Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

End-Permian Mass Extinction - climatic and Biotic Upheavals

According to the authors1 it was not until the Middle Triassic that complex ecological communities have typically been found in the fossil record leading to the long-held belief that recovery following the end-Permian mass extinction was delayed (Mayer et al., 2011; Payne & Kump, 2007; Wignall, 2007). Among marine groups, the taxonomic diversity of a number of groups, from ammonoids to benthic foraminifera, rapidly peaked in the Early Triassic (Brayard et al., 2006; Brühwiler et al., 2010, Hautmann et al., 2011; Hofmann et al., 2011; Orchard, 2007; Song et al., 2011; Beatty et al., 2008). At the time these biodiversity variations occur there were pronounced excursions in the carbon isotope record which are compatible with outgassing of CO2 from the Siberian Large Igneous Province (Brayard et al., 2006; Galfetti et al., 2007; Payne et al, 2004; Retallack et al., 2011) In this article the authors have presented the results of their study used a high-resolution temperature record from the Early Triassic that is based on the isotope composition of pristine apatite from fossil conodonts. The beginning of the Smithian substage of the Early Triassic was shown by the authors1 reconstruction to be a time of cooler climate, following which was a warm interval that persisted up to the boundary of the Spathian, and in the Spathian conditions were again cooler. According to the authors1 the cooler phases of the early Smithian and early Spathian were the times of greatest increase in taxonomic diversity. Floral ecological change and high turnover in the ocean of faunal taxa that  occurred in the middle and late Smithian were associated with a period of extreme warmth. It is suggested by the uthors1 that important drivers of Early Triassic biotic recovery were the upheaval of the climate and volcanic outgassing.



Sources & Further reading

  1. Romano, Carlo, Nicolas Goudemand, Torsten W. Vennemann, David Ware, Elke Schneebeli-Hermann, Peter A. Hochuli, Thomas Bruhwiler, Winand Brinkmann, and Hugo Bucher. "Climatic and Biotic Upheavals Following the End-Permian Mass Extinction." Nature Geosci 6, no. 1 (01//print 2013): 57-60.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 16/02/2013

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