Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Quantifying ecospace utilization and ecosystemengineering during the early Phanerozoic—The role of bioturbation and bioerosion

August 14, 2020

The Cambrian explosion (CE) and the great Ordovician biodiversification event (GOBE) are the two most important radiations in Paleozoic oceans. We quantify the role of bioturbation and bioerosion in ecospace utilization and ecosystem engineering using information from 1367 stratigraphic units. An increase in all diversity metrics is demonstrated for the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition, followed by a decrease in most values during the middle to late Cambrian, and by a more modest increase during the Ordovician. A marked increase in ichnodiversity and ichnodisparity of bioturbation is shown during the CE and of bioerosion during the GOBE. Innovations took place first in offshore settings and later expanded into marginal-marine, nearshore, deep-water, and carbonate environments. This study highlights the importance of the CE, despite its Ediacaran roots. Differences in infaunalization in offshore and shelf paleoenvironments favor the hypothesis of early Cambrian wedge-shaped oxygen minimum zones instead of a horizontally stratified ocean.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Quantifying ecospace utilization and ecosystemengineering during the early Phanerozoic—The role of bioturbation and bioerosion
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.abb0618
Authors Luis A. Buatois, M. Gabriela Mangano, Nicholas J Minter, Kai Zhou, Max Wisshak, Mark A. Wilson, Ricardo Olea
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science Advances
Series Number
Index ID 70212556
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center

Related Content