Habitat effects and sampling bias on Phanerozoic reef distribution

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Kießling W
Journal: Facies
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2005
Volume: 51
Pages range: 27-35
ISSN: 0172-9179


Incomplete preservation, heterogeneous geographic sampling, uncertainties in palaeogeographic reconstructions and inconsistencies of reef definitions bias global reef patterns observed in the geological record. This sampling bias is added to a biological habitat area effect, which is thought to be of paramount importance for modern reefs. To evaluate the importance of sampling bias of ancient reefs, I first tested the habitat area effect and sampling bias for modern tropical reefs and then evaluated these factors for pre-Pleistocene Phanerozoic reefs. Results suggest that habitat area, although significantly affecting Phanerozoic reef patterns, is considerably less important than sampling bias. Sampling bias is more controlled by socioeconomic factors than by geological processes such as subduction of oceanic crust or sea-level fluctuations. Reefs are more likely to be sampled in rich countries, irrespective of geological and ecological controls. The numeric and geographic distribution of reefs as currently recorded in the published literature is thus probably largely artifactual, which may explain the scarcity of significant correlations between reef distribution patterns and inferred physico-chemical controls. © Springer-Verlag 2005.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Kießling, Wolfgang Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt

How to cite

Kießling, W. (2005). Habitat effects and sampling bias on Phanerozoic reef distribution. Facies, 51, 27-35. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10347-004-0044-3

Kießling, Wolfgang. "Habitat effects and sampling bias on Phanerozoic reef distribution." Facies 51 (2005): 27-35.


Last updated on 2018-11-08 at 00:31