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Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.
Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Sep 07; 282(1814)PB

Abstract

The latest Neoproterozoic extinction of the Ediacara biota has been variously attributed to catastrophic removal by perturbations to global geochemical cycles, 'biotic replacement' by Cambrian-type ecosystem engineers, and a taphonomic artefact. We perform the first critical test of the 'biotic replacement' hypothesis using combined palaeoecological and geochemical data collected from the youngest Ediacaran strata in southern Namibia. We find that, even after accounting for a variety of potential sampling and taphonomic biases, the Ediacaran assemblage preserved at Farm Swartpunt has significantly lower genus richness than older assemblages. Geochemical and sedimentological analyses confirm an oxygenated and non-restricted palaeoenvironment for fossil-bearing sediments, thus suggesting that oxygen stress and/or hypersalinity are unlikely to be responsible for the low diversity of communities preserved at Swartpunt. These combined analyses suggest depauperate communities characterized the latest Ediacaran and provide the first quantitative support for the biotic replacement model for the end of the Ediacara biota. Although more sites (especially those recording different palaeoenvironments) are undoubtedly needed, this study provides the first quantitative palaeoecological evidence to suggest that evolutionary innovation, ecosystem engineering and biological interactions may have ultimately caused the first mass extinction of complex life.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC 121, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-1805, USA simon.a.darroch@vanderbilt.edu.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall Bldg. 320, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3356 Mississauga Road, Ontario, Canada L5 L 1C6.Department of Biology, Howard University, 415 College Street NW, Washington, DC 20059, USA.Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3356 Mississauga Road, Ontario, Canada L5 L 1C6.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC 121, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA Department of Behavior, Ecology, Evolution & Systematics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.Geology Department, Colorado College, 14 E. Cache La Poudre, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC 121, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA.Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3356 Mississauga Road, Ontario, Canada L5 L 1C6.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26336166

Citation

Darroch, Simon A F., et al. "Biotic Replacement and Mass Extinction of the Ediacara Biota." Proceedings. Biological Sciences, vol. 282, no. 1814, 2015.
Darroch SA, Sperling EA, Boag TH, et al. Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota. Proc Biol Sci. 2015;282(1814).
Darroch, S. A., Sperling, E. A., Boag, T. H., Racicot, R. A., Mason, S. J., Morgan, A. S., Tweedt, S., Myrow, P., Johnston, D. T., Erwin, D. H., & Laflamme, M. (2015). Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota. Proceedings. Biological Sciences, 282(1814). https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1003
Darroch SA, et al. Biotic Replacement and Mass Extinction of the Ediacara Biota. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Sep 7;282(1814) PubMed PMID: 26336166.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota. AU - Darroch,Simon A F, AU - Sperling,Erik A, AU - Boag,Thomas H, AU - Racicot,Rachel A, AU - Mason,Sara J, AU - Morgan,Alex S, AU - Tweedt,Sarah, AU - Myrow,Paul, AU - Johnston,David T, AU - Erwin,Douglas H, AU - Laflamme,Marc, PY - 2015/9/4/entrez PY - 2015/9/4/pubmed PY - 2016/8/12/medline KW - Cambrian KW - Ediacaran KW - diversity KW - ecology KW - ecosystem engineers KW - extinction JF - Proceedings. Biological sciences JO - Proc Biol Sci VL - 282 IS - 1814 N2 - The latest Neoproterozoic extinction of the Ediacara biota has been variously attributed to catastrophic removal by perturbations to global geochemical cycles, 'biotic replacement' by Cambrian-type ecosystem engineers, and a taphonomic artefact. We perform the first critical test of the 'biotic replacement' hypothesis using combined palaeoecological and geochemical data collected from the youngest Ediacaran strata in southern Namibia. We find that, even after accounting for a variety of potential sampling and taphonomic biases, the Ediacaran assemblage preserved at Farm Swartpunt has significantly lower genus richness than older assemblages. Geochemical and sedimentological analyses confirm an oxygenated and non-restricted palaeoenvironment for fossil-bearing sediments, thus suggesting that oxygen stress and/or hypersalinity are unlikely to be responsible for the low diversity of communities preserved at Swartpunt. These combined analyses suggest depauperate communities characterized the latest Ediacaran and provide the first quantitative support for the biotic replacement model for the end of the Ediacara biota. Although more sites (especially those recording different palaeoenvironments) are undoubtedly needed, this study provides the first quantitative palaeoecological evidence to suggest that evolutionary innovation, ecosystem engineering and biological interactions may have ultimately caused the first mass extinction of complex life. SN - 1471-2954 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26336166/Biotic_replacement_and_mass_extinction_of_the_Ediacara_biota_ L2 - https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2015.1003?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -