Upper Ordovician brachiopods from the Montagne Noire (France): endemic Gondwanan predecessors of Prehirnantian low-latitude immigrants

 

Authors: Colmenar J, Villas E, Vizcaino D

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 88, issue 1; pages: 153 - 174; Received 3 March 2012; Accepted in revised form 1 June 2012; Online 23 November 2012

Keywords: brachiopods, lithostratigraphy, palaeoecology, Katian, Montagne Noire, Mediterranean margin, Gondwana,

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Abstract

The stratigraphy, brachiopod systematics and palaeoecology of the Upper Ordovician succession from the Cabrieres Klippes, at the eastern ending of the southern slope of the Montagne Noire (southern France) are studied. Two new formations have been formally introduced: the Glauzy Formation (middle Katian, Ka2, in its uppermost fossiliferous strata) and the Gabian Formation (middle-upper Katian, Ka2-Ka4), to characterize, respectively, the thickly bedded quartzitic sandstones overlying volcaniclastic rocks, and the conformably overlying marls and limestones, rich in bryozoans, echinoderms and brachiopods. The systematic palaeontology of the brachiopods yielded in the uppermost beds of the Glauzy Formation has been studied, and five taxa are described, including a new platyorthid genus and species, Proclinorthis vailhanensis. The palaeoecological analysis of the Glauzy Fm., using both taphonomical and functional- morphological criteria, has allowed for the introduction of a new formal palaeoecological unit, the Svobodaina havliceki Community. It characterizes the recurrent low-diversity brachiopod association, usually dominated by S. havliceki, frequent in quartzitic sandstone lithofacies of the Upper Ordovician outcrops throughout southwestern Europe. It is interpreted as having developed in the shore face environments of the Benthic Assemblage 3 (BA-3), along the Gondwanan Mediterranean margin during the early- and mid-Katian. This new community is bounded coastward by an undescribed rhynchonellid community (BA-2) and seaward by the Nicolella Community (also BA-3), during its latest time span. This study allows a better understanding of when, why and how occurred the replacement of Gondwanan endemic associations, represented by the S. havliceki Community, by immigrant associations from low-latitude platforms, represented by the Nicolella Community, coinciding with the global warming Boda event.

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