Comparisons between Cambrian Lagerstätten assemblages using multivariate, parsimony and Bayesian methods
Holmes, James D
Garcia-Bellido, Diego C
Lee, Michael S Y
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Exceptional fossil deposits exhibiting soft-part preservation, or Konservat-Lagerstätten, are prevalent in Cambrian rocks and provide detailed information on fossil assemblages not available from conventional deposits. It has long been recognised that many of these assemblages exhibit certain taxonomic similarities, with many elements seemingly having cosmopolitan distributions. These types of assemblages, particularly those of Cambrian age, have become known as Burgess Shale-type (BST) biotas, named for the famous deposit in the Canadian Rocky Mountains where fossils preserved in this way were first discovered. This study provides the first broad-scale analysis of the assemblage relationships between all major BST biotas. We compiled a database of the presences and absences of over 600 genera within 12 Lagerstätten from Laurentia, Siberia, South China and East Gondwana, ranging in age from Cambrian Series 2 through Series 3 (late-early to middle Cambrian; c. 518–502 Ma), and analysed this using a variety of quantitative methods in order to investigate the relationships between these sites. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination, cluster analysis and Parsimony Analysis of Endemicity (PAE) were used to group localities and examine relationships. We also used Bayesian inference and illustrate the benefits of this approach to biogeographic studies. Results suggest that both space and time have important effects on the taxonomic constitution of BST biotas, and that the similarity of these assemblages appears to increase from Series 2 through Series 3, largely driven by increases in cosmopolitanism of biomineralised taxa such as trilobites and brachiopods. There is also evidence of higher-level taxonomic turnover across this period. Endemic taxa help amplify these patterns, despite their frequent exclusion from biogeographic analyses.
© 2017 Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ This author accepted manuscript is made available following 24 month embargo from date of publication (Dec 2017) in accordance with the publisher’s archiving policy