometrics of its platform element. The recognized cosmopolitanism of the faunas was confirmed at this scale of variation since temporal records gathered in distant areas around the Prototethys, including the seldom documented regions located nowadays in South−East Asia, displayed similar morphological trends in response to the major F/F crisis. Beyond this overall cosmopolitanism, subtle geographic structure was evidenced but was not stable through time. Geographic differentiation was maximal shortly before the F/F crisis, suggesting that despite high sea−level, tectonics leaded to complex submarine landscapes promoting differentiation. In contrast any geographic structure was swamped out after the crisis, possibly due to a global recolonization from few favorable patches.

Key words: Conodonta, mass extinction, morphometrics, geographic differentiation, Frasnian/Famennian, Prototethys.

Catherine Girard [], Université Montpellier 2 – CNRS: UMR 5554, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, C.C. 64, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex, France; Ta Hoa Phuong [], Hanoi University of Science, Faculty of Geology, N°334 Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan, Ha Noi, Vietnam; Norman Savage [], Department of Geology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA; Sabrina Renaud (], Université Lyon1 – CNRS: UMR 5125, PEPS, Batiment Géode, Campus de la Doua, 69622 Villeurbanne, France.

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