Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Early and Middle Frasnian brachiopod faunas and turnover on the South China shelf

Xue-Ping Ma, Ralph Thomas Becker, Hua Li, and Yuan-Yuan Sun

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 51 (4), 2006: 789-812

The first appearance of the brachiopod Cyrtospirifer and related forms in the Late Devonian of South China significantly postdates the beginning of the Frasnian and the entry of the group in other parts of the world. Scattered data from different sections suggest that its first entry, associated with the emergence of other plicate spiriferids, such as theodossid and conispiriferid brachiopods, was late in the Middle Frasnian. At the same time, many rhynchonellids disappeared or became extinct locally in South China. This brachiopod faunal overturn near the Palmatolepis punctata-Early Pa. hassi zonal boundary is the most significant event in the Early-Middle Frasnian of South China, characterized by about a 35% loss of existing species and the flourishing of the plicate spiriferids, which was coeval with the end of a major biogeochemical perturbation recently recognized in the Pa. punctata Zone. By contrast, atrypid brachiopods do not seem to show any significant diversity change. The brachiopod faunal change was probably related to a (local?) transgressive event in South China, which also brought new pelagic faunas northwards into some intra-shelf deeper water areas, such as the Shetianqiao area in central Hunan Province. Fifteen brachiopod species are described and illustrated, which include some taxa that are first recorded or recognized in South China, e.g., the spiriferid Pyramidaspirifer, which is now known from both North America and South China. One new species, Desquamatia qiziqiaoensis, is described.

Key words: Brachiopoda, Cyrtospirifer, faunal turnover, Frasnian, Devonian, South China.

Xue-Ping Ma,Hua Li, and Yuan-Yuan Sun, The Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, Department of Geology, Peking University, 100871 Beijing, China; Ralph Thomas Becker [], Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut und Museum, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstraße 24, D-48149 Münster, Germany.

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